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Old 10-10-2013, 02:57 AM   #1 
BuckyKattLove
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Can anyone help me with our fish?

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons. The water is kind of low, so it might be closer to about 4.5 gallons.
What temperature is your tank? Right now it is about 77. We try to keep it 76-77 degrees.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
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? He lives alone.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? TetraBetta pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 pellets 2x a day. Past week or two have been trying to lesson it to just 1 pellet 2x a day.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? It seems like we have to change it every week. Once we let it go about 1.5 weeks.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Always at least 25%. Usually 50% or 100%.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? For 25% changes: 1/4 tsp of aquarium salt, 1/2 tsp Tetra Easy Balance, 2-3 drops of BettaSafe, 1/4 capful Jungle Start Zyme. For 100% changes: 1&1/4 tsp aquarium salt, 1 tsp Tetra EasyBalance, 5 drops of BettaSafe, 1/2 capful Jungle Start Zyme

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
We use strips.

Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0ppm
Nitrate:0ppm
pH: between 6.8 and 7.2
Hardness:75
Alkalinity: about 80

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Some of his scales (including on his tail) have become a shiny silver color. It really looks like his scales and not Ich. They first started changing around a month ago. His scales actually returned to normal for a few days and then they started looking silvery again. A few days ago, I noticed that the scales under his chin looked gray ( I teased that he was getting a gray beard). However, the patch doesn't seem to be growing. His stomach seems to be kind of bloated to me, but my mom and brother don't see it, so maybe I am wrong.
Yesterday I noticed his mouth look extra-white and (through the mesh we put over the holes on his lid) kind of like it was full of cotton or something. But after I removed the lid, his mouth looked empty. Today I thought it looked like the left side of his mouth was a little bit nipped off, but it still looks clean. Now I'm kind of wondering if he has Columnaris and turning up the heat to treat him for Ich (like some sites said to do) sped up the infection. I haven't noticed any cotton like appearance anywhere else on his body and it doesn't really appear to be deteriorating (other than the little bit of missing lip and even that doesn't look like it is rotting or anything). In fact his fin and tail seem to slowly be recovering from the fin rot. His fins and tail are not clamped. This whole week they have looked good. We did a full water change yesterday and actually still have Maracyn and Maracyn-2 on hand. Should we put it in his water just in case? If so, which one? We are trying to lower his temperature just in case he has this.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He has become more lethargic the past few weeks and over the past week or so his breathing is occasionally labored or rapid. He spends a lot of time either resting by his filter or down by his plant. My brother said he notices that when he does swim, he often swims against the glass, as if he was trying to get out or is reacting to his reflection. He also, today, seems to lean on his side more quickly and often. For several days last week he acted like he wanted to eat but did not eat. Around wednesady or Thursday last week my brother cut the pellet in half and he ate it. We did this for a few days and then he started eating a full pellet at a time. Monday, he was pretty active but yesterday and today, he has gone back to being lethargic. My brother tried turning off his LED light early tonight to see if this made him feel better, but apparently Sparky started swimming up against the glass so we turned it back for the normal amount of time. While not necessarily being more active at night, he does seem to flutter his fins and blow more bubbles at evening. I have noticed that he seems to be hiding more of his body behind his filter ( up to half of it now) the last couple of days. Today, he vomited about three hours after we fed him supper. When I asked if he needed the net to scoop it out, he said it dissipated too quickly. This is the first time we have seen him vomit. My brother did say that after he (Sparky) vomited, he tried to check it out. Sometimes, when he swims he does seem to dart around but he has done that ever since we brought him home.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About three weeks ago, maybe a bit longer.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? We tried treating him Sunday for Ich. However, we stopped because it stressed him too much and we all felt that it was actually his scales changing colors.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, for the few months we have had him. I don't know about his health prior to that time.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Around two years.

We have also treated him for Fin Rot (twice) back in August when my mom first brought him home. He responded well to the medication and the only reason we treated again was as a precautionary measure after our cats discovered his tank and stuck their paws in the holes in the lid. Since then we have taped mesh over the feeding hole and slot for the wires. We also had a problem with raised Nitrites about 3-4 weeks ago, because we didn't vacuum his gravel and we put some bulbs in his tank. One of the two bulbs never grew and we think maybe that is what kicked up the Nitrites. That is around the time we noticed his scales changing color. We bought all new gravel and did a complete water change around two weeks ago, but prior to that we didn't know what to do other than keep changing out his water so he was exposed to the raised Nitrites for about a week or two. He also has a cyst on his tail that (understandably) has been increasing since then. We tried getting him to eat a pea last week without success. Since then, I have read some tricks to try to get a fish to eat the peas. Should I tell my mom to skip his food for a day? I'm having a hard time convincing her to feed him less food or regularly fast him.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:26 AM   #2 
Aquatail
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Sorry, I can't help you much with his illness but I do have some recommendations. First, aquarium salt isn't recommended unless a fish is ill. You mentioned for a moment that he was swimming by the glass. A lot of bettas do this. It's called glass surfing. In a healthy betta it's nothing to worry about, however I'm not sure if the same is true for a sick one. Also those bulbs you added to his tank, they weren't just any bulbs right? They were bulbs used for aquariums or otherwise not harmful to bettas?
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:33 AM   #3 
WONDERKillie
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Here is a link to Tetra Lifeguard all-in-one five day treatment. If you haven't tried this, it worked amazing for my tank so I would highly recommend it.

http://www.amazon.com/Tetra-77326-Li...etra+lifeguard

HOW TO USE:
1) Remove your filter carbon
2) Add 1 tablet per 5 gallons, treat for 5 days
3) On the 6th day, do a 25-50% water change and add a NEW filter carbon
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:49 AM   #4 
twolovers101
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Your betta might be lethargic because he's cold, bettas are tropical fish and usually like to be kept at temperatures around 76-82 degrees.

Unless AQ salt is being used for medical purposes (which is only for short periods of time) then it can do more harm than good. It is possible that it is starting to negatively affect him and that may be one of the reasons he's acting strangely.

I can't tell you anything about what the white around his mouth might have been.

Bettas tend to like building bubble nests and be a little bit more active sometimes in the evenings. As Aquatail said, glass surfing (swimming against the glass) is normal in healthy bettas, though it kinda freaks us owners out sometimes lol

Don't try to feed him peas, bettas are carnivores and can't digest veggies. Fast him for a few days (hide the food if you have to) and see if the bloat goes down a bit.

There are other people on the forum who are much more knowledgeable than me, but I hope this helps :)

Last edited by twolovers101; 10-10-2013 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:07 AM   #5 
jaysee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twolovers101 View Post
Your betta might be lethargic because he's cold, bettas are tropical fish and usually like to be kept at temperatures around 76-82 degrees.
The tank is within that range. I don't think it's cold.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:17 AM   #6 
BuckyKattLove
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A morning update.
We slowly lowered his temperature to 76 degrees and he seemed to feel better. He isn't gasping, he swam a little, and fluttered his fins quite a bit. My mom thought she saw fresh poo so she insisted on feeding him half of a pellet. He seems to be getting a bit more grey right under his pectoral fins and his mouth does look kind of webbed now so I'm thinking he has Columnaris. Unfortunately he stopped swimming and where he likes to lay isn't lit up very well. But, I'm going to PM DarkMoon17 about her instructions on treating that disease. We do have Maracyn and Maracyn 2 but nothing else.

@Aquatail -- I have read varied opinions on whether salt should be added all of the time or just when he is sick, however, I didn't realize until last night how often my mom added all of the water conditioners (including salt) and she seemed to agree that she should add salt less often. Thank you for the information about the glass bumping. I'll let the rest know. They were apongeons (I think that is what they were called). At any rate they were supposed to be just for aquariums. After we removed them we tried growing them in his old jar. Out of five only one actually grew but it's really taking off and we are hoping to put it in after his stress goes down.

@Wonderkillie -- Thank you I will check it out. Although, I'm really starting to suspect he might have Columnaris.

@Twolovers101 We had been keeping him around 78 degrees. We slowly lowered him down to 76 last night and he seems to be more active now. Peas as a sometimes laxative for constipation is something I read on more than one blog. At any rate, he wouldn't eat it.

Thank you for the answers. :)
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:25 AM   #7 
jaysee
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If the fish has columnaris, then you should lower temp to the low 70s. The higher the temp, the harder it is to control.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #8 
BuckyKattLove
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EDIT: He swam up nice and close to fluff his gills at me and I was able to see that the gray under his chin had actually not spread to his lips, nor did it look like it was anything other than his scales changing color. I am still going to PM DarkMoon17.

@Jaysee -- That is what we are working on, but I will unplug him again for a little bit to start working him down again. My brother said when gets up, he will help me with a partial water change in case it is too much salt.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:54 PM   #9 
Aquatail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckyKattLove View Post
@Aquatail -- I have read varied opinions on whether salt should be added all of the time or just when he is sick, however, I didn't realize until last night how often my mom added all of the water conditioners (including salt) and she seemed to agree that she should add salt less often. Thank you for the information about the glass bumping. I'll let the rest know. They were apongeons (I think that is what they were called). At any rate they were supposed to be just for aquariums. After we removed them we tried growing them in his old jar. Out of five only one actually grew but it's really taking off and we are hoping to put it in after his stress goes down.
I've read a lot of varied opinions on it too. I checked on the aponogeton plants just to make sure and they are fine. :)
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:14 PM   #10 
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@BuckyKattLove, just remember that things like a treatment should be a last resort. I had a really bad ick outbreak when I put in my blue rem. He seemed fine at the store, no signs of ick at all. However, he ended up dying...the rest of my tank is fine with no more ick.
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