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Old 09-03-2010, 01:39 PM   #1 
curlycue82
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Sick Betta

Just wondering if anyone can help me out. I have a male betta. I've had him for about 2 1/2 months. He has seemed really healthy; he interacted with me, ate normally, swam around often, didn't appear to be distressed...etc. This past Tuesday night, I went to feed him and I couldn't find him (not normal, he usually swims right to the top when he sees me). I finally saw him down at the bottom of the tank laying there very still. I thought he was dead so I took my net and gently nudged him. He reacted and swam around for a bit, ate one of his betta pellets and then disappeared again. The next day, he did the same thing but he did not respond to his food. Yesterday he ate one pellet again and the rest have floated down towards the bottom.

I went to the pet sore and the worker said to buy QuickFix. I started giving it to him last night but he still lays at the bottom of the tank.

I will attatch a couple photos of him. He looks pale, and his fins are clumped together. His spine sort of looks curved, but I'm not sure if it actually is or it is just the way he is laying. He doesn't swim often enough for me to see him. I can see him breathing, and I'm not sure how fast/slow a betta fish usally breaths, but it does not seem to be overly exaggerated. I've read that it could be a fungal infection or even TB. The fish is actually my 4 year old's and I do not want it to be something she can easily contract.

If anyone has any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

Tank info:
5 gallon tank--he's the only fish
filtered
heated, stays around 78.9 degrees
a few silk plants and a hollow log

I did a 50% water change yesterday and added the medicine. I usually do a 25-50% water change every week to every other week.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:13 PM   #2 
Adastra
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Poor guy, he looks very ill. Do you have a water test kit and do you know if your tank has undergone the nitrogen cycle?

I googled QuickFix, but I couldn't find the product or a list of ingredients. Can you tell me what ingredients are in the medication? If I had to guess, it's probably a mixture of malachite green, formalin or acriflavine, and maybe some random antibiotic.

My initial impression of this fish is that if he was fine yesterday, and is clamped, lethargic, and barely moving right now, it's likely a systemic bacterial infection--systemic infections hit hard and they hit very fast. If the fish had something else, he'd probably look a lot better right now, and he doesn't look bloated, which would be the only other explanation for his sinking.. Unfortunately systemic infections don't have the best prognosis--but if the fish is still eating, you might be able to turn him around with the right medication.

Is the heater adjustable? If it is, I would slowly turn the heater down a half a degree per hour until the temperature is at 76 degrees. Bacteria thrive in warm temperatures, so this should slow it down a bit. You should try to lower the water level so that he doesn't have to work hard to get to the surface to breathe.

I would look for a more serious broad spectrum antibiotic, such as a combination of both Maracyn I and Maracyn II at the same time, API's Triple Sulfa, or a Kanamycin medication such as Seachem's Kanaplex. I always recommend that anyone who uses an antibiotic read this article: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa084 so that you understand how these medications work and the risks involved with working with them. If you treat him with an antibiotic, you should use a different container--I use sterilite/rubbermaid plastic storage bins, since they're available at walmart or target in 4 gallon sizes for only about $3 each. They're safe to heat and house your fish in and you can't beat the price. If you have a large tupperware container that will work too. Try to pick a container that is wide and shallow so the fish won't have to strain to reach the surface, and make sure it has an even number of gallons so that the medication will be easy to divide and dose correctly. If you don't have one, it would be a good idea to get a small air pump and air stone because antibiotics will remove oxygen from the water. Tie knots in the tubing or buy a valve to restrict the bubble flow so that the current doesn't disturb your betta.

Last edited by Adastra; 09-03-2010 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 03:46 PM   #3 
naturegirl243
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Location: Michigan
My boy Diego did the same thing I would put him in the cup he came in or something that size so it is easy to get air with some nice water(crystal geyser is nice spring water I got it at the dollor store and it tested perfect fo fish)then add some stress coat.Diego was better in no time after that and he was doing the same thing you can see pics in the thread I started about a fish getting worse every minute thats him and he is fine now just had his first bloodworm today actually.
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