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Old 05-04-2013, 11:27 AM   #1 
osromatra
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Female tanking suddenly! Quick, she's dying!

Woke up this AM and my fave girl was hiding and acting odd, breathing heavy. I had added some driftwood yesterday (after running it 2 cycles through the dishwasher on sanitize setting). Everyone else (6 other bettas plus 6 mollies) are all normal. Water was heavily tannined, so I did a 60-70% WC, thinking maybe something toxic was leaching, also removed the wood. She has since started to just bob, and her gills don't seem to be holding air. When she comes up for air, swimming up in an aimless motion, tons of bubbles shoot out, and before it didn't. She looks dead, she's doing that comatose type float, faintly moving her mouth and gills, and her eyes look blank and don't follow. Occasionally she'll move quickly to the surface for air but then drift back down. I moved her to a small container, floating it in the tank, with about 2 inches of water, conditioned with stress coat. She does look a smidge bloated, so I added some epsom. She is just tanking by the second. She is my favorite, I don't want to lose her!


Housing

What size is your tank?-normally a 20G
What temperature is your tank?-78
Does your tank have a filter?-yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?-yes
Is your tank heated?-yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?-6 other bettas plus 3 grown mollies and 3 molly fry

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?- They get Omega One betta flakes, 2 small pinches daily. Once a week, they get a mixture of frozen daphnia and blood worms (small portion, maybe 1 Tbsp of them, thawed, after only using about 1/16 of the cube each).
How often do you feed your betta fish?-see above

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?-weekly 25%, or as needed, if parameters are off, and they haven't been
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?see above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?-Stress Coat or Prime, I alternate, dosing per bottle instructions

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
-It's testing now, but 3 days ago it was perfect, with only 5 nitrates, all else 0.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?-Suddenly lethargic, seemingly comatose. Belly only slightly bloated. Not clamped.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?-comatose is the best description, where normally she is active and curious
When did you start noticing the symptoms?-first thing this morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?-have her in a shallow QT container floating, filled with Stress Coat conditioned water, and Epsom salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill?- no, she was malnourished when I bought her, and just weak, but not infections or illnesses. She is ugly I guess, and by that I mean it looks like her genetics are poor. She has a super long body, her back end has always sort of sagged, her fins are ugly (she's a messy crowntail), etc. Maybe something genetic?
How old is your fish (approximately)?-She is smallish, but adult. I've had her since early March. I suspect she is about 5 months old?
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:30 AM   #2 
osromatra
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Nevermind. It's too late. :( What went wrong? No one else is sickly yet. Could this be infectious? What can I look her over for to find clues?
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:32 AM   #3 
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When you moved her to the QT tank - did you use new water, or pull water from your tank? Also, what dosage of Epsom salt did you add?

I would put her in new water, with 1.5 times the normal amount of conditioner. Add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt per gallon.

Acclimate slowly!

Hopefully, the new water, extra conditioner and Epsom salt will pull any toxins out of her body.

Do 100% daily water changes. This will remove any toxins, and help pull additional toxins from her, too.

Can you post a picture?
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:34 AM   #4 
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Oh gee. I'm sorry. You posted while I was writing my reply....

Since it was a sudden change and occurred just after you added something new to the tank, I would investigate the new driftwood.

Some species are more sensitive than others to certain toxins/contaminants.... It's possible that there was something there that affects Bettas more than Mollies, and maybe there was something about her (genetics, immune system, previous health issues, etc) that made her even more susceptible....


Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 05-04-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:39 AM   #5 
osromatra
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When you moved her to the QT tank - did you use new water, or pull water from your tank? -I made completely new water, temp-same. I then floated her, adding a bit at a time, maybe taking 15 minutes total. I know I rushed it, I was just wanting her out of whatever was bad to something non-toxic as quick as possible, since she seemed so critical. :(

Also, what dosage of Epsom salt did you add?
-1 tsp per gallon, pre-dissolved. I let it dissolve in 1/4 a cup of her new water, adding 1/4 of that 1/4 of a cup every 3-5 minutes.

ETA- I QTed her AFTER the main tank WC. First I thought maybe she was just skiddish of the new decor/darkened water/different chemistry. She just kept getting worse by the minute.

Also one other thing, when we did our WC (we use a Python, she was swimming all around the opening as the water came out and my mom was dropping my kids off and I wasn't able to drop the conditioner towards the opening and new water, it was more towards the center (I aim the hose to the far wall, to disturb the plants the least.) I'm sure the brief contact with the chemicals didn't help her. :(

Last edited by osromatra; 05-04-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #6 
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I just investigated her and she looks completely healthy and normal-for-her, except she is mildy bloated, when she was not last night at all.

Why couldn't it have been one of those stupid mollies I wish we could get rid of, not my favorite girl! :( I'm so upset.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #7 
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I'm sorry.

I understand why you rushed it. I would have done the same.... The 100% water change, and addition of Epsom salts was, IMO, a good move.

It sounds to me like you did everything that you could have done, given the time in which it occurred.

SIP little girl. :(
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:46 AM   #8 
osromatra
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ugh, the ammo is .5 and this is AFTER a 60-70% WC! Can driftwood cause ammo spikes??
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:47 AM   #9 
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Was the water tannined before? Or did it occur when you added the driftwood?

Maybe do some partial water changes today and tomorrow to remove any toxins that might be present, if you think the driftwood could have caused the issue.

When you ran it through the dishwasher, was there any chance that there was detergent in there?


Edited to add: Did the pH change at all? A pH change could cause ammonium (harmless) to become ammonia (bad).
(I don't have driftwood. Does it have a tendency to lower or raise pH? I assume lower it, since it produces tannins....)

Lower pH = less ammonia (it gets converted to ammonium, which is OK)
Higher pH = more ammonia

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 05-04-2013 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:53 AM   #10 
osromatra
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Yes, I was about to add that the ph went form 7.2 to 6.6 (and the 6.6 was AFTER a wc, so it was probably lower).

Grr, this sounds like uit was my fault. :(
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