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Jan 9, 2018
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This past June, a friend of mine gave me two female Betta fish in a split half-gallon tank for my birthday. I have since moved them into separate 3 gallon filtered tanks from API.

One of the bettas, Scarlet, has clamped fins. She is hiding, and seems to be stressed. I changed about 50% of her water, cleaned the exposed tank walls and gravel, and rinsed off her plants. Most of her plants are fake silk/plastic, but she does have some sort of moss-type ball live plant. I have turned off her light and covered her tank, hoping a blackout will reduce her stress levels. I have also added API brand Stress Coat+ which is marketed to remove chlorine and chloramines and help the fish's slime coat with aloe vera.

In the other tank, Captain has the same set up. The only differences being she has two moss-ball-things and I change her water a day earlier. They have the same plants, the same cave, and I use the same stress coat and water purifier. She is doing fine, fins are splayed and she's swimming as usual.

Tomorrow I am going to the pet store to get the necessary test strips to find ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH levels, as well as a thermometer. Once I have these strips I will update with the measurements.

I have not owned a fish in forever, and the last one, A male Betta I named Sally (I was six) lived five years in a carnival sized fish-bowl.

I'm trying to do everything right, but many online sources are contradictory. If anyone out there has any ideas with the limited information I am able to provide right now, please respond. These two little fish have helped with my stress and depression so much since I was given them, I really cannot bear the thought of loosing Scarlet. Again, tomorrow I will update with the water measurements.

I checked my levels and here are the measurements
pH: between 7.2-7.4
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

Her tail is still clamped, and since she's having such a hard time swimming I have lowered the strength of her filter. If her tail isn't better in a week or so I think I may look into an under gravel filter or a bubbler. I just really don't know what to do to help her.

I think I may have figured out what's stressing Scarlet out! I keep both of my tanks on a shelf because I have cats, but because of that she can see my other Betta, Captain. I think she might have felt threatened, which is why she was hiding. I think her LED light may have also been causing an issue for her.

I have since put up a piece of cardboard between the tanks and turned Scarlet's tank light off. Her tail is still clamped, but she is now out swimming. I'm hoping the cardboard is a temporary solution, but with the cats I'll need to keep both tanks on shelves. I'm going to keep an eye on her for a while, make sure her tail fans back out, and keep doing low percentage water changes and adding the API Stress Coat+ because it seems to be helping.
Last edited:
Change more water at least twice a day....

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