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Old 09-06-2012, 01:22 PM   #1 
BlueJWebb
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Unhappy Betta fish may have multiple illnesses

So I inherited Frank from my mom, who passed away in June. No one knew how to take care of him so I've been learning along the way. Unfortunately he always seems to be sick. He was sick when I took over his care. Now I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do anymore. More details below:

Housing

What size is your tank? Moved him to a 1 gallon bowl
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? flakes...not at home so I don't have the exact name of them. But he seems to get constipated every time I feed him those so I just bought him pellets yesterday.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1x a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? In his current living situation, once every 3 days.
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? API Tap Water Conditioner

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 8.2
Hardness: Don't have an exact number, but it's hard water.
Alkalinity: ?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Yes - his fins look ragged and seem to be getting shorter (all of his fins). I can't tell if it's fin rot or if he is chewing on them. He is also slightly bloated and floating on his side. He tries to swim around but just flips back onto his side. One of his eyes also looked swollen last night too.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is still energetic and has an appetite, but he seems restless and uncomfortable.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? The fin problem started last thursday, the rest came on suddenly yesterday morning.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?:

Yes - I started with melafix & pimafix not knowing any better. 3 days later when his fins looked a little worse I did more research and discovered I shouldn't have given him those meds, (He was in a 10 gallon at the time) I immediately put him in his little fish bowl with clean fresh (treated) water and removed all of the water from the 10 gallon. The tank also had sand in it and upon removing one of his decorations (hollow rock) I was hit in the face with a putrid stench that smelled like perm chemicals. I completely removed the sand, rinsed out the tank and put in clean gravel & water (no decorations) and let the tank run for 24 hours. I put a measured dose of Jungle Fungus Clear in his bowl with a small amount of aquarium salt and saw no improvement in 2 days. My dad suggested I put him back in the 10 gal tank so I did, with a full dose of Jungle Fungus clear & 2 Tbs of aquarium salt. The next morning I got up and he was kind of stuck at the top, floating against the edges of the tank. I figured he was constipated because this has happened before. I hadn't fed him in a couple of days at this point. Just in case, I took him out of his tank and back into his bowl and went to work. On my way home from work I get a call from my dad - he is floating on the top on his side struggling to swim. So I did an immediate water change when I got home - 100% and only added water treatment. I also fed him a peace of pea to treat the bloating. Then later in the night I noticed one eye looked slightly swollen and discolored. In a desperate attempt to save his life I gave him a small dose of Jungle Life guard because it's all I had left at the house at 11pm at night that I hadn't tried yet. I was sure I would find him dead this morning. He was still alive and his eye looked slightly better and he seemed to be able to wright himself for a little bit before tipping back over but his stomach is still swollen, fins still ragged and he hasn't pooped in at least 3 days. I'm at work now - I may come home to him dead :(

Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes. When I started taking care of him (he was my mother's fish, but she recently passed away) he had clamped fins. I used Jungle Fungus clear & 1/4 tsp of aquarium salt to treat him, carefully dosing him for his 1 gallon bowl, and he seemed to get better tho his fins never really looked healthy. I did weekly water changes (again, not knowing any better).
How old is your fish (approximately)? 4 months

Now what do I do? Do I do another water change tonight? Do I continue with the Jungle lifeguard? It says not to use it on an un cycled tank, and to give one dose daily for 5 days before doing a water change. Do I add salt or stay away from it? I'm keeping him in his bowl in a quiet room to keep him calm.

I feel like I am killing this poor fish I am so attached to him and if he passes away or if I am forced to euthanize him I will be crushed. There has been so much death in my family (our dog died a week before my mom) that I just can't deal with it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #2 
ZackyBear
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It sounds like it could be swim bladder and pop-eye or dropsy.

Pea treatment doesn't work very well with bettas since they are carnivores. You should get him started on an ES (Esposm Salt) bath as soon as you can. The treatment is explained here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=73333

and here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=73332

Hope this helps~
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:04 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta isn't well and my sincere sorrow of your mothers passing-My thought and prayer for you and your family......

What I would recommend at this point for your Betta is to start Epsom salt(Not aquarium salt) and tannin treatment.
Tannins-either IAL (Indian almond leaf-1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal)

Good that you have him in the 1gal-I would either lower the water level to about 3-4 inches or use a small container like what some Betta are sold in that can be floated in a heated tank (attached so it doesn't sink) to maintain water temp in the 76-77F range for treatment. Cover with plastic veggie wrap to help retain the heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and the tannin source if you have one. Let this steep for 30min to allow the salt to dissolve and tannins to start to release. Shake well before use.

Using the premixed treatment water-make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today. This will get him acclimated to the new chemistry and start the treatment.

He needs to stay in the QT container that is covered with the wrap and in this premixed treatment water for the duration of the treatment period. Keep him in a dim lit quiet location.

Tomorrow-using the premixed treatment water make 50% water changes daily for the next 10-14 days...

If you used a tannin source the water should look darker every day and this is what you want.

Nutrition-If you have access to live mosquito larva-offer several rinsed a couple of times a day to boost protein intake for the immune response. If not-offer good quality varied diet in small frequent meals....

Good luck and keep us posted

Again, sorry for your loss-
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #4 
BlueJWebb
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First, thank you.

I don't know where I would be able to get Indian almond leaf or oak tree leaf locally. :(Would I have enough time to send away for it? When I put him in the qt container do I put him in 100% of the water or put him in 25% of treated water/75% non treated water and do 25% water changes until the water = 100% (my guess is yes, but I want to make sure)
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:52 PM   #5 
ANHEL123
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You need to pre mix salt for the right dosage in one gall and shake it well make sure it dissolved. Also make sure new water inappropriately the same temp as his water +-2-4*. You will need to put him in 100% treated with salt and dechlorinated water. And then do 25% water changes every about 15 min for 1 hour for today.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:27 PM   #6 
BlueJWebb
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Well I'm home from work. He's not dead, but his belly is now extremely swollen. I can't tell if his eye is swollen or not because he's completely on his side. I've started treatment. He is really freaked out though
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:07 PM   #7 
BlueJWebb
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Here is a pic of how he looks right now
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #8 
BlueJWebb
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Well I did the treatment, did the water changes in the tiny quarantine bowl with 100% salted water - 3 tsp to 1 gallon. It stressed him out big time and now he is frantically swimming around the cup, banging into the sides. I don't know what to do.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:09 PM   #9 
ANHEL123
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Hey how is your betta? Wait for Oldfishlady response she is not on line and didn't see your post's. Usually epsom salt very mild on betta and they very tolerant to it.
Did you put water conditioner along with salt? Did you make sure salt dissolved before you put him in?
Oh i think it my fault you put him right to salt water. You didn't have his original water in the changing cup i think that why he stressed. It because of me i should tell you to acclimate him. My fault. I hope he is ok.

Last edited by ANHEL123; 09-06-2012 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:39 PM   #10 
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so sorry all my fauld. I am usually tell every one to acclimate betta and i gave you completely wrong information. I don't even know what to say. I hope he is ok and you can start his daily water changes with pre mix epsom salt.
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