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Old 03-11-2013, 10:10 AM   #21 
Sakura8
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Hi beddini. I was asked to take a look at your thread and see if there was anything else I could add. However, I think OFL has you pretty well-covered on the treatment side. I agree wholeheartedly with her that this is definitely not velvet. Not sign at all of the characteristic gold flecks.

I agree that this may be aging. Since a betta's average lifespan is 1-3 years old and a betta can be anywhere from 3-12 months old by the time they reach the pet stores, it's possible your betta is even older than 2 years.

Have you noticed any abnormalities with his, er, poo? Any white stringy poo? He's a bit thin despite getting a proper diet and this can be caused by either old age itself or possibly internal parasites such as tapeworms. If you haven't seen any abnormal poo, it's probably safe to say this is old age at work.

To answer some of your questions:

Temp swings between 77-81 are probably okay as long as the swings are gradual, such as natural cooling and heating periods that you might see in the wild. If the swings are rapid like they go from 77 to 81 in the course of an hour or less, then there's a problem.

Your GH. I haven't had any problems using my GH kit but then, my water is like uber soft because of a water softener. My guess is that your GH is probably fairly high but your KH is, as noted, extremely low. Crushed coral will help to stabilize your KH. Add it to your filter (use a filter media bag if you can) and start out with a relatively small amount, increasing as needed. Don't use the pH uppers/downers as those won't help.

To prevent some of the most rapid pH swings, it will help to "age" your water. Fill up a bucket (add a heater if necessary to keep the water from getting below 75 or so), add your dechlorinator, and then just let the water sit for at least 24 hours. This allows the pH time to adjust itself and settle on a number without shocking or stressing your betta.

For your carbon: don't worry about it. :) As Ayala said, unless you're trying to get rid of toxins or meds, carbon does little else but keep the water clear and odor-free. Just leave what little carbon you have left in there. If you find you do need to replace it and/or the mechanical filtration, try leaving the old filter insert in behind the new one for a few days and monitor for ammonia swings.

By the way, IAL does soften water so if you plan on aging your water, it might be best to add the IAL then so it can factor into the pH swings.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:47 PM   #22 
beddini
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Sakura,

thanks so much for taking another look at things..

- His poo seems fine.. so no tapeworms
- Temps swings are gradual several hours to swing those few degrees.


I will take your rec on the crushed coral and use it as a long term buffer.

I was wondering if you felt that I should quarantine him in a heated 1 gallon jug (jug would be "floated" in the tank and heated by it). I'm sure this will be more stress for the fish with all the daily water changes but I thought it might be a last course.. just in case there is some unknown issue with the tank.

Also.. since this is my first betta, I'm unaware of the death milestones. Given his 2 months of heavy lethargy, floating at the top, swim bladder issues, floating vertically for the past few days.. (but he will still eat) how long can he keep this up?

thanks so much,

-a
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:05 PM   #23 
AyalaCookiejar
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It's hard to say. My blind Betta, whose issues we've decided are due to bad genetics, is still alive. It's not a great quality of life but at least he's in good care, clean, warm water, etc... I don't expect him to live a long life but I don't necessarily expect him to die suddenly one day, either. It's just kind of hard to tell.

He's a pet store Betta and I don't think the bad conditions he was in before I got him helped too much. Some things are reversible with good care, others aren't... Especially when bad genetics are a factor. I don't believe my blind boy looks like he's in any pain so something like euthanasia would not be an option for him. I personally think its sort of like a dog with an amputated leg - they learn to live with it and don't feel sorry for themselves because of it. While its not necessarily a great thing, its more of a difference, and I do not blame my fish for the bad genetics he has. Obviously, that is out of the control of both of us. All you can do is be a good owner and he will still be a fish, lol. I do like to think of Bahari as my "special" fish because he gets a lot of special attention that my other fish do not require.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:12 PM   #24 
Sakura8
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He could hang on for quite some time but floating vertically isn't a good sign. Once they start standing on their tail or nose, it's usually a sign that passing is iminent.

If you want to quarantine him and you don't mind doing frequent water changes, then I'd this method:

get a 1 gal jug and fill it up with dechlorinated water and IAL and whatever else you need to add. Get a cup or shallow bowl (those disposable Gladwares work great). Fill it up and float him. To keep the humidity in, you might want to use saran wrap with holes poked in it. When it comes time to do a water change, pour out the old water and refill from the jug. This way, he's in a shallow container so reaching the surface to breathe is easier than in, say, a taller jar.

Oh, and I forgot to answer your Prime question. You'd have to work really hard to overdose a water conditioner. If you have a Prime bottle with a squirt/drip cap, just squirt two drops more or less per gallon. If not, you can try to eyeball it and dribble some in or else get an oral syringe to measure with. But slight overdosing or even fairly drastic overdosing shouldn't harm him. You'd most likely have to pour in half the bottle per gallon to get a negative response.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:14 PM   #25 
beddini
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Sakura,

I appreciate your insight on this.. I set up a quarantine 1 gallon tank w/ tannins and epsom salts.. I'll transfer him there tomorrow when the temp and ph stabilizes. Thanks for the reassurance on prime. We'll see what happens..

Ayala,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Bahari.. Sounds like his quality of life is not bad at all.. very best to him.

-a
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:00 PM   #26 
beddini
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So I set up a 1 gallon jug with prime, epsom salts and 1 single crushed IAL in a nylon stocking.. I let it sit overnight inside the tank so its the same exact temp. This morning I checked the pH. My tank is 6, the jug was 6.3-6.4.. a considerable drop from the pH of 8 from the tap last night.

I figured there is no better time to switch him into it so I scooped him in with a piece of tupperware cup with some of his tank water and filled the remainder of the cup with 3/4 of the new jug water and floated him within the jug (which is still in the tank)

He seemed fine with it.. no stress I could tell and the shallow nature of the cup kept him more horizontal (its only a couple of inches deep) as he's propped up by the tips of his bottom fin.

I fed him some frozen bloodworms as its difficult for him to eat pellets now (he makes an energetic strike, but just doesn't time it or open his mouth wide enough).. he took down about 5. Still good appetite.

My only concern with the low volume of water in the cup is ammonia buildup. So I tested it immediately post feeding. It was already between .25ppm and .5ppm. I figured that maybe he put some waste while he was in there and it spiked it up a bit. Swapped out 3/4 of the cup water.. same ammonia amount. I then tested water within the fresh 1 gallon jug (no exposure to fish or tank, just has IAL still in it) and it was the same amount of ammonia!

Then tested the tank.. less ammonia (<.25ppm) and had the same nylon pantyhose with 3 day old crushed IAL soaking in it.

I can only assume that the decaying IAL is producing a significant amount of ammonia? Does that make sense?

Am I doing this all wrong, and I only should "steep" the crush IAL for a few minutes and discard? Maybe there were a few trace older rotting bits in the hose?.. (I just have been manually dumping the hose.. not washing it with tap water)

Regardless, I put him back in the tank as there was less ammonia there.


FYI.. I have been using IAL heavily for the past few weeks in his tank (3-4 days of steeping, then remove the nylon stocking and then replace with a fresh IAL). I've only seen one ammonia spike (to .25 ppm) before.. but I just assumed it was from falling food that was uneaten.

My tank is cycled. I'm 100% sure.



Any thoughts on this guys? Am I missing something? I know IAL is supposed to do wonders maintaining these little guys.. but if its introducing ammonia that seems counter productive. I'm also wondering if his condition is related to intermittent exposure to low levels of ammonia.

thanks so much.

-a
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:25 PM   #27 
Oldfishlady
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I have had a 1gal jug of dried Oak leaves steeping for well over a month sitting on my fish table(I normally toss it after a couple of weeks) and just for a giggle I tested it and it has 0ppm ammonia, nitrite, nitrate....But I also don't use any additives in my well water that could possibly cause interaction and/or false readings. I have never had any issues with either IAL or Oak leaf causing any spikes....
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:30 PM   #28 
Sakura8
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Beddini, have you tested the water straight from the tap? You may have variable amounts of ammonia/ammonium in your source water. If so, it's most likely ammonium and less toxic than ammonia.

I've never experienced an ammonia spike with IAL either. Hmm. Are you rinsing the IAL before you use it, just to get dirt and stuff off?

Technically speaking, although food and fish poo and stuff does cause ammonia, the most significant source of ammonia is fish respiration (breathing). So I'm really not sure what to say about the ammonia spikes.

But I'm glad he's eating. Eating is always the best sign.
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