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heidiho July 27th, 2005 09:35 AM

Help!!!!! My Fish.............
HEY!! I dotn know if anyone knows anything about the chinese fighting fish,but i changed his water 2 nights ago{which i do a couple of times a month} ever since then he only stays at the bottom of the tank he goes from one side of the bottom to the other,does not come up to the top,or swim around,or eat,i thought he was dead yesterday he was not moving but he finally did.HELP,is he slowly dying ??? I really dont know what u do when u have a fish that might be sick////I just hope he is not suffering right now...It is sad to see.....

StaceyB July 27th, 2005 09:46 AM

Beta or Siamese fighting fish can live in small bowls because they can come up for air. In the wild they live in mucky, disgusting water in the rice beds, little pockets of water.
When you did the water change, did you use any water conditioners. Have you noticed any physical changes. How long have you had him.

heidiho July 27th, 2005 10:07 AM

I got him right after i had to get rid of my dog which is about 10 months ago,he was fine before i changed the water,i didnt do anything different this time than before,i didnt put anything in the water...Sounds dumb but i know my fish when i turn on the light in the morning he starts swimming around and stuff,he is not moving from the bottom of the bowl at all,i will see him on one side then go look ten minutes later and he is on the other side on the bottom..I really thought he was dead i was moving the bowl and stuff and he did not move..Finally he moved a little and i knew he was alive.I dont know what the hell to do...I just dont know if he is suffering or not...

StaceyB July 27th, 2005 10:16 AM

You should really get some conditioner for the water. The chemicals and such in tap water is too dangerous for fish. Was he fine before you did the water change. Was the water room temp or did you shock him. He may have been fine every other time but he may not have been as healthy this time. What are you feeding. Where do you keep the bowl.

heidiho July 27th, 2005 10:31 AM

Ok i will get that stuff, bowl is in the same spot as always on the bar in my kitchen,water temp was the same as i always change it,i really dont know i didnt do anything different......I did feed him differnet food the day before i gave him a little bit of blood worms,could that be it.>>> But he was fine after that,it seems since i changed the water

StaceyB July 27th, 2005 10:40 AM

No, the blood worms should have been fine. In my opinion, it was the water.

heidiho July 27th, 2005 10:57 AM

Should i change it again tonight,or will it be to much for him..

StaceyB July 27th, 2005 11:00 AM

No, just add the stuff.

pags July 27th, 2005 11:10 AM

My mom always keeps a Beta and she has each one for years... Every now and then she would get a little impatient about waiting for the water to get to room temp and her fish will inevitably react the way you described, heidi... So shock from water that's too cool could do it. I asked her about it when I read your post though and she said what she has noticed is that if she overcleans the bowl.. as in she cleans out the rocks and really gets it sparkling clean -- her fish HATES it and will mope at the bottom of the bowl for days until some algae grows back in. So now she keeps an algae-coated plant in the bowl with him at all times and he's much perkier. I am certainly no fish expert -- so I have no idea. Just passing along what Mom said. :)

heidiho July 27th, 2005 11:52 AM

How funny i am the same way with cleaning it,i just feel bad dont want him living in his own poop and stuff you know....I clean it every week,all the food that drops to the bottom and stuff,isnt that bad for them..A dirty bowl??

shannon1233A July 27th, 2005 12:30 PM

I used to have them as well, and a 150 gallon aquarium with Chiclids. Just a suggestion, but never do a complete water change, only maybe 1/3 at a time. I would put my Siamese Fighting Fish in a plastic bowl or vase with 2/3 or the original water, and clean their original vase, rocks etc. I wouldn't scrub the algae off the rocks, only rinse them to get the poop off, so there was always some algae still in the established new home. It could be shock, hopefully he'll be okay. What color is he? I had a blue one and a red one, in seperate containers of course, but across the room from each other.

heidiho July 27th, 2005 01:13 PM

He is red,see and when i clean it always scrub the tree and little treasure chest in there....I just dont get it i have been doing it this way since i got him..................So you dont think he is slowly dying so u???????????????

StaceyB July 27th, 2005 01:15 PM

When you start a tank w/ everything clean and fresh water your tank has to go through a cycle to balance everything, ph, amonia, nitrates, etc. The cycle doesn't start until you add something living, fish. It takes a little over a month to complete the first cycle. Everything will spike up and down throughout the cycle. This is what makes it hard on the fish. The more fish you add the more dangerous it becomes. This is why so many people that set up new tanks have so much trouble. They want to fill it with fish all at once.
For new tanks: Set up everything fill and run for a few days to make sure there is no problem with the system. Purchase 1 fish and wait a month. Don't test water or do any water changes until month is up. Test water to see if initial cycle is complete. If it is you are safe to add the rest of the fish. If not wait another week and test again. Now that the cycle is complete and you have added the fish, replace no more than 1/3 water every couple weeks. Never empty tank all the way or you will be starting from scratch. Never use cleaner of any kind on any part of the tank or anything that goes in it.
Max size of fish for tank, pick w/ full grown size in mind. For tropicals 1 inch per gallon. One neon uses 1 1/2 gallons. Cichlids 1 inch per 2 gallons of water and goldfish at 1 inch per 5 gallons.
Make sure you have a good filtration system and heater if needed.
Betas are one of the only fish that can or should ever live in a bowl, because they can come up for air.

StaceyB July 27th, 2005 01:19 PM

Chlorine/ chloramine are in tap water. Sitting the water out over night will remove the chlorine but not chloramine. That needs to be removed with water conditioner. Both are dangerous for the health of fish.

Jackie467 July 27th, 2005 03:13 PM

Actually when a betta (simese fighting fish) is living in a small bowl the water does need to be changed completely every week. If the food sinks to the bottom it goes bad and poisens the water. Partial water changes are for larger tanks, when it's in a bowl it should be changed 100 pecent.

Betta fish are actully very slow moving and often like to lay at the bottom of the bowl. This is not uncommon though every fish is different. Normally laying at the bottom of the bowl wouldn't be alarming, but if this is not your betta's normal behavior it could mean sickness.

You definatly have to use water conditioner. The chlorine in the water will easily stress and kill a fish very quickly. If you don't want to use a water conditioner leaving the water stand over night will allow the chlorine to evaporate making the water safe. I have never personally used that method and I don't trust it, but accourding to what I have read it should work with no problems.

Also betta fish usually only live about 2 to 3 years, and if you get them from a pet store there really isn't any way to know how old they are when you get them.

heidiho July 27th, 2005 03:27 PM

It is just a small tank,it does have a filter,but it is not big at all,and i do change all the water not just partial ..No he never lays at the bottom all the time like this..Something is wrong for sure,i just dont know what to do..........................

Jackie467 July 27th, 2005 03:35 PM

does he look any different than he usually does? any white spots or ragged fins? Bettas often get a disease called fin rot, where the fins get ragged and look like they are rotting away. Does he have a heater? Bettas require water no lower in tempeture than 75 F. Is it a power filter? Bettas do not like fast moving water and it can stress them out causing their immune system to lower considerably allowing them to catch deseases.

I willing to bet it is the chlorine in the water. try getting some water conditioner and see if it perks him up. If you tell the person at the pet store that you need water conditioner for tap water for your fish they should be able to give you exactly what you need.

StaceyB July 27th, 2005 03:38 PM

As far as I can remember, the beta that is bought in a pet store is nearly 2yrs when you get it. When the males and females are young they look the same until the male grows those beautiful fins. You are unable to tell the sex until this happens. I will check and verify this.
Chloramine does not disipate by standing. The molecules are bonded. You need the conditioner to get rid of it.

heidiho July 27th, 2005 03:39 PM

No there is no heater on it...He looks the same to me,his belly looked a little bigger but that could be my imagination running wild....I will get that stuff tonight,i am afraid to go home,,,,,,,,,,,,hope he is not d***

Wudjah July 27th, 2005 03:39 PM

Well, I don't know about all the bowl changes. I admit that I'm probably not the most responsible fishy owner but I have a hard time killing them. My betta lives in a fairly large vase with a live plant. I clean it about once a month (adding water inbetween because of evaporation). Once I noticed a lot of old floating food/slime on top so I cleaned it and started feeding him less and I haven't had the problem since. When I do clean the vase I put him in a measuring cup with the original vase water, do a quick clean of his bowl (no hard scrubbing of the rocks or plant) and then add him and the water back into the vase that is filled with tap water - no conditioners. It's always worked for me this way and my fish have always been quite healthy and live for years.
My daughter also keeps two comet goldfish in her room (I look after them). Her first one just died - but we had him for two years and he looked completely healthy when I found him. I quarantined his bowl mate (had him for 1 year) for 2 weeks and when nothing happened I added another younger comet last week and they are both doing great. I do the same routine with their bowl although they don't have a live plant because they ate the last one.
I know I'll probably get blasted for this, but I honestly think that fish like bettas and goldfish die so easily because their owners are always fussing over their bowls/tanks. It's just strange that I do so little and my fish live for so long.....

heidiho July 27th, 2005 03:41 PM

Well I Am Not Gonna Blast U For It,i Have Been Doing The Same Thing For The Last Ten Months And He Has Always Been Fine,i Will Stop Scrubbing The Tree And Treasure Chest Decor I Have In There,but It Is Almost A Year And He Has Been Fien,i Dont Know....

Wudjah July 27th, 2005 03:48 PM

Well, I'm a firm believer of "whatever works". One thing I just thought of though - I know my tap water has been a bit stinky lately - likely due to the lack of rain and hot weather. Maybe it's just something in your tap water THIS TIME around.

chico2 July 27th, 2005 03:50 PM

Aww Heidi,I hope he does not die on you,they are beautiful fish..good luck!!

StaceyB July 27th, 2005 03:58 PM

Goldfish are supposed to live 20 yrs. They produce amonia in everything they do, they produce it to such high levels that they end up killing themselves.
In Ottawa city water there is chloramine in the water. Each city is different.

Jackie467 July 27th, 2005 03:58 PM

Here is a website with some info on care for bettas. It may be helpful.


This is what it says for lifespan.
Lifespan: 2-3 years

If he seems bloated he may be constipated. try not feeding him for a day to clean out his system. If he still seems bloated you might try a salt bath but that is info you'll have to look up on the internet or talk to a vet about because I'v never done it.

You may also want to take the temp of the water and make sure it's not too low. He may need a heater.

Wudjah July 27th, 2005 04:02 PM

I don't think comet/feeder goldfish live for 20 years.... I could see pond fish/koi living for that long though.

Wudjah July 27th, 2005 04:08 PM

Correction, I don't think the goldfish I have are comets - they are simply feeder fish, about 2" long or so when they stopped growing. I just read that comets get really big and can live for 7-14 years.

heidiho July 27th, 2005 04:34 PM

Thanks Chico i hope not either,i got him the day i dropped off Damien for good,so he is kind of special{no i am not a weirdo,i know he is just a fish]but i just dotn know if he is suffering,i will check out that website..

chico2 July 28th, 2005 07:53 AM

Heidi,there is no such thing as"only"a fish,it's a living being.
I remember dismantling our large aquarium(sp?)did not have the heart to flush the fish,the pet-shop took them for me.
I had a large Pleco,whom I adored :D a friend of mine gave him a new home and I cried when I dropped him off... :sad:
It was to have been hubbys fishtank,"something he always wanted",sure!!Guess who ended up taking care of those fishies and the tank :D

heidiho July 28th, 2005 10:38 AM

WEll i honestly dont know what to do,i got the tap water conditioner,this morning i really thought he wad dead he would NOT move for nothing,so i got the fish net thing and when i put it in there he finally moved,so he is still alive but just will not move from the bottom of the tank or eat,..... :sad: :sad:

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