Help help please!! Lethargic Betta

Amccurry

Hi! So my betta fish has started to become lethargic and just lays more now. He can still swim (not super long) and he eats normally. I feed him a little bit once every 3 days. I do 50% water changes weekly. He lives in a 10 gallon with a heater and filter. He lives with another fish (they’ve been together for almost 2 years) I know his fins are rough. He had fin rot 6 months ago but they’re still (verrrry slowly) growing back, I try to put in stress coat and every water change I do the salt.

I checked the water and it’s
Nitrate-20
Nitrite-0
PH-7
Ammonia-.25 (has been this way since I’ve had him! For some reason it doesn’t hit 0)

what could be wrong?! Please help me!!
 

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Noroomforshoe

What do you feed, why do you only feed him every three days? I suggest you add some high-quality foods like new life spectra thera plus A which has healthy protein and healthy garlic. I would also feed bug bites cichlid formula which has the best mix of ingredients of the bug bite formullas in my opinion. I would feed no less than 6 days a week,

What happens if you use the same tester to test the tap water that you use in his tank? Does it have ammonia?
 

CindiL

Hi, what is your nitrite level? Why are you only feeding him once every 3 days? He needs the nutrients to repair his body. I’d feed him daily, a mixture of a couple frozen blood worms or daphnia and a quality floating pellet like Hikari.

Is it my imagination or is he missing his whole tail? Is it the picture? I can’t tell. Fins usually grow back pretty quickly so I am wondering what else is going on. They usually first look clear as they grow back.
 

Amccurry

What do you feed, why do you only feed him every three days? I suggest you add some high-quality foods like new life spectra thera plus A which has healthy protein and healthy garlic. I would also feed bug bites cichlid formula which has the best mix of ingredients of the bug bite formullas in my opinion. I would feed no less than 6 days a week,
I was always told not to feed your fish everyday. They’ve done fine with the once every 2/3 days. I feed them tropical fish food but is that a reason he’s lethargic?
Hi, what is your nitrite level? Why are you only feeding him once every 3 days? He needs the nutrients to repair his body. I’d feed him daily, a mixture of a couple frozen blood worms or daphnia and a quality floating pellet like Hikari.

Is it my imagination or is he missing his whole tail? Is it the picture? I can’t tell. Fins usually grow back pretty quickly so I am wondering what else is going on. They usually first look clear as they grow back.
Ok I can start. And no but he’s missing a lot. Honestly I’m not sure I’ve asked people and they always just say it takes awhile but I agree something is up. I’m really not sure!

I just fed him!
 

garlicrbrian

He lives with another fish (they’ve been together for almost 2 years)

wait, what is the other fish?
 

Amccurry

Hi, what is your nitrite level? Why are you only feeding him once every 3 days? He needs the nutrients to repair his body. I’d feed him daily, a mixture of a couple frozen blood worms or daphnia and a quality floating pellet like Hikari.

Is it my imagination or is he missing his whole tail? Is it the picture? I can’t tell. Fins usually grow back pretty quickly so I am wondering what else is going on. They usually first look clear as they grow back.
Should I get this to help? I think it’s tail biting but again I’m not sure! I know my other fish doesn’t do anything to him.
wait, what is the other fish?
He’s a platy
 

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CindiL

I was always told not to feed your fish everyday. They’ve done fine with the once every 2/3 days. I feed them tropical fish food but is that a reason he’s lethargic?

Ok I can start. And no but he’s missing a lot. Honestly I’m not sure I’ve asked people and they always just say it takes awhile but I agree something is up. I’m really not sure!

I just fed him!
No, definitely not betta fix, it’s no good. Betta Revive though is good as a bath for 15-30 minutes. You can put him in a plastic container and float him in the tank with it.

Tropical fish food is for omnivores I believe. You want to feed him a specialized protein rich diet. And yes, I’d switch to feeding daily for sure.

Do you have any nitrites? Did you test?

Adding some salt (aquarium, sea-salt, canning/pickling salt, any non-oozed salt) at a rate of 1tsp per gallon of water can help his fins also. Dissolve the salt first in a little removed tank water. Salt is only removed by water changes so 1 gallon out, then with the new gallon in add the tsp of salt in. Do this for a couple weeks and see if you notice any improvement in his fins.
 

garlicrbrian

bettafix is marketed to solve fin rot but it actually contains an oil that harms the betta's labyrinth organs (and its useless)
i would try indian almond leaves instead, they release tannins into the water that will protect his fins against bacterial infection.
i am not too familiar with healing fin rot so i will leave figuring that out to more experienced people. however, as everyone else did, i will definitely suggest feeding him more often and getting different types of high quality food, especially frozen food.
 

Amccurry

No, definitely not betta fix, it’s no good.

Tropical fish food is for omnivores I believe. You want to feed him a specialized protein rich diet. And yes, I’d switch to feeding daily for sure.

Do you have any nitrites? Did you test?

Adding some salt (aquarium, sea-salt, canning/pickling salt, any non-oozed salt) at a rate of 1tsp per gallon of water can help his fins also. Dissolve the salt first in a little removed tank water. Salt is only removed by water changes so 1 gallon out, then with the new gallon in add the tsp of salt in. Do this for a couple weeks and see if you notice any improvement in his fins.
Yes it’s 0. And yes I do that every week and I haven’t noticed anything.
bettafix is marketed to solve fin rot but it actually contains an oil that harms the betta's labyrinth organs.
i would try indian almond leaves instead, they release tannins into the water that will protect his fins against bacterial infection.
i am not too familiar with healing fin rot so i will leave figuring that out to more experienced people. however, as everyone else did, i will definitely suggest feeding him more often and getting different types of high quality food, especially frozen food.
Yes! I just put some new ones in.
 

Noroomforshoe

Bettas Are carnivores. Most foods , even ones for bettas, have cheep filler ingrediants and cheep vegitable fillers. Carnivores need more meat. You need to see what is listed in the first 5 ingrediants of the fish food you feed. You need to look for whole fish names, and very limited wheat or grain in the mix. because even if it is not in the first 5 ingredients, if it, or a similar product is listed more then once, it might as well be in the top ingredients list. for example, Hikari Betta bio gold has HORRIBLE ingredients for a betta.
Ingredients. Wheat flour, fish meal, soybean meal, gluten meal, krill meal, wheat germ meal, cuttlefish oil, brewers dried yeast

I Also recomend live foods, but if you cant find them, frozen foods are good. I recomend feeding frozen or live instead of prcessed food 1-2 times a week, It would be really great for him! daphnia is ideal for bettas, blood worms are good, brine shrimp are ok, Wingless fruit flies are sold in some pet stores. Good luck!

FYI, I feed all of my fish almost every day and always have. It use to be once a day, but since I got cichlids, I feed smaller amounts twice a day to keep the peace. It might be interesting to see what others do. Bottom feeders, like pleco and loaches, snails, and shrimp, can be fed their specific foods every 3 days or so, as they will eat leftover bits the rest of the time.
 

Amccurry

Bettas Are carnivores. Most foods , even ones for bettas, have cheep filler ingrediants and cheep vegitable fillers. Carnivores need more meat. You need to see what is listed in the first 5 ingrediants of the fish food you feed. You need to look for whole fish names, and very limited wheat or grain in the mix. because even if it is not in the first 5 ingredients, if it, or a similar product is listed more then once, it might as well be in the top ingredients list. for example, Hikari Betta bio gold has HORRIBLE ingredients for a betta.
Ingredients. Wheat flour, fish meal, soybean meal, gluten meal, krill meal, wheat germ meal, cuttlefish oil, brewers dried yeast

I Also recomend live foods, but if you cant find them, frozen foods are good. I recomend feeding frozen or live instead of prcessed food 1-2 times a week, It would be really great for him! daphnia is ideal for bettas, blood worms are good, brine shrimp are ok, Wingless fruit flies are sold in some pet stores. Good luck!

FYI, I feed all of my fish almost every day and always have. It use to be once a day, but since I got cichlids, I feed smaller amounts twice a day to keep the peace. It might be interesting to see what others do. Bottom feeders, like pleco and loaches, snails, and shrimp, can be fed their specific foods every 3 days or so, as they will eat leftover bits the rest of the time.
So would frozen blood worms every 2 days be good? I can cut the block in half! Let me know! :)
 

Noroomforshoe

You will want to get the block, or a chunk of the flat "the flat is easier to break up", and thaw it out in a shot glass or small cup of some type. You can feed him about 3 -5 half-inch worms. they will be all different sizes, and I don't know how big your betta is, but you are only feeding a little bit a day. Put the rest in the fridge. Also, It is best to rinse them off or just try not to dump the blood worm water into the tank. I would stick to 2 days a week with the blood worms,
 

FoldedCheese

To answer your question, yes malnutrition could contribute to his lethargy and inability to heal his fins. He's currently not getting near enough food and it's not species appropriate food either. Betta's require high protein food with minimal plant matter. His body condition looks to be poor as a result, he is quite thin. I would strongly suggest increasing his feedings slowly to every day and switching to a high quality pellet or mix of frozen/live foods.

I have fed my betta 1-2x daily for 2 years now and he has never had any issues with bloat or digestion. He's a very healthy, active plakat who is showing no signs of slowing down despite being almost 3 years old. Maybe feeding once every 2-3 days works for some but based on your fish's condition it is clearly not sufficient for him.

edit: I just noticed you said you put salt in every water change. How much and how long have you been doing so? Most salt treatments should not exceed 2 weeks because it can be stressful for the fish.
 

garlicrbrian

prolonged salt treatments can especially harm betta fish. my suggestion would be to do small water changes (25 percent would be good) every day for a week to increase the amount of clean water in his tank and completely clear out the salt.
when that is done, keep going with your 50 percent water changes.
also, make sure there is no rough or sharp edged decor he could potentially tear his fins on.
I was once told that clean water is the best treatment for fin rot, and Indian almond leaves.

you've gotten great advice for feeding him as well so I really hope getting good food clears up his problems! protein rich food will help his fin rot heal back quicker and stronger.
 

CindiL

So would frozen blood worms every 2 days be good? I can cut the block in half! Let me know! :)
I have the frozen package with cubes but if you don’t, just thaw it enough to break off a small piece. Put it in a small container in your fridge and swap out weekly. I feed my betta a couple of blood worms 2x a day. Because you haven’t been feeding your betta regularly I’d give him 1 blood worm 2x a day and 1 pellet 2x a day to start out. Buy some quality Hikari or other floating pellets made just for bettas.

Salt is meant for a temporary treatment in the healing of fins. Are you saying you add this weekly or were you saying you test nitrite weekly?
 

Noroomforshoe

I have the frozen package with cubes but if you don’t, just thaw it enough to break off a small piece. Put it in a small container in your fridge and swap out weekly. I feed my betta a couple of blood worms 2x a day. Because you haven’t been feeding your betta regularly I’d give him 1 blood worm 2x a day and 1 pellet 2x a day to start out. Buy some quality Hikari or other floating pellets made just for bettas.

Salt is meant for a temporary treatment in the healing of fins. Are you saying you add this weekly or were you saying you test nitrite weekly?
Have you ever read the ingredients of Hikari food? They are terrible! especially for carnivorous like bettas, so are many foods made just for bettas.
 

CindiL

Have you ever read the ingredients of Hikari food? They are terrible! especially for carnivorous like bettas, so are many foods made just for bettas.
No, I guess not! Mostly I feed my betta blood worms with a couple pellets a day. What do you like that’s small enough and will float for a betta then?
 

Noroomforshoe

New life spectra thera A is small enough for betas. It doesn't really float, my beta picked it off the bottom. Bug bites sink to the ground where my betta picked at them as it dissolved.
 

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