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Old 10-02-2013, 12:11 AM   #11 
Sakura8
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Hi Davina. Poor Dart. She looks like she's been through a tough battle. One thing to consider is her age. You said she's almost two? That's getting up there in betta years so any disease she contracts is going to affect her more than if she was a younger betta. My guess about her always being skinny is that she was stunted as a baby because of being a Petco baby. When they're that small, those high levels of ammonia in the cups do double damage. She's lucky to have made it. So many babies don't. You must have been taking such good care of her. :)

Because of she appears to be wasting away and because she looks like she has some excess slime coat going on (that would be the "fungus" stuff on her fins and body), she may have a parasitic infection, either internal or external or a combo of both. Some external protozoa can actually go internal once they burrow deep enough into the fish's body. This may be what happened.

After her Pimafix treatment is over, give her a few days in clean, dechlorinated water with no meds. Then I'd suggest trying AQ salt at a dose of 2 tsps per gallon as long as you don't have live plants or snails or shrimp. If you do, you'll need to either remove her to a treatment tank or remove the plants/snails/shrimp. I would also suggest increasing the heat to 86 F because this drastically speeds up the life cycle of many parasites. Do a partial change every few days, using a gravel vacuum to thoroughly clean the substrate if you can. If she hasn't shown any improvement after two weeks in the salt treatment, then we can try an antiparasite medication like Kordon Rid Ich or Rid Ich + or Mardel Quick Cure.

She sure looks like a little cutie so I hope she pulls through! Good luck with her. :)
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:46 PM   #12 
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Thank you so much, Sakura8. I hadn't thought of excess slime coat; that makes a lot of sense. I'll let her rest for a couple days and then try the AQ salt in a high temperature treatment tank.

She's having a rough time that's for sure, but she's also a tough little thing. I think she has a good fighting chance.

Thank you both for looking into the problem for me. :) I'll keep updating this as things progress.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:45 PM   #13 
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I'm relieved to report that Dart is doing a little better. Here you can see she opened her fins when I put my finger up to the side of the tank:


But there's still some white fuzz on her tail and dorsal fins:


She's eating okay today, still with the habit of spitting out the pellets before finally swallowing -- something she never used to do though I know other bettas do this.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #14 
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As thin as she's gotten, it may be getting harder for her to position the food just right in her mouth for swallowing. She may have to spit it out a few times before she can manage to get it down. But as long as she's eating, that is the best possible sign. :)
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:02 PM   #15 
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What I did when I got my new Betta(younger, smaller) and my Omega One Pellets(big), was to take some of those pellets out and crush them with the lid and then put them in the tank.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:03 PM   #16 
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Yup, that works too! :)
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:03 PM   #17 
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Oh I didn't think of that. Poor thing. :( I'll keep up the frequent feedings and give her some blood worms tonight too.

Thanks again, Sakura8. It's very comforting having someone to consult with on this.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #18 
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Yes, good idea, Coolish. :) I have some tiny Micro Pellets that are almost dust as they are, though. I'm going to give her some fragments of frozen bloodworms -- those seem to go down super easy.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #19 
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I am not familiar with the size of these pellets. But I do know they like to chew and these pellets are called pellets for a reason. The are formed that way, whether it is during a cooking process or not, I am not sure. However, crushing them breaks that barrier and it seems like it goes down a whole lots easier.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:25 AM   #20 
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I did another 100% water change on Thursday and rinsed my gravel (in conditioned water). Dart ate well that morning (and has been doing well in the mornings since) but was very lethargic and inactive most of the rest of that day. I think she was stressed by the water change.

The fuzz on her tail has diminished quite a bit but it's still very visible on her dorsal fin.

I'm going to wait a while longer to start new treatment. Meanwhile, she eats very well in the morning and I've been coaxing a few worms or pellets into her in the evenings.

Thanks for all your help, guys. :) I'll keep you informed.
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