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Old 12-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #1 
btook
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Help please- Next steps for Sunset F. Swimmy

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!!!
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:28 PM   #2 
btook
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Filled out the proper form here-

What size is your tank? 3 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 75 degrees approx
Does your tank have a filter? yes
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? java ferns and teeny snails

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x/ day; previously had been 4 pellets 2x/day, cut back to 1 or 2 pellets 2x/day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a month- I know I need to start doing it more
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutra Fin Aqua Plus

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

Ammonia: none to a trace
Nitrite: none
Nitrate: none
pH: 7.5- 8
Hardness: don't know
Alkalinity: don't know

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Swollen abdomen, some pineconing of scales (has since improved) torn fins, poor, pale color
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Very listless, not eating, had been lying on his side wherever he'd thrashed to, though after epsom salt treatment is seeming to swim around and sit upright more
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Not sure, they kind of crept up on us- maybe a month or two ago?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Did a progressive salt treatment, then did an epsom salt treament (see post above)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no, though has had ratty fins for a while, caused initially by dashing around tank being teased by cat
How old is your fish (approximately)? We've had him 2 years this coming May
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #3 
sainthogan
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I would continue with the epsom salt treatments for a while longer. It sounds like maybe he had a swim bladder disorder and the start of dropsy. The epsom salts will help that. The ammonia in his water could have been an issue too, so please keep up with more frequent water changes. In a tank his size, you should do at least 2 50% water changes a week (you probably are aware not to do 100% changes with plants and other live creatures in his tank).
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:09 PM   #4 
btook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sainthogan View Post
I would continue with the epsom salt treatments for a while longer. It sounds like maybe he had a swim bladder disorder and the start of dropsy. The epsom salts will help that. The ammonia in his water could have been an issue too, so please keep up with more frequent water changes. In a tank his size, you should do at least 2 50% water changes a week (you probably are aware not to do 100% changes with plants and other live creatures in his tank).
Thanks for your reply! How much longer would you suggest for the epsom salts?

Do I remember right that I can do epsom salts in his main tank without hurting the plants? He had been in a quarantine tank, but just today I got the snazzy new heater- I believe the irregular temperatures caused by my little Hydor might have been a problem- and the new heater is too big for the quarantine tank.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:57 PM   #5 
btook
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The new heater is in the tank, which is now 80 degrees instead of 70- 75. I also gave Sunset some daphnia. He's showing a fair bit of improvement now, hiding under his plants (instead of just laying anywhere) and he's actually swimming around and... eating. This is the most I've seen him eat in a long, long time. He's also got a little bit of the blue color back in his fins, which I haven't seen in forever.
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