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Old 03-08-2013, 11:50 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
So...Help me diagnose my Betta?

Before (Early June 2012):

Now (Late February 2013):

I don't know what's happening to little Bubba. Last year, he was so healthy and LOVED to eat, although he was housed in a 1 gallon unheated tank.

I later stuck him in a divided ten gallon with two other betta fish. The dividers are covered with aquarium plants, so they never really bug each other. Plus, the tops are secured by mesh so they can't jump over.

As you noticed from the pic, he's gotten even more emaciated. I thought it was the food I was feeding him, since I've been feeding him Hikari Gold Bio Pellets ever since I got him (weekly treat of freeze-dried bloodworms or crushed dried shrimp, of course. ) He'd do the wiggle dance and everything. Now, it's like he has no appetite.

His fins are getting shorter. I have no idea why. His fins don't seem to be disintegrating from infection by fin rot at all, and I made sure that he isn't tearing his fins as I've searched from shredded fin pieces every time I vacuum gravel and made sure that my plants aren't sharp.

Water parameters are good. The two other fish seem to have HUGE appetites and will practically lunge at any food I give them and chomp away. I also don't overfeed, max. 4 pellets a day.

Heat? Well, there's a slight problem. My water's only about 72 degrees. I actually have two heaters in there, (in an attempt to raise temperature) one tetra and one topfin. And they absolutely suck. I'm saving up for a new one soon, and I've heard Jager was good. Nevertheless, the other two seem to be fine in that temperature, although I don't plan on settling for low temp, good-for-nothing heaters.

He's getting REALLY thin. I thought it may be from a parasite (as I mentioned his white stringy poop), so I asked my friend about her opinion on it. She said that it may be from internal parasite or a worm, so I applied API's general sure into my water for about two days (full treatment). Bubba doesn't seem to be getting better. Therefore, I conclude that it wasn't a parasite, really.

I've further researched, and I've discovered that white, stringy poop can also be from constipation. I tried to feed him a mashed pea, but he immediately spit it out. And BTW, I soak food in for 20 minutes before feeding my fish with anything. I soaked a pellet in garlic, but he just flat out spit the thing out... Bubba is getting really frustrating.

I tried to woo him into eating by buying yummy tubiflex worms from petsmart (finally). The other two fish gobbled up the tubiflex worms when I cut it up... Bubba still won't eat it.

I really don't have a conclusion for Bubba's ailment. His fins are shrinking. He's gotten browner and less vibrant... His gills are looking paler. His appetite is diminished. I really don't know what to do with him, and I may euth him if he doesn't better. Help, please?
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:36 AM   #2 
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Location: NYC
ugh, you lose a lot of nutriets by soaking food...
I think the soake food thing is a myth.... he may mot be getting the nitroents he needs....
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:13 AM   #3 
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I agree..I would stop soaking the food and I would definitely keep his water at 82 degrees. Lower temps cause immune problems.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:52 AM   #4 
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10g needs a 50w heater. Actually due to the divider I would invest in two 25w and put them on opposite ends of the tank. That will help distribute the heat more evenly. For 25w I like Marineland Visitherm or Jager. Make sure you use an in tank thermometer to monitor temps because it's normal for even good heaters to be a couple degrees off. The only one I've seen that's perfect is the Aqueon Pro (black heaters not glass normal line which suck).

It's probably not good that you added him in this condition with other fish.. internal parasite infections are extremely contagious and if this is what it is you now need to treat the whole tank.

GC is not effective on internal parasites, just external. In 2 days you would know nothing.. Internal parasite treatments that are actually effective require 3-4 weeks and feeding the meds is the way to go.

When you soak the food, unless you are soaking in something like vitachem, you are leaching all the nutrients out of it. Also Hikari isn't a good quality pellet. I would look for New Life Spectrum Betta and look into start feeding 6 a day split up into 3 am and 3 pm with one fast day a week. If you can't find that, look for Omega One and try 4-5 a day for a while. If you want to feed blood worms and brine shrimp you should one feed one of each once a week in replace of a pellet meal. Anything freeze dried must be thoroughly soaked in separate cup with some conditioner/tank water for at least 10 minutes before feeding because otherwise it can cause constipation issues.

I would like more info to make sure we aren't missing anything before I make a treatment suggestion beyond warming him up ASAP and changing food:

Last edited by callistra; 03-09-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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