Lucymariexo

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Location
United Kingdom
Hi everyone.
I got a new Betta 2 weeks ago and I’m looking for some advice.
We cycled the tank for 6 weeks prior and did all the checks to make sure the water was safe. However after 2 weeks the betta began to become less active and more lethargic. I thought I may have over fed him and stopped for about 4 days before he started to lose colour. I did another test in the tank and we had a slight spike in nitrite that was 0.25. I did a 70% water change and he started regain colour. I have since done daily 25% water changes for 3 days but he is still not as active. He’s usually in the hut or laying against an ornament in his tank. He can still swim up without issues but I’ve noticed he is still going to his side and it looks like he’s got a bit of an S shape spine happened but it is hard to tell as he looks ok when swimming.
Is there anything else I need to do to help him?
He’s eating fine and will still swim to the top occasionally if we go up to the tank or if he wants air. However he is no where near as active as he was when we first bought him home.

What is the water volume of the tank? 22L
How long has the tank been running? 2 months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 80
What is the entire stocking of this tank? Only the betta.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Once a week
How much of the water do you change? 20-30%
What do you use to treat your water? Tap safe water conditioner
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Vacuum the substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? Aquarium water mini test from Amazon.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
After todays 25% water change:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 8

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Once a day
How much do you feed your fish? A pinch
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Aqua care flakes
Do you feed frozen? Rare occasion
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 2 weeks
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? A week ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Became less active, lost colour, regained colour but continues to slant to one side. Looks like spine is curving.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Daily water changes and regular checking of permamiters.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Staying at the bottom half of the tank against or inside tank ornaments, laying side ways. Still occasionally swims around the tank when we say hello or when he wants air.
 

Attachments

  • 251304C4-A54A-42DB-B737-2F36E1AAF8FA.jpeg
    251304C4-A54A-42DB-B737-2F36E1AAF8FA.jpeg
    215.4 KB · Views: 37
  • C2B9D7F1-4616-47CE-8527-9761C1FF084B.jpeg
    C2B9D7F1-4616-47CE-8527-9761C1FF084B.jpeg
    295.1 KB · Views: 35
  • C33A33CF-3ABB-4283-AE47-FE4FDD8F5C7E.jpeg
    C33A33CF-3ABB-4283-AE47-FE4FDD8F5C7E.jpeg
    253.3 KB · Views: 37

wasmewasntit

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
3,099
Reaction score
4,170
Location
Wherever
Can you do a pH test from the tap and a one from the aquarium water please

A pH of 8 is too high for a Betta. It should be closer to 7.

The fact the fish seemed more active right after a water change is sort of indicative of a fluctuation on the pH and Nitrite. Your Nitrite levels need to be zero and with the Nitrate also being zero suggests that the aquarium is not fully cycled.
 
OP
OP
L

Lucymariexo

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Location
United Kingdom
Purple bottle is tank PH which looks to be around 8.
Red bottle is straight from the tap and it looks to be at 7.5.

What does this mean if the PH is higher in the tank? What can I do?

Also what parameters should I be looking for in a fully cycled tank?
 

Attachments

  • 1738ADC5-CB11-436D-95AA-8039B55B3B37.jpeg
    1738ADC5-CB11-436D-95AA-8039B55B3B37.jpeg
    147.5 KB · Views: 34

wasmewasntit

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
3,099
Reaction score
4,170
Location
Wherever
The aquarium water being higher can be caused by a few things such as substrate & rock type and how the water company has treated the water before you get it from the tap.

Your fluctuation in pH will cause issues with fish as the pH needs to be constant.

Get a glass of water, leave it to one side for 48 hours and then test it again. If the pH goes up then chances are that the water has been treated by the water company so check your water company website for hardness and other water chemistry on your area, they will also be able to say if anything has been recently added due to leaks or other works being done that might have affected the supply within your postcode area.

Once cycled your aquarium should have zero ammonia, zero nitrites and no more than 20ppm nitrates, ideally tween 5 and 10ppm nitrates.
 
OP
OP
L

Lucymariexo

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Location
United Kingdom
Is there anything I can do to help the ph lower in the meantime whilst I wait 48hr for the glass of water?
Even with the answers I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do as I can’t change the water from the taps. Do I need to buy something to add to the water to lower the ph before adding it during water changes? Or is there nothing that can be done?
 

wasmewasntit

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
3,099
Reaction score
4,170
Location
Wherever
It really depends on the cause for the pH fluctuations before any recommendations on how to avoid it can be made.

I would do 50% water changes daily, since that seemed to lessen the effects on the fish. However if the Nitrite levels are still there, you might well need to complete a fish in cycle and that is not always successful with a Betta due to their sensitivities

First thing will be to look up your water company website, enter the postcode and then see the full synopsis of your water chemistry. Once we know what the pH should be along with the hardness and other chemistry, we can point you in the right direction to get this sorted

If like me the water from the tap is really bad, then you might have to bite the bullet and get bottled water, which is what I do with my 200 litre aquarium.

Before we go into that side of things, find your water chemistry as that is the starting point and do 50% water changes daily til we can get this sorted both on the pH side of things and the cycling issues......incidently, what do you do with your filter media, what is your regime on maintenance please?
 
OP
OP
L

Lucymariexo

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Location
United Kingdom
Ok thank you, I’ll start doing 50% changes instead. I have also put in my post code to see what the water quality is like in my area and have attached images of the results. It looks like the average ph should be 7.5.
pas for my filter it is a sponge filter that I will take out and squeeze/ rinse in old tank water during a water change. I’ll typically do this every 2 weeks.
 

Attachments

  • 725DF40A-EA4B-4EA9-ADEE-03E2FB2E0560.jpeg
    725DF40A-EA4B-4EA9-ADEE-03E2FB2E0560.jpeg
    42.7 KB · Views: 34
  • B4F21388-99BF-4FDD-B7AD-9868FB50B048.jpeg
    B4F21388-99BF-4FDD-B7AD-9868FB50B048.jpeg
    168.9 KB · Views: 29

wasmewasntit

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
3,099
Reaction score
4,170
Location
Wherever
Filtration seems to be fine along with the way that you are maintaining it, so that shouldn't be an issue

@Essjay can you take a looksy at this please, I am fairly sure that the cycle wasn't completed and subject to the 48 hour water test, it could be the pressure of the tapwater, sometimes water companies use CO2 to alter the chemistry through the pipes and make it more suited to consumption which is fine til it goes into an aquarium and settles down and the pH goes up.
 

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
18,359
Reaction score
15,178
Location
Teesside, UK
The pH of fresh tap water can be quite different from water which has been allowed to stand - and water in a tank is "stood" water. It can drop or increase on standing - CO2 in the water lowers the pH and this gasses out on standing allowing the pH to rise; on the other hand, places with soft acidic water often have something added to raise the pH so the pipes don't corrode. This may gas out allowing the pH to drop, or it may not - we have members where this does not happen so they have soft water with high pH.

Just for completion I need to ask - how did you cycle the tank? We've had members in the past who thought that just letting the tank run was cycling.
What are you using to test the water? I find it surprising that nitrate is zero when your water quality report gives a mean level of 20 ppm. Zero nitrate usually indicates an uncycled tank.



Your water is hard - 15 dH (German degrees)/270 ppm (mg/l calcium carbonate). But bettas are soft water fish. It could be that he's stressed from being in water that's too hard for him.

Once we know that the tank was cycled properly, the first thing I would think about is the hardness. Since the tank is small, water changes won't use much water so I suggest buying reverse osmosis (RO) water (make sure it has not had minerals added back) and mixing that with your tap water. Half tap, half RO would reduce hardness to 7.5 dH which is the right level for bettas.
 
OP
OP
L

Lucymariexo

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Location
United Kingdom
to cycle the tank I added some ‘beneficial bacteria’ from the pet store and added a few flakes of food. I then left the tank for 6 weeks. To check the perimeters i have the 7in one test strips from pets at home although they are a little hard to read. Then the liquid with tubes for ammonia, nitrate and Ph that i ordered from Amazon.
 

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
18,359
Reaction score
15,178
Location
Teesside, UK
Strips have a reputation for being inaccurate. With the liquid tests, do you follow the instructions to the letter for nitrate? Most testers have 2 or occasionally 3, bottles and one of them has to be shaken before it's added to the tube, then the tube shaken after the drops are added. This bottle contains a reagent which settles on the bottom of the bottle and the shaking is necessary to get it back into the liquid.

So you didn't really cycle the tank. Cycling involves adding ammonia until enough bacteria have grown to remove all the ammonia and the nitrite made from it in 24 hours. Bottled bacteria doesn't work instantly and it has to be fed. And only two brands contain the correct nitrite eating bacteria and I bet Pets at Home sold you their own brand.
But a single betta won't make that much ammonia. Use the liquid testers for ammonia and nitrite every day to make sure the levels are staying at zero.

Other than that it is possible that the water is too hard, or he has an infection. Our disease expert isn't on-line at the moment and hopefully he'll see this thread when he comes back. He'll ask to see some photos of a side view if you could take some in the meantime.
 
OP
OP
L

Lucymariexo

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Location
United Kingdom
I did the 48hr water test. It came back as 8 from the tap.
I have tried to look for RO water but am unsure of places to buy it in the UK without ordering online.
Is there anything else I can do to lower the water PH as this is obviously why the ph in the tank is an 8.

image.jpg
 

Attachments

  • 3C46B321-CB54-4F5C-8838-A0358F35100C.jpeg
    3C46B321-CB54-4F5C-8838-A0358F35100C.jpeg
    203.7 KB · Views: 26

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
18,359
Reaction score
15,178
Location
Teesside, UK
Is there a branch of Maidenhead Aquatics near you? Most of them sell RO water, though I understand they sell it with and without added minerals. If you get without, you can mix it with your tap water so you won't use as much. With remineralised you would use only that, no tap water.
This will lower hardness (GH) and also KH which is the parameter which keep the pH level stable. With lower KH you'll probably find the pH drops.
 
OP
OP
L

Lucymariexo

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Location
United Kingdom
I found a shop the sells RO water. I got it with minerals and did a 50% and then 20% water change without adding the tap water. This didn’t seem to change his behaviour so I checked the RO water ph and it came out at 8ph as well. Is that ok?
He really doesn’t seem to be doing well though. Since last night he has been laying on the top of a leaf, hasn’t moved away from it and won’t eat any more. I’m worried he’s not going to make it now. I really don’t know what else I can do. I’ve checked his parameters and the only concern is the ph is still 8.
C64B74E4-B91C-450A-9E3A-460AB7EDB7DC.jpeg
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Top