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Old 05-04-2009, 09:53 PM   #1 
aunt kymmie
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Betta is lying on his side, body is curved

He's in a 6gl (see betta two under my aquariums for tank specs) and the water tests the same as it always has: Ph 7.8, am 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5.0. I do water changes weekly. I can't find the info on when I actually set this tank up but I think it's been at least six months.

For the last two days he's spent most of his time lying on the bottom of his tank. He is breathing heavily and his body now looks like it's bent into an S curve. He will swim up to the surface, gulp some air, and then he heads straight back to the bottom of the tank. His fins look the same as they always have but his body has turned pale compared to what his normal coloring usually is. When he swims he loses the S curve but once he settles back on the bottom the curve returns. At the moment his ability to swim does not appear to be affected by whatever is ailing him.

He still has an appetite but I'm only giving him one pellet in the am, and then one pellet in the pm. I just performed a water change two days ago. I have no idea what I should be doing for him at this point. I've been looking at all the diseases and illnesses and am not sure which one I should be treating for. Any assistance is appreciated!!
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:05 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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I'm sorry to hear that your betta is sick. I looked and looked myself for info on why the body would have an s shape but couldn't find anything. I'm sure someone who knows more about this kind of stuff will tell you what's going on.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:13 PM   #3 
aunt kymmie
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Yes, it's a real bummer. The one thing I did find that mentioned the sudden bent spine was fish TB. The only remedy for fish TB is euthanasia. I'd hate to act too quickly in the event it isn't fish TB but I certainly don't want my betta to suffer needlessly. Back to the web pages....
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:27 PM   #4 
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Fish tb has a whole bunch of different symptoms, from what I've read.I haven't read anything tonight about the bent spine, although I think I've heard of that before.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:47 PM   #5 
aunt kymmie
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I could only find two things in relation to the bent spine and that was TB or Neon Tetra Disease. Both of these have a myriad of other symptoms that my betta does not have.
I just checked on him and he darted to the surface, swallowed some air, then jetted back down to the bottom again. This time when he reached the bottom he flared up his fins, was nose down in the sand for a bit, then turned over on his side to resume his bent "resting" postion. When he swims up and down he's swimming faster than I've ever seen him swim. I really wish I knew what was going on with this fish so I could help him.

Last edited by aunt kymmie; 05-04-2009 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:53 AM   #6 
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TB is extremely difficult to diagnose in fish because of the myriad of symptoms they may... or may not display. Most cases of fish TB are only confirmed post-autopsy.

Unfortunately I know of very few things which cause a ent spine like you are describing in a betta fish. One is TB. The other is a genetic defect, but I find this one unlikely simply because he wouldn't suddenly take on this shape, and yet be able to swim without it. Spinal curvatures and deformities caused by genetics grow in, and the fish would always have them, and would have already have been displaying it. I ponder if a fish can have idiopathic scoliosis (or lordosis, or kyphosis) though.... might be a bit strange, but I figure just about anything that actually has a spinal column cold probably get it.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:35 AM   #7 
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May not be the same thing but, my Betta Chimlin did the same as yours is doing....shot to the surface to gulp air, then shot back down to the bottom of the tank, he was constantly trying to bury his head in the gravel.....colour went pale.......turns out he has whitespot!

6th day of treatment and no signs of any whitespot left so fingers crossed he`s through it now.

There`s a pic that I posted in the `care` section, Chimlin was also laying kind of twisted/bent. Just a thought that it may be the same signs??
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:22 AM   #8 
aunt kymmie
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Nataku: I agree with you. A bent spine due to genetics doesn't seem likely in this case as there were no symptoms present during the initial inspection of this fish. Considering I've had him for quite some time I think we can rule out genetics or deformity as the cause of his present condition. I doubt fish can suffer from idiopathic scolisis. Usually there are symptoms (structural such as leg length discrepancy or other deformities) or diseases (muscular dystrophy, Marfan syndrome) which present themselves prior to the scolisis developing. To my knowledge fish don't suffer from these types of conditions.

Elisew: My betta looks as Chimlin does minus the ich. I've had experience with ich and treating it as my display tank broke out with this infestation, which was successfully treated. I've not seen my betta flash or rub himself against anything in his tank and I've done close visual inspections of him daily since aquiring him, as I do with all my fish. I keep a small flashlight next to all my tanks for this purpose. I do not see any sores, patches or lesions on his scales nor have I observed any type of visual parasites.

I suppose at this point all I can do is to continue to inspect him for additional symptoms which may appear which would help in confirming a diagnosis. This morning rather than being bent in an S-shape he is curved into a tight C formation, nose to tail, lying on the bottom of the tank. The tank light is scheduled to come on in an hour and I'll see if that causes him to surface for food as he usually does. I'm wondering if I should lower the water level so his swim up for air isn't as physically demanding at the level it is now? His breathing isn't as labored as yesterday but his gill movement is still impaired compared to the norm for him. My poor little fish...
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:33 AM   #9 
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Lowering the water level sounds like a good idea. Poor little thing.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:22 AM   #10 
Elisew
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I hope you manage to come to a conclusion and be able to get it all sorted kymmie.

Lise x
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