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Old 02-01-2013, 01:14 PM   #1 
Crest104
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Sick Betta

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? about 77
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

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1 x per day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? about 1 x per month
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? conditioner

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

Before espom salt container home, I tested:

Ammonia:
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: I don't remember this one for sure. It was either 7.2 or 7.8
Hardness: 150
Alkalinity: 180

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? very very pale in contrast to what he used to look like
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? not eating or pooping
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 1-1/2 - 2 weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? epsom salt water (1/2 teaspoon in 1 quart of water) QT floated in tank and mostly covered with plastic wrap. Only a small part is left uncovered for air.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? don't know for sure. We have had for about 7 months now.

I could really use some good advice. I have read and read and read. I think time is running out. I purchased a Betta about 7 months ago at Petland. He has been living in a 5 gallon heated and filtered tank with 2 live plants & small river rocks as the substrate. I have been doing 100% water changes about every month. I now know that this is not the proper way, but it worked and everything was going fine. Roughly 1-1/2 weeks ago, he started acting not like himself. He would always eat. But now, he would come up to eat but not eat, or eat it and spit it out. Then that led to absolutely no interest in food & then he started laying down on the bottom with his body half flopped over. He has become VERY pale. I thought he was constipated. So, now he is in a smaller container with epsom salt water that floats in his tank. I am using 1/2 teaspoon per quart of water. He has been in 1 quart of epsom salt water (daily changes) for 6 full days now with no improvement. I also fasted him for 3 days, which didn't matter because he wasn't eating anyway. He is breathing a little heavier than he used to. He is not eating or pooping. I saw a silver shiny spot near his face last night. My daughter said that it has been there for a long time. She didn't specify how long. She just said that that was him. (It is her fish.) His face below his mouth has become gray, like an older dogs. My daughter questioned me about this. His face being gray has been there for a over a month. He used to be quite feisty and flare alot, even at his own reflection where the filter sits. He has blown his fins several times which have not "healed" from the last time. I do not see his scales sticking out. I also used a magnifying glass to see if they were sticking out and I didn't see them. Is there any saving this poor guy?
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:24 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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In what relation did the symptoms start in regards to the 100% water change.

What kind of plants and how did you acclimate back to the tank after the 100% water change.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #3 
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Just before the last water change he had started the coming to the top of the tank and "sniffing" his food and not eating, or spitting it out. He had become a little more lazy but still swam around...no side laying. After the water was 100% changed, it was just over a week when the side laying started. I did another 100% change after putting him in his epsom salt water home. And I didn't see any poop in the water. It had been 2 weeks since the last water change.

The plants are Crypts and Anacharis.

I keep 5 gallons of water in a container, at room temperature, ready to go for a cleaning. It is one of those jugs that goes in a water cooler with a spigot. I keep a baggy on top (loosely) to keep the dust/dirt out. That water gets poured into the tank and then conditioner is added. After about 5 minutes, I put the betta back in his home, straight in and usually with a net. The glass container that he is being floated in now is what I use for his temporary home while his home is being cleaned.

Any help on saving Clifford would be greatly appreciated!

BTW I have another betta in his own 5 gallon tank that we do the same thing with. He is fine.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:25 PM   #4 
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A few things come to mind-one being that his immune response was compromised due to stress from poor water quality-along with the sudden extreme chemistry changes from not being properly acclimated. This compounded along with possible aging.

Good that you have him in QT with a low water level-along with the veggie wrap for the humidity(you want to see a lot of condensation build up inside the QT).
I would premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 2tsp/gal(Not aquarium salt) and a tannin source (if you have any Oak trees near by-collect some naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaves-about 20 crushed/gal-Or IAL 1 large crushed/gal)
Let this water steep for at least 30min-Shake well before use and use it for 25% water changes every 15min for 1hour today-Then, using the premixed treatment water make 25% water changes every other day.
He needs to stay in this treatment water in the covered QT for the duration. Keep him in a dim lit quiet location and hold food for the first 24h.

Good luck and keep us posted...
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:27 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
A few things come to mind-one being that his immune response was compromised due to stress from poor water quality-along with the sudden extreme chemistry changes from not being properly acclimated. This compounded along with possible aging.

Good that you have him in QT with a low water level-along with the veggie wrap for the humidity(you want to see a lot of condensation build up inside the QT).
I would premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 2tsp/gal(Not aquarium salt) and a tannin source (if you have any Oak trees near by-collect some naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaves-about 20 crushed/gal-Or IAL 1 large crushed/gal)
Let this water steep for at least 30min-Shake well before use and use it for 25% water changes every 15min for 1hour today-Then, using the premixed treatment water make 25% water changes every other day.
He needs to stay in this treatment water in the covered QT for the duration. Keep him in a dim lit quiet location and hold food for the first 24h.

Good luck and keep us posted...

I hate to be this person but I've got a new boy with a very large wound in his side and I haven't had anyone answer or even look at my thread. Do you mind looking at it and telling me the best thing to do???

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=127532
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:32 PM   #6 
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3 questions:
1. Do the "tannin leaves" stay in the water when I put premix in his QT container?
2. Do I still keep him in only 1 quart of water?
3. How long is "the duration"?

Thanks SO VERY much for helping me and walking me through this!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:17 AM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Yes, the leaves stay in the premixed jug of treatment water-the longer they steep-the more tannins released-the darker the water-the more the Betta likes it.
Needs to stay in the QT for the duration of the treatment of 10-14 days
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:49 AM   #8 
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Do the leaves go into the QT container as I measure out the water, or do I filter them out and keep them in the premix?

My husband thought Clifford had passed this morning and was ready to send him on. He is indeed still hanging on. I do have to say that through all of this, he doesn't seem to be getting slimmer. I hope theses are all good signs of him recovering. He seems to be breathing easier this morning, not so labored.

Is there a good number to use as a guide as the different number of plant species in a tank? I would like to properly set up my tanks for a better environment for my bettas, possibly dirt with pool sand and good plants. Would this be okay for a 5 gallon tank?

At this time my most important question is the leaves question.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:31 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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I like to premix my treatment water in a clean 1gal jug (old milk jug) and add my salt and tannin source. By premixing the treatment water in a 1gal jug will give you more control to provide the therapeutic dosage when making partial water changes.
Since the tannins are a natural product you can't overdose with them-but you can cause chemistry shock related issues-especially with an already compromised fish. This is another reason you want to have premixed treatment water to use for water changes.

I don't worry about the leaf bits that get into the container with the Betta-often they will help to make the Betta feel more secure and they will sometimes peck/eat the microorganism that colonize on the leaf bits.

I have a sticky on the natural planted soil based systems in the habitat section. Read over that to help give you an idea of what you need and setup...etc.....The 5gal will work fine for an NPT too....
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:15 PM   #10 
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Clifford does not seem to like the leaf pieces in his QT container. It looks like he is trying to stay away from them. I have put up some colored construction paper around his tank to keep some of the light out, but not directly where he is at.
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