Betta Sitting On Top After Water Change

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Bhawna, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. BhawnaNew MemberMember

    Hello! We have had our fish for about a month now, and my mom changes the water once a week. She doesn't perform a complete water change, but she does change most of it. Ever since she's changed the water a couple of hours ago, our fish has not been moving at all. We gave the bowl a couple of taps to see if he's alive (we know we shouldn't have, sorry), and he did make sudden movements. I also read that the water might have been too cold, so we added some warm water. He swam for a few seconds and completely stopped again. I have attached some pictures. Could you please help me out? I feel like I'm gonna cry. :(

    Attached Files:

  2. BHK3

    BHK3Well Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry your fish isn't doing well. Is that the tank the fish is usually in? If so, I would highly recommend reading this: Betta Care Sheet. Bettas need a minimum 2.5 gallon heated, filtered tank.

    It could be that the temperature change has put him in shock. Or it could be the quality of the water. Typically in a filtered tank, once it's cycled, there's beneficial bacteria that handles the ammonia generated by the fish's waste. Without that bacteria the fish is swimming in ammonia-filled water, which is poisonous to him. In the meanwhile, smaller daily water changes would probably be helpful. Maybe 25% of the water (the pros on this site would probably be better at advising the specifics)?

    A 5 gallon kit costs under $30 (you could get one like this: ) and all you'd need to add is a heater, which you can find for $10-15.

    I hope he's back to his old self soon!
  3. Cazeil

    CazeilValued MemberMember

    So sorry to see that your fish isn't doing well. I know how you feel, been there. How's it going now?

  4. Freshwater28

    Freshwater28Valued MemberMember

    You should get a water conditioner for your betta, petco and petsmart sell it. Also when you perform water change on a small bowl like that maybe two cups out is enough sinc e you have no filter. You may consider buying a thermometer so you can match the water temp before you add to your bowl upon water change. Temp swing can easily stress the fish. If i was you i would not change any more water for today and let him adjust to the water in the bowl. When you get the conditioner you can add it directly to your bowl, the bottle tells you how much to dose. Temp swing, ammonia from your tap is the reason your betta isnt active. He is swimming at the top so he can breathe, ammonia may be too high.

    Good luck and buy your betta a bigger tank if you can.
  5. OP

    BhawnaNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much for the info! Yes, that's the tank my fish has been in since he got here. Oh, so doing daily water changes would get rid of the ammonia and bring back the beneficial bacteria? I'll see if I can get a new tank and heater tomorrow morning. For now, do you know how long it'll take for him to get out of the shock? It breaks my heart to see him like this. :(

    No changes at all. :(

    This is incredibly helpful! Thank you so much! There aren't a lot of pet stores in my town, but hopefully I could find one that sells this water conditioner tomorrow morning. Thanks again! :)

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2017
  6. fish time

    fish timeWell Known MemberMember

    Did your mom add any declorinather (water conditioner) to the bowl while doing a water change or just add tap water because I remember that I had a goldfish and I did a water change with only tap water and the fish stopped swimming little by little and then he died
  7. OP

    BhawnaNew MemberMember

    Just tap water. I'm so sorry about your little friend :(
  8. dansamy

    dansamyValued MemberMember

    If you didn't put a dechlorinator in the water and you have city tap water, the chlorine will kill him.
  9. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't wait until tomorrow morning to get the water conditioner. Your tap water likely has chlorine in it which is toxic to your fish. Do you have a Walmart you can get to? Your fish is literally being poisoned by ammonia and chlorine. Bettas also need water 78-80 degrees so he's likely too cold as well.
  10. kam.exe

    kam.exeValued MemberMember

    Sorry your fish isn't doing well! I agree with the replies - ideally, you should get a five gallon setup and try to dechlorinate the water as soon as possible. With the five gallon, it's worth mentioning that if you do get it, to make sure to cycle the tank first so that it doesn't cause problems later. Cycling the tank will take a couple of weeks, but it will prevent future illness in your fish.

    Good luck, and welcome to fishlore!
  11. Reef13G YT

    Reef13G YTValued MemberMember

    First does he have a heater. Even though they sell them in tiny jars a Betta should have a heater. Although it is fresh, try and get a little water moment in there.

    It has chlorine. OH NO! You need to get a dechlorinator and take all of the water out and fill it with pure fresh water, if that's too much just buy a big bottle of fresh water.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2017
  12. OP

    BhawnaNew MemberMember

    Good news, my fishy has started swimming again! Yay! I gave him some food to see if he would eat and he did! I don't live in the US and all the shops are closed right now, so morning is the soonest I can go get some. If he's swimming again, does that mean he's safe now? :)
  13. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't keep the betta in a bowl while the 5 gallon is cycling. Either way OP is doing a fish in cycle (although the bowl can't really cycle) but at least in the 5 gallon the fish will have warm water and the ammonia won't build up so quickly.

    OP, when you get the tank and filter, I'd recommend getting Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability. They can be found at a pet store or on Amazon. Prime is a water conditioner/dechlorinator and detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrates up to 1ppm for 24 hours. Stability is bottled bacteria that helps jump start your cycle. I don't remember if anyone has mentioned the nitrogen cycle but if not I'd suggest researching that. It's a huge part of making sure your betta is happy and healthy.
  14. OP

    BhawnaNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much for the tip! Forgive me for my ignorant question, but how exactly do I cycle a tank? Oh, and btw, my fish is swimming again! :)
  15. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    No. Absolutely not. He won't be safe until you get the water conditioner and get him a heated/filtered tank. Right now he's surviving but like I said, he's literally being slowly poisoned.
  16. OP

    BhawnaNew MemberMember

    I'll read up on the nitrogen cycle. Thank you so much! :)

    Got it! Though the bacteria, I'm not sure if I'll be able to find that. Is it okay if I skip that?

    Fresh water? Is it the same as purified drinking water? Sorry, it's a stupid question. Thanks for your reply! :)

    Wait, I guess not since I need it for the cycle. I'm just not sure I'll be able to find some right away. :(
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2017
  17. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    Sure, you can definitely cycle your tank without bacteria. It may take a little longer but I cycled my first tank without bottled bacteria. The important part is the water conditioner. Also, since you're doing a fish in cycle, if you can find a water test kit that would be super helpful since you can test the ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. You're going to need to do frequent water changes on the tank while it's cycling and testing the water is a good way to keep an eye on the levels to make sure they don't get to a dangerous level. The goal is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 20 nitrates or less. The test kit recommended is API Freshwater Master Test kit - there's also test strips available; most of them are inaccurate but still better than nothing.

    I know this is a ton of info being thrown at you so I don't blame you if it's overwhelming! Everyone on this forum is here to help so don't hesitate to use us for any questions! :)
  18. dansamy

    dansamyValued MemberMember

    Gas/petrol station bottled water?
  19. OP

    BhawnaNew MemberMember

    Yeah, it's a bit overwhelming haha, but anything for my little friend. Thank you so much for your help! :)
  20. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    You're very welcome! Let me know if you have any other questions. For now I would just worry about the water conditioner. There's plenty of brands (API, Aqueon, Tetra, etc) so if you can't find the Prime you could get another one and just order Prime for the future. Same goes for the bottled bacteria, it doesn't necessarily have to be Stability. Make sure you're doing large daily water changes while your fish is in the bowl. You definitely need a tank as your long term solution but even with just daily water changes and water conditioner he'll be so much happier.

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