How long will a betta suffer from temperature shock?

click to vote now!
FishForums.net Pet of the Month

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
I have read posts and websites until my eyes are crossed trying to figure out what is wrong with my betta. He has been a very active, happy boy until last week. I was out of town for 3 days and when I returned home, I discovered that someone in the house (no one will own it) unplugged his heater. He was lethargic and obviously stressed. I plugged it back in and got his temperature up to the optimal range (it is self-regulating), but then he decided to stop eating. I left him alone to rest and de-stress. On about day 5 I added just a pinch of aquarium salt with new water and the next day he started eating again and even greeted me a little. I got happy and thought he was on the mend, but it has now been a complete week, and although there has been a minor change, he is still not acting right. His fins are clamped, he is pale and is mostly hiding and not moving around a lot. He IS still eating, but he's not as happy about it as he used to be. I cannot see ANY signs of illness (ich, velvet, fin rot, etc). The water tests are all in the normal range as is temperature. Could this still be from the shock of the temperature change a week ago, or something more? He is in a 2 gallon tank alone. I've had him for about 4 months and he was too young to tell if he was male or female when I got him, so he's still an adolescent. He has never acted like this before and I really don't know what else to do! I do not want to do anything to add to his stress, or medicate him unnecessarily. Should I just keep doing what I'm doing and give him time to come around?
TIA
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,210
Reaction score
20,685
Location
Perth, WA
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Can you post a picture of the fish?

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a week to make sure the water is good.

Any idea how cold the water got?
If the water was really cold, he will need a couple of weeks or more to recover.
 
OP
OP
D

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Can you post a picture of the fish?

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a week to make sure the water is good.

Any idea how cold the water got?
If the water was really cold, he will need a couple of weeks or more to recover.

I'm not sure exactly what the temp was, but it was room temperature (maybe 72 degrees). I already did exactly what you suggested and it stressed him out so badly I really didn't think he would make it through the night. Since then, I have pretty much left him alone. The pic was taken a couple days ago, he seemed more pale to me last night. Just at a loss.....
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20180920-150759~4.png
    Screenshot_20180920-150759~4.png
    71.2 KB · Views: 1,107

seangee

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
Messages
4,547
Reaction score
3,685
Location
Berks
Do you have a filter and was that also turned off? If so you need daily water changes until the cycle re-establishes.

You should also add plants to reduce his stress.
 
OP
OP
D

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
I just did about a 20% water change earlier and now he is stressed again! He's laying at the bottom breathing hard. I turned the lights off and will let him rest. I really don't know what else to do. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. :(
And yes, I have a filter that was running the entire time. The only thing that changed (initially) was the thermometer got unplugged.
 
OP
OP
D

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
This is him now
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20180920_223719049.jpg
    IMG_20180920_223719049.jpg
    957.4 KB · Views: 1,179

NickAu

Fish Connoisseur
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
5,113
Reaction score
1,222
Location
AU
Hi.

That is not temperature shock, how do I know? I keep Bettas and about 18 months ago we had major flooding where I live and we were without electricity for 7 days, the water temperature in the tanks dropped to 6 deg c over night and do you know howmany of my fish were sick or died? None, they were not happy but once the power came back on and the water warmed up to 26 deg C they were all fine happy and eating with in hours not days or weeks.


There is something else happening.


Can you please answer the following questions.

How big is the tank?
Has it got a heater? What is it set to?
Has it got a filter?
How strong is the current?
Is it cycled?
How often do you change water?
How much water do you change?
Do you vacuum the substrate?
What additives or chemicals do you use? Eg De Chlorinator?
Do you use tap or bottled water? If bottled water please give us the brand.
Do you have a water test kit?
Can you tell us the readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
When you clean the tank can you tell us exactly what you do.
What do you feed him? how much? how often?
Any tank mates? What sort how many?
How long have you had the Betta?
Has he got a history of illness?
Any plants or decorations? Please give details?
Can you provide a close up photo of the fish?
Can you provide a photo of the tank?
 
OP
OP
D

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
Do you have a filter and was that also turned off? If so you need daily water changes until the cycle re-establishes.

You should also add plants to reduce his stress.

What type of plants do you recommend? Thanks!
 
OP
OP
D

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
Hi.

That is not temperature shock, how do I know? I keep Bettas and about 18 months ago we had major flooding where I live and we were without electricity for 7 days, the water temperature in the tanks dropped to 6 deg c over night and do you know howmany of my fish were sick or died? None, they were not happy but once the power came back on and the water warmed up to 26 deg C they were all fine happy and eating with in hours not days or weeks.


There is something else happening.


Can you please answer the following questions.

How big is the tank?
Has it got a heater? What is it set to?
Has it got a filter?
How strong is the current?
Is it cycled?
How often do you change water?
How much water do you change?
Do you vacuum the substrate?
What additives or chemicals do you use? Eg De Chlorinator?
Do you use tap or bottled water? If bottled water please give us the brand.
Do you have a water test kit?
Can you tell us the readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
When you clean the tank can you tell us exactly what you do.
What do you feed him? how much? how often?
Any tank mates? What sort how many?
How long have you had the Betta?
Has he got a history of illness?
Any plants or decorations? Please give details?
Can you provide a close up photo of the fish?
Can you provide a photo of the tank?

wow... that's a lot of questions! And, most of them have answers in the original post and my responses to the other replies. But for the ones that are not previously stated....
(First, to reiterate.... all of the things that have been suggested as far as water changes, vacuuming, etc are stressing him out tremendously!)
Prior to this incident, I cycled his water for about an hour or two a day. Now, turning it on stresses him out (a lot)!
The heater is self regulating at 76 degrees F. I use distilled water -- whatever brand is available at the time of purchase and I don't add anything to it. I have tested the water, it is in normal parameters -- don't have exact number readings. I change water at about 10-15% a few times a week. He has no history of ever being stressed, sick, etc. He is fed a variety of food once a day which I alternate - blood worms, veggie flakes and Betta Min (medley of flakes and dried krill). Blood worms are his favorite, but he's not picky. Tank decorations are one small plastic plant and a 'cave' that he likes to sleep in. Something happened/changed while I was gone -- I came home to a very very stressed out little boy. He was feeling good when I got home yesterday... he greeted me at the front of the tank and was happy to see me. But when I turned on his filter he started stressing and breathing hard so I turned it back off. He was "ok" this morning - but he's not a morning fish, so he was resting when I checked on him. I feel like everything I do is stressing him, but if I don't figure out the source, then I could be making his situation worse in the long run. That's my frustration and concern.
 

NickAu

Fish Connoisseur
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
5,113
Reaction score
1,222
Location
AU
. I use distilled water -- whatever brand is available at the time of purchase and I don't add anything to it.
Ok heres a big problem, just distilled water is no good for fish its devoid of minerals and stuff, Whats wrong with your tap water?

Can you please test the water and give me the numbers
 
OP
OP
D

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
Ok heres a big problem, just distilled water is no good for fish its devoid of minerals and stuff, Whats wrong with your tap water?

Can you please test the water and give me the numbers
I'm not at home right now to test the water. I was told by the tropical fish store that distilled water was good. This is where I have a huge problem with "experts" .... everyone's opinion is different and it leaves my head spinning for what is actually correct! Our tap water is very high in chlorine and God knows what else. I don't drink it, therefore I'm not going to put my fish in it. Even my outside goldfish get stressed when tap water is added to their pond. Sooooo..... what now?
 

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
18,684
Reaction score
15,634
Location
Teesside, UK
One of the most important lessons in fish keeping is to never believe anything a shop worker tells you. There are some good ones but they are few and far between; the rest will make up any rubbish to make a sale.


Fish, or at least the ones sold in the aquarium trade, cannot live in pure water. They need some minerals in the water, even those that come from regions with very soft water. If you can't use your tap water you need to add remineralisation salts to the distilled water. These are usually used by people who use reverse osmosis water, another type of pure water, in their tanks.
Is the water you use distilled water or just bottled water? If it is bottled water these are rarely distilled water; they will have some minerals in them and each brand will be different. You should use the same brand of bottled water to keep the mineral content of the tank the same.

When Nick asked was the tank cycled, he didn't mean using the filter. He meant did you add ammonia to the tank before getting the fish and waiting a few weeks until the tank had grown enough bacteria. Cycling is the process of growing the filter bacteria.

The filter needs to be switched on 24/7. Having it turned on for just a few hours a day will allow ammonia and then nitrite to build up in the water especially in such a small tank. If the water flow is too strong, there are ways to slow the outflow down, but we need details of the filter, preferably a photo, to suggest the best way of doing this.
 
OP
OP
D

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
Thanks everyone for your replies... and explanations! I'm learning :) I am not home where I can get specifics of everything right now, but I will post as soon as I can.
 
OP
OP
D

Dawnscarboro

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
7
One of the most important lessons in fish keeping is to never believe anything a shop worker tells you. There are some good ones but they are few and far between; the rest will make up any rubbish to make a sale.


Fish, or at least the ones sold in the aquarium trade, cannot live in pure water. They need some minerals in the water, even those that come from regions with very soft water. If you can't use your tap water you need to add remineralisation salts to the distilled water. These are usually used by people who use reverse osmosis water, another type of pure water, in their tanks.
Is the water you use distilled water or just bottled water? If it is bottled water these are rarely distilled water; they will have some minerals in them and each brand will be different. You should use the same brand of bottled water to keep the mineral content of the tank the same.

When Nick asked was the tank cycled, he didn't mean using the filter. He meant did you add ammonia to the tank before getting the fish and waiting a few weeks until the tank had grown enough bacteria. Cycling is the process of growing the filter bacteria.

The filter needs to be switched on 24/7. Having it turned on for just a few hours a day will allow ammonia and then nitrite to build up in the water especially in such a small tank. If the water flow is too strong, there are ways to slow the outflow down, but we need details of the filter, preferably a photo, to suggest the best way of doing this.

I think this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Cul...D-Lighting-and-Internal-Power-Filter/33874882 is what I have. I thought it was larger than 1 gallon, but perhaps not.
By your explanation, the tank was not cycled. I have had him for about 4 months, and he's been perfectly fine until last week. His water is maintained at about 76 degrees. Maybe it is just a coincidence that he got sick while I was gone ??? At any rate, I want to do everything I can to keep him healthy. I'm rather fond of the little fella :)
 

NickAu

Fish Connoisseur
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
5,113
Reaction score
1,222
Location
AU
Hi

Yes I know it can be a pain getting conflicting advice but believe me when I tell you straight distilled water is no good for the fish.

You say you have chlorine in the tap water. That's easy you get a dechlorinator, I would suggest Seachem prime, we can discuss this more if you like.

If you want to continue using bottled water for your Betta thats fine but may I suggest you stop using distilled water, go and buy one of those Betta water bottles.
Picture+6.png


Have a read of this.
https://bettafish.org/faq/what-kind-of-water-for-betta-fish/
 
Last edited:

Most reactions

trending

Members online

No members online now.
Top