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Old 05-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #1 
Lilemm920
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Exclamation Very sick betta, please help

I've had my beta for a year now and I've always been really good with taking care of him and changing his water. However, recently I let his water go for about a month because I didn't get the chance to clean it every week like I normally do. He seemed fine when I changed his water a few days ago, just a little slower than usual.. I figured he was just adjusting to the change in his tank. Later that day I noticed his fins looked tattered and he wasn't moving much. I woke up to him laying at the bottom of the tank, not moving at all (but thankfully still breathing). This freaked me out so bad, I love this little guy and I'd be devastated to see him go. I immediately started looking up what might be wrong with him. The thing that kept jumping out to me was fin rot. It was hard to tell for sure if this was the case because he did not spread his fins out at all so it was hard to see. I decided to go to the nearest pet store and ask an employee for advice. The guy there told me that it wasn't anything I did and that betas may only live for a year. I went home extremely sad and decided that this was it but looking at my little fish I started thinking again that this was not the case. He's a strong little guy and I know betas live longer than just one year. I researched fin rot again and went to a different store to buy medicine for him. What I ended up getting was a powder that treats bacterial infections including fin rot. I went home and put him in a separate tank with about a gallon of water (he was too weak to swim and I was worried he wouldn't be able to come up for air). After the fresh water and medicine he started slowly looking better. By the end of the day he was swimming around every so often. However he only used the two small fins on his sides. The other fins seem almost paralyzed. This really worries me. Is this a permanent symptom from the fin rot? This morning he swam around much more but still only uses his side fins and now his gills close to his tail are very discolored. They went from red to orangish beige. Also, there is a visible fuzzy, fungus like growth on the bottom of his tail fins. I'm worried he may be getting worse and I don't know what else to do. I changed his water again when I saw this on his tail and I added more medicine to the new water. Will he make it? And is there anything else I can do? I feel awful knowing its my fault.. Please help.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:15 PM   #2 
jona31
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whoa whoa whoa your doing great in everything your doing it sounds like he has a fungus my betta has this to im treating him right now as we speak he's doing great first make sure the drugs from the first medicine die down first then go and buy some fungul betta or fish treatment he has a fungus
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:43 PM   #3 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Hi.... It sounds like you already know that not changing the water led to his fin rot. But could you give us some more information as to what you've given him, and how much you gave? Also, if you could post some pictures, that would be really helpful!

Could you fill out the form below so we have more info? Leave blank anything you don't have answers for.
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Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:53 AM   #4 
Lilemm920
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Thank you so much for your relpys.
I've started thinking he developed a fungus because the growth on his tail spread a bit since yesterday, however his discoloration went down a bit. I was able to take a few pictures. Also, the specks on the bottom of his temporary tank is food from this morning, he hasn't been eating for the past three days. Except for one tiny pellet yesterday which he accidentally ate when coming up for air.
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Housing
What size is your tank? Normally a 2.5 gallon tank, but currently I have him in a separate fish bowl with 1 gallon in it
What temperature is your tank? 77-80 degrees f.
Does your tank have a filter? yes, but not in the temporary bowl
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? the filter aerates the water
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? just himself, I had snails a while back but he ate them

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley brand betta fish pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice daily normally, now only in the morning because he will not eat

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% because of how small the tank is
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner for bettas, currenty I am also adding API triple sulfa for his fin rot and it is supposed to be for bacteria

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I have not tested the water

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? he appears lethargic and only moves his two little side fins, his scales close to the tail changed color
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lethargic
When did you start noticing the symptoms? three days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes, I isolated him and used the API triple sulfa
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? I had him for a year, so approximately a little over a year
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:09 PM   #5 
Lilemm920
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Update: the fungus on his tail seems to be growing. How can I prevent this?
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:51 PM   #6 
Pearl2011
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In a tank that small changing the water often (as in everyday) and administering the triple sulfa. Once an infection takes hold in can get very serious, very quickly.
Salt baths can also be helpful with fungus (at least in my experience). These can be done once or twice a day, with aquarium salt (not table salt) for a couple minutes. Use the water from his tank and while he is in the bath change the water. If you notice he's in distress take him and put him back in his tank.
Once he starts feeling better they'll start eating. Fish can go a surprisingly long time without food.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:23 PM   #7 
Lilemm920
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Thanks for your advice,
Ill try and pick up the aquarium salt tomorrow, the fungus that was attached to the lower fin fell off today (unfortunately taking part of his fin with it) but the top fin still had fungus on the tips. I will start doing daily water changes and keep up with the antibiotics. His scale discoloration has almost completly gone back to normal so that's a good sign, I figured it may have been caused by stress. The only thing really worrying me now is the fungus, but ill try the salt to help clear that up. He seems to slowly be getting better and I'm staying hopeful for him. Thanks again for your response it is appreciated
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:25 AM   #8 
Starfish1
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Hi, I'm sorry to hear about your betta. You did a fantastic job giving him medicine, but what you need to do now is make sure you finish a FULL course of the medication, according to what the box says. If you discontinue the medicine without finishing a full course the illness will come back and become resistant to the medication. It should say on the box how many doses equals a full course.

Second thing is to use the aquarium salt for the fuzzy fungus on his tail. This is usually caused by not changing the betta's water and white fungus starts growing on the bottom of the tank and then gets attached to their fins. He needs a water change every day until that white fuzz is gone, you need to do a 100% water change and clean out the bowl and wipe it out. Put all new water in and then add one half teaspoon per gallon of aquarium salt. After 10 days of aquarium salt, stop using it. It can only be used for 10 days before it starts to harm the fish. When you're changing his water make sure that the new water is exactly the same temperature as the old water. Otherwise different temp water can shock him and stress out his system, so it is especially important while he is recovering that the water is the same temperature and that he's in warm water 78 degrees at least.

From now on you need to change his water approximately every four to five days and vacuum his gravel. The filter does not remove ammonia nitrates or nitrates from the tank, that can only be accomplished with water changes. For 2.5 gallons, every 4-5 days is good. I would do a thorough cleaning out of his regular 2.5 gallon tank, clean the gravel, clean the tank, put a new filter media (cartridge, sponges etc.) in before you put him back in. Especially because you didn't have any antibiotic in that tank to kill bacteria.

Make sure you always keep up on his water changes, because this is why he got sick. You are VERY fortunate that he is okay after leaving him in dirty water for an entire month.

Keep us posted on how he does, and I hope he feels better soon :)

Last edited by Starfish1; 05-26-2013 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:48 AM   #9 
Lilemm920
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Thank you so much for your reply.
The fungus is going down but he seems very lethargic so I'm still worried about that. The only thing I have questions about is doing a full cycle of the treatment. Since this would only give him a 25% water change in 4 days, and I've been giving him daily 100% water changes because he's only been in 1 gallon of water and it gets dirty easily.. Would it be okay to put him in the full 2.5 gallons of water? I'm afraid he is still too weak and I don't want to put too much stress on him, he's already been through so much.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:59 AM   #10 
Starfish1
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I would just change the water every day and put a new dose in for a total of 4 doses. The directions on the box don't say to change the water because they're written for a 10 gallon tank and they're assuming you wouldn't do a daily 100% water change on a 10 gallon tank. But since you have him in a smaller tank it's easy to do a 100% water change and is better for him since ammonia will build up quickly in that little tank and the cleaner the water, the better chance he has of getting better.

How does he look today? Is he eating?
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