Lethargic Betta

  1. Squiggles Member Member

    Hi everyone. We have a male Betta fish that lives alone in a (unfiltered) 10 gallon tank. The tank gets regular water changes. He's always been a "sluggish" fish, never moving around too much. But over the last week he has just been floating on his side at the top of the tank. We blamed the water for being too cool and purchased a new heater. The water now stays around 78 F. He has also stopped eating. When we open the tank, he'll get startled and try to swim away, but he'll just float back up. We got him about 6 1/2 months ago.
    I don't know if it's a swim bladder issue, or some other disease. Ammonia levels seem fine (use API test kit). Everything else is normal. Somebody suggested aquarium salt for goldfish and tropical fish, but I don't know if it will really help. Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated!!
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Without a filter, your tank can't be cycled and you won't see nitrite or nitrates. You will get ammonia though.

    I'd add a filter and cycle your tank. I think you'll see much improvement. When the tank is cycled, a 50% weekly change should be fine.
  3. Squiggles Member Member

    Hi, and thanks for the reply.
    Do you think filtering it would help? It originally was filtered, but he kept getting sucked onto the outside of the filter and ripped his tail fin. :( The filter was an appropriate size for the tank, and was a tetra whisper..
  4. Squiggles Member Member

    I could try and put the filter back in, but since he's so "weak" I'm afraid it would harm him even more. :/
  5. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes, I think it would help. You can always put a sponge prefilter on the intake if it's too much, or you could use a sponge filter.
  6. Squiggles Member Member

    I'll look into buying one of those. In the meantime, is there anything we could use that we have at home to buffer the intake? Like a sock or something? :p
  7. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    A clean, never worn or washed pair of pantyhose would work! Just cut the foot off and rubberband or tie it with fishing line to the intake.
  8. Squiggles Member Member

    Thank you! I know I've got a pair laying around somewhere! ;)