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Old 09-11-2012, 02:16 PM   #1 
MundaneBrain
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Unhappy Sick Betta Mystery!

Please help me figure out what is wrong with my betta, Nikola. He is wasting away before my eyes and I can't stand to see him suffer. I have tried everything. Thank you for looking at this!

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Please look at the pictures I attached. The one with the plastic plant was taken about a year ago, when he was in a 2 gallon tank. He has always had a bump/protrusion on his side (you can see it better in the second picture). I always thought he had a crooked spine.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is lethargic, weak, pale, and will not eat. He attempted to eat about a week ago, but he spit the food out. He has not attempted to eat since.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? He developed fin rot in August. I successfully treated the fin rot with saltwater baths and water changes but although the fin rot is gone, he is still very ill.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Before he got sick, I planned to move him into a 25 gallon tank that I was getting ready to turn into a community tank. When the fin rot stopped, he was still ill but I went ahead and moved him into the new tank, hoping the size/better filtration/aeration would help.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? He had once before this year. I was out of town and my mom treated him with water changes and Melafix.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure. I purchased him at a Walmart almost 2 years ago. He has always been very small for a betta, so when I purchased him I thought that he might be somewhat young, but he hasn't grown.


Housing
What size is your tank? 2 gallon for 1.5 years, 25 gallon planted tank as of August.

What temperature is your tank? 75 F

Does your tank have a filter? Yes, but he is so weak he gets stuck to the intake vent. I had to shut it off.

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes.

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None, I want to turn this into a community tank if he recovers.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Min Tropical Medley flakes, sometimes blood worms.

How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, when he was eating

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? In the small tank, 50%/week. In the large tank 25%/week

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner


Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: I don't have an ammonia test kit at the moment
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm (he isn't producing any waste)
pH: 7.8
kH: 120
These have always been the water parameters in my area, the numbers are all stable, and I use the same water conditioner as I always have.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:05 PM   #2 
MoonShadow
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Did the changes in him (the finrot, color loss, lethargy etc) start occuring around the same time you switched him into the bigger tank?

Perhaps at his age, and given the fact he spent most of his life in a 1.5 gallon, I would guess that the switch to the big tank has severly stressed him out! Maybe try putting him back in the 1.5 gallon, heating it up to around 82 degrees, and treating him with some aquarium salt and stress coat.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:14 PM   #3 
MundaneBrain
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They happened before I moved him into the larger tank. I''ll follow your advice and put him back in the 2 gallon. I want to put some new fish in the 25g, do you think what he has is contagious?
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:16 PM   #4 
teeneythebetta
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I defenitely woulnt expose him or any equiptment used to clean his tank to other fish until we find out what is wrong.

This probably isn't the cause- but your tank is a bit on the cold side. 78-82 degrees F is a good temp.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #5 
MundaneBrain
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I'll fix that right now. Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:51 PM   #6 
MundaneBrain
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One problem: I don't have an adjustable heater for the 2 gallon. I looked at my heater again and realized that the water temp is at 78. It's a fixed temp heater, which I didn't realize until I looked at the box again! I must have misread the thermometer somehow, oops!
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #7 
teeneythebetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MundaneBrain View Post
One problem: I don't have an adjustable heater for the 2 gallon. I looked at my heater again and realized that the water temp is at 78. It's a fixed temp heater, which I didn't realize until I looked at the box again! I must have misread the thermometer somehow, oops!
Oh okay, thats a much better temp! Sorry I couldnt be of much more help! :(
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:34 PM   #8 
MundaneBrain
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Good news

UPDATE
I went to a movie a couple hours ago. When I left, Nikola was at the bottom of the tank, fins drooping, looking as terrible as ever. When I got home I decided to move him into his old 2 gallon again, as suggested. I used water from the 25g. As soon as I put him in he was swimming around, he wasn't as pale, and he ate!!! He was swimming near the top and I just had a feeling he would eat if I put something in there. I put in a small amount of bloodworms and flakes. He ate everything! I can't believe it! He is displaying his fins, too!
I don't want to be too optimistic, but this is a turn for the better!
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #9 
MundaneBrain
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Update on the update:
This morning he is back to looking pretty sick. He ate one flake this morning before I changed his water. I finally got an ammonia test kit and the levels are safe. He's been laying on the bottom. He isn't breathing rapidly, if anything he is breathing slow.
Any clue what's wrong with him :/
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:38 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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Good that you moved him back to the smaller tank...

Right now-I would recommend that you lower the water level to about 4 inches to make it easier for him to reach the surface and if you have either a sprig of live plant or silk add this to float to give him something to rest on near the surface. Turn off the light-dim lit quiet location is best for now....

Cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to help retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Make a 50% water only change using fresh dechlorinated like temp water for the next 2 days.
If you have access to live mosquito larva-offer several rinsed a couple of times a day-If not good quality varied diet....

Sadly, he might be aging out and not a lot can be done except to make him comfy....
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