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Old 03-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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Sorry he isn't doing well, it looks like you have done a great job with him since the last time I seen him. I don't think its velvet.

Sadly, it might be aging out and not a lot we can do-except to keep him comfy. That said, we also don't want to give up too soon either...

What I would recommend-Epsom salt and tannins. Cover the top with something to get the condensation up on the walls to increase heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.
You can either move him to a smaller tank or lower the water level in his tank. As you already know we have to be careful changing the pH too fast.
I would switch to Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and heavy tannins-
Premixed the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlroinated water-add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and tannins-Using this water make 25% water changes every 30min for 2 hours or to his tolerance.

Then make 25% water changes every other day for 1 week-then every 3rd day for 1 week-then twice weekly thereafter.

He may need to stay in the Epsom salt and heavy tannins long term-along with the low water level and high heat/humidity over the water.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals

Good luck and keep us posted...
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:10 PM   #12 
beddini
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OFL.. thanks so much for the prompt reply!!!

I've started the epsom salt regimen and covered the tank to increase humidity. I've also added a crumbled IAL in a panty hose last night.. and its already "ambered" up the tank pretty good. I assume that's what you mean when you say "heavy tannins"

I do have to ask.. If my tap water is close to a ph of 8 and my tank is ph of 6.. I'm hesitant to change out water that rapidly... correct?

Do you have any concerns over the ph bottoming out with the added tannins?

as for diet.. I'm only feeding Hikari Betta Gold pellets.. and the occasional freeze dried bloodworm. could you rec a couple of others so I can vary up his meals?

thanks so much,

Andrew
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #13 
beddini
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Another quick question.. in the video you can see whitish spots on his head.. they formed in the past 3 days..

is that indicative of anything? decay? infection? parasites?

-a
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:49 PM   #14 
Oldfishlady
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Its hard to say what the white spot is-however, is the area in question-raised, textured, fuzzy...etc....if not-it might be a normal pigment change related to age-If it is, both the Epsom salt and tannins-antibacterial/fungal properties should take care of it.

Do you know what your KH/GH is of the water-if you have soft water it will be hard to maintain the pH since the water lacks buffers-with that said, pH usually isn't too much of an issue-it the KH/GH sudden extreme changes that can cause the problems-except with an already compromised fish-then too rapid pH changes can cause a problem.

One good thing with pH of 6 or less-is that it is harder for bacteria to colonize.

I would try and get the water tanned a dark amber color-the more tannins and darker the better. Since tannins are a natural product you can't overdose with it.

If you have access to live mosquito larva-I would offer several rinsed a couple of times a day-this can boost protein intake to support the immune response. Other foods-you want foods that list the first ingredients of whole fish/seafood if possible-it doesn't have to be Betta specific food-More varied the diet the better-what one is missing the other hopefully will have to support nutritional needs.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:56 PM   #15 
bettalover2000
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Omega One is a good brand, I use Hikari but I would not use it as a staple because the first ingredient is wheat flour. If you can, try and get mosquito larvae or FROZEN bloodworms. The video was somewhat dark, so I couldn't see much.
Good luck!!!!

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=73332
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=73333

You should check this thread for future fish.
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=90086
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:50 PM   #16 
beddini
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Hi All.. Thanks for all the info and tips..

@OFL - The white spots on his head are recent and not raised, their boundaries are defined by his actual scales (no smooth transitions across multiple scales). Unfortunately my LFS did not have kH/Gh kit, so I'll have to order that online. I'll post the results when I get them.

He seems to be improving marginally.. He is still very lethargic, but he is more horizontal as he rests (looks natural). I've also seen him hovering a few inches below. I still have moments where he's just listing, and frozen.. and then I open the top of the tank and he starts moving.

I have also varied up his diet a bit.. I got the best fish food I could find (has fish meal, and fish concentrate are the first and third ingredient), as well as some frozen bloodworms to vary things up. Hopefully the varied nutrient base should stimulate some response. Can not find mosquito larvae unfortunately.

Still darkening up the tank with IAL!

@BettaLover2000 - He loves the frozen bloodworms.. thanks for the tip.. I was always hesitant to get them as I saw warnings about bacterial contamination w/ them.. I'm assuming you rec'd frozen as that destroys the bacteria.

@SilverRealm (from previous misplaced thread). I do not use any pH adjusters in my water. I only add StressCoat and recently 3tsp/gl of epsom salts per OFL's recommendation. To answer your question.. My tank is fully filtered and cycled. I was religious about setting up a fishless cycle before introducing him into it a year or so ago. The large amount of water changes recently was to introduce AQ salt (only during 4 1tsp/gallon 20% changeouts) and more recently Epsom Salts.

A few folks had asked to see the results of my API tests.. ph-6, and all 0 ppm for the big 3.
http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/...i/photo2-1.jpg
http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/...i/photo1-1.jpg


@ChibiShishou I haven't fed him peas in over 3 weeks. I've heard people who swear by peas, and people who say no good. about 6 months ago when buster was having buoyancy issues.. I fed him a pea, and he was fine the next day. Maybe it was something else.. I just don't know..

@Callistra - The temp swings are due to the location of my apt. I live right above the boiler room. In peak heating demand, my apt can reach 85 degrees. I don't have control over it.. but if I'm home I simply open up the window a bit and it cools down. I watch the tank thermometer, and it peaks at most around 83-84.. but only for a few hours and then will drop to its minimum of around 79-80. Maybe I'm being foolish, but my assumption is that ambient temps swing much greater (and higher) in the tropics so the occasional bump to an 85 degree air temp with a few degrees climbing in the tank would not be out of the norm to expose the species to. Today since I'm home, I've seen it stay locked to 80 the entire day. Should I set the thermometer lower so my swinging range is between 77-81ish? I think that's doable.. but I always thought 80+ was better for the fish. Please comment on this.


As for the water changes.. I heard its good to let water "breathe" a bit. I was also looking to get the water to naturally drop its ph a bit since its not straight from the tap. The temp is not a problem because my ambient temp is nearly the exact same as the tank temp at any given time within one or 2 degrees. I test this with an infrared thermometer as well.

I do have live plants (2 anubias, a moss ball, and java fern) I also have a small piece of driftwood (sold for AQ usage) that I boiled about 10x before introducing it in the tank. This tank set up is almost a year old and unchanged.

I took your rec and went out and got the best food I could find at my LFS.. but it's still not as "non meal-ly" as I'd like ingredient wise. Is there a brand that you rec? I'm now rotating between Hikari, Nutrafin Max, dried bloodworms, frozen bloodworms. No peas.

I've only added 4tsp of AQ salt with 4 20% water changes over 5 days.

LyraDove@ I was wondering if I should pull the driftwood too.. but many folks said keep it in there to keep the bacterial colony going strong. I guess since its been in there so long w/o issue.. it shouldn't be a problem.. but if the community thinks strongly about this.. please let me know.



I would really like to thank this community for contributing. Thanks so much for all your responses.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:00 AM   #17 
beddini
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Just a quick update.. there is virtually no change in Buster. He still is lethargic, stays on the surface all the time, and only becomes active when he is being fed.

He is seriously suffering from SBD, can barely dive, and can not turn around easily.

His ability to strike accurately for food is not very good. But with patience he gets fed.

I have been cycling his food: freeze dried & frozen bloodworms, New Life spectrum, & nutriFin Max. I have stopped feeding him Hikari due to the high percentage of corn meal and fish meal in the product. I feed him 2x a day now about 2-3 pellets or equivalent mass in bloodworms.


I have a ph of 6 in my planted, driftwooded tank, and a ph of 8 coming out of the tap. It was recommended that I get kH and gH tested.. and I got the kit but I'm having issues getting any read for gH. kH needs one drop to register. I know that's not good.. but there are a lot of folks that say stable is better than trying to adjust w/ chemicals. I don't know what to do at this point. Should I consider adding crushed coral to the tank?

I've read in many places that those gH kits can be unreliable. I have a newly purchased one from Amazon, with an expiration date of 12/17 w/ a lot of 0812 for gH.

During routine tests today I noticed that there was a bit of ammonia registering in between 0-.25ppm. No No2 or No3. I did a 50% water change today and refreshed the week old IAL in the pantyhose mesh. I'm wondering if the minor spike is anything to be concerned with as I've misplaced a few bits of food (the new food I got him sinks unfortunately) and maybe the IAL breaks down to ammonia too.. not sure.

With the 50% water change the ph spiked from 6 to 6.4 but came back down to 6 again a few hours later. I'm sure that is not good for him.. and I'm wondering if I should be doing anything to buffer the water before it goes in.

I also switched my water dechlorinator from Stresscoat to Prime as many have recommended. I'm doing changes to my 5 gal tank in 1 gal jugs.. so its literally 2 drops/gal.. With measurements that small.. I'm wondering if its easy to accidentally give too much or too little.

Another potential piece to the puzzle.. I have a small filter that has mechanical (sponge) and charcoal filtration. I've never replaced any of the charcoal out of fear of killing bacteria.. and frankly I think most of the granules have fell out of the cartridge so I'm sure it has no efficacy. Am I being ignorant for not changing/ adding to the charcoal? For the record, for every other WWC, I will rinse the sponge in removed tank water before pouring down the toilet.



I'm really at a loss, as I feel like he's been on death's door for about 2 months now.. but he keeps hangin on, which is leading me to believe that there is something that I can and should be doing. Any continued advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:14 AM   #18 
AyalaCookiejar
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Do you Pre-tan the new water during water changes? Those pH fluctuations aren't good. I would really to to get the pH the same when doing water changes, especially with that huge of a difference in pH.

For the filters, I just use sponge. I had carbon cartridges but I honestly don't see a need for them (is that what you meant? Carbon or charcoal?) I know that carbon can be used to remove excess meds and toxins from the water, but if you don't have those, there's not a big point to them. Water changes serve the purpose of keeping the water clean without that extra stuff carbon does, like removing odors. Plus, carbon can also remove some good things in the water, like nutrients that live plants need. You are right that you shouldn't change 100% of your filter media at once to prevent killing your cycle, but I'm not sure the tank is cycled if you're seeing ammonia and no nitrates.

Unfortunately, I can't help with anything else. I have a blind male with chronic swim bladder issues and I've come to the conclusion with help here that he just has very bad genetics. Sakura8 did tell me that he's acting like an old Betta generally would, but he is not that old. He is very lethargic, which started shortly after he went blind, he needs assistance finding his food, and he is buoyant (floating uncontrollably) 90% of the time. He is becoming slowly less responsive. If I fast him for awhile, his buoyancy issues go away, but they come back immediately after he eats.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:25 AM   #19 
beddini
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Apologies Ayala..

yes Carbon.. not charcoal.. I get your point about the toxins.. but maybe they are present?

Yes.. Buster seems blind as well.. I'm constantly having to get his attention with the tip of the eyedropper first then dropping a bit of food about 1-2cm away from him in his line of sight. I wasn't sure if that's fatigue or something else that caused the inability to register visual stimuli. But its getting worse. Is blindness a sign of old age? or something else? If you have a really low pH does the acidity affect any sort of ocular membranes? Just a guess.

I'm 99% sure my tank is cycled. Is it not likely that old food and rotting IAL could cause the ammonia to hit close to .25ppm?
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:41 AM   #20 
AyalaCookiejar
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A cycled tank should rid .25ppm ammonia in 24 hours and should show nitrates, but a spike is possible. I'm not sure about IAL causing an ammonia spike, but if he lets a lot of food sink, that might do it.

I'm not entirely sure what causes blindness besides genetics, and sometimes dragon scales growing over the eyes. Otherwise, cloudy eye can cause them to go blind, but you'd be able to physically see that. My Betta started off not being able to find his food at all, and over a few weeks he stopped responding to my finger and then I noticed him swimming face first into decor, substrate, and the walls of his tank. They live in low pH in the wild and can adjust to a very wide range of pHs. However, I think that in a pH less than 6, the beneficial bacteria in the cycle cannot colonize, but ammonia is also turned to ammonium, which will show up on your test kit but won't harm your fish.

Unless you spray stuff around the tank or have meds that need removed or something rusting in your tank, I'm not sure why there would be toxins? I think carbon stops working after a month, anyways. I always prefer water changes to remove things from the water over any other method, anyhow.

Edit: I've also heard too bright of lights can hurt their eyes but this should not be an issue if you have enough cover in the tank for him. Out of curiosity, how long do you leave the lights on each day?
And for the record, your boy seems to be able to see much better than mine. His food has to touch his mouth for him to find it. He can't see at all. I think I have heard of some fish going blind in only one eye, though? I'm not for sure on that one.

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 03-10-2013 at 04:45 AM.
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