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My first betta has been a battle


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I got my first betta Easter Monday and he was just beautiful..... But it t has been a constant battle. I had him in a tiny betta tank but when searching the web felt guilty he was in such a small space. Although he seemed happy and was eating 5 pellets once a day I went through out and got a 20L tank with filter in the Thursday. He looked just as happy but stopped eating. On Sunday last week i noticed he was starting to hang around the bottom of the tank more and had a rip in his tail. So went to pet shop and they sold me a heater to heat tank to 24 degrees, some little fish to add to the tank. Seeing as I had no idea about "tank cycling" he did a water test for me and said it was fine but not to do a water change for a week. It is now Tuesday and he is no happier and has continued to hide and his tail looks stiff discoloured and burnt? I treated him to lavie but he is not interested and still not eating ? please can anyone help me I think he is going to die and I am doing all I can (well been advices by pet shop)

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Welcome to the forum Contessa. Sorry you hear you're having trouble. Sounds like your boy might have contracted a disease called velvet. If you look very closely at him you might be able to see some very fine brownish gold dust. Is there a filter in the tank? It's not going to cycle very well if there isn't some water flow and generally when anyone says "cycling" they're talking about cycling the filter. However beneficial bacteria do exist on all surface in the tank, so the term "tank cycling" is not incorrect either.

How tiny was the betta tank? Sometimes putting them in a larger tank can actually stress them. Some like it. Some don't. I have had the same experience you're having when I've moved a betta to a larger tank. 20 litres is not too large a tank but perhaps he just didn't like the change, got a bit stressed and that made him vulnerable to disease. What are the other fish you have with him? It would be good to see a picture of your tank.

Here my advice:

1. Do a 50% water change. Make sure it's the same temperature. Use a dechlorinator and follow the instructions on the bottle. Some dechlorinating products can have negative effects if overdosed.

2. Go back to the shop and ask for a treatment for velvet. Most velvet treatments will stain silicone so you'll need to decide how much you care about this. I usually do treatments in a dedicated hospital tank. But you still need to be able to fit a heater in the tank. It's better practice to always have a hospital tank available to treat fish away from your main tank. No point exposing perfectly healthy fish to medication if you can avoid it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oops sorry for the slow response. It's been a very busy week. Photos need to be uploaded first to a photo hosting site such as photobucket, it's also possible to link to a picture on Facebook but you need to make sure you've set it as public.

Once you've done that, you grab the URL of the picture and place it here between IMG tags like this:

It's a little easier on a computer because there is a little picture icon that you can use which eliminates the need to type the IMG tags.
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