Betta — Sick or just Chillin' ?

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greahound

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Original poster
Aug 23, 2019
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I'm unsure because he's not really acting sick—he looks spectacular in my opinion, and he eats okay. He just stays right in the very top corner of his tank, behind the heater. Looking to see if I'm doing anything wrong before I just shrug it off and call him lazy.
My current guesses are: the smidge of a current from the filter is still too much for him (he has REALLY heavy fins it looks like), he doesn't like the light, the plants in his tank haven't grown enough yet to make him feel safe, he's bored, or... Again, he's just lazy. Thoughts?

1. Size of tank?
Six gallon bowfront.

2. a. Ammonia? 0 ppm
b. Nitrite? 0 ppm
c. Nitrate? ~10 ppm
d. pH, KH and GH? pH 6.0 - 6.5, KH 40, GH 180

3. Temperature?
~80 degrees F.

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)?
Freshwater.

5. How long the aquarium has been set up?
About five months.

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
One average-sized male betta, two nerite snails. All three were added to the tank four months ago. Before I added them, the tank took about a month to cycle fully.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?
All current inhabitants come from the 'first batch.'

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? Live plants; one sword, two anubias nana, one java fern, one mossball.
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Fine gravel.
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? Large fake wooden arch with two hides in the back and a few small rocks.

9. a. Filtration? Internal filter that came with the tank.
b. Heater? Yes, a small heater.

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? 8 am - 10 pm lights on. Lights off the rest of the night.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? n/a

11. a. Water change schedule? Every Friday.
b. Volume of water changed? Mmm about 1/3.
c. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? My siphon sucks up the gravel since it's very small, so I just stir the gravel up and then siphon as much of the debris out as I can.

12. Foods? Floating pellets, bloodworms, flakes ; I alternate foods to spice things up. He eats all of them but likes bloodworms the most.
How often are they fed? Once a day in the morning.

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Well, he just doesn't move much. I mean, I've heard bettas were lazy. I just want to tell him, hey! You have a whole tank, buddy! Because at this rate he looks like he'd fit right back in at Petco in one of the cups lol.
b. Appearance of poop? Looks normal to me.
c. Appearance of gills? They're black so I can't really tell, but he seems to be breathing normally.

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? Nope.
b. What meds were used? n/a

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.

20190823_161427.jpg

20190823_163254.jpg
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Cool setup!

Is this is a drastic change in the fish's behavior?

How is the ingredient list on the pellet and flake foods? You want the first three to not be grain or filler products. I'd feed more like 5x/week or less.

I'd do more like a 50% (or more) weekly water change given the small water volume. Is your tap water in the 6.0 pH range?
 

greahound

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Original poster
Aug 23, 2019
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Thank you!

Well, sort of, yeah. He used to have five ghost shrimp in his tank, and he would follow them around a lot (aka actually swim around his tank), but they died when I went on vacation due to their caretaker giving them algae wafers (which are for my pleco in my other tank, not my shrimp). They died from all the waste in the water, presumably, and after that he's just sat himself in the corner. Maybe he's just bored? I just don't know.

The ingredients are pretty good on the pellets (salmon, whole herring, whole shrimp, etc), but the flakes are sketchy. I think I'll just throw them out, honestly. They're super messy anyway. I'll feed him less, though feeding time is the only time I get to see him swim around haha

I can certainly do more water. My tap water is in the 6.0 pH range, yes. The readings on my general tap water are pH 6.5, KH 80, GH 180.
 

OrionGirl

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That looks like a rose tail. Those fins are very heavy and make swimming very difficult. Any flow at all will be hard to counteract. Rose tails display the exact behavior you are seeing, because they don't have the muscle to carry the fins for very long so will rest on leaves or at the intake of a filter. Many will take to 'self trimming' of fins. Some advise 'flare training', where you hold up a mirror for increasing longer times to get him to flare and use the muscles to build them up. If you do notice he is biting at them, be sure to keep the water conditions tip top to avoid a bacterial infection. Trimming won't kill him, but an infection might.
 

greahound

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Original poster
Aug 23, 2019
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I apologize for bringing this thread back to life, but the same fish never stopped acting like this, so I assumed it was because he was a rosetail. But recently this behavior has gotten worse, and now he doesn't move when something happens near his glass or even if he's touched, and he won't eat. He seems to drift to the bottom. All the parameters are the same as before, and he has multiple live plants because I added a few. He isn't showing stress stripes, his fins aren't tattered, his scales look fine, no signs of ich... But he just won't move. His gills look a little bit like they're heaving, so I added a bubbler and some prime just in case because that's all I could think of—a cycle crash or a lack of oxygen. He's still not moving. I'm afraid I'm going to lose him without even knowing what's wrong.

Edit: Figured it out. It's nitrate poisoning. My brother put a too much if a dosage of flourish in the tank. I'll do a large water change.
 
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bettacache

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Sep 28, 2019
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I apologize for bringing this thread back to life, but the same fish never stopped acting like this, so I assumed it was because he was a rosetail. But recently this behavior has gotten worse, and now he doesn't move when something happens near his glass or even if he's touched, and he won't eat. He seems to drift to the bottom. All the parameters are the same as before, and he has multiple live plants because I added a few. He isn't showing stress stripes, his fins aren't tattered, his scales look fine, no signs of ich... But he just won't move. His gills look a little bit like they're heaving, so I added a bubbler and some prime just in case because that's all I could think of—a cycle crash or a lack of oxygen. He's still not moving. I'm afraid I'm going to lose him without even knowing what's wrong.

Edit: Figured it out. It's nitrate poisoning. My brother put a too much if a dosage of flourish in the tank. I'll do a large water change.
Oh boy! How is he doing now? Any update?
 

greahound

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Original poster
Aug 23, 2019
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He passed away a few days ago. He recovered nicely from the spike and was swimming around and eating. But the original problem still stayed, where he would always hide. The problems started when his fins became one big limp feather duster. :( Water conditions were always perfect aside from the one spike... I think he just gave up eventually, unfortunately
 

greahound

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Original poster
Aug 23, 2019
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I'm sure he's in the big rice paddy in the sky now! He was an older fish, about 2 years and five months old I was told, so maybe that had something to do with it...not sure. Either way, I really do miss him :'(
 
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