Betta Not Feeling Well

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Tana, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. TanaValued MemberMember

    Hi all,

    I'm fish sitting for a co-worker and he has a dragon scale male that is kept in less than ideal conditions. He was in a very small glass container (probably 1/4 gallon) and someone brought in a gallon tank so that I could move him. See picture of his old tank. During the move, I think I made too much noise with his rocks because ever since then he has been very lethargic, not eating, draping over his rocks and when he does swim it's very jerky and stuttery. He does come up for air every now and then, but then goes back to trying to hide. He had been fine up until the move. This was two weeks ago and he's still hanging in.

    Please don't ask what the water prams are because I don't have a test kit here. I do a partial water change weekly (1/2+) and do not leave any uneaten food in his tank. His owner has been traveling, but has been back in the office as well, but the fish has been at my desk now for a month. Yes, this is at the office. The owner did say that the fish is approximately three years old and he has had periods of not eating.

    The only thing that I can think of is the loud noises that occurred during the tank switch. Unfortunately I tried to be gentle when placing the rocks, but it still sounded so loud against the glass. Yes, I know I shouldn't have added him before the rocks, but hindsight and all that. Could this have affected his behavior and if so, will he recover from that?

    Attached Files:

  2. peppy210Valued MemberMember

    Can you remove the rocks so the betta has more space to move around? The tank is really small as it is. I think at this point it would be better to just have a bare tank. I'm quite shocked that the betta was able to live for 3 years. He could be getting old too. But I'm also not surprised that he wouldn't be feeling well because of the conditions that he's living in. If a tank does have a heater or a filter and especially in a tank that small, I think it's best to do 100% water changes every other day so all parameters will stay 0.
  3. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, What you're describing with the jerky and stutters swimming sounds like osmotic shock which can happen when going from one tank to another with very different parameters, ph especially.

    Do you know if you used the same water source as the owner? Was he possibly using bottled and you use tap or vice versa?
    Do you know how often he changed out the water?

    I have to admit I am also quite shocked that boy has lived for 3 years! :eek:
  4. TanaValued MemberMember

    I've been using tap, but not sure if he had been using it. On second thought I'm pretty sure he has been because of the de-chlor now that I think about it. I'll have to ask on Tuesday when he returns to the office. I do remember him saying that he uses a lot of it in order to "make sure", whereas I calculated it into a 17 ounce water bottle which is what he'd been using to "make" the water. Also, our building is under construction for an addition. I'm not sure if they tied the waterline in yet. We also have filtered water, so I'm wondering now if he used that instead of tap....

    He changed out the water whenever he saw it get dirty. "cringe" Probably once every two weeks. He has a lot of misconceptions and mis-information on the care of bettas. Was against me putting him into a bigger tank because they didn't like a lot of water. <--- yup, he said that.

    I feel so badly for him, most especially since I tried to make his habitat better and it seems I made it worse.
  5. JnxValued MemberMember

    I would advise starting over completely. I'd get a bigger bowl/tank, something at least 2 gallons. Exo terra makes a tiny terrarium filter that can work in 2-10 gallons. There are also tiny heaters. I'd also recommend a betta hammock or live plant, so he doesn't have to struggle to the surface to get a breath. If you have any concerns over the tap water, don't use it. When I can't get my regular well water, I use bottled spring water. They even make "betta formula" water conditioner. It's just easier to measure for smaller tanks. All told, should be about a $40- $50 run to the pet store. And if you can, do it today. Good luck. Poor little betta dude.
  6. sassymommaWell Known MemberMember

    If it were your betta, I'd say the same thing.. it was kind of you to upgrade him as it was, so let's go with what you have here

    You say you have access to filtered water, and there is construction nearby....that could cause a spike in parameters at the water source, as the water company attempts to compensate for toxins entering the pipelines. Myself, I have an ammonia count in my tap water, as a result of nearby construction, and the city has increased their addition of cloramines to where I can smell it some days.
    I would suggest using filtered water for his water changes, and see if he improves. Try doing a little each day, like a 1/2 cup or so, with a drop of conditioner, and see if it helps. A moss ball, or small java fern/anubis plant would also help him. Even a lucky bamboo, which would grow out of the top of the jar and provide him some natural filtration, and shade...
  7. JnxValued MemberMember

    It's true, I didn't address that it's not exactly your betta- though you're currently the one physically and emotionally caring for him, so...
    While it's not your responsibilty per se, you clearly care. Still, if you go and spend money on him, it could cause awkwardness between yourself and your coworker. Could be tricky. Best of luck.
  8. sassymommaWell Known MemberMember

    How is the Betta doing now?
  9. TanaValued MemberMember

    Thank you for asking. I was off work yesterday and he's still hanging in. My work teammates said he was swimming around a little, coming up for air and they think he may have eaten a bloodworm. The owner came back to work yesterday and they said he was checking out Moby's new digs, but he's still in my cube. *shrug* Right now he's kinda folded up against the rocks and I can see his gill plate moving, but he looks like he's struggling. :(

    The girls said that he just used the tap water for water changes, but when I did the water change (almost a full one) on Thursday I used the filtered. Didn't really seem to make a difference, sadly.
  10. sassymommaWell Known MemberMember

    Have you been able to get a water sample to a pet store? Normally when mine acts like that, it's toxins in the water..usually high Nitrites, or ammonia. but he usually perks up with clean water....I'm not sure how to advise if he's not improving. @CindiL is our resident expert on sick fish, and has help many of us with diagnosis and treatment
  11. TanaValued MemberMember

    I didn't think of taking a sample and I can just take it home to test. d'oh! I'll do that this evening! Thanks!
  12. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Depending on maintenance, I'm not surprised at all. Years back when I kept bettas in a large vase with a plant sticking out the top, they always lived 2 1/2-3 years and I didn't have the fin rot that I'm dealing with now or ick and things that people here have to deal with. You don't know how many times I been tempted to take them out of the filtered/heated bacteria incubator and put them in some really cool glass containers like my niece does. (She has the most beautiful bettas I've ever seen and yes, hers live that long (one of her current boys is 4))
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  13. FishL:))Well Known MemberMember

    Awe...poor baby. :( I'm so glad you can help him!! :)
  14. TanaValued MemberMember

    API test results on the tap water were 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, trace nitrates and the pH was 7.8 so that appears good. I'll do a water change tomorrow with that instead of the filtered. He did appear more active today, but still only to blow a bubble and find another comfy spot to curl up.
  15. sassymommaWell Known MemberMember

    At least you know that the water is good

    Have you tried adding a pinch of salt?(Epson or aquarium) it can help with mild discomforts, and perks mine up a bit when he's "off"

    Or Walmart carries a water conditioner for Betta that has almond leaf extract, which is a mild antiseptic found in their natural environment
  16. TanaValued MemberMember

    I have aquarium salt at home, so I'll bring that in tomorrow and dissolve it before I add it. Just a pinch. Thank you for the suggestion!!
  17. TanaValued MemberMember

    Moby is still hanging on, but now I've observed him flashing his gill plates against the side of the tank, rocks (which I didn't remove) and when he's free swimming, which isn't often anymore. Afterwards, he finds a place to hide or curl up. He's due for a PWC soon, so could the salt be irritating him or on the outside chance, gill flukes? Don't know how he could've gotten those though.
  18. sassymommaWell Known MemberMember

    If you think Gill Flukes, try General cure- it will deal with any parasitical problems. Tetra Fungal Cure will deal with bacterial/fungal infections. Since both are meant to be put into 10 gallons of water, you might need to use a bucket to make it up?
  19. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I agree to use General Cure which has both metronidazole and praziquantel or PraziPro (praziquantel) by itself.

    Gill Flukes and regular skin flukes are VERY common in ornamental fish so it wouldn't surprise me. They are common enough that I usually treat my whole tank once or twice a year, for sure when adding some new fish.
  20. TanaValued MemberMember

    I prazi the pond every year too, but have never done an aquarium.

    I'll have to look in storage to see if I have another spare tank available. I had an emergency that needed a hospital tank last night and my other 10 gallon has new fish in quarantine. Spare heater is on order, but I don't have another filter unless a sponge filter would be okay? Never used it and it's still in the box! My spare airpump is rated for 30+ though. Wouldn't that blow him out of the water? Kinda embarrassed to admit I've never had to setup and use a sponge filter.