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Old 06-12-2011, 12:26 PM   #1 
twiggyiggy
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Exclamation Betta going blind and dying

Housing
What size is your tank? - 2.5 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? - Unknown, a little warmer than room which is around 19.2c/66.56.f
Does your tank have a filter? - Whisper Filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? - Small river rocks.
Is your tank heated? - No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? - None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - Freeze dried blood worms, daphnia and mysis
How often do you feed your betta fish? - Usually every other day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? - Unknown
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? - 90%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? - Algae Destroyer and NovAqua Water Conditioner

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

Ammonia: - Unknown
Nitrite: - Unknown
Nitrate: - Unknown
pH: - Unknown
Hardness: - Unknown
Alkalinity: - Unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? - Going blind and anal fin falling off.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? - Lethargic and sinking to bottom.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? - 2 Days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? - No
How old is your fish (approximately)? - 3.5 years

I've been out of town for a week and when I came back I noticed my betta Rhett Butler, was blind in the left eye. It doesn't look like the pictures of popeye I've seen, it looks as though his pupil was a white pearl. 2 days ago it was just his left eye but now it seems to have spread to his right eye. His right eye is not as pearly white but it's getting that white color to it. It's just his pupil, nothing else.

He's been eating less and less before this happened and now he won't eat at all. He sinks to the bottom of the tank and has to swim to get air. I've placed him in a shallow bowl and he seems to be breathing ok. However today, he can't keep himself upright and is lying flat on the bottom but still breathing.

I've also noticed his anal fin is falling of in tiny strands. Yesterday, there was one tiny piece and now today there's another tiny piece. It looks as though there's a tear in his fin.

I'm really freaking out, the idea of Rhett suffering is making me sick. Is this a bacterial infection? Neglect?
Please help!

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Old 06-12-2011, 12:44 PM   #2 
LolaQuigs
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You answered unknown for how often you do water changes...can you explain more about what you mean by that? 66 is very cold for a betta, they need temperatures in the 76-82 range, so you should get a heater as soon as you can. Also, freeze dried foods aren't nutritious enough to be a staple, you should get him some pellets and feed the freeze dried foods as an occasional treat.

All that being said, 3.5 years is very old for a betta, and the blindness is probably age-related. There are a couple other members here with blind bettas, hopefully they will see the thread and give you more advice about keeping them. In this thread, Luimeril gives some pointers on keeping a blind betta.

Get him the heater and switch his food and hopefully he will perk up. If he doesn't, sadly, it may just be his age.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #3 
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I agree with Lola. Give him good food, CLEAN water, warm water, and see how it goes. By clean water I mean do two waterchanges a week, one 50% and one 100%.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:59 PM   #4 
twiggyiggy
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Thank you for your quick response!

I try to change do a 50% change every 2 weeks but sometimes my dad would come and change his water as well when I have to be out of town and he usually does an 80% change every 3 weeks.

I use to feed him TetraMin Tropical Granules, but he kept spitting it out and the food would sink to the bottom. I read somewhere that uneaten food should be taken out so I switched to freeze dried food which floated and would be easier to clean up.

I have a heat lamp near the tank right now. Any suggestion as to a small heater where I can control the temp? My friend who works at an aquarium said the Hydor MINI HEATER can sometimes cook the fish, especially in a smaller tank.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:03 PM   #5 
twiggyiggy
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Oh, I did a 100% water change for him 2 days ago when I saw what had happened to his eye, that was the most recent water change and the last water change before that was 2 weeks with a 50% change
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:29 PM   #6 
KayDowson
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def would say he needs more water changes than that... maybe 1-50% and 1-100% a week would be better... try feeding him the betta min flakes... my picky eater will eat that
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:34 PM   #7 
LolaQuigs
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The 25 watt Hagen Elite is a great adjustable heater for small tanks. I use it in my 2.5 and 5 gallon tanks. You can get it from amazon.com. Unfortunately I've never seen one at a petsmart/petco, but you could always check your local fish/pet stores to see if they carry them.
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:51 PM   #8 
Luimeril
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he's a very old man, probably about four or five years, unless you got him from a breeder and know his exact age.

caring for blind bettas isn't harder than caring for not-blind bettas. you just gotta train them to eat from a certain spot, and avoid moving things around in their tanks too much.(maybe i should post up a how-to thread on blind betta care? :3)

the heater Lola mentions isn't that expensive at all. room temp, unless you live in a hot area and don't run the AC too often, is far too cold for bettas. D: take it from me. ;A;
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #9 
twiggyiggy
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I went and got him a mini 25 Watt heater, HBH Betta bites and BettaFix. But after reading how iffy Bettafix could be here, I'll try some aquarium salt first. He's still not eating but at least he's swimming stronger.

I'm guessing as to his age, I got him at a dollar store. But he's so sweet and curious that he's never boring. I hope he pulls through. Thank you all of you for your help!!!
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