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Old 05-15-2013, 08:26 AM   #1 
ElizabethB
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Exclamation Lethargy in Female Betta

Hello all, I hope that I can get some help, because this is my favorite betta!

Here is all my information:

Tank size: 20 Gallon
Heated: Yes
Filtered: Yes
Tank mates: 7 female bettas
Water changes: 25% weekly with aquarium vacuum.
Age of sick fish: 5-6 months
Water conditioner: Jungle brand Insto Chlor
Substrate: Sand
Plants: Amazon Sword, Java Moss, red water lily, and one soft plastic amazon sword.

Medications used recently: 1/2 dose of Melafix to heal cloudy eye in the affected fish, it cleared up, and API Aquarium Salt.

Most recent water change was 25% yesterday, and 25% on Sunday.

Water Parameters: Unknown

No symptoms in tank mates.

Symptoms of affected fish: Lethargy, rapid gill movement, lying on side, occasionally surfacing for air, still eating, belly seems a bit bloated. I am starting a three day fast.

Food: new life spectrum grow formula and golden pearl pellets, and freeze dried blood worms 2-3 times a week.

I had read that betta-fix and melafix are the same thing, just different concentrations, hence the half-dosage. I think that the cloudy eye was caused by an injury. No discoloration or fading in the fish, fins are clamped while resting, but still full, no fin rot.

I also fed the them a couple of peas yesterday. This is the third day she has been lethargic. Tank has stocked for three weeks, and was cycled before the fish were added.

Thanks for looking, and I will welcome any suggestions.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:48 AM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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Peas are not very good for carnivores. The best would be Daphnia, or even Epsom salt.

For now, remove her from the tank. Mainly because you do not want her to be bullied or picked on in her state.. Which they may have started or will begin to do because she is weakened. If you have a half gallon or gallon container, that can float in the tank you won't have to heat it.

However, I noticed you did not mention her always being at the surface? SBD (swim bladder disorder) has them act like a buoy at the surface... Have you tested the water at all? API master kit is great. Any liquid tests are 100% better and most recommended than paper strips.

Removing her from the others also allows you to focus on her, and check her over. Check for: pineconing, fuzz, reddened or swollen gills, etc. Also realize Bettafix and Melafix contains tea tree oil which coats the labyrinth organ, and can cause problems in the long run. Use it sparaingly, or never.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:57 AM   #3 
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I had also read that a pea every now and then can help with digestive issues, perhaps I got bad information? I have a spare ten gallon with filter and heater that I can move her into. When I go to town today I will pick up a test kit. Perhaps I should do a major water change to remove the remainder of the melafix.

About the SBD, my male betta had that once, (my daughter got her hands on the food and overfed him) and a three day fast and water change fixed him right up. She is not at the top, but lying on the bottom underneath the java moss. She goes to the surface periodically for air.

Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:29 AM   #4 
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It took a bit of rigging, but I now have her isolated in the 20 gallon. She is now closer to the surface, so she won't have to travel as far for air. I'm going to add a bit of moss for her to hide in.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:45 AM   #5 
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Picture

Upon closer inspection, she is quite bloated and may have some pine-coning. The white on her fins is part of her natural coloration.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:54 AM   #6 
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Well the pea is best for omnivores and herbivores, as it causes impaction to a betta's tummy that'll see it as an unnatural food that cannot be digested. It forces everything out by pushing through.

As for the bloat... There's no bloat that I can see. She's got a normal eggy belly :)

However I am noticing her gills seem swollen... Chances are she teacted bad to the melafix, or the ammonia spiked and harmed her. Ammonia (and nitrite) affects all individual fish differently. Some take it severely bad. Some won't show much for symptoms. I suggest testing your water. Either an API master kit, or bring a sample of water to a pet/fish store for them to test :)
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:59 AM   #7 
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So I should remove her from the tank completely? What about the slightly raised scales? I am leaving now to get the test kit.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:02 AM   #8 
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So the scales are slightly raised? Can you get a top view picture?
What you could do, is isolate her (floating container without holes or access to the other water is best), and try for epsom salt.

Predissolve 1-3 teaspoons per gallon and add slowly over the course of 15-30 minutes. Epsom salt should help with cleaning out whatever is internal, however if it is dropsy there is a low chance of survival, because it is a sign of internal damage or failure of the organ(s).

No one else is showing any bad signs? I'd also do another small water change today, just to dillute whatever meds are left in there, and possibly bring down any ammonia or other toxins. To me, because of the gills, I want to say poisoned. From what, it really depends.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:07 AM   #9 
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I will try to get a picture where you can see them. Everyone else seems absolutely fine. I will set up the ten and medicate that with the Epsom Salt. I know that Dropsy is VERY bad, I read the info on the sticky thread, and wrote down the medicines used to treat it. Is it contagious?
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #10 
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Dropsy is not contagious, as it is not a disease but rather a sign.

Some possible causes for dropsy: Bad genetics can cause deformed organs. Physical trauma such as jumping from the tank and falling far, or beaten up from another fish. Infection caused externally (cut leading to infection for example), or internally (parasites for example)... Water quality (ammonia and nitrites break down the internal part of their body), medications (some take medications so badly...)
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