Help What's wrong with Jaws?

sarpringle

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I've noticed that my son's beta hasn't been as active as he typically has been. He hangs out on the ground or in his house. He's not swimming around or eating well.

I've read about all the things that could be wrong - from swim bladder disorder to velvet. I'm not exactly sure what's going on and I want to do what's best for him.

The top picture is of when we got him back in August and the bottom is today. He's in a 2.5-gallon tank with a filter (recently changed) and a heater.

Can you help me, please?

I really appreciate it.
 

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sarpringle

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Bloodfeather said:
Oh dear... that is a very, very ill fish.

Is the tank cycled? What are the parameters?

Oh no - that makes my heart so sad.

No, sadly, I don't. But I will from now on. What can I do?

Can I save him?
 

Bloodfeather

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sarpringle said:
Oh no - that makes my heart so sad.

No, sadly, I don't. But I will from now on. What can I do?

Can I save him?
First, I'd read up on the nitrogen cycle. That is very important!

I'd say start with a 50% water change. You use water conditioner, right?

Also, please try to at least get some testing strips so we can see your water parameters.

Since your tank presumably isn't cycled, it may be ammonia poisoning.

Also, please fill this out so I can better help you! Fish Emergency Template | Freshwater Fish Disease 376562
 

Algonquin

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sarpringle said:
a filter (recently changed)
Please elaborate on this... what kind of filter is on the tank? What did you change?

The majority of the beneficial bacteria that keeps your tank cycled & balanced lives in the filter media (in small tanks like yours, the media is usually a cartridge). Every time you change the cartridge (as per the manufacturers recommendation) you toss out all that good bacteria. They don't tell you that :mad:

If you did change the cartridge... any chance you still have it? If you do, cut the floss off of it and put it back into the filter box. If you don't have it, you are starting fresh so to speak. It can take 4 to 6 weeks for that bacteria to re-establish, so you'll need to do regular, large water changes to keep your fish safe while the tank cycles.

Hope that helps a little.
 
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sarpringle

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Bloodfeather said:
First, I'd read up on the nitrogen cycle. That is very important!

I'd say start with a 50% water change. You use water conditioner, right?

Also, please try to at least get some testing strips so we can see your water parameters.

Since your tank presumably isn't cycled, it may be ammonia poisoning.

Also, please fill this out so I can better help you! Fish Emergency Template | Freshwater Fish Disease 376562

I will read up on the nitrogen cycle and do half a water change.

I do use water conditioner. I will pick up some testing strips today.

Copy the template starting below the dotted line, and stop at the top of the line at the bottom of this template.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 2.5 gallon
How long has the tank been running? 9 months
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What is the water temperature? 78
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) one betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? every 3-4 weeks
How much of the water do you change? all
What do you use to treat your water? water conditioner
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? no
What do you use to test the water? I don't - but will get test strips.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? when he was feeling good - 2x per day
How much do you feed your fish? 3-4 pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Top Fin Betta Bites
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? no

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 9 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 1 maybe 2 weeks ago (could be more but I thought I was just seeing him when he was resting)
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? lethargic, won't eat
Have you started any treatment for the illness? no
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? no
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? yes - coloring changed

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) I noticed maybe last week that Jaws stopped being excited about eating. He's also been not as active. We changed out the filters and did a full clean on the tank with no improvements.
 

redmare

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if this started since you changed the filter, it may well be related to that. the filter is the main source of your beneficial bacteria that convert toxic ammonia into relatively harmless nitrate, and changing the filter gets rid of all that. get a test kit and seachem prime- it's a water conditioner that temporarily neutralizes ammonia and nitrite and helps get through spikes.
 

Bloodfeather

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sarpringle said:
I will read up on the nitrogen cycle and do half a water change.

I do use water conditioner. I will pick up some testing strips today.

Copy the template starting below the dotted line, and stop at the top of the line at the bottom of this template.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 2.5 gallon
How long has the tank been running? 9 months
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What is the water temperature? 78
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) one betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? every 3-4 weeks
How much of the water do you change? all
What do you use to treat your water? water conditioner
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? no
What do you use to test the water? I don't - but will get test strips.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? when he was feeling good - 2x per day
How much do you feed your fish? 3-4 pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Top Fin Betta Bites
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? no

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 9 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 1 maybe 2 weeks ago (could be more but I thought I was just seeing him when he was resting)
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? lethargic, won't eat
Have you started any treatment for the illness? no
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? no
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? yes - coloring changed

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) I noticed maybe last week that Jaws stopped being excited about eating. He's also been not as active. We changed out the filters and did a full clean on the tank with no improvements.
Ooooh... full cleans and filter changes aren't good. That is probably what hurt him. You removed all the BB-
Again, I'd start with a WC.
 
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sarpringle

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Algonquin said:
Please elaborate on this... what kind of filter is on the tank? What did you change?

The majority of the beneficial bacteria that keeps your tank cycled & balanced lives in the filter media (in small tanks like yours, the media is usually a cartridge). Every time you change the cartridge (as per the manufacturers recommendation) you toss out all that good bacteria. They don't tell you that :mad:

If you did change the cartridge... any chance you still have it? If you do, cut the floss off of it and put it back into the filter box. If you don't have it, you are starting fresh so to speak. It can take 4 to 6 weeks for that bacteria to re-establish, so you'll need to do regular, large water changes to keep your fish safe while the tank cycles.

Hope that helps a little.
Bummer - we tossed the cartridge.

So instead of a 50% water change, you suggest full water change?



Should I test the water as it is prior to that?

Also is there a particular test strip I should get?

redmare said:
if this started since you changed the filter, it may well be related to that. the filter is the main source of your beneficial bacteria that convert toxic ammonia into relatively harmless nitrate, and changing the filter gets rid of all that. get a test kit and seachem prime- it's a water conditioner that temporarily neutralizes ammonia and nitrite and helps get through spikes.

Dang - and I thought I was being a responsible fish owner. So much to learn.

I will pick up that conditioner. Is the test kit something like: API® Freshwater Aquarium Master Test Kit?
 

Algonquin

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When you do a 'full water change', are you removing him from the tank? That's really not recommended.

Doing weekly partial water changes is much better all around.

In a 2.5 gallon tank, changes every 3 to 4 weeks is definitely not enough. :(
 

redmare

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sarpringle said:
Dang - and I thought I was being a responsible fish owner. So much to learn.

I will pick up that conditioner. Is the test kit something like: API® Freshwater Aquarium Master Test Kit?
wow this thread is going so fast there's hardly time to reply! first of all, don't beat yourself up. we all make mistakes the first time around, and you're here now and willing to learn :) my first betta lived in a 1/4 gallon, unheated, unfiltered box that i changed with distilled water!
 

Bloodfeather

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sarpringle said:
Bummer - we tossed the cartridge.

So instead of a 50% water change, you suggest full water change?



Should I test the water as it is prior to that?

Also is there a particular test strip I should get?




Dang - and I thought I was being a responsible fish owner. So much to learn.

I will pick up that conditioner. Is the test kit something like: API® Freshwater Aquarium Master Test Kit?
No, no- DON'T do full water changes. Never, really.
 

Algonquin

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redmare said:
first of all, don't beat yourself up. we all make mistakes the first time around, and you're here now and willing to learn :)

Agreed. It's unfortunate that most stores that sell fish & tanks don't tell beginners all the things they need to know to be successful.
The good news, Sarpringle, is that you are seeking help and information, and Fishlore is a great resource! Lots of excellent info and helpful people here for you! :)
sorry, this post isn't working well, i'm quoting myself with something i haven't said yet lol
 
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sarpringle

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redmare said:
wow this thread is going so fast there's hardly time to reply! first of all, don't beat yourself up. we all make mistakes the first time around, and you're here now and willing to learn :) my first betta lived in a 1/4 gallon, unheated, unfiltered box that i changed with distilled water!

Know better. Do better. I had a few betta's in college and that was how they lived as well - in their own tanks. I thought I was doing better.

Thank you for your empathy.

Algonquin said:
When you do a 'full water change', are you removing him from the tank? That's really not recommended.

Doing weekly partial water changes is much better all around.

In a 2.5 gallon tank, changes every 3 to 4 weeks is definitely not enough. :(

Good to know. I will be much more proactive.

Bloodfeather said:
No, no- DON'T do full water changes. Never, really.
Roger that.
 

Algonquin

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Any chance you know anyone that has an established tank? You could get a bit of media from them and add it to your filter.

Can you post a pic of the filter (or describe it)? Since you are using new media anyway, now's a good time to put in better stuff :) Coarse sponge and bio-rings are great, they last forever (which is what you want) and can be fit in pretty much any filter box :)
 

redmare

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getting a bottle of bacteria, while not perfect, can help speed things along as well. i've heard good reviews about tetra safe start. and in the future, less cleaning is more! never clean your filter pads. if they are getting really nasty, swish them in a bucket of old tank water, maybe that you just took out from your water change, to get some of the gunk out. don't scrub your gravel or decorations, don't disinfect your glass (or anything in your tank, really!) cleaning should look like siphoning water, poop, and debris, perhaps scraping algae, trimming plants occasionally if you have any.... that's about it. also, if you don't have any live plants, you should consider it! they are good for all sorts of things and bettas love them. java moss and java fern are stupid easy to grow- therye as much work as a silk plant
 

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Hmm...maybe do water changes a bit more often? (Sorry, I know it's not helpful.) Try doing water changes every 1-2 weeks instead.
 

redmare

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by the way sarpringle, i am now incredibly invested in Jaws' well being so i expect regular updates!! let us know your progress and we are all here to help you out every step of the way :)
 

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