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Old 02-20-2013, 05:05 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Unhappy Bloated, lethargic beta

What size is your tank? 6 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 75F
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? 2 ghost shrimp, 1 Pinocchio shrimp, 2 golden mystery snails (introduced after sickness), 1 sucker fish

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes & pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 3/4 of tank
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Leaving water out for 3-5 days, covered. No chemicals.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Have not, smells earthy, no ammonia, other tank mates are fine (one ghost shrimp carrying eggs)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Very bloated, beginning to lose colour in body. No signs of fin rot. No pineconing
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Very lethargic, sitting at bottom of tank or draped in plants, gill breathing
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Bloating started two weeks ago, lethargy started 6 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Tried feeding peas to alleviate possible constipation
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? 6-7 months

****normally our beta is an attention *****. He loves attention and constantly swims by the glass when he knows you're looking. He's eaten a bit of the peas we have given him (only when the shrimp are showing interest- he's like a kid who doesn't want the toy until another kid's playing with it). About to quarantine as a next step and treat for bacterial.
The tank he is in is all live plants, no signs of ammonia and other indicator species in the tank are fine.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:53 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hamilton, MA
I just lost a fish to the same symtoms! She was bloated, and starting to lose a little color. She was able and did swim to the surface regularly. But, she was hanging out behind the heater. Again, b/c she had no stress stripes, pineconing, pop eyes, I thought it was a case of "sulking betta"- assuming she lost a territory to another in her sorority. This went on for 2 days. Today, I found the other girls tearing her apart! She was DOA when I caught them eating her. I can't think of what happened. The INSTANT I saw her sulking, I tested w/liquid master test. My params are perfect except for a high ph.
I posted her story on the "betta care" board, but no one's biting.
I had several success stories of similar bettas (new introductions to the sorority) got into your bottom-hugging lethargy mode. I gave each up for dead (params all OK) then each perked up. One who sank for a week or so is now the most aggressive fish in the tank!
I've used API "Stress Zyme" when the girls have a "sulker". I can't say that it worked to save my fish, but it couldn't hurt.
P. S.- I'd get rid of the mystery snails. I returned mine to the LFS. They were creating too large a bioload to earn their keep. I replaced them w/ ramshorns. (Everyone says ramshorns will breed and take over the tank. They are breeding, but bettas think baby snails are YUMMY! I caught a few taking cover in the filter.)
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:39 PM   #3 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: tn
He's bloated, possibly constipated. I would fast him a few days, and examine his feeding routine, such as how often you feed him, what you feed him, etc.

Also, the temp really should be at least 76*. Less than that, their metabolism slows, which in turn slows their digestion, and as a result, they can get constipated/bloat problems. And I think the pea thing really isn't recommended, as bettas don't digest plant material well, so it can cause other problems. A better one to try for a betta is daphnia I think? Or you can separate him from the others and try epsom salt, with no preservatives, perfumes, dyes, etc. I am not sure how much to use, I'm sure someone else can elaborate on that.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:44 PM   #4 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
Quarentine him and raise the temperature to 82 degrees. Keep his water very clean. And even when you age the water, you still must add conditioner to neutralize any remaining chemicals. Fast him for three days, give him a little bit of thawed frozen pea, and if he is still unwell after that, give him a Epsom salt bath at 1tsp/gallon.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:49 PM   #5 
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Location: Hamilton, MA
Matt, what do you suspect killed Gilly? All she exhibited was the bloat & fading.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #6 
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Linzer, I didn't mean to hijack your post. No one answered my post about Gilly on another thread. Today was my day off; this DID have to happen today, and I'm upset.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #7 
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Are his scales lying flat, or are they sticking out? If they are sticking out, this is called pineconing, and is a more severe issue than if they are lying flat.

When was the last time he pooped? And what color was it? (It should be roughly the color of his food, which is probably red-brown. If it's white and/or stringy, this could indicate parasites.)

I would put him in a small quarantine tank so I could keep an eye on him. Putting him in a barebottom tank will allow you to monitor the poop situation.

You should always add water conditioner. Aging will remove chlorine, but it won't neutralize chloramines or heavy metals that may be present in tap water. Look for a conditioner that removes/neutralizes all three: chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals.

I'd also raise the temperature to about 80F. Raise the temp slowly, no more than 1 degree per hour, so that you don't stress him.

I would fast him for a few days. There is a lot of controversy regarding feeding peas. Some people think it's OK. Others say it can cause internal blockage. So, personally, I would avoid a pea for now. If the bloating doesn't go down, I would try adding Epsom salt (1 teaspoon per gallon. Make sure it is completely dissolved, and then acclimate him slowly over the course of at least an hour). The Epsom salt should be 100% pure magnesium sulfate. (No dyes, additives or perfumes.)

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 02-21-2013 at 09:31 PM.
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bloating, bottom of tank, lethargic

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