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Old 07-02-2013, 06:07 PM   #1 
funaaba
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Exclamation Enki is very sick! Please help.

My betta, Enki, is very very sick, and I don't know what to do. :(

I got Enki a few years ago as a surprise gift from a guy "friend" I used to work with. Long story short, right after my first betta died, he went out and bought another one for me without asking in an attempt to woo me.

(we're not friends anymore but that's irrelevant)

Anyway, Enki was totally fine until about two weeks ago, when the lightbulb in his five gallon tank suddenly blew. The heater and the filter was fine, it was just the lightbulb that blew. He seemed ok at first, but as time went on I noticed he wasn't taking it very well anymore. Eventually he became very bloated and incredibly lethargic, and was having trouble getting to the top of the tank for air because he would sink. I assumed it was swim bladder issues, because I didn't see any pineconing (unless it was the beginning of dropsy and I just didn't know yet?)

I wasn't able to get to Petsmart until last week, but I bought some Maracyn-Two along with a new lightbulb while I was there, just in case a few days of fasting and peas didn't help with the bloating.

Well, he didnít improve, and I also noticed a spot of something that looked like it might have been white fungus on him, so I started administering the medication according to the instructions: The first day he got one full packet ("2 packets for every 10 gallons", hence 1 packet for his 5 gallon), and for days 2-5 he gets half of one packet ("1 packet for every 10 gallons", so 1/2 packet for his 5 gallon.)

It seemed to help a lot! Over the past four days he became a lot perkier, the bloating went down, and it was a lot easier for him to swim and explore. I still wasn't feeding him his usual pellets, but at least he ate the bits of pea I gave him.

But fast forward to today: heís really lethargic again and canít balance very well, and now heís got pop-eye to boot. I had been planning on feeding him one or two pellets today, because he had been feeling better, but even if I wanted to now he's not in the least bit interested.

His weekly water change isnít until tomorrow, and thatís also the last day of treatment (and the instructions in Maracyn-Two recommend a water change after a full treatment, because cloudiness might occur during the treatment.) Iím hesitant to do a water change early because it might take all of the medication that was helping him out and just make the situation worse.

His heater works fine (and the temp should be perfect for bettas, especially with this current heat wave we're having), and his filterís working fine. I donít get it, he should be getting better! Unless I administered the meds too late?

I donít know what to do. :( I don't own a water testing kit, so if there was something wrong with the water beforehand, I wouldn't have known. But I've made sure to keep up with his weekly water changes ("Water Change Wenesdays" is how I remember it.)

Do I repeat the Maracyn-Two treatment? Or should I look into something stronger? Or should I just let things be because he's an older fish?

It's a shame, because I was thinking about redecorating his tank until he got sick. New gravel, new decorations, and I was even gonna try live plants again! Once he got sick, I decided to hold off until he was better. Either way, I feel guilty.

So if you can give me any advice or help (or if you could send some nice, healthy thoughts his way), I'd really appreciate it! Thanks a lot.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons. (Topfin Aquascene)
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees (farenheit).
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 (25watt heater, I believe.)
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Nutrafin betta pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Normally, he'd get 3-6 pellets once a day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 25%-50%.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutrafin Cycle, Nutrafin AquaPlus, and Aquarium salt.

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

I have not tested my water, as I no longer own a water testing kit. :(

Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Inititally very bloated, now less bloated but has popeye.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic, difficulty getting up to the surface, little interest in food or surroundings. Gasping a bit but obviously distressed.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Just over a week ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Fasting plus treatment with Maracyn-Two according to instructions on package.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Mild case of fin rot (treated promptly by the guy who bought him initially), occasional constipation (in the first week I had him)
How old is your fish (approximately)? Several years, now.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:39 PM   #2 
darkangel
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He might be getting old. I don't see anything wrong with husbandry or setup. Maybe you should switch to frozen brineshrimp or other bugs as your main food if he getting bloated easily?

You can try using epsom salt to help with popeye but if it doesn't go away, you might have to treat it with medication.

Do you always use aquarium salt? Its not good to keep your betta in salt long term, hard on their organs.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #3 
funaaba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkangel View Post
He might be getting old. I don't see anything wrong with husbandry or setup. Maybe you should switch to frozen brineshrimp or other bugs as your main food if he getting bloated easily?

You can try using epsom salt to help with popeye but if it doesn't go away, you might have to treat it with medication.

Do you always use aquarium salt? Its not good to keep your betta in salt long term, hard on their organs.
Thanks for the reply!

He doesn't get bloated easily, except when he's stressed out somehow. The first week I had him he did, but once he settled in (and I started feeding him only once a day rather than twice), he was fine up until now.

Also, I'd love to feed him brine shrimp, but it's surprisingly hard to find up here. The stuff that is available is either in huge packages (and it's just too much gone to waste when you've got one betta) or it's low quality, dried stuff.

I'll have to see if I can find epsom salts. How much should I give him? And if I do need to medicate him more, should I continue with Maracyn-Two or try something else?

Yes, I always put in a little aquarium salt when I change his water, but I didn't know it could be bad for them! I had been told it was good for them. Shows what I know.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #4 
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Hm, do you have a petland near you? If your in Canada, petlands carry smaller packs of frozen brineshrimp.

you can get epsom salt at shoppers drug mart, but its a pretty big pack. But if you like taking baths, you can use it too. Get the non-scented pure kind. 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons should be good.

Try the epsom salt bath first to see if it works, if it doesn't you can try more medication. Did he get popeye while on maracyn 2? I believe maracyn 2 only covers gram negative bacteria so you might have to try maracyn 1 which covers gram postive.

When I treated popeye, I just used Jungle's Fungus Clear for 5 days, its a broad antibacteria/fungus, I got my at walmart. I think its cheaper than maracyn if you want to save some money. Around $5.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:54 PM   #5 
funaaba
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I took another, really close look at him, and I'm almost positive that he's pineconing, which means it's dropsy and there's pretty much nothing I can do. Which sucks, because that's how my last fish died, too.

Is there anything I can do to help make the poor guy more comfortable?

EDIT: Sorry, just saw your previous message. I'll give the epsom salts a shot if it helps at all. And yes, he did get popeye while on maracyn 2. I'll have to keep those other meds (and the brine shrimp) in mind in the future. Thanks a lot!

Last edited by funaaba; 07-02-2013 at 07:57 PM. Reason: additional commentary
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