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Old 06-06-2009, 10:31 PM   #1 
Rachmaninoff
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Just rescued a Betta named Igby

Hello, some friends of mine bought a betta about two and a half years ago. He was bought in one of those 'War and Peace' vases with the peace lily. According to them he recently stopped eating his food (pellets) and became very lethargic. They swapped to another brand of micro pellets. Problem is, most of the pellets don't float, so they were basically pouring tons of pellets in the water to get a few to float so the fish could eat them. Only, they weren't cleaning the excess from the tank. When I visited last, the water was so murky you could barely see through it and Igby looked dead. They were convinced he was just too old and were going to let him die! So, I rescued him :) All the pets I own, from greyhounds to rats, have been rescued from bad situations.

I immediately started researching as to what could be done to help Igby. I went and bought him a 5 gallon tank, a heater, a thermometer, a plant, aquarium salt, ph tester, water conditioner, and some Hikari bio-gold pellets and Tetra freeze-dried bloodworms.

Unfortunately, I'm don't have much experience with fish, so I didn't discover tank-cycling till after I'd done the change.

Here's a link to the set-up I've got him in:
(sorry, couldn't get the photos to come up directly in post)

http://s601.photobucket.com/albums/t...ent=igby_2.jpg

There are two photos of Igby with this photo, you can click on them on the left of the page.

Now, my concerns:

- Igby hasn't eaten in about a week. It's not that he spits his food out, he won't go near it. He doesn't surface like he's looking for food. I've put blood worms literally in front of his face and he just swims down to the bottom of the tank like he's scared.
- He doesn't swim around the tank freely, but instead swims back and forth between 3 spots, continuously. Perhaps trying to scratch himself?
- His fins don't look good. They are clamped and patchy.
- I put a live plant in the tank. I've also added aquarium salt. I just read that live plants don't do well with salt in the water. Should I take the plant out and get him some silk ones?
- I thought he might be suffering from some fungus or bacteria, so I've set the heater to 84 degrees, and added 10 teaspoons of salt (over 2 days) to the water. I read this is supposed to be a good remedy. I am concerned that it might be too much salt and too warm for him though.
-The ph level is 7-7.2. I don't have a master test kit yet, so I can't test for the other parameters. Will get one tomorrow.

I'd very much appreciate some advice as to what I can add/change/remove to get this little guy up to form. I look at him all day and am getting increasingly concerned about his condition.

Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:01 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to FishForum. Did you add the salt without changing the water? Salt doesn't evaporate. 10 teaspoons of salt is too much. I would go ahead and get a silk plant. Its easier to take care of.The temperature will be fine anywhere between 78-82.I think, for now, clean water and a little salt is best for him. I had one that came from a similar situation and he did a lot better after being put in clean water and being fed properly.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:18 PM   #3 
Rachmaninoff
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Hi and thanks.

I didn't change the water as the instructions I was following stated a treatment of 2 teaspoons of salt per gallon for treating fungus. Do I need to do a complete water change or can I do a 50% or 75%? The reason I put the live plant in is because it's supposed to keep nitrates down. But I should definitely take it out? Just double-checking. If he doesn't notice food soon should I transfer him to a small container to feed him or will that not work either? Thanks again.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:50 AM   #4 
dramaqueen
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Is your tank cycled? If it is, you would change the water according to your water parameters. No, you don't have to take the plant out.You don't need to transfer him to a smaller container to get him to eat. On a tank that size I think you can do a partial water change. I think 50% would be fine.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:03 PM   #5 
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by dramaqueen View Post
Hello and welcome to FishForum. Did you add the salt without changing the water? Salt doesn't evaporate. 10 teaspoons of salt is too much. I would go ahead and get a silk plant. Its easier to take care of.The temperature will be fine anywhere between 78-82.I think, for now, clean water and a little salt is best for him. I had one that came from a similar situation and he did a lot better after being put in clean water and being fed properly.
Mine evaporates. i have the API aquarium salt, and it evaporates, ive seen it ;)
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:22 PM   #6 
Angelmonster
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WAY too much salt and yes it will probably kill the plant

1) It does look like he is older so there is a chance that no matter wha tyou do he might died, jus tbe prepaired for it.

2)I suggest taking the plant out and buying a nice little object that could be a "cave" for him to hide in. Throw in one silk plant he could hide in too. He might be getting use to his new surroundings. A cave will give him a place to hide and get use to his surroundings.

3)Food, he might be use to eating once a week if his old owners were lousy care givers. He also might only like flakes. Just buy a cheap, small thing of Betta flakes and try those. Eventually he will eat them.

4)Since he doesn't look so healthy change the water twice a week. Just for a week or two to make sure if he does have somethign wrong with him(besides old age) then it doe snot contaminate your tank.

5) Do a 50% water change right now and do not add salt. I recommend a tabelspoon per 5 gallons of eater when they are sick. When not sick a teaspoon per 5 gallons helps with electrolytes. I also suggest you only add salt weekly when sick, every other week when not sick(add when cleaning the tank). When adding salt also put it in a cup of hot water and dissolve the salt before putting it into the tank. Add a drop or two of conditioner to the cup too.

Hope that helpped I also suggest you do not give him any tank mates until he looks a bit healthier.

edit: Also you can keep the plant aliv eif you like Just get a big enough vase and some more substrate and put the plant in there. A nifty trick is to change the water weekly but use the water form your fish tank! When you go to clean your tank empty ALL of the wayter in the vase and fill it back up with water form your fish tank I have done this a few times where a plant wasn't working out in a tank. It makes a nifty plant to put on a windowsill or under a strong light

Last edited by Angelmonster; 06-08-2009 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:05 AM   #7 
Rachmaninoff
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Hi Angelmonster,

Thanks for your advice. I did do a 50% water change that day, and 2 days after, adding no salt. I have tested the water parameters today and they are: PH 7, and Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite all at 0 ppm. Temperature is constant at 80 degrees.

But, he still wont eat! He seems scared of me and won't even come near the surface when I'm trying to feed him. If you or anyone else has any ideas I'd greatly appreciate it--I don't want him to die!

Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:06 AM   #8 
dr2b
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He is probably just getting used to his new surroundings. My guess is that he is stressed and just needs some time.

Keep offering him food... that's all you can do for now.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:17 AM   #9 
ifish
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i agree with all these people and try bloodworms more often to get him to eat at least if he eats that hell be eating and not diying he is beautriful i would make a big patch on slik plants its like a jungle and mayne some shiny marbles my fish loves thos he rools them around
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