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Old 03-05-2010, 07:57 AM   #1 
patmacd
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Unhappy SOS - My Lyndon is very sick

I've had my betta, Lyndon, for almost a year and until about a month ago he was very healthy. I keep him in a 1/2 gallon tank with a small artificial silk plant and aquarium gravel on the bottom. I use filtered water from the refrigerator and let it sit overnight before changing the tank. The temperature in the tank is usually 73 degrees and I change his water once a week. I can't use a heater because the smallest one I can find is for tanks 2.5 gallons and larger. A little over a month ago I bought new gravel and the problems seem to have started afterwards. I noticed the water was getting very cloudy so I changed him twice a week. He developed popeye in one eye, so I started treating him with Maracyn 2. After 3 days, it didn't seem to be getting any better, so I bought him a new gallon tank made for bettas with a light and small filter. The light brings the temperature of the water to 76 degrees, but if I turn it off overnight as recommended, it drops to 72-73. I went to a specialty fish store and they gave me something called Betta Revive which says it prevents and controls protozoan, bacterial and fungal diseases. I've now used it for five days and my betta is worse. He still has popeye and now has small white spots on the other eye which I think might be ick, although I don's see spots on any other parts of his body. He's not eating and is very lethargic. I've put him back in his little 1/2 gallon tank where he was always comfortable, went back to using the Maracyn 2 and have added aquarium salt to the water. I'm afraid I'm losing him and hope you have some suggestions that will help. Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my questions.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:05 PM   #2 
takumi
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I may not be the best person to answer this for you but i have learnt a number of things from reading the forums on here:

First of all you don't need filtered water and ESPECIALLY not bottled water - normal tap water has minerals and things that bettas need to survive. All you should do is buy a complete water conditioner for your betta.

Second big temperatures changes can stress a betta out really easily. If it drops or raises too fast it could cause problems. I have a thermometer and i very carefully monitor the temps.

Third if you're wanting to fight an infection in a betta sometimes a chemical solution isn't always the best - some prefer natural solutions. It is reccommended that you keep the betta in water that sits at 82F when you are trying to heal a betta. I have also heard of, but never tried, salt baths but you'll need someone who knows more about them to fill you in on that.

What i would do is clean the tank with no soaps or anything - because it can be hard to get all the chemicals out - but instead with warm or hot water, heat him up and keep monitoring him. Routinely clean the tank to keep the infection at bay. If you suspect the new gravel was the issue get rid of it. I use glass pebbles because they are smoother and much easier to clean.

Good luck with your fish! I hope he gets better for you :)
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:17 PM   #3 
xxabc
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Not to be rude, but this is what comes of a bowl / tank much, much, much too small. 1/2 gallon is entirely too small for him, for many different reasons: Impossible to cycle, ammonia builds up so fast, **you cannot heat it efficiently, ***you can not filter it efficiently, ***and you cannot keep a temperature stable either. This is why it's so much better in at LEAST 2.5gallons. That way, you can maintain it with less difficulties.

How often do you water change? In a 1/2 gal, you have to do it practically twice a day. This goes to everybody (and I don't want to offend you, patmcad! Not saying this is your case, but I really want to throw this out here) - fish are not an easy way to get a pet, I've already spent over $100 on just my two bettas alone, and have no regrets spending the money.

Takumi is right, it's best to use regular tap water. It has all the minerals for a betta. Just make SURE you use a dechlorinator because chlorine kills. However, not all tap water is good. Sometimes, people just get plain crappy tap water filled with bad stuff, like ammonia actually in the tap water. That's when you resort to other places. I've never had that happen, so I wouldn't know what to resort to.
And BTW, for the people who sell betta water - those are pretty much knock offs for your money. Again, tap water is best unless the tap water is just really screwed up, lol ;)

I stay away from medications. Always (unless they're DYING, but I've never gotten to that point). I use: super-clean water (as in frequent water changes) JUST for minor tail rot, to prevent stuff. I feed them food soaked in garlic, and aquarium salt. Never had a problem with them. Plus, when you want to heal a betta of disease, it's recommended you heat the water up around 80*F, or a couple degrees higher.

Temp. fluctuations also bring disease pretty readily, since it stresses out the betta. Stress in anybody can affect their immune system - this definitely goes for fish too.

Good luck with your betta, hopefully you take up some of my recommendations! You can find a LOT of cheap stuff on eBay, garage sales, craigslist... and let's face it, Walmart has some pretty decent prices too, even if they do treat their fish like... *ahem*. :)
ANd whenever there is a sale at a pet store, I always GO GO GO and buy stuff I may never use, lol.

Last edited by xxabc; 03-05-2010 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:07 PM   #4 
vaygirl
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I agree with everything said here but I wanted to add something extra. Medicating your betta without using stable heat of 78 or higher (preferrably 80-82) is useless. Their metabolism slows dramatically with cooler temps and their immunity lowers. I've heard this said before and I'll repeat it: Medicating your fish without using a stable heater is like trying to cure an infection when you're living outside in the winter with no coat.

You can get a medium or large kritter keeper for a small amount of money (5-7 bucks) and use an adjustable heater in either one. You NEED that first. Then worry about meds and treatment.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:15 PM   #5 
xxabc
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Also, for people with tighter budgets, a heater is more important than a filter. Simply without a filter, just do more frequent water changes. Not much can be done at all to replace a heater.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:04 AM   #6 
patmacd
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Lyndon’s still with me but looks pretty bad. I bought a 2.5 gallon tank so I could use a heater and put him in last night. I gradually brought the temperature in his little tank up to 75 before putting him in the new tank at 77 degrees. The heater I bought isn’t adjustable and has warmed the water in the new tank to 78 degrees but doesn’t seem to go any higher and all the other heaters were too big for a 2.5 gal. tank. He’s not looking any better and still isn’t eating but I imagine he’s really stressed with all the changes. I had to move his location in order to plug in the heater. Lyndon is my first betta and I’ve grown very attached to him and would spend any amount of money to try to bring him through this. I just hope I’ve done the right thing. I don’t know how to get the temp up to that 80-82 degree mark that everyone recommends. He still has popeye and isn’t swimming. He just hangs on a plant or sits in the bottom of the tank. Thank you so much for the information – I’m extremely grateful and am still hoping he’ll make it.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:57 AM   #7 
dramaqueen
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78 degrees is fine. It shouldn't go any lower but 78 is fine.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:14 PM   #8 
patmacd
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HELP!

Lyndon is still hanging in, not eating but swimming occasionally. His popeye looks even worse. I'm treating with Maracyn and Maracyn 2 and the water temp is now 78.5 with the heater. Looking for suggestions to get rid of the popeye and get him eating again.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:22 PM   #9 
FuulieQ
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Have you tried soaking the pellets in garlic? I've heard that they really like that. It might get him to eat (although the garlic shouldn't be TOO strong, I imagine).
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:41 AM   #10 
patmacd
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No, I hadn't heard of the garlic tip before. The problem is that he's not even coming to the top of the water to look for food like he's not even interested in eating. He mostly lays on the bottom of the tank or sits on a leaf of the plant. I've tried dropping in several pellets but they just go to the bottm of the tank. Any suggestions on what else I can try for the popeye or does it just take longer to get over?
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