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Old 03-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #1 
jman828
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Betta Getting Worse

One of my bettas, who never has been 100% since the day I got him has gotten worse. He is now very lethargic, has a huge and very noticeable loss of colour, and is breathing heavily. His belly is also whiteish (but it has always been as well as a small bloat that has also always been there) just is a little worse now. Otherwise, he looks okay but obviously isn't. And if I gently agitate him where he's staying at the bottom of his QT he darts to the top, sucks in a bunch of air, and sinks back down. Any ideas?

Housing
What size is your tank? 10g (now in a "betta kit" QT)
What temperature is your tank? 79.5 degrees
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? Snail, Moss Ball

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? BettaBites
How often do you feed your betta fish? Usually 2 times a day (2-3 pellets)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%, sometimes 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Seachem Prime

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

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 25-30ppm
pH: not sure but usually around 8
Hardness: n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? large loss of colour
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? heavy breathing, very lethargic, staying at bottom of tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I got back from vacation last night
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, in a QT with about 1.5 tsp/gal salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? About a year I think.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:23 PM   #2 
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How large is the QT? (I'm assuming the filter is in the 10gal, not the QT.) Also, can you post a picture?

Since he has had consistent bloat, I'm thinking Aquarium salt isn't the way to go. AQ salt is for external issues, and can worsen bloating and swelling. (It makes fish and humans retain water.)

Instead, I'd try Epsom salt. It doesn't contain sodium, so it will reduce swelling/bloating. It's also gentler on their system than AQ salt (which stresses the kidneys). And it has a laxative effect (on both humans and fish).

Look for 100% pure magnesium sulfate. Since you're in Canada, this may be stated as either magnesium sulphate, or magnesium sulphate heptahydrate, or magnesuim sulfate heptahydrate. All of them are the exact same thing.

It's generally available at any pharmacy/drug store/supermarket, and is sold as a soak for sprains/strains. If it's not in that section, look in the 'stomach issues' section since it's often sold as a laxative.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, here is OFL's Epsom salt and tannin treatment, reposted from another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
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 03-24-2013, 09:27 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBlueFishlets View Post
How large is the QT? (I'm assuming the filter is in the 10gal, not the QT.) Also, can you post a picture?

Since he has had consistent bloat, I'm thinking Aquarium salt isn't the way to go. AQ salt is for external issues, and can worsen bloating and swelling. (It makes fish and humans retain water.)

Instead, I'd try Epsom salt. It doesn't contain sodium, so it will reduce swelling/bloating. It's also gentler on their system than AQ salt (which stresses the kidneys). And it has a laxative effect (on both humans and fish).

Look for 100% pure magnesium sulfate. Since you're in Canada, this may be stated as either magnesium sulphate, or magnesium sulphate heptahydrate, or magnesuim sulfate heptahydrate. All of them are the exact same thing.

It's generally available at any pharmacy/drug store/supermarket, and is sold as a soak for sprains/strains. If it's not in that section, look in the 'stomach issues' section since it's often sold as a laxative.
Yes, the filter is in the 10G and my QT is 0.8G (with daily changes). I don't have epsom salts anymore so I'll have to go get more, I'm able to get pure epsom salts for like a buck so no problem there. I'll see if I can get a decent photo up in the next couple of minutes

Last edited by jman828; 03-24-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:40 PM   #4 
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Okay, this first picture is a close up on the head/bloat

And this second one is all of him, clearly not looking well at all!

I can't tell if he's "pine-coning" at all but I don't think so. Hopefully this will help!

EDIT: Like I said he was never 100% but it was this after vacation, I was gone a week and did a water change before and he was his normal self at that time. I have another betta in the tank (divided), a snail, and a moss ball....all of which are totally fine also.

Last edited by jman828; 03-24-2013 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Add details
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:30 PM   #5 
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It looks like it *might* be progressing into fin rot at his fins (mainly the tiny side ones...don't know the name) are looking tattered. I am still using salt with 100% changes daily (no epsom yet but I think in this case normal is the way to go) I know meds are a bad idea if not necessary but just wondering if I should use any. At hand I have a tea tree medication (I know, controversial, but maybe???) as well as a fungus treatment medicine. Would any of these help or anything else I can do?

EDIT: My salt is currently still at 1.5 tsp/gal with Prime in the water at about 80 degrees F and that's all ATM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:41 PM   #6 
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Hi jman. :( Judging from his posture, things aren't looking too good for the poor little guy.

I'm not sure a medication would be effective at this point but if you are willing to try, the best medication is Seachem Kanaplex because it will absorb well into his system. This is also the hardest medication to find. Your second best bet would be API Furan-2.

It seems likely that your betta has always had a health issue, a lingering internal bacterial infection or a parasite infection. He seemed to have become stressed during your vacation and that is what caused his condition to worsen.

The medication with the tea tree oil will do nothing in this case, as his problem is internal. That med, if used, is best for external issues like wounds.

If you choose not to use a medication, then continue with LittleBlue's advice; it's very good. :)
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:51 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
Hi jman. :( Judging from his posture, things aren't looking too good for the poor little guy.

I'm not sure a medication would be effective at this point but if you are willing to try, the best medication is Seachem Kanaplex because it will absorb well into his system. This is also the hardest medication to find. Your second best bet would be API Furan-2.

It seems likely that your betta has always had a health issue, a lingering internal bacterial infection or a parasite infection. He seemed to have become stressed during your vacation and that is what caused his condition to worsen.

The medication with the tea tree oil will do nothing in this case, as his problem is internal. That med, if used, is best for external issues like wounds.

If you choose not to use a medication, then continue with LittleBlue's advice; it's very good. :)
Thanks, I went out and got one similar to the searches one you mentioned, it also has a barrier to keep it in the fish....so we'll see. I'm just about to put that in and in the last 2 days his colour has gotten a little better but everything else is the same. I'll keep you posted
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #8 
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Unfortunately, after putting in the medication his body must've been overwhelmed by it or something and he has passed away last night. Thanks for your ideas though, I will always remember him :')

EDIT: could it be because I split a tablet of medicine because one made 5g into the correct size and then crushed it and stirred it in instead of letting it slowly dissolve because the box said "slow dissolve formula"?

Last edited by jman828; 03-27-2013 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:01 AM   #9 
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Be careful do not share any equipment between him and your other betta. Sorry i missed your last thread that he died. Sorry for your loss, make sure you disinfect the tank and everything in that tank before you use it for another betta :(
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:09 AM   #10 
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Yes, I will be sure to do that. Do you know if what I wrote on my edit of my previous post could be the reason?
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