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Old 12-05-2011, 04:23 PM   #1 
dogmom
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Please help my Betta girl

I posted on Saturday and never got an answer, so I'll try again now:

Housing
What size is your tank? She was in a 2 gallon bowl. On thursday I got a 5.5 gallon tank and put only 2 gallons of water in to make it shallow for her.
What temperature is your tank? was 72, now 76 since Thursday
Does your tank have a filter? no
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? betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets daily

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? betta water treatment drops

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? no, NA since doing 100% changes

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? pigment loss in Sept'11, suspected marbling
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? She has been staying on bottom of her bowl/tank for the past 10 days. It seems like her tail sinks when she tries to rest and when she is trying to swim. I usually find her on the bottom in a vertical position. I also noticed a buldge on her right side two months ago (the blue arrows in the last 2 photos point to the buldge). I think it is in the area of her swim bladder, but she had no obvious trouble swimming until this past week - and the buldge is actually LESS noticable now. I searched this board a month ago and found a similar photo of another betta with a similar buldge and no one seemed to think it was a problem - that fish was also acting fine at the time. But now that she is having trouble swimming, even though the buldge is less noticable, I wonder if it has something to do with her problem.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 10 days ago the trouble swimming started, 2 months ago I noticed the buldge, and 3 months ago she had a dramatic color change
Have you started treating your fish? yes
If so, how? I fasted her for 5-7 days (poor girl) and removed half of the water from the bowl to make it lower. 4 days ago I bought a 5.5 gallon tank and put in only 2 gallons to make it even lower, but with more water. I also bought a new heater and now the tank is staying 76 rather than 72 like it was with the old heater in the old bowl.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? constipation one time a year ago
How old is your fish (approximately)? We got her for 1.5 years ago, so ~ 2 years old?

Here are some photos of her resting and trying to swim, a before/after of her dramatic color change that happened in September, and some pictures of the buldge she has had on her right side for the past 2 months.

Should I try the epsom salt treatment? Do I just put that in her tank and leave her in it for a day or two? Will the epsom salt be uncomfortable for her? Should I feed her or not or feed something different? When the long fast wasn't helping I decided to feed her on Saturday and Sunday. I was kind of surprised she ate because she looks so pathetic on the bottom of her tank all the time. She had to work a little to get the food, but she seemed glad to eat. Anything else I should try? Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:50 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Sorry you didn't get any response with the first post.....

The pigment change may be due to the Red-loss trait/gene...it is related to the marble gene

The lump-looks to be the caudal peduncle a normal part of the anatomy-it can sometimes be more noticeable with spinal deformities and poor body condition.

If she is have buoyancy problems I would get her started on Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) tannins-along with water changes in QT for 10-14 days.

Use a small bare container that can be floated in a heated tank to maintain temp in the 77-78F range-attach it to the side so it doesn't sink and cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL or dried Oak leaf-let this steep for 30min and use this water for 25% water change every 15min for 1 hour today....

Tomorrow-using the premixed treatment water- start 50% water changes every other day for 3 days-then 100% on day 4-then 50% every other day to complete 10 days in the premixed Tx water-then if she is better start making 50% daily water changes with fresh dechlorinated water to get her ready to go back in her tank...if she is not better by 10 days-make 100% water change on day 11 and repeat....if needed she can stay in the Epsom salt long term for chronic problems.....

Feed a good quality varied diet in small frequent meals...try not to fast any longer than a couple of days if you feel the need to fast......

You also can't rule out age as a factor in her overall condition...but you don't want to give up too soon......

Keep us posted.....
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:24 PM   #3 
dogmom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
If she is have buoyancy problems I would get her started on Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) tannins-along with water changes in QT for 10-14 days.

Use a small bare container that can be floated in a heated tank to maintain temp in the 77-78F range-attach it to the side so it doesn't sink and cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL or dried Oak leaf-let this steep for 30min and use this water for 25% water change every 15min for 1 hour today....

.....
I'm sorry, I don't think I understand these directions well enough to follow them correctly. Can you direct me to a more detailed description? Where can I get the tannins? Do I keep her in the small contianer for the duration of this treatment? When I finish the 25% water changes every 15 minutes for 1 hour, do I then leave her in that water or change back to normal water - because at that point she will be in water that is mostly the 3 tsp/gal of epsom salts - right? Ok to leave her in that? And I'm supposed to cover the top of the smaller container? Don't they need air at the top or is the trapped air enough? And my gallon jug will be room temp - is that OK? What is a good quality varied diet? I've tried a few things but have only had success getting her to eat one brand of betta pellets. Sorry for all the questions, I'm just really don't want to do anything to harm her. I really appreciate the advice.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:31 PM   #4 
EvilVOG
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tannins = you either have to buy off the internet some Indian Almond leaves, or possibly if you can go out in the yard or woods and gather some Oak leaves from away from any major roads and if you're sure no pesticides/chems were sprayed on them. Rinse them in tap water before using them.



Betta water temp needs to be 76 or above, and water tends to dissipate heat quickly so if your room temp is 74, water temp is probably 72 and too low.

Yes to keeping her in the small container for the duration. If you have no heated tank to float her in then floating isn't necessary. Getting her the proper temp is.

Yes cover the small container, they do need air to breathe, and trapped air will be ok, as the cover is to keep the trapped air humid.

Varied diet - maybe pick up some frozen glassworms/ Bloodworms/ Daphina in addition to the betta pellets


Edit: i think that's a him
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:39 AM   #5 
dogmom
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How long should it take to see improvement if the epsom salt treatment is going to help? It has been a week now and she is no better, maybe worse. She had a good appetite although she has to work to get the food since she has trouble swimming. Her tail sinks when she tries to swim. She is having normal bowel movements. Is she suffering because she can't swim?
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:46 AM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Usually you will start to see improvement in about 5/6 days at least by day 10 unless she has a damaged or deformed swim bladder...sometimes with those symptoms you list can be a related to end stages of life....not always....but sadly it can be.....and not a lot can be done except for comfort care...lower water level, Epsom salt, tannin and heat/humidity over the water....you don't want to give up too soon- but you also don't want her to suffer needlessly either and this is only a decision you can make......
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:01 AM   #7 
Myates
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I want to add to what OFL mentioned about tannins- the above info was correct, but you don't want to get leaves from the tree.. you would want to look for naturally dried and fallen leaves off the ground.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:15 AM   #8 
dogmom
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Thanks, I ordered some IAL from eBay, but it hasn't come yet, so I haven't started the tannins. If she were dying, would she still be eating well? What do you do if a fish is suffering?
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:42 PM   #9 
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Sometimes they will eat well when they're sick.

Is he swimming any better?

Some Bettas never recover from SBD, but that doesn't mean they have to be put down. I was talking to someone last night who has kept a Betta with permanent SBD for quite some time. Just had to make adjustments for it's special housing requirements.

There's a thread in the breeding board you can search for called "culling a betta" where they had a discussion on methods of euthanasia for fish.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:38 PM   #10 
dogmom
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She is not swimming any better at all. How do I know if she is suffering? Should I keep her in the small container or put her back in the larger tank with low water level? How low should I make the water? Will she be more comfortable with or without gravel? She mostly stays in a vertical position in the corner resting on her tail like this. When I feed her she will swim to the surface to try to get her food and it usually takes her several tries to get a pellet.
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