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Old 03-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #1 
ThistleBetta
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Please help! Sbd

Hi everyone! I am brand new to the forum. I'm in desperate search for help for my sick little guy. Thistle is a halfmoon that I purchased through a breeder and I love him so much (and so do my little girls).

I went on a vacation with my husband and my mom came to watch our girls for us - and Thistle. Well, I get back and there is a ton of food on the bottom of his bowl and his fins, of course, had fin rot. I was obviously really upset, but did a course of aquarium salt treatment. No response. Did another. No response. Tried Melafix (super duper diluted as I know it can get toxic quickly and it is already more concentrated than bettafix). No response. So I decided to do the Meracyn I/II treatment and it worked. I'm VERY diligent about his tank water and his health.

Go on another vacation and FIN ROT AGAIN - my mom fed him way too much despite my begging to only feed him a tiny bit. Decided to go straight to the Meracyn treatment since it was the only one that worked the first time. On day three of treatment, I saw him start to swim sideways and freaked out - I just knew he was a goner. I took him out immediately and put him in fresh water. He very clearly has SBD because he sinks like a rock and swims in twirly circles. Plus his swim bladder is very distended.

I have done three days of epsom salt baths because he refuses to eat the pea. He did go potty yesterday morning, but no improvement. I don't think he is constipated. I've fasted him for 5 days, but he won't eat anything anyway. I'm terrified he is going to die! PLEASE HELP ME.

He is in about 2in of water. It's a container floating in his bowl. Water is heated to about 79-80 degrees (thermometer is not super precise). I am changing his water daily after every bath (it's all the same temp bc I float it in his bowl to warm it up). He is completely listless and pitiful with a swollen belly. There also appears to be blood in his right fin by his gill. He struggles to breathe and his gills work at a very rapid pace. It's so so so so sad to watch my poor boy suffer. What else can I do?!

TIA
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:31 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems.

What I would recommend at this point is a Epsom salt treatment-with tannins and limited water changes.

Good that you have him in a small shallow QT container floating in the heated tank. I would cover this QT with plastic veggie wrap to retain the heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ-Sometimes labyrinth organ problems can have the same S/S as swim bladder issues.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source if you have one-Either IAL (1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree-Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) Let this steep for 30min...Shake well before use...

Using this premixed treatment water-make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today.
He needs to stay in the covered QT in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period of 10-14 days.

Tomorrow-using the premixed treatment water-make 50% water changes every other day to complete the treatment duration.
If you used a tannin source-the premixed water should look darker each day and this is what you want.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals. Offer food each day and remove if he doesn't eat and keep trying. It can take 3-4 days for the treatment to start working. If you have access to any live mosquito larva-offer them and see if you can stimulate his feeding response.

Good luck and keep us posted.....
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:08 PM   #3 
ThistleBetta
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Thank you so much for your help! Where can I buy tannin? We only have a petsmart and a petco. No aquarium specialty store.

His QT container has a lid with a hole (went to petco and got a container from them - it's what they sell/display their bettas in). Should I cover the hole or just the whole bowl with veggie wrap?
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:43 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Tannins-usually you can't find IAL at most pet shop-you usually have to order them online.

I use Oak leaves from my Oak trees in my yard-any species will work-Collect naturally dried and fallen from the tree if you have any Oak trees near by.

I would remove the lid and cover with plastic veggie wrap to get the humidity really high over the water-Don't worry about him suffocating as long as you have at least half to one inch dead air space above the water line and every time you remove the wrap to feed or make water change-this will help with gas exchange. You want to see condensation buildup on the side of the QT. If you see this with the lid only-that should be fine.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:55 PM   #5 
callistra
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Since this is a reoccurring thing, more info would be helpful to make sure we're not missing anything: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:59 PM   #6 
ThistleBetta
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Thank you so much!!!!!!!

I just finished the 4th 25% water change with the treatment water. So tomorrow I will do a 50% change and then skip a day in between 50% changes until the treatment is over.

I offered him some of his Hikari (?) pellets, as well as thawed frozen blood worms. He acted like the food was attacking and had no interest in eating. I have absolutely no idea where I would find mosquito larvae here. I'll keep trying though.

Thanks again for your help - I really hope this works! My heart breaks every time I look at my little guy swimming upside down. And my toddler asks me every day, "Mommy, is Thistle better yet?"
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:05 PM   #7 
ThistleBetta
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Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal bowl
What temperature is your tank? 76-78
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
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Gold pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? I try to feed two tiny meals a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? every 4 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? aquaeon conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I did when I first got him and everything was in the normal range. We have well water and it is on the hard side, but normal. No nitrate/nitrite issues.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment described in first post
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? I have had him for about 6 months
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:10 PM   #8 
Picasso84
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You are in good hands with OFL, & Callistra

And I will keep my fingers crossed (and my boys fins too) that ur guy makes it :) Good Luck Thistle!
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:52 PM   #9 
ThistleBetta
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floating?

Since the tannin/epsom treatment last night, he started floating, where before he was always sinking like a rock to the bottom. He honestly looks dead! Several times today I thought he went to fishy Heaven.

Does this new symptom mean anything? Good? Bad?

He still refuses all food.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:16 PM   #10 
callistra
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I don't have any experience with tannins.

You made sure the ES don't have anything but magnesium sulfate right? Per the ingredients label? don't smell like anything.. are clear/white..?
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