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Old 05-23-2009, 12:25 PM
 
267 posts, read 1,176,617 times
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Please help me out here. I am a little worried about my Betta. I've just had Pepper (that's his name) for about a week. This morning he is refusing to eat. Just spits it out. He seems fine, but what do I know, this being my first fish. He looks like he is chasing down stuff in the water and eating. Or is this something he does when sick? Maybe he doesn't like the pellets? But even yesterday he ate like a pig ! He is swimming abt as usual i feel.

Also, he lives in a 1 gal jar, and I have been changing abt 40% of the water each day so far, and getting some of his poop (i think) out with a baster. I was gonna clean and change all the water out on Monday. But I think that I should get a small aquarium. I think the water will stay cleaner longer. Am I right? Even with my water changes, I don't really get all the yucky stuff settled at the bottom, so what's the point?

And then there is the issue of water temperature. It stay at abt 72F, and I have been wrapping a scarf around his jar at night. When I change his water, and I've sat it next to the jar to match the temp, and it 'feels' the same, once I add it the temp in the jar raises by 3-4 degrees. That's too much change, isn't it? or no? I wonder if I've been stressing him like this each day. But I will buy a 2nd thermometer today so i can match the temp before adding.

Still, I think 72F is on the lower end of what Betta's like. The store folks say he has lived in that temp so far and will be ok. But I want him to be more than just 'ok'. I'm in love with the li'l guy . The first time I put him in his 1gal jar (from the cup) he was sooooooo happy. You should've seen him swim about. Also, I had put 79F water, and acclimatized him before transferring and I think he liked that too. Also I put warmer water the first couple of water changes, and he loved it. That's what I felt anyway. He just swam abt happily. Though I learned from the folks on my other post that varying temps like this is bad for him. Also, even the 3-4 degrees change I have been doing unitentionally, he swims about more for a while after, and I don't know if this is cause he likes the warmth or if he stressed and I can't tell. So this is another reason I am considering a aquarium, so I can get a heater and keep the temps even.

Appreciate your thought, advise and help. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:34 PM
 
Location: SW France
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Just off the cuff, as I know little about these, except my daughter did have one, but don't they need a really small volume of water- they lived in puddles in the wild.

My daughter once told me that a large tank of water freaks them out.

A goldfish has a stomach the same size as it's eye so I'd imagine a Betta eats hardly anything at a time.

Apologies if I've just typed a load of rubbish, but that's what I recall.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:54 AM
 
Location: In the Redwoods
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What kind of pellets are you feeding him? Usually fish will "spit" their food if it's too big, or something they don't particularly like. My betta loved dried brine shrimp, so you might try that instead... but they will always spit a little, come to think of it! I probably shouldn't give advice on anything else, since I have a tendency to kill fish - whoops.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:02 AM
 
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Thanks Jezer and Gizmo. Well, Pepper got better over the last few days and did happily eat his pellets. Then yesterday I changed his water out completely and he is acting all weird again. the water etc is all ok. i think the couple of seconds in the net during transfer did it. maybe he got all freaked out. are they that sensitive? Also, i noted his fins are clamped to his side and also he hasn't pooped in a couple of days and might be constipated? Sheesh, fish are really hard to keep!!!
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:29 AM
 
Location: In the Redwoods
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Yes, fish are difficult to keep, which is why I finally gave up on them. But I do know you aren't supposed to do a 100% water change, since it can really stress out the fish & mess up your balance... just do a 3/4 change next time, while leaving him in the tank (pour the water gently). Hope that helps!

P.S. I saw a picture of Pepper on another thread, and he is beautiful! My Betta was a purple one named RuPaul, but I lost him to dropsy after about 4-5 months.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Whitewater, Colorado
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Hello there, BonVivant! It's nice to see other fishkeepers on here.. Well, I have put that on hold for myself for the past couple years, but I'll eventually return to it.

Sounds like Pepper is stressed out! And constipated! Do you ration his food or feed him a lot until he stops eating? Most bettas don't know when to stop, and then that can cause bad constipation (it's easy for them to get that way anyway). Sometimes, if its extreme, it can kill them. If I were you, I would avoid feeding him anything for a couple of days (contradictory to popular belief- fish can go a few days without food- it's actually better for them). Also, I would change from pellets to flakes, as it's easier for them to get ahold of.. and while you're at the pet store, get some brine shrimp or tubifex worms.. This is a good treat for them once in a while, and mine absolutely LOVED it!

Do you notice if he is scratching against objects or the gravel in the jar? Does he have any white spots (as if he were sprinkled with salt)? Any greyish areas on him? This is also a sign of disease, but it's easy to get rid of if discovered soon enough.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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Thanks Firebug. No, he's not scratching against anything. He just seems to be taking it slow, being a bit of a lazy bum, if you will. He has been resting half the time at the bottom, and the other half by the top leaning his head on his fave leaf. (yes, it does seem like he has a fave leaf, lol!). There does seem to be a grayish spot by his gills, which I have onderd abt from day 1 as it was there when I got Pepper. but that was just 2 wks ago and he could have been ill then too. Or maybe it's nothing. I'll try to get a macro shot and post it tomorrow. No sprinkled salt look though. But the most noticeable thing is that he keeps his fins clamped together, not fanned out like couple days ago when he was actively swimming about.
Someone told me that I changed his water too much and too soon and ruined the good bacteria. I was changing a 1/3rd each day, and did a full change 2 days ago (a wk from first change). I'm told I should do about 1/3rd a week only, and a full change abt every 3 months. All this is confusing, since when I google I see that there is pretty much every variation possible offered as advise to someone. And I'm told this is an easy fish! Lol! Sigh...
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Whitewater, Colorado
156 posts, read 270,564 times
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No problem! Fish-care is quite extensive- no matter what the fish is!

I'm not too worried about the greyish spots by his gills, because that could be normal, but if it wasn't there before, then it's possible that he has a fungus growing by the gills (called gill disease, if I remember correctly). No problem with that though because it can be cured with proper medication. (The care for fish probably just got more extensive for ya, huh?)

Or it could be all very easy- just stressed out! You do want to perform the water changes, but not too much at one time, and not a whole lot.. For the first couple of weeks I would be very light on water changes because if it's a new jar (never had fish in it or water), then it needs to develop and go through what's called a "cycle", otherwise if you empty all of the water out, then all the good bacteria goes down the drain, and you'll have to establish it all over again. Never change it all at once for this very reason. Gotta have the good army of bacteria to ward off the bad afterall! Oh yeah, and are you putting a dechlorinator in the new water when you change it? If not, then that could be another reason why he's stressed. Fish can't handle the chlorine in our water.

And this is why keeping fish can get addicting..

Last edited by Firebug86; 05-29-2009 at 05:12 PM.. Reason: Forgot something!
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: New Kensington (Parnassus) ,Pa
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Make sure the water is dechlorinated and the same temp as the water you are replacing. Only change 25% of the water at a time, as not to shock the fish and I would not change it more than once a week.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:06 AM
 
267 posts, read 1,176,617 times
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Firebug, Thanks again. That was useful to know. I didn't know about jars going thru a "cycle", and I never thought about good bacteria either. And I am using betta water conditioner. Also, I think the spots on his gills are just part of his featiures/color. They have been exactly the same since I got him.

Aveojohn, Thank you as well for the tip. Do you have a suggestion as to when I should do a complete water change? Or just the 25% a week for always?

Btw, I am still considering a 10gal aquarium. Any thoughts?
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