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Old 10-19-2012, 05:49 PM   #1 
Bettafeathers
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Not sure what's happening...

I feel like such a bad betta mom. On top of losing two this week I have one that's fighting for his life. I thought he died more than once. This has been going on for...gosh...probably a couple weeks now. I have a feeling people may suggest euthanizing him but I'm hoping someone, anyone, might have any ideas...

So, I have him in a 5 gallon tank but right now i have it at probably 2 gallons because he can't really swim. It's heated to around 78 right now, and was filtered until I had to take the filter out to drop the water levels. It was cycled. His symptoms are lethargy, inability to really swim and not eating basically. I convinced him to eat a bit a little while ago, but nothing since then. He lays on his side and occasionally darts up to the surface but has a hard time doing so. I can't see any external fungus or such and this came on fairly quickly. He's on a new life spectrum pellet and fast once a week. I'm not sure this gives anyone much to go off of but does anyone have an idea of what it could be or what I could do to help him?

Thanks
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:43 PM   #2 
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It sounds like it could be swim bladder.
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=73333

How much do you feed him at each feeding? How long have you had him? How often do you change the water?
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:00 PM   #3 
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I was pondering that possibility as well.

I've had him for about 9 months now. Here's a picture of the pellet he gets compared to a Hikari "betta pellet", just for comparisons sake. I got yelled at big time when I told someone how much I fed him without them knowing what size of pellet it is.



So, his is the smaller darker pellet to the right. I give 8-ish of those per feeding which is once a day (honestly, they're so tiny its pretty hard to even count). He doesn't get an astronomical number of them. If anything I almost feel like I'm underfeeding since never has that full tummy look.

Water changes are probably about 35% weekly (or as close to weekly as possible since I have to bring in jugs of water and sometimes I run out on or around water change day).
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:11 PM   #4 
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If he's in 2 gallons of water, he's going to need more than 35% weekly for water changes. A 2 gallon likely isn't going to hold a stable cycle. Maybe test your tank more often while it's at that lower level to make sure ammonia doesn't build up.

With feeding, my fish never got the full tummy look but I don't think that's a bad thing. Think of it this way: your betta's stomach is going to be about the size of his eye. What is the name of the pellet you are giving him? Maybe someone else here is using the same one and can share how much they give. (Just make sure that pellet has fish as a first ingredient too - fish meal, shrimp meal, etc.) :)
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:37 PM   #5 
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Oh sorry, the water changes was when I had the tank filled to five gallons. I'm doing 50% changes every couple few days now that its about two gallons. I'm going to do a complete water change tonight or tomorrow I think (I need to test the water actually). The pellet is New Life Spectrum small fish formula.

Thanks for your input. I do need to change the water more often for sure. I've read the ingredients before but I will double check. :)
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:50 PM   #6 
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I would go ahead and start an Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) and tannin treatment.

Good that you lowered the water level, however, it might be easier to treat him in a small QT that you can float in the heated tank to maintain water temp of 76-77F for treatment. Cover the QT with plastic veggie wrap to help retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ. Light off for the first 24h-kept in a dim lit quiet location.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water. Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source if you have one. Either IAL (1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) Let this steep for 30 min...shake well before use...

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

Tomorrow-using the premixed treatment water make 50% daily water changes for the next 13 days.
If you used a tannin source- the premixed jug of water should look darker each day and this is what you want.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals. If you have access to live mosquito larva offer several rinsed a couple of times a day.

Good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:00 PM   #7 
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Thank you for your reply. For a quarantine tank, would something like one of those little 0.5 gallon tanks work or is that too small? Sorry, I haven't used a QT before. I will do my best to get a hold of the epsom salts and some IAL tomorrow.

Little guy is still hanging in there. No changes really and still hasn't eaten.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:42 AM   #8 
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Those small temporary cups some Betta are sold in work great for a QT-small enough to float in a heated tank-attached so it doesn't sink. I use small deli cups that are a lot like the cups Betta are sold in.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:17 PM   #9 
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Perfect, I have a couple of those sitting around. Thanks again, I will update on his (hopeful) progression :)
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:25 PM   #10 
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Poor fish. I hope he gets better!
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