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Old 10-18-2012, 04:31 PM   #1 
LittleFish2012's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Weare, New Hampshire
Exclamation Could this be EARLY Dropsy?

Hey Everyone!

I'm rather conflicted on this matter- my HM boy, Adrian, is looking rather bloated and he's gotten worse. Ever since he started looking different, I have been keeping a close eye on him.
I thought that since I had been feeding him frozen brine shrimp as a treat, that he was just getting fat off of that. Well, I stopped feeding it to him and there has been no improvement.
To my knowledge, he has been pooping regularly too. Which is why I've ruled out constipation.

Here is some info.

What size is your tank? 1 Gallon.
What temperature is your tank? 70 degrees F.
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.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? He gets a variety. Usually micro pellets, sometimes fruit flies (that I caught and froze) and sometimes frozen brine shrimp. All in moderation.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, except Sundays.

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Usually I use spring water, occasionally I use treated tap water.

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

Ammonia: ----
Nitrite: ----
Nitrate: ----
pH: ----
Hardness: ----
Alkalinity: ----

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Bulging stomach, not sure if scales are raised yet...
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Still eats like a little pig, but I often find him on the bottom of his tank under his ornament.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Maybe two weeks ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I just started giving him epsom salt and maracyn plus JUST IN CASE.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not to my knowledge.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him almost a year, but by now he probably is a year old.

Now some of you may remember that I had a sick fish (Charles) given to me by my neighbor. That fish has advanced Dropsy and will die. I am unsure if I somehow spread the infection (assuming its bacterial) from Charles to my fish, or if this is completely unrelated. :/

But unlike with that fish, this time I made sure I was ready and armed myself with plenty of medicine (Kanaplex is my next go-to if this does turn out to be dropsy). I will not let another fish slip away because of Dropsy.

I am a little torn about whether or not I should medicate him. I don't want to be wrong in this matter- although I am fairly certain I'm not.

I need a second pair of eyes here people... what does this fish's problem look like to you?
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:46 PM   #2 
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Location: South Glens Falls NY
Get a heater for your tank. 70 is WAY to cold for a betta
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:56 PM   #3 
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Location: New York
Also, for a one gallon, you should change the water more often. you may want to talk to Sukura for more info on dropsy, she knows a lot:).
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:34 PM   #4 
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They mean "Sakura" and yes water changes are needed, there are great mini heaters about 10w that auto adjust temp, they are great I use "marina mini heater 10w"

But looks like you're doing the right thing. Yes it is contagious, DO NOT share any items with other fish and if you do, sanatize inmediately with either watered bleach (with no detergent) then rinse rinse rinse, or boiling water, even both.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:38 PM   #5 
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I argree marina mini heater 10 watt is what I use for my smaller tanks and it works great. Don't buy the aqueon mini heater at Petsmart or if you see it at Petco. IT OVERHEATS! Bad experiences.... I'd first get a heater and see if the symptoms persist. It doesnt look like dropsy though in my opinion. Also dropsy acts way quicker than 2 weeks. Try fasting him for a day, his stomach should go down.. There is no pinecone scales or raised scales. Beautiful betta though.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:42 PM   #6 
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He may be having difficulty properly digesting his food at only 70 degrees, which could have led to the bloating you are seeing.

This is why it is important to keep bettas at a higher temperature range as their digestive systems can slow right down.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:50 PM   #7 
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Seems nothing is wrong with him..but yeah..water is too old for him..Good luck with him :)
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:02 PM   #8 
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Location: Batavia, IL
Hey there LittleFish. :)

First of all, something no ones mentioned yet.... you should never medicate, especially with harsher commercial medications, unless you are 100%(or as close to as possible)positive about what you are treating. Wrongly medicating can often cause more trouble then good....I'd suggest getting him into some clean water.

And second, +1 with LittleBettaFish. I think your problems are directly related to temperature.....I don't think you're dealing with Dropsy(which is a symptom by the way of some sort of internal problem, not a disease itself). Bettas are a tropical species of fish that require a regular steady temp of 78-82 degrees F(I find 79-80 is a perfect more exact temp to shoot for), keeping them without a heater in cooler room temps that often fluctuate is not only stressful and lowers their immune system, opening them up to all kinds of problems, but it also doesn't allow for them to properly process and digest their food because it slows their metabolism, often leading to bloating....which is what I'm seeing from the pictures.

I would highly suggest getting a heater....but you'll want to stay away from those pad-like heaters and the Tetra Brand 'present' ones...those are terrible. Go for something 25 watts, fully submersible, and adjustable....Hydor, Elite, Aqueon, and the Petco brand are all good Brands.
Amazon has the Elite 25watt-50watt(pretty much the same)for fairly cheap if you don't mind ordering online.

I would also highly suggest looking into upgrading to a 2.5+ gallon tank of some sort in the near-ish future....though 1 gallons can serve as good temporary/QT tanks and can be good for special cases(blind/deformed/very old bettas that have a lot of difficulty), bettas are nationally very active and intelligent fish that need some room to explore and stretch their fins properly. Plus, something 2.5+ gallons is a little easier to safely heat...and if you have a bowl for your guy it'd definitely be easier to fit a heater in something larger.

Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:12 PM   #9 
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Location: Weare, New Hampshire
Hey everyone,

I do have a heater for his tank that I ordered a week ago. Unfortunately it's late. I intend to heat his tank as soon as possible.
I have tried fasting him for a day. Nothing changed.
I know I shouldn't medicate, but I'm fairly certain and I'm so afraid I'll lose him if I wait too long if it is dropsy!
I'm really freaked out because I had recently taken in a fish with terminal dropsy. I am so afraid that I accidentally slipped up somewhere when I fed them, or changed their tanks. And if that is the case (that his dropsy is extremely contagious), I'm terrified of potentially losing my seven other fish that I have here.
I really do hope it's just the temperature. It's not impossible seeing as how temperatures are dropping. I might contact Sakura just in case to see what they think of this.

And thank you EVERYONE very, very much! I really appreciate the help.

I'll keep you posted once I get the heater.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:14 PM   #10 
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I am pretty sure it isn't dropsy. I hope the heater comes quick!
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betta, bloat, dropsy, sick

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