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Old 04-23-2013, 10:35 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Lethargic Slow Betta Seems to have Dropsy

Hey guys... Pretty new here, um... well, thanks for taking the time to read this. Well, I have my beautiful blue betta fish, and for about a week now, he's become lethargic, and isn't moving well. He stays at the bottom, not moving, or comes to the top (not moving) and occasionally takes air. He is 'Pine coning' and he doesn't eat!! I'm really worried and I really hope he doesn't die. Are there any ways to at least make him last a bit longer, and make him a bit more active? Please help if you have a way!! Also, he is currently in a 3 gallon tank, with a filter, and a heater, I try to feed him but he rarely eats!!

Please help... DaBettaFish
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:40 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Western NY
You might get some better answers in the "Emergencies and Diseases" subforum.

Hopefully they can help!
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:58 PM   #3 
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Welcome.. and sorry you come under these circumstances :(

If he is pineconing then I am going to tell you straight out that his survival rate at this point is very very low. Usually once pineconing sets in it is a sign that internal organs are/have shut down and rarely will one ever pull through.

Sadly it's common to lose fish within the first 2 weeks after bringing them home.. they go through a lot of stress and improper water conditions for a while before being sold, so a lot of them have health issues that we don't see until the very end.

It sounds like he has a good set up - good size tank, heated.. the whole nine yards. So you have given him the best chance.. he just was most likely ill when you got him.

If his scales are sticking up, he is lethargic and not eating then I would suggest euthanize him to end his suffering.

Normally if he had the signs without the pineconing then I would definitely recommend treatment, but at this point it's just going to put him under more stress.

Once he is gone, clean his tank and items out very good with really hot water (don't burn yourself).. can boil the water and then place the items in the hot water (stop the boiling) for 5-10 minutes.. for more thorough you can use a small portion of bleach in a bucket of water to clean everything and let it dry in the sun.. rinse very very good a couple of times until you no longer smell bleach. The substrate just wash in the hot water, only bleach the tank/items in the tank. The filter cartridge I would just replace.

I'm so sorry.. it's not easy losing one, and it sucks losing one so soon after you got them. You didn't do anything wrong with him.. but you did make his last days better.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:16 PM   #4 
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Aww... you guys are so nice here! And yes... I'm quite sad... I'll see what I can do about getting him euthanized but I still hope that there is still one small chance that he can live! Thanks for all your support and comfort :)

DaBettaFish :) <3 Love ya all!
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:08 AM   #5 
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If you want to try, then I would suggest picking up some Epsom Salt from the pharmacy (sold over the counter, tends to be really cheap) - just make sure it's plain, no fragrance or dyes.

Would add 3 teaspoons per gallon - make sure to dissolve it prior to adding it with him. I tend to use hot water in a coffee mug and stir until it's dissolved. Don't forget the water conditioner. Daily 100% water changes adding in a new dose of Epsom Salt each time.. continue until he either passes or the scaling goes back to normal.

Keep in mind, dropsy is a symptom not a disease.. so you will have to try to figure out what is causing the dropsy and try to fix that. Don't mix Epsom with Aquarium salt, but Epsom is fine with other medications. The Epsom won't cure what had caused him to become pineconed, but it can help relieve the pressure and possibly stop the bloating under the skin that is causing the pineconing. If anything else, it can give him some relief.. but unfortunately the treatment can cause stress as well and make everything go faster downhill.

It's the risk when treating fish - a lot of the treatments are very stressful to the fish and can actually do more harm. So in the end, it's your call whether you want to try to relieve the pressure to put him more at ease and risk the stress.

When he started getting sick, were there any signs? Not eating, lethargy, loss of color.. clamping of fins, spots, sores, etc? Without some history of symptoms it will be a bit harder to find the cause of the problem and treat it accordingly. I won't throw medication willy nilly at fish as their organs are small and sensitive. So I really don't want to recommend anything without knowing what caused it. But since he is new and this probably started weeks before you got him, it will be hard to know the history of the illness.
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depressed, dropsy, pleasehelp, sad

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