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Old 04-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #1 
Xaltd1
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Another "Sulk" case...

I'm about to lose another of my girls to what I call "sulk". This time it's Angel, my only CT; she's about 1 year old. The symptoms are nothing but a little bloat & sinking to the bottom of the tank & staying in a "tripod" stance- posed on the bottom of the tank balanced on her nose & 2 pec fins.
I have her in QT in a .5 heated "betta keeper". I added 1/2 teas. of Epsom salts and a few drops of "Betta Spa", but I'm sure she's a goner, just like "Flake" a few weeks ago. She's not going up to the top to breathe any more.
As with my other female betta deaths, they're fine one day, and the next, they're at the bottom of the tank.
All my tank params are perfect. Last night I did a tank vac, a PWC & changed the charcoal portion of the 3-stage filter as a part of routine maintenance. I did a liquid test before, and my Nitrate was 5.0, Nitrite 0, ammonia .50.
After the tank maintenance, all was perfect, even my Ph was down a point or 2. When I pulled Angel, I performed another test; no change, all 0s.

I'm going to Petsmart to get cat food. What meds should I pick up? All I have are Epsom salt, sea salt, and something called "Mardel Maracyn-Oxy".
I've read that some meds will damage a betta's lungs; this is a shot in the dark (the fish looks fine) but what is safe to try?
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:46 PM   #2 
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Housing
What size is your tank? 29 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes; 3-stage Fluval
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No; just outtake from filter
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 9 female bettas, 13 oto cats, 4 synodonis cats

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Everything- they;re staple is Omega One Betta Flakes, but the get freeze-dried & frozen treats; I also add spirulina (sp?) flakes.
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1-2x per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime, API Stress Coat

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

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate:0ppm
pH: 8.2
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Slight bloat & sulk at bottom of tank
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not swimming
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Epsom salts & Betta Spa
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1 year
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #3 
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Is this the 3rd time?

I'd increase the Epsom salt concentration to 2 tsp/gal today, and even go as high as 3 tsp/gal tomorrow. It may help with internal issues, and it has mild antimicrobial properties.

The MaracynOxy product won't help, IMO. I think you may need an antibiotic and/or antiparasite med.

How long did the other two survive after getting to this point? I think you may need to treat this pretty aggressively since this has happened before.

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 04-06-2013 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:09 PM   #4 
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It happened to Flake a few weeks ago. At the beginning of Feb., I saw Gilly looking a little bloated, but I didn't think a thing of it. A few hours later, the other girls had ripped her apart & were eating her :0(
I attribute the 3 I lost in early January to poor husbandry on my part- not QTing long enough. I'm now hyper-QTing & haven't lost a fish due to acclimation (except a few otos, they are impossible to keep 100% alive after a dramatic change).
Flake really wasn't bloated; just listless, but she could make it to the top of the QT tank.
Angel is listing to one side & is badly bloated. I think she just died b/c it looks like she's lying on her side- I just don't feel like going over to look.
This is so maddening!!! If the fish had symptoms beyond listlessness I could pull & treat them early!!!
I'm thinking of pulling the 9 girls, QTing them in a 10 gal & treating them w/ some sort of preventive medicine. Would that cause more problems that it could prevent? What would I treat them with?
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:21 PM   #5 
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Oh, wow! Angel isn't dead, she was just lying on her side! She popped up & looked at me when she saw me walk over... hope?
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:27 PM   #6 
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Poor Angel. She's having a tough time, isn't she? (IMO, there's always hope. Bettas are tough little guys. So I don't want to give up, until they give up.)

It's difficult to know how to treat it, since you don't know the cause. There's bacterial issues (gram-negative and gram-positive), and parasitical issues. And all three require different meds.

Since it seems to affect one per month though, I'm leaning towards something that takes awhile to overcome their immune system. I'm not an expert, but it seems to me that they can fight it off for a month or so, and then their bodies give in. If this is the case, then it's something that survives either in their bodies, or in the tank.

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of symptoms, are there? They're OK, then they become listless and perhaps bloated, and then they're gone. And it happens quickly.

Does Angel have any other signs of illness? Discoloration on her body or fins? Lesions? Was she OK before this morning? How was her energy level yesterday and last week?
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #7 
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She was just fine last night, and she has no other symptoms that I can see.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:03 PM   #8 
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This probably isn't it but...... I use to feed freeze dried bloodworms as a treat, I dont anymore I have lost too many bettas to it. It would cause a back up/ or blockag e in the system some how and they would bloat up and some would turn into dropsys if I couldnt get them to unbloat..... I actually just lost one too this last week freeze dried blood worms are in the trash.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #9 
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This Fish Is Alive!!!

I bolted out to PetSmart, then to Walmart to get the "Jungle" meds.
When I came home, I knew she was dead... I moved the nano filter she was lying under, and she wiggled a bit, so she's down but not out.

I IMMEDIATELY tossed in more Epsom salt, then took a 10-oz plastic cup w/ warm treated water. I dissolved a little "Maracyn Two" in it, and added a few drops of Stress Coat.

I thought she might be cold, (I forgot to put a thermometer in her tank, but the water is warm. Any ideas????
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:03 PM   #10 
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It's tough for me to see her well in the picture.....

How bloated is she? Does her egg spot area look 'normal' to you? Do you see anything else wrong with her? Look for tiny lesions, or discolored places on her body and fins.

Maracyn 2 contains a good gram negative antibiotic. Let's hope she has something that's caused by gram negative bacteria....

Which Jungle meds did you get?

(Also, you may want to consider getting some Kanaplex to have on hand. I think more people order it online. It's one of the newer antibiotics.)
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