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Old 05-31-2012, 11:46 PM   #1 
tictac380
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Sick Betta

My fish Paul has been a little weird lately. He's spent most of his time at the bottom of the bowl hanging out on the gravel. He also seems to be breathing heavily and has clamped fins. He's been eating but not doing much else. Some times he comes up and takes a breath. However he usually just heads right to the bottom of the bowl. Admittedly I don't have the best set up going but he's in a small aqueon filtered tank with a very small heater and two plants. I just can't figure out what's wrong with him and really need help figuring out what to do. I also recently tested the water and everything was all good. The water temperature also sits at about 78 degrees.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:53 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Sorry your Betta isn't well....

In the filtered heated tank...what size is it, how much and how often are the water changes, any live plant or tank mates, type of additives used and how long have you had him....

Can you post a pic....
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:52 AM   #3 
tictac380
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I'll try with the photo. Im not entirely sure how it's done. Paul lives a one gallon tank, so a little on the smaller side but it's really all I have space for in my dorm. He has one small live plant that I recently got and also a small fake plant that I've placed near the filter opening to buffer the flo. He doesn't have any tank mates and I would say I do a water change of about 30-50% every week. Especially lately because he has seemed under the weather. I always use Splendid Betta Complete water conditioner to treat the water before putting it in the tank. I've had Paul since about last September.
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Last edited by tictac380; 06-01-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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IMO/E...the 1gal is fine for the long fin males long term-provided that the needed water changes are made, however, often in 1gal the filter can be stressful and cause fin damage and sometimes better if not used-some males can tolerate them without any issues...but other don't.....

Right now what I would recommend-remove the filter for now and maybe try it again later if you wanted....and start making daily 25% water changes for the next 3 days to see if that will perk him up-If you have a tannin source-either IAL or dried Oak leaf to add to the tank-this would help too....
If he is struggling to reach the surface-you may need to lower the water level for a day or so too...

Then get on a regular schedule of twice weekly...1-50% and 1-100%...unless the live plant is rooted-then make twice weekly 50%-but only if the plant is thriving.

What kind of plant is it, type of lights used, kelvin, watts, photoperiod

If he doesn't perk up in a day or so...he may need a treatment.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals is best and if you have access to any mosquito larva-offer several rinsed for one meal a day to boost protein intake to support the immune response, stimulate hunting/feeding instinct.....

Good luck and keep us posted....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 06-01-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:20 PM   #5 
tictac380
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So I did the 25% water change and took out the filter. This is what the tank looks like now. I've lowered the water level a little bit, but he doesn't seem to have trouble going to the surface when he really wants to. You can see Paul in the back right corner. He's just sitting there, panting away. When I did the water change and was moving stuff around he swam around a little bit and came up to the surface a few times as well. He continues to eat to, so that's hopeful. I just really hope he perks up.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:37 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Its hard to tell...but is the live plant a peacock fern...if so its not a true aquatic and will slowly rot, die and foul your water.....but like I said...it hard to tell from the pic....so I maybe wrong.....

Anyway....It may take a couple of days to see any improvement if it was stress related...you might want to turn off the light for the day too

Be sure and vacuum well when you move things around in the tank-sometimes its best to not move things-just vacuum in areas that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots...

Be sure the replacement water used for water changes is within a few degrees of the tank water and Dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank-double check the label for correct dosage-especially if you have chloramine and chlorine in the source water...some recommend double dose....

Keep us posted.....
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #7 
tictac380
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It's hard to say, but I think his breathing is getting even heavier despite my water changes. I've posted a pic showing just how wide he's spreading his gills to breath.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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Since you have had him for about a year and he was most likely near a year old already if you got him at a pet shop...he may be aging out......however, we don't want to give up either.....

I would go ahead and start a salt and tannin treatment on him and see if that will help....

I would use Epsom salt (not aquarium salt) 2tsp/gal and a tannin source-either IAL (1large crushed)or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf(20 crushed)
Add this to a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water to steep for 30min-Shake well before use.
Place him and and some of the tank water in a small QT container (the small temporary cup Betta sold in work great for this)
Using the premixed treatment water make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today
Float the small QT with the Betta and treatment water in the heated tank to maintain temp of 76-78F water(be sure and attach it so it doesn't sink)
Cover the Qt with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ-turn off the light.
*He needs to stay in the treatment water in the Qt floating in the heated tank for the duration of the treatment period.

Tomorrow-start 50% daily water changes using the premixed treatment water for the next 14 days-every 3rd day make back to back 50%.

If you added a tannin source, the premixed treatment water should look darker every day....the longer they steep the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta will like it....

The tannins and Epsom salt both have antibacterial/fungal properties

Nutrition-good quality varied diet in small frequent meals-offer live mosquito larva several times a day if you have access to some.....

Good luck...I hope he can recover...these guys can really surprise us sometimes-but if he doesn't....don't beat yourself up....it may be age related and not a lot we can do but provide comfort till the end....
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