Betta Trouble.

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Oct 25, 2005
1. What type of fish is afflicted? In addition, please describe what is wrong with the fish to the best of your ability (i.e. cotton like growth, bloated, etc.).
My fish is a blue betta fish, and it appeared earlier that he had some sort of balled up mass hanging from underneath the front part of his body. He also is starting to act funny -- like hanging out toward the bottom of the tank and rest in the plants I have, sometimes near the top of the tank.

2. What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.
I do not have exact values, but I did pre-treat the water, with chlor-out and a pH modifier which automatically alters the pH to 7.0.

3. How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?
The tank is a 1.5 gallon tank, and has been set up now for half a week.

4. What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known.
I am not using a filtrater, but I do have a small scavenger racing about the tank.

5. How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?
There are two fish in the tank -- an otinoculus catfish (spelling?) (about an inch) and a male betta (maybe about 2 inches or less).

6. When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?
It's been the first week. However, I did a partial water change today, getting rid of most the top layer of water and excess food and putting in cleanly treated water.

7. How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?
I received the betta from a petstore, but as a gift. I've had him for half a week.

8. Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
I just added a new fish yesterday, and he didn't take well to the little guy. He chases him around sometimes.

9. What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?
I've been feeding him BettaMin each day, and tried out some Bloodworms. He seems to hate the flakes in the BettaMin, but loves the pieces of brine shrimp in the mixture.
how big was the balled up mass? It could have just been waste...

It sounds like you are feeding him a nice variety.

Bettas love to rest in plants and they have an organ that allows them to breathe air, which is why he goes to the top of the tank.

Is the mass still there? What did it look like?
As I replied in your other thread, the betta and oto do not have a good environment in this 1.5 gallon bowl. Otos need to be in groups and a betta can be very territorial in such a small space. When the fish are stressed due to environment, sickness often results.

I would stop using the pH product. In such a small bowl it can be too harsh. It is an acidic product. The pH usually rebounds after using this type of product and that is more stressful on the fish than the higher pH would be. Fish can adapt to a wide variety of pH if properly acclimated. They don't have to have a "perfect" pH of 7.

The balled-up mass hanging from his body may have been waste as Lori says. When bettas are constipated they often have a string or ball of waste sticking to them. I feed my bettas pea pieces once a week. Boil frozen peas for about 4 minutes I don't bring the water to a boil first - I just fill a glass measuring cup with water, add frozen peas, and microwave for 4 to 4 1/2 minutes. Take the skin off the pea, break the pea into tiny pieces, about the same size as his food, and feed him 3-4 pieces. One day a week - the day after my bettas get peas - I don't feed them anything. They fast for a day.

Since you got the betta as a gift, you may not have been prepared to set up a proper tank for him. You may have some trouble with this arrangement - it's not big enough, and bettas need heat and filtration like any other fish. One oto will not be happy alone, and the betta will probably continue to torment him. Put the betta in a 10 gallon tank with 4 otos. Or you can return the oto, and give the betta at least a 3 gallon tank, and 5 to 10 gallons will be better. Then you'll see how active and happy the betta can be!
saiyrus said:
3. How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?The tank is a 1.5 gallon tank, and has been set up now for half a week.

Oh, you said it was a tank...this is a bowl?
Well, the blue one is in a 1.5 gal tank, and the red one is in a 1 gal bowl.

Thank you guys. Unforntunately, I don't have the money for a larger tank. Us. poor college students. But as soon as Thanksgiving rolls around (I pray the fish will be living still -.-; ) I'll retrieve a 10 gal tank for one of them. Thanks for the advice ^.^
Well, 1 gallon or 1.5 gallon - I still consider both a "bowl" :wink:

Here's what you can do: Get a 10 gallon tank for the one betta and 4 otos. Add the otos that you have and get a few more to make a nice group. You can get a small filter and a 50 watt heater for the 10 gallon fairly cheap.

Put the other betta in the 1.5 gallon tank. Use this small heater for the 1.5 gallon:
Be very careful not to place this tank and heater under a light. The temperature will get way too high. Do a small water change, about 6-8 cups, every other day.

Or, you could divide the 10 gallon for both bettas. Your lfs will have 10 gallon divider kits.

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