Betta acting odd after weekend 2 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by maddiecat214, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. maddiecat214New MemberMember

    Hello I am new to this. My Betta was super happy Friday. Swimming around and making a beautiful bubble nest. I come back today and he stays towards the back of the tank and acting very erratic. He ate very well this am but he just seems off. Now he looks like he is trying to lay on the fake plant. Could it have been a tile crew that was in my office over the weekend, or is he sad because we left him and he is so used to seeing us everyday?? I dont know maybe I am just over reacting.
  2. gef21Valued MemberMember

    have you tested your water?

  3. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to FL. it could be any of the things you mentioned, but is more likely to be related to the quality of the water he is in.

    If you know them, could you please give us the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels? Also, how long has he been in the tank, is it filtered and heated, and what is your maintainence schedule? And what product(s) do you put in the water (conditioners, etc.)?

  4. maddiecat214New MemberMember

    Well I need to get a test kit this week. This tank is heated (reading now is about 80 degrees) and filtered. He has been in this tank almost a week. I had to slow down the filtration due to it whipping him around the tank. I did this with a filter sponge in the intake. This is the first fish I have ever owned. Any help would be great.

    Oh and also I do use aquarium salt and did a 48hr cycle on his new tank.

  5. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I'd say skip the salt. And can you explain the 48 hour cycle thing? I'm not familiar...

    I think this is a cycling problem. I need to go to work, but someone else should be around that can help you, or I can help more when I get to work in a little bit.

    Good luck. :)
  6. maddiecat214New MemberMember

    I cycled the tank before I put him in it, just to make sure everything worked. Do you think I should get a different filter system like the Nano Hang-On Filter that is for really small tanks? So no salt? I thought that was a go thing for them? LOL. Thanks for all the help, I need it. :-}
  7. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!
    I'm sorry you betta isn't well.
    A couple of things might be going on. Contamination from whatever the tile people used is a possibility.
    However, since your betta was in the tank for a week, a good guess is he's feeling the effects of ammonia in the water.
    Fish waste and left over food break down and create toxic ammonia.

    It would be a good ide to read up on the Nitrogen cycle

    Imo, salt isn't good for a betta, I'd stop using it.
    Give him a good water change, it'll probably make him feel better.
    Use Prime or a conditioner that detoxes the ammonia for 24 hours.
    If the tank wasn't cycled, you may be looking at daily waters changes until the cycle is complete.

    Best of luck, I hope he feels better so.
  8. maddiecat214New MemberMember

    Ok so no more salt. I have a filtration system, does this not help with the ammonia and such in the water (i did have to slow it down a bit because the current was to strong for Cpt Jack.) I will get his water ready and do at least a 50% water change tomorrow.
  9. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    The filter doesn't help with ammonia.
    Read the nitrogen cycle link.
    Very briefly, this is what happens:

    First the ammonia starts to rise from fish waste and left over food.
    In a few weeks bacteria begins to develop. That bacteria converts the ammonia into equally toxic nitrItes.
    In a few more weeks another bacteria develops and converts the nitrItes into less hamful nitrAtes.

    During this time, daily water changes will help keep the toxic ammonia and nitrite levels down for the sake of Cpt. Jack.

    That's probably more info than you were expecting, but it's an important part of fish keeping.

    How are you getting his water ready? You can do a water change right away, as long as you use a water conditioner and make sure it's the same temp as the tank.
  10. maddiecat214New MemberMember

    Oh yes, I do use a water conditioner and leave the water out for at least 24hrs to make sure it is the same temp as the water he is in. But I may do it at lunch today just to be safe. Thank you for all your help! :-}
  11. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    You're welcome! :)

    What's the temp. of the water? Bettas are tropical fish and need warm water.
    For instance, if I let my water sit out, it would probably be around 72-73F, too cool for a betta. His water should be closer to 79F. I think there are heaters you can use for smaller tanks.

    Here's our Betta Care Guide
    Hope it helps :)

    Let us know how he's doing and please post some pics soon, we'd love to meet him.
  12. jerseyValued MemberMember

    i think post 4 says its heated and at 80degrees
  13. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Maddie, when you do Cpt Jack's water changes, the new water should be the same temp as the water he's in. Some people accomplish this by gathering the water in a container and using a small heater to get it to the right temp (in your case, 80) before adding the new water. (just to expand on what Lucy was telling you.)
  14. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Thanks Jersey, missed that. :)
    Only saw it was sitting out to get to room temp.
  15. Craig-DValued MemberMember

    It sounds like the tank is not cycled and has toxins in it. Without a test kit you have no way of knowing for sure, but it is likely. You mention you did a "48 hr. cycle". How exactly did you do that, and how would you know without a test kit? There is no such thing as a "48 hr. cycle" unless perhaps you seeded your new tank with bacteria from another established tank. Other than that, the next quickest method is to use Tetra Safestart which can work in as little as 4 days. Any other method will take weeks.

    The above advice about matching the temperature of new water is also sound. New water should be within a degree of existing water. If it is not, it will shock your fish, perhaps terminally. Matching temps is simple: have it come out of the tap at the right temp (use a cooking temp probe or other thermometer to measure it), treat it with a suitable tap water conditioner, and then put it right in. There is no need to let the water sit if you do these things.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  16. maddiecat214New MemberMember

    I just cycled the tank to make sure everything worked.

    I just did a water change and he seems a little better. Rotated some of his plants and he seems ok, back to exploring again. I will definitely get a test kit this weekend! This is my first fish and I want him to be happy and healthy! :-} I will get some pictures of him soon.
  17. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I think you may be using the word "cycle" for something different than we are.

    It would be a good idea to read the nitrogen cycle link Lucy provided. It's in my signature too.
  18. maddiecat214New MemberMember

    LOL I probably am. Thanks for the info, looks like I still have a lot more to learn. He does seem better after the 50% water change. :-}
  19. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Just running the tank for a couple of days without any fish isn't "cycling", although a lot of fish stores lead one to believe it is. So definitly read up on the nitrogen cycle, it is the most important thing to understand when keeping fish.

    Also, you can use a mixture of hot and cold water to get the water to the correct temperature. Just be sure to add water conditioner before pouring it into the tank.
  20. maddiecat214New MemberMember

    Thanks I am learning stuff all the time. I always add conditioner to get the toxins and chlorine out of the water. I plan on getting Red Sea Deco Art Nano Filter, a mini vac for the gravel and my own Betta emergency kit. ;D

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