Female betta behind filter

Missklw

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Hey guys,

My female betta has started hiding behind the filter at the top of the water. I’ve checked my parameters and all are good!

I’ve had her since January and never had any issues or sickness. I can’t see any damage on her so I’m a bit confused as to why she seems to be lethargic.

I’ve attached some photos of her, he fins are ever so slightly being sucked into the filter but I’ve tried moving her and she just goes back there
 

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AdoraBelle Dearheart

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This is usually a sign the fish isn't feeling good... not good at all.

If you have any filter sponge spare, putting a thin splice between her and the intake will prevent her fins from being sucked in.

I would do an emergency 50% water change as soon as you see this.

Make sure the new water temp matches the tank water temp and that you've used a declorinator, and keep a sample of the old water for testing. When you've tested the old water, please let us know the exact numbers you get for each parameter. I know you said that it's good, but good is to vague for us to really know what's going on. Numbers are needed.

Then after the water change, please let us know more about the tank size, tank inhabitants, your usual water change schedule, feeding etc! The more detail the better. Since we can't see the tank, fish or water for ourselves, we're relying on info from you in order to try to help! So no detail is too small :)
 
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Missklw

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This is usually a sign the fish isn't feeling good... not good at all.

If you have any filter sponge spare, putting a thin splice between her and the intake will prevent her fins from being sucked in.

I would do an emergency 50% water change as soon as you see this.

Make sure the new water temp matches the tank water temp and that you've used a declorinator, and keep a sample of the old water for testing. When you've tested the old water, please let us know the exact numbers you get for each parameter. I know you said that it's good, but good is to vague for us to really know what's going on. Numbers are needed.

Then after the water change, please let us know more about the tank size, tank inhabitants, your usual water change schedule, feeding etc! The more detail the better. Since we can't see the tank, fish or water for ourselves, we're relying on info from you in order to try to help! So no detail is too small :)
I did a 25% water change on the 17/05/22 and vacuumed my gravel and washed my filter sponge in tank water. My tank is 135lt and I’ve attached a photo for you.

My parameters are as taken today 20/05/2022:
Nitrate=20
Nitrite=0
Ph=7
Kh=80
Gh=180 - always been this hard
Ammonia=0
Temp = around 27 degrees

I currently stock 2 yo-yo loaches, 8 cardinal tetras, 2 female bettas , 1 male betta(hes in an isolation box as he was sold to me as a female when he was a juvenile and has only just matured. I’m taking him back to the pet store tonight), 4 amino shrimp and probably 10+ cherry shrimp( they had babies so I’m not sure how many)

I usually feed once a day tropical flakes and frozen bloodworm once a week and 4-5 alge wafers for the others. I do water changes once every two weeks and always check my parameters a few days after a change to make sure everything okay. I use a dechlorinator with beneficial bacteria in with ever water change too.
 

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AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Ah, I remember you and the sneaky male!
Is the female behind the filter the less dominant one? It's possible either way that she's been injured in a scrap, or has some other illness going on. Was about to ask if you have a quarantine tank, then I remembered you don't, hence male better in breeder box. Going to ask @Colin_T for further input if he's willing and able, since the water conditions aren't likely to be the problem, but generally when fish start hanging around the filter, it's because there's a real problem.

How long have you had the yoyo loaches? They're wonderful fish, one of my favourites - but they're a smart and social species that really require groups of five of more to thrive. They squabble about hierarchy among themselves, so two usually ends up with one dominating and bullying the other, three means two tend to gang up on the third, etc. Five is usually enough to spread it out evenly at a minimum, although more is always better of course. But they're smart enough to have social structures and playful behaviour, very inquisitive as well - so having the right group size is important. However, a 135l isn't large enough for a group of five adults either...

I'm sorry to be a downer! Just thinking of the long term welfare of your fish.
 
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Missklw

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Ah, I remember you and the sneaky male!
Is the female behind the filter the less dominant one? It's possible either way that she's been injured in a scrap, or has some other illness going on. Was about to ask if you have a quarantine tank, then I remembered you don't, hence male better in breeder box. Going to ask @Colin_T for further input if he's willing and able, since the water conditions aren't likely to be the problem, but generally when fish start hanging around the filter, it's because there's a real problem.

How long have you had the yoyo loaches? They're wonderful fish, one of my favourites - but they're a smart and social species that really require groups of five of more to thrive. They squabble about hierarchy among themselves, so two usually ends up with one dominating and bullying the other, three means two tend to gang up on the third, etc. Five is usually enough to spread it out evenly at a minimum, although more is always better of course. But they're smart enough to have social structures and playful behaviour, very inquisitive as well - so having the right group size is important. However, a 135l isn't large enough for a group of five adults either...

I'm sorry to be a downer! Just thinking of the long term welfare of your fish.
No funnily enough she was always one of the dominant ones between her and my little white female she’s the bigger one of the two so I don’t get where this behaviour has come from! She has been quite since I put the male in the breeder box and hasn’t really be interested in much witch is quite sad! Oh and I deffo saw her release some eggs and eat them after I put him in the box!! Was very weird to watch lol. I can’t see any sort of injury’s on her bar the damaged tail fin that’s healing nicely from when they where trying to mate! She not skinny or bloated but she’s constantly at the top now just sat their taking breaths whenever she needs too :(

I’ve had the yo-yo loaches probably just over a month now. Unfortunately (again) I was told they would be fine as a pair!! (starting to really hate pets at home!!) I do have one that does push the other about a little and I feel horrible about it! They are quite shy though I find! They only really come out of hiding at dinner time. I initially got them becuase I was having a real problem with alge in my tank and I liked the colour of them. Don’t know if it would be best to rehome my bigger or smaller one now aswell :(. I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant and I’ve got very attached to all my fish witch isn’t great when I just want the best for them when I’m the one who’s been mis informed and put them in a bad situation to begin with! The emotions are real!
 

DragonScales+Doubletails

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:hi: and :banana:congrats.

yeah, the stocking is a small issue. the girl's fins in pic 1 look clamped, (I know it's not too cold) are they consistently like that? by the way your tank is beautiful!!
she may be stressed if hiding in that manner. will she eat? is she active?
 
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Missklw

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Hi and
:hi: and :banana:congrats.

yeah, the stocking is a small issue. the girl's fins in pic 1 look clamped, (I know it's not too cold) are they consistently like that? by the way your tank is beautiful!!
she may be stressed if hiding in that manner. will she eat? is she active?
Thankyou !

She’s seems to be on and off with it, sometimes she’s all clamped up and other times she’s fully fanned out! She came out for a few mins this evening and I treated her to some frozen blood worm and although she ate a few her appetite isn’t what it was :(

I managed to grab a few better photos of her when she came out but again She’s not interested. It’s almost like she’s sad and sulking!

I’ve now rehomed my male betta and one of my yo-yo loaches! I plan to get more peaceful community fish such as harleyquins and mollys! But going to wait a little while as to not stress her out!
 

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Colin_T

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Are you absolutely positive they are all female?
The sick one looks like it is guarding an area with a partially built bubblenest, although the bubbles could be from something else.

The yellow betta looks like it has a black beard under the gills and that is normally seen in males.

--------------------
The red one that is sick is covered in excess mucous and has mucous over its mouth. The mucous around the mouth could be from fighting or the start of Columnaris (mouth fungus). If it spreads rapidly over the face and head in the next 24-48 hours it is Columnaris and you will need to treat the tank with antibiotics. If it doesn't spread then it's just from an injury to the mouth.

The excess mucous over the body would suggest there is something in the water irritating the fish. The ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH are fine so we need to look for other things.

External protozoan infections cause excess mucous to appear in patches over the body, and cause the fish to rub on objects in the tank. The entire fish is covered in excess mucous so this is unlikely to be the cause.

Are you adding plant fertiliser, or anything to the tank besides water and dechlorinator?

Do you use hand sanitiser, moisturising cream, or have anything on your skin when you work on the tank or feed the fish?

Do you have buckets and cleaning sponges specifically for the fish tank?

--------------------
I would try doing big (75%) water changes and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week and see if it helps. If there is no improvement after a couple of water changes, then post some more pictures and add some salt, (see directions below).
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Wipe the inside of the glass down and clean the filter too, if the filter hasn't been cleaned in the last 2 weeks.

--------------------
SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 

Colin_T

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Your water is too soft for mollies but is probably ok for guppies, platies and swordtails, although they would prefer the GH to be around 200ppm, but 180ppm is close enough as long as the pH stays at 7.0 or slightly above.

Platies would be a better companion for Harlequin rasboras.

I would have kept the male Betta and the loaches, and I would have got another 4 or 5 loaches. A group of Botia lohachata should be fine in a tank that is 3 feet long or bigger.
 
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Missklw

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Are you absolutely positive they are all female?
The sick one looks like it is guarding an area with a partially built bubblenest, although the bubbles could be from something else.

The yellow betta looks like it has a black beard under the gills and that is normally seen in males.

--------------------
The red one that is sick is covered in excess mucous and has mucous over its mouth. The mucous around the mouth could be from fighting or the start of Columnaris (mouth fungus). If it spreads rapidly over the face and head in the next 24-48 hours it is Columnaris and you will need to treat the tank with antibiotics. If it doesn't spread then it's just from an injury to the mouth.

The excess mucous over the body would suggest there is something in the water irritating the fish. The ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH are fine so we need to look for other things.

External protozoan infections cause excess mucous to appear in patches over the body, and cause the fish to rub on objects in the tank. The entire fish is covered in excess mucous so this is unlikely to be the cause.

Are you adding plant fertiliser, or anything to the tank besides water and dechlorinator?

Do you use hand sanitiser, moisturising cream, or have anything on your skin when you work on the tank or feed the fish?

Do you have buckets and cleaning sponges specifically for the fish tank?

--------------------
I would try doing big (75%) water changes and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week and see if it helps. If there is no improvement after a couple of water changes, then post some more pictures and add some salt, (see directions below).
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Wipe the inside of the glass down and clean the filter too, if the filter hasn't been cleaned in the last 2 weeks.

--------------------
SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
I know 1000% the sick one is female as she has an egg spot and I’ve seen her release eggs. My yellow one again from the fins I’m assuming is female I got her when I accidentally got sold my other male! And they where tiny so unless he’s not matured yet I don’t know :(

Red has always has that paler looking mouth. It looks like she was insured some time ago as she has a little lump/spot on the outside of her lip. It’s never bothered her and it’s never grown or anything just kinda looks like scar tissue.

I do use a plant fertiliser but I haven’t added any for about a month and done 2 water changes since then. I also always wash my hand/arms and remove any jewellery before I put my hands in the tank. And I do have my own cleaning kit especially and only for the tank.

Okay I will try that. I did a 50% water change on the 17th and cleaned my filter then in tank water so don’t think it will need doing again :)

Ohh okay I’ll have a look at some platies instead then Thankyou. Someone on here said my tank wouldn’t be big enough for 4-5 loaches so that why I rehomed the 1 and now only have 1.
 
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Missklw

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UPDATE:

She seems to be having a bit more of a roam around this morning!

She came upto the side when I turned the lights on and altho she’s lingered at the top she has been swimming around the mid section too! This makes me very happy!
 

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AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I’ve had the yo-yo loaches probably just over a month now. Unfortunately (again) I was told they would be fine as a pair!! (starting to really hate pets at home!!) I do have one that does push the other about a little and I feel horrible about it! They are quite shy though I find! They only really come out of hiding at dinner time. I initially got them becuase I was having a real problem with alge in my tank and I liked the colour of them. Don’t know if it would be best to rehome my bigger or smaller one now aswell :(. I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant and I’ve got very attached to all my fish witch isn’t great when I just want the best for them when I’m the one who’s been mis informed and put them in a bad situation to begin with! The emotions are real!

I'm sorry, you obviously love your fish and you're doing the best you can for them! Sadly you've had to learn the hard way, as many hobbyists do, that the people at the store often know nothing about fish and will give terrible advice in order to sell you stuff. Usually, privately owned local fish stores are better than the large chains stores, but not always. The rule of thumb is to always do your own research, and never trust the advice from a store unless it's a small privately owned store that have already proven themselves trustworthy, you know? You're not the first that has been mis-sold a tank, fish, medications etc, and sadly, you won't be the last! Not your fault. It makes sense to ask the store employees for advice, they should know! But sadly sales are the bottom line, not long term success for your tank and fish.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I'm sorry that this has come at a rough time. Once your stocking is settled and the tank calms down, hopefully you can enjoy a peaceful, calm tank to relax in front of while soothing your little one :)
Hi and

Thankyou !

She’s seems to be on and off with it, sometimes she’s all clamped up and other times she’s fully fanned out! She came out for a few mins this evening and I treated her to some frozen blood worm and although she ate a few her appetite isn’t what it was :(

I managed to grab a few better photos of her when she came out but again She’s not interested. It’s almost like she’s sad and sulking!

I’ve now rehomed my male betta and one of my yo-yo loaches! I plan to get more peaceful community fish such as harleyquins and mollys! But going to wait a little while as to not stress her out!

Yikes, I didn't intend for you to rehome one but not the other... singletons are often stressed too I'm afraid, and the two together, despite some bullying/dominating, might have been preferable to one alone. Has the one you rehomed gone to join a larger group? Might they be willing to take the other as well? I'm sorry, I know that you're attached. Again, just trying to think of the long term welfare of your fish. There are other botia loaches that don't get so large that could work well in your size tank too. Rosey loaches or perhaps dwarf chain loaches (dwarf chain might require a slightly bigger tank, I'd have to research), or you might consider corydoras for a bottom dweller that would fit perfectly in your size tank, and be out and about in the open much more than loaches are. They're adorable, come in a variety of colours, help to clean up food that the upper/mid water feeders miss (although still need to be fed their own food of course), and will be out in the open and more visible than shyer loaches are.

Alternatively, you could get 4 more yoyo loaches while they're still roughly the same size/age as your current one, and mentally commit to upgrade the tank to a much larger size as soon as possible, so that you get one large enough for a group of adult size yoyos. You said you'd had yours for a little over a month, so any you get from a store now will also be juveniles of close to the same age, and more likely to get along better than if you try to mix new individuals much later down the line when yours is the eldest.
Your water is too soft for mollies but is probably ok for guppies, platies and swordtails, although they would prefer the GH to be around 200ppm, but 180ppm is close enough as long as the pH stays at 7.0 or slightly above.

Platies would be a better companion for Harlequin rasboras.

I would have kept the male Betta and the loaches, and I would have got another 4 or 5 loaches. A group of Botia lohachata should be fine in a tank that is 3 feet long or bigger.

@Colin_T the tank is 135 L though, 35 US gallons. Not big enough for a group of yoyo loaches.

I'm sorry that my advice made you rush to rehome one of the yoyos! That wasn't my intent. I meant for you to know you'd need rehome or return both, or that you'd need to upgrade tank and group size for them to thrive. It's hard to communicate everything you need to need to know just via comments on here (especially when people tell me my comments are too long to bother reading already).

I am glad to see though how committed you are to your fish, it's clear how much you love them! And happy to see your betta is feeling better and is more active now! That's a great sign.
 

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