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Old 11-29-2012, 02:42 PM   #1 
amandauc09
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Unhappy Sick Betta

Hello,

My Betta will be 2 years old this coming January and recently, in the past month, I have noticed that he has become very lethargic and is having a hard time swimming. It seems like when he tries to swim to the surface he is struggling and almost sinking.

I read that I should try fasting for 3 days and then if that does not work trying one more day and seeing if that helps. I stopped feeding him his regular hard pellets for 4 days and then tried feeding him small amounts of frozen peas. Neither of these have helped. He is still sitting on the bottum of his tank. I tried a water change and have tested the ph of the water.

I don't know what else to do! Please help :(
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:54 PM   #2 
shellieca
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What size tank? filtered? heated? did you test for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates? Those are much more important than the Ph. Is he eating at all? What is your normal water change schedule? It is possible that he's slowing down in his older age but more info is needed to help determine that.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #3 
amandauc09
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The tank is about 2 1/2 gallons, no filter, no heater. I did test for ammonia, it was fine. There has been no change in the type of water I have been using for the past 9 months. I use salts whenever I change his water, which is about once every 2 weeks. He has eaten maybe 1 pea in the past day and a half, but he is struggling to swim to the surface. He has small reddish strips on his fins. I read that I might try antibiotics but am unsure where I can buy them and if I should even try them.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:20 PM   #4 
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Water changes need to be more frequent as there are other minerals we do not test for that need to be replenished. Red stripes? Do they look like veins? If I'm not mistaken red streaks are not a good sign. When you tested for ammonia, did you use strips or liquid test? You might try lowering the water about half way so he doesn't have to struggle so much.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:23 PM   #5 
amandauc09
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He has never been sick before with water changes once every 2 weeks. Are you saying because he is sick that he needs more water changes? At this point I'm not sure if he will even make it to the end of the week. Do you know of anything I can do right now? I will try lowering the water level, but I was hoping there was more I could do...
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:25 PM   #6 
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How warm is the water? I strongly recommend a heater. In the cold water his health is compromised and easier for him to get sick. I know that many people can suggest good heaters for your size tank (my favorite is the Top Fin 25 watt adjustable heater). It might help, especially since he is getting older. (: (obviously if you have had him for 2 years you have been taking good care of him! But I think it would help him and maybe it will make the problem clearer and easier to find a solution? And I agree with shellieca, try lowering the water and it'll be easier for him to breathe).
I hope he gets better soon!
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:31 PM   #7 
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What should I do about feeding him? I am 99% positive it has everything to do with his swim bladder and since I've tried fasting him and that didn't help I am not sure what/if I should be feeding him??
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:32 PM   #8 
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I understand he hasn't been "ill" until now but it could've been building up without you realizing it. Red streaks can be a sign of ammonia poisoning which is why I asked about what test you are using, strips are not accurate. If you want to try an antibiotic you certainly can but you don't know if what he has bacterial. When you do water changes how much water are you changing out? He has no heater which is another problem, Bettas are tropical fish & the water needs to be at least 76F. This is probably contributing to his lethargic behavior, the cooler the temp the less active.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #9 
amandauc09
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I have always changed out all of his water when I do water changes. The water I use sits in jugs in the room he is in until I am ready to do the change. I heard that red streaks can be from stress, I am certain the ammonia test is accurate. The reason I believe it to be bacterial is because fasting and peas have not helped his swim bladder. I will get a heater but it is more like he literally can not swim, he sinks, not so much he doesn't feel like swimming.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:55 PM   #10 
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Hmm have you tried an Epsom salt bath? Swim Bladder Disorder (SBD) is not bacterial, it is actually an impaction in their gut. Most likely he is constipated (as is usually the cause of SBD). I don't know much about Epsom salt baths myself but you can PM Sakura8 and ask her, she knows everything there is to know about sick bettas! The Epsom salt basically acts as a laxative and will usually relieve the betta and help everything pass. How much do u feed him normally? Do you acclimate him after water changes? Just asking because this info can help. (if I don't acclimate my betta for exactly 30 minutes he bloats up from stress and refuses to eat for a couple days. He's a weirdo lol)
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