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Old 02-23-2013, 02:19 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Not Sure Whats Wrong

Well, I'm just been concerned with my betta, Yuri. Ever since I upgraded his tank about a month and a half ago (from a 2 gallon to a 5 gallon), he hasn't been himself. His activity level has decreased a lot.

He recently battled with swim bladder, but he is still having buoyancy issues. He is not swimming completely sideways like when he had swim bladder, but he seems to have trouble keeping himself steady (half his body will sink or he can't stay perfectly straight without extra effort). He has also been lodging himself behind things like the heater or the thermostat. He spends most of his time at the top of the tank - occasionally going down to the bottom to hang out as well - but never just swimming around like he used to. He overall just seems less active.

I have also noticed that he has been having trouble eating. He can't seem to maintain his position to grab the food - he seems to have to steady himself before he goes to eat. He also appears to have trouble swallowing. He'll grab the food, attempt to swallow then it comes back out and he'll eat it again. I've noticed he's been eating his bubbles too.

Another thing that has me worried is his appearance. His head seems to have a brownish rust covering it with white around his lips. He also developed this small yellow/beige circle on the top of his head. I am not sure if this is just his regular coloring, (as his face was mostly white when I first got him), or if it's a fungus or disease or what. His fins (especially his pectoral fin) are clumping as well. I took some pictures of him...not the best quality, but I hope you can get an idea of his appearance.

Any help would be great! I'm worried that I'm slowly losing him or that he is suffering. Please let me know if I am doing something wrong, or what I can do to help him. :/

What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 79 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes, but I don't use it very often
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

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? freeze dried blood worms, tetraBetta plus pellets, and sometimes frozen bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1 time in the morning 2-3 pellets or 4-5 blood worms everyday skipping 1 day a week

How often do you perform a water change? 1 time every week in a half
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? about 35 to 45%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Aqua Safe Plus (water conditioner and dechlorinator)

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

Ammonia: it was 0 then i did a 50% water change and now it's .25
Nitrate: 0
Alkalinity: 120ppm

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His face has gotten much darker - almost looks like brown rust on his face - his pectoral fins have been clumped as well as his other fins.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not as active, buoyancy problems - having trouble staying straight or maintaining his spot - his lower body will sink, but upper body will float) he seems to be having problems eating at times - not quite as accurate at grabbing his food - sometimes he spits up then eats it back) he has been lodging himself behind things like the heater or the thermometer
When did you start noticing the symptoms? when I upgraded him from a 2 gallon tank to a 5 gallon tank - I also added new plants and gravel - I haven noticed a strong smell since then - smells almost like dirty paint water
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I originally treated him for swim bladder, but he is no longer bloated - I did the pea treatment then stopped after I heard it wasn't the best solution - did an epsom salt bath and fasted - he seems to have recovered from this, but still has some buoyancy issues
Does your fish have any history of being ill? When I first got him (a little over 3 years ago) he was suffering from fin rot and he had a loss of color - his face was completely white
How old is your fish (approximately)? I have had him for about 3 years, but I do not know how old he is beyond that
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suzyyy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2013, 02:47 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NYC
fd blood worms are notorious for causing swim bladder problems. I woild take him off those for now. are you able to turn your heater up any more? I would aim for 82-84F sounds a little warm, bur bettas with sb problems do better at a warmer temp...
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:15 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Well, you're obviously doing something right since you've had him for over three years!

Can you use his 2 gallon tank as a hospital tank? Since he's still having buoyancy issues, I would fill it halfway (1 gal), then add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt, and acclimate him SLOWLY. The lower water level means he won't have to swim as far to reach the surface when he needs to breathe.

Are the first 3 ingredients in his pellets all whole fish sources? Pellets that are high in grain products (like wheat) can contribute to bloating. I'm not familiar with Tetra's brand. But the two brands most often recommended on this site are New Life Spectrum (NLS) Betta pellets, and Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets.

As for the larger tank: If you noticed a bad odor after adding the new plants and gravel into the 5 gal tank, I would remove the new additions and do a water change. If your tank is cycled or has live plants, I would do a series of partial water changes until I couldn't smell the odor any more. If your tank is not cycled or has no live plants, then I would just do a 100% water change.... I once added a new decoration, and noticed a paint-thinner type odor the next day. My fish was laying at the bottom with clamped fins. I removed him, then removed the decoration and did a complete water change. He was still lethargic awhile, but was OK about two days later. (Now, I just use homemade decorations!)

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 02-23-2013 at 03:18 PM.
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