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Old 03-17-2012, 02:27 PM   #1 
SlabSided
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Sick Fishy or what?

I posted this in the general section but maybe I should have put it here. Not really an emergency yet.

I'm new to fish and somewhat anal and want to do everything "right". So my 5 gallon tank is busy doing it's fishless cycle - going verrrrrryyyyy sloooooowwwwwlly BTW - and in the meantime, I found a little blue Half Moon (or so the sticker said) with pretty silver fins at Petco that seemed healthy and lively. He followed me as I looked over his little cup - although given its size I'm not sure there was much else he could do - and seemed very active and personable. So I got a 2.5 gallon keeper and another heater and brought him home. I think I acclimated him correctly and the first night he was very active and checked out every inch of his tank. This was Monday. He spent the next 4 days mostly hiding either in his plant or under the little rock bridge I built for him. He would come out to patrol the tank for a couple of laps, get some air, then go back to one of those two places. When he does swim, he seems fine - swims straight, goes up and down in what appears a normal fish fashion, no darting or jerking, not frantic, not brushing up against stuff - just swimming around like a little fish. He hasn't eaten a thing that I can tell but I guess that's not all that unusual. Yesterday he finally seemed a little more social, was patroling his tank a bit more and flared when I held up a mirror

His stats:
Housing
2.5 gallon, will be 5 gallon when it's cycled
Gravel bottom, One silk plant, smooth rock bridge
Heated, 80 degrees
No filter or airstones
Lives alone

Food
I've offered Omega One Betta Buffet pellets, 2 pellets twice a day. So far he has declined. I got some freeze dried shrimp and crumbled one up and sprinkled in. Unimpressed.
Petco is pretty much my only option. I looked at their frozen food but it seemed to have no nutritional value whatsoever.

Maintenance

Setup tank on Monday with Aquasafe plus and small dose of AQ salt because I figured he was a little stressed from life in the cup. Wednesday, did about 50% change, mostly because I was worried about him. Today, Saturday, did a 100% change and added 1 tsp / gallon AQ salt + Aquasafe.

Water Parameters:
Tested the water before I changed it this morning, Saturday.
Ammonia - .25
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0

Symptoms and Treatment.
I think he's gotten a little darker on his head with kind of a red hue to it. Almost like it's bruised. This may just be his color and I didn't notice during all that time he was hiding from me. Scales don't seem raised. I've checked for velvet with the flashlight (I'm imagining every possible disease at this point) and he seems somewhat iridescent but, he's a fish, aren't they kinda like that?
Yesterday I was looking him over and noticed some red streaks on his anal fin and this morning another streak on his tail. He also has a couple tiny pin holes, one in his dorsal fin and another on a pectoral.


Here is Beto:



This is how he spends a lot of his time:



This shows the darker color on his head:



And these are the red streaks - does this look like fin rot or is he just snagging himself on something in his tank? The color is weird in this photo - his body is not really that red.



If fin rot, is treating with the AQ salt and daily water changes the best plan of attack at this point?

How long before I should start panicking about his not eating?

Update this afternoon: Since I changed his water, he's laying in the same spot in the corner of the tank, no longer hiding. He moves around if I stick my finger over there. Still hasn't touched any food.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:00 PM   #2 
Olympia
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It's really common for new betta not to eat in a strange new home- some may avoid food for weeks.. You can try tempting him with bloodworms if you have any.
Funny that he's not active, some fish are just lazy guys though.
It does look like he snagged himself on something.. Anything possible sharp in the tank? Do you use a fish net to catch him? Even a fine net has been known to ruin betta fins- if so I'd just recommend scooping him up in a cup, it's much safer to do that.
Fin rot would have gone more all around his tail than just stayed in that one place I think.. If he has holes in his fins that could also be fin rot.. However you just got him, and I'd just maybe do water changes every other day to see if that'll help clear it out.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #3 
SlabSided
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I do have a fine mesh net but have been scooping him up in a cup. He seems to get REALLY stressed by the whole water change process. I guess he'll get used to that?

I don't think there's anything sharp in the tank. Since it's only happening on the bottom, maybe it's just getting caught in the gravel - he lays down there alot. If he gets any new abrasions, I may just take out the gravel altogether and see if that helps.

I wish he would eat!!!
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:42 AM   #4 
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He might get used to it. My boy has been with me almost a year and it still kills him every time he sees the cup in his tank.. Last night he jumped out of the water to avoid it.. It'd be so much easier if he'd just submit! But they don't see it that way :D
Clean water is much more important than a few minutes of stress however.
He could be getting caught in the gravel.. You could put a few glass pebbles in there instead if you want. Sand would be good, but you shouldn't use it in a tank without a filter, I find..
He should eat soon!
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:07 PM   #5 
SlabSided
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Sad, sad, fishy

So I changed the water again today, still using AQ salt and stress coat, took out the gravel and the plant in case the plastic fake root thingys might be a problem for him. I replaced it with a coffee mug for hiding and a different silk plant. Now he just floats at the top in the same area where he had been laying on the floor. He's lost all color - I bought a bright blue fish and I now have a pinkish gray fish. Hasn't eaten. Has few more pin holes in his fins but doesn't seem to have any more bloody damage. He's either sick or severely depressed. I'm doing everything I can think of and still I think I'm killing him.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:19 PM   #6 
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Huh.. That's really weird.. I am at a loss.
Just continue the AQ salt and stress coat.. do 100% changes every day.. acclimate him very slowly (maybe 40mins).
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:13 AM   #7 
SlabSided
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Nevermind - he's dead.

Got up this morning and he's nose down at the bottom of the tank. His gills are BLACK. Maybe an infection of some sort?

RIP Beto

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Old 03-19-2012, 04:50 PM   #8 
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Awh, he died?
Sometimes there isn't much you can do, a disease can move faster than you can diagnose and treat sometimes. :/
It wasn't your fault.. if you want to try again I suggest washing everything with water and bleach or vinegar and rinsing really well so it doesn't get on a new fish.
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