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Old 06-26-2012, 02:30 PM   #1 
hermioneandme
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Unhappy HELP! Betta fish lying on bottom of tank and labored breathing!

2 days ago I came home to find my Betta, Minerva, stuck on the filter intake. We moved him to a smaller bowl without a filter, since he seemed weak and we didn't want the filter to be a problem again. Ever since he has been lying on the bottom of the bowl breathing in a labored way. I have read through the list of illnesses and none of them seem to be an obvious diagnosis. Here is my checklist:
Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 80 deg
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? I think the filter does that – it is a running filter
Is your tank heated? Have a heater - don’t need it in summer in Texas!
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 tetras

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice daily

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? once every month water change, thorough cleaning once every 3 months
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? at least 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Set the water out overnight or add top-fin water conditioner
Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: probably zero – very slightly greener than zero but definitely less than .25
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
pH: 8.2
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? My betta is red with white tips on the fins and face – they seem the same.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lays on bottom and labors at breathing
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2 days ago got caught in filter intake – most likely was sick and didn’t have the strength to swim away.
Have you started treating your fish? Sort of
If so, how? Isolated while I cleaned and tested tank

Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? not sure, I've had him for 12 months and he was full grown when I got him from the pet store
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #2 
Bladezero
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He's prolly in shock, I would stuff the filter and put him back to the home he is used to..
Once every month 50%? That's not close to enough.. Change it to once a week 30%..

It could be anything, the 2 tetra are in constant stress(unless there is a min of 6 that will happen, and you can't keep 6 in that tank.)

A picture would be great, and rewind abit and tell me about last week for him.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #3 
hermioneandme
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Help

Last week Minerva was fine. He (boy beta with a girl name ) has been fine for a full year. And the filtered 5 gallon tank always tests perfectly for amonia and nitrates/nitrites, so we were taking the "leave well enough alone" method - but we can certainly "step up" our water changes = changing more, more often.

There was no problem at all until finding him stuck on the filter intake. We think he had to be sick to get stuck there - and then after taking him off he lay on the bottom of the tank in an arch.

What do you mean by "Stuff the filter"?

Also we have noticed today that he is arching his back and seems to have real trouble swimming. He can "scoot" around but swimming isn't happening. Should we try the epsom salt treatment? Thanks for any feedback/help


I can move the tetra out - but again - for 12 months all have cohabited happily- and the tetra's seem healthy and good right now.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:19 PM   #4 
Bladezero
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There are always rare cases I have one kardinal tetra who chases all the others away from his spot, he's always alone and they try to be around him, so I'm not judging just saying the "normal" terms :)

Put filter fiber inside so the intake will be much weaker.

Arching his back is a bad sign, maybe.. (picture first :P)
We still don't know what he's got please take a picture..

If he was getting sick you would've noticed some behavior change specially if he was getting weaker..
I think he's sick on top of the shock but need to find what to treat without doing just more damage..
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:35 PM   #5 
hermioneandme
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This photo is sideways -

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We put him back in the tank- this photo is sideways - best i could get at the back of the tank. that arch in his back that you see is very rigid. I know it looks like he is swimming but he is really just resting on his head like that with his tail in the air back arched.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:44 PM   #6 
Bladezero
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The day before he got stuck what happened, how was he?

I will PM OFL to look at this thread.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:50 PM   #7 
hermioneandme
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Day before

Really, really - everything was fine until the day we found him stuck - he swam up for food, responded as usual to my voice. swam around his rock cave, at most he was slightly slower than on other days - but really not enough for me to notice sorry I don't have more clues! At first we worried he was hurt by the filter....but no visible signs of torn fins etc. but then got to thinking, wait - why did he get stuck there in the first place when it hasn't been a problem for 12 months...know what I mean?
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #8 
hermioneandme
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Here are two more pictures. One is Minerva on his side in the bowl where we had him for just a day to isolate him and get him away from the filter. The other is Miverva in his glory days -sometime before he got sick, to compare
Attached Images
  
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:11 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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It sounds like poor water quality, overstock/poorly stocked tank has caught up with him-then along with the possible injury his immune response is most likely compromised.

You don't want to base water changes on test results alone due to the DOC's that we don't test for that can be harmful to our fish.

Right now what I would recommend-place him in a small QT container-if you still have the small temporary cup he came in (if he did) this will work great for a QT-Float it in the heated tank to maintain temp at 76-77F, cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Any small container will work for the Qt-your goal is to get him out of the tank away from the other fish in his weaken state, provide a lower water level so he doesn't have to struggle to reach the surface for air and for treatment.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and tannins if you have some-either IAL(1lrg crushed) or dried Oak leaf(20crushed). Let this steep for 30min so the tannins can start releasing and salt dissolve. Shake well before use....

Using this premixed water make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today. He need to stay in the covered QT in this premixed treatment water for the duration of the treatment period of 14 days.

Tomorrow-start daily 50% water changes using the premixed treatment water-If you added tannins the water should look darker every day...

Nutrition-hold food today-tomorrow offer some rinsed mosquito larva if you have access to some several times a day. If not, good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals...

Good luck, hopefully he will recover for you......
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:29 PM   #10 
hermioneandme
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Thank you both so much for your help! Heading out to the fish supply store now.
Oldfishlady, you mentioned using IAL. What is that?
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