At A Loss With My Betta

CMA13

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I’ve posted a couple of threads about my new Betta Fishy (my son named him lol). I purchased him over 2 weeks ago from Petsmart. Put him in a 10 gallon tank by himself, filter and heater. (Newbie mistake - waited 2 days before adding him, so ended up doing a fish-cycle)

Do have a kit to check parameters, began using Prime and Stability. Do 25-50% water changes every other day, occasionally every 2. At first he ate the pellets, but always spit them back up. I’ve tried dried blood worms, he tired once....

He’s now lethargic, hasn’t eaten since I got him. I thought he had a fuzz on him, but it turned out to be poop....that’s white and fuzzy/stringy like. He has had this bump on the side of his head, small little bump. I think it’s grown a little bit.

Today’s water parameters were
Ammonia - 0 (went down from .25)
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Ph - 7.6
High range ph - 7.4. (Went down from 7.8)

Temp - stays around 75% consistently

I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong...if anyone has any advice please let me know =(

Here are pics from a few days ago - you can see the little bump F0FE00DD-FDEF-4C59-9887-7C16C591ED7E.jpeg 86B061E7-D4F9-4D0F-ADBD-1A6C11E57933.jpeg 0F91CA2B-1CC8-4D1C-9BF3-2A13CBCAE32B.jpeg
 

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Thaw some frozen Brine Shrimp and soak them in a bit of garlic try giving him a couple of those. I've never had a betta refuse that even when elderly and in their last days!

Also worth noting is that if he wasn't used to pellets or whatever kind of blood worms your offering (FYI not really great for regular feeding, use blood worms as treats instead) he will likely continue rejecting it until he's quite hungry and often many fish will mouth a pellet spit it out try it again spit it out etc as they are basically getting the soft stuff off each try and eventually get the entire pellet eaten, may try presoaking them for him so they are softer while he adjusts to your food.
 

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I’ve also tried taking a razor blade and splitting the pellet. Not sure when a “baby” Betta loses the baby tag but I’ve had her since March. Anyways she ate one of those pellets split. Some of my other fish do the eat,spit,eat when they are whole
 

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Sorry, I don't know what the bumps are but I just wanted to mention that 75F is a bit cold for a betta. If you have an adjustable heater, try getting to 80F. If its not an adjustable one, I would suggest that you buy another one. Cold water will mess with his immune system in the long run.
 
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CMA13

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sfsamm said:
Thaw some frozen Brine Shrimp and soak them in a bit of garlic try giving him a couple of those. I've never had a betta refuse that even when elderly and in their last days!

Also worth noting is that if he wasn't used to pellets or whatever kind of blood worms your offering (FYI not really great for regular feeding, use blood worms as treats instead) he will likely continue rejecting it until he's quite hungry and often many fish will mouth a pellet spit it out try it again spit it out etc as they are basically getting the soft stuff off each try and eventually get the entire pellet eaten, may try presoaking them for him so they are softer while he adjusts to your food.
Thanks for the advice. I’ll get some of that and see if he’ll eat it. At this point he’s not even looking at the food. Never had a Betta not eat food....figured the blood worms would at least get him going...

Billy T said:
I’ve also tried taking a razor blade and splitting the pellet. Not sure when a “baby” Betta loses the baby tag but I’ve had her since March. Anyways she ate one of those pellets split. Some of my other fish do the eat,spit,eat when they are whole
That’s not a bad idea actually. I’ll try that. Just can’t get him to even look at the food though

WanhiBetta said:
Sorry, I don't know what the bumps are but I just wanted to mention that 75F is a bit cold for a betta. If you have an adjustable heater, try getting to 80F. If its not an adjustable one, I would suggest that you buy another one. Cold water will mess with his immune system in the long run.
Yea I was thinking maybe i need an adjustable heater. It’s supposed to always hit at 80 but my thermometer always says 75
He was actually in water that was 68 at the store! I went back the other day to grab the worms and the Betta fish didn’t look so good .... hoping he wasn’t sick from the store =(

WanhiBetta said:
Sorry, I don't know what the bumps are but I just wanted to mention that 75F is a bit cold for a betta. If you have an adjustable heater, try getting to 80F. If its not an adjustable one, I would suggest that you buy another one. Cold water will mess with his immune system in the long run.
Here’s the one we currently have....
Any suggestions on a good heater for a 10 gallon?



I was told from the lady at Petsmart that I should put the Betta in a small bowl bc the 10 gallon is too big.....

Isn’t that false?
 

WanhiBetta

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Absolutely false!! My betta is in a 10g. Just like every other fish, the bigger the better.

How many watts in your heater?
 
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CMA13

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WanhiBetta said:
Absolutely false!! My betta is in a 10g. Just like every other fish, the bigger the better.

How many watts in your heater?
50 Watts


She also said don’t get the frozen brime shrimp. I left the store lol.

I’ve fed betas brime shrimp in the past. No issues lol

I did a big water change when I got home (honestly I dunno why....I think I just let myself panic). Did add warmer water. Thermometer is reading 80 now. It was 76 when I got home.

I’m pretty sure I messed up doing that. That was way too fast. (Had the Betta in a small tank while I did the water change).

I keep thinking maybe I’m not good at aquarium keeping =(
 

WanhiBetta

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You should always put water at the same temperature just to avoid temperature shock. There is nothing wrong and doing a water change even when it's not absolutely needed!

As long as you care about your fish and do your best, you're a good fish keeper

I feed my bettas brine shrimp once a week, she is clearly very misinformed...

Your heater may just be broken if it cant go higher than 75.... 50W is generally plenty enough to get a 10g at 80F!
 
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CMA13

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WanhiBetta said:
You should always put water at the same temperature just to avoid temperature shock. There is nothing wrong and doing a water change even when it's not absolutely needed!

As long as you care about your fish and do your best, you're a good fish keeper

I feed my bettas brine shrimp once a week, she is clearly very misinformed...

Your heater may just be broken if it cant go higher than 75.... 50W is generally plenty enough to get a 10g at 80F!
Thanks =)

Could it be the thermometer? I have it on the opposite side of the tank from the heater.
 

WanhiBetta

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CMA13 said:
Thanks =)

Could it be the thermometer? I have it on the opposite side of the tank from the heater.
All the water should be at the same temperature, so the fact that its a the opposite shouldn't change anything. But maybe it is your thermometer, you could try buying another one since they're really cheap!
 

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WanhiBetta said:
All the water should be at the same temperature, so the fact that its a the opposite shouldn't change anything. But maybe it is your thermometer, you could try buying another one since they're really cheap!
This is very true. I use the suction cup to the side type all the same brand and their temps read anywhere from accurate to 5° high/low generally reading 2-3° low, but I've also replaced thermometers that were as much as 11° off.

I figure out how far off it is using a meat thermometer and an accurately calibrated digital thermometer that match readings and then as I fine tune my heaters into where I want them I know exactly how far off that thermometer is. Once I get everything set up and settled I use the thermometers in the tanks as a reference to know if everything is about where it should be and if I have issues or need to spot check in use the meat thermometer for a quick check and the digital if I'm making temp changes in the tank so I have accurate readings of my adjustments. The meat thermometer and digital thermometer were both around $15. The tank thermometers I pick up for $1-2 and they are just for general idea.

I have 9 soon to be 10 tanks in varying sizes though and have been in the hobby nearly 30 years so it makes sense to have the extra verification around. May not be as practical for others but it's a method that's worked well for me since most aquarium thermometers just are not as accurate as we would like them or sometimes need then to be. That said.... Preset heaters are just as bad or worse and I ALWAYS buy adjustable and submersible ones.
 
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CMA13

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sfsamm said:
This is very true. I use the suction cup to the side type all the same brand and their temps read anywhere from accurate to 5° high/low generally reading 2-3° low, but I've also replaced thermometers that were as much as 11° off.

I figure out how far off it is using a meat thermometer and an accurately calibrated digital thermometer that match readings and then as I fine tune my heaters into where I want them I know exactly how far off that thermometer is. Once I get everything set up and settled I use the thermometers in the tanks as a reference to know if everything is about where it should be and if I have issues or need to spot check in use the meat thermometer for a quick check and the digital if I'm making temp changes in the tank so I have accurate readings of my adjustments. The meat thermometer and digital thermometer were both around $15. The tank thermometers I pick up for $1-2 and they are just for general idea.

I have 9 soon to be 10 tanks in varying sizes though and have been in the hobby nearly 30 years so it makes sense to have the extra verification around. May not be as practical for others but it's a method that's worked well for me since most aquarium thermometers just are not as accurate as we would like them or sometimes need then to be. That said.... Preset heaters are just as bad or worse and I ALWAYS buy adjustable and submersible ones.
That actually makes total sense using a meat thermometer to double check the tank one. Thanks for that tip!
I’m very new to the hobby but Have always wanted to get into it. Finally starting (well small, 10 g and a Betta....but starting ).
I definitely need an adjustable heater rather than the submersible preset one I have. I do see it kick on and off and it has kept the temp consistent. But I have no control of it which isn’t great.

My goal is to get into a 40g tank. My son picked out the Betta so I went with a 10 for him. But I’d love to keep other types of fish soon in a bigger tank.
 
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Well, Fishy still hasn’t eaten. But he has been coming out of his hiding spot more today and is even flaring at times at his reflection. No where near as much as he did when i first got him a few weeks ago, but he’s out and about some which makes me happy.

Here’s 2 pics of him from today. (He’s even about to flare in one lol) His split back Fin is closing up and healing. I wasn’t sure if it would heal bc he hasn’t been eating in weeks, but it is.

Staying hopeful that Fishy makes a turn around
 

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WanhiBetta

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CMA13 said:
View attachment 435154 View attachment 435153 Well, Fishy still hasn’t eaten. But he has been coming out of his hiding spot more today and is even flaring at times at his reflection. No where near as much as he did when i first got him a few weeks ago, but he’s out and about some which makes me happy.

Here’s 2 pics of him from today. (He’s even about to flare in one lol) His split back Fin is closing up and healing. I wasn’t sure if it would heal bc he hasn’t been eating in weeks, but it is.

Staying hopeful that Fishy makes a turn around
That's a really pretty fish! He doesn't look bad at all.

Does he used to flare at himself very often? Seeing himself often could create a lot of stress for him
 
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CMA13

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WanhiBetta said:
That's a really pretty fish! He doesn't look bad at all.

Does he used to flare at himself very often? Seeing himself often could create a lot of stress for him
He did the first week and a half I had him. Although it was when the tank lights were on. So I would keep them on for a little bit then turn them off etc. till he got more used to it.
Since I’d say early this week/last weekend he’s been very sluggish, he hides a lot, doesn’t swim much. Still hasn’t eaten and I got him alittle over 2 weeks ago. (April 16th to be exact). Totally different personality now. Unless that’s him adjusted to his new tank....but he’s not eating. I asked the shop what they fed the bettas and they said pellets.....he won’t eat them though. Tried at first, but never finished them.
 

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CMA13 said:
He did the first week and a half I had him. Although it was when the tank lights were on. So I would keep them on for a little bit then turn them off etc. till he got more used to it.
Since I’d say early this week/last weekend he’s been very sluggish, he hides a lot, doesn’t swim much. Still hasn’t eaten and I got him alittle over 2 weeks ago. (April 16th to be exact). Totally different personality now. Unless that’s him adjusted to his new tank....but he’s not eating. I asked the shop what they fed the bettas and they said pellets.....he won’t eat them though. Tried at first, but never finished them.
What else did you try feeding him? If he hasn't eaten in two weeks, he needs to eat soon. Flakes? Frozen food? Live food?
 
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CMA13

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WanhiBetta said:
What else did you try feeding him? If he hasn't eaten in two weeks, he needs to eat soon. Flakes? Frozen food? Live food?
So far pellets and dried blood worms. He used to pick at the blood worms but then he’d spit them back out.
He will swim right up to any of those foods, then right next to them take a breath at the surface, then swim back down

WanhiBetta said:
What else did you try feeding him? If he hasn't eaten in two weeks, he needs to eat soon. Flakes? Frozen food? Live food?
didnt get a chance to grab an adjustable thermometer yet. But it’s been really hot outside so the temp has been closer to 77 degrees rather than the 75 it was staying at. I’m thinking that’s helping him
 

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CMA13 said:
didnt get a chance to grab an adjustable thermometer yet. But it’s been really hot outside so the temp has been closer to 77 degrees rather than the 75 it was staying at. I’m thinking that’s helping him
77 is much better for him. It'll help him for sure! Maybe he doesn't like your food... some fish are very picky. Might be time to try frozen food. You can try Brine shrimp or Mysis shrimp, all my fish go crazy for them.
 
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WanhiBetta said:
77 is much better for him. It'll help him for sure! Maybe he doesn't like your food... some fish are very picky. Might be time to try frozen food. You can try Brine shrimp or Mysis shrimp, all my fish go crazy for them.
That’s what I’m gonna do. Going to buy it from a different store since the place I went to a few days ago didn’t give the best advice on bettas lol
 
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CMA13

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WanhiBetta said:
What else did you try feeding him? If he hasn't eaten in two weeks, he needs to eat soon. Flakes? Frozen food? Live food?
Just tried some frozen Brine Shrimp. He did get excited, even tried a couple!....but then spit them back out

Think I should try tomorrow again and see what he does?
 
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