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Old 11-19-2010, 09:59 AM   #1 
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Exclamation HELP my betta is committing suicide

I moved to a new house last May, and since then my betta Ando hasn't been quite the same (no bubble nests, not as energetic, never flaring, etc). I would joke that he was trying to commit fishy suicide, but now I think he really is.

About a week ago Ando stopped eating and starting lying on the bottom of his tank. I got concerned (he would eat the whole container of pellets if I let him) so two days ago I moved him to a small bowl (I'm guessing about 1/4 gallon) to help him get to the top and get air more easily. The temp is a steady 78 and he's in about two inches of water.

I feed him 2 pellets a day, and I changed his water once he started acting strange but it didn't help. I don't have a water testing kit so I don't know the parameters. I'm at work now, but I can get a picture when I go home at lunchtime.

-Aside from not eating/lying on the bottom, he's lying on his side in the corner of the bowl (making a C shape with his body).
-His pectoral fins are clamped and his pelvic fins have turned white/silver (the other fins look normal).
-His mouth is opening & closing constantly (it looks like he's talking).
-When he swims, he looks weirdly unbalanced. Almost like when a person is limping.
-Since I moved him to the smaller bowl, he developed slight popeye in one eye. He had it once before, a little more severely, a couple months ago, but at that point it was his only problem and he made a full recovery and went back to his normal self.

I treated him with a little tetracycline, since I had it around and it's what I used when he had popeye a few months ago. I've had him for two years. I can't figure out what's wrong, and I want to treat him right so he gets better. I don't want him to suffer either

(I have another betta in a separate tank which I keep next to Ando's, and that betta is fine).
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:15 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: USA
Oh no! Sorry to hear this.

It is good you moved him to a small container, just make sure you change the water 100% everyday though.

I don't know about medicines, but it does sound to me that you will have to treat him, possibly with more than one medication. Hopefully someone else who knows more about this can tell you what would be best.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:58 AM   #3 
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:50 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
He's awful thin isn't he,
Have you thought about a parasite,
Parasites can cause a whole array of different problems.

Popeye is usually a sign of bad water.

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Old 11-19-2010, 01:12 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah, USA
It could be internal parasites or internal bacteria. Poor little guy is just wasting away . Medicated food is usually the best way to treat an internal problem, but my fish never will eat it. You could try Tetra brand Lifeguard tablets. They dissolve in the water and treat all sorts of problems. It's kinda a "cure-all" treatment. It doesn't work as well as specific disease treatments, but since you are not sure what the problem is, it might be a good idea.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:08 PM   #6 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
I don't really like to use those cure-all things, they tend to not have enough of any one thing to be effective, and more often than not they just expose your fish to chemicals that end up hurting more than helping.

At this point, you should be doing water changes every day--I don't think it's a very good idea to keep him in the small container. Instead, I would put him in his original tank or you can purchase a rubbermaid/sterilite plastic storage bin. These are safe to heat and make excellent hospital containers because they are long and shallow. You can get a 2-4 gallon container for about $3 at walmart or target.

Once the fish is in consistently clean and heated water, you may consider using a deworming medication like Jungle's Parasite Clear tablets. If you cannot find that specific brand, look at the active ingredients lists for what is available--the ingredients you want are metronidazole and praziquantel. Dewormers are very gentle, and don't seem to bother the fish during treatment at all. Fish that have infestations tend to respond in about 4-5 days, they begin to pass the worms and start eating again.

If you have local fish stores (not chain stores) you may be able to find one that offers live blackworms or bloodworms. For some reason, wiggly live worms trigger an instinct in the betta to eat. If you can't get him to eat otherwise, definitely try to get your hands on some live food.

Good luck, and do your best to keep the water clean and warm.
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