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Old 06-10-2013, 12:10 PM   #1 
Fatti fish
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Please help - my Betta seems ill

Hi I'd be grateful for suggestions - my Betta fish seem sick. Since yesterday evening I have noticed that my Betta seems to have difficulty staying afloat.
He is 2 years old, quite large, very active and happy. But last night I noticed that when I feed him he swims up with difficulty, eats and then sinks down immediately, often "parking" himself on one of his two live plants. Or it might even take him 2 or 3 "swim ups" to finish his meal.

The bottom of his back fin which has always been clear in colour, since he was a baby, seemed to be longer, i.e more fin clear material and now this morning it has turned a lovely blue colour (he is a red fish). His fin also seems far longer than before.

He is eating well, but definitely has trouble staying afloat, as he now spends all his time at the bottom of his bowl.

He has always been in his own small tank with filtration and heating, but a month ago I had to move him to a large bowl, which is till heated but not filtered. I try to change 50% water at least every 3 days, and bowl wash and clean about every 2 weeks, but I suspect that that is not enough.

I am selling my house, hence moving him to a bowl temporarily as it looks better in the kitchen, for people viewing the house (as I have other tropical tanks in the living room), and will return him to his tank as soon as I can. Can anybody give me guidance please?

Last edited by Fatti fish; 06-10-2013 at 12:14 PM. Reason: spelling mistakes
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Actually the 25% every few days with the 50% is good! Generally a cleaning twice a week will be good.

For a reference though to see if there's anything else we can help you on, can you fill out this sticky to the best of your ability?

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Do you have a thermometer inside the tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
Is the heater pre-set or adjustable?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type/brand of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish and how much?


Maintenance
Do you have live plants in the aquarium?
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type and brand 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 06-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #3 
Fatti fish
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How do I answer your questions

Hi lilnaugrim
How do I respond to those questions? Just copy and paste into a reply window?
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #4 
lilnaugrim
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Yup!
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #5 
Fatti fish
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My answers to your questions

Housing
What size is your tank? No tank he is in a bowl - about 4 litres in size - but until a month ago lived in a 5 gallon tank.

What temperature is your tank? 27 degrees c

Do you have a thermometer inside the tank? Yes

Does your tank have a filter? No not presently, but when hes in his tank he does.

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No he is presently in a bowl/

Is your tank heated? (bowl) yes it is heated

Is the heater pre-set or adjustable? it adjusts itself, set to 24 degrees, and the temp on the thermometer days 27 degrees c

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None, he has always been alone.

Food
What type/brand of food do you feed your betta fish? Nutrafine max betta floating pellets

How often do you feed your betta fish and how much? About 6-8 pellets twice a day - because he is usually very active, and finishes it, lately he has been eating about half, and I remove the rest.

Maintenance
Do you have live plants in the aquarium? Yes
How often do you perform a water change? About every third day

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%

What type and brand of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutrafin Aqua + plus or the same product for Bettas with plant extract

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No

If so, what are the following parameters?

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Yes his top fin seems a bit tatty and fading colour at the ends, as if something chewed on it, and his back bottom fin seem untidy, it used to be red and tipped with a good centimetre of clear fin, and now it is a mixture of red, clear and blue (as of this morning) and one part of the fin is curling a little.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes he is more subdued and rests at the bottom of the bowl, or on his (live) plants. he seems to have difficulty staying afloat, swims to the top of the bowl to eat, and then soon after he sinks slowly down to rest at the bottom. Still interested in food, but not eating as much.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last night when I fed him but I have been very busy this last week.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Have done nothing (he had a good water change two days ago) until I get advice.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? No he has always been very health and very active, full of energy. But since being in the bowl he is less active, although still swimming and eating well.

How old is your fish (approximately)? Just over 2 years old.

Last edited by Fatti fish; 06-10-2013 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Missed some questions and added something
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:12 PM   #6 
lilnaugrim
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Okay so there might be a few things. He could just simply be getting older and with age, things change. Here's a good read about aging betta's and their care: http://nippyfish.net/sick-betta/aging-bettas/

And he could be having some issues with his swim bladder making him sink/float/have trouble swimming in general.

Can I get a few pictures of him before I suggest any sort of treatment? Preferably with some sort of light on him so I can see, you can use a desk lamp or flashlight if the bowl doesn't have a light
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:56 PM   #7 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Your water change schedule looks good.

I would try using Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate). It often helps with internal issues, including buoyancy, constipation and swim bladder problems.

1) Dissolve 1 teaspoon Epsom salt in a gallon of water. Add conditioner. Stir/shake until the salt is completely dissolved.
2) Use this solution, and do a 50% water change. (This will take him to a dosage of about 0.5 teaspoons Epsom salt/gal.)
3) Wait about 15 minutes.
4) Do another 50% water change, using the remaining Epsom salt treated solution. (This will take him to a dosage of about 0.75 teaspoons Epsom salt/gal.)

Then, go back to doing your regular 50% water changes every 3rd day. But instead of plain water, continue using Epsom salt treated water. (1 tsp per gallon, predissolved.) This will keep him at a steady dosage of 1 tsp/gal.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:46 PM   #8 
Fatti fish
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Photos

Hi here are the photos I took this morning. If it was only his fins I wouldn't be too worried, but it is his sinking and spending most of his time resting on plants that has me worried.

Am thinking of shooting down to the fish shop now and buying him a Fluval Chi or Edge (if their filtration is right and not too rapid for him) or something small and pretty enough to stay on the kitchen counter while I have people coming to view the house. After that I am quite happy to have his big ugly-ish tank in the kitchen.

Am just worried that moving him might be too stressful, and of course the new tank won't be cycled, I could take some water and substrate from my big tank?
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:53 PM   #9 
Fatti fish
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Oh, and don't worry about the blue pigment spot on his back, he's always had it since little, I don't think its an injury or anything.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:46 AM   #10 
lilnaugrim
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I'm not entirely certain about the blue on his caudal fin. It is completely possible that he's just changing colors as he gets older. He does look pretty bloated. Have you done the Epsom salt treatment that LittleBlueFishlet's has provided?

Also just a note on the PM that you sent me. Beneficial Bacteria do not reside in the water so taking old water to the new tank is doing absolutely nothing for your Cycle in your 2.6

But I'm glad you got him that tank, it's a nice one.
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