I was hoping I would never have to post in this category, but my Shimmer is sick. Here's the rundown:
-she's a baby Betta I got back in December.
-housed in a 1.1g (she's small), heated, non-filtered.
-fed 1-2 floating pellets 1x a day, with occasional freeze dried BW.
-very active and social.
-I do a 100% WC every Sunday, and a 30-50% on Wednesday evening.
She ate great on weds and thurs evening. Friday, was up on leaf at 4pm (possibly all day, very unusual), and hid at bottom of tank, behind barrel all evening. Had no interest in eating. Today, barely swimming and not responding to me. Breathing is a bit labored. No bloating, pine coning, or lesions. I checked levels in water and they were fine. I did a 100% WC anyway, but have isolated her in a small cup (inch of water) with Betta Spa (IAL) and Epsom salt mixture. It's floating in her tank to keep warm. She is swimming quietly. I have to tell you, she was upside down and laying on her side while I was doing her tank. I didn't think she was going to live much longer. It still doesn't look good, but now what??
Oh I am so sorry your baby is sick. I dont think that is enough food for her, babies need alot of food and the freeze dried BW can cause bloat. Is her tummy area swollen and yes as said a picture could help so we can see her and try to help more.
1) How much Epsom salt are you using?
2) When was the last time she pooped? What did it look like? (Red-brown, white, stringy, etc.)
3) Floating her in the cup is fine, but ammonia levels will rise quickly in the small water volume. So you'll need to do frequent water changes. Or, can you put her in her usual tank with a lowered water level?
Hopefully, it's just constipation, and the Epsom salt will clear it up.
Here are some pictures of her about an hour ago. I acclimated her back into her regular tank because I did not want to exacerbate any symptoms with unhealthy housing conditions. She was probably in the IAL/Epsom mixture for a good 8 hours. She seems quiet, but swimming around, and slightly clamped at times. She hasn't eaten yet. No regular poop, but she did have a white stringy thing coming out this morning, and again tonight. You can see it in the pictures. Is this a parasite, or constipation? I used just a pinch of Epsom salt because she was in a small cup and only about inch high water (because of her labored breathing).
Even though she is still not 100%, she has absolutely come back from the half-dead. I didn't want to take pictures because it felt morbid to me, but she was floating on her side and upside down, and barely breathing.
She is normally an aggressive eater, and I only feed 1-2 floating pellets and a freeze-dried BW 1x a day. When she was really tiny, I was just giving a medium chopped up BW. She has never had a problem, and didn't seem to be under nourished. I never wanted to risk overfeeding, bloat, or constipation.
Note: Sorry the pictures are not the best, but she is absolutely camera shy.
Veggiegirl - She is swimming, but not eating yet. No more floating sideways or lethargy. Breathing seems ok. What would that white string be coming out of her? Is that parasite, or a sign of constipation?
Aw, she is so cute! It sounds like the Epsom salt/IAL mixture did its work.
I wouldn't worry about the white stringy poop just yet. It could have been that she was just constipated, and the Epsom salt had a laxative effect. BUT if it continues, then ask again, as it may indicate a parasite.
I would just leave her alone tonight. She doesn't look bloated, and she is 'right side up.' She does has stress stripes, but I can understand that!
Can you add IAL into her tank? It would probably help her. Also, you can put plastic wrap over the top of the tank to increase the humidity and help her breathe. Then, make sure her tank is dark, and let her get some sleep.
Internal parasites, constipation and bacterial infections are all possible causes of white stingy droppings. It may also simply be because she has not eaten in a couple of days that she has nothing substantial to pass.
What did she last eat? If it was the bloodworms I think this may sometimes cause the droppings to be white. Otherwise it does look like a worm of some sort.
She does seem to have improved so maybe just keep a close eye on her for a day or so. If the string does not disappear then you may need to treat for internal parasites.
Last edited by veggiegirl; 04-14-2013 at 12:44 AM.
Littleblue - Thanks! I put her to bed a while ago, but I just peeked in on her and she is resting on her leaf 'right side up'. :) Her tank has a lid which makes humidity fairly quickly (temp is about 79-80), and her light is off. Hopefully, she will be better in the morning. I have no idea how this happened, or what happened, but I hope she recovers from it. I can add the Betta Spa IAL to her tank and will do that in the morning. :)