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Old 02-04-2013, 06:09 PM   #1 
Bombalurina
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Two very sick fish :(

Because I have two fish with the same symptoms, I am going to answer each question twice. If it is red, it applies to my male, Odysseus, whilst the green text is for my female Artemis.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons 16 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 82F 78F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes Yes, two
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No, just surface movement from the filter Ditto
Is your tank heated? Yes Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? RCS Cories, Endlers, Ember tetras and RCS

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Cichlid pellets Betta micropellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets twice a day Twice a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week (or fortnight if I'm studying because I get so busy :( bad me) Once or twice a week, maybe less if I'm studying (again, bad me)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% 20% (more if I've been slack lately)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime Prime, and occasionally a plant supplement

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
The following applies to both tanks
Ammonia: 0 (we have soft water so it gets converted to ammonium anyway)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 25ppm (slightly more in the 16 gallon)
pH: 6.5
Hardness: Really soft
Alkalinity: NA

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Both fish are lethargic. Artemis is dark, Odysseus is pale. Neither will move or eat. Artemis was pale and swollen, although that has reduced. She has clamped fins.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Extreme lethargy and refusing food.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 5 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I moved Artemis to a 3 gal quarantine tank with IAL and epsom salt, as she was bloated. Her colour has darkened back to normal (she was pale and stripy) and her bloating has reduced but no other improvement. I have not done anything for Odysseus except a water change.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Both fish are about two, Artemis may be a little older.

Please help if you can. Pretty much every betta I've owned has died of this mystery ailment - they just slowly fade away, and one morning I will come down and find them dead. :( If you have any more questions, please do ask. :)
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:33 PM   #2 
veggiegirl
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Hey there,

Unfortunately these symptoms are quite common for a wide variety of diseases that affect bettas. It would be great if you could post some pictures of them both because it would really help us to diagnose them and then once we know what is wrong we can recommend some treatments.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:45 PM   #3 
MattsBettas
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These are very broad symptoms. Pictures would be excellent. Do you practice good bio security? (Do you share nets between tanks, sanitize after former inhabitants die, etc)
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:02 AM   #4 
Bombalurina
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Unfortunately I can't get photos of them as they are both hiding and I don't want to stress them out by trying to get them in the open. :( Physically, they just look like any other sick betta - clamped fins. There are no marks, swellings, bloatings or any other things I can see.

In terms of sanitation: because all my tanks are communities, I can't break down and sanitise the whole tank after deaths. I do bleach then rinse rinse rinse my hospital tanks/equipment and net after dealing with sickness, but I use the same hose and bucket for water changes when my fish are healthy.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:02 PM   #5 
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I've moved Odysseus into the QT tank with Artemis (he's in a breeder box) because he needed to be treated with the salt, and I can't do that in his normal tank because of the shrimp. I know it isn't a good option, but I can't set up another tank for him. He isn't realyl struggling to swim, but he is reluctant to move and he has finrot. :( He is a little perkier today, but Artemis has gone downhill.

She is now in the final stages of this mystery disease, which I have seen far too many times now. She has turned a dark, bruised-looking silver grey and her fins are very clamped. She still has plenty of colour in her fins, though. Her abdomen is swollen.

The next stage is that her whole body will turn this odd colour, with dark purplish bruising around her stomach, and then she will die. The corpse will be very stiff and pale, except for the bruised areas. I reckon she only has three days, max. :( Does anybody know what I can do?
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #6 
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Hey there,

Unfortunately without a photo all I can suggest is trying a medication, something broad spectrum like mardel maracyn two, this product treats a wide variety of bacteria and may be beneficial for your bettas. Whenever in doubt of what is wrong a good broad spectrum treatment is always a good option, listening to the symptoms you described it sounds as if your fish are suffering from some internal bacterial infection so treating with this product is a good place to start. Goodluck
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:58 PM   #7 
Bombalurina
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Unfortunately, the strongest thing I can get here is BettaFix, which I am not going to use. :( Maracyn is not available here.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:05 PM   #8 
LittleBettaFish
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Just throwing this out there, but could it be something like internal hexamita? The bloating, food refusal and lethargy could be related, and the treatment is metronidazole which is done here in Australia generally with a pig and poultry wormer.

Couldn't help to worm them anyway just to rule internal parasites out. Otherwise it sounds like something bacterial may be going on.

It's sad that fish aren't just like cats or dogs in that you can drive them down to the vet and get a diagnose.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:38 PM   #9 
veggiegirl
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Hey there,

I live in Australia and so getting products like maracyn through customs can be a hastle but if you live in America there are heaps of places that you could buy it online.......just a thought
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:47 PM   #10 
LittleBettaFish
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She's from Australia like us. I wouldn't even try and sneak medicines through customs here. I know a few people got their IAL seized and that is an allowable import.
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