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Old 11-02-2012, 04:18 PM   #1 
patty g
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Starving Betta

My Betta has not eaten in about 3 weeks or excreted waste in about a month. He showed signs of swim bladder disease as he swam lopsided and was missing his food when he jumped for it, but had no bloating. He also became stressed and began to dart away and hide when people came near his tank, a behavior never before exhibited. He showed no signs of any other diseases that I researched online. Two weeks ago I went to the pet store and purchased Bettafix, PIMAFIX, aquarium salt, pH kit, heater, gravel siphon, and upgraded from 2 to 3 gallon tank with filter. After a week he showed no signs of improvement, so I decided to treat him with maracyn and maracyn 2. After this, his balance improved, but he still refused to eat. Yesterday, I noticed a small white patch on the side of his right gill. I'm not sure if this is structural damage from darting or the start of a fungal infection. I'm wondering if its also possible that the cause of his refusal to eat is the result of an internal parasite, which would be hard to believe considering he only eats freeze-dried flakes and has not been exposed to any other fish or used aquarium equipment. Also, his tank has always been filled with filtered water with conditioner, which was changed weekly. I should note that he still moves around regularly and doesn't seem overly lethargic. Anyone with any advice or help would greatly be appreciated. I've had him for over a year and he never had any other problems. I've done all the research I can and need answers from an experienced Betta hobbyist.

Thanks!
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:46 PM   #2 
aqua001
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Please answer these questions. Thanks!

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
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?

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

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:29 PM   #3 
patty g
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Housing
What size is your tank?
3 gallon
What temperature is your tank?
74 F
Does your tank have a filter?
yes but too turbulennt for weak betta
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?
BettaMin flakes with brine shrimp
How often do you feed your betta fish?
once a day
Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
5-7 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
Usually 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
water conditioner,pH down & aquariam salt
Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:N/A
Nitrite:N/A
Nitrate:N/A
pH:7.4 after adding pH down
Hardness:N/A
Alkalinity: 7.6+ before adding pH down

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
weight loss & possible Begining of fungal infection
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
stressed, hides and will not eat
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
4 weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
bettaix & pimafix for 2 weeks then tried maracyn & maracyn2
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
No
How old is your fish (approximately)?
2 1/2 years
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:53 PM   #4 
MaggieLynn
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2 1/2 years? is that how long you have had him? It could just be old age normally 2-3 years is about the life expectancy with 4-5 being a bit higher but still possible. It could be he is just old. Pretty much any medication with fix at the end is not good from them, I know for sure mellafix isnt because there is an additive in them that irritate they're labyrinth organ. Maybe try to offer live or frozen food too maybe? not sure what other advice to give. Is he struggling to breathe?
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:40 PM   #5 
patty g
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starving betta

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it. We have had Ruby for a little more than a year. Judging from his size at the time he was given to my son, as a gift, I believe that he was at least a year old when we got him. He doubled his size over the past year and was very excited to see us if it was meal time. The reason I didn't change up his diet was because,even though they were freeze dried blood worms, a few of my friends lost their betta's to Dropsy as a result! On the bright side, I believe that the abrasion he has on his right side is clean due to pimafix. I just can't figure out why he is stressed and will not eat! I'm so worried he's gonna stave to death! Is there a possibility of a parasite? I don't know all of the ways a fish can contract one. Oh, and no he doesn't have labored breathing.

Last edited by patty g; 11-03-2012 at 08:46 PM. Reason: need to add comment
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:25 PM   #6 
LizzyP
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Your tank is only at 74? That's too cold. Cold water makes bettas lethargic and not wanting to eat. Bump the heat up to 80 degrees (very slowly so you don't shock him) and see if anything changes.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #7 
ao
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2.5 years is not particularly old for the fish. especially if he has been kept in 70F ish waters he should age slower.

so a few things:
I recommend to increase his temperature (very slowly) to 80F
I do not recommend using Ph up or down. leave thw water PH alone. bettas are very adaptable and will do fine up to ph 8.5 and someimes even 9..
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:10 AM   #8 
patty g
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Starving Betta

Thanks. I guess I will have to get a better quality heater. That being said, I will tell you that for the past year, before he was ill, he was thriving in a 2 gallon bowl without any heater. Also, I'm near the NJ shore that was just destroyed by hurricane Sandy and when we lost power for a few days I was so arfaid that, because he got used to the heater keeping his water temperature at 74 ,he would die of shock. Tried to keep him as warm as possible and he's still alive. However, if I can't get him to eat soon it will all be in vain. You really think a change in diet could help? Do you know the safest choices without exposing him to parasites and harmful bacteria?
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:10 AM   #9 
mstenorsaxplayer
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Does he even approach the food? Is the food new or something he would normally eat? I agree with everyone else that you should slowly raise the temp of the tank to 80 degrees f. Are there changes in color? Do you see any stripes?
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:35 AM   #10 
MaggieLynn
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2 1/2 years is still young but from what I have seen on here and have heard is that generally 3 or so years is about average with some cases of 4 to 5. Thats the only thing I could think of right off the bat. I hope Ruby starts eating.
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