Betta Is Lethargic, Is It Because Of Low Temperature Or New Tank Mates?

ornithurae

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Two weeks ago I added 6 harlequin rasboras to my betta's tank. Since then he has seemed lethargic and sits at the bottom of the tank. His water is also not as warm as it needs to be. The heater I bough for him a couple months ago seems to only keep the water at 70 degrees. I plan on buying a better one soon. He has never been extremely active but since adding the new tank mates he has gotten worse. I don't know if the water temp is the culprit or the new fish, does anyone have any clue as to what's causing his lethargy?

Additional info:
After being out of town for one day, I came back to two dead rasboras. The Betta also had a white spot on his head and a hole in his fin. Since then I have quarantined him and medicated him. The white spot is gone and the hole is looking better. While in quarantine the temp of the water was 75-80 degrees at any given time and my Betta was active and eating well. As soon as adding him back to the main tank (with temps at low 70s due to a poor heater) he has just hung out at the bottom of the tank.
Since the first two fish died, two more have passed as well, leaving me with two left (I am confident that they will not die). I have 3 ordered more and they will arrive in the next couple days.

Have had him for about a year and he has lived in a ten gallon for around 7 months now. He lives with two shrimp and a nerite snail as well. He has live plants in his tank, driftwood and a sponge filter I installed yesterday.
Thanks
 

Sen

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I don't know if the water temp is the culprit or the new fish, does anyone have any clue as to what's causing his lethargy?
I would say it's probably the water temp--when I first got my delta tail, I once forgot to re-plug in the heater after a water change, and my betta just hung out at the bottom of the tank until the water temperature got to above 75 degrees F when I plugged in the heater again.

20170304_123331.jpg Huxfish is Sadfish.

Given that your betta had that white spot and some rasboras died though, I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility that the new fish also affected your betta. I'm not well-versed in the ideal amount of space for rasboras, but space might also be a factor.

Did you test the water parameters in the main tank after you put the betta back?

ETA: Also, not entirely sure here, but in the last two pictures it kind of looks like your betta has some gold dusting on his scales. If that's not his natural coloration, is he exhibiting any other odd behaviors, like rubbing against tank decor, clamped fins, and so on?
 
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ornithurae

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Thanks for the reply ️
Here are the parameters from today. I use test strips but I don't really trust them so I plan on buying a liquid testing kit in the near future.
19e41387940b95b8b8a81035810ea8de.jpg

I'm going to try to buy a new heater tomorrow so hopefully this fixes my problem
 
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ornithurae

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Thanks for the reply ️
Here are the parameters from today. I use test strips but I don't really trust them so I plan on buying a liquid testing kit in the near future.View attachment 327016
I'm going to try to buy a new heater tomorrow so hopefully this fixes my problem
I'm comparing this to past parameters and I realize that some of the parameters this time are quite different than usual. I've been doing lots of water changes recently to combat a recent ammonia problem I had so maybe I've set off some of the balance I'll try and fix that problem up too
 

bopsalot

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Aw he's looking kinda rough, isn't he? 70 is very chilly for a betta and at the very lower limit for harlequin rasboras. If it were me, the heater would be priority #1. Tied for #1 would be finding out my ammonia level, especially if you've had a problem recently. The API liquid master kit is indispensible to me for this kind of thing. Get him in some good, clean 79 degree water and his fins will shape right up in a couple weeks I'm guessing. Maybe 77 degrees if you're going to mix in harlequin rasboras. Make sure to increase the temperature gradually. The other water parameters look fine. Good luck!
 
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tunafax

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In my experience, bettas will hang out on the bottom for 3 reasons: 1. toxic water/illness, 2. cold, 3 they have nothing to sit on. Since your tank is cycled by the looks of your test strips, and he has plants - it's almost definitely a heat issue, unless his lethargy is new and was followed after you added a decoration. New, unwashed decor can be toxic! Found out the hard way.

Re: gold dust. I wouldn't say I see any velvet, he seems like a beautiful iridescent fish, typical of that color. Unless you see more dust, I would say he is fine.

Otherwise, when increasing the temp to high 70s, do it slowly over a day or 2. Expect improvement in a few days - a week at most, if he doesn't perk up by then something else might be wrong.
 

AllieSten

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The temperature definitely will be one reason he is lethargic. It is like swimming in ice water to him. Your body systems would slow down too. 10 degrees is a HUGE gap from where he should be.

If you have an ammonia problem then your tank isn't cycled. According to the test strips you have 0 nitrites and + nitrates. What is your Ammonia currently?
 
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ornithurae

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I am unsure of my ammonia (I'm very new to the fish hobby) but the reason I suspected a problem was because I was having a couple fish die from what looked suspiciously like ammonia poisoning. They would turn pale, lethargic, and had red gills. I did regular water changes for about a week (once every day or two) and fish have stopped dying so I think I have gotten it under control. I will definitely invest in a better testing kit and heater now that I know. Thank you so much
 

sassymomma

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I would definitely put emphasis on temperature as a possible cause of lethargy

You mentioned that he perked up while in quarantine when temperature got to 75? Maybe keep him in qt until you can adequately heat his normal tank .....it's also rough on those long fins to be in cold water- in my experience, they tend to curl in cold temperature.
 
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ornithurae

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I would definitely put emphasis on temperature as a possible cause of lethargy

You mentioned that he perked up while in quarantine when temperature got to 75? Maybe keep him in qt until you can adequately heat his normal tank .....it's also rough on those long fins to be in cold water- in my experience, they tend to curl in cold temperature.
Yeah this is where I have him at the moment. Unfortunately it is a really small body of water, but the heater in there does work at keeping the temp high. He'll have to sit in their for him until I get his heater today. Thank you
 
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ornithurae

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Update:
I have heated the tank to a much better temp and added the betta. He is a bit tattered but doing so much better. Hopefully he fully recovers in the next couple weeks. Thanks to everyone that helped
 

AllieSten

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The best way to heal him up is by doing daily water changes. I would do 50% water changes, once per day for 4-5 days. Feeding high protein foods for several days will help too. Things like frozen brine shrimp and frozen blood worms.

Research the nitrogen cycle and how to do a fish-in cycle. This will help you maintain a healthy tank.

Glad that the heater is helping.
 
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ornithurae

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The best way to heal him up is by doing daily water changes. I would do 50% water changes, once per day for 4-5 days. Feeding high protein foods for several days will help too. Things like frozen brine shrimp and frozen blood worms.

Research the nitrogen cycle and how to do a fish-in cycle. This will help you maintain a healthy tank.

Glad that the heater is helping.
Alright, I'll definitely be doing that. Thanks a ton️
 
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