New Betta Gasping At Bottom Of Tank

Isobelle

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Hello all,

I was given a betta for Christmas after mine passed a few days before while I was away. However, while I was out family filled his tank with glofish as a surprise so that tank is no longer available.

I bought a 5 gallon for him and there was no time to cycle it as he was living in a little vase. I left the new filter sponge in the 10 gallon for a little bit and put it in, and a heater. The first two heaters I tried wouldn’t heat it, the third will only go to about 74.

He went in on Friday night. Seemed fine and happy all Saturday. I left the filter unplugged that first night to give him a bit to get used to the new tank. He didn’t like it when I turned it back on and has started laying at the bottom of the tank, gasping. So I turned the filter off again and he’s almost completely perked back up.

His tank has a cave, a floating log, a house, a heater, a filter, and 2 large moss balls (with some gravel)

I used Nutrafin cycle a few days before he went it and seachem prime. When I added more water, did prime again, and Marina betta drops.

I just did a 25% water change to see if that would help, with a few drops of BettaFix (I know not everyone agrees with that but it was about 4 drops and has helped me in the past) and some prime, as well as the Marina water conditioner for bettas again.

pH is under 7.4 (accidentally did high ph test instead of normal) ammonia is 0-0.25, Nitrates and Nitrites are both zero. I’ll include pictures of the test.

Should I just leave the filter off and trust the moss balls to help me out for a few days? I have a 20 gallon I’m trying to find a stand for, then will be switching the glofish into there and giving the betta the 10, hopefully within the week. So should I just do more frequent water changes with the filter off since that seems to be the issue? Or is there maybe something I’m missing?

Of course cycling would’ve been the best idea but unfortunately it wasn’t an option here as all fish involved were surprises.

I’ll include a few tank photos as well as the test results. Thank you.
 

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Rowan

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You'll probably want to do frequent water changes on the betta's temporary tank regardless, since you didn't have a chance to get it cycled. For now, I'd personally leave the filter off. Since it isn't cycled, it's just providing water circulation / oxygenation right now anyway, which is less urgently critical for bettas than for non-labyrinth fish. If the filter is too strong for him in the 5 gallon, I think he's probably better off without it until you move him. Any time I've done something "by the book" that went against what the animal was telling me, I've regretted it. If he seems happier with the filter off, I'd leave it off. Just my 2 cents, though, and I've never kept a betta so it might only be worth about 1.5 cents.
 

DuaneV

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A Betta doesnt have a large bioload, so as long as youre not overfeeding it, being in an uncycled tank isnt an issue. Keep up with small, frequent, water changes and thats fine.

The temp is worrisome. Bettas really need minimum of 78 degrees but 80-82 is ideal.

It could be stress. Bettas are easily stressed out. Go buy a nice, big, Anubias or Java Fern and put it in there. That tanks pretty bare and it will help with stress, boredom and water conditions. Other than that, there's really nothing "wrong" with the parameters and nothing you can really do.
 
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Isobelle

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My dad had him for four days before giving him to me and I’ve had him two... so I hope not

Definitely
A Betta doesnt have a large bioload, so as long as youre not overfeeding it, being in an uncycled tank isnt an issue. Keep up with small, frequent, water changes and thats fine.

The temp is worrisome. Bettas really need minimum of 78 degrees but 80-82 is ideal.

It could be stress. Bettas are easily stressed out. Go buy a nice, big, Anubias or Java Fern and put it in there. That tanks pretty bare and it will help with stress, boredom and water conditions. Other than that, there's really nothing "wrong" with the parameters and nothing you can really do.
Definitely, I have no idea what happened to my heaters. I had one in a friend’s 3 gallon for 2 months, bought it brand new for that tank and it’s has a 3 year guarantee. Put it in this tank, and left it for hours, never made it past 66. I can’t find any way to contact the company and they’ve read and ignored my Facebook messages.

I had an old tetra submersible so tried that, nothing. A couple hours and it made it to around 68.

I bought a NeoTherm for the future 20 gallon (75 watt) and put it in the betta’s since I didn’t really have another choice, and even still it won’t get higher than 74. We’ve set it to 74, then 76, then 78, and neither temp sticker will make it past 74, and the stickers brand new. I’m really at a loss on that front.
 
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Xionitex

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I'd picture it of being stress, or maybe other fish of his bashed it up abit, I dont know...

I'd see what your dad did when he got it, did it stay in the car for too long?
 
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Isobelle

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I'd picture it of being stress, or maybe other fish of his bashed it up abit, I dont know...

I'd see what your dad did when he got it, did it stay in the car for too long?
He stayed in a small vase for 4 days, no heater or filter, but was totally happy and livelier than in here.

Perhaps try a sponge filter, maybe. That internal filter may have too strong of a flow for the betta. Should be good with frequent water changes though, 10-25% daily would be what i would go with.
That’s an elite mini sponge filter for a 3 gallon. Am I better off to let him spend this week before the move to the 10 in there with no filter and daily water changes, or to turn it back on?
 

johnbetta

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it sounds like he has whats knowen as osmosis shock or ph shock what is his ph in the tank and what was it in the vase and do u have an indian amond leaf in his tank and what type of food are u feeding and how much each feed
 
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Isobelle

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it sounds like he has whats knowen as osmosis shock or ph shock what is his ph in the tank and what was it in the vase and do u have an indian amond leaf in his tank and what type of food are u feeding and how much each feed
I think ph is 7.8-8 ish. No clue about the vase. He’s only eaten a couple bits of Aqueon colour flakes so far and only once today.
 

johnbetta

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ahh ok I would think about lowering the ph to 6.5 to 7 and feed frozen brine shrimp bettas don't really like flake food they don't get that in the wild but some bettas eat flake food they love blood worms and brine shrimp and marine rottefers and cyclops what about the indian amond leaf I would feed twice a day they do like grindle worms and black worms
 

mytmouse

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I had to re-home a Betta from a fish bowl to a 10 gallon because he got velvet. I was ignorant to their temp requirements and I needed to get him into something with a heater. I had an air stone and a submersible filter running (now a HOB). He didn't like it! LOL It took him about a week before he started to adapt to it. So it might be that, he's just not feeling the current or not used to it. I'd focus on getting the temp up and letting him adjust for a couple more days and see what happens. This was in a bare tank, but he had a little more room to get out of the current too. A nice plant, as mentioned above will help give him a resting place. I have recently added a plant and mine just chills out behind leaves when he's not roaming around.

As for food, mine never took to flakes, but he love the Bio-Gold pellets by Hikari. He tears them up! He won't even touch freeze dried bloodworms... just spits em out!

Is there a reason why you're keeping your water level so low? I would think that the less water would create more current by the filter. I could be wrong though. Just asking.
 
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Isobelle

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I had to re-home a Betta from a fish bowl to a 10 gallon because he got velvet. I was ignorant to their temp requirements and I needed to get him into something with a heater. I had an air stone and a submersible filter running (now a HOB). He didn't like it! LOL It took him about a week before he started to adapt to it. So it might be that, he's just not feeling the current or not used to it. I'd focus on getting the temp up and letting him adjust for a couple more days and see what happens. This was in a bare tank, but he had a little more room to get out of the current too. A nice plant, as mentioned above will help give him a resting place. I have recently added a plant and mine just chills out behind leaves when he's not roaming around.

As for food, mine never took to flakes, but he love the Bio-Gold pellets by Hikari. He tears them up! He won't even touch freeze dried bloodworms... just spits em out!

Is there a reason why you're keeping your water level so low? I would think that the less water would create more current by the filter. I could be wrong though. Just asking.
That picture was taken last night for a different person who asked to see one while I was in the middle of that 25% water change. There’s a pitcher off to the side that was poured in right after

He seemed to like the Aqueon colour flakes and wasn’t big on pellets. I can’t get the temperature any higher... I just paid $50 for this heater that apparently doesn’t seem to work, and have another 2 month old heater that wouldn’t work either. Left alone for hours, set to 78, it never even made it past 66. I have no idea what’s wrong but am assuming maybe it could be something with the tank. I’ve tried 3 heaters, 2 of which have worked fine in other tanks, so I’m wondering if maybe this tank has something wrong with it or something allowing heat to escape. It’s really bizarre.
 

mytmouse

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That picture was taken last night for a different person who asked to see one while I was in the middle of that 25% water change. There’s a pitcher off to the side that was poured in right after

He seemed to like the Aqueon colour flakes and wasn’t big on pellets. I can’t get the temperature any higher... I just paid $50 for this heater that apparently doesn’t seem to work, and have another 2 month old heater that wouldn’t work either. Left alone for hours, set to 78, it never even made it past 66. I have no idea what’s wrong but am assuming maybe it could be something with the tank. I’ve tried 3 heaters, 2 of which have worked fine in other tanks, so I’m wondering if maybe this tank has something wrong with it or something allowing heat to escape. It’s really bizarre.
Gotcha! Well we know it's not the low water! Bettas definitely have their tastes. I can't believe those heaters aren't kicking the water up. That's crazy! Have you tried swapping one the heaters in the 10 gallon just to see what happens? You could even try on the 20 to see what happens, it would be a little overkill with all the water! But it's another test. I've never tried heating a 5 gallon, but I can't see what would stop a heater from working. That's wild. I hope he perks up soon.
 
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Isobelle

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Gotcha! Well we know it's not the low water! Bettas definitely have their tastes. I can't believe those heaters aren't kicking the water up. That's crazy! Have you tried swapping one the heaters in the 10 gallon just to see what happens? You could even try on the 20 to see what happens, it would be a little overkill with all the water! But it's another test. I've never tried heating a 5 gallon, but I can't see what would stop a heater from working. That's wild. I hope he perks up soon.
Thank you! I swapped the 25 watt back in to see if anything would happen and it also holds at 73.... very strange.

I took the elite filter out and put a Marina Slim S10 on (it’s a Marina kit tank so had a slot) and he now does not care in the slightest. Even swims around the sponge, unbothered. So that’s a huge plus at least. I put the normal cartridges in the last two slots and the sponge from the elite in the one closest to the water.

He has now posed a new issue- he’s too picky for any kind of food! :’) 5 different things I’ve tried, pellets, flakes, even bloodworms... just bites em then spits right out! He swims around with it in his mouth sometimes for a few minutes, not eating, just carrying. What a drama king between this and that gasping episode which I’ve now determined was pure tantrum over having a filter haha.

Hopefully he’ll get hungry enough to be less picky soon. What a character!
 

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mytmouse

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Well he is beautiful... so it's quite possible he's just a drama king! LOL But I'm glad to see he's at least perked up and roaming around. It's funny that he's so picky with his food. He looks quite healthy, I would think he was a pig!
 
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