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Old 07-11-2011, 05:36 PM   #1 
ktbb
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Exclamation Please help - betta fish sick & gasping for air

I would like advice with my betta fish. He appears to be very sick. A little history - I am a new betta owner and from research I learned that I was not doing water changes frequently enough. Also I did one treatment with Melafix when I got him because he had a torn fin and now I am hearing that melafix is not good for betta fish. I would like some advice on how/if I can save him. He is very lethargic & today was the first day he couldn't get food down. I feel horrible about it and can't stand to watch him suffering. I have been treating him for a week with frequent water changes and aquarium salt but it seems to be getting worse. I'm not sure how long it takes for them to recover? Or if I should move on to a more aggresive treatment with medicine? Details below:

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78 degrees - just bought heater a couple of days ago - before that it was a bit cooler
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, see above
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? omega betta pellets & occasional freeze dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day (3-4 pellets total per day). 1 day of fasting per week.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? was doing once every two weeks (bad i now know). have been doing 50-100% daily for the last week now.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner everytime (i think it is called aqueon betta bowl plus.) have been adding 1sp per gallon of aquarium salt since symptoms began.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
tried testing using strips -having a hard time getting readings. ammonia appears to be at 0. the rest are difficult to determine.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? gills and face have lost color - appear white/grayish. also fins appear to be rotting.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? was swimming erratically sometimes when symptoms began. now is mostly lethargic and stays at the bottom of the tank & appears to be gasping for breath. today was the first day he stopped eating. he tried to swallow a pellet but it kept coming out of his mouth.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? a little over a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes, daily 50-100% water changes with 1 tsp per gallon of aquarium salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no, but have only owned him for 2 months
How old is your fish (approximately)? not sure
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:02 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems

Since you have been doing water changes and aquarium salt treatment for the past week...I would change him to Epsom salt and tannins.....

I would treat him in a small QT container that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain temp of 76-77F

Pre-mix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL (1 med/lrg/gal) or Oak leaf (10-12/gal) and use this water for 100% daily water changes in the QT for the next 10-14 days....cover the top of the QT with plastic veggie wrap to retain the heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ

Nutrition-hold food for 2 days and then offer small frequent meals of high quality foods...live is best if you have access to any....

Can you post a pic

Good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:29 PM   #3 
ktbb
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Thank you so much for the advice!
A couple of questions...
Can you usually obtain epsom salt, IAL, or oak leaf at a regular chain pet store?
What would you recommend me using for the QT tank? Will a plastic cup work or a larger type container?
I will try to post a picture later tonight when I am home. My camera isn't the greatest quality but I will try to get a clear shot.
Thanks again!!
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:37 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Location: USA
The containers that some Bettas are sold in work great for a QT container

IAL-online

Epsom salt can be found at most stores that have a pharmacy dept..pet shops usually don't have it

Oak leaf-I get mine from my oak trees....naturally dried and fallen from the tree......
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