Please Help! Bettas Arent Doing Well:(

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by MujiB, May 27, 2018.

  1. MujiB

    MujiBNew MemberMember

    Hello Betta lovers,
    I'm in desperate need of your help!
    I'm new at this and I've clearly overestimated my abilities and knowledge. My little fish are suffering because of me

    I have 1 male Betta in a planted 5 gallon marineland portrait tank and I wanted to get 1 female in a separate tank. The seller who had the female I liked, had a male to match so I decided to get a 10 gallon tank, divide it and have the male and female in each 5 gallon side.

    Things went terribly wrong from this point on. . Another seller I was talking to had 4 females I liked very much so all 6 fish got shipped together. My plan was to have 5 females in a 10 gallon and have a separate 5 gallon for the new boy. Plans didn't work out and by the time all 6 arrived, I had 1 10 gallon tank with great perimeters divided in a roughly 7/3.

    I've used gravel, wood, filter cartilage and plants from my cycled tank ahead of time but I only had 7 days of fishless cycling so while the parameters showed perfect at the local fish place, the sudden addition of 6 fish cant be great.

    Tank is a standard marineland led kit but there is a sponge slowing down the water from filter. About 9 live plants and 2 fake silk ones and 1 driftwood. Lots of hiding places as I have hard time seeing the fish myself.

    Fish arrived Friday night. They all seemed to like their tank and got their colors and all ate their pellets happily. Saturday morning they seemed happy with tank. Ate frozen blood worms. Girls loved it but male wouldnt eat. He had a bubble nest going, swimmed, flared and seemed happy. I did a %30 water change with prime and added some live bacteria. Saturday night male kept hiding under leaves and resting. ((The girls are a different problem.. 4 of the females were supposedly together in the same tank which is the only reason why I thought I can have a sorority. Yet pretty much everyone is angry at everyone else. ))

    This morning (Sunday) I wake up to a sad tank. My boy was just laying in the bottom and his colors looked pale, the matching girl seems to be doing the same on her side of the tank. The other 3 of the 4 girls are chasing each other but otherwise seem healthy.

    I immediately did a %80 water change. (Because I'm a complete idiot I didnt have water ready so it was tap water (we have soft water) treated with prime and just a bit of added bacteria) the temperature showed 76 (normally they are at 79 and now is back to 79) Also I changed the plants to give them better hiding areas.

    Male sat on the bottom for hours but n flared a bit at what girls he can see (the divider has many plants in front of it) and the girls seemed to be hiding better. Although 1 is clearly the troublemaker.

    I feel like my boy is not doing ok. He isn't happily swimming around and keeps laying on floor or plants.

    What can I do or add to help them?

    I realized I'm an idiot and I could have done this much differently but here we are. I just want to save them but I'm also limited. I cant just purchase another tank for another 3 months (space issue) All I have is a separate filter and some containers, and a 1 gallon plastic emergency bowl with plant and gravel from cycled tank.

    Any ideas and advice will be highly appreciated! Please help me out?
    Thank you !!

    Ps. To make matters much worse I just found out I have to leave the house Tuesday and can't be back till Friday due to some repairs. Noone to change their water!
    Do I put them in small separate bowls? Or keep them together but have someone drop prime? Help! ! Screenshot_20180527-120714.jpgScreenshot_20180527-120714.jpgScreenshot_20180527-120747.jpgScreenshot_20180527-120714.jpgScreenshot_20180527-120747.jpgScreenshot_20180527-121244.jpg
  2. Fanatic

    FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Hello! Welcome to Fishlore! :)
    What you have is a stocking problem, you cannot have multiple females together in a ten gallon, especially when it is divided.
    You also cannot have a male with a female if the tank is divided. The male will sense the female's presence and act like he wants to breed. That's why you are seeing the nest.

    You can move all of these bettas to their own 2.5 or five gallon tanks, and they'll be just fine. I wouldn't suggest having anything in a divided tank other than two males.
    More importantly, did you cycle the tank?
    Does it have a filter?

    Lastly, it's a beautiful tank! I just want you to have a good outcome, so that's why I am pointing you out in the right direction to find success.

    Edit: Is that EcoComplete you are using? Do you currently use co2 or any fertilizers?
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  3. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Oh my. You do have a lot on your plate with this. See, this is why my head keeps telling my heart no! when it comes to bettas. I’d have to rescue every one of them in the store. Which would mean several small tanks or a few small and one large. So. What can you do before Tuesday? The male needs his own tank. Huge bowl whatever. Five females in the ten without the male around mat be ok until you get back. They all need heat, filter, air. Your tank isn’t cycled. You’d have to do a big water change before leaving Tuesday and be prepared to attack when you come home Friday. No one can guarantee what you’ll be coming home to. Do you have or can you get something for the new boy?

  4. OP

    MujiBNew MemberMember

    Hi thank you!
    The cycling was minimal but I was able to transfer bacteria from my cycled tank. It is ecocomplete Im using. No co2 I have seachem flourish but didnt want to use any until everything else settles down. I have a biowheel filter with a tweaked sponge at the front to ease the flow.

    Hi thank you so much for the advice. I'm on my way to the store to grab a small tank or heater for my boy. I'll remove the divider and give the girls more room. I may separate 1 little girl who has been getting picked on by everyone into 1 gallon. She was there last night and I think she enjoyed the peace and quiet more than having a heater and filter. I will update! Thank u!!

    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2018
  5. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Thank you for letting us into your betta world! And for wanting the best for them. Compassion means everything. Wishing you the best. Please keep us posted. :)
  6. OP

    MujiBNew MemberMember

    Hi !
    Yesterday I threw out my back which delayed everything. The silver lining is since I cant really walk, the reno has been delayed a week so I can do daily checks and changes. As an urgent step, I've cut and placed a piece of bubble envelope (the plasticy type amazon sends stuff in) in front of the divider. Without seeing the girls my boy perked up a bit and began to swim. He still won't eat. Meanwhile his paired female with dumbo fins has been beat up pretty badly (fins looking ragged but she is otherwise unharmed) so I placed her last night in an emergency 1 gallon bowl with plant etc. She has been more relaxed but needs warmer water. Similarly I separated another girl into 1 gallon bowl cause she is tiny and everyone kept picking on her. It broke my heart. She is so little. She wont eat either.

    Meanwhile the 3 girls left in the big tank chase each other but 2 of them are bullies(koi & marble), 1 is exceptional at hiding (black like my substrate) and all 3 are full of appetite and in good shape.

    So here is my plan.. my husband picked up a 5 gallon tank today for me. I got a heater yesterday. Im gonna use a non see through divider to divide in 2. Place the boy and the girl in that tank in separate parts. Let them recover from the tragedy that is me :/

    The 10 gallon will become a full 10 gallon for 4 females only (if they keep picking on the little girl then she will be taken out)

    So now I have to cycle this new 5 gallon super fast. Im going to use substrate, wood, plants and dirty filter from established tank, as well as live bacteria. I'll prime it and add aqueon betta water renewal and live bacteria. Store gave me Bio-activ live gravel. Does that really work? Should I add that? Or is it Overkill?

    Also what can I do to help the ones who won't eat. It cant be the water since the other 3 are eating without a problem. The 3 who wont eat are in their own environment so losing food to another is not an issue.
    Store gave me herbal betta revive drops. I also have bettafix. Would any of that help?

    What do you recommend?
    Thank you!

  7. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Hey. My heart really does go out to you. Since I can’t see your babies I’m going to ask for eyes here. @Skye_marilyn i could use some betta eyes here. Please?
  8. OP

    MujiBNew MemberMember

    Oh darn. Am I posting the pics wrong? Anything I can do differently so you and everyone can see?
  9. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    It’s not you. I’m blind. Sometimes the description is enough for me but other times, like this one with different fish, I like eyeballs on them. I’ll reach out to more. @Goldiemom @Rtessy could you please look at these guys and read from the beginning for me? Please?
  10. OP

    MujiBNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much! It's incredibly kind of you to take the time to help us out :)
  11. Rtessy

    RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Hi there! First off, I'd like to say that you're putting far too much blame on yourself. Please don't feel so bad, you are doing so so so much better than most people who come here asking about betta help. I have seen so many situations that are just so much worse.
    If you keep one or more in 1 gallon containers, please do daily water changes of at least 30%, even up to 50% if you feel they need it. You can use Tupperware containers in a pinch, the only issue would be heat in that case. But they are very cheap, I have a few that are 1 gallon and cost me 93¢, a very good temporary container.
    @Gypsy13 the first, more recent picture, has a male (I think, I'm not so good with that), who is definitely hiding, and seems to have a tear in his fin. I can't really tell anything else because of the shade, but that can't be helped because of the hiding place. The second and third are lying on the gravel. The second seems to have finrot on the tailfin and pectoral fin, still a very minor case. I can't see any other physical injuries. The third has clamped fins and also possible finrot, and is the only one not hiding, though it is right by a moss ball. Still minor, but a bit worse than the second. The fourth is a top view of the koi, and I see nothing wrong with it from the top.
    Back to you, OP. I don't recommend bettafix, as it's basically a watered down version of melafix and pimafix, which can be deadly to bettas, and I don't think watered down poison is always the best. There have been cases of bettafix itself being harmful. I'm not familiar with the other, sorry. I would guess that the lack of appetite is bacterial, as is finrot, but the lack of appetite could also be internal parasites. Have you noticed any white/stringy poop? That's a good indicator of internal parasites. I know you may not see this, but it would be good to keep a close eye. If you believe it to be bacterial in nature, kanaplex is a good medication and should take care of the finrot too. From what I see, the finrot it pretty minor and can be dealt with secondly. If you believe it to be parasitic, PraziPro is a good medication for that.
  12. Goldiemom

    GoldiemomWell Known MemberMember

    I wish I knew more about Betta’s but here goes..first pic, can’t see fish well enough but seems ok. Second pic, tail is frayed but I know some Betta tails look like that. Fish in 3rd pic looks stressed and some tail rot? Koi, can’t see tail/ fins but top view looks healthy.

    Sorry, I guess we were both looking and responding at the same time but seem to come up with compatible views.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2018
  13. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Storms. Connection problems

    Will answer in bit
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2018
  14. OP

    MujiBNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much everyone!

    @Gypsy13 now I understand what you mean by having eyes on the pics. Maybe I can help with that?

    The first pic shows a female with navy body and yellow mustard fin. She has a line of black going around the tips of her fins as her color. In that picture she is hiding from the other 2 in the tank. She has few rips on her fins. That picture also shows in the background the piece of the plastic envelope I use to block the view from the divider.
    The second picture shows 1 female with dumbo ears who has her fins ripped up pretty badly.
    Third picture is of a little female who supposed to have dumbo ears but she has been picked on by everyone.
    The fourth and final picture shows the other 2 females that are in the 10 gallon tank with the mustard navy colored girl. It's a blue marble and a red koi. They have minor rips on their fins but they are the troublemakers so it's a tad bit deserved so lol

    I didnt know bettafix was like melafix so I definitely wont do it. I have Sulfaplex that I got for my original boy whose fin tips are becoming see through but without any curling or black. I've asked around but received mixed messages so I decided to treat it anyways. Im going to post 2 pictures of him. It's unrelated to my new fish and tanks as he is in a fully cycled 5 gallon tank of his own but he is so cute he deserves a mention. He is a blue male betta I think halfmoon. I'm not sure. He has red lipstick and he is so wonderful. He swims to my fingers and loves to watch my toddler but not us so much. The pictures show him in front of plants. 2 different angles which shows his fins. Chunks aren't missing. They looked as if his tail ends have peeled off. He seems perfectly healthy otherwise.

    My new tank, its filter and heat are all running to make sure everything works. I put bio active gravel, substrate, wood and dirty cartridge from cycled tank and added live bacteria.

    First thing in the morning I will make the moves.

    @Rtessy I didnt notice any white poop but I will keep a closer eye!
  15. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Thank you. All of you for the descriptions! And bless you MujiB for letting me “see” them. Thunderstorms. Gotta love them.
    While I’m connected, I’d keep the water as clean as possible and betta warm. I would even add aquarium salt to their water. Low dose. Especially if you have plants in with them. Snails, don’t go the salt route. Though some can take exposure you don’t know until they’re exposed. That’s not a good way to find out. Now for the one with the clamped fins and not much of a tail (and just in case the others get worse) get some sulfaplex or triple sulfa. I would start treating that one with the sulfa. If I’m not mistaken, by a moss ball. I could slap Siri sometimes. :)
    Keep us posted. Another round coming in.
  16. Goldiemom

    GoldiemomWell Known MemberMember

    Beautiful fish! I love the red lips!!!
  17. OP

    MujiBNew MemberMember

    Update 2:

    Unfortunately when I woke up this morning the female from the second picture, the one with clipped fins in emergency tank#1 did not make it. I changed everyone's water. Moved the boy to his own full 5 gallon. Moved the little one who was in the emergency tank #2 into her own divided area in the 10 gallon by herself. (That was the boy's old home) Changed the water of my original male with lipstick as well. His fins look worse so every tank got treated with sulfaplex. It says every 3 days so I'll wait 2 days for next dose. Meanwhile their filters are all running but i removed the carbon cartridges. However despite it all the little one died a little while ago. That was the one with clipped fins and barely any tail in the 3rd picture. The one by moss ball.

    So now I have 1 male in a 5 gallon, another male in another 5 gallon, 2 females in a divided 10 g tank, and 1 female in the 1 gallon. All 3 females are eating both pellets and frozen blood worms. The new boy seems like he wants to eat but won't eat what I offer. He keeps swimming at the bottom and stares at the substrate, moves it, grabs whatever moves but spits. So I'm thinking he isn't going to make it. :( maybe if I'm lucky his sulfaplex will help him get better. Im going to include a picture of him. He hasn't been harmed in any way. So whatever is wrong with him must be something internal. The picture I've included shows the new male in his tank, from a side angle. He is a red with blue tint half moon and has long beautiful dumbo ears. Both his ears and the ends of his fins are white. He looks better than most of us with makeup.
    Cross your fingers that he begins to eat soon :(20180529_173225.jpg
  18. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    I’m so sorry you lost those two. I’m glad you started the sulfaplex. It’s ok if he doesn’t eat for a few days. But keep trying. Soak his pellet in garlic juice it may help.
    How are you doing? Remember, take care of you too. (Do as I say not as I do. I speak from experience).
    If you don’t have any yet, get some kanaplex and some furan 2. Just in case.
  19. OP

    MujiBNew MemberMember

    Hello again! Thanks for checking up on us!
    I was in a real bad shape so I ended up at the hospital last night. They gave me some strong muscle relaxer so today I can actually walk!! I tested all the tanks for ammonia. Lower than .25. Meanwhile the new boy has been eating! I think sulfaplex has helped! He only likes to eat when things sink and he likes to catch them by the ground. So he wouldn't eat floating pellets. I had another type that sinks so he ate those. One of the females seems slightly bloated and keeps swimming back and forth so I boiled some peas for everyone. They all loved it. Who knows maybe they will pull through! ((Knock on wood)) :)

    I just ordered kanaplex and furan 2 as well as an API master kit since I now have 3 tanks and a bowl and wont be able to walk to my local shop to get my water tested anytime soon.

    Do you know what's hilarious?
    This entire thing has started with my toddler loving fishies, so I got a bowl for $6 and a betta for $6.99...
    After hundreds of dollars and hours spent caring for them, I began to think that my rescue dogs are costing me much less! And I have bunch of them!! So much for a cheap hobby Hahaha
  20. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Thank you for updating. Keep a close eye on the bloated female. Peas are good. And I know what you mean. Nothing is cheap as far as price goes. Had one, count them, one claw removed from a feral kitten’s back deformed paw. One hundred twenty five dollars. For one claw. My eyeballs are still popping!

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