HELP! - I think he's sick, he's brand new!!

  • #1
Hey guys, I was reading all your posts last night, and thought that perhaps our "Blumpy" (3 year old's eh? where did she get THAT name??) was cold. But this morning my hubby has phoned to say he's got a trail of clear 'stuff' hanging off the back of him. I thought he was dead yesterday morning, he only hangs at the very top of the tank, not really moving any of fins - not even the little round ones, and the bottom long fins just hang loose below him. He's really new, got him on Sunday. Hes in a 1.8g tank, with a filter. I turned the filter off yesterday because I thought it might be stressing him out. He doesn't eat (yes we were sold the dreaded flakes, we're off to find worms for him today)...but this stringy thing is concerning. Water temp is about 21 celcius. Its a warm day today so we're going to heat up the room...but are meds in order here? poor wee guy.
  • #2
21 degrees is way to cold for a betta, or any tropical fish for that matter, bring your temp up to about 25 to 26 degrees.
  • #3
Also don't turn off your filters its bad to do (bacteria colony will die if you turn it off, if you even have one as your tank may be new), you just have to make sure your filter is not a rushing torrent, as bettas don't like fast water at all.

I am not a hardcore Betta keeper like many here that can answer you better, but maybe the slime you see is your fishes extremely damaged slime coat trailing of him. Not entirely sure, but again 21 degrees is extremely cold for a Betta, as that is just under 70 degrees F.
  • #4
You need a heater...a betta's tank temp should stay at an even temperature all the time. 80-82 degrees F is a good temp for them. Is the clear stringy stuff coming out of where he poops? If so he has possibly got a parasite which may need meds. I'm not sure what kind sort of meds tho...but the higher temp could kill the parasite too.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Guys thank you so much. Going to try and find a heat lamp somewhere around work today. I think the tank is too small for any other kind of 'proper' heater. Will do a water change, and find some tastey treats for him...peas was it? tiny bits of pea as a treat? (not staple food I realize), and some 'meat' as regular food. Will let you know how he is by the weekend. His body seems smaller than a lot of other pictures I've seen of them, maybe he's quite young. Anyway...some super care coming at this little dude, as best as I can without hubby chucking me out fish n all!
  • #6
You can't filter a 1.8 gal tank properly. Your fish is probably being poisoned.

Remove the filter, change all the water, and use a conditioner like Prime in it.

The temperature of the water should be at least 80F. A heat lamp will result in different temperatures in the tank - not good. I suggest a small aquarium heater and you can get them for a tank that size.

For food, try tempting him with some frozen bloodworms.

Was the fish in this condition when you got him?
  • #7
Ahh 1.8g, I didn't even notice the tank size when I read the post.
  • #8
Remove the filter, change all the water, and use a conditioner like Prime in it.

Won't this completely restart the cycle?
  • #9
Hello and welcome to the betta section and If you have not done so already, I would suggest that you read the Betta Care Guide and you can heat the tank with a 25 watt heater if you can find one but be sure to set the temperature a couple of degrees cooler than you really want the temperature of the water to get as the tank is small. You will also need to keep a thermometer in the tank that keeps constant readings (aquarium type only please) so that you can keep an eye on the temperature if you do not already have one. Since he is new, I am guessing that the tank is not already cycled. Have you read the information on the Nitrogen Cycle? It may help you understand what is needed as far as filtration and how to cycle the tank with him in it safely. The link is here:

The Betta Care Guide can be found in the stickied topics at the beginning of this section under:

I am hoping that all is going to go well with him and with you. Talk to him and spend a few minutes with him now and again during the day if you can and it will help to comfort him if he is not feeling well. Bettas really do respond more to humans than to other fish.

  • #10
- one of these heaters might work just right for your tank.

- this filter might be just right for a tank that size & has adjustable flow. I'd always have filtration on any tank, you just need a filter meant for that size of a tank.

- meds like this could help with the probable parasites.

Rose's advice is right on, we learned from her about Bettas.. especially talking to them. It can often help them have more of a will to live and strength to fight off illnesses. Best of luck with him.
  • #11

Hydor makes a 7.5 watt minI heater, submersible, you can even put it under the gravel. It doesn't have a thermostat and says on the box that it will only raise the temperature a few degrees, but if you're monitoring the temperature closely for fluctuations, that might be enough.
  • #12
This is all good advice, however, I would much rather see you buy a bigger a tank for him like a 2.5 minI bow because it's very hard to heat a 1 gallon tank. I know you said it's a 1.8 gallon,but that would still be very hard to heat w/o overheating and cooking your fish. Those +/- heaters really are not very efficient heaters and they can either overheat the tank or not warm it enough.If you get a 2.5 minI bow you can get one of these which is what I and a lot of other's use on here. It's the visitherm heater.

They work great and the best thing about them is that you can set the temp that you want the tank at and the heater shuts off when it reaches the temp.

This is the tank I'm talking about. It comes with a 10I whisper filter(although I feel it's too big for the tank and I ended up getting the 3I instead), tubing, and air pump.

I have this tank. It was originally set up as a hosp/q-tank, but now RJ my betta is living in it since I had to dismantle his other home. He seems to really like it and I like it too.

This is just a suggestion of course. I think in the long run you will be better off getting a bigger tank. It will be much easier to medicate too and figure out measurements. I hope he feels better and get's better soon. Good luck. Natalie
  • #13
The problem with those 7.5w heaters is the way they heat, you'll usually end up with cooked fish or big temperature fluctations from turning it on & off and trying to monitor it manually. The same effect can be had from putting a electric heating pad under it.

I'd go with Natalie's advice - it really is easier to control things like temp. when you have a bigger tank and you're subject to less fluctations.
  • #14
The 7.5 watt heater will base its action on the present temperature of the water. If the water temperature fluctuates so will the temperature that this heater will heat to. The most important thing in a tropical fish tank, any tropical fish tank is not so much the exact temperature although it needs to be within a fish's desirable living range, but the consistency of the temperature. The constant ups and downs are going to cause an illness sooner or later. The reason for filters and heaters is to provide a STABLE enviroment more than anything. No ammonia, no nitirites, not many nitrates if any, and a constant temperature are the start of a receipe for a healthy tank. These are the jobs that a good filter and heater do for you.
I for one do not believe in scrimping on the cost of a heater. The small heater that is not too dependable will cost you not a lot less than the best heater you can buy. The best heater is the Visi-therm Stealth heater and it is on sale at Drs. Foster & Smith right now. The 25 watt size which will handle up to an 8 gallon tank is $16.19 right now and while there is postage and handling it is still worth it. Just combine the cost with any other fish products you need and it helps keep the shipping reasonable. These heaters come with a LIFETIME warranty where I have paid almost that much when I got started in the hobby and had to buy a new heater before a year was out. They also keep a good steady and dependable temperature and look nice in the tank. (a lot of heaters look out of place but this one fades into the background and is very unobtrusive). If you need to cut costs, heaters are not the place to do it, believe me. Filters usually come with the tanks and the best ones I have found are the Bio-wheels, not because others will not do the job but because they are just handier and easier for ME to manage. I like the fact that the bacteria grows on a bio-wheel and I do not have to worry about changing the filter media and wiping out my cycle. But I have used cheap filters and they do the job and I can manage. I would settle for a cheaper filter any day before a cheaper heater.

  • #15
Repeating for emphasis:

If you need to cut costs, heaters are not the place to do it, believe me.

There's nothing like getting up and finding your tank has turned into 120 degree fish soup due to a defective heater.:'(

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