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Old 06-24-2012, 11:35 PM   #1 
Thomasdog's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Unhappy Sick Betta! Please Help!!

Hello all!

My female, Sunny, seems to be ill :(. Here is the story.

Around 8:00-
both Sunny and Sparta were in their separate sides of the divider. I had been meaning to move them for a few days, but it was time for school so I fed them and left.
3:00 -Friday
I came over and said hello to my fishies. I was surprised to see Sunny laying on the bottom of the tank. (Note: the tank is only 6 inches deep, Sunny and Sparta were separated after an unsuccessful spawn) I got lower and peered into the tank. To my horror, Sparta was in with her!!! There was nowhere for poor Sunny to hide, and she obviously was unable to escape to the other side of the divider. Her right front swim fin was gone, there is only a stub now... Sparta must have played rough and torn it off. I was completely shocked and promptly played tank shuffle. The only available option was an :((( unheated 1g. So she went in there.

I was gone for the weekend and returned around 7 Sunday night.
7PM -Sunday
Sunny was still in her 1g, but she was resting on top of the plants, clearly in distress and having a rough time breathing. I knew it was bad when she fell off her plant and just.. sunk. It appeared to be extremely hard for her to swim to the surface for air. She not using her remaining front fin. NOTE: I also tried to feed Sunny, and she paid no attention to the food.

So I thoroughly scoured the 20g, filled it with about 4in of water, turned the heater to about 81, put a few clean fake plants in for her to rest on, took a few pics, then turned out the light for her to rest. We noticed that she was 'bobbing'. (My mom and I made a new nickname for her "Bob!!!") She is still breathing heavily and swimming minimally.

My impression:
At first I thought that it was due to live anarchis in her tank. (I did not quarantine it. :( ) But Sparta was also in that tank with the plants, and he was exposed to them even MORE than she was. Sparta shows no sign of illness or distress, and continues to eat hungrily.

Another possibly is that Sparta injured or shocked her in some way. (rejection?? :P)

She also seemed to be pineconing a little bit. But I can really not be sure, as I have never seen pics of pineconing. Her pics don't do justice. Even if she is pineconing, it is very slight, something only someone who was known her for a long time could pick up on.

Help, please!!!

What size is your tank? 20g, filled 4in, ~5 gallons, split in two. Simply, she is swimming in ~2.5gallons
What temperature is your tank? 81
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? lived with anarchis, shared border with male betta

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Light Spectrum Betta Formula
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets, 1x day, skip 1-2 days per week


How often do you perform a water change? really, really depends, but water was just cleaned
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? conditioner, IAL

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? no tests


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? slight pinecone(?) very eggy, missing front swim fin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lethargicm, not eating
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Friday, when she was attacked
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? clean, warm water
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? ~1 year (?)

Hope you guys can help in some way.... I really love this little girl and losing her would hurt so much.....
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:51 AM   #2 
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Poor Sunny!! That does seem to be a very rough trip for her.

I would avoid continuous environmental changes. From what I've read, Bettas with compromised immune systems (especially considering what Sunny's unfortunately suffered through!) and stress can cause bettas to get very sick. Bettas typically get stressed during water changes, so even more so if she's been in three different containers! It is understandable you wanted to get her away from Sparta, but was there anyway to get a taller divider he couldn't jump over so that she can go back to her familiar environment?

If she's losing balance, I've read that the swim bladder (in addition to overeating, which is obviously not the case here), it could be from overuse of aquarium salts and/or certain medications. If you haven't overused salt, maybe read up on the medications you've been using and see if people have complained of any side effects. HOWEVER, if she's also breathing heavily, it could just be her water has high ammonia/nitrate/pH. I would recommend Kent Marine Betta Bowl Essential as a water conditioner since they're the only one I found that also neutralized ammonia. That way you at least eliminate one of the culprits. The others I'm afraid you'll have to get test strips for which can get expensive.

I don't know what you should do to prevent her from getting an infection since Sparta's nibbling incident...Hopefully someone with more experience will show up! I don't want to recommend over medicating so maybe try using some preventative such as immune booster/vitamin supplement/appetite booster/aloe vera (which helps with slime coats they lose when stressed), personally I'm using Acurel which the Petco guy recommended. Or you could try a broad spectrum cure, although I'm unsure if you should use antibiotics since you don't know if she has an infection yet.

Hopefully the small parts of my research that are relevant are helpful, and I'm sorry I can't help more with your particular case! Good luck!

Last edited by missmayr; 06-25-2012 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #3 
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Yes, thanks! And I really did have to move her, Sparta was not going OVER the divider, he was going THROUGH the side. barely. Then she was cold so....
She is barely alive today, I kinda don't want to use the packaced meds, as I have heard some horror stories... You said slime coat could help. We have fresh aloe growing in our yard, would I just scrape some off into her tank?

About the PH/hardness/ammonia-
Ammonia- I know that it is not this, as all the tanks she was in had clean water. With declorinator.
PH/harness- never done a test strip, but I have nenver had an issue with our water. And Sparta's water was changed at the same time she stared showing symptoms (Friday), and he is normal.

Good hypothesis, though....

Keep your fingers crossed for her.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:15 AM   #4 
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Location: Rapid City Sd
wait, did you have a male and female in the same tank?! That is a big NO NO unless your breeding! Problems like this arise. Your fish is not hurt from rejection she is just plain injured from being in contact with the male. They don't get lonely and dont need gf's to be happy. They need their own tank. I would treat with a bit of extra stress coat and aq salt and a new tank just for her.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:45 PM   #5 
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They were breeding.
The breeding failed, so I tried to stuff all the corners and such so that they could not get to eachother. They were sepearted by a divider. Sparta somehow managed to get though the divider to get to her.

Right now she is in a heated tank all by herself with ~4in of water.
What is stresscoat? Where can I get some?
AQ salt... ok. How much, for how long?

BTW I was joking about the depression/girlfriend...
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:51 PM   #6 
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if a breeding doesn't go through don't separate by a divider, remove the girl completely next time. Stress coat and aq salt you should be able to get at any local pet store and both have dosages for "repairing fins and damaged scales" on the bottle/box.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:43 PM   #7 
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Got it, thanks Ivan. It's my first time breeding.
How many days? Stress coat all the time? Do I need to change the water every day or just keep adding to it?

//Thanks so much for all your wonderful help//
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:08 PM   #8 
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RIP Here Comes the Sun
aka Sunny


May the sun ever warm your scales
May the water ever be clean
May your heart be full of joy and happiness
May your wait for me in peace
May you love me when I see you again
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:13 PM   #9 
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Aww I'm so sorry!!

I haven't bred either, I was considering it until my betta got sick. That's really rough...Maybe you can go onto other threads and get collect some tips to be on the safe side before breeding again?

Again, sorry for your loss :(.
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