My new betta isn't coping well... not moving, eating and slime coming off body :

Kesh88

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I picked up a new betta last week and he hasn't been doing too well. His symptoms are making me think there's more going on than stress.

I've tried to add as much details as I can think of here...


Problem: Over the last week he hasn't been moving very much, has been unresponsive, he only eats once every couple of days and a couple of days back he had big chunks of slime coming off his body. No white patches, bumps or raised scales. I've added a dose of Blue Planet Multi Cure (at the advice of the pet store) to the tank which helped with the slime problem, but he's still not really moving around.
Water parameters: Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates = 0, temp = 25 degrees celsius, ph = 7.2
Tank size: 24 litres, been set up for 10 days.
Equipment/Decor: 3 x silk plants, gravel substrate, cave ornament, small sponge filter with an Aqua One 2500 air pump, adjustable heater, thermometer and some Anacharis which is floating.
Water care: 25% water change last night when dosing the Multi Cure. I am doing 2-3 x 25-50% water changes per week until the tank is cycled. I'm using Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability.
Acclimatisation: Iacclimatised him by removing water from his cup with a medicine syringe, and replacing this with tank water - this took around 25 minutes.
Feeding: One Nutrafin Max pellet twice daily (I cut the pellet in half so he can get it in his mouth).


Is it just a case of wait and see if he will settle in and become more active in time? Strangely he was really active when I got him and seemed more comfortable being in a cup... as soon as he went into the tank he stopped moving. Yesterday he was so bad that even when I netted him he didn't react, and he was twitching a lot and unable to swim :-/ He can swim today but is still looking very stressed. Have I done something wrong?
 

Tonia

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Hello Kesh, sorry that your new betta isn't adjusting well. It sounds like you have done everything right so far. I'm not familiar with the medication, but it sounds like it helped some. When did the problem start? Was it right away, 10 days ago when you brought the betta home? or a few days after?

For his immediate needs, you may want to raise his temp to about 27c. Bettas really like warm water. Have you tried any other fish foods? I had one betta that refused pellets, but loved flakes and frozen foods. This may help him perk up a little. Another question, is the tank heavily or sparsely decorated? He may like more hiding places and possibly a leaf or plant item to rest on near the top of the water if he is feeling stressed.

How long did the pet store have him before you saw him? Is it possible to check? I'm concerned that he may have been ill when you got him and the stress from his move has put him over the top.

Finally, do you have any pictures that you can share so that we can see what you are seeing?
 
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Kesh88

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Hi Shayla. He's been fairly immobile since day one and I noticed the slime two days ago. I've had him for seven days now.

The tank is has plenty of coverage now that I've added the anacharis. As for food I haven't tried anything else. I might give some bloodworms a go tomorrow to see if that perks him up.

I've also been trying to keep the room and tank darker so as not to stress him out. Unfortunately I can't check how long the pet store had him.

I'm on my mobile now and not sure how to add pictures?

Figured it out, here's a pic

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Kesh88

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He still won't eat or move :-(

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Bijou88

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Hmmm, I don't know. There's nothing outwardly wrong with him that I can tell. Have you tried the different food yet?

 
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Kesh88

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I tried some fresh bloodworms, he swallowed two then spat them out

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It sounds mean but I had to prod him a few times to see if he would react, he twitches a lot then floats to the top. This is really frustrating and I'm getting ready to give up on him!

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Dom90

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Hey you know, my betta will stay still for long periods of time also. I have to tap the water to make sure he's still alive :/ I've had him for four months now.


 
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Kesh88

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This is more than just not moving though, he won't react to anything, even if I net him be doesn't move, just lays there... I had to net him the other day and put him in a cup because he was sinking and couldn't swim to the top of the tank to breathe. After a day in the cup he was reactive and seemed well again, as soon as he was back in the tank he went back to not moving or eating.

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Bijou88

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Is it possible there's too much current from the filter? Can you turn the air down some and see if anything happens?

 

Dom90

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I notice you have him at 25C, could you turn up the heat a bit? Maybe 27 Celsius?


 
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Kesh88

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There is barely any current from the filter and I turned the heat up last night

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Kesh88

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Just ran a water parameter test, pH has dropped to 6.0 and ammonia is at 0.25ppm. Is it worth doing another water change and if so how much? I only changed the water two days ago. I assume that the medication has changed the pH?

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Bijou88

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I would do a 25% change personally, just enough to make sure the ammonia doesn't become a problem but not enough to potentially stress the poor guy any further.

Watching the video, I really don't see anything obviously wrong with him, hopefully it's just stress. I wouldn't dose any more meds though if it were me, since you're not really treating anything specific. I really hope he improves, i can imagine how distressing this must be since it really looks as though you did nothing wrong.
 

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I don't know if my advice can help, but reading your story, you seem to be doing everything to keep your betta healthy.

I once lost a betta to toxic gravel. "Aquarium safe", they said... Apparently, the store had to remove all the bags of purple/black gravel off the shelves due to toxic components.

It rarely happens, but now I'm always careful with my ornaments and substrates.

I've been using natural gravel or sand since.
 
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Kesh88

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Good news, Bowie has started to perk up! He ate this morning and tonight and he's finally started moving about, even though it's just a few short trips from down into the tank, it's better than nothing! I haven't added any more meds but have been adding a small amount of very diluted AQ salt each day, think that's helped his stress levels :)

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atb224155

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After reading your story, happy to hear that your betta is moving. Stress was most likely the problem, as long as he's not moved too much for water changes, he should be fine.
 
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