Betta Is Lethargic and Barely Breathing.

AquaticQueen

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 5.5g
How long has the tank been running? 1 year and a few months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 78 F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 male veiltail betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Once a week, usually.
How much of the water do you change? 50%
What do you use to treat your water? Nutrifin Water Conditioner
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Both

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No, but it was cycled by the time this specific fish was added.
What do you use to test the water? API Master Test Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0.10-0.20ppm (It's usually 0ppm. I've done two 40-50% water changes in the past 2 days so I don't know why it's still up)
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
pH: 8.2

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day
How much do you feed your fish? In all, 5-6 pellets OR a couple portions of freeze-dried bloodworms.
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Aqueon, Tetra, and Wardley
Do you feed frozen? No
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? Yes

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 1 year
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Yesterday
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Lethargic, not really breathing, occasionally gasping for air at the surface.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No, but I'm going to do a water change soon for the ammonia.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? He spends all his time lying on the bottom of the tank.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
This is going to get a bit complicated, so bear with me. I'll refer to each betta as #1 and #2.
Yesterday, #1 seemed to be pretty stressed, but I couldn't figure out why so I assumed it was either the filter's current or his tank's size or a combination of both. Either way, I decided to take #2 (who was in my 10g) and #1 (5.5g) and switched them, thinking the bigger tank would help with #1's stress. Big mistake. The move ended up stressing them both out even more and #2 is acting really lethargic and is barely breathing. Sometimes his gills don't move at all. I think it's probably stress, a lack of oxygen, or both that's affecting him? Someone please help! I'm worried he's going to die.
 

BigFish99

First, retest your tanks to ensure that the ammonia is really that high. Dont see how it could have gotten that high without like dumping a whole canister of food in. However, if the est results are true, #2 is most definitely experiencing ammonia poisoning. 10-20 ppm is extremely, extremely high. Ususally the levels dont even get that high during the cycle, and even less than 1 ppm is toxic. What are the parameters pf the 10 gallon? If the ammonia is high there, the other betta might be experiencing the same thing, and if the levels are normal, than probably just stress. If the parameters are different between the two tanks, he might be suffering because he was not acclimated (did you acclimate number 1)? Right now, your are going to have to take action. I would test the 10, and carry out a large water change on the 5.5., or maybe even just get number 2 outta there. He wont survive long with those levels of ammonia. Maybe transfer him to a food safe tub full of dechlorinated water, a quarantine tub of sorts? I would also try to figure out why you have so much ammonia in the tank. Overfeeding, maybe? Like Big man said in the other thread, check the source water. Also, I would make sure that the levels are evn that high. Maybe you put too many drops in or something. Retest might be necessary.
I also might wait fr some other replies because i am not an expert, this is just what i would do.
I also might wait fr some other replies because i am not an expert, this is just what i would do.
 

YellowGuppy

10-20 PPM of ammonia is INSANELY high. Start with a 90% temperature-matched water change and retest. It's possible that if your numbers are that high, your fish won't pull through.
 

AquaticQueen

Sorry, I meant 0.10-0.20ppm.
 

mattgirl

Did you acclimate your fish when trading the tanks? If not what is happening could be parameter shock. Since one was not doing well already the shock may have been more than he could handle.
 

AquaticQueen

Did you acclimate your fish when trading the tanks? If not what is happening could be parameter shock. Since one was not doing well already the shock may have been more than he could handle.
I acclimated for about 20-30 minutes before introducing. I only temperature acclimated them though so you could be right.
 

AquaticQueen

Update: Betta #2 is doing better now. I even got him to eat today! #1 is still the same though. He hides all the time and refuses to eat.
 

StarGirl

Update: Betta #2 is doing better now. I even got him to eat today! #1 is still the same though. He hides all the time and refuses to eat.
Being different size tanks I always check my pH and Nitrates before switching fish, they could have been different.

Its good #2 is doing better :) Bettas arent the healthiest fish for sure. Kinda sucks. :( You just have to look for symptoms I guess. Not eating usually isnt a good sign. :( You know the drill....keep his water clean etc. etc.
 

AquaticQueen

Being different size tanks I always check my pH and Nitrates before switching fish, they could have been different.

Its good #2 is doing better :) Bettas arent the healthiest fish for sure. Kinda sucks. :( You just have to look for symptoms I guess. Not eating usually isnt a good sign. :( You know the drill....keep his water clean etc. etc.
I did check parameters before I switched them. This was the 5.5g the day after a 40% water change with a 50% the day before that:
Ammonia: 0.10-20 (I have a bit of ammonia in my tap water, I recently discovered)
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
pH: 8.2

10g was:
Ammonia: 0.10-20
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
pH: 8.2

I'll do a 30-40% water change on the 10g again tomorrow. I'm not sure the other one really needs it on account of him doing much better and all but I think I'll do it anyway, just to be safe.
 

AquaticQueen

UPDATE: Betta #1 is doing much better now. I got him to eat yesterday for the first time in 5-6 days! He ate again today. His stress colors are still there, though, unfortunately. Betta #2 is pretty much completely recovered. He eats all of the food I give him and is quite active. Looks like both will make a complete recovery. Thanks for all your help, guys!
 

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