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Old 11-20-2012, 02:11 AM   #1 
Hidden Walrus
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Betta laying on bottom, flashing, shaking, rapid breathing

I am in a rush so I'll try to do this as fast as possible while still being thorough.

I have two bettas, both in side-by-side heated/filtered/planted/cycled 5 gallon tanks. Walter is a red/blue veiltail and Oscar is a blue doubletail. Ph in both tanks 7.5 and temperature 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Both live with a zebra nerite snail.

All was good until I went away for a few days and came home to find Oscar laying on the bottom, his fins flared out and breathing rapidly. He has just sat there for 4 hours and when I poked him to make him move, he got up but just kept shaking his body spasticly and he flashed against all the plants again and again repeatedly for about 5 minutes like he was very itchy. He isn't eating either.

No ammonia, no nitrite, nitrates 10.

No new fish or plants to the tank since 2 months ago when I got the snail.

I am sure it is some sort of parasite, but it isn't ich or velvet. Long ago I had a betta behave kind of like this and it ended up having anchorworms which killed it, but so far Oscar has no wounds nor worms visible and other than his behavior appears healthy, with good color and spread out, undamaged fins. The snail is behaving normally. What treatment would anyone recommend I get based on his symptoms?
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:01 AM   #2 
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Could you post a picture?
Maybe he is just flaring at Oscar.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:56 AM   #3 
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+1 with Fabian. Are they able to see each other? I had to put cardboard between my two 10g tanks so two of my boys wouldn't stress. did you have a fish sitter while you were gone? Have you talked to him or her?
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:13 AM   #4 
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But flaring wouldn't cause him to lay at the bottom for hours and then flash on every object in the tank when he is touched. I'm definitely agreeing with the op here that is some sort of parasite, although I don't know what.
But putting a cardboard piece between the tanks may help him relax a little, but it's not going to solve the parasite problem.
I'm not very knowledgeable about problems other than velvet - so I'm not going to be very helpful here, but perhaps something like quick cure can help him.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:24 AM   #5 
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I wasn't saying its the entire problem. If a Betta is stressed for hours & hours then it can cause major problems &/or death from what I've heard others say. Constant stress is a big strain on a body so keeping his environment as calm as possible, especially now is really important. It's just a thought as to what part of the problem could be & it'd be the first thing I'd address to see if it helped at all.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:24 PM   #6 
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Well, he's probably not flaring at Oscar because he is Oscar.....

And anyway they've been side by side for months and haven't flared at eachother much at all since the first week.

I didn't have a fish sitter but was only gone for the weekend. I assumed they would be fine for two days.

Today he is slightly more active and hasn't flashed as far as I can tell, but still he won't eat and is spending 3/4 of his time on the bottom.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:34 PM   #7 
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Velvet maybe?
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #8 
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Making you should PM Sakura8 or Oldfishlady. They know a lot about fish diseases I've heard and Sakura's helped me out a lot with Sushi and my other fish. I personally have no clue about diseases other than ick becuase I had to treat it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:58 PM   #9 
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It sounds like an external parasite. With the exception of velvet and ich, most external parasites are invisible to the naked eye. It could be costia, flukes, hexamita . . .

My suggestion for treatment is to take Oscar out and put him in at least a gallon hospital tank. Treat him with 3 tsps of AQ salt per gallon, high heat at around 86 F, and daily 100% water changes for at least a week. If this doesn't do the trick, we can try something else but it would be best to start with a conservative remedy. If you have Indian Almond leaves or naturally dried and clean oak leaves, crumble some of those in the tank as well.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:26 AM   #10 
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I've given Oscar to a friend who will treat him. She thinks it is severe Swim Bladder Disorder, which it very well might be as I hear doubletails are prone. She really wanted a doubletail anyway so I'll just let her keep him and I'll get a new betta for his tank. Thank you everyone for your help.
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