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Old 05-11-2012, 01:03 AM   #1 
s thomas
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Exclamation Suddenly lethargic Betta

Hi, I was wondering if I could get a little help with my CT Betta.

I came home tonight to find him chilling in the back of the tank behind the filter with his mouth out of the water and his tail hanging down at an angle. He doesn't seem to be gasping, but conserving energy. He's waving his front fins to keep himself steady, but isn't swimming around or feeding or begging like he normally does.

I have him in a cycled, planted 5 Gallon tank.
There are two filters and an aerator on one.
The tank is heated and kept at 78 F.

I do a 25% water change every other day and a 50% once a week, treating it with Seachem Prime and some plant fertilizer. I also usually have to top it up every day with some pretreated water too.

He has two dwarf cories and a ghost shrimp for tankmates (a third dwarf corie he killed a day ago).
The ghost shrimp gets a quarter algae tab every other day.
The beta gets 4-5 Betta tabs in the morning and a few shrimp flakes in the night I use to distract him so I can sink more flakes for the cories in the opposite corner from where I feed him.

Normally my Betta is swimming all over, exploring the plants, hanging out in the bubbles from the aerator, and always comes right to the front as soon as I walk into the room to beg for food or show off and swim around for me, but tonight I have become really concerned because he's just hiding there.

His belly does look a little big like he maybe ate too much earlier, but when he has done that in the past, it hasn't made him seem so stressed.
It doesn't appear that he has Ich.
I don't see his scales sticking out with the pinecone look.
I don't see any copper dusting on his scales or apparent worms or inflammations.

I will try and post some pictures since I think that may help.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:13 AM   #2 
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Now he's hanging out vertically above the heater with his mouth out of the water, his lips look white.

What am I gonna do for this guy :( ??
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:10 AM   #3 
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The only other question I didn't answer from the sticky was the water parameters.
I don't have a test kit, but I do have Ammonia test strips which are reading < 0.5

I'm also wondering about his coloring, when I shine a light directly on him he looks like he has a golden or copper dusting on parts of him, which I read may be velvet.

I'll try and get a picture up.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:16 AM   #4 
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Wow...

are the cory's acting OK? I think those guys need to be in groups of 5 or more but a 5 gallon is way to small for that.

anyways,
Quote:
His belly does look a little big like he maybe ate too much earlier, but when he has done that in the past, it hasn't made him seem so stressed.
It's possible he ate too much and now has swim bladder disease - that would make them swim funky or float sideways, ect. I have seen them swim and float ever which way but never with their nose out of the water before.

Velvet would look like he was covered in gold dust - however some bettas have a natural golden tone to them.
This guy has velvet I do beleive:




I would PM oldfishlady or sakura8 for advice on this one.
Maybe try fasting him for a day and see if he gets any better. I would say put him into something smaller with a lower water level - but I dont know if that would help any...

Last edited by Tikibirds; 05-11-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:49 AM   #5 
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Thank you for the reply.

I will grab a bowl and a pad heater tomorrow morning to quarantine him and give him a lower water level, and I will treat it with aquarium salt have him fast for a couple of days.

Thank you for also posting the picture of the guy with velvet. It's tough to get a picture of mine with the gold, it just reflects him as shiny back at all the cameras I have. I do remember he's always had a gold coloring, good to know thats possibly normal.

Here's the long story if you're interested:

The cories are tough to tell, I haven't had them before and I stupidly took one home on the advice of a petstore employee before researching their need to school. So I grabbed two more and a ten gallon filter for the increased bio-load in the 5g, with the intent to get a total of five once the new filter was ready. The three of them seemed really happy, schooled around the place together and were really active. The betta even seemed to like them. He would swim down and just watch them closely, and after a couple days he would just rest on top of them like he was one of the pack. Then two days ago I came home to find one of the dwarf cories dead with a big wound in his side and could only assume Little B decided his territorial instincts were stronger than his social tendencies.

aaaaanyway....

I'll follow the plan to hospitalize Little B and keep a close eye on the cories.

Thank you again for your advice and I'll update you on the progress...
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:59 AM   #6 
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I didn't think bettas attacked cory's...I never had them myself but they get recommended as great tankmates for bettas all the time.

does he just seem to have no bouyancy? would he still eat if offered food?

Some betta colors make it hard to tell if its coloring or velvet. I had one guy that was white but looked like he was painted over in a light layer of gold. After a few months, since he was still alive, I assumed it was his normal coloring. He was the weirdest fish ever. His tank as next to my bed and he would just STARE at me ALL.THE.TIME...

Is it possible you did a water change and forgot to use conditioner? Maybe try doing a bigger water change in case there is something nasty that got into the water..a chemical or something?

Last edited by Tikibirds; 05-11-2012 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:54 PM   #7 
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Hi s thomas and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry your little guy is so sick.

Did his symptoms just suddenly happen? He was normal and then suddenly started to hang vertically like that? If that's the case, it almost seems like a water issue. :/ Check your heater and make sure it hasn't malfunctioned or leaked anything. Also definitely check to make sure nothing got into the water, like Tiki suggested. For now, the best thing you can do is what you are planning, which is to move him out into a hospital tank with clean water. If his symptoms don't improve in clean water you can add 1 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon to his tank to help him.

Your ammonia level was a little high considering you change the water so often. Have you ever checked the water straight from the tap to see if you have ammonia in the source water?
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:46 AM   #8 
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To answer TikiBirds:

He does have buoyancy and reorients himself very slowly when I do water changes, but won't use his tail fin to swim like he usually did, only his pectorals, and with little effort.

He will eat- but just a little bit, not his normal piggy self stealing from everyone.

Thank you for suggesting that something got missed in a water change. I did do two 50% water changes and made sure I added the appropriate amount of Prime to be sure since I was a little worried about that too.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:48 AM   #9 
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Tiki: Bettas generally don't attack/kill cories but in this case, the cories were dwarf cories which are about 1-1.5" long. The bigger cories are usually safe from betta attacks.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:52 AM   #10 
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Sakura8:

Thanks for your response, his symptoms did come on suddenly, in less than a day. As in he was swimming around his normal show-off cheery, begging self and then that evening had the sudden lethargy and weird orientation. He was first swimming at a 45 degree angle, mouth out of the water, but then seemed to find that was a comfortable spot above the heater sitting vertically. Tonight I found him 45 degrees mouth out of the water again. However...

He also has new developments in the last day now too, He has this horrible white fuzz around his mouth and the gold coloring seems worse. I can't get the cories to sit still for long enough, but they also seem to have some peppering of gold near their pectoral fins and gills.

So I'm off to research the white fuzz, I seem to remember others having similar problems as I read through the forum so I will try and find out what it could be and what to do, but any additional advice you have I will happily take.

I'll also head to the LFS first thing in the morning for any meds that he will need.
I'm really worried for him and want to see him happy soon, and will continue to treat this aggressively.
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