Male Double Tail Won't Eat And Very Lethargic (i've Owned Many Bettas)

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Madhatter, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. MadhatterNew MemberMember

    Here is the template.


    What is the water volume of the tank?
    Topfin bettaflo 3.5 gallon

    How long has the tank been running?
    About 5 days before introduction slowly into it's permanent home. I used Aquasafe for bettas, as well as Tetras Safestart to help cycling etc.

    Does it have a filter?

    Does it have a heater?
    What is the water temperature?
    Currently I keep it at 79-80 degrees Fahrenheit. I have tried lower temps and up to 82 with zero change in behavior.

    What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
    One male double tail.

    How often do you change the water?
    How much of the water do you change?
    What do you use to treat your water?
    Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
    As stated I used Aquasafe and safesSafe. I have done a 25-30% water change about 24 hours ago. I always vacuum substrate as well. The tank is in perfect condition as far as water and temp go.
    *Parameters - Very Important
    Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? About 5 days but used bacteria additive.
    What do you use to test the water?
    A basic kit for ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

    What are your parameters?

    Ammonia: about .02
    Nitrite: 5 ppm
    Nitrate: about 7ppm
    pH: right at 7

    How often do you feed your fish?
    Once a day currently but he will not eat at all.
    How much do you feed your fish?
    4-5 tetrabetta pellets
    What brand of food do you feed your fish?
    Tetrabetta pellets
    Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
    Yes, dried bloodworms

    Illness & Symptoms
    How long have you had this fish?
    About 10 days
    How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
    One full day after purchase from Petco.
    In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
    I have owned many bettas and around 15 or so freshwater tanks from 3.5 to 55 gallons. I'm not saying I'm an expert at all but this has me stumped.
    The betta is not eating at all except a few nibbles of bloodworms and is very lethargic and inactive...he stays at the very surface 98% of the time in one spot. He is upright and not on his side or is he swim bladder seems unlikely.

    Have you started any treatment for the illness?
    Just making sure parameters are right and adjusting temp, 25-30% water change.

    Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
    He appeared totally healthy and very active.
    How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
    As said, lethargic, won't eat, stays at surface and normal gulping, never swims around especially never leaves the top few inches of water. I see no visible signs of illness. IvI' done all I know to do......Here is a picture of him now.

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  2. DemeterFishlore VIPMember

    You say you have nitrites of 5ppm? That is high and it needs to be at zero. How often are you doing water changes? The tank is not cycled if you are getting nitrite and ammonia readings. I’d be doing daily 50% water changes with Prime till there is no ammonia and nitrite. Bacteria additives only shorten the cycling process, if you’ve got another established tank I’d move some cycled media to his filter to give it another boost.

    If he doesn’t improve after a few days of daily water changes then he likely has a more serious problem, though I see nothing visually wrong with him. The filter isn’t too strong is it? That’s the only other thing I can think of for his behavior.
  3. BettaMom98Valued MemberMember

    Ouch that nitrite is definitely high. Doesn’t seem like a cycled tank if its reading nitrite that high and registering ammonia.
  4. BeckykrowNew MemberMember

    He is really beautiful, I hope he does better
  5. UluWell Known MemberMember

    Looks very much like Betta Alpha in my avatar.

    IMHO, with a betta can survive in awful water because they breathe surface air.

    But they quit eating when the water becomes too foul.

    For them. And they are all different, so it's not an exact science.

    But you are only changing about half the water I would, and half as often as I would.

    Do a big change now 75-80% is OK and your betta will appreciate it. Do a smaller one tomorrow. 50-60% Don't touch the filters.
    Use little prime. Not much on such a tiny tank. That 5x biz is sorta tank dependent.

    OK for a 55, but too much for a 5.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  6. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    Definitely not cycled. A 75% change will bring ammonia down to 1.3 and another 50% tomorrow will bring it to where you need to keep it with water changes. I'm sure your Bettas whole problem started because of Ammonia poisoning. Ammonia and Nitrites are very toxic to fish at even low levels. Seachem Prime removes Chlorine and binds with Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates for about 48 hours. It will take a few weeks for your tank to grow the nitrifying bacteria it needs to take care of the ammonia and nitrites. So you will need to monitor those and dose your tank with Prime every 48 hours to protect your betta. Ammonia etc. will test positive even though you use Prime because it does not remove them.
    Please read this:
    Scroll down to "nitrogen cycle" and read that. It will give you an idea of what needs to happen for your tank to really be cycled well.
    There are a lot of other good links and info. there as well. Good luck, nice Betta!
  7. UluWell Known MemberMember

    One thing that may help is to get some new plastic 5 gallon buckets and pre-age the water.