I'm sad to say I will probably not be posting about this fish if I can't figure this out for good this time. My veiltail, Nova, has once again taken a turn for the worse... I've pulled him back several times before, but this time he's really not looking good. He's not eaten for four days despite being emaciated and nothing I have done has helped him. He won't go for frozen bloodworms, crushed pellets, not even the Hikari micropellets I tried just to see if I could get him to eat. He seems to be suffering and I am worried I might have to euthanize him...
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? ~80*
Does your tank have a filter? No
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
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 4 pellets 1x per day
How often do you perform a water change? 2x per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 1 - 100% and 1 - 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime or Stress Coat. Usually Prime, but for the past two weeks, Stress Coat.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Hardness: uncertain... how do I test this with the freshwater master test kit?
Alkalinity: uncertain... how do I test this with the freshwater master test kit?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He is emaciated again and his fins have once again gotten shorter.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is listless and clamped and stays at the top of the tank near the heater.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He has been sick on and off since I got him several months ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? He has been through a range of treatments... first, aquarium salt to treat what I thought was fin rot. After seven days, I did a 100% water change to get all the salt out because I thought his fin rot was cured. Second, I put him through API fungus cure because he looked like he might have had a body slime infection. That resolved and I thought he was fine. Third I tried epsom salt because I was worried he had internal parasites since he was so skinny. He seemed to put on some weight, so I discontinued the epsom salt. Now, he is emaciated and refusing food again. I am hesitant to put him through more treatment as I am worried what might happen to him, but I will follow advice given to me here.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, see above.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Uncertain. He is a Petsmart fish and I have had him for approximately 2.5 months. He has NEVER been healthy.
This is him today.
This was him the day I brought him home. The difference makes me sick...
There is a chance that he was an older Betta when you bought him and is starting to see old age, however that does not explain the fin shortening or anything like that.
You said he perked up when you used ES, so I want you to try some small therapeutic dosages of ES for a few days to see if it will help him out. Measure out .25 teaspoons per gallon so roughly .75 tsp/2.5 gallons will be fine.
Take out a small portion of water, about 25% and when you go to add new water to the tank, mix in .25 tsp of ES, dissolve it first and add to the tank slowly over 10-15 minutes should be fine. About half an hour or an hour later (whichever you feel more comfortable with) take out another 25% of water and do the same step as above and do it one last time to get the .75 tsp of ES in there. This will help acclimate him slowly over time and give him some new water, use Stress Coat as well.
Tomorrow let him be, keep the tank lights off if he has any and put a towel over the tank. You can leave the front open a bit so you can still check him out but it will help to keep most of the tank nice and dark. At night, cover the tank fully so that some humidity stays in there making it easier for him to breathe as well. And to make it completely dark in there. That should help ease him as well. Try to feed him a pellet soaked in garlic juice if you have any laying around, it might entice him a little bit. Also since the Omega are bigger, can you split one in half and try that? Don't feed today, just try tomorrow.
After tomorrow is up, the next day do a 50% change and add in roughly .35 tsp of ES lol, if it's a little bit more than .25 tsp/gal it won't hurt him so don't fret too much about getting exactly .35 XD Then wait another hour and do another 50% to make a full 100% and add in the ES as well.
And then we'll see how he's feeling after that. But the most important is just to keep his tank mostly dark, keep noise level down if you can and try not to disturb him too much so he can rest. Also does he have anything he can rest on at the surface like a Betta hammock or leaves in there?
Thanks for the reply! I'll get the ES measured out and started now. I'm probably going to add it in after half an hour as I have to be at work in two hours.
I have been putting a towel over his tank to try and keep it dark, although I do turn on his light for feeding... otherwise he doesn't seem to see the pellets. But now he just looks at them and then turns away. I have been crushing them for him for a long time, he has never been able to take normal-sized pellets. Sadly, I don't have any garlic juice, though I can try to find some at the store.
He doesn't have a betta hammock, although he seems to be just fine floating at the top without one. I sometimes see him lying on top of his heater.
At this point, I would do a combination antibiotic/antiparasitical.
1) The antibiotic:
Any way to get Kanaplex (kanamycin)? It's an excellent broad-spectrum antibiotic that treats both internal and external bacterial issues. It's not available at Petsmart or Petco, but some pet stores carry it. You can also order it online.
If you can't get Kanaplex, and you do not have a sulfa allergy, look for a sulfa antibiotic such as API Triple Sulfa or Mardel Maracyn Plus. (Must be "plus!") But do not use these if you are allergic to sulfa drugs!
2) The antiparasitical:
Combine the antibiotic with an antiparasitical that contains Metronidazole and Praziquantel, such as API General Cure.
3) Food and Environment:
Any chance of getting some live mosquito larvae? If so, rinse one off with conditioned water and feed it to him.
Put some plastic food wrap over the top of his tank. This will increase the humidity level and make it easier for him to breathe. Be sure to leave several inches of air between the water and plastic though!
Because his eyes look swollen, I would also keep using the Epsom salt. You can raise the dosage, if needed. Start with 0.5 teaspoons Epsom salt/gal, and see how he does.
It's OK to combine an antibiotic, antiparasitical and Epsom salt together. (It's not something you'd want to do every day, but it can be done if you really need to cover all your bases with a sick fish.)
Okay, so an update for today. So far, Nova has not responded to the ES treatment. He is still listless and floating. I am considering going to Petsmart to grab him a betta hammock so he can rest on that, but I just don't know. His water has gotten super cloudy like usual (it always clouds within 24 hours of a water change, even when the readings show it is still perfect), but I am hesitant to do a water change and stress him out. He hasn't been pooping because he hasn't been eating, so there is no ammonia...
LittleBlueFishlets - I will check with the aquarium specialty store near me to see if they have Kanaplex. I'm not sure if I have a sulfa allergy, but it's very possible. Most unfortunately, I have poor health and have had a lot of issues with various drugs. Unless I don't have another choice, I'd rather not risk using the sulfa because I don't want to trigger something in myself.
API general cure I can easily get, they stock it at my Petsmart and also at my local aquarium specialty store. I already have plastic wrap around his tank, I did that last night. And I don't have mosquito larvae, but I do have some BBS eggs. Should I try to hatch a batch and give him one of those? I haven't tried hatching any yet, and I understand it takes about 24 hours, but... maybe I should give it a shot?
Seki, really easy to get mosquito larvae. When you take out some water, leave the bucket outside and your larvae will probably get there over night or the next, not exactly sure how fast it takes but I know the little buggers will reproduce any chance they get. But I'd say the BBS hatchery might be a good thing to do and you can feed a few to your girls too and plump them up lol
I think the KanaPlex might be the best way to go since you don't know about the sulfa. I'm personally allergic to it and getting that stuff on my skin/ingestion somehow is severely bad for me and not fun to go through so if you don't know, but have other issues, I'd stay away from it.
Kanaplex is pretty cheap right now on drsfosterandsmith.com since they're having their summer sale and it gets to you pretty fast too which is nice. And if I'm not mistaken, Kanaplex and General Cure would be a easier, less stressful mix than any other antiparasitic meds? I might be making that up though lol, very possible. I'm sure LBF can chime in on that for sure.
Lol my girls are hungry, too, since yesterday was fasting day for everyone. They're dancing around at the front of the tank with the "FEED US!" look, and they've detached their thermometer again in protest of fasting day haha.
I am headed out to my aquarium specialty store in a little bit here to see if they have the Kanaplex, but Nova is looking bad. He's at the bottom of his tank gasping right now, so I might cup him and float the cup while I'm gone so that he doesn't have to go far for oxygen. He went downhill really fast this morning, and I can't figure out why, but while he's cupped, I'll go ahead and do a 100% water change just to reduce the cloudiness. I'll also get my hatchery up and running since I was planning on getting a breeding setup going soon.
If Nova makes it through my trip to the aquarium store, I'll get him dosed with the general cure and hopefully the kanaplex. I'm just afraid I'll come home to a dead fishy.