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Old 01-07-2013, 07:31 AM   #1 
Mal72's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Always one step ahead (St. Aug, Fl)
Unhappy My Betta boy needs help! :(

I have a mail veiltale who normally lives in a heated, filtered, well stocked with hiding spots, 5-gallon dream tank. I just had to move him and make a few changes in it, but then I put him back in. I noticed that he was not eating anymore and I found that he was sticking close to the top of his tank. He eats a varied diet of pellets, flakes, and gets freeze dried bloodworms as treats. His water is conditioned and gets aquarium salt for parasites. I monitored him for a few days and finally moved him to a smaller 1 gallon tank with and ontherwise similar set up (minus gravel) so I could see what was wrong. I do not see any signs of parasites and while he has lost a bit of his color, he doesn't appear to have Dropsy or Popeye. There is also nothing wrong with his fins. I believe, based up his symptoms, that he may have swim bladder disorder and I have not fed him in three days. I am going to get some frozen peas today. I asked this question on Yahoo! Answers and received only death-sentence comments. Please help :( Any light or suggestions would be appreciated.Thank you!
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:45 AM   #2 
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they also lighten up when they are stressed. give clean warm water and time to recover. keep an eye on him for now. don't do the pea thing. that is for goldies and other fish and should only be used on a betta as a last resort, if at all. live brine shrimp would be a better choice. they contain a natural laxative. did you still acclimate him when you moved him? do the other tanks he was in have the salt too? were they similar temps?
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #3 
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Thanks, SandyBottom. The 'hospital' tank has salt in it and is 77-80 degrees like his old tank and I acclimated for about 15 minutes before putting him inside. Do they sell live brine shrimp at major Pet Stores (i.e. PetCo, Petsmart, etc)? How soon should I feed him? He has gone about 3 days with no food at all. There is a Aquarium store right next to my house, but it is not a very good one. I've purchased other aquarium fish there in the past and they have all mysteriously died, but I've never had problems elsewhere.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:10 PM   #4 
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I also have a bit of a criticism; you probably shouldn't keep him in Aquarium salt all the time if he isn't actually sick. It's used as a short-term medicine, and despite the 'disease prevention' usually seen on the box it might end up stressing out freshwater fish and making them more susceptible to disease or can even cause organ failure in some fish.
And as for treating him assuming he truly does have SBD, if you can't find the brine shrimp (which I believe can be found at most petsmarts or petcos, but I'm not entirely sure) you can pick up some unscented Epsom salt from a local drug store and treat him for a few days with that; one-two teaspoons per gallon, I usually start smaller and add more with daily 100% water changes. That usually perks them right back up <3

Last edited by xXGalaxyXx; 01-07-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:11 PM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Welcome to the forum..sorry you are having problems....We need more info and a pic.

Copy/paste and complete this info sheet and add to your thread. The more info the better...
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:06 PM   #6 
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Okay, I'm sorry I did not post this or a picture earlier. I've posted a link from another blog and there are two pictures of him on there

In regards to the Aquarium Salt, someone told me it was a good idea to regularly put it in, but there are always different answers. I won't put it in from now on--unless he needs it. I am planning to purchase Stress Coat for the tank today.

Here are my answers to the questions:

What size is your tank? 5 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 77-80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes, Pellets, Freeze dried Blood Worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Every day (2-3 pieces) twice a day


How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Conditioner and Aquarium Salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I don't have them in front of me at the moment

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His color has faded a bit
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He hasn't been eating and is more lethargic.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Three days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I put him in a smaller tank and stopped feeding him.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 2 years
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:32 PM   #7 
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Your care and feeding sound good, he could be aging out-along with the long term salt use that could be causing some issue.

Is he bloated or having any buoyancy issues, does he respond to you when you approach the tank and beg for food, clamp fins, flashing.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:35 PM   #8 
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What makes you think he has a parasite infection? What were you seeing?

What I'm seeing..Your little guy is skinny! If he's eating regularly he may have internal parasites.. what color is his poop? He's also clamped, pale and grey beard all pointing to stress.

Why is his temp jumping around 3 degrees like that? Stable temp is very important. What heater are you using and what thermometer are you using to monitor it?

I would up to 50% weekly and get your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates tested with a drops kit. Might be okay but based on how he looks and acts I would make sure there's no issue.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:11 PM   #9 
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He does seem to be having buoyancy issues. I thought that was why he was sticking to the top of the tank. And he does react when I'm around the tank, though not as much. Usually he goes crazy, but now he just moves over a little bit.

He showed no signs of external parasites, so I believed it was due to stress, constipation, and/or Swim Bladder Disorder. He does eat regularly, but I haven't been feeding him--in case of constipation or SBD and I have removed the gravel to monitor his poop--which has has not done. Right now, he is not even interested in food...

I just replaced the heater (his old one broke last week) with a Hydro mini and have only been doing the added Aquarium salt for the last two water changes. There is a thermometer, but I believe the temperature fluctuates because of the light on his aquarium. I have not had the chance to replace it with an LED bulb yet.

He is usually a deep red color :( He has only looked like this in the past 4 days. It makes me really sad. I was thinking of investing in live plants, but was not sure what to get.

Last edited by Mal72; 01-07-2013 at 06:21 PM.
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