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Old 01-10-2013, 09:18 AM   #1 
smichaelc
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Unhappy Change in betta's behavior; other symptoms of illness

Okay so I bought my blue veil tailed betta at petsmart almost 8 months ago and have never had any health issues besides minor fin rot and constipation, both of which were cured.

As of about a week ago, I came home to my betta floating on his side hiding and barely moving. He usually comes up and wiggles at me until I walk away. Strange bubbles kept coming out of him and when he pooped it was stringy and white/clearish. Now he seems as if he is constantly sinking and it's hard for him to stay up near the water surface when I feed him. Other than feeding time, he is very lethargic. I hardly ever see him move. He has also developed another case of fin rot.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees fahrenheit
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? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? frozen brine shrimp and frozen daphnia
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? every 4 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime water 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? loss of color, fins rotting
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? very lethargic, white stringy feces, buoyancy issues
When did you start noticing the symptoms? a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? only with water changes
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #2 
Sixwolf
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From what you said, it sounds like he might be struggling with a swim bladder disorder right now, along with the fin rot. If he's never consistently shown these swimming issues, the sbd is most likely temporary, if that's what it is. He could possibly have an infection, other than the fin rot, and so I would probably treat him with antibiotics. With these things, trust your betta parent instincts!
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:41 PM   #3 
callistra
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He has internal infection of either parasite or bacteria. Since he has external signs of bacterial infection, lets go the way of bacterial.

Daphnia is a not an appropriate staple feed. It should be fed limited.. I would suggest only once a week, maybe the day before his fast day. All bettas should get one fast day a week. Brine shrimp are okay treats as well but they can't be fed exclusively either. I'd stick to once a week - feed pellet sized portion not drop a cube or part of a cube for all frozen food. You need to look for a good quality pellet whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish not fishmeal or wheat. I like New Life Spectrum Betta, personally. Omega One Betta Buffet is also alright it seems.

Is he bloated at all? Photos would be helpful.

I would stop feeding for a few days while you treat with epsom salts - pure 100% magnesium sulfate with no additives. Dissolve at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon and add slowly to the tank water over an hour to avoid ph shock. This is like AQ in that it will not evaporate or break down so only needs to be redosed with a water change (whatever portion you change that's what needs to be added back). In addition to the epsoms i would look for Kanaplex by Seachem or Maracyn Plus. Follow directions for dosing. Treat for 2 weeks. If he's not a lot better by a week let us know.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:42 AM   #4 
smichaelc
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Thank you very much both for your time and replies! I am beyond glad to see that others care.

My betta has dealt with swim bladder issues before when he was constipated. After I cured him of it, he didn't have any issues for a couple of months.

Last night he started showing slight signs of pine coning. He has done this before and it went away. His gills also look very inflamed. He is still inactive but will eat anything I feed him.

What kind of antibiotics should I give him?

Also, I was feeding him Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets but they kept making him bloat so I switched to frozen foods.

Sorry for the crappy pictures. I couldn't get any better ones because he doesn't move much.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:45 AM   #5 
smichaelc
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Does dropsy cause fish to become inactive?
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #6 
callistra
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He is really skinny. That's probably from trying to use daphnia as a staple. That's like giving a laxative to a fish. You can do that once a week to keep him regular but don't make it a normal habit. Yeah Hikari is really bad for that, it's one of the worst in fact. But that just means you need a better quality pellet. I suggest New Life Spectrum (feed 5-8 split up into two or three small meals with one fast day a week) or omega one betta buffet (feed 3-4 split up into two meals with fast day). Your pellet should have the first two or three ingredients as whole fish not fishmeal or wheat. That's what causes the bloating.

I would change food, use epsom salts and antibiotics as outlined above.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:35 PM   #7 
smichaelc
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He's doing great now. I switched to New Life Spectrum and dosed him with antibiotics. His scales went back to normal, he gained all of his rich color back, and he spends all day exploring and begging for food.

I moved Bubbles from a 2.5 gallon, which was never cycled, into a 5 gallon that I wish to cycle. So.. what do I do? He has only been in it for 4 days and I've given him a 25% water change with Prime water conditioner. Got a bio-filter and a heater, and he ****ing loves it.

How often should I do water changes? And another question, when I use Prime do I measure for the amount of water I am replacing or the whole 5 gallons?
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #8 
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When my 5-gal was cycling, I would do water changes two to three times a week. When your ammonia and nitrites spike, you'll need to do more frequent and often larger partial changes. And when you want to condition water for adding to the tank, just use the amount of conditioner for the amount you're adding, not the whole tank.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:50 PM   #9 
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Great to hear!

You should get a reliable drops kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You should test daily and do a 50% change any time you see ammonia or nitrite show up. In addition to this a weekly 50% change with siphon is needed. Ammonia will spike first, then nitrite. AMmonia will stick at 0 then nitrite leaving you with only nitrates that should be kept <20ppm by a once week 50% with siphon change. Cycling can take up to 2 months.
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