Help! Bettas Sick And I Don’t Know What To Do!!

Hebebebe

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My poor Betta has started acting strange and I only got him from the pet store a day ago. He has constant laboured breathing, his fins are all curled in and he swims around the tank in a erratic way. Most of the time he curls up against the thermometer and doesn’t move for hours. I have a 18 litres tank with a heater and filter. But I don’t have any testing kits, can anyone help me??!

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endlercollector

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I am so sorry to hear that he isn't well, but I suspect that he is just too traumatized from his trip to the LFS and his stay there. So many of them don't make it. I would not recommend running out and buying meds but rather looking at the basics: water parameters and temperature. Could you please tell us what you have?

I just saw that you're not familiar with the nitrogen cycle, which is ok, most people learn about it after they get fish, and we all limp along till we learn. Betta fish are among the best fish to learn on if they survive that first week home from the store.
 
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Hebebebe

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endlercollector said:
I just saw that you're not familiar with the nitrogen cycle, which is ok, most people learn about it after they get fish, and we all limp along till we learn. Betta fish are among the best fish to learn on if they survive that first week home from the store.
My tank is 27 degrees as I’ve read this is the best temperature for them to be in. I have a 18 litre tank that is an interpret edge glow with a heater.
 

endlercollector

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Hebebebe said:
My tank is 27 degrees as I’ve read this is the best temperature for them to be in. I have a 18 litre tank that is an interpret edge glow with a heater.
What dechlorinator did you use? Do you know if your local water is soft and acidic or hard and alkaline? Tell me about the filter and the media you're using.
 
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Hebebebe

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Hebebebe said:
My tank is 27 degrees as I’ve read this is the best temperature for them to be in. I have a 18 litre tank that is an interpret edge glow with a heater.
endlercollector said:
What dechlorinator did you use? Do you know if your local water is soft and acidic or hard and alkaline? Tell me about the filter and the media you're using.
I have used the I love pets tap safe for all my other tanks and had no problems. I am from the north east of England so my water is ‘moderately soft’. The filter is built into the tank
 

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endlercollector

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Hebebebe said:
I have used the I love pets tap safe for all my other tanks and had no problems. I am from the north east of England so my water is ‘moderately soft’. The filter is built into the tank
OK, that's all good. I'm so jealous of your soft water--it's great for Bettas, gouramis, and neon tetras. At this point, I would recommend having a conversation with the LFS. Find out where the Betta was bred (probably in England just because Thailand is so far from you, but you never know). Go ahead and ask them about their general survival rate and about getting another one from them if this one doesn't make it. I would not medicate just because so many don't survive, meds can get expensive, and they don't do much good if the fish is already nearly DOA from the LFS. I know this can be upsetting, but be strong.
 

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Hi and welcome,

If you don't have a test kit, I would suggest a large water change 75% or more. If the betta looks better fairly soon after the water change, then you know it is your water parameters.

How long was your tank running before you added the fish?
 
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Hebebebe

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endlercollector said:
OK, that's all good. I'm so jealous of your soft water--it's great for Bettas, gouramis, and neon tetras. At this point, I would recommend having a conversation with the LFS. Find out where the Betta was bred (probably in England just because Thailand is so far from you, but you never know). Go ahead and ask them about their general survival rate and about getting another one from them if this one doesn't make it. I would not medicate just because so many don't survive, meds can get expensive, and they don't do much good if the fish is already nearly DOA from the LFS. I know this can be upsetting, but be strong.
Thank you for your help, i have just changed half the water and added a air pump to see if it is the oxygen levels. He seems to be moving around more, maybe this is a good sign?

Mazeus said:
Hi and welcome,

If you don't have a test kit, I would suggest a large water change 75% or more. If the betta looks better fairly soon after the water change, then you know it is your water parameters.

How long was your tank running before you added the fish?
I have just changed the water and the fish is moving around more but still has its fins curled inward. he seems to be aggravated and keeps rubbing against plants.
 

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Hebebebe said:
cycle? How so? Sorry I'm just new to this all
No problem. I'll explain. Aquariums need to establish a cycle (called the nitrogen cycle). When fish are added to an aquarium they create waste (poo), this waste produces ammonia. Unfortunately ammonia is poisonous to the fish. Luckily, there is a bacteria that builds up in an aquarium (mainly in the filter media) that converts the ammonia to nitrite. Now nitrite is also poisonous to fish, but there is yet another bacteria that starts to build up in an aquarium that coverts the nitrites to nitrates. Nitrates aren't harmful to fish is small quantities. We need to do regular water changes to get rid of nitrates. A cycle is the procss of building up sufficient beneficial bacteria in the tank to take care of all ammonia and nitrites. So when someone asks if you have cycled your tank, they are asking if you have gone through the process of building up the beneficial bacteria in your aquarium. I think your answer is no. There are a few ways to cycle a tank, probably the easier is a fishless cycle (you do this before adding fish), but in your case you are going to be doing a fish in cycle. Because you won't have the beneficial bacteria (BB) in your tank yet, you will need to change the water daily to dilute the ammonia (and then the nitrites). I would strongly advise investing in a test kit, the API liquid test kit is highly recommended by members on this site, as you will need to regularly test your water to know when your tank is cycled.

You will also need water conditioner (I see you have some) because you will be doing regular water changes for a while (a tank can take weeks to cycle).

I suspect your fish was poorly because of the ammonia building up in your tank. The good news is this can be managed with daily water changes until your cycle is established.

We are here to help so feel free to ask any questions.
 
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Hebebebe

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I was completely unaware of this! so what should I do to make him better now aside from frequent water changes?? I was planning on talking to the pet store about it in the morning.
 

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There are some products they help speed up the process by adding bacteria starter to your aquarium I have seachem's stability, but this is really hard to find in the stores in the UK. I believe Tetra Safe Start is usually readily available. I've never used Tetra Safe Start so if you choose this product read the instructions carefully before using as I believe you don't need to do frequent water changes when using this product.
 
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Hebebebe

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Mazeus said:
There are some products they help speed up the process by adding bacteria starter to your aquarium I have seachem's stability, but this is really hard to find in the stores in the UK. I believe Tetra Safe Start is usually readily available. I've never used Tetra Safe Start so if you choose this product read the instructions carefully before using as I believe you don't need to do frequent water changes when using this product.
I already have Tetra Easy Balance and Aqua Safe, would any of these help? Ill go get safe start tomorrow thanks
 

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I only really use Seachem's products so I don't know about those two. Hopefuly, others may be able to advise.
 
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Hebebebe

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Mazeus said:
I only really use Seachem's products so I don't know about those two. Hopefuly, others may be able to advise.
Okay, thank you so much for your help
 

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Also, what store are you going to? The employees at Pets at home may not know that much about fish keeping. If there is an independent fish store or a branch of Maidenhead aquatics near you, I would go there instead.
 
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Hebebebe

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Mazeus said:
Also, what store are you going to? The employees at Pets at home may not know that much about fish keeping. If there is an independent fish store or a branch of Maidenhead aquatics near you, I would go there instead.
I got the Betta from the Pets at Home near me and was planning to go back as it was only a few days ago. what do you think I should do?
 
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