Fish swimming erratically, or floating sideways, not swimming at all
So I have two female betta fish. I initially had an issue with my daughter's fish, Tuna, b/c I put the two females together in one small tank, thanks to the crappy advice I received from PetSmart. Anyway, I ended up separating the two fish, one is now in a 5 gallon tank with a heater and filter, and the other is still in my 1 gallon tank. I haven't had money to buy a heater for her tank yet, but I keep my house warm, and her tank has been sitting at a steady 76-78 degrees. I'll be buying a heater soon to be sure I can maintain that a bit better. I also plan to buy her a bigger tank. She eats pellets and gets bloodworms once a week, and up until yesterday, Lisa was a very happy fish. I noticed last night that she wasn't acting like her normal self, so I tested the water with one of those 5 in 1 test strips, which i know aren't all that accurate, but I figured I'd take a look anyway. I then decided to do a full water change. I acclimated her to the water slowly while floating in her cup, over the course of an hour, and she seemed to feel better once I got her back in. Today, I noticed she was swimming erratically, then she would float on her side and just sit there. She was actually really scaring me. She was also just sitting on the bottom for long periods of time. When I tried to feed her, she wouldn't eat, which is VERY unusual for her So, I just did another 100% water change, and I have her sitting in her cup now, acclimating. She also looks like she's been breathing heavily. She just sits on the bottom or on her side looking like she's hyperventilating. What can I do? What am I doing wrong? This stinks, I got one fish back from the brink, only to have the other one get sick :(
If you'd like to see a picture of her, or maybe a video of what she's doing, please let me know and I'll try to get one.
I took two pictures of her doing what she's been doing lately. She's just hanging out laying sideways on one of her plants, and then every so often she swims up to the top for a breath, only to come back down and do this again. Now she's just sitting at the surface doing the same thing. She's also looking quite pale. She's normally a much more vivid red color.
Just so I'm clear, your girl CAN swim just fine but she doesn't do it very often? She doesn't struggle to reach the top or anything like that?
If she can swim all right, then it's not an internal issue like SBD. More likely, it could be external parasites such as gill flukes that are causing her to clamp up and breathe heavily.
For an initial treatment, use 1 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon and change her water 100% every day. The aquarium salt will encourage any flukes to fall off but it won't likely kill them so it's necessary to change the water every day and get rid of any free-swimming parasites before they get back on. Try this treatment for a week and see how she goes.
If she worsens or her behavior changes completely, let me know. Good luck!
Yes, she can swim fine, she's not struggling to get up to the top of anything. She has gotten a bit pale, and def looks like she's hyperventilating. Luckily, I have aquarium salt on hand! I'm glad I decided to buy that the other day. Thank goodness for this forum. So, how should I go about introducing the AQ salt? Should I take her filter out of her tank when I do?
You can leave her filter in the tank, that's fine.
It's best to predissolve the aquarium salt in a little bit of tank water first. Sometimes if salt crystals land on a fish, it can burn them. Or so I've heard. So just to be on the safe side, probably predissolve and then slowly pour that into her tank in an area far from her.
Well, I am getting pretty concerned. I think now that she is looking bloated, and she's just resting at the top of the water on a leaf, hyperventilating. I'm kind of hoping that I'm just being paranoid. Does anyone else think she is looking like she's bloated?
I honestly hope that I'm just being paranoid b/c I've had so many problems with my fish lately! Thanks in advance.
It's hard to tell. She might be looking a little puffy but females do look more . . . chest heavy in the front. :/ LittleBlueFishlets would know better than I would but it could possibly be because the aquarium salt is causing some fluid retention.
If she does start to look like she is definitely bloating beyond doubt and it is interfering with her ability to swim, remove her from the aquarium salt right away. Let her back into normal dechlorinated water for a day and then put her into epsom salt - plain unscented magnesium sulfate - at 1 tsp per gallon. In that case, I would then think about maybe trying her on API General Cure, an antiparasite med that would take care of both possible gill flukes and help with any possible internal parasites and some types of internal bacterial infections.
Well, I was doing her water change today, had her sitting in her cup acclimating to the water, and I just found her dead. I am so upset right now. I failed her. I tried so hard to save her, and she was so happy for most of the time I had her, and now she is dead. I feel like a horrible person. I really loved her :'(
I am so sorry, samwise. :( I truly don't think it is anything you did. There are some diseases, called peracute, that strike without any warning at all. I think little Lisa may have had one of these. Please don't blame yourself.