Help Betta acting weird

TrashPastor110

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Hello, so I just got home from work (I worked 10:30a to 10:30p and got home around midnight) and I fed my betta before I went to bed because I have been feeding him twice a day and don't want to break the habit. But when I fed my betta tonight (albeit much later than usual) he looked at the food and swam away, a few minutes later he came back to eat it, but did so much less enthusiastically than he usually is about food, like he ate much more slowly and even missed when he went for some of the food. It seemed as if he was very tired and sluggish, but I'm not really sure if fish get tired like that. I'm hoping I just woke him up when I turned on my light, so he is just tired from waking up, but again I don't know if that's a thing fish do, so being the worrywart that I am I immediately typed this up.
 

Jeffsglo

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Yes, you are correct in your thinking. When I turn on the lights to my tank sometimes the fish are still sleeping. They do not go for the food. I have learned to turn on the lights and then take a shower or eat, then feed a half hour later. I also was wondering what kind of food, how big tank is, do you know about the Nitrogen Cycle?, how often do you do water changes, how often do you change the filter, how are you rinsing off the media filter, which should be in tank water only no tap water.

Are you testing the water perimeters? I use a Master Kit for Fresh Water by API. You could have too much ammonia in the tank. Which can kill the fish. I would also only feed fish once per day. Because fish food and poop from fish can spike ammonia. Frequent water changes can cure a lot of problems. Small Frequent water changes are best. 20%
 
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TrashPastor110

TrashPastor110

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Jeffsglo said:
Yes, you are correct in your thinking. When I turn on the lights to my tank sometimes the fish are still sleeping. They do not go for the food. I have learned to turn on the lights and then take a shower or eat, then feed a half hour later. I also was wondering what kind of food, how big tank is, do you know about the Nitrogen Cycle?, how often do you do water changes, how often do you change the filter, how are you rinsing off the media filter, which should be in tank water only no tap water.
Floating pellet food for bettas, 3.5 gallon, yes I know about the nitrogen cycle I recently test the water and ammonia and nitrites were low, I do ~50% water changes and pump gravel every Sunday, I haven't changed the filter yet (I've had the tank for a month now), but I was planning on doing so very soon (I just have to find out what filter thing size I need, and I don't have media filter.
 

Jeffsglo

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A month is not long enough to cycle your tank. You need a sponge filter and filter media in your other filter. Get some Tetra Safe Start Plus to help with the cycling of your aquarium. Smaller water changes more often are better than big ones. Do not gravel vac every week. Once a month or two. And don't feed too much. A little each day. Once a day. That is a small tank, so a big water change is not good.
 
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TrashPastor110

TrashPastor110

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Jeffsglo said:
A month is not long enough to cycle your tank. You need a sponge filter and filter media in your other filter. Get some Tetra Safe Start Plus to help with the cycling of your aquarium. Smaller water changes more often are better than big ones. Do not gravel vac every week. Once a month or two. And don't feed too much. A little each day. Once a day. That is a small tank, so a big water change is not good.
Alright, will do thanks a ton my guy! Two questions though, why not gravel vac too often, and is 20% twice a week enough?
 

Jeffsglo

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gravel holds a lot of beneficial bacteria and you want to establish your tank. Too much cleaning at one time could start your Nitrogen Cycle all over again. If you use a test kit like API Master Test Kit for Fresh Water you can keep an eye on your water perimeters. I think 20% once or twice a week is fine. The only problem with more than once is you might not stick with it. I would gravel vac once a month, and only one half the tank every month, and 20% water change once a week, and change filter cartridge once a month, and just swish your filter media in tank water only once a month. You can also get a sponge filter to add to the cycling of the tank. and sqeeze it out in tank water once a month. But not the same time you change filter cartridge. Say filter cartridge at beginning of month and sponge filter in the middle of the month. Small changes are the key. Don't want to stress out the fish. Hope this helps :)
 
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TrashPastor110

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Jeffsglo said:
gravel holds a lot of beneficial bacteria and you want to establish your tank. Too much cleaning at one time could start your Nitrogen Cycle all over again. If you use a test kit like API Master Test Kit for Fresh Water you can keep an eye on your water perimeters. I think 20% once or twice a week is fine. The only problem with more than once is you might not stick with it. I would gravel vac once a month, and only one half the tank every month, and 20% water change once a week, and change filter cartridge once a month, and just swish your filter media in tank water only once a month. You can also get a sponge filter to add to the cycling of the tank. and sqeeze it out in tank water once a month. But not the same time you change filter cartridge. Say filter cartridge at beginning of month and sponge filter in the middle of the month. Small changes are the key. Don't want to stress out the fish. Hope this helps :)
This is extremely helpful thanks again! but when I'm changing my water I can still suck the stuff off the surface right? Oh and I have finer sand rather than larger gravel by the way, in case that changes anything.
 

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I have never changed filter media ever, the activated carbon was thrown away after it sat unused in the packet for months, the sponge media needs a wash in tank water like you say and the biomedia stays put, the space of the carbon filter was taken up by sponge and another bit on the intake if its a hangon back. if its an internal filter, the same, the biomedia does not get changed till it starts to desintigrate and fall apart, i'm still waiting for that to happen as mine is ceramic and been used for years.
 

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I agree with above. I just swish my filter media in tank water. My media is plastic. It must be different than yours. I also use filter cartridges to keep the water clean looking and keeps the odor down. That's all it does. But also if you put too much around and In your filter. The filter might not work as good. A separate sponge filter on the opposite side of the tank I use. It can also instantly cycle a new tank for hospital tank. :)

TrashPastor110 said:
This is extremely helpful thanks again! but when I'm changing my water I can still suck the stuff off the surface right? Oh and I have finer sand rather than larger gravel by the way, in case that changes anything.
You should be fine with sand or gravel. do half the tank sand every two weeks. You can deep suction it if you like. And switch to other side the next two week period. The reason is you don't want to suction out all your tank muck all at once. It needs to establish itself. ;)
 

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All good advice (this is a fantastic place for advice!) but as for this one situation of your betta being sluggish about eating after sleeping, I’d try not to worry too much. It’s good to listen to the wise folks here but to also not try to stress too much. Sometimes doing too much or changing too much all at once just makes things worse.

Generally speaking, smaller water changes 1x per week (20% is good) plus keeping your filter in as long as possible without changing, and then following advice from here making sure to rinse in tank water to not lose good bacteria. Leaving gravel alone as much as you can is also good, just making sure obvious crud is removed but otherwise not disturbing it.

I’m sure your guy will be fine, keep us posted though!

Cheers,
Stacia
 

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