Also, how often are you doing water changes and do you have a water testing kit? Whether your tank is .5 or 1 gallon, toxins can build up quickly in small unfiltered tanks. Read this for water change recommendations.
I'm staying away from AQ Salt. I think I'm going to try the Epsom salts! Is it ok to add the salt in while he's in the tank? I hate stressing him out by moving him.
There is a little bit of black around the edges :( he has no ornaments in his tank because I don't think he liks them. So he hasn't been tearing his fins on anything. It's his left pectoral fin that is very alarming and scary.
He hasn't pooped, and he hasn't eaten in a week. Is there a way to get him to eat?? I have flakes as well as pellets and he wants nothing to do with either.
Yes you can add the epsom while he's in the tank. Just make sure it's completely pre-dissolved first and add it over a period a couple hours. Of course, don't pour it right on top of him. ;)
For his fins, since we're dealing with his buoyancy issue first, make sure and keep his water sparkling clean. Fin rot is an issue of water quality, and clean warm water is often enough to cure fin rot. Unfortunately, with your tank size, this is going to involve 100% water changes and you are going to have to move him. I would perform a once daily 100% so that fin rot doesn't spread any worse. Use the cup you got him in if you still have it, or a solo cup to scoop him out. Leave him in there while you change the water- make sure it's the same temp as his old water- and pour him back in, adding as little of the old water as possible. I have found it to be the least stressful method.
Since he hasn't eaten, his SBD is most likely stress related. It is common for new to not eat while the get used to their home, and whatever is causing him stress is not helping. The best thing to tempt bettas to eat is frozen (not freeze dried) bloodworms- they love them. Start with 1 bloodworm at first since they are rich and he hasn't eaten in a while. Or, perhaps the pellets you have are too big (most bettas don't like flakes). Does he eat it and then spit it out? The best brand pellets to get is either Omega One or New Life Spectrum- they are small and healthy. Do not leave uneaten food in the tank for longer than 5 minutes.
His fins keep getting worse though even though I'm constantly changing his water so that its clean. I'm so confused, if he needs clean water, which he has, wouldn't his fins either start getting better or stay the same rather then much worse literally over night?
I have started the Epsom so we'll see how he does! I'm hoping it helps him :) and I also went and bought him Omega One pellets, but no interest yet. He doesn't spit them out, he doesn't go near them at all.
You said that it was his pectoral fin that got worse overnight- the one he swims with, right? I am just making sure you got the name of the correct fin- I know I am always getting them mixed up and have to look it up. I ask because when a fin deteriorates that fast, it is usually due to snagging or tailbiting. But you have no decorations, and I doubt he could reach his pectoral- bettas can be contortionists when it comes to reaching their fins, but they aren't usually that good!
It's only been since yesterday that this thread started. So, since you got him, what has your water change schedule been? Are you now changing it once a day, and if so, for how long have you been doing so? I am guessing that you don't have a water testing kit- is this correct? If you do, what has your ammonia/nitrites/nitrates been? I am just trying to figure out for how long his water has been pristine, so we can judge whether or not he ought to be healing his fins by now.
Food- though I have never tried it, I have heard good things about soaking pellets in garlic juice to entice their appetite. Bettas can go for a couple of weeks without eating, so don't let his not eating stress you out too much. Once we get him feeling better, he'll get his appetite back.
How is he swimming now?
Have you been able to get him a heater? If not, what is the temp in your house? We should really get his tank water to at least 78 degrees. If you don't have a heater and your house is colder, try putting him in the warmest place in the house. You can wrap a towel around the tank- this will help keep heat in and provide a dark environment. Darkness can be soothing to sick bettas.
Why do you say he doesn't like decorations? I ask because because having a spot to hide in usually reduces stress in bettas, makes them feel secure knowing they can hide if they want. Some sort of cave might help him.
Can you upload a new pic of him so we can see how his fins look? EDIT: OK, saw it.
Yet more stuff you can do: Indian almond leaves have healing tannins in them and decrease stress. Unfortunately, they have to be ordered online from Asia. As a substitute, you can get pure 100% rooibos tea bags from the grocery- no added flavors. Put the teabag in the tank and it will gradually turn the water a light reddish-brown. This thread will tell you more about rooibos.
Yes it is his left pectoral fin that has deteriorated. he reminds me of Nemo from Finding Nemo now :( it looks like he's waving to me when he looks at me, hehe. It's sad because I can see tiny little pieces of his fins on the bottom of his tank if I look close enough...
100% water change started Saturday. And I did about a 50% change last week on Wednesday evening. So I've done 3 100% changes since Saturday. No I do not have a water testing kit :( I did get him a heater! I moved him to his 4L tank today using your cup suggestion and he wasn't stressed out at all! He absolutely loves his heater and lays right next to it. His water temp is currently 80 degrees, is that too warm for him? He's a little bit more active but he still ends up on his side every now and then.
He's in my bedroom which I've remained pretty dim and then of course dark at night.
He didn't seem to like his decorations. Every time one of his fins would touch something he'd freak out and swim all over like crazy. Could that be because his fins are sore?
I will check out the roobios thread!
I appreciate your help so much! I'd be completely lost if I didn't find this website!
Okay, so Sat the 27th he got a 100% WC, then on the 28th and today on the 29th- is that correct? And Wed the 24th you did a 50%- do I have the timeline correct? What day did you get him? His fin rot has gotten much worse, and the sore...honestly, I'm stumped. Unless he's had it before and this was an issue of water quality. I have sent a PM to Sakura8- I'm hoping she can help you out with this.
That's great that he's got a heater now- it's really going to help. 80 degrees is a good temperature. The warmer the water, the quicker bacteria is able to multiply, so if you can get it down to 78, that would be better. If the heater is a pre-set one, though, don't worry about it- he's much better off at 80 degrees than without the heater.
It might have been because his were sore, but it also could just have been because he was not used to them and the feeling of something other than the sides of a plastic cup scared the heck out of him.
Nicci yes, that timeline is correct! I bought him on Sunday April 21st
Oliver is now hanging out in his tank with a roobios tea bag! He's not a fan of the tea bag itself but he'll get used to it. (I waste no time, hehe) I read a lot of other forums about roobios tea and ran out to get some. Thank you for the suggestion! I try to be all natural myself so its good to know there are natural alternatives for my little buddy too! I hope this helps his fins.
Also he seems to be a bit more active within the last couple of hours. More then I've seen from him since I brought him home. He tries to swim to the bottom of his tank, he tries SO hard but just floats right back up to the top.
It's amazing how much we can love our pets and would do anything for them!
Hi Calen, Nicci Lu asked me to take a look at your problem with Ollie. Welcome to the forum.
From what I understand, Ollie started out with some fin problems that quickly progressed into buoyancy. You've had him since before the 27th and he hasn't eaten? Does he look very skinny to you? If possible, try to take a picture of him top down. Sometimes, when a betta is very skinny or emaciated, they will develop swim bladder problems that go away as they put some weight on. I had one that was as thin as a razor blade and spent the first two weeks with me floating on his side like a pancake. During that time, he didn't eat but once he did finally start to take food and put on weight, his buoyancy problems went away. I am hoping that is the problem with Ollie.
For his fin rot. It sounds like it is progressing at a steady pace and you can actually see pieces of his fin laying in the tank?
Ideally, I'd like to keep treating Ollie with natural remedies but if the rot continues and keeps moving closer to his body, we'll have to bring in a med because once fin rot touches the body it gets a lot harder to treat. For now though, I'd suggest continuing with epsom salt at 1 tsp per gallon to treat buoyancy and to some degree his fin rot. You can also add the rooibos tea; simply steep a tea bag in the water until it turns tea-coloured. Do a 100% water change at least every other day, every day at best. The cleaner the water, the better chance for his fins to heal.
If there has been no improvement at all in his fins after a few days, we can try a medication such as API Triple Sulfa. Do not use this if you are allergic to sulfa medications. If you are, then try API Furan-2 instead.
If he won't eat, try soaking his pellets in garlic juice. Sometimes that stimulates the appetite. It can take a week or more for a new fish to feel like eating, especially if that fish doesn't feel well.