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Old 10-16-2013, 07:40 PM   #1 
Shayleen
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Sick fish

Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gal
What temperature is your tank? I dont have a therm.
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Tetrabetta
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day ( doesnt eat)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Just got him
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters: havent tested
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
I saw this fish at Walmart and being the person I am I felt if I didn't buy him, he would die. He seemed semi normal in his little cup that wasn't very full of water and would swim around when the cup was moved. Otherwise he wasn't very active. I assumed it was just because he wasn't being cared for and he needed a better environment. My previous bettas I've had great success with and so I decided to go about his care the same way. I've always kept my fish in spring water (I'm reading on these forums that's not appropriate) so I acclimated the water from his small cup to the tank water. To acclimate it I simple placed his cup in the tank and let it float for a day before moving him. When he was finally released into the tank, he swam to the bottom and "laid down" then his upper body would float upwards until he was completly vertical and thats how he would stay. After about a hour or so he began exploring his environment. I suspected this was all just stress to him so I let him go. The next day I noticed his water was cloudy already. But to try and prevent him from getting stressed further I haven't changed his water. He is refusing his pellets and not eating. He now sits up top and doesn't move unless the water is jostled. He seems to want to swim down but its like he is swimming against a current before he gives up and floats to the top again. His color has been dull since the day I bought him which was one of the reasons I bought him. I don't really know how to medicate a fish and how to help him through this. And further is there any point when they refuse to eat.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:32 PM   #2 
ANHEL123
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Thank you for rescuing him. Looks like your little guy has some issues with swim bladder. So you using your tap water with the water conditioner?
Try to do daily water changes. If you can get stress coat . You can alternate daily water changes between 50% and full water changes (100%)
Try to monitor his poop and see if it white, broken white, clear stringy,wormy shape which will indicate internal parisites
As soon as you can try to go to the any pharmacy department and buy Elpsom salt(100% pure magnesium sulfate , unscented without any additives). Pre mix tsp/gall , make sure its dissolved and do daily water changes.
Try to buy frozen blood worms see if he will try them.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:26 PM   #3 
Shayleen
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I use bottled spring water and i've never used any water conditioner for any of my fish..
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:44 PM   #4 
ANHEL123
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If its a spring water you don't need to use water conditioner you are right. I just not sure why you don't use the tap water. Is it bad , has ammonia in it? Was you able to check your tap water if it safe to use? The pet store will do it for you for free. Just ask them about actual reading though.

Epsom salt is very helpful with swim bladder problem and constipation. You can use 1 tsp/gall and you can increase it later up to 2-3 tsp depending on the condition.
He was not in best conditions so he also might has ammonia poisoning so daily water changes would help.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:52 PM   #5 
Shayleen
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When I make my mixture of salt water, do I leave him in it all day then put him in new salt water the next day or is he only in the salt solution for a given period of time.... As a biology person it concerns me putting a fish into a salty environment when its body isn't exactly adapted to it. ( i dont know much about the natural environment for a beta) I'm afraid of drying him out essentially and that really just complicates things lol.

I never tested my tap water but I for one don't drink it and neither do my other animals.... My animals are all pretty spoiled and every fish I've raised in the past never had any problems as long as I bought them bottled spring water. It's strange I know but it is what it is lol.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #6 
ANHEL123
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You can use spring water i just though its would be expansive for you. People do not recommending to use spring water because its not enough minerals in it but i know some people using it without problem. I personally don't have to use it, my tap water is safe and i never had any problem:)
Epsom is pretty mild and doesn't come with the negative effects of Aquarium salt. Bettas are very tolerable and beneficial from it when needed ,depending on the symptoms. I am on the forum for 3 years so i know it's safe and proven with many people who were using it. So do not afraid, its a remedy that we all learned from Oldfishlady. She is naturalist who breeds and treats bettas all her life.
He will be fine:) Even if he will get worse it would be not from Epsom but from his condition that he has right now.
Day 1: Pre mix 1 tsp/gall and do full water change but take long time to acclimate him. You can just live him in his original water and keep adding about a tbs spoon of the salt water every like 5 minutes or so. Just let him get used to the new water chemistry. Leave him in that water until next day.
Day 2 do the same but increase dose to 2 tsp/gall
Do daily water changes.
How is he doing? Did he attempted to eat?
Was you able to see his poop?

Last edited by ANHEL123; 10-18-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:17 PM   #7 
Shayleen
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So i just got home from work and shopping for this fish... This simple little $4 fish is now at the $40 mark lol. I went and purchased a thermometer and I've looked at test strips. ( i was going to buy them but then I couldnt remember what parameters are important to monitor for these guys so I'll go back monday) I've also decided that once he is well he is getting a huge upgrade in tanks and will be living in a 5 gal as long as it doesnt stress him out.... I read on another forum that fish like this usually have lived their entire life in a cup and get upset when put into larger habitats so we will do things slowly... I purchased two different types of water additives as well as epson salt. Its made for fresh water fish... Both products are made by API and there isn't any ingrediants on the package so I cant tell you whats in them.... Anyways its "Stress Coat + " (should i throw this in the mix with the salt water?) And Quick start... I assume the later is a water conditioner? I also purchased a heater to start warming up his water... I'm a little concerned that if I use an aquarium heater it will make changing the tank water difficult. In the past I've always changed the tanks 100% every time its due for a change and just set the new water beside the tank for a few days so the temperature is the same and then literally just put the fish in the new water. Again I've never had any problems with any fish doing it this way but a heater would artifically change the temp of the tank water... Should I go out and buy a second heater? I also purchased some worm treat the pet store had. All these products I purchased outside of the water additives were strictly made for beta fish and is supposed to be safe for them. Granted everyone is in the business to make money so thats neither here nor there...

So I'll start adding water in tonight and do a full water change tomorrow with the salt after I get home from work. I'll just make sure that before I go to bed tonight he is in 50% old water and 50% salt water to make his move tomorrow easier.

As far as any changes he is actually a little bit more active tonight he is able to swim to the bottom of the tank and go through his little rock cave thing before darting back to sit at the top. I'm not overly concerned by his desire to sit up top I just don't think he intends to be doing it... My last beta was a character and he lived forever. He loved to hang out at the top of his tank and he would make noises at me and kind of talk to me. He would sleep in the little rock cave unless I had a live plant up top floating for him at which he would float up top and float under the plant...

Anyways thanks for your help and suggestions and I know a rambled on so to recap.... My latest question is do i add the stress coat to the water salt mixture?

No poop yet :( Though he hasnt eaten anything so i dont think there is anything to make poop
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:42 PM   #8 
ANHEL123
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You need test strip only if you going to use tap water. Since you using spring water which you also was using it for your other betta and never had any problem you ok . I think its safe to use. The reason i told you to check your tap water to make sure its don't have high ammonia in it. Some people has this problem. I never had any problem yet with my water . I am embarrassed to say but for 7 years that i have bettas i never check my water . But my bettas also live forever .
If you are using spring water DO NOT USE Quick start. You don't need it. Its for people who is cycling tanks.So you can go and return it .
Stress coat add half dose of it just for the healing. Its also a water conditioner but since you using spring water you don't need it. I recommended it only because its has Aloe Vera and good for betta. But do not add full dose of it. And yes you can mix it with the salt water.

I am going to give you instructions how to acclimate him to the new water when you do 100% water changes with a heater. I also doing the same as you are. In the summer time i take all heater out and let water sit about 24 hrs to match the temperature. I didn't ask what temp you have in the house. If you have stable temp and its warm may be you don't even need a heater. Is the one that you bought adjustable one and good for one gallon tank? I forgot to mentioned to test the heater at least for 24 hrs before you add it in the tank. May be i am paranoid but i always test them first to make sure its not defective and not leaching anything in the tank. I do it all the time. And i already saw a few people had the problem like that. So test it in the spare tank if you have one or in the clean bucket .

Good that you have Epsom salt and can start it tomorrow.
I am a little concern about him , i want to make sure he don't have internal parasites. And i hope he will start eating. The internal problem some times are really difficult to treat. And if he will not get better , or start eating, or if you will see white poop you will need to buy medications. May be if you want you can buy it now so you have them on hands. You always can return them if you don't have to use them. One medications you can find in the store but another one you can find only on line or in the special fish store.

About bigger tank i guess you will think when you completely sure he is recovering. One gall is fine for now and convenient for you to monitor him and also good for him since he is a little weak now and its easier for him to swim up and breath air.

Did you buy freeze dried blood worms or frozen ones?
Sorry for my rambling too i am trying to do million thing at once:)

Last edited by ANHEL123; 10-18-2013 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:48 PM   #9 
ANHEL123
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ACCLIMATIONS, and the last one with a heater

Here is a few variations that's pretty simple:
1. can have betta in the changing cup with about 15% of the water and keep adding small amount of the new water about every 5 min for about 5-6 times -this way you he will get used to the temperature:)

2. Note the temperature of the water.

Using a plastic cup, scoop him, along with some of his water, into the cup.
Clean out the tank. Refill with water at the SAME temp. Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min. (Study during this time. If he sits longer, it's OK.)
Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
Let his cup float for about 10 min. (Study during this time. If he sits longer, it's OK.)
If the cup starts to fill too much, remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
Repeat steps 5-7, until about an hour has passed. (If he sits longer because you're studying, that's OK.)
Gently release him into the tank.

3. To do a water change, use a little cup like a plastic solo cup - this cup must be only for him and have never been used with soap or other chems. Scoop him up in this cup (keep him in the cup about 1/4 full of water - it doesn't need to be much because he won't be in it for long) and leave him in the cup while you change his water. To do the 50% use a turkey baster - dedicated only to him that has never seen soap or chems - and drag it through the gravel and try to suck as much of the poop out as possible, in addition to 50% of the water. Use a thermometer under the running tap to get it to be the same temp as the water that is normally in his tank. When the thermometer says the flowing tap is the right temp, fill back up his tank. At this point, add the conditioner (dose for how much water you change - if you change half the water you add half gallon worth of conditioner, If you do a 100% water change dose for the full gallon change). Float his plastic cup with him in it in the new water. Slowly add a couple tablespoons of the new water into his cup every 10 minutes for at least an hour. Finally, dump him in gently but try to get as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. When you do the weekly 100% you will do mostly the same thing except empty his tank fully and rinse everything in it very well under warm water but never use soaps or chemicals. Once it's fully cleaned/rinsed you can refill it and repeat the cup/acclimate phase.

4. When I change the water I put him in the cup I got him in then I take everything out of the tank, rinse everything with warm tap water. Then I put everything back in the tank, fill it with dechlorinated new water, and then turn the heater on. When the tank water is the same as the cup water , then take the dirty cup water out and a little at a time and put clean tank water in the cup. After that I put the cup in the tank and he swims out.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:21 PM   #10 
Shayleen
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the two bottles of stuff came together so i cant take one back without the other lol. The heater is meant for a 1 - 5 gal aquarium and its supposed to keep the water between 75 - 85 degrees... its not adjustable so idk if its all that safe to use i dont want to cook my fish either lol.
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