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Old 02-11-2013, 03:38 AM   #1 
MidnightsSong
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Location: Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Laying on his side and not responding to food

Housing
What size is your tank? He lived in a 1 gallon for two years--after he started having swimming problems, I lowered the water level about half-way so it is easier for him to get air. (After a lot of research, I am now aware one gallon is not sufficient. If he makes it or I do get another fish I will be purchasing a much bigger tank with a heater).
What temperature is your tank? I am currently unaware, sorry.
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes.
Is your tank heated? No.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley Betta Food Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Daily.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? At least once a week, if not twice.
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? None.

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? None.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He lays on his side at the bottom of the tank. Does not respond to food, a mirror, or me. Sort of an 's' shaped spine.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a week and a half ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I tried introducing him to a different diet, just to see if that'd spark his fancy, but he didn't care. Five days ago, I noticed a hole in one of his fins (I'm pretty sure he tore it on his plant ), so I started treating him with Melafix. But I don't think he's being treated for whatever ill he's fallen to.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? At least two years old.

I had gone to the pet store to see what they had to say, and they believe he has dropsy. I'm kind of unsure, just because he doesn't have the 'pine-coned' raised scales.
I'll be posting pictures tomorrow, currently it is too late and I don't want to disturb his rest.
I'm starting to think he has a bacterial infection. But I'm not an expert...
Please help. :(
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:22 AM   #2 
callistra
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He has ammonia poising from lack of water changes, and the Melafix should be discontinued as it contains an ingredient that can coat their labyrinth organ and cause them to suffocate. Whether or not he also has a bacterial infection from the lack of water changes is possible, but you need to get his water quality under control first and foremost.

In a bowl of this size needs at least two weekly water changes- one 50% and one 100%. And even then your boy will be subjected to some ammonia within 24-48 hours. With your water change routine ammonia will just build and build and build and never get under control.

You're also not using conditioner of any kind? Tap water is toxic to bettas and you always need conditioner.

At this point you need to go out and buy him conditioner - It should be in a liquid form and it should say it removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals - all three. For you specifically I suggest Prime.

Dose his water with the Prime - 2 drops per gallon, stir it up a bit then do a series of 2-3 back to back 50% water changes, followed by a 100% change which includes a thorough rinsing of the gravel and all decor.

You need to use a glass aquarium thermometer under the running to tap to match the exact temperature of his bowl water to avoid shock during water changes. Then gallon jugs (like water jugs you get at the grocery store - rinse thoroughly with hot wtaer but not chems) should be filled, conditioner dosed, and then that should be used to do the 50% changes. For the 100% change he should be scooped out of the bowl using a plastic type solo cup (not net) and left in the cup while you do the water change with same temp water again. Then add a few tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes for an hour or two before adding him back in.

Reducing water levels at this point is a good idea, and I would do 100% water change like this every other day while he is ill, and I would dose 1-2 drops of Prime daily, even when you do not do a change.

Bettas are also tropical fish and need to be kept a constant temperature ideally between 78-80F, and no less than 76F. His bowl will be several degrees below room temp, which unless your house is kept a steady 80F+ he is freezing. This lowers his immune system and metabolism and makes it hard for him to get well and fight the ammonia build up. For this reason you NEED To get a heater. Unfortunately, in a small bowl like this all you can get is one of those non adjustable preset heaters, and a lot of those are unreliable. You should test whatever you get for 24hours in similar size container and thermometer to make sure it will hold a constant steady temp. Then you should cup him while his bowl comes to full temp, float him in the fully heated bowl an hour before releasing.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:44 PM   #3 
MidnightsSong
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Okay, so I should have mentioned I am now changing his water daily and have benir almost a week, but only about 30%. Ill increase that. After he fell ill my mother bought me "stress coat" to condition his water and I've been using that. What are your thoughts on that?
Ill stop the Melafix treatment.

A heater will help him in this situation? Or is it too late? And should I leave him in the hospital tank? I bought a three gallon and after a day of running it'll be good to hold life.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:50 PM   #4 
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I did do an ammonia check on the water, and it is still very high. Would it be best to completely dump the water and start anew today?

Here's my boy today. I removed the gravel when the problems began because we taught at first he was constipated, so I was monitoring his feces.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:01 PM   #5 
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Please go back and reread my posts. I suggested several back to back 50% changes finalizing in a 100% change. I would still suggest doing exactly what I wrote. He is suffering from ammonia poisoning from lack of water changes.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:03 PM   #6 
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Okay. Thank you.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:31 PM   #7 
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I'm having the same situation with my Betta, as well. Callistra and others have been really helpful to me. If you'd like, check out my thread and you'll find useful information there, as well. And good luck to you and your fish. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:52 PM   #8 
MidnightsSong
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I just took a look, I wish you the best of luck!

----

I am currently trying to get my hands on Prime. It is so hard to buy proper fish things here where I live. It's infuriating.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:13 PM   #9 
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I know how that feels. I'm pretty lucky in that I've been able to find most of my stuff at my local Petsmart. LittleBlueFishlets mentioned Top Fin water conditioner as an alternative if I couldn't find Prime, but I haven't used it because I was able to find the Prime. Amazon does have it, but I'm not sure if you're willing to wait on the delivery.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #10 
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Oh, they also suggested to me to use an eyedropper to administer the Prime. I was able to get one at my Walgreens pharmacy.
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