View Full Version : Unhealthy betta despite all beginner's care

12-09-2006, 08:27 AM
I need help with my betta. This is my first fish and although I thought I read enough about this easy-to-care-for fish... here I am wondering what's wrong with him...

1. He won't eat, it's been 2 weeks now. He has no interest but also he'd spit it back out the occasional 1-2 bites of food. All food is accounted for and cleaned asap (asap could be 1hr-1day...)

2. He looks sad, darker coloring, fins ragged, like he's just out of a big fight. No interest in our activity here either, like he used to. He looks jsut sick, sad and tired...

3. Sits (literally) on the bottom a lot, also floats and grasps for air motionless at the surface during the day too.

Other details:
1. Bought him 1 1/2 month ago, he was 'sad' for about a week but tank was still cycling.
2. Refused the pellets store recommended so I went and got him flakes with bloodworms, liked them until 2 weeks ago.
3. Temp is 68-74F
4. I change 1/2 water twice a week, conditioner added for cloramines.
5. He's in 1gl tank with no plant, UG filter.
6. I'm contemplating a cleaner tank-mate but not sure what, I really cannot get a much bigger community tank right now.

I am so sorry for this betta, he was so happy a few weeks ago and now I'm afraid I'm going to loose him if he continues this hunger strike.

Please help me if you have any idea of what I might do wrong, i would really appreciate it, both of us actually!...

12-09-2006, 08:44 AM
What do your water parameters look like?
It sounds like you are doing everything right but maybe your tap water has high nitrates or something. Sometimes the UGFs can cause problems. Your fish may be sick also. Gasping can sometimes be a sign of infection or poor water quality.

12-09-2006, 08:59 AM
Thanks for the answer. I had never tested the water, should I? Or should I get a different filter?! What's good for a small tank, I could go up to 3-5gl the most.

12-09-2006, 09:25 AM
Check the water before you buy anything more. The two main test you should make sure you get are ammonia and nitrite. If you can, get the liquid test rather than the strips. These are more accurate.

Lady Hobbs
12-12-2006, 01:46 PM
Are you giving him fresh water.....declorinated, of course? You need to do water changes often as he's in a small tank which has less consentration so any ammonia at all is lethal.

12-12-2006, 09:35 PM
So I got myself a multi-test and here's the values (1st for fish tank / 2nd for the water I change with, tap treated).
Nitrates: 20-40 / 20
Nitrites: 0 / 0
Hardness: 120-250 / 250 (ouch, I know)
Alkalinity: >300 / >300 (way off the scale)
pH: >8.4 / 8.0

I was gonna go get a pH reducer but I fell bummer, this is my tap... Plus I am not sure this is the cause.

Yesterday I saw some 'dandruff' on my betta's back, today it's gone so I assume it's not ich then, right?!

I got him some frozen larvae, seems to get his interest but, as usual, it's all accounted for at the bottom of the tank.

Thanks again all!!!