HELP - Betta fish extremely lethargic after 100% water change

Cd0612

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
Hi All,

Really hoping someone can help me.
I have had a male betta for 8 months now. I have never done a 100% water change. About 48 hours ago, I did, and I didn’t do enough research to realize this is a HUGE mistake. I understand that now, and am feeling massively guilty because of it!

He was originally in spring water and doing just fine, but I completely changed his water to conditioned tap water per pet store employee recommendation. Anyway, he has been extremely lethargic ever since and not eating. He was swimming to the top pretty frequently yesterday, so I got a small air pump, thinking he was lacking oxygen. This seemed to help with the swimming to the top, but now he has been sitting on the bottom ever since. I got some bacteria starter drops hoping that would help, but I just started those about an hour ago. He won’t come anywhere near his food. His tank temp is at 74 now and has always been at that temp.

I guess I just want some advice on how I can help him? I really want my lil guy to make it.
 

WhistlingBadger

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
1,759
Reaction score
3,094
Location
Wind River Country, Wyoming
Did you equalize the temperature somehow? If so, then my guess is that your tap water is a much different hardness/pH than the spring water. Can you tell us how hard your tap water is? You can either get a test kit or ask your water company.

In the meantime, the bacteria starter won't do any good: That's just to speed up cycling your filter, which shouldn't be a problem if you've had the tank set up for 8 months. And you should quit feeding him until he starts acting more a bit more normal.

Sounds like you made a pretty bad mistake. One thing you'll learn quickly is to always take pet store employees' advice with a bit grain of salt. Bettas are pretty tough critters. I bet he'll pull through. Good luck.
 
OP
C

Cd0612

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
Did you equalize the temperature somehow? If so, then my guess is that your tap water is a much different hardness/pH than the spring water. Can you tell us how hard your tap water is? You can either get a test kit or ask your water company.

In the meantime, the bacteria starter won't do any good: That's just to speed up cycling your filter, which shouldn't be a problem if you've had the tank set up for 8 months. And you should quit feeding him until he starts acting more a bit more normal.

Sounds like you made a pretty bad mistake. One thing you'll learn quickly is to always take pet store employees' advice with a bit grain of salt. Bettas are pretty tough critters. I bet he'll pull through. Good luck.
I tested the water and everything is perfect. Slightly on the harder side, but otherwise perfect. How long do they typically act lethargic for when shocked by water change? He’s been sitting in his rock for 48 hours now. Just want the little guy to get back to himself.
 

Naughts

Fish Herder
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
1,473
Reaction score
982
Location
UK
Do you have any spring water? You could change 50% back to spring water and give him a better chance to acclimatise. Then revert to all tap water over a month or so. I would have the temperature up in general for betta, about 78-80.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
25,998
Reaction score
10,217
Location
Perth, WA
It is probably suffering from shock due to a sudden change in water chemistry (pH, GH & KH). Spring water can have lots of minerals in and the tap water might not have many, this would stress the fish if it went from one to the other instantly.

It could take weeks or longer before it recovers, assuming it does recover. If significant damage was done to the fish, it might die.

Did you dechlorinate the new tap water before adding it to the tank?
If not, then there could also be an issue with chlorine/ chloramine poisoning.

-------------------
If the fish was fine on spring water, I would do a 50% water change using spring water and see if it helps.
 
OP
C

Cd0612

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
Do you have any spring water? You could change 50% back to spring water and give him a better chance to acclimatise. Then revert to all tap water over a month or so. I would have the temperature up in general for betta, about 78-80.
How do I slowly accumulate him to a higher temp? I have a heater now, but I can’t control the temp.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
25,998
Reaction score
10,217
Location
Perth, WA
Most heaters have an adjustment dial/ knob on top.
What brand of heater did you get?
 

trending

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top