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Old 09-15-2008, 11:57 AM   #1 
rebeccav
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Severly Swollen Beta

I have two male beta fish in a three gallon tank that is seperated by a grate. I have had them for several months and everything has been perfectly fine. I came in this morning to find one so swollen it looks like a puffer fish. He can't swim and is pretty much upside down laying on the bottom. His gills aren't moving and when he does try to swim he doesn't go very far. His fins are all frayed and his beautiful red color is completly faded (probably because he is so swollen). The other one lookds like his fins were nipped a little too and has a slightly swollen belly, but not his entire body like the other one. He won't eat and is laying on the bottom, however has all of his blue coloring. It almost appears that they had a brawl in the tank, but there is no way for this to have happened because they are seperated, unless they were nipping at each other through the grating. I am getting started with a water change, but I need some serious help quickly before they both die. Also on Friday when I left them, they were two very colorful very happy fish. What could have happened to them??? Has anyone see this happen before?
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:51 PM   #2 
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when did you last change the water in the three gallon? How much are you feeding them and how often? What is temp of the water? what type of filtration ? What have you done or not done differently than in the previous months?
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:16 PM   #3 
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I change the water about every month, which might not be totally necessary because I do have a low current filter in the tank. I also have a heater in it and it is set at 82 degrees. It is meant for small tanks and doesn't continually heat so they don't get too hot. In the time it took to post my original post I lost the one. I changed the water. The other one is looking fine, he is acclimating to the new water in his little container for now. The swelling went down in his belly. I think he was just constipated. The only thing I can think of that was different was that I was in and out last week and so they weren't fed on a schedule like they normally are. I feed them twice a day and it is almost always at the same time. Is this overfeeding? Everything I have read on proper care of them says twice a day. I feed them the tetra beta pellets. Then every so often as a treat I bring in some brine shrimp. None of which should cause that swelling right? I have never seen that before in a fish. I also changed the filter pellet just in case it was not working and making the water levels too toxic. But in that case I would have thought both fish would have a problem not just one of them....Any ideas on this? I dont' want anyone else to see this happen, that was horrible!
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:35 PM   #4 
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In tanks of five gal or less you really should change the water at least twice a week with dechlorinated water that is close to the same temp as the water the fish is in. If you are feeding very small amount then twice daily is fine. The three gal. in my view is too small to support two fish. I suspect ammonia levels became elevated in the tank between water changes and caused the death of your fish. Uneaten food and fish poo = ammonia which in any amount is harmful to your fish. That is why water changes are needed to help remove it. In smaller tanks one must perform more water changes more frequently due to smaller volume of water.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:49 PM   #5 
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Even with a filter on it? I thought that if you change water too frequently it stresses them out.... Also just a little note to add, When I change the water I use a water conditioner, get the water as close to the temp as in the fish is sitting in and then acclimate him so there is no shock.I feel horrible for causing this. I will not be replacing the one fish I lost, so the guy I have left will have the entire tank to himself now. Thanks for the tip to change water more often. I really hope it helps. He is resting on a plant right now, but looks like he is going to be ok.
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:04 PM   #6 
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Yes even with a filter you must change the water. You can also use a turkey baster to remove any uneaten food from the bottom between water changes. You don't need to change all of the water out at water changes. Maybe change out one gallon twice a week. This along with being very careful not to overfeed and your fish will remain healthy and happy. PS you can clean the filter once a month by rinsing it out in old aquarium water you take out not tap water. :)
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:35 PM   #7 
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Sorry about your fish. It sounds like you are on the right track with the other one.I'm glad he's doing better. Good luck with him.
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