View Full Version : My betta is sick, and I'm not sure what it is?

01-30-2011, 03:45 PM
I've only had my betta for a few days, and he is the first fish that I have ever had, so I'm not savvy to all things fish yet.

He is in a 10 gallon, heated, filtered tank. I conditioned the water with a dechlorinater, or whatever it is called, that takes the chlorine out of the water and makes it safe for little fishies. I did that before I put him in the water, and I let him adjust to the temperature before dropping him in there. All of the rocks and decorations were rinsed before being put in there as well. He also has an aerator, one that just lets out a few bubbles at a time.

Okay, now for the possibilities of what I could have done wrong.

I got the little guy from Wal-Mart, and I know that they don't feed their fish the way they are supposed to, so as soon as I got him, I dropped a few pellets of food into the inhumanely small cup they were keeping him in. I didn't know they were only supposed to be fed 2-3 pellets, and I fed him about 5. And he ate them all.

The first night that I had him, I didn't have the heater in the tank, because the tank was staying at a steady 78 degrees. That night, it got really cold, and his tank dropped to 64. (I felt TERRIBLE!)

What I think might be wrong:

It looks like his little stomach is a little bloated. Not like SBD...just a little bit. It has turned slightly white, so I'm thinking that I overfed him (obviously) and he has got constipated. I didn't feed him yesterday, and I don't plan on feeding him today. I have epsom salt, and I plan on doing a treatment with that after I feed him a green pea.

He doesn't act like anything is terribly wrong with him. He is swimming around right now pretty well. He isn't gasping for breath or floating to the top. He seems to just be sitting on the bottom on the rocks an aweful lot though. It's like he just doesn't feel good. I was thinking that it might be velvet (dear god, I hope not), but when I shined a flashlight on him, it doesn't really look like he has any gold on him. He keeps swimming to the top looking for food, so he still has a good appetite, and he has been spreading his fins and everything.

Does it sound like he is just constipated?

01-30-2011, 04:45 PM
Make sure you cycled the tank if it's white spots it's ich it may have been too fast of a temp change too fast it could not be your fault at all just the terrible conditions people keep fish in

Good Luck!

Goes to 11!
01-30-2011, 05:26 PM
It's sounds as though you did not cycle your tank, Is this correct?

If not, Please read this (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/ebook.html) and google 'aquarium nitrogen cycle' or 'fishless cycling'.
If you don't have a test kit [Liquid beats strips hands down IMO] you will need one sooner rather than later. Please post your numbers.

The cold night probably didn't improve his mood any.

I'm not sure what's wrong with him, It's entirely possible He may just be sulking.

He will not improve in the sub optimal water conditions of a cycling tank though which is why you need the test kit to keep a close eye on the tank parameters and do the required WC.

Keep us posted.

01-30-2011, 05:39 PM
It isn't ich. My parents used to have fish, and I have seen fish with ich before. He doesn't have white spots at all. I read that if they get constipated and their bellies swell, it makes their bellies turn white.

I let the filter cycle for the required time...but I didn't know about the testing for nitrogen and stuff. I don't have a kit right now...but I'm going to get one! I'll post the numbers as soon as I can.

He seems to be in a better mood, though...he's a lot more active. I'll keep updating....

01-30-2011, 07:56 PM
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrite: 0
Hardness: 75
Alkalinity: 180
pH: 7.8

Those are the readings that I got. Is it a bad thing that the water is that hard? It says that ideal is 50-150, so I guess that is not as high as it sounded at first.

Seems like the pH is a little too high...I'll have to get a pH decreaser to help with that.

The nitrates and nitrites are good though, so it isn't anything like that, as is the level of ammonia.

01-30-2011, 10:31 PM
There may not be anything seriously wrong with him, besides the possible constipation. Bettas often sit still for much of the day. Mine are terribly lazy.

01-30-2011, 11:10 PM
sounds like classic constipation to me. I've had it with 2 of my bettas. Depending on how severe it is, it can be harmless or fatal. I had one betta die from constipation and I have had another be fine after 4 days of fasting and a mashed up green pea.

Just do not feed him any more pellets for at least 2 or 3 days, then take the skin off a green pea smash it up and feed it to him. Bettas do not need to eat everyday, mine picks at all sorts of stuff but then again I have live plants and such.

I digress, just fast him for a couple days, then do the pea. I have never tried to Epson salt so i cannot comment on that technique, good luck.

01-31-2011, 03:16 PM
I did the whole green pea treatment. He is swimming around a lot now, but his belly is still swelled. I don't know if he has pooped or not, considering I was at work all day. I haven't fed him pellets in 2 days. I guess I'll fast him today and feed him another pea tomorrow...see how that helps him.

01-31-2011, 08:42 PM



I posted some pics, one is of his tank, and the other two are of him. The flash was on on the camera so that if he has velvet, it would be captured by the picture. You can see that his stomach is a little white...

01-31-2011, 08:48 PM
He might just be sulking as others have said. They lounge around a lot, then get busy for a little bit, then they sulk and rest some more. They are very interesting fish.

01-31-2011, 08:50 PM
That's what others have said. Can you take a look at the pictures and make sure that he doesn't have velvet? I don't know what I'm looking for...and I'm terrified that he is really bad sick. I don't want to leave him untreated...

01-31-2011, 09:25 PM
I have one blue male who spends at least two-thirds of his time sleeping, and about 0.5% of his awake time freaking out. And I have a female betta who is pretty much in constant motion. It depends on the individual betta. Some are the finny equivalent of couch potatoes, and some act like they're full of caffeine all the time.

lotus flower
01-31-2011, 09:47 PM
His tummy does look swollen a bit to me. Then again, I haven't had a male in awhile...


01-31-2011, 10:08 PM
His belly looks swollen because of how the picture was taken with the fish swimming and taking a turn. I wouldnt worry at all after looking at the pictures, he looks ok. Just keep a eye on him and keep water conditions good and the filter running good...

01-31-2011, 11:11 PM
That makes me feel a lot better! He was an active little fish when I first got him, and the laying at the bottom of the tank worried me. He seems a lot better now...maybe he was just stressed out. Thanks for all your help, guys!

01-31-2011, 11:13 PM
^_^ You're welcome. And welcome to the world of the little bundles of fins, curiousity, insanity, and attitude that are Betta splendens

01-31-2011, 11:13 PM
Stress will definately make them sulk for a while. I remember worrying like you when I was a kid. But remember, they are pretty durable!

02-07-2011, 02:49 PM
They are little durable critters! I love my little fishy and I'm glad he is okay now. :)