My daughter's betta Sunset B. Swimmy has been quite sick, is convalescing some and I'm wondering what the next steps I should take with him should be.
He had a swollen abdomen, more on one side than the other. He had had some pineconing. He was not eating, and was just lying around his tank, often on one side, wherever he had managed to thrash to. His fins are pretty messed up.
I took him out of his tank (A Marineland Eclipse 3 gallon) and put him in a .75 gallon hospital tank. I first did the progressive salt treatment, which took down his swelling and pineconing a little.
Then, thinking perhaps he was constipated, I started the epsom salt treatment, bringing it up to 3 tsp/gallon over the course of three days. I did 100% water changes daily while doing this, with treated water of the proper temperature. During this time he ate once and pooped once, which was an improvement over his previous state. His poop looked like a proper brown turd. There was also some stuff in there that could have been poop or something else- tiny little bits of greyish, cottony looking stuff. At first when I put him in the hospital tank he'd sit on a suction cup near the top with his nose sticking out of the water, now he's still mostly just hanging around, but he's hovering like a proper fish more and lying on his side less.
I confess the water in his 3 gallon was not perfect- it was filtered, but I was only doing 50% water changes once a month, and there was a trace of ammonia in the water. No nitrates or nitrites though. The PH is between 7 and 8. I realize that I probably needed to change his water more.
He also has one of those little Hydor heaters (sp?) which I realize is probably not up to VT winters, and he's probably been too cold. Right now his tank is at about 75 degrees, but I'm sure it goes down at night when the thermostat goes down. The heater doesn't seem to keep a steady temperature. I have an Aqueon Pro 50 Watt on order.
He is getting Hikari Betta Gold pellets. It's probable we'd been feeding him too much (4 pellets 2x a day) and now we've cut way back, to only 1 or 2 pellets 2x a day. As I said before though, he's barely eating. I do have some daphnia on order.
So he's on Day 4 of epsom salts- should I continue, or have the epsom salts done what they're going to do? Is there another kind of medication I should try? I haven't done any Myacin I or II (sp?) cuz I read this could be hard on his internal organs, which are probably under stress to begin with. Should I be giving him something for his fins? They're a mess- ragged, clear looking in places (fin melt?) He still has the swollen abdomen, though it seems not to be quite as bad as it was.
We'll have had him for two years in the spring. Maybe he's just old. I'm wondering if he has tumors. I'm wondering if maybe I should just throw in the towel and humanely do him in, but the fact he's shown the improvement he has makes me wonder if maybe he could get better still.... TIA!!!