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Old 02-27-2011, 11:36 AM   #1 
Euphie101
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Exclamation Urgent! Sick Betta, Not Eating, Barely Moving!

My lovely betta Euphrates has been acting strange lately, and it's really worrying me. I sought help about a week ago here, and someone reccomended a site that had treatment for SBD (swim bladder disorder, I believe). The symptoms of my betta's not feeling well were being listless and not moving around, except some frantic swimming to get to the top to get air, which either resulted in him getting and floating back down the the bottom where he lay, breathing heavily, or him floating at the top, barely moving. He had, just a few days before that, been "choking" on everything her eats, meaning: I'd soak the pellet and break it into smaller pieces, since the pieces are a tad too big for my betta, even though it is food specifically for bettas. He's eat it, then proceed to "choke" which his gills would not go back in and he would swim eratically then float to the bottom of the tank. Someone said it sounded like SBD, and gave me a link to a website with instructions on how to help my betta.

I followed all the directions, which included:
1. Giving the betta a hospital tank that was shallow, so the betta could reach the surface to breathe easily
2. Fast the betta for 4 days, on the 4th day giving him a frozen pea that had been unfrozen
3. Keep the tank to 79-80 degrees

I did all of this, hoping that it would help him out. He seemed to be better after a day or two, but quickly got worse again. I fed him the frozen pea (after it was unfrozen, of course) and he ate it, but it didn't seem to help. Now he can barely swim, doesn't move all too often, and when he does swim, it looks like a great effort, with his fins moving quickly , but resulting in him getting almost nowhere. I'm really worried about him, and I really would like some more advice.

Here are the questions that might help diagnosing him easier:
Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? it stays around 76-78 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley Advanced Nutrition pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Usually one pellet in the morning, one or two at night

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? One 80% per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 80%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He's gotten paler, but nothing else has really changed.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's been listless and not moving, "chocking" on food, including small pieces of bloodworm. He has to frantically move his fins to get anywhere.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The choking I noticed about a week and a 1/2 ago, and the listlessness and frantic swimming about 6 or 5 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, by following the directions stated above.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, he's always been a pretty healthy fish.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I'm not sure, he's from the pet store. I got him 5 months ago.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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I would start a 10 day Epsom salt(Not aquarium salt) treatment on him.

Put him in a small QT container that can be floated in the heated tank (attached to the side so it doesn't sink)
Get a clean 1gal jug and fill with dechlorinated water of like temp and add 1tsp/gal Epsom salt(Not aquarium salt) use this water for 100% daily water changes for 2 days-then increase the Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and continue the 100% daily water changes with this water for 7 more days-pre mixing the treatment water will help make water changes and correct dosage easier

Hold all food for the first 3 days and then offer half feeding twice a day during treatment

Maintain water temp in the 76-78F range

You can also add tannins to the Epsom salt treatment water from either-naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (10-12 crushed/gal) or Indian almond leaf or blackwater extract or decaf green tea-let one of these steep in the treatment water for at least 1 hour before use-the longer it steeps the more tannins released the dark the water the more the Betta will like it...shake well before use

Make sure the pre-mix treatment water is within a couple of degree in temp between the QT water-so not to cause temp shock problems.

Covering the top of the QT container with plastic veggie wrap will also help by keeping the air above the water warm and humid for the labyrinth organ.

Good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:54 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
I would start a 10 day Epsom salt(Not aquarium salt) treatment on him.

Put him in a small QT container that can be floated in the heated tank (attached to the side so it doesn't sink)
Get a clean 1gal jug and fill with dechlorinated water of like temp and add 1tsp/gal Epsom salt(Not aquarium salt) use this water for 100% daily water changes for 2 days-then increase the Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and continue the 100% daily water changes with this water for 7 more days-pre mixing the treatment water will help make water changes and correct dosage easier

Hold all food for the first 3 days and then offer half feeding twice a day during treatment

Maintain water temp in the 76-78F range

You can also add tannins to the Epsom salt treatment water from either-naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (10-12 crushed/gal) or Indian almond leaf or blackwater extract or decaf green tea-let one of these steep in the treatment water for at least 1 hour before use-the longer it steeps the more tannins released the dark the water the more the Betta will like it...shake well before use

Make sure the pre-mix treatment water is within a couple of degree in temp between the QT water-so not to cause temp shock problems.

Covering the top of the QT container with plastic veggie wrap will also help by keeping the air above the water warm and humid for the labyrinth organ.

Good luck and keep us posted....
Thanks so much, I'll get started on this right away!
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:23 PM   #4 
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Would any oak leaves work? I went and collected some dried ones I found on the ground of my local park.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:29 PM   #5 
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As long as they are free of pesticide...any species of oak leaf should be fine to use.....
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:22 PM   #6 
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How long is it until I'll see improvement? I know I can't expect him to be back to his bouncy and happy self right away, but I'm so worried!
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:36 PM   #7 
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Usually with buoyancy issues that are not genetic related you will start to see improvement within the first few days to a week once you start the 2tsp/gal dosage...this varies based on the root cause of the problem......even if you do start to see improvement in a day or so...I would complete the full 10 days of treatment....with some, again depending on the root cause...the treatment may need to be repeated...if it is genetic related you may not see much improvement with buoyancy.....
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #8 
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Hmm, poor Euphie seems to now be lying in an "S" position... and I don't think it's normal... Should I just leave him alone and let the treatment do it's work? Or did I do something wrong... Ugh! This is so frustrating and worrying.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:27 AM   #9 
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It may not be anything wrong that you are doing or did...it may be his time.....how much Epsom salt are you using and the water temp....did you use the leaf from the park, if so did you rinse them well.....
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:10 PM   #10 
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The water temp is around 75-76 degrees. The leaves were rinsed well, and added, and now the water's pretty tan. He's no better than last night, and the epsom salt, I think I used to much... I read it a little wrong so I have to go change his water now. That might explain his not looking too good.
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