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Old 01-22-2013, 06:07 PM   #1 
PupPetta
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Unhappy Sudden change in betta

Hello. I am new to this site and have read many of the threads but I need some help with my betta. I am a college student and so I had to bring my fish home with me for winter break and keep him in a smaller than usual tank. His fins have always been kind of scraggly but I notice they were getting shorter so I kept up with daily water changes to see if it would improve. It looked like it was starting to (he had clear/whitish ends on some fins, and I believe this is a good sign?) But then I had to take him home which involves a bumpy 5 hour ride. I was able to keep him heated on the ride and I quickly got him back into his 2.5 gallon tank when I got home. I then noticed a hole in his fin and some more black edges. So I went and bought some aquarium salt, and regretfully some melafix. Soon after adding melafix he was acting sluggish but I thought it might have just been stress from all the water changes so I left him in there for probably like 15 hours until finding out melafix can kill him! So I immediately did 100% change and he seemed a little better afterwards but now about an hour later he is just laying on the bottom of the tank. I love my fish and want him to be better but I am at a total loss of what to do. I have aquarium salt in his tank right now and I turned off his filter and the temp is at about 76. I'm worried he's both sick but also really stressed out so I don't know how often and how much water changes to do. Help!

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 76
Does your tank have a filter? yes, but turned off to avoid more stress
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? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari betta bio-gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day, two pellets

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Lately, every day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Lately, 100% or 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Conditioner

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Very sluggish, clamped fins
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Aquarium salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him 1.5 years ago

Last edited by PupPetta; 01-22-2013 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:17 PM   #2 
veggiegirl
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Hey there,

So now that your boy is back in his 2.5 gallon tank goes he have a heater again?
Melafix is known for coating the labyrinth gland causing bettas to suffocate but your boy is still alive which is definitely a good sign because if it is going to kill them it usually happens quite quickly. It sounds like your boy may have fin rot so you will need to get some medication for that. I would recommend mardels maracyn two, it is suppose to be one of the most effective fin rot treatments. It is extremely important to keep his water extra clean while he has fin rot so I would give his 2.5 gallons a 100% water change twice a week. Good luck with your boy and keep us updated.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:19 PM   #3 
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Yes he has a heater again. My house is kept pretty cold so I can only get it to stay at about 76. I have given him a couple water changes today to get the melafix out of his system and now I feel good about the cleanliness of his water. He's just resting on the bottom and it looks like he's breathing hard (probably not really what it is but that's just what it looks like). Is there anything else I can do other than wait for him to get this out of his system?

As far as the fin rot goes. I don't know when I'll be able to get any medication and I've seen a lot of pictures of fin rot and his doesn't look too bad I think the holes in his fins may have actually been from the filter current because he was fine the first couple days but after the melafix incident he seems really weak and I could see he was struggling to swim out of the current. Could this be the case? I have the filter unplugged now, I'll try it again when he seems to be feeling better.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:24 PM   #4 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Can you post a picture of his fins?

Most cases of fin rot can just be treated with warm, clean water (and Aquarium salt for no more than 10 days, if needed). All of which you're already doing.

But a picture would be great - because people could see the extent of the damage, and make recommendations based on what his fins look like.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:10 PM   #5 
PupPetta
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This is a really terrible picture that I took on my phone the other day while he was actually swimming around. But you can kind of see how the edges are uneven. I don't think he had any holes at this point. I can't get a picture of him now because he's not moving around much and when he does his fins are clamped.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:05 PM   #6 
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Today he's off the ground a little more and hanging out at the top of the water but his fins are horrible. Almost all are black! I feel so bad for doing this to him :( I also don't know whats going on with my heater. I can't get it past 70 degrees! I feel like the worst parent ever. I'm making an emergency trip to an aquarium store as soon as I can get my hands on a car.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #7 
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Hope he gets better!
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:33 PM   #8 
MattsBettas
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Hikari is bad food. Get him omega one but preferably new life spectrum. And 76 degrees is minimum, getting him to 80 will be much better for recovery.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:50 PM   #9 
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I have got him to 80 I think my heaters are broken so I've got a space heater positioned in a way to keep the temp right at 80. (its going to be a warm couple of nights!) I've also ordered a new heater online. I went to get some maracyn 2 today at a nice aquarium store and the woman suggested betta revive instead because she felt it was necessary to use a filter when medicating with maracyn 2 but my little guys fins are damaged and hes not swimming well so I'm keeping the filter off. So I got him into a small hospital tank with the revive and at 80 and hes swimming around a little more and thankfully not at the bottom. so I'm hopeful! I tried to give him a food pellet but he had no interest. maybe ill try again tomorrow. thanks everyone for caring about my little man!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:53 PM   #10 
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Space heaters are not okay to warm the tank. You can warm a room with a space heater but do not directly aim it at the tank. It will continue to warm the glass and cause fluctuations.

Betta Revive is not the best medication for this.. it's a very toxic drug cocktails of a bunch of drugs for a bunch of different conditions all thrown together. It's best to use just one medication you know works for specifically for what you're treating. It does have a good antibiotic in it but it also has a copper medication in it (along with a lot of other things) so be careful.
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