Ugh, betta acting lethargic

ayeayeron

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
20g high
How long has the tank been running?
8ish months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 81 F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
2 male bettas (divided) cherry shrimp, a few random guppy fry

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? every week
How much of the water do you change? around 30%
What do you use to treat your water? prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API master
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: <10
pH: 6.8

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? everyday
How much do you feed your fish? a few betta pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? bug bites
Do you feed frozen? sometimes
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? sometimes

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 14 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? it’s been a few days or maybe a week
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Lethargic, not coming up for food or air
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No, other than water changes and changing the environment
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Lethargy

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
My betta has always been super spunky and comes up to see me everytime. However the last few days he has just been sitting on the bottom and not reacting to much. He was in a 29g community when the symptoms started (with corys, guppies and mystery snails) and the parameters were all in check (no ammonia or nitrite and nitrates were lower than 20) but I moved him to my 20g hoping the change and quieter environment would help perk him up. His lethargy doesn’t seem based on stress (he has no clamped fins, isn’t breathing rapid or heavy, otherwise seems relaxed) so i didn’t think moving him would cause much harm. The 20g has been running since february or march of this year and had some guppies in it before so is fully cycled. The other betta is acting totally normal. I tested the nitrates before and they were at around 10 or 15, but I did a very large probably 80% water change when I was setting it up for the bettas so that shouldn’t be the issue, and ammonia and nitrite were both at 0. The fish in the 29g that he was previously in are all acting completely normal as well, so I just need ideas on what else I need to check to see what could be causing this as he has absolutely no other signs of illness other than the lethargy.
 

JuDom

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
20g high
How long has the tank been running?
8ish months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 81 F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
2 male bettas (divided) cherry shrimp, a few random guppy fry

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? every week
How much of the water do you change? around 30%
What do you use to treat your water? prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API master
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: <10
pH: 6.8

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? everyday
How much do you feed your fish? a few betta pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? bug bites
Do you feed frozen? sometimes
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? sometimes

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 14 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? it’s been a few days or maybe a week
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Lethargic, not coming up for food or air
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No, other than water changes and changing the environment
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Lethargy

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
My betta has always been super spunky and comes up to see me everytime. However the last few days he has just been sitting on the bottom and not reacting to much. He was in a 29g community when the symptoms started (with corys, guppies and mystery snails) and the parameters were all in check (no ammonia or nitrite and nitrates were lower than 20) but I moved him to my 20g hoping the change and quieter environment would help perk him up. His lethargy doesn’t seem based on stress (he has no clamped fins, isn’t breathing rapid or heavy, otherwise seems relaxed) so i didn’t think moving him would cause much harm. The 20g has been running since february or march of this year and had some guppies in it before so is fully cycled. The other betta is acting totally normal. I tested the nitrates before and they were at around 10 or 15, but I did a very large probably 80% water change when I was setting it up for the bettas so that shouldn’t be the issue, and ammonia and nitrite were both at 0. The fish in the 29g that he was previously in are all acting completely normal as well, so I just need ideas on what else I need to check to see what could be causing this as he has absolutely no other signs of illness other than the lethargy.
I really don’t want to say this, but maybe he’s nearing his time. You’ve had him 14 months and unless you got him as a juvenile, he was most likely a year old when you brought him home. Bettas live on average between 2-4 years. My bettas definitely became more lethargic towards the end of their lives..I raise most of mine from juveniles and they lived about 3 1/2 years in my care. So, don’t assume you’ve done anything wrong. It’s just nature’s way..

20g H is also a hefty swim up to the top for him. Maybe something shallower would help make it easier for him to come up for air/food.

These are only my thoughts..but according to the information you’re giving, I’m not sure what else could be the issue. :oops:
 

ayeayeron

I really don’t want to say this, but maybe he’s nearing his time. You’ve had him 14 months and unless you got him as a juvenile, he was most likely a year old when you brought him home. Bettas live on average between 2-4 years. My bettas definitely became more lethargic towards the end of their lives..I raise most of mine from juveniles and they lived about 3 1/2 years in my care. So, don’t assume you’ve done anything wrong. It’s just nature’s way..

20g H is also a hefty swim up to the top for him. Maybe something shallower would help make it easier for him to come up for air/food.

These are only my thoughts..but according to the information you’re giving, I’m not sure what else could be the issue. :oops:
I’ve thought about that too, but he was definitely looking young when I got him. I agree though, I’m not sure what else it could be.
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(when i got him vs a couple months ago)
Semi good update.

This morning I dug around and found the feeding stick from the R2 fish school I bought that year. I put it right in front of him and he DID eat his food. However, he seemed to be struggling to get himself off the bottom.

So he’s eating, but not coming up.
 

JuDom

I’ve thought about that too, but he was definitely looking young when I got him. I agree though, I’m not sure what else it could be.
You must be registered to see images

You must be registered to see images

(when i got him vs a couple months ago)
Semi good update.

This morning I dug around and found the feeding stick from the R2 fish school I bought that year. I put it right in front of him and he DID eat his food. However, he seemed to be struggling to get himself off the bottom.

So he’s eating, but not coming up.
Although he certainly has grown since you’ve had him, it doesn’t appear as though he was a juvenile at the time you brought him home. He is beautiful tho!
I’m so glad to hear he’s eating..definitely continue that method for him.
My only further suggestion would be trying to make it easier for him to come to the top of the tank for air..
Is the surface of the water calm in this tank? I know my bettas will avoid any part of the surface that has too much flow. This could be sending him to the bottom..
 

ayeayeron

Although he certainly has grown since you’ve had him, it doesn’t appear as though he was a juvenile at the time you brought him home. He is beautiful tho!
I’m so glad to hear he’s eating..definitely continue that method for him.
My only further suggestion would be trying to make it easier for him to come to the top of the tank for air..
Is the surface of the water calm in this tank? I know my bettas will avoid any part of the surface that has too much flow. This could be sending him to the bottom..
Happy to give a good update on him.

I think he was not getting proper nutrition before since he wasn’t able to come to the surface. But with the hand feeding, I’ve noticed an instant perk up. He will now swim up towards the feeding stick if i put it about halfway to the bottom, and the other day he was resting on his betta hammock at the surface, so he was able to get up there somehow. He is also showing much more interest in his environment, and is learning that he will be rewarded for exploring and coming up to the surface.

I’m sorry for not responding to your question, I thought I had. The water flow on his side is actually completely stagnant, as the sponge filter is on the other side of the tank (I did that on purpose for this reason) so that shouldn’t have been the issue. I wish I could get a tank for him that isn’t as tall, but unfortunately this is the smallest tank I have at the moment as I haven’t been able to work since September and don’t have the funds for a new tank atm :,) I’m very relieved though that he seems to be a lot stronger. Here’s to hopefully many more months with this silly guy :)
 

JuDom

Happy to give a good update on him.

I think he was not getting proper nutrition before since he wasn’t able to come to the surface. But with the hand feeding, I’ve noticed an instant perk up. He will now swim up towards the feeding stick if i put it about halfway to the bottom, and the other day he was resting on his betta hammock at the surface, so he was able to get up there somehow. He is also showing much more interest in his environment, and is learning that he will be rewarded for exploring and coming up to the surface.

I’m sorry for not responding to your question, I thought I had. The water flow on his side is actually completely stagnant, as the sponge filter is on the other side of the tank (I did that on purpose for this reason) so that shouldn’t have been the issue. I wish I could get a tank for him that isn’t as tall, but unfortunately this is the smallest tank I have at the moment as I haven’t been able to work since September and don’t have the funds for a new tank atm :,) I’m very relieved though that he seems to be a lot stronger. Here’s to hopefully many more months with this silly guy :)
He looks great! I am so happy to hear that he is improving. I’m sure he is enjoying the extra attention from you with the hand feeding as well.
Thanks for coming back to update. I wish you the best of luck with him going forward. :D
 

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