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Old 03-01-2013, 01:01 PM   #1 
Faye33
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new to the forum; please help :((

Hi, I've had a betta fish, Henry, for the past 6 months and he was doing really great.

All of the sudden, 2 weeks ago, I noticed that he was no longer swimming as much, but I figured that my family had overfed him or something so I let him be. But then a few days later I came home and he was just lying on the bottom of the tank, looking very close to death :(((


I took him out and examined him closely in a little 0.5 gal bowl, and noticed his fins were absolutely destroyed (he's a pretty blue/purple half moon) with 50% of his fin webbing gone, literally falling off as I watched, and the veins that remained were grayish/black. This happened in the course of 3-5 days! Also, he refused to eat anything, and could not swim AT ALL. just laid at the bottom looking extremely sad.

I immediately took him to petsmart since I don't know any vets and they were confused but said he might have fin rot, and gave me maracyn 2. They also think he may have been stressed out by keeping his tank close to another (bigger) betta fish bowl. I changed his water in the 1/2 gallon every day (100%) and treated him with the maracyn 2 as per the instructions for about 5 days. On the forth day he started eating (barely) again, but still cannot swim. I put him back in his 2.5 gallon tank, but this time changed the fake plants with some live ones to absorb nitrites, and added a few glass shrimp to filter out the bacteria. Also, I changed the substrate from gravel to sand, so he would have something soft to lay on, and got a new heater, since I believe the old one wasn't working very well. I only filled it up to about 4 inches to he didn't have to struggle very hard to reach the surface, as he is moving now, but with some effort.

All was going well for a few days, and he's eating much better now (generally refusing the betta pellets, but eating the dried blood worms with glee) but now he has this big brown rash around his mouth, and it seems to fit the description of velvet. He's swimming more though, so is he feeling better?

Help!! what am doing wrong!?!

What size is your tank? 2.5 Gal

What temperature is your tank? ~80 F

Does your tank have a filter? no

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no

Is your tank heated? yes, always

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? just added 5 glass shrimp

Food What type of food do you feed your betta fish? omega one betta pellets and freeze dried bloodworms

How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3pellets in the morning, occasionally a few bloodworms, but I give him more bloodworms now since that's the only thing he will really like. Fasted
on the weekends usually, but sometimes I feed him a tiny bit on Saturday.

Maintenance How often do you perform a water change? Once a week before, now every other day.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% when using fake plants, now doing ~30% changes since there is only around a gallon in his tank (see above).

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta water conditioner, and I used to add a little aquarium salt, but stopped after this happened. Water Parameters: Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Not recently.

Ammonia: n/a Nitrite: n/a Nitrate: n/a pH: n/a Hardness: n/a Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fins with slight finrot, reddish brown splotch on head and around mouth

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? seems weak, but is swimming with rests

When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2 weeks ago

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes, please see above

Does your fish have any history of being ill? no, he was always very healthy

How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him from Petsmart back in September so I've had him for 6 months, so I guess he should be about a year.

Last edited by Faye33; 03-01-2013 at 01:17 PM. Reason: no page breaks
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:02 PM   #2 
Faye33
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...?!? I will change the editing on that....

Last edited by Faye33; 03-01-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #3 
Faye33
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also, he has stopped making him lovely bubble nests and tends to rest on his tail :(
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:24 PM   #4 
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I saw that you are now only doing 30% water changes... keep doing 100% since he is in less water. Super clean water = happy and healthy fish. It was good to stop adding the aq. salt, I'm sure that you have read that this is bad for them long term. Aq. salt should not be used for more than ten days max to treat an illness. If it is only fin rot, the water changes should take care of him. If its not (which its sounding like he may have some other problems going on) who knows what will help... I wish I could give you some better advice but I have never been in this situation.

It may help him to start using API Stress Coat+ instead of your usual water conditioner... this will promote his natural, protective slime coat build up and will help some with his fin regrowth.

If he hasn't grown much since you purchased him, he could be about 2 years old at this point, just fyi. Sending you my well wishes, and I hope he makes a speedy recovery!
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #5 
Faye33
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thank you for the info. will the water changes also help this new thing around his mouth?
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:46 PM   #6 
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If he tends to rest on his tail, that reminds me of swim bladder disorder... I would not suggest fasting him as he has had a severe decrease in appetite, but you may look into other alternatives such as daphnia and Epsom salts to relieve his constipation (number one cause of SBD). The 100% daily water changes certainly won't hurt him; as to whether it will treat his mouth problem is another question. If you are pretty certain it is velvet (compare closely with internet pics, shine a flashlight on it - does it look like he has golden glitter on him? if so that's velvet), then treat him for velvet. Here are some instructions on how to treat velvet if that is what's wrong:

http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/disease/p/velvet.htm

Don't add aq. salt tho - since your fish has built up a tolerance to it it won't do him any good. Just above everything, remember - change that water! That will help more than anything else I believe.

----- Edit ------

Also, if he is swimming around more, it probably means that he is feeling some better. Just be sure to remain vigilant, as fish can go through many relapses in their path to recovery.

Last edited by kevinbacon; 03-01-2013 at 01:49 PM. Reason: added some things
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #7 
Mal72
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I would continue the water changes because they will ensure that the tank is clean.

I would recommend using Epsom salt and heavy tannins (IAL) or from naturally dried Oak Leaves.

These are OldFishLady's (she is a moderator on here) instructions for treating with this two things:

"I would keep him in the 1gal with half the water removed-no filter or water movement, water temp in the 77-78F range-cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ. Add either a crushed IAL or 4-5 crushed Oak leaves to the tank-then using a small cup half full with hot dechlorinated water add 2tsp of Epsom salt to dissolve-the hot water will make it dissolve faster-Once dissolved-fill it up with some of the tank water-then over the next 30min add the Epsom salt.

Turn off the light, cover the tank to provide a dim lit quiet location. Offer small amounts of food and remove uneaten. If you have access to live mosquito larva-offer a couple rinse and see if that will stimulate his feeding response.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add 3tsp/gal Epsom salt and the tannin source-IAL 1 large crushed/gal or Oak leaf-20 crushed per gallon."

Use a bit of this premixed treatment when you perform your water changes and see if it improves. This method is less harsh than using Aquarium salt and/or maracyn 2. It could possibly work for you. I hope he feels better soon!
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #8 
Faye33
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he matches every description on that page! Do you have any experience with copper sulphate? Also, is velvet transferable to humans?
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #9 
Faye33
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okay - THANKS YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!! :D

Last edited by Faye33; 03-01-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:54 PM   #10 
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No, the only disease you can catch from your fish is TB, but it doesn't sound like you have that at all. Mal72 had some great input; their instructions would take care of both the velvet and the SBD if that is what's causing the problem here. IAL are a little hard to find unless you get them off eBay, in my opinion. But they would probably be more gentle on your fish (which is always a good thing) than the meds would be. I personally have no experience with the disease, but I have heard that it is not terrible to treat as long as it is addressed properly.

You're welcome, and btw... welcome to the forum!
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