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Old 09-03-2013, 07:25 PM   #1 
InfiniteGlory
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lethargic betta

My betta has been in his hospital tank for about 20 days for fin rot and was removed last night. He would have been out sooner but I was relandscaping his tank. He has been floating since last night in his tank in his old betta cup so that he could acclimate to the temp difference and to keep him closer to the surface.

I noticed about a week ago he wasn't being as active in the hospital tank. From the beginning he wasn't happy to be in there but this was something more. I did nothing out of the norm except for daily 100% WC's for his fins. His hospital tank has a heater and air stone with regulator so to keep the water moving.

Here is a list of what I have seen him do.
  • Resting with head up and tail down
  • Laying on his side at the bottom of tank or in his betta log

Normally he nestles under the leaves of a plant and rest so that he doesn't float around the tank at night. So the laying down and going vertical are not normal. but since the hospital tank doesn't have much I might be overreacting.

Housing Hospital Tank
What size is your tank? About 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 82F-84F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega Betta Buffett Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x daily of 3-4 pellets skipping one day a week

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress Coat +

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
No since I was doing 100% WC's daily
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No, besides the strange resting position
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes, more lethargic
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 5-7 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, not sure course of treatment
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Treated for fin rot back in early February
How old is your fish (approximately)? Purchased 12/31/12 so an estimated 9-10 months

Here are a few pictures and don't mind the spots it is just left over pellets that got stirred up. I am afraid to let him out of the cup in fear that he may not be able to make it to the surface. he doesn't look bloated and has been eating and pooping normally.


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Old 09-03-2013, 07:43 PM   #2 
darkangel
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has he been having sbd and been bloating a lot lately?

my betta slade had a internal bacteria infection, the only symptoms was sbd, lethargy and swelling that eventually got so bad it led to pine coning. not sure what could have caused it, maybe he ate a really old pellet that sank to the bottom of the tank/swallowed something weird but if your boy is getting worse, it might be worth something to try a broad-antibacteria.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:11 PM   #3 
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In a small cup, toxins (ammonia, wastes, etc) can build up very quickly. I would either put him back into the 1 gal hospital tank, or his regular home. If he's having trouble swimming, you can lower the water level so that he can reach the surface more easily.

I would remove any uneaten food. It spoils quickly, and can pollute the water.

I would also add some Epsom salt, which can help with buoyancy issues. list=1][*] Add 3 teaspoons Epsom salt to one gal of conditioned water.[*]Stir/shake until the Epsom salt is completely dissolved.[*]Using this premixed treatment water, make 25% water changes every 15 min for 1 hour today.[/list]
Tomorrow: Dissolve 1 teaspoon Epsom salt into 1 gallon of water. Add conditioner. Do a 50% water change using this premixed treatment water.

Epsom salt is inexpensive, and you can get it at supermarkets and grocery stores. Look for 100% magnesium sulfate. (No dyes, perfumes or additives.) Since it doesn't contain sodium, it won't stress his kidneys (like aquarium salt does). Look for 100% magnesium sulfate. (No dyes, additives or perfumes.)

Also, feed small meals of high-quality high-protein foods.

And cover the top of the tank with plastic vegetable wrap. This will increase humidity levels, and make it easier to breathe. Be sure to leave several inches of air between the water and wrap, so your fish can breathe!

It can take 1-2 days for the Epsom salt to work. If at any time, he starts to get worse, let us know. He may need a different dosage, or medications. But hopefully, a low dosage of Epsom salt will help him feel better.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #4 
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he hasn't really been bloating as far as I can tell. I will start on the epsom salt treatment right away and get him back in his hospital tank.

can I still feed him Omega One betta pellets or do I need to feed more bloodworms. I have them as a treat.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:51 PM   #5 
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If he's not bloated, and willing to eat, then I would keep feeding him the Omega One.

It's important that they keep eating, since good nutrition will help their immune systems stay strong. So as long as he's willing to eat, and isn't bloated, I would feed him small, frequent meals.

(Whoops. Just realized that my formatting got messed up in the previous post. Let me know if you want me to repost the instructions. It was supposed to be a numbered list, but I left out one of the beginning brackets.)
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:28 PM   #6 
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Is this what you meant?
  1. Add 3 teaspoons Epsom salt to one gal of conditioned water.
  2. Stir/shake until the Epsom salt is completely dissolved.
  3. Using this premixed treatment water, make 25% water changes every 15 min for 1 hour today.
Tomorrow: Dissolve 1 teaspoon Epsom salt into 1 gallon of water. Add conditioner. Do a 50% water change using this premixed treatment water

Since he is not really showing any signs of bloat should I even use the Epsom salt treatment? If yes, then what should be done on day 3 if needed? The 1 teaspoon of epsom salt to one gallon of water and do a 50% water change?

Last edited by InfiniteGlory; 09-03-2013 at 09:29 PM. Reason: one more question
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:21 PM   #7 
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You could try just moving him into either the hospital tank or his home tank, and seeing what happens.

If it looks like he has difficulty swimming or with buoyancy, then I would follow the above Epsom salt treatment. Treat for just 2 days using the above protocol, and see if it makes a difference. Hopefully, he'll be fine after 1-2 days, and you can discontinue the Epsom salt. If issues continue on day 3, give us an update.

If he has no trouble swimming or with buoyancy when you put him into the hospital/big tank, then just clean, warm water for now. No Epsom salt is needed in that case.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:32 AM   #8 
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When I put him in the hospital tank initially he would stay in his floating log and then dash to the bottom when I approached at feeding time. but a few minutes later he would be right back up top. About a week ago is when I noticed the strange positions and he was on the bottom all the time and never in his log.

I started the epsom salt treatment last night in his hospital tank. He never really left the bottom of the tank during the 25% WC's. I will do the 50% WC with 1 tsp epsom salt per gallon tonight and report his progress.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #9 
LittleBlueFishlets
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How's he doing?
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:04 PM   #10 
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Last night I put a towel over the tank to keep him calm and quiet. I did take a little peak today and he was up in his floating log. I will feed him and do the 50% WC here in a little bit. Keep you posted....
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