Baby Betta!

Maddybags18

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Hello everyone! I’m new to the site and hopefully I’m doing this correctly. I have a quick question about my baby betta. When I first got her about 8 weeks ago she was very lively. Now she’s rather lethargic and does swim much. She eats whenever I feed her and she swims a little whenever I come into the room. Today I noticed that most of her fins are clamped and she is possibly losing fins? She also has developed these black lines under her stomach and I don’t know what it could be. She lives in a 5.5 gallon tank with a heater and filter. I usually turn on the filter once a day for a while due to the fact that the filters current is to strong for her. Here are some pictures of her. Because I was freaking out I just started a full water change/tank cleaning. I keep her in a small container while I clean and give her a lot of food so excuse the mess but here she is! I am still learning how to take care of her so please avoid negative comments I already know I need help hence coming here. Advice would be appreciated thank you!!

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qchris87

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Welcome to Fishlore!

It's great to hear that she has a 5.5 all for her!
Your profile says you don't know about the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle is important to keep your fish healthy and happy.
A quick review of the cycle: Fish poop creates ammonia in the fish tank. Ammonia is toxic to fish. Luckily there's a bacteria that consumes ammonia and converts it to nitrite, an equally toxic compound. A different type of bacteria consumes nitrites and its byproduct is nitrates, which is a lot less toxic. Building the colony of the beneficial bacteria can take a while, usually a month to a month and a half. A cycled tank should have 0 ppm of ammonia, 0 ppm of nitrite, and between 5-20 ppm of nitrates.

Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
This link goes more in depth about the nitrogen cycle and I recommend you read and learn this. I also recommend getting a test kit. I have the API Master test kit which is liquid based.

Clamped fins, lethargy, and stress stripes are possible signs of high ammonia in the tank. Excess food is also a source of ammonia. Food that is not eaten should be removed. Looking at the pics, you are overfeeding quite a bit. A bettas stomach is about the size of their eye so I would feed a lot less.

The filter should be on 24/7. Beneficial bacteria lives in the media contained in your filter. There are some ways to baffle the flow to make it easier for her to swim. What kind of filter do you have?

How do you do tank cleanings and water changes? I usually do 35% water changes with gravel vacuuming. It isn't necessary to remove fish during this process.
 

WanhiBetta

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Your problems are most likely due to the fact that you stop the filter. There are some DIY to make the flow slower, but you should definitely never turn it off. Read about the nitrogen cycle and try cycling your tank.
 

WhatsUpGuys

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Ah, I think I see your problem. Every time you turn off the filter, all the bacteria in there suffocate and die, so when you turn it back on, you’re basically pumping toxic water into the tank. Don’t leave it off for more than ten minutes at a time.
 
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