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Old 01-24-2013, 12:51 AM   #1 
celine18
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Exclamation Early dropsy???!!

I've had Sam for 2 1/2 years, we've had some scares, when he went down the drain, and when the plastics in a Petsmart heater poisoned his water, and he always pulls through, but I'm worried this time. he seems to have taken the move back to college very badly. I've been poking around, and done lots of reading, combined with what I already knew, and have started epsom salt at 1tsp/g, and will be moving him tomorrow to a 10 gallon, with maybe 2-3gal water in, heater, and epsom continued in higher doses. I'm also going to look for oak leaves to toss in for tannins tomorrow. I really hope it's not dropsy, but I'm not sure, with the slight pine-coneing.

I'm worried about my guy, any help is super appreciated!!!

Housing
What size is your tank? 5g planted
What temperature is your tank? 82F
Does your tank have a filter? yes, Aquaclear 10 with foam on intake and out flow
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? trumpet snails

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? frozen blood worms & topfin pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? one worm or 3/4 pellets daily

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once every 1/2 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?40-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API water conditioner, occasionally excel

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
(using Jungle 5-in-1 test strip)
Ammonia: ?
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:10
pH:6.2-4
Hardness:75
Alkalinity: 180-300

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fins lost color, slight pine-cone, doesn't seem to have swelling or bulging, slight fin clamping
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? will sluggishly move from one spot in tank to other, where will sit on gravel or float for few minutes or longer, then move to other location. sometimes hard to get attention by tapping next to him. couldn't get him to eat pellets, so gave him worm, ate happily yesterday, today struggles to get it down and keep it there. occasional spastic moving when going for air.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? started acting sluggish day before yesterday after I moved him to the dorm. we've made the trip to the dorm/home 4 times before with no problems. i gave him 2 hours of acclimation time night before yesterday (the night of Jan 21).
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? have turned off filter and added 1tsp/g of epsom
Does your fish have any history of being ill? has previously been sick, not sure what it was, was lathargic, low color, laying around, took good week or two to get back to health
How old is your fish (approximately)? 2.5



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Old 01-24-2013, 09:50 AM   #2 
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morning update

so this morning he's still holding on. his scales are still sticking out a bit, he still has no obvious swelling or bloating. his fins are clamped, and breathing is very shallow. he pretty much just floats for a while, then sinks to the bottom and lays there until it's time to swim up for air, repeat.

basically he's just really sad looking. any help or opinions on diagnosis are still really really needed!!!!!!







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Old 01-24-2013, 07:07 PM   #3 
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still looking rough, been moved to hospital tank

I've moved him into 2 1/2 gallons in a 10 gallon tank, with 2 tsp/gal of epsom. he's now sitting around 77-80, depending on area of tank, since there's no filter. the towel over top is keeping it nice and humid. I didn't get out to collect oak leaves yet, and since it's supposed to snow tomorrow, I may have to abandon the tannin idea. his scales are still sticking out, which is slightly visible in this pic, and his breathing is extremely shallow. still no bloating, or poop for that matter. fins are still clamped.

I guess I'll just continue this monologue until someone can help diagnose him, I really have no clue what medicine I should give him, beyond continuing to up the epsom to 3tsp/gal tomorrow. I'm not giving up on my little guy, he's stuck with me as I learned, and I'd really appreciate advice to help him feel better!!

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:53 PM   #4 
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He's pretty skinny and very clamped as well..

What color is his poop?

That sponge bob thing has been determined to contain metal inside the ornament which can rust and has harmed other forum members.. how long have you had it?

The topfin pellets are not good quality. I would look for a pellet whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or the worst is wheat.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:17 AM   #5 
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thanks for replying!!!!!!! <3 <3

i actually haven't seen any poop in a good while. he's had trouble eating for a few days, and today he refused bloodworms, his favorite.

omg....if it's really the stupid spongebob stuff i'm going to go destroy those companies that make these crappy aquarium products, the last time he was sick was because of residue on a new petsmart brand heater!!!! and now decorations??? does anyone know where the rust may have come from? it looks mainly like plastic to me and i can't see metals. it's been in the tank for maybe a month and a half. but it's weird that he seemed pretty ok before i moved him to school.

ok, i've been meaning to get new pellets, just need to find good ones, guess that's my homework for this weekend.

thanks again! if it's poisoning, is there any medication i can give him?

Last edited by celine18; 01-25-2013 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #6 
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post 100% wc

as soon as i got out of class this morning i made a 100%wc, washed off the heater and thermometer, and upped the epsom to 2 1/2 tsp/gal.

i still can't get him to eat, he actually swims away from bloodworms, and so there's no poop. his scales look like they're sticking out a little more, and he has even less energy, if that even seems possible.

i'm hoping the clean water will start to clear his system of this, but i'm starting to feel a little defeated by this thing, whatever's wrong with him. i am leaning toward the idea of it being toxins from the decorations, but that leaves me with no clue what else to do to help him besides water changes every day with epsom, and keep him in his little 2 inches of water with a ton of humidity in the air.

if anyone has any ideas what i can do further to make him better, pleeeeasee let me know!!! (although i can't exactly go out to stores right now, just got sleet. winter sucks!!!! )

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:26 PM   #7 
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It would appear to me he indeed has dropsy. Based on your description of his symptoms and the picture you just posted.

Not sure what else to say. But 2.5 is already impressive for a betta....especially a Petco betta. Sorry I don't have better news to post.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:51 PM   #8 
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Yes. It's dropsy.

In this half gallon I would do daily 100% changes using the water from the tank (then replace what you need to the tank using same temp water).

Well the metal has been found inside the ornament and the people that found it discovered it after part of it has been rubbed off, exposing the metal. You'd basically have to break the ornament to find out.

Usually I suggest meds with this.. but considering it may not be infection based I'm worried about toasting his kidneys even more.. I think for him I would just stick with the epsom salts for now. His belly isn't bloated at all. There may be nothing in him to poop.. it's actually rather sunken in like you would see from malnutrition or internal parasites if anything..

Try enticing him with tiny pieces of frozen brine shrimp. Hikari makes some.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:23 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Yes. It's dropsy.

In this half gallon I would do daily 100% changes using the water from the tank (then replace what you need to the tank using same temp water).

Well the metal has been found inside the ornament and the people that found it discovered it after part of it has been rubbed off, exposing the metal. You'd basically have to break the ornament to find out.

Usually I suggest meds with this.. but considering it may not be infection based I'm worried about toasting his kidneys even more.. I think for him I would just stick with the epsom salts for now. His belly isn't bloated at all. There may be nothing in him to poop.. it's actually rather sunken in like you would see from malnutrition or internal parasites if anything..

Try enticing him with tiny pieces of frozen brine shrimp. Hikari makes some.
i'm sorry, what do you mean water change using the water from the tank? (sorry, i currently have a head cold, so not much makes sense right now) how i did it today was get new water at the same temp, treat it, scooped sam into a cup, removed old water, put in new, and floated him for 2 hours, every 30mins pouring out old and in new.

ok, i'll up him to 3 tsp/gal tomorrow. i have seen 2 little black balls on the bottom of the tank which i guess are sad little poops.

i'll try and find a pet store open tomorrow to get brine shrimp, i just went outside and everything's covered in ice so it'll be an adventure.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:36 PM   #10 
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Some other people have held a magnet up to the decoration to see if it attracts. I found that my spongebob pineapple house had metal wire in the internal structure and some of it was exposed... I would take out the ornament and inspect it closely for any hint of brown discoloration, especially on the green part on the top and on the top inside of the decoration. I am unsure if the metal would rust if there was nothing exposed, though, but you would have to break it to find that out.

I hope he pulls through for you. Unfortunately, though, most people who successfully treat for dropsy find that it will reoccur again after a few months. I think his age might have something to do with it. He is lucky to have such a great owner.
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