2 Gallon Tank Help with uncycled betta, is he sick??


~What is the water volume of the tank?~
3.5 gallon Top Fin "Enchant" plexiglass half circular micro tank
~How long has the tank been running?~
I purchased from PetSmart on Monday and set it up after i got a MyFunFish 1/2 gallon on an impulse buy and very quickly realized my veiltail male betta was NOT having FUN in the MyFunFish Tank.
I waited until after Mr. Fish's breakfast Tuesday morning to transfer him out of his nasty MyFunFishtank. It is now friday night so it's been 4 days
~Does it have a filter?~
The TopFin 3.5 gallon models come with a filter. The overflow spill creates a waterfall and agitates the water slightly.
~Does it have a heater? ~
I got a 15W for the larger tank He appreciated it until I realized his heater was roasting him at 85°f/86°f, so I put the 5W from the MyFunFishTank and the 5W keeps it at 78° perfectly within the green zone. 85° is too toasty
~What is the water temperature?~78°
~What is the entire stocking of this tank?~
One Male veiltail betta, magenta and slightly gold in color.

~How often do you change the water?~ on Wednesday I realized the water was dangerously hot, so I did a 50% change. Then Friday santiago looked like he was displaying signs of ammonium poisoning so I did a 50% change then too
~How much of the water do you change?~ 50%
~What do you use to treat your water?~ imagitarium betta water conditioner
~Do u vacuum the substrate? just water?~
Since this is a brand new hobby I've only started this week I've been doing 50% water changes since that felt right.

*Parameters - Very Important
~Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?~
no this is why I'm here I need to know what I can do, how I can save my fish... I have plenty of RO/DI water that I use in my aquarium and am very aware of how many times I might have to cycle the water changes I'm on this forum because I'm afraid of killing Mr Fish
~What do you use to test the water?~ I am getting testing supplies tomorrow I use Reverse Osmosis, De-Ionized water and I use the Betta conditioner. Since I use RO/DI water I was hoping it wasnt going to kill my fish, but FISHLORE may shed some light on what's going on.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
pH: should be 0 since RO has a base pH of neutral, or 7

~How often do you feed your fish?~
7.45 am and 8.15 pm
~How much do you feed your fish?~ 6 little pellets, crushed morning and night. Again I haven't had him for very long, but he is a voracious eater and will swim down to catch the pieces that fall down.
~What food brand do you feed your fish?~ TIFFY brand Betta Deluxe Super Color Enhancing Fish food.
~Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried food?~ I would love to get some frozen foods or even live food but right now they are the freeze dried pellets crushed into more manageable pieces for his tiny GrumpyFish mouth.

Illness & Symptoms
~How long have you had this fish?~ 6 days
~How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?~ Today
~In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?~ Santiago seemed like he was all of a sudden yawning or just trying to get oxygen, or as if the ammonium buildup was messing with the oxygen exchange, or however it works. I've been watching him for a week and it looked like he was struggling. It doesnt look right and I need to know if this is something I should be worried about especially in a 3.5 uncycled tank.
~Have you started any treatment for the illness?~ I took out 50% of his water. He seemed to appreciate that, he didnt even mind it was room temp. Dont come for me, I didn't warm it up sorry internet.
~Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?~ no he was the perfect.
~How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?~ even though he is a magenta fish with reddish fins and somewhat reddened gills, he seems like his gills have deepened in red color and this is a sign of ammonium poisoning, the next step him bleeding out of his gills which is not good at all. He is also slurping the water into his GrumpyFishFace but isnt seemingly doing anything but alarming me with the lack of oxygen he seems to be getting. I will take just under 5 percent of the water out after posting this to try and make the filter waterfall more pronounced to agitate the water more therefore greater oxygen exchange therefore assisting him in that way.... my question is as follows....
•Should my water quality be fine with RO/DI+conditioner?I pay 2 bucks for 5 gallons.
•How much water should I be changing at a time while I cycle this tank? I plan on getting some freshwater bacteria starter like SST(I think that's what its called, it's like 5 bucks from petco) and asking petco for some either filter medium or substrate from an established tank.
Should I be fine with partial 20% water changes every other day until the nitro cycle is complete?? Any help is appreciated!!


You're doing a fish-in-cycle. There are a lot of threads on this page that describe how to do it.
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Sounds like you got quite a mess on your hands, but you realized the cursed My Fun Fish Tank is truly evil and decided to make it right. Buy a product that temporarily binds ammonia like Seachem Prime. Do research fish-in cycling, there is lots of good info all over the net about it. Buy a liquid test kit like the API master test kit so you can keep track of everything. You'll need to keep a sharp eye on this to make sure he survives.
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I want to also add that pure RO/DI water has no mineral and hardness at all. People usually add minerals back into the RO/DI water to give it some hardness and some buffer capacity because pure RO/DI water lacks the mineral that the betta need to survive. You should mix your RO/DI water with tap water to get some hardness. Or you can just used conditioned tap water for your betta
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Hi, thank you for coming here for support. First things first, you need to do daily 50% water changes for quite some time, since fish-in cycle will otherwise poison him. Also if you get some bottled beneficial bacteria to jump start cycle, it will make it a lot easier.
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Welcome to Fishlore

To follow up with the very good suggestions you have already gotten I will say you are doing what needs to be done with the water changes. Once you get your test kit we will be able to help you even more. When you say you are getting testing supplies tomorrow I do hope it is an API Master Freshwater Test Kit. With it you will be able to keep an eye on pH. ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. Once you are able to share the numbers with us we will be more able to help you.

Read up on the nitrogen cycle. What you are doing is a fish in cycle. Cycling a tank simply means growing both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. With just one little fish we can do the same thing with water changes. Please don't stress yourself out so badly over the cycle that you forget to just enjoy your new water pet. Keep his water fresh and clean and he will come through this cycling process just fine. Once you get your test kit you will know how often to do water changes and how much to change each time to keep him safe.

It is very possible your tap water will work perfectly for your little guy. As others have said, when using RO water you have to remineralize it. I really can't imagine it being ammonia poisoning since it seems you have been changing out half the water in the tank almost daily. Also, I don't think it is lack of oxygen causing him problems since Betta's can and do breath from the surface.

Bettas have been known to change colors. What you are seeing may or may not be a problem. We would have to see photos of him to help determine if something is going on or if this is just his normal coloration. .
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