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Old 11-28-2012, 11:29 AM   #1 
LetsGetKraken
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Rescue Eating Gravel?

I got a poor little red VT from my niece, who was not taking care of him.
He's very sick, and might not live too long. About an hour ago he tried to eat a piece of gravel. Thinking he was hungry, I tried feeding him and he wouldn't eat a thing. I took all the gravel out of his tank, but I don't know why he did it. Maybe he's stressed or bored?

Housing
What size is your tank? 1 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80F
Does your tank have a filter? No
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? My niece fed him TetraBetta Mini Pellets, but I thought he wasn't eating because they were too big, so I bought API Premium Betta Pellets. Going to try bloodworms later today.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily, but he doesn't eat.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Daily
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? Topfin Betta Water Conditioner, 1/2 teaspoon of Aq. Salt, 1/5 tablet of Jungle Lifeguard

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? Have not tested. If so, what are the following parameters?

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
I just got him four days ago, but he's very pale, with clamped fins that look like they're rotting. He also has shiny (not cottony) white spots on his head.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
He's very lethargic, and doesn't eat (except for when he tried to eat the gravel). He floats at the top of the tank and tries to sit on top of the heater. I got him a (silk) plant to rest on, but he seems to prefer the heater.

When did you start noticing the symptoms?
He looked horrible the first day I saw him, but I didn't notice the rock eating until today.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
I've been doing 100% water changes daily, adding 1/2 teaspoon Aq. Salt to water with every change, and Jungle Lifeguard All in One because I think he may have multiple diseases.

Does your fish have any history of being ill?
Honestly, I'm surprised he's lived this long. My sister says he was never very active, but they kept him in a cold bowl with no plants or toys.

How old is your fish (approximately)?
They had him for about four months, so he's probably close to 1.5 years.

I know there might not much hope for this little guy, but I'd like to get him better if I can, or at least make him comfortable.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #2 
sainthogan
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Does it look like he may have velvet? You mentioned shiny spots are they gold or rust colored? Take a flashlight and look for gold or rust colored dust, or if he's as sick as I think he is, it could look like a thick coat of which may be mistaken for his natural coloring. If so, it's definitely velvet and he will need medication.
As far as eating gravel goes, it is possible he's hungry and can't see well or lacks the strength to come to the top for his food and/or can't see it. Try the bloodworms. If you can get live food, that's best for a sick fish.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:49 PM   #3 
LetsGetKraken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sainthogan View Post
Does it look like he may have velvet? You mentioned shiny spots are they gold or rust colored? Take a flashlight and look for gold or rust colored dust, or if he's as sick as I think he is, it could look like a thick coat of which may be mistaken for his natural coloring. If so, it's definitely velvet and he will need medication.
As far as eating gravel goes, it is possible he's hungry and can't see well or lacks the strength to come to the top for his food and/or can't see it. Try the bloodworms. If you can get live food, that's best for a sick fish.
He ate the bloodworms! The only live food I could find were black worms, and those scare me, especially since he is small and weak at this point. He got very playful after eating and swam over to check out the new thermometer. I shined a flashlight on him and the poor thing is rust colored all over. I'm keeping the lights off, but I don't know what else to do. Have you used anything for velvet?
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #4 
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I used quick cure. I got it from walmart, it is for treating a variety of things, but pet stores will velvet specific medicine. I also kept the tank light off and if the room lights needed to be on, I covered the tank. Since you don't have a filter, you don't have to worry about removing it during treatment. You will need to do daily water changes before adding the medicine each day. It can burn them if the concentration becomes too high. I didn't do 100% changes though because removing her from her tank was too stressful for her. I added the medication to the water buckets before I put it in her tank just to be safe, but one time I forgot and had to add it directly to the tank and she was fine.
I'm so glad he's eating! My girl wouldn't eat anything for a week when she had velvet.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:31 PM   #5 
LetsGetKraken
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I am too! I was so excited, I think I might have overfed him a little. Now I'll have to look for pellets big enough for him to see but small enough to eat. I gave him a TetraBetta pellet after the bloodworms, and looked like he was choking before he spit it out. I've heard good things about Omega One and Hikari, so I'll look tomorrow at the pet store. After four days, they know me by name lol.

Tomorrow is the last day of Lifeguard treatment, so I'm planning on finishing it. Do you think I should start velvet treatment the day after, or give him a day to rest? He seems much hardier now that he's eaten something, but he might go downhill quickly without treatment.

Thank you so much for all your help. This forum has been a lifesaver (literally!) for my fish and I.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:12 PM   #6 
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I would wait 1 day, but no more than that.
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