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Lethargic Fighting Fish



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 6th 07, 08:19 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
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Posts: 3
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

I've kept a Siamese Fighting Fish in my cubicle at work for the past
year and a half with good success. But lately he seems to be more
lethargic, just sitting still at the bottom of his tank. I'll place a
mirror next to the tank a few times a week to give him some "company,"
and he puffs up for a while. But most of the time, he just hangs at
the bottom of his tank. He looks otherwise in a healthy state, (his
fins look good, no visible signs of illness) just kind of depressed.
Is this lethargy a sign of ill health? If it is just him being down,
what can I do to perk him up?

-Fleemo

  #2  
Old August 6th 07, 09:18 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
atomweaver
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Posts: 108
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

wrote in news:1186427950.536711.265850
@i13g2000prf.googlegroups.com:

I've kept a Siamese Fighting Fish in my cubicle at work for the past
year and a half with good success. But lately he seems to be more
lethargic, just sitting still at the bottom of his tank. I'll place a
mirror next to the tank a few times a week to give him some "company,"
and he puffs up for a while. But most of the time, he just hangs at
the bottom of his tank. He looks otherwise in a healthy state, (his
fins look good, no visible signs of illness) just kind of depressed.
Is this lethargy a sign of ill health? If it is just him being down,
what can I do to perk him up?

-Fleemo



Hi,

What size tank?
(ideally, he should have 5 gallons, or more)
Tank temperature?
(ideally, he should be in heated 79-82 deg F water)
Tank water conditions; ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH?
(ideally, they should be 0/0/20 ppm or less/6.8 to 7.2)
How frequently do you do water changes?
(ideally, 20-30% weekly or more)
Any tankmates?
(something that likes the higher temepratures, like a few cardinal tetra
would be good, as would a planted tank, or floating plants)
Did you get him as a juvenile, or do you otherwise know how old he is?
(Bettas kept in good conditions usually live 5-7 years, or more, but
you often don't know their age if they're bought full-grown from a pet
store...)



  #3  
Old August 7th 07, 11:10 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
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Posts: 3
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

Hey Atomweaver,

I can fill you in on the few things I know. It's a one-gallon tank
that does have an air pump and bubble stone. It is not heated, just
goes by room temperature which is usually around 78 degrees. I don't
know the water conditions, but I do change out half the water in his
tank once a week. I use the big 5-gallon drinking water jugs as my
water source and don't condition the water at all. He is all alone in
the tank. I got him full-grown at a Petsmart back in March of '06. Up
until recently, he's seemed very happy and healthy, but recently he
seems to sit quietly at the bottom of the tank. There are no other
signs of ill health (Ick, torn fins, etc.) Any input is
appreciated.

-Fleemo

What size tank?
(ideally, he should have 5 gallons, or more)
Tank temperature?
(ideally, he should be in heated 79-82 deg F water)
Tank water conditions; ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH?
(ideally, they should be 0/0/20 ppm or less/6.8 to 7.2)
How frequently do you do water changes?
(ideally, 20-30% weekly or more)
Any tankmates?
(something that likes the higher temepratures, like a few cardinal tetra
would be good, as would a planted tank, or floating plants)
Did you get him as a juvenile, or do you otherwise know how old he is?
(Bettas kept in good conditions usually live 5-7 years, or more, but
you often don't know their age if they're bought full-grown from a pet
store...)



  #4  
Old August 7th 07, 11:14 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Tynk
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Posts: 466
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

On Aug 6, 2:19?pm, wrote:
I've kept a Siamese Fighting Fish in my cubicle at work for the past
year and a half with good success. But lately he seems to be more
lethargic, just sitting still at the bottom of his tank. I'll place a
mirror next to the tank a few times a week to give him some "company,"
and he puffs up for a while. But most of the time, he just hangs at
the bottom of his tank. He looks otherwise in a healthy state, (his
fins look good, no visible signs of illness) just kind of depressed.
Is this lethargy a sign of ill health? If it is just him being down,
what can I do to perk him up?

-Fleemo


Hi there Fleemo.

You said you've had this Betta for a year and a half already.
Was he full grown when you got him?
Many male Bettas are over a year old when you see them in the shops.
They have general lifespan of 2-4 years, although many may live
several years more.
A common symptom of old age is lethargy.
However, without more information on his specific tank conditions etc.
(like Atomweaver has already asked) it's hard to say why he's acting
this way.
So get back soon with the rest of his information.

  #5  
Old August 8th 07, 02:04 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Tynk
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 466
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

Fleemo...

Ignore the moron going under the name "Tristan" (at the moment, as he
switches to many on a daily basis). His posts will show who obviously
is the real moron, and doesn't know squat.

He chose to cross post (called spammping up other groups, or trolling)
his reply to all these groups, simply to cause trouble.
**alt.politics.homosexuality, rec.ponds, alt.troll,
alt.support.chicken-****ing, rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc**
He took part of what I said and left out the rest of what I said, as
you can obviously see in my original post, and then made it sound like
I didn't know what I was I talking about when it comes to Bettas.
**My post**
They have general lifespan of 2-4 years, although many may live
several years more.

**Tristan's reply that he's trying to argue with**
Just because she says they only live 2 to 4 years is totally
off track. I have quite a few well over the 5 or 6 year age
limit....

You can see what he did, as it's obvious. I clearly stated "many may
live several years more".

Here's another group you can get tons of correct information (on just
about any specie of fish), all without trolls..
http://groups.google.com/group/The-F...m?lnk=li&hl=en
You'll need to join up, but it's well worth being in a moderated group
where they filter out the trash.
Hope to see you there! = )



I have been specializing in these fish for nearly 30 years now, and
bred them for 19 of them.
Tristan is nothing more than a troll trying to cause trouble.
Most folks who post here or on other fish groups know I've specialized
in these fish (and Angelfish), and that I do indeed know what I'm
talking about when it comes them.


  #6  
Old August 8th 07, 02:14 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
atomweaver
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Posts: 108
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

wrote in
oups.com:

Hey Atomweaver,

I can fill you in on the few things I know. It's a one-gallon tank
that does have an air pump and bubble stone. It is not heated, just
goes by room temperature which is usually around 78 degrees. I don't
know the water conditions, but I do change out half the water in his
tank once a week. I use the big 5-gallon drinking water jugs as my
water source and don't condition the water at all. He is all alone in
the tank. I got him full-grown at a Petsmart back in March of '06. Up
until recently, he's seemed very happy and healthy, but recently he
seems to sit quietly at the bottom of the tank. There are no other
signs of ill health (Ick, torn fins, etc.) Any input is
appreciated.


Thanks for the extra info. In a one gallon, he's got some limited space
in which to swim, and no companion fish. Your temperature is on the low
end of whats comfortable for bettas, but should be acceptable. There's a
couple of different things you could do;

1) If you possibly can, swap him into a tank just a bit larger (actually,
as large as you can reasonably accomodate, up to say 10 gallons). Every
little bit of extra water will help, and in a larger tank, you can add a
few 'dither' fish. Being solo in a bowl just isn't a natural way to
live, even for a male betta. A 5 gallon tank would allow you to include
a small school of 4 cardinal tetras. If you just cannot increase the
size of his accomodations, I'd add two cardinals to his tank, and a small
amount live floating plants which are good in low light conditions (water
sprite). Increase your water changes to twice weekly if you add fish to
that one-gallon tank.

2) If you could add heat to get your temperature up to 82-83 degF, that'd
be ideal. I saw some small-tank heaters for ~$8 in Wal-Mart the other
day...

3) Get some method of testing your tank water, even if its only 5in1 dip
strips. I know they're not the best, but they'll at least alert you to
major issues with your water.

4) Lots of drinking water sources are simply local tap water (you may
know differently about your source); if there is any question about
possible chlorine content, I'd err on the side of caution, and start
using a water conditioner.

In the end, though, you're already in the range of age for a Petsmart
betta where simple old age might be what you're dealing with. The
difference between my stated age range and Tynk's, is probably in part
because of initial living conditions for bettas from major pet chains are
_very_ different from those raised from fry with a bit more care.

Regards
DaveZ
  #7  
Old August 8th 07, 08:30 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
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Posts: 3
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

Thanks for the input here, folks. I know my fish appreciates it.

1) If you possibly can, swap him into a tank just a bit larger (actually,
as large as you can reasonably accomodate, up to say 10 gallons).


Alas, he's a cubicle companion here at work. Even the 1 gallon tank
is a bit of a stretch in some folks' minds. :/

If you just cannot increase the
size of his accomodations, I'd add two cardinals to his tank, and a small
amount live floating plants which are good in low light conditions (water
sprite). Increase your water changes to twice weekly if you add fish to
that one-gallon tank.


I like the idea of him having some company. I know fighting fish are
reportedly solitary beings, but to live your entire life alone? Would
a pair of Cardinal tetras be better company than a female of his own
kind?

2) If you could add heat to get your temperature up to 82-83 degF,
that'd
be ideal. I saw some small-tank heaters for ~$8 in Wal-Mart the other
day...


That's where I got his 1 gallon tank, so I'll look for a heater for
the lil' guy.

Thanks!

-Fleemo


  #8  
Old August 8th 07, 09:31 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
atomweaver
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 108
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

wrote in
ups.com:

Thanks for the input here, folks. I know my fish appreciates it.

1) If you possibly can, swap him into a tank just a bit larger
(actually, as large as you can reasonably accomodate, up to say 10
gallons).


Alas, he's a cubicle companion here at work. Even the 1 gallon tank
is a bit of a stretch in some folks' minds. :/


Gotcha... understood.

If you just cannot increase the
size of his accomodations, I'd add two cardinals to his tank, and a
small amount live floating plants which are good in low light
conditions (water sprite). Increase your water changes to twice
weekly if you add fish to that one-gallon tank.


I like the idea of him having some company. I know fighting fish are
reportedly solitary beings, but to live your entire life alone? Would
a pair of Cardinal tetras be better company than a female of his own
kind?


An emphatic YES. To have male and female bettas, you need _at least_
three females to one male (in a ten-gallon tank), both to establish a
female hierarchy, and to prevent the male from harassing one female over-
much when spawning time comes. If you did have only one female, and she
happened to spawn with your male, the male would probably kill her if you
didn't remove her shortly after, as he would instinctually be trying to
protect his bubble nest. Also, two cardinal tetras will produce less
fish waste than a female betta (a big issue in such a little tank).

Good Luck!
DaveZ


  #9  
Old August 9th 07, 03:35 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Tynk
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 466
Default Lethargic Fighting Fish

On Aug 8, 2:30?pm, wrote:
Thanks for the input here, folks. I know my fish appreciates it.

1) If you possibly can, swap him into a tank just a bit larger (actually,
as large as you can reasonably accomodate, up to say 10 gallons).


Alas, he's a cubicle companion here at work. Even the 1 gallon tank
is a bit of a stretch in some folks' minds. :/

If you just cannot increase the
size of his accomodations, I'd add two cardinals to his tank, and a small
amount live floating plants which are good in low light conditions (water
sprite). Increase your water changes to twice weekly if you add fish to
that one-gallon tank.


I like the idea of him having some company. I know fighting fish are
reportedly solitary beings, but to live your entire life alone? Would
a pair of Cardinal tetras be better company than a female of his own
kind?

2) If you could add heat to get your temperature up to 82-83 degF,
that'd

be ideal. I saw some small-tank heaters for ~$8 in Wal-Mart the other
day...


That's where I got his 1 gallon tank, so I'll look for a heater for
the lil' guy.

Thanks!

-Fleemo


Hi there Fleemo.

When you say that in some folks minds, a 1g is a stretch...I assume
you are meaning for a single male Betta?
If so, that's just because they are unaware that even male Bettas
benifit from having room to swim, filtered - heated water and the
right type of company.
You will quickly learn how many myths there are about Bettas out
there.

As for male Bettas being solitary, nope. They're not. Bettas, male or
female are socialable creatures that are quite misunderstood.
Many will often see their nit picking or chasing as "attacking"
another fish. Often it's just that fish showing the other his place
in the hierarchy (pecking order). Sometimes a Betta (male or female
again) will attack another fish put into it's tank. However, it's not
because the fish is vicious, it's because the tank is too small. Put
the same fish into a 10g or larger and you have an entirely different
situation.
Now you mentioned tank mates such as Cardinals or female Bettas in his
tank. Sorry, but you can't put anything else in that 1g with a male
Betta.
You run the risk of him getting very territorial and attacking
(because the tank is too small for other tank mates), and plus it's
simply too small to house more than one fish of that size.
You also have no filtration. You said you have an airstone running,
but that's not enough.
By the way, you don't really need the airstone running for a Betta.
They can breathe surface air (as well as the usual of getting O2 out
of the water using their gills), they have a labyrinth organ with
allows them to breathe surface air, just like your lungs.
Actually, did you know that a Betta can drown if they are unable to
get air from the surface. Pretty crazy that a fish can drown, but they
must be able to get surface air.
In a well filtered tank that has a good amount of O2 in the water
(unlike an unfiltered tank wich becomes quickly depleated of O2), they
still go up for air, just not as often.
If you are going to keep him in his 1g tank at your work, may I
suggest doing a 100% water change instead of 1/2 weekly. Being that
it's only a 1g and is not filtered, you should really being chainging
100% weekly. Stir up the debris in the gravel with a bit of tank
water, then dump. Refill with treated water of proper temp.
If you stir up the gravel with tank water and not tap water, you won't
be killing off the nitrifying bacteria all over it.
Obviously, the Betta will need to be put into a cup or holding
container while you're cleaning his tank.
After supplying more information (thanks), his lethargy still sounds
like old age symptoms.
However, it is possible that the tank is going through what we call
"old tank syndrome", meaning you may have a build up of nitrates. When
proper cleanings aren't performed (you just may not have known..) the
usually non toxic nitrates build to toxic levels. This is corrected by
water changes and gravel vacuuming (in your small tank's case a good
stirring).
Since you don't have test kits, just do the water changes and clean
the gravel once a week.
His temp of 78*f is the lowest a Betta should be kept at, so that's
ok. Of course warmer is better (80*f), but your fine at 78*f.
Other than a better water change schedule, and the very good
possibility of your boy being an old guy, I don't see any other red
flags.
So after a good tank cleaning, if he's still lethargic, I'll bet he's
just an old man.
In this case, may I suggest either a live or silk plant that has
leaves near the surface. Older Bettas will often lay on the leaves
near the surface so they can get a gulp or air without using too much
effort. When you're an old, it's appreciated. lol
Even the younger Betta will use a plant leaf for a hammock at naptime.
Let us know how he's doing.
= )

 




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