Xia started "pine-coning" about a week ago. She stopped eating about 4 days ago. Her last poop was several days ago. (It was back to normal looking, not tiny pieces)
For the last 4 days she had wedged herself between her heater and the side of the tank, she is vertical, almost at the surface, not moving from that place! I could hardly get her to change her tank. Her breathing is slower. I added the full 2 tsp per gal. epsom salt several days ago.
I didnt start antibiotics because I thought she was near death. (I thought once they pine-coned (Dropsy?) they almost never survived and died with in several days). But now Im having second thoughts about all this. Is there a chance she could survive? Or do they linger on this long with pine-coning? I had used Kanaplex for 2 rounds then a few days later almost 2 rounds of Maracyn 1&2, starting the first week back in Dec. I do have medicated fish food but she is not even eating blood worms.
Do they live this long after they pine-cone? Should I start antibotics again? Should I try some sort of Epsom Salts bath? I dont want to prolong suffering but she is still here.
I would treat with epsoms (doesn't need to be a bath.. needs to stay in them) at 1 tsp per gallon predissolved. Needs to be 100% magnesium sulfate with no dyes, perfumes or any other additives per ingredients label. They should be predissolved and added slowly over an hour plus to avoid shock.
I would normally not hesitate to add meds but since your fish was just on them for so long it's a concern as well.. there's no one right answer here and it's not easy to decide.
Definitely watch poop and if it's anything but normal brown poop.. any white, clear mucasy stuff then you have an infection.
(Sorry about the length of this post. Just trying to get you as much info as possible.)
There have been some major changes in Xia today!!
Apx 7 days ago, after she started pine-coning, Xia had wedged herself between the tank and heater in a vertical position with her mouth almost out of the water and hadnt moved. (except when I did a water change and had to cup her and release her) Today she left that spot and was resting at the bottom of the tank and making mad dashes to the top for air.
I thought this could be the end. But after watching her a bit I decided to try feeding her blood worms. I dropped 3 in, one at a time and she swam over to each one as it sank to her level and gobbled them up!
But she was struggling to stay up right, starting to tilt every so often. I decided to get her in her changing cup so she could float in her tank and be closer to the surface. I had to change the water today anyway so I went a head with that but left her in her cup in floating in her tank after the w/c so again she could be closer to the surface. She was still listing to one side but tonight she seamed a bit more upright, less tipping. I decided to try feeding her again, her evening meal. I gave her two pellets and she gobbled them down also!
Also I had been offering her food every day or so for 7 days. She didnt eat , but I thought she may have eaten one blood worm two days ago but wasnt sure (maybe it ended up in tank decor?) But the next day she pooped a tiny bit. Normal color and shape. But there was a clear (not white) "casing" that extended past and before the normal poop. It seamed normal for pooping after not pooping for days due to lack of food. Is it?
She is still very swolen. Altho it looks like the fluid has settled mostly in the front of her body above her ventral fins and maybe there is a bit less in the back of her body. Maybe from being veritical for 7 days? I also noticed a tiny clear round thing between the area of her gils and vertical fins. Lose scale?
So my question now is...
If she continues to eat should I give her some medicated food? I have some Jungle medicated food that is used for internal infections.
Or should I try another medication? I have some Maracyn Plus. I have never given this to her so there shouldnt be any acquired resistance. (not sure if thats happened with Kanaplex & Maracyn 1&2) But I cant use anything else with Maracyn Plus like medicated food.
Or what about increasing the tank temps? I have heard this recommended for some illnesses. (current temps 78-79*).
Or try and Epsom salt bath? I have heard of these but dont know the dosage of ES.
Or Should I continue to keep her tank clean and feed her and see what happens? See what the poop looks like tomorrow?
What about keeping her in her cup floating in her tank so she would be closer to the serface.(Its the plastic cup she came in and its what I use for water changes. I know I would have to dump most of the water each day and put in fresh tank water.) I also have a small glass bowl I used for water changes that floats also but holds less water and seams to stress her more. I think I might have bought one of those side containers, I will look.
After I saw her eat this AM i felt she was still fighting and not ready to give up. I wish to honor that and do what I can
Thank you for your help! : )
Re posting current info sheet....
What size is your tank? 2 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78-78*
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
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Before she stoped eating...Hakari Betta Bio Gold pellets, pre soaked 3 in the AM. Hakari Bio Pure Bloodworms, thawed, 3 in the PM. Before today she hadnt eaten in 7 days except on blood worm tow days ago.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 times a day.
How often do you perform a water change? Was 5-6 days, increased to 4-5 days.
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? Now 4 tesp Epsom Salt, 1/4 Tes each NovAqua & AmQuel.
Have you tested your water? No
If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? She started Pine-coning 9 days ago.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? She doesnt swim around anymore, stoped about 8 days ago. & days ago wedged herself between her heater and the tank, stayed there with out leaving until today.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 12-4-12 got kinda puffy.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 12-8-12 started 2 rounds of KanaPlex. 12-18-12 Started MAracyn 1 & 2 for 9 days until you told me to stop.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not like this.
How old is your fish (approximately)?at least 3 1/2 yrs.
I misunderstood about the water. I thought you meant the change now (a few weeks ago) would be too stressful. My bad. So at this point should I still go ahead and start switching her over to tap? Or wait and see if she survives?
I use the NovAqua because it came as a set with the AmQuel and it did different things including added electrolytes, buffers pH and provided a protective slim coat. Is it bad for bettas? Wouldnt this address some of the spring water issues? Could the NovAqua have been causing her to retain fluids? Is Prime better?
I am going to try and find a container to hang over the edge of the tank that lets the water through but keeps her closer to the surface.
I found the Omega food and had started her on it but then realized I was very allergic to it and had to stop. I was going to get the New Life food but would have to order it and didnt know if she would still be alive when it came as by then she was getting worse.
NovAqua buffering is a concern. I would discontinue it. I would not use a product that claims it buffers or changes ph in any way without thorough testing and understanding of exactly how the water is changed as the swings could cause issues.
Needs to get out of the spring water... Do it slowly the way OFL said. You could possibly eventually just stop and keep a 50/50 mix but I would not assume and still test. Honestly with the age of your betta and the delicate condition I would get a ph, gh and kh test kit, test both tap and current water and then once you get up to a 50/50 mix as that mix may be the best.
I was finally able to find a KH test kit ! I tested that and the PH of the waters...the tap, water from Xis tank (its 3 days old water) and I opened a new bottle of spring water and tested it too. Spring was from the same company as the bottles I use in her tank but it was a diff size bottle. So here we go!
Sooooo whats up with the 12 KH on the spring and only 5 in Xia's tank?!! It was 3 days old water in her tank so it still had the Amquel & NovAqua in it and when I added a few cups of water in her tank over the last few days I used the water I keep on hand treated with Prime.
So I will do a water change tomorrow. How much tap should I use? (2 gal tank) Should I let it sit out over night or anything? So if I stop the NovAqua and AmQuel do you recommend Prime? Or stay with the AmQuel
The other BIGGER problem... <sigh>
Xia was struggling to get the the surface so I put her in her changing cup floating in her tank for 2 days so she could get to the surface easier. (I changed the water in it twice a day). Yesterday I found a breading cube thingy that I could put in her tank, more room and kept her closer to the surface and her tank water would flow through it. When I added it to her tank last night I unpluged the heater for saftey and realized this AM I had forgot to plug it back in!!! It was 75*in the tank this AM!!! I felt so bad! : ( . .
It was warm in the house till late so Im guessing she had colder temps for 5-7 hrs. I plugged in the heater at a lower temp and brought the temps up slowly. Its apx 77* now. Not sure if I should turn it up to her reg temp (78-9) tonight or tomorrow. Needless to say I was just sick when I realized it. I had worked so hard to get her a container and she was actualy doing better, eating, pooping, body horizontal, swimming more and slightly less puff/ less pine-coning.
Today she ate her food and pooped. She struggled a bit more today with not tipping over and her fins were the tinest bit clamped this am in the cold water but are fully open now but she seams more pine-cony tonight. <sigh>
So here we are 6 weeks after my first post and and 23 days after Xia started pine-coning and she is still alive! I'm kinda at a loss to know what to do. She isnt getting any better but she is still with us. I didnt think she would live this long in the pine-cone condition.
She is in a breeding container inside her tank, so she is closer to the surface as she had struggled to swim up for air.. She hasnt eaten in 3 days but surprisingly is still pooping a little bit. It looks close to normal, maybe a bit darker today.
Im just checking on the Epsom Salt instructions. Did you say its ok to increase it to 3 tsp per gal (if you do it slowly)? And is there a time limit on how long you can use Epson Salt? I have been adding ES since you first recomended it 6 weeks ago. Im up to 2 tsp per gal now. Is this too long to be using it ?