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  1. Unhappy Betta acting sick?

    0 Not allowed!
    I have a 10 gallon planted cycled tank.

    Ammonium: 0
    NitrITE: 0
    NitrATE: 0
    PH: 7.5
    TEMP: 78

    3 otto, 5 nerite, 1 assassin snail, 2 RCS and 1 betta.

    Six months ago, my betta was in a 1 gallon tank that was not cycled and did not receive proper maintenance. He has lost most of his color and has since then recovered from his fin rot. Let's call Bruce a "rescue betta".

    He got transfered to this new tank as soon as it was cycled and ready for him. He did acted as if he was very happy. He swam and inspected very little corner and liked to come to the top front of the tank to say hi whenever I was around.
    Last week, things changed. I introduced 6 otos purchased from Petland. 3 died in the first two days and I only found 2 of the bodies. I deemed the deaths a result of transportation and stress of a new tank (as per what I've read about otos, this is fairly common).

    Since I introduced the otos, my betta has been acting sick. He hangs out at the very bottom of the tank and rarely comes up to say hi other than to eat. He barely moves anymore and seems limp. The otos, RCS and snails are very active and my tank gets a weekly 25% water change.

    Other facts: I dose water sprite for the RCS (minimal but since then the shrimp have become very active, are a very bright red and do not even hide from my betta so they must be feeling good), I condition the water before water changes of course and I have fert tabs at the bottom for my plants.

    Help! What's wrong? What can I do?

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    sorry about your betta. Unfortunate that you can't find the other dead oto as I would expect an ammonia spike due to the dead fish in the tank

    Bettas like at least 80 degrees. You might try to turn up the heat to see if that helps.
    Also - is it possible he's constipated? is his gut bulging at all? you might also try to feed him a cooked shelled pea (it will act as a laxative) in the even that's the problem . if not, the veggie would still be good for him.
    Good luck. i hope he perks up
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Are you sure your tank is cycled? The 0 nitrates would make me think maybe not.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    How planted is your tank? Unless your Otos brought a disease in with them, they shouldn't have affected your Betta. In fact, he'd probably be inquisitive and check them out, if anything.

    I have noticed that if you have plants in your Betta tank, and all of a sudden, they have a growth spurt and take up more real estate, your Betta can get stressed from not having the original swimming room he had before. This happened to mine, when my Frogbit got out of control in the 10gal.
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I just got the water tested. I believe the reason for which the nitrate is at 0 is because I have a lot of plants in the tank and a very low bioload for a 10 gallon tank. I have verified that the tank is cycled. My betta is now hiding in a crevice in my large log and won't come out. I am out of town for the next three days and I fear the worst.. I added some aquarium salt to the tank (about one and a half teaspoons) as per what I have read on a site that suggests that it may help whatever is ailing it. I have also turned up the heat to 80F. I will do a partial water change and hope for the best, considering the situation.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    What kind of filtration do you have going in there?
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Aquaclear 20.

    I just did a 30% water change then another 30% water change. The poor thing isn't looking good. It looks like it is gasping for air and I can see its gills. Maybe it was a fungal infection I couldn't tell it had due to his lack of color. Well, here's to hoping he will be well in three days when I get back.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinVA View Post
    What kind of filtration do you have going in there?

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Add a bubbler in there to see if it helps. Does he have enough open surface area to breach to gain oxygen? He's a labyrinth fish, so will occasionally take a breath at the surface. =/
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Bridgeport Connecticut

    Awards Showcase

    Your first one Tiari - Strider199 It would take me many months to catch up to how many real bettas you have :) - PhillipOrigami great job with that post - Jaster Hope power is restored ASAP! - C-Dub Because I was wrong, and you were right. Sorry. - bethyMT 
    Cancer sucks and a beer won't replace what you lost ...  but here is one anyway. :-D - 850R Couldn't give you rep so sending a cookie instead for your betta advice! - andreahp 


    0 Not allowed!
    I will jump in here with my two cents. It's quite possible that the reason you could not find the one Oto, is that the Betta ripped it apart. Not saying that he killed it, but after its death (or just on the verge of it) the Betta may likely view it as food. If the Oto was sick, he would have ingested contaminants. If it wasn't, its also possible he overfilled himself on the Oto. Many people do not realize, that over eating is a high ranking cause of illness and death in Betta, so this could be a contributing factor.

    Since you say he is sluggish, is he still eating? I would suggest preparing a pea for him, microwaving a frozen pea for fifteen seconds, peeling the skin off and breaking it up to feed to him. On the day you do this, do not feed him any other food. You can feed him normally the following day, and see if there is improvement.

    It is also possible, that during his original six months, any health impairments have remained. His initial excitement at the new tank and surroundings may have been temporary, and have faded away as health deterioration has gotten to him.

    Other things you can do, is simply to maintain good water quality, aerate the tank, and keep the lights low as much as possible. You can consider some kind of floating plant (even plastic) on one side of the tank to filter some of the light coming in. Also keep your flow switch on the AC 20 to the lowest setting, as Betta really prefer gentle filtration and not much surface agitation.
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Aquaclears have a relatively high filter flow, even on the lowest setting. It is likely that the flow is simply too much for the betta. They do not like a lot of current due to their fins dragging them down.

    I would get a prefilter sponge and put it on the intake, to slow the flow down. You can also shove a few sponges in the media basket to slow it down a bit more.

    I agree with bumping the temp up a couple degrees, as well.

    Constipation is also a possibility, so the pea idea is a good one. Boil it, de-shell it, and dice it up. A good feeding schedule for a betta is as follows:

    Monday: betta pellets
    Tuesday: betta pellets
    Wednesday: betta pellets
    Thursday: betta pellets
    Friday: bloodworm
    Saturday: pea
    Sunday: fast
    "The Dumpster Tank" 26g flat back hex - Bolivian rams, Checker barbs, Harlequin and porkchop rasbora, neon tetra, SAE, otocinclus

    "Mini Mbuna" 20g long - 1 M. pulpican, 1 M. joanjohnsonae

    "Electric Blue Acara Tank" 75g - Giant danio, tiger barb, Bristlenose pleco

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