I have a male Half-Crown named Steve. He's my first Betta ever and had a sister, Claire. I also had one in a separate tank named Charlotte. I didn't know much about them at the time, and I wish I had because now I'm having what seems like the worst luck/epidemic ever. All three are WalMart - horrible, I know, but there wasn't a PetSmart nearby when my mom decided to get me them as a gift to keep me company at college.
Claire and Steve were fine. Charlotte was not, it turns out. I fear she may be the start to this epidemic. Claire was the first to go. It was all of a sudden, no symptoms, dead. Her fins were gone, almost as if deteriorated. I had her and Steve for a few weeks and I don't think it was Steve that did it because I have no evidence. Yes, I know they're aggressive fish - but believe me, it was peaceful between them in a very odd way. He stayed at the bottom and paid her no attention and she never minded him and stayed at the top or in a plant. They were never very active, but they were definitely full of personality and life. Charlotte, however, was extremely aggressive and housed alone after seeing her trying to intimidate them from a separate tank. Then she got very pale, lethargic and had a long, loooong white string between her pelvic fins. When Claire died, I figured that something had broken out and removed the Male from the big tank and into the bowl that I had cleaned that he had been housed in at WalMart.
He seemed okay, Charlotte continued to seem worse. I don't have a vehicle and was running around trying to find a way to help whilst researching desperately. I finally got to PetSmart and they did water tests. Everything came out perfectly fine - Charlotte's showed a slight amount of stress but not "enough to worry". I described symptoms and was given the medications for Bacteria and Parasites. I was told to treat both and the main tank. I did. The next morning (today), Charlotte is dead and Steve no longer seems unaffected but rather sick himself (whilst before he seemed fine). I changed his water ASAP and haven't medicated again because I fear that the medication may be too rough for his system at this moment.
Usually he is calm but tends to act like a goof when I'm watching. He seemed like a very upbeat fish and liked to swim around and watch things (I have a few gold jewelry that he likes to watch if it's next to his tank). Now he is very lethargic, stays at the top of the water and barely moves. He drifts around, doesn't interact with me or anything else. He has completely stopped eating. When I found him this morning he was stuck on his side, but now he is sitting normally in the water. His gills barely move and every few minutes, he'll stick his mouth out of the water and his gills will open extremely wide - and then back to barely moving.
As for appearances, he has a blue silvery body with very dark and bright red fins. He's a Half-Crown. He has a small black patch on his forehead that is also red around it. His mouth is also black patched. After the medicating and since last night, he has developed an easily visible gold patch under his mouth, his colours are now a very light blue-silver and his tail looks dull and dark red. His dorsal fin slouches as well now, where before he kept his relatively upright. He also has silver streaks on his tail now from his body. His back tail looks as if it's a bit shorter - but it doesn't look like it's any rougher. Just shorter. Like it disappeared. Yeah, I've been watching his poo - it was coming out normal but now he seems to not be even doing that (probably because he gave up eating). When his gills open real wide, it's red like his fins once were underneath. Don't know if that was/is how they're supposed to be.
I did go to PetSmart today and picked up Pellet food instead of flakes and a new 1 gallon tank for hospitalizing purposes, thinking that if it's depression, maybe size matters. But it honestly seems like there's more than one ailment against him. I also picked up some Aquarium Salt and put a little in his fresh water. He seemed to perk up a little, at first and then became lethargic again (maybe less than before, but it's slowly going back to how he was before the salt).
I'm afraid I don't have any pictures because I have a cruddy cell phone and the quality is extremely bad when I try to capture a picture. I'm going to try and get a good picture soon. I also really don't know what to do about Steve. I'm very attached to him and it feels like it'll kill me if he goes. I keep feeling on the edge, like I'll look back over and he'll be gone. It's killing me. It feels like he has more than one thing wrong, and I'm not certain how to best treat it. That's why I've come here. >; I hope someone can help me on this. . .
What size is your tank? 3 Gal. Currently hospitalizing in a cup, but just got a hospital tank that is 1 gal.
What temperature is your tank? I have to get a new thermometer, but I keep it around the same as room temp.
Does your tank have a filter? Under Gravel Filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes. It has an Air Stone
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None currently.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? BettaMin Tropical Medley Flakes, switching to OmegaOne Betta Buffet Pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? On the flakes: A small pinch in the morning (around 9am) and a small pinch at night (9pm).
How often do you perform a water change? In the cups, every 24 hrs. In the 3 gal, every 3-4 days.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? In the cups, 100%. In the 3 gal, about 50-75%.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner. In the 3 gal, I did use AquaSafe from Tetra, but it says to use monthly, so it's only been used once.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Had water tested at PetSmart for the two hospital tanks and for main tank. I don't have exact numbers, but the only high indicator was on the female, Charlotte's tank and I was told it was at .8, but don't remember what one it was.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His body is paler blue, there's silvery blue in his red tail, which has also dulled a little from its vibrant red. His dorsal fin is drooped and his tail fin looks to be shorter now. Tips of fins are a white colour. Front of body a little bigger, but he looks a bit thin compared to healthier Betta's I've seen. A glittery sheen to him when I look closely under the light. Gold patch on face, right under mouth.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He was always a bit calm, but this is beyond calm. He lays at the top now instead of swimming around. He was floating sideways for a little while but no longer doing that. He just drifts and seems to have issues "swimming", giving up after a few flaps of his fins and just letting the water move him. He doesn't flare up when he looks at the female who's in a separate tank. He stopped producing a bubble nest too and just seems rather depressed. I don't see his gills moving often anymore either, and when I do, they open really wide.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Since last night.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
I did dose him once with API E.M. Erythromycin, and was advised to also used Tetra Parasite Guard. I used just the smallest shaving of the Parasite guard and then just a very small, not even a pinch, of the E.M. Found him floating sideways this morning and seeming very lethargic. Did a water change and he seemed to start staying upright again. Decided it better not to continue another dose. I have also added just a small bit of Aquarium Salt tonight and he seemed a little less depressed for a few minutes before going back to just drifting along, staring at me sadly. Breaking. . .my. . .heart.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
He is relatively new to me. I made a mistake of buying him from the cursed Walmart because there wasn't a close pet store within an hour. . .He seemed healthy until last night, and I suspect he caught what he had from the female who I use the same net with. . .):.
How old is your fish (approximately)?
I've only had him for 3-4 weeks now. I don't think he's very old because he's relatively small. . .):.
As a side note, he does seem to be a little bit happier if I put his Shinies near his tank. By his shinies, I mean my gold jewelry that he seems to be fascinated with. I put them by his tank again and he perked his dorsal fin up again and even managed to swim down to the bottom. Now he's trying to swim at them (He's not flared. Just seems almost. . .interested in them. I think it's the birght color of them. None of my females never particularly cared about them like he does ._.). But alas, this lasted for a few moments before the fin slumped again and now he's just drifting once more. . .>x<; I really can't figure him out.
I'll send a PM to them after class. A little update before I go to class though:
Steve seems to have had a complete mood change this morning. He began to blow bubbles and any flakes that /had/ been in the tank (I couldn't manage to get them all last night) are gone. He's a bit more perky and responsive and even swimming a bit more than what he was, alternating between the top and the bottom of the cup. His fins aren't clamped as much either. It's making me happy to see such a change. I'm wondering if the salt treatment is the best I can do for him. . .I plan to change his cup water after class and then let the cup float in the new tank that's been sitting and already given dechlorate. I'm also going to get a smaller tank for the female and break down this 3 gallon to take home and get properly cleaned. ;w; I'm just. . .so happy!