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Old 07-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #1 
LittleWatty
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New fish - clamped and not eating

I know that sometimes bettas need a while to adjust to new environment, new water, etc. but with two of my last 3 bettas having a lot more trouble than I would expect, I don't think its just the acclimation that's the problem. My first rescue died, and I have no idea why. Now I've got a double tail, who seemed perfectly healthy at the store, drop in condition rapidly. Will explain at the end of the post, after the questionnaire.

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallons, though its only got about 1 gallon of water because he's not really moving around much
What temperature is your tank? 78-80F
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? I've tried NLS and Omega One pellets, as well as Betta flakes and frozen bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? He's not eating. Fed him once on day one, got him to take two pellets in the evening. I try morning and night.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every day
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? Stresscoat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0pppm
Nitrite: between 0-2ppm on any given day (I can't fix this, its my water chemistry. I can get 5.0ppm spikes in 24 hours, and I have threads asking about this)
Nitrate: 20ppm out of tap
pH: 7.4-7.6
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Extremely clamped, and his stomach has changed to a pale white color
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not active, floats or hovers at the bottom. He won't flare anymore - He'll stick out his gills like he wants to flare, but his fins stay clamped
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Two days ago (day after purchase)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No - I don't know what to do
Does your fish have any history of being ill? New purchase, so no?
How old is your fish (approximately)? New purchase, so unknown.

When I first purchased this fish, he was a flare monster. Flared at anything and everything. This morning I got him to flare full at me, but when I got home from work, he would only flare his gills, not his fins. That's what got me worried about him. It wasn't the not eating, it wasn't the inactivity, it was the lack of flaring like he used to. I've tried a couple times with a mirror, and even a few times with another male that I was changing the water for, but I couldn't get him to flare at me like he used to.

On top of that, I had a rescue about a week ago that died within a few days, showing the same kind of symptoms. I don't know what happened to him, he just kind of... died. He had an issue with a gill cover, so I chalked it up to previous problems on top of the stress from acclimating to new water, new habitat, etc. Now that another new, and once obviously healthy, fish is doing the same things he did, I'm getting really worried. I don't know what to do. I'm still offering food, even though I know he won't take it, just in hopes that maybe he will.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:22 PM   #2 
LebronTheBetta
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Everything seems to be perfect... Except your water changes. 100% everyday is going to stress him. You don't need to change everyday. Just 1 50% and 1 100% per week should keep the water OK. I think that's the reason for your previous Betta and current. I hope he gets well soon! I'm not sure about your chemistry, sorry... :/ I hope you find out why. I'm also not sure about his tummy, though. As long as it's not gray, I think it has nothing to do with his sickness.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #3 
LittleWatty
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I have to do the water changes because of nitrite spikes. If I don't change the water every day, it spikes to 5.0ppm and above. Otherwise, I wouldn't change them every day. As for his stomach color, I think its because of a severe loss of color. His entire body hasn't lost color, but his body is pale compared to what it used to be, especially his stomach and head.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:36 PM   #4 
lvandert
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are his poops white or are they brown?
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:36 PM   #5 
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OK... Maybe you could do 1/2 tap water and 1/2 bottled? Maybe you could try an experiment. Conditioner. Remember that.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:52 PM   #6 
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No poop as he hasn't been eating. From the looks of it, he didn't eat the freeze dried bloodworms that the Petco feeds their fish (He'd only been their overnight, I saw him in the new shipment they got the previous day, but didn't take him then). I haven't noticed any poop from the few pellets I got him to eat the first day, but I might have missed it in a water change. I've thought maybe constipation, but I don't want to add epsom salts without knowing a dosage, or without knowing for sure. He's not bloated, so I have no clue. And other than the few pellets I've gotten him to eat, I don't know how long its been since he at a decent sized meal.

I always use conditioner - and have been using Stresscoat for all my new fish.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:56 PM   #7 
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Freeze dried blood worms aren't the best. It's good to hear you have him on pellets. Removing the gravel and or putting him in an empty hospital tank will help you observe the poop. If it's white and stringy then you definitely have internal parasites.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:29 PM   #8 
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He's been in a temp tank while my new divided 10 gallon is cycling. Its bare bottom, but there were bits from one of my java fern on the bottom of the tank, so I might have confused some of the poop for plant bits. Nothing white or stringy, that much I know for sure. If he's pooped at all, it would have been either brown or black in color (don't quote me on that, because I didn't see anything that was for sure poop!)

Just remember, he's not eating XD but once he is, he'll be on pellets with the occasional freeze dried (soaked) or frozen bloodworms as a treat. I would get live food for him to try, but I don't know of anywhere that I can. And its against tenet rules to keep things outside, not to mention, we're in the middle of a nasty drought - we'll go 3 weeks or more without rain, so I can't try to cultivate mosquito larvae or daphnia.

Last edited by LittleWatty; 07-21-2012 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:37 PM   #9 
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hmmm could you get a picture of him in his current state? maybe there is something we can pick out of there to be the problem
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:10 AM   #10 
LittleWatty
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Found him floating on his side when I went to take pictures. He's not dead, and can still swim, but his body is really really stiff. As for the pictures, PLEASE NOTE: The white speck on his side is NOT ich. His pectoral fins are curling slightly at the end, overlapping in that picture to show the white-ish color. I checked. The first picture is what he looked like 2 days ago. Symptoms had already started, but he would still flare for a mirror. By yesterday evening, he wouldn't.

I think I need to do something today, or I'll lose him. I have the day off of work today and tomorrow, so I'll be here all day.
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