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Old 01-10-2013, 03:35 PM   #1 
emmane
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Disease?

I know my crowntail beta is sick, but I don't know with what. I got him August of 2011, and we were fairly poor at the time so we "splurged" and got one of those little Marina cubes for him. He was happy for a couple weeks then started showing all the symptoms of velvet (clamed fins, lethargic, looked like he might scratching around, refused to eat, etc.). So I treated him for that, and that all disappeared, but there was one thing... his fins were rotting away at the time. They rotted away to a point and have not grown back or shrunk since. I kept his tank very clean, especially due to his struggle with velvet.
It seems like he struggles to swim. For a while, he would lay on his side, but now he just lies very still when he's not doing anything. When he sees me, he dances for food like he did when I first got him, then he eats, and shrinks back down.
He seems to have a lot of energy, he just can't swim.
I thought it must be the irregularity of having such a tiny living space since I know I've taken care of him, but he is still this way with his new space.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gal.
What temperature is your tank? About 75-80 (F) (I don't really have a thermometer, but I believe the heater said it automatically adjusts to, I BELIEVE, it was 80, but I remember thinking it was in the range that bettas are supposed to be in)
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? blood worms and micro pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1 - 2 times a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30 - 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? sometimes salt and AquaSafe

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? When I brought a sample to a Petsmart employee after his corydora friend died, they said it all looked good, but I don't know the specifics.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins shrunk and look shredded
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Seems too weak to stay afloat with current fins
When did you start noticing the symptoms? over 1 yr ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Tried treating velvet, keeping water clean, fed pea just in case it was a bladder issue.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Just the mentioned issues.
How old is your fish (approximately)? around a year?

He looks like this (I have been doing videos because I have a hard time getting anything for a picture)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx7QghWhveI

Last edited by emmane; 01-10-2013 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:01 PM   #2 
callistra
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It's extremely important to always use an in tank thermometer with heaters. They can overheat, not heat evenly/cause swings, or just plain fail. Also, swings in temps are really hard on bettas.

Your water change routine would generally be fine. But how long has it been set up? Are you sure it's fully cycled? What is the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? It's important to use a drops kit to test (not strips which are inaccurate) and post actual levels. Are you using carbon in your filter? If you are you should be changing it every 2 weeks - month (whatever your filter documentation says). Otherwise you leach the stuff it sucked out back into the tank.

Never use salt unless you're treating specifically for a disease and then you can only use it for 10 days tops. I would not suggest feeding a pea. It's really hard on their digestive tract even if you do it right, and there are lots of ways to do it wrong.

Velvet is a sprinkling of gold dust:
http://media.beta.photobucket.com/us...g.html?filters[term]=betta%20velvet&filters[primary]=images
http://www.bettafish.com/attachment....3&d=1315280143

I can't really see much by way of his coloring, but I do see the fin issues and he definitely does not swim well.

I would start by getting a thermometer and making sure his water is an appropriate stable temperature. Report back on what you've put in the tank for "velvet". Then I would do a series of 50% water changes over the next 2-3 days. Also get back to us on the ammonia/nitrite and nitrate levels. What color is his poop?
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:42 AM   #3 
emmane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
It's extremely important to always use an in tank thermometer with heaters. They can overheat, not heat evenly/cause swings, or just plain fail. Also, swings in temps are really hard on bettas.

Your water change routine would generally be fine. But how long has it been set up? Are you sure it's fully cycled? What is the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? It's important to use a drops kit to test (not strips which are inaccurate) and post actual levels. Are you using carbon in your filter? If you are you should be changing it every 2 weeks - month (whatever your filter documentation says). Otherwise you leach the stuff it sucked out back into the tank.

Never use salt unless you're treating specifically for a disease and then you can only use it for 10 days tops. I would not suggest feeding a pea. It's really hard on their digestive tract even if you do it right, and there are lots of ways to do it wrong.

Velvet is a sprinkling of gold dust:
http://media.beta.photobucket.com/us...g.html?filters[term]=betta%20velvet&filters[primary]=images
http://www.bettafish.com/attachment....3&d=1315280143

I can't really see much by way of his coloring, but I do see the fin issues and he definitely does not swim well.

I would start by getting a thermometer and making sure his water is an appropriate stable temperature. Report back on what you've put in the tank for "velvet". Then I would do a series of 50% water changes over the next 2-3 days. Also get back to us on the ammonia/nitrite and nitrate levels. What color is his poop?
I don't have thermometer or testing supplies right now. He seems comfortable in the water since we picked up a thermometer last fall, though, he is very active and he keeps his fins out as much as he can. I will definitely keep in mind the thermometer as I need to go to Petco this weekend.

I haven't added salt since I set up his tank, honestly. That was back in August. Velvet treatment hasn't been an issue since September of 2011, I used Mardel treatment for Ich and Velvet (chelated copper sulfate). That's when the issue with his fins began, and he had a clear gold dusting when I shone a light on him.
He wouldn't eat the pea so I let it go since I figured he would've eaten it if he actually needed it. His sideways swimming and sleeping disappeared on its own, so I hope he may have just had a temperature issue with his previous small tank.

His poop seems to be a light brown, it looks the same as his healthy neighbor betta to me.

Last edited by emmane; 01-11-2013 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:48 AM   #4 
emmane
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Could this be some kind of fish rot?
Should I consider trying Maracyn?
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:29 PM   #5 
callistra
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What from my last post have you done? I don't have much more to add until you take care of that

His fins do look ragged which is why I was and still am concerned about water quality. My biggest concern was his struggle with swimming.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:35 PM   #6 
inveritas
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Try adding some indian almond leaves or blackwater extract (tannins) to the tank, if your betta isn't sick. I had a depressed/lethargic betta cheer up right after I added some to his water!
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:26 PM   #7 
emmane
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Originally Posted by callistra View Post
What from my last post have you done? I don't have much more to add until you take care of that

His fins do look ragged which is why I was and still am concerned about water quality. My biggest concern was his struggle with swimming.
In addition to my previous post:

I've still been trying to keep an eye out for a thermometer and a testing kit (we JUST moved into a house, so finances are a bit tight at the moment), but I did try using a thermometer lying around and it showed the tank about 77 degrees. I can see if the LFS can test for nitrates and ammonia specifically and give me the numbers if it helps, and I have been changing his water. He's still just his usual self; I keep hearing he looks like he's about to die and I have to remind that, no, this is still how he's been the past year and a half. He's really energetic to beg for food and seems happy and flares his fins as much as he can, but inevitably floats down onto his leaf or gravel to sit for hours. I just hope he's not really hurting.

inveritas, that's interesting. Though, I did have driftwood in with him for a few days when we put him in this 5 gal (last August) until it turned his tank really dark brown. The tannin was just out of control. Without completely emptying his tank, we just got the tannin out a few weeks ago, haha. I don't know if that's the same. The amount of brown worried me, but he didn't seem to care at all.

Last edited by emmane; 01-28-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:39 PM   #8 
inveritas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmane View Post
In addition to my previous post:

I've still been trying to keep an eye out for a thermometer and a testing kit (we JUST moved into a house, so finances are a bit tight at the moment), but I did try using a thermometer lying around and it showed the tank about 77 degrees. I can see if the LFS can test for nitrates and ammonia specifically and give me the numbers if it helps, and I have been changing his water. He's still just his usual self; I keep hearing he looks like he's about to die and I have to remind that, no, this is still how he's been the past year and a half. He's really energetic to beg for food and seems happy and flares his fins as much as he can, but inevitably floats down onto his leaf or gravel to sit for hours. I just hope he's not really hurting.

inveritas, that's interesting. Though, I did have driftwood in with him for a few days when we put him in this 5 gal (last August) until it turned his tank really dark brown. The tannin was just out of control. Without completely emptying his tank, we just got the tannin out a few weeks ago, haha. I don't know if that's the same. The amount of brown worried me, but he didn't seem to care at all.
I didn't use driftwood (had a similar experience) but blackwater extract - a concentrated liquid that turns the water brown too, dosed at 2ml for 10L (about 2.6G) of water. Not exactly sure if it heals anything (lots of people discussing and arguing about that on the Internet), but it cheered up my depressed betta from sitting around the bottom of the tank to making bubble nests the next day!
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #9 
emmane
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Mozzy's still his usual self. I had my water tested. Ammonia and nitrates at 0. They said everything else looks like it's good for freshwater.
I ended up telling the employee what was going on and she told me betta fins don't grow back. I must have given her a look because she looked uncomfortable suddenly and checked with a coworker who corrected her and suggested I try API Bettafix. I don't know if that would actually help him so I thought I would ask first.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:58 PM   #10 
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I don't suggest you use Bettafix or anything with -fix in the end. They contain a tree oil that coats bettas' labyrinth organ, making it hard for them to breath. For fin regrowth I suggest Indian almond leaves (blackwater extract that inveritas suggested should work too), clean water, and a double dose of stress coat water conditioner. Don't worry, betta fins DO grow back.
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