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Old 01-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #1 
ramya
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betta sick and lying at the bottom of the tank hardy coming up

I have had my betta for about 3 years now. He lives in the 6 gallon hex aquarium with a heater and filter. Recently while feeding him, I turned off his filter and forgot to turn it on for more than 24 hours. A few days later he showed some ripping in his fin- I did a water change and he grew most of it back. But lately he has been very sick He was initially resting even during the day on some plants and the last two days he has been completely on the floor of the aquarium. I thought he was almost dead. This lying on the floor was following a 25% water change (weird?). I checked the water parametrs- ammonia 0.25 (always has been this way.. or maybe I am reading the color a bit off, nitrite-0). I just noticed now that he again has a hole in his fin.

Other possible reasons for sickness-
1.Around New Years time I got him live brine shrimp
2. He had some cloudiness in his eyes and I want to say that it has reduced, but it is not crystal clear
3. Just before he got very sick, i noticed that the new water I had kept for him (with stress coat) had some 1 cm worms in it maybe black. I had to use some of that water since I had already taken off his old water and my filter doesn't run unless the water level is high. I washed the container with hot water a refilled it...

Please tell me what to do.. he might be old.. but he still has his vigor.. I want to treat him if possible.. Maracyn 1 and 2? HELP!
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:56 PM   #2 
callistra
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Having your filter off will kill off your bb..the rapid death can cause ammonia spikes so that may be why you are seeing ammonia now. Keep an eye on parameters for a couple weeks to make sure it's not broken down. What are you using to test? Strips or drops?

How do you do water changes and how do you acclimate afterwards?

What color is his poop?

Explain more of this "new" water with worms in it is about..

Is he gasping? Any red gills? holes in fins are usually ammonia burns, unless it's being snagged on something.

Cloudy eye is a gram positive bacterial infection. It requires epsom salts (pure 100% magnesium sulfate) predissolved at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon and added very slowly over an hour or more to the tank to avoid shock. You only need to redose with water changes, and then only as much as you change. You also need antibiotics like Kanaplex, Maracyn Plus or Furan 2. This will toast your cycle so you probably want to treat in hospital/qt.

More info will make sure we're not missing anything: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233 Photos would also help.

Last edited by callistra; 01-15-2013 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:27 PM   #3 
ramya
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Although I did turn off the filter, the bacteria from aquarium decor should have flourished by this time, right? I just checked and ammonia is 0, and nitrite is 0. I use API's drops and color comparison to a chart to test it.

For water change, I first fill the water in a bucket and add stress coat and keep it until my next water change. I take about 1 gallon or so at a time and heat it on my stove top to the right temp and pour it into the tank which has been siphoned and cleaned of 25% or so of its water. Not sure what you mean by how do acclimate after. The conditions are per-acclimatized for the water based on the tank conditions.
Not sure about the color of his poop :(; also not sure about the black worms in my new water, I filled it about a week earlier and when I was about to do my water change, I saw them. They were hanging down in the bottom of the bucket. I used abut 1 gallon from the top layer (had to :()... I threw them away, cleaned the bucket with hot water and refilled water.
Not sure if he is gasping.. but when he lay under water for about 48 hours, his gill was opening and closing. Maybe a slight redness to his gills..but he is blue and red and it is difficult to say for sure.
I have epsom, I'll try that- thanks!
He is my only fish and the only tank resident. I dont have a spare tank (i have a bowl, but I don't ever take him out of his tank- that would stress him out).
Should I use all those antibiotics? Will water change by itself take care of the illness?
I just changed his water on Sunday, when should I change it next?
I will go to the pet store tomorrow, please let me know which medication (or not) to use.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:35 PM   #4 
ramya
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Housing
What size is your tank? 6 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80F
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? No

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? hikari pellets, bloodworm, brine shrimp, shrimp, flies
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once in 2 weeks
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? stress coat and sometimes vita chem; I also add Indian Almond Leaf

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

Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:20
pH:7.6
Hardness:--
Alkalinity: --

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? yes, fins clamped, 1 hole in a fin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? very tired, lying still on the floor, sometimes swimming; he finds is difficult to swim
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 1 week, symptoms worsened in the last 2 days
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? just water change (after which he got worse, I think)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not much in 2012
How old is your fish (approximately)?around 3 years since I got him
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:39 PM   #5 
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You don't need all of them. You need to find one. I gave them to you in order of my personal preference. If you treat in the tank that's your choice just know you will kill your cycle and have to start all over again.

I would not premix water anymore so far in advance. You can do it 24-48 hours advance, but I would at least add an air stone... you can even add an additional heater and not mess with the stove. Open buckets of stagnant water sitting around for a while are breeding grounds for bacteria and other nasties. Looks like you were breeding black worms in yours.. Is there a particular reason you want to mix it up so far in advance? Also I'd be really careful about boiling water to a correct temp.. Unless you never use the pan for anything but fish you could have a contaminant in there and then it's iffy because water will continue to fluctuate even after you pull it off the burner so getting the exact temp is tricky. Much easier to set a tap to a correct temp and mix it right before you add.

When you've got mystery conditions like this the first thing I would do is a series of water changes.. do 25-50% back to back for the next 2-3 days.

I would probably clean the bucket with white distilled vinegar as well and then let it sit dry several days.

ETA: Are your worms, and shrimp freeze dried or frozen? Where are these extra shrimp and flies coming from?

Most people would say should be doing a weekly change of 50% for a tank that small.. at least some kind of weekly change. 25% every two weeks is not enough. There are other things in your water you can't test for and your nitrates are on the tippy top end of okay. Lower is better.

Last edited by callistra; 01-15-2013 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:46 PM   #6 
ramya
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Ok, good to know. SO the reason why I premix and let my water sit is because I am not sure how long it takes for stress coat to bind all the chlorine (I have stressed my baby with chlorine once before-and that was a nightmare!). I use the thermometer (an actual laboratory one) to measure the temp after it is stirred and yes the pot is for fish only :)
A series of water changes- thats what I'll do..
Hope he gets better :( If symptoms worsen, I'll get the antibiotics I guess. Thanks callistra.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:23 AM   #7 
ramya
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Hi, I am not sure if I should continue writing in this thread or start a new one.
My betta is still not doing good. I didnt start antibiotic or anything. He was swimming with great difficulty last week but mostly sits and rests on plants or the floor. Water parameters are normal. I am doing ~25% water changes once in 3 days.
Can he can swim bladder disorder? He is not bloated up at all though, but is now again gone back to the floor not able to pull himself up. I tried starving him for 2 days and on the 3rd day giving him pea (also starved him ocassionally and fed him less since he is not moving about much). He has never been bloated actually- I always feed him the right amount so that his belly is nice and round.
I added some epsom (i teasp) to his tank (6 gallons) and since then hes been on the floor.
What should I do. Please help. I really want him to get better and swim around happily.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:38 AM   #8 
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You did mention that he was at least 3. Unfortunately, he may just be getting old and too weak to fight off any illnesses he may have acquired. If he's having difficulty swimming to the top to get air, you can float him in a cup close to the surface so he doesn't have to struggle to breath. You can also take him out, and put him in a hospital tank if you have one, with very low water so he can reach the surface easily.
You can try an antibiotic, and see if it helps any.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:49 PM   #9 
ramya
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Someone please give me some suggestion. He is unable to swim and sitting on the floor. I fed him 3 blood worms with great difficulty today. He is not bloated. Will he suffocate from not being able to swim to the surface?
He is also not bloated. Can bettas have Swim Bladder Disorder without being bloated?
Please help! I love him too much to let him go.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:41 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramya View Post
Someone please give me some suggestion. He is unable to swim and sitting on the floor. I fed him 3 blood worms with great difficulty today. He is not bloated. Will he suffocate from not being able to swim to the surface?
He is also not bloated. Can bettas have Swim Bladder Disorder without being bloated?
Please help! I love him too much to let him go.
That is why I suggested to lower the water level so that he can breathe, or float him in a cup with a little water in it, because he will drown if he can't get to the surface.
Also, yes, they can have SBD without being bloated. I can't remember, did you say you used epsom salts? If not, try that, it will help with Swim Bladder Disorder if that's what it is.
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