Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
As you may know, we are newly gill parents. We got out first Betta about a month or two ago and it’s been a lot different than taking care of the cats. I feel like with the cats I can tell when something is wrong because they are both vocal and I’m always checking up on them. The fish are different for me though. I do take a lot of interest in them, but there’s just so much that goes unnoticed. For example, Blub has white on his tail. At first, I thought this was Ick and freaked out giving him the treatment, it didn’t go away so I used BettaFix in case it was fin rot… nothing helped! Reason? He was healthy.
More recently we decided to buy more gravel for the little tyke. So… we did a 100% water change. We took all the proper precautions. Take him out and put him in some of the same water as he was just in. Make sure sift all of the gravel running them under fresh water. Make sure when refilling to let the water be a bit over body temperature (oh! Don’t forget to actually check the temperature!) We even let Blub float in the tank in the container to make sure he got accustomed to the temperature.
Within the first two hours, Blub started to look sick. His fins had shrunk in size and he wasn’t moving one of them. Whenever he tried swimming to the top he would swim in circles. It was really scary to watch, especially because we didn’t know what was going on. We put Blub into a quarantine which proved to help as his fins re-opened and he swam properly. Phew! Nothing was broken!
So what was wrong with the water in the tank? After 24 hours we tried to put Blub back into the tank and almost immediately he showed the same signs. We supervised him very closely to see if he was going to show signs of illness or extreme stress, but those were the only two signs.
I’m happy to say that within 48-hours he made a full recovery. He’s happy, swimming a lot, his fins are a normal size and he has even blown a bubble nest!
So here’s my question to you… do you also feel like this was induced by the 100% water change? If so… what have you done that can make it easier on the fish. (Obviously, if I wasn’t going to add more gravel I would have changed only 25%, but how can I make the 100% water changes easier on him?
**UPDATE: We recently learned from a fish expert that we could have avoided this by adding bacteria into the water whenever we do a 100% water change. This in addition to adding aquarium salt would make sure that the change doesn’t stress the Betta out. This apparently isn’t taught to a number of new fish owners as a number of the store representatives aren’t taught this information, but I’m glad we talked to someone who works solely with fish!