Hi, My Betta fish is having problems swimming for the past

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Customer: Hi,
My Betta fish is having problems swimming for the past 4 weeks.She leans side to side when holding still and doesn't swim around much. she generally swims at an angle with her body dragging behind her. She hangs out at the bottom of the tank or in a castle I have inside. I believe the top half of her body which I call her spine seems to be turning silvery in color. I have decreased the water level, added DECHLOR, and Bettafix, cut back on feeding, currently betta food, 1 pebble am/pm. She has an appetite and eats immediatley upon seeing it in the tank. I started changing the water every week, but was told that is too frequent. I haven't changed it in 8 days now. The tank is just tap water from the sink in a square bowl.I dont know what to do or what the cause is. Any suggestions?
Answered by Jav917 in 1 hour 10 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary

Hello,

I'm sorry to hear your betta isn't doing well. Some additional information will be useful.

How much water does your bowl hold?

How old is your betta?

Have you actually tested the water for ammonia and nitrites?

Thank you.

Anna

Customer
The bowl is filled with approx 1 1/2-2 cups water. Never tested the water. I've had the fish for 15 months and bought her at the fish store. I've done what they told me to do. My fish recognizes us and swims to us when we go in the room.

Hello,

Anna has asked me to assist since she was not feeling well. I would like to first address water quality. It is important for the Ammonia to be at 0, Nitrites 0 and Nitrates at less than 20 ppm. Water quality can play a part in the health of your Betta. Adding the chemicals to the water can further disrupt the water quality.

 

I suggest doing a partial water change and add some type of filtration to the tank. I also suggest adding 1/8 teaspoon full of aquarium salt to the water (usual is 1 teaspoon full per gallon of water). This will help with the swim bladder that, which is the organ in a fish's body that helps with buoyancy and being able to swim normally, as well as it reduces stress and adds a protective slime to the fish.

 

I alos want to let you know the color loss you are seeing may be a part of the aging process in the fish. Their life span is not as long as a gold fish or other species and as a Betta ages they do loos some color. When you purchased the fish there was no way to know its age, so it may be much older than the 15 months you have had it.

 

Hopefully with these measures, we can give your Betta some more quality of life and get it feeling better. Joan

 

 

 

Jav91741007.2581069792
Customer
Thank You. I promise to pay. I have a few more questions.
What is life expectancy of a Betta fish?

She is my 8 year old daughters fish, What are the chances she will die? ( I know no guarantee)

What is the importance of only doing 1/2 water exchanges? I have always changed all the water at the same time.

Can I add the salt and check chemical levels without adding the filtration system just yet?
I guess what Im asking is what are the MOST important, immediate things I should do while keeping my costs down? I Am trying to avoid buying a larger tank, but will if I have to.
Thank You so much for your help. I appreciate it. I have given up on the help I received at the fish store where I bought her.

Hello,

The life span of a Betta is 2-3 years and the average is about two years under the best conditions. If we can get the conditions correct for the betta we have a better chance on improving the life span. The problem is when a Betta is purchased they are already adults, so we do not know how old the Betta was when when you got it.

 

As far as water changes, the reason we do not do a full water change is there is a problem known as New Tank Syndrome, which is where it is like starting a biological filter over again. A fish needs a biological filter in the tank which helps with Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates. If you continue to do full water changes you are removing the biological filter.

 

I have a suggestion that may help. Walmart has a set up with filtration, light, and pump which would work well for the Betta that sells for $19.99. The pictire below is not great but it is one of my Bettas in a tank like I am telling you about. You can use the current water that the Betta is in and just add some bottled spring water or some trated water. This will help the water quality. The Ammonia needs to be 0, nitrites 0 and the Nitrates 20ppm or less. This would be the cheapest way to give the fish a good chance at living a longer life. Joan

graphic

Customer
One more question. Best food and frequency for feeding my beta?I have 2 totally different answers when I asked at the fish store. I currently use the betta bites and am feeding 2 in the am and 1 in the pm each day. And thanks for the walmart tip for the tank. Going tomorrow!! You have been so helpful. Best $30 spent.

Hi,

I use Betta Bites too and feed two pellets in the am and 2 in the evening. The tank a 1 1/2 gallon tank and it comes with everything except the gravel. Make sure you use the current water, which has a biological filter established and add some treated water or as I use bottled Spring water. I do a partial water change every 3-4 weeks, as long as the water quality is good and if it gets cloudy I do an immediate change. Water quality has great bearing on the health of the fish. Most of the issues we see with fish, are caused by the water quality being poor. Joan

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