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Old 01-13-2013, 09:44 AM   #1 
brandiibliss
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Help with sick betta

A little over a week ago, my husband and I noticed his Betta fish looked bloated. It's localized to his sides like where ribs would be. We thought it was because we fed him too much when we were going away for 3 days.

So I started doing epsom salt soaks 2xs a day. One on side, his scales seem to be sticking out so I did a round of Maracyn 2. At that time I also, fasted him for 3 days, then fed him some tiny pieces of pea. He passed the pea a few days later. At the end of the 5 days of Maracyn 2 one of his sides had returned to normal.

Then, 3 days ago, I added the epsom salt to his tank and gave him Parasite Guard. (The epsom salt seems to have raised the ph from 7.0 to 8.0!) My husband said he had seen stringy white stuff caught up in his bottom fins once. In the past 3 days, he's been even more lethargic. Either laying against the heater at the top (making a tiny bubble nest) or laying at the bottom. Both of his sides are re-swollen.

He will eat but is not as excited as normal about it. We fed him a tiny bit of daphnia last night.

Does anyone have any ideas for us? Dropsy? Parasites? Constipated?

Since he seemed to improve with Maracyn 2, I was thinking of doing a mixture of Maracyn 1 and 2 for 5 days with the epsom salt bath.

TIA for any ideas!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:49 AM   #2 
brandiibliss
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This might be helpful...

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78-80
Does your tank have a filter? no
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

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Before this, Aqueon Betta Food.
How often do you feed your betta fish? used to be daily

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1-2 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
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:
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0
pH:8.0
Hardness: 240 (usually 0..is this change due to the epsom salt?)
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? bloated sides/belly
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? less energetic, more laying around
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 10 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? see above
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? less than a year
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:13 AM   #3 
callistra
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Raised scales is dropsy and maracyn II is not very effective at treating it. Although, since it helped a small degree I can tell we're dealing with internal bacterial infection and not parasite so that much was helpful.

In a tank that size you need two water changes weekly - one 50% and one 100% which should include a thorough rinse of the gravel and all decor. The number one cause of dropsy is poor water issues and I can tell by your water change routine this is a problem. The first thing to do is increase your water changes. While he is sick I would actually do 50% every other day along with 100% weekly.

Your GH/KH is normally 0? That's what I would expect from using RO water.. Are you using RO water? That's another possible cause of the dropsy... What is the source of your water? Epsoms will normally drop ph because they are acidic but if your gh is 0 maybe it would increase it.. Idk never tried that, but I can tell you gardeners and people running planted aquariums will use epsom salts to fertilize the water/soil and decrease ph.

Epsom salts are good here. They are needed. Make sure they are pure 100% magnesium sulfate per the ingredients label and they should be predissolved at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon and added slowly over the course of an hour to avoid ph shocking. 2.5tsp for yours. These short soaks are not going to help. He needs to stay in it and don't overdose..

Don't feed peas. They are really hard on the digestive tract and the epsoms will move his bowls.

Instead of using the Minocycline look for Kanaplex, Maracyn Plus or Furan 2. (Furan 2 and Kanaplex can be combined as well). Dillute and dose according to instructions (reply if you need help with this).

Treatment will need to be a full 2 weeks with epsoms and antibiotics to prevent a relapse.

Last edited by callistra; 01-13-2013 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #4 
brandiibliss
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The GH is always 0 while the KH is often at the top of the scale. We have a water softener system to deal with our extremely hard and acidic water.

We'll definitely follow your advice on the water changes and put the salts in his tank. I should be able to find Maracyn plus the easiest and will get that tomorrow.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:26 AM   #5 
callistra
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Ooooh.. okay well I think you need to find a way to bypass your water softener.. I'm not sure if just using something like Equilibrium would be okay in this case since your KH is so high I have no idea what that system is doing to your water/adding to get readings like that.. A straight up RO system should have 0 on both. It might be doing something to the water which is not healthy for your fish, or the problem may just be your complete lack of minerals/gh reading. I imagine this might be why your fish is sick. The gh of 0 is definitely not ok. What's the ph of your water?

How long have you kept fish in the water with the softener? Is this the first sick fish you've seen?

Last edited by callistra; 01-14-2013 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:43 PM   #6 
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Hmm... we might have to look at another source of water. Our ph is normally 7.0- another result of the water system. We haven't had other fish at this house with this water system so there's no comparison. I'll put in some research and see if I can figure out what it's doing... I'm not sure the difference between GH and KH.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:32 PM   #7 
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Do you know of any place that carries the meds you suggested?

Last week, I saw Maracyn plus in the store and last night I looked it up on the PetSmart website. Today, it's no where to be found in the store and there don't seem to be many options in speedy shipping. I'm afraid if I have to wait for them then we won't need them anymore.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:59 PM   #8 
brandiibliss
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Nevermind.... he's gone. He was really grey when I got home and I knew that was a bad sign.

Thanks for your help though! I'll be sure to research and find a way around the water system before we start our new tank that was already in the plans.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:43 PM   #9 
syds mom
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So sorry to hear you lost him
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:58 AM   #10 
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Really sorry you lost him :(

Furan 2 is an API med and is pretty easily found. I know Petsmart ususally carries it. Maracyn Plus and Kanaplex are hit and miss.. you just have to call your area stores and see if they do. My LFS store carries Kanaplex but no place anywhere within like 2 hours carries Maracyn Plus, but most people can't find Kanaplex and have no troubles with Maracyn Plus.

Last edited by callistra; 01-15-2013 at 09:00 AM.
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