I have my betta, Rusty in a 6 gallon Fluval Edge tank. He is about a year old and has never had any problems in the past, I have actually hailed him and the "super betta" because he has been so tough.. This evening when I went to feed him he was laying on the bottom of his tank face-first and kind of on his side... The 1st visible sign that I immediately noticed was that his body was curved live the letter "J" and he couldn't straighten himself out. I assumed that he has hurt himself cause he is always very active and likes to knock over and dig up the accessories in the tank. Obviously this isnt the case after I got online and did some reading.... No he has some silver like discoloration around his gills and he has retreated to his cave... A little while ago I treated him with 2 tsp aquarium salt in his 6 gallon tank. I also read that a green pea dipped in garlic is an old home remedy so I did that... He appeared to be trying to eat some of the small pieces of pea but then he seemed agitated by my light that I was using to get a better look with so I quickly snapped a few pix with my phone and turned his light off so he could rest. HELP!!!! I will be going to the pet store first thing tomorrow but in the mean time is there anything else that I can do?
Fill out as much of this as you can. It will help some of the more experienced people get an idea what is going on.
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
What size is your tank? 6 gallons (Fluval Edge)
What temperature is your tank? 75
Does your tank have a filter? yes, 3 stage- charcoal, foam and biomedia
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?Filtration system includes a waterfall that generates a good amount of aeration
Is your tank heated?Yes, small heater is used as needed
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2: 1 Crossocheilus siamensis and small algae eating catfish, not sure of its breed though b/c it was found trapped in my friends filtration system nearly dead. I nursed the lil guy back to health but I he has never been an issue for the other 2
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Flakes(morning) and Freezedried Bloodworms(evening)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily
How often do you perform a water change? Biweekly
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?Nutrafin Aqua+
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I have to purchase more water testing supplies at the pet store in the morning. Go figure that the one time I run out something like this happens.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? From bright fiery red to a dull red. The gill area that I noted as silver in my previous post in now looking more whitish.... Ick?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is usually very active and curious about anything that moves past his tank. He is also a bubble nest champ but now he tries to stay hidden out of site. Its obvious from his body language that he is having some discomfort. His fins all appear fine but he is still curved like a "J" with his nose down most of the time. I also noticed that he doesn't like when I turn on the daytime LEDs on his tank or when I increase the flow of the water filtration. Light sensitivity and stronger currents seem to bother him.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Midday, Tuesday, 1/1/13
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 3 tsp of aquarium salt, made him a garlic coated pea treat and I just increased the temp. of the heater by a couple degrees.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Never, he is the most resilient betta I have ever seen...
How old is your fish (approximately)? I have had him for a little over 1 year.. I rescued him from Wal-Mart. Ironically, he didnt appear to have been treated badly there... He has been bright and beautiful since the day I got him, just a little smaller back then.
OK...I so don't want to upset you, but I have had 2 of my bettas exhibit same symptoms and nothing I have done has been helpful but let's see if anyone else has had success....
1: freeze-dried foods are generally ok for a treat but will cause digestive problems if fed on regular basis...give only 2x week maximum.
2: a good high quality food like New Life Science (blue lid on jars at petco/petsmart) fed twice daily of about 3-5 pellets is a better option. Give frozen foods like bloodworms as a treat to replace a meal...although you can feed frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp on a regular basis whereas you shouldn't w/freeze-dried foods.
3: as bettas are carnivores, a better home remedy for gastrointestinal issues would be frozen daphnia. The pea remedy is about 50/50...50% of people swear by it and 50% of people say it causes swim bladder and other GI disorders. Personally, I feel that since bettas are obligate carnivores (meaning that the only veggies they eat are found in FULL tummies of the bug the betta is about to eat), I don't think it's right to give an whole meal consisting of veggies.
4: Bettas are tropical so they should be kept in water at least 78F.
5: since other than body position and color, this issue has crept up on us, it sounds internal to me...therefore, use Epsom salt (plain: free of scent and dye,etc) at 1-2teaspoons per gallon of water....you can get Epsom salt at grocery store, drug store, etc...
Again, I hope he gets better and I really hope we can get a more experienced (with this disorder) to chime in because I would like more information as well.
That's a good question Callistra!
Bettas need to be able to breathe from the air, regardless of water oxygenation...
Although, I am guessing this is not the problem with your betta since he's been in there for about 1 year, correct? If he has, there has to be something else happening because, he was unable to breathe from the air, he would've died after a few hours.
I meant to post this earlier but I had to run but Rusty is doing much better today. He was finally able to swim up off of the bottom of his tank and come to the surface. I noticed that another issue he was having was that his 2 front fins were almost completely gone. I'm sure this was part of the reason he couldn't get off of the bottom. This was weird because all of the other fins were perfectly fine. I treated him initially with Epsom salt and then went to Petsmart and got Mardel Maracide and Bettafix. I also raised the temp to 82, added a bubble stone and covered the tank with a black sheet. Not sure what caused this because his fins were gone, his body was stuck in the shape of a "J", a silvery gold something on most of his gill area and head and one of his eyes appeared kinda sunk in...?.?.? Thankfully he is on the upswing now and it appears as if he is well on track to make a full recovery. He even did a short little swimming dance for me earlier when I checked on him, then he needed a break cause his little fins aren't completely healed yet. Thanks for everyone's help and advice, I will continue to update at he recovers. :)
Glad to hear he's making a swift recovery. With any kind of fish problems, prevention is key. Feeding a good quality pellet, water changes and frequent monitoring on water parameters will make all the difference in a healthy fish.