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Old 10-22-2017, 11:12 PM   #1
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I've only had this betta 4 hours already a problem!

I've been looking forward to getting a betta for a while now. I cycled a 5 gallon aquarium and today went to get the betta for it. I found a blue crowntail that appeared to be in very good shape...no fin damage, no spots or skin issues, perked right up when I turned the little cup on the shelf. He looked great! I introduced him to his new home as gradually as I could, taking a little bit of water out of the cup, adding a little bit of water from the aquarium. Unfortunately I'm a nurse and got called in to work for an emergency so the process got cut a bit short and I put him in his new tank shortly before I left (I probably should have waited but thought we were okay).

I was at work about 3 hours then came home and checked on him, and found him floating on his side at the top of the tank. He's still quite feisty and if I touch the lid of the tank he tries to right himself and swim around but then appears to tire and ends up back on his side.

It definitely looks like swim bladder and from the web searches I've been doing appears to be a relatively common issue with betta...just worried I've done something that triggered this without realizing it. From what I'm reading the best thing to do is fast him for a few days and it will potentially resolve on its own. Does this sound like the best course of action? Any idea if anything specific to the move may have caused this (stress, etc)? Will take any advice. Just so frustrated I was so excited to get this guy and just hours later I've got an issue.

Stats:
5 gallon tank
Heated to 78
Filtration is unplugged for now because it seemed too strong

pH 7.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate <5 (maybe 2.5 or so...they were very high at the end of the fishless cycle but I did a big water change before adding the fish)

Tap water treated with API stress coat/dechlorinator

4 or 5 live plants, moss balls
Betta is the only resident
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:57 PM   #2
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Tank sounds good, might raise the temp a little bit to help boost the immune system temporarily and clear this. The odds are he already had this problem and getting added to a new tank is always a little stressful no matter how it's done so it probably just stressed him. Definitely would fast him for a few days and then feed him raw but rinsed and cooled peas to help further. Also, what kind of filter do you run? And maybe look into getting a small piece of driftwood to naturally lower your pH as it's a little high.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:23 AM   #3
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The high pH is something I've struggled with...it's just our water here and no matter what I do that's right where it is. I'll try the driftwood (soak it for a few weeks first, right?). He was perfectly upright when I first put him in the tank and he looked good...hoping this is just stress and he'll chill out after a couple of days. The heater I have in there is one of those that automatically sets to 78 (not adjustable) but I have an adjustable that I keep for just such emergencies. I'll warm him up a bit. Great idea.

The filter is one that came with the tank...it's a Marineland 5G Portrait tank. It's built into the back of the tank and uses a small charcoal cartridge. I read in the reviews that it was a bit strong for the betta but it didn't seem all that bad until I actually saw how delicate the betta fins are. I saw some ideas on how to modify the system so it isn't so intense. Will probably give that a try before I fire it back up.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:27 AM   #4
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I agree that your Betta was likely sick when you bought him. Might check on the stores return policy. No sense being stuck with a diseased fish.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:30 AM   #5
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Yeah soak for a few weeks, since it'd be a small piece for the tank size shouldn't take very long and using hotter water can speed that up. I would definitely use the adjustable heater in place of the preset because IMO preset are terrible. With the temperature cooling down and having the house windows open more the tanks cool down and then those heaters cant keep up and the temps drop so I gave up with those and I only use adjustable ones now. But its your choice of course With the outflow you might be able to stuff sponge in there like for replacement media for bigger filters. I just cut some up to the right size and with a tank filter like that it'd make a very slow output. And yeah it sounds like stress so hopefully it clears up!
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:09 AM   #6
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I'll give it a couple of days and see how he does. He really looked very healthy when I bought him...still holding out hope this will pass.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:12 AM   #7
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I'll move the other heater in there. I hadn't had an issue with the preset ones before and I find with the adjustables I spend a lot of time worrying that I'm going to cook the fish. But I never realized that they maybe weren't as effective.

I'll look for some driftwood for the tank...thanks!
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:38 AM   #8
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Also the fish are weak after sitting in 6-8 ounces of water and not getting exercise.

I have used cooked soft peas - the inside of the round pea for the possible constipation.

Clean water which it sounds like you have.

If you have some fake or real plants to leave floating or a fake Betta log, so the fish can be near the top and still have a place to lounge.

Yes, likely already in a compromised situation, and the change was possibly exacerbated by the stress in different water conditions maybe what is similar to a shock of being in clean water /new tank after being acclimated to dirty water.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:54 AM   #9
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I just peeked and he seems somewhat more upright this morning. I do have one of those fake floating betta logs but I hadn't put it in the tank because I was worried about how much room it took up, then last night I was scared to put it in there when I couldn't keep an eye on him to make sure it wasn't going to just crush him. I may give it a shot this morning. I also have one of those betta hammock fake leaves with the suction cups...it looked too small to be good for anything when I got it in the mail, but I'm kind of seeing now where it could work. I'll experiment a bit today and see what he prefers. I hadn't even thought about how decompensated they'd get sitting in those little cups. Need some fishy physical therapy!
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:07 PM   #10
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A neighbor I had would move his filter up to maximum a couple times a week for a workout session to give his fish some muscle building time. This was not a Betta from the Pet Store, it was from a breeder so it was in good condition from the start.

He had a 5G tank but a larger capacity Aqua Clear adjustable flow filter. The fish wouldn't hide or anything but did actually swim in the flow. When it looked like the Betta was tired he would turn it back down to low.

Hope yours continues to feel better.
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