I am new to the forum and I have a very sick betta at home. I have been searching and watching these forums for the past week and I need some direct advice. First of all, I know im going to get yelled at cause I have my betta in a small bowl, I now see the error of my ways and will be getting at least a gallon tank in the very near future. I wasnít intentionally being cruel, I didnít know. I have had my betta, Kuzco for about 8 months. I feed him just enough betta food for him to finish in a few minutes once a day. I change the water once a week. Ok thatís the history. Last Saturday I woke up to find Kuzco laying on his side. He looked a little bloated maybe and I thought he had a bump on his belly. So I immediately started doing salt water bath treatments. By Sunday afternoon he was still on his side, but when I inspected him I didnít see a bump. He is still quite alert and will try to swim to the top. So I thought SBD and started fasting him. AI continued to do salt water baths being careful to keep his bowl very very clean. After the second day of fasting I chopped a pea very tiny and fed it to him, and he ate some and then I gave him another salt bath. Again heís alert but then will sink to the bottom. The next morning he looked like he pooíd. but he was still laying on his side. So I cleaned his bowl and salt water bath, and thought I might need to do another pea. That was tues, ad last night I cleaned his bowl and salt water bath and he seemed a little better. But not much. This morning when I got up he didnít look good at all, he looked pale and was a little slow responding. Please help with any deas at what might be going on. He doesnít really look bloated, and I donít feed him anything but betta food. I donít feed him any of the freeze dried worms ect. Im not even sure heís be alive when I get home. Any ideas?
First of all how may salt baths has he had now? Too many can do more harm than good. Fresh water fish have a hard time osmoregulating (balancing their water and salt levels) when exposed to too much salt.
However that depends on how many baths he has had (don't get me wrong your salt baths are great for killing any little fresh water bacteria or parasites he may have). Also salt can reduce stress when ill.
Now, lets say you only gave him a few baths with breaks in between and they are not helping...do you see any other physical signs of illness anymore...beside dull volor and not swimming (good observations btw, shows you are carefully watching)
spots? black or white
fin or gill damage?
how about breathing rate, are his gills opening wide and slow or fast and small opening (these could indicate water problems)
these signs can help you further determine what your betta may have
now you betta does sound like maybe SBD or perhaps he is starting to get dropsy but I am not sure because you said the swelling or lump is gone now?
Also, stop feeding him peas please. Bettas are carnivores and so veggies will really mess up their digestive tract (that's why it works as a laxative). For a more natural laxative, use daphnia. You can even feed it as a treat once in awhile! And to help with the bloating issue, only feed him 1-2 pellets twice a day (morning and evening). That's about the normal feeding routine for a betta. It's just that a betta can eat a lot in a few minutes! Keep in mind that a betta's tummy is only about the size of its eye (or so I hear).
Your fish could also be cold. Try put him in the warmest room in the house where there are no drafts or constant temperature changes. When you get a tank, maybe buy one of those plastic critter keepers. Easy to clean, maintain, sizes vary, and if you get a big one (recommended) you can get a heater! (highly recommended)
Thank you Rain Drop and JamieTron. This does help alot. I haven't fed him anymore peas. My post made it sound like a lot of salt baths but i was only giving them to him every other day. Yesterday i cleaned his bowl and checked the levels in his water. and it seemed really high in PH so i bought a PH down. Im not sure if that helped but he is still alive. I also bought a thermometer and have been keeping a close eye on the temp.i moved him to a warmer room and its been in the safe zone (between 70-80) all day. He is still swiming or laying on his side but he still seems pretty alert. in fact even while im posting this he struggled to the top and blew bubbles. I fed him a few pellets last night which he ate aggressively. he still looks a little bloated but i was worried he has dropsy. His sclakes do look a little pushed out. But for me its hard to tell, cause its been over a week and he's still eating and responding when i come to his bowl. but i did notice when he's sleeping his pretty gone. I am still trying to get a tank, but in the mean time i am going to change his bowl 50%.
Oh! one last thing, if im able to get a tank very soon, do you think the shoc might kill him?
If your betta is struggling to the top, you should lower his water level some so he isn't making such an effort to get air. If you acclimate him to the new tank correctly he won't be shocked...he'll be fine. Just make sure you do acclimate him properly. The temperature should be 76 to 81 for their water. Anything below 76 makes them lethargic.
If his scales are pushed out it could be dropsy :( unfortunately my betta has this, she has been living with it for over a month, I put her in a tank with low water level. She still eats a lot, but she doesn't swim, just lays on the bottom.
Hopefully your fish does not have dropsy though, because there is not much you can do when they get it.
I don't think a new tank would shock them, as long as you properly acclimatized him to the water first. He might be a little scared at first but then he'll probably be excited to explore and swim around lots!
I haven't seen anything about temperature yet, what temperature are you keeping him at? Temperature is VERY important, because it provokes better health, since bettas are tropical fish and need to be kept in waters around 76-80 degrees F.
Yes, i have a thermometer in his bowl and i have been diligently watching it. it stays between 70-80 degrees. yesterday it began to drop just a little so i put him under a light bulb to warm him up a bit. All i can think to do is keep doing what im doing and see what happens. and get a tank as soon as i can