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Old 07-12-2010, 09:56 AM   #1 
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Mr. Fish is sick! Please help me save him!

Back in January I bought a beautiful crowntail Betta and named him Mr. Fish. He was happy, energetic, interactive, intelligent, and just all around healthy and delightful. His original tank was much too small, I thought, so my live-in boyfriend and I bought a three gallon circular tank that Mr. Fish absolutely adored.

Everything was great until the end of May when *I* got sick, and had to go stay with my parents on bed rest for almost two months. I reminded my boyfriend to feed him, or to at least drop a weekly feeding tablet into the tank once a week, and to change the water.

Well, apparently, he didn't change the water for two months. One day he came home and said Mr. Fish was listing to one side, lethargic, barely breathing, and wouldn't eat. So, he whipped up his old tank, conditioned the water, and dropped him in with an aeriator. He said this perked him right back up.

When I got home a little over a week ago, he didn't seem very perky to me. I changed his water, and it seemed to make him feel better for only a few hours, so I tried to play and interact with him. He used to LOVE displaying at himself in a mirror, and now, will barely react to it. What is more alarming is when he tries to flare his gills, only one gill responds. The other remains clamped to the body. He quickly appears to tire out and sinks to the bottom of the tank.

His usual "resting" position was happily floating at the bottom of the tank. Now, unless he's swimming, he tends to float almost vertically -- his nose pointed straight up to the sky while his tail drags on the bottom.

I've inspected him closely and I don't see signs of ick or rot or any other fungus. He's a little pale, but mostly lethargic.

The other alarming thing is he can't seem to see well enough to eat. I'll sprinkle flakes or dried bloodworms into his water, and he'll aim for them, but when he tries to snap them up, he always misses, aiming too far forward, so he pops up on the other side of the food. Eventually he gives up and sinks back to the bottom without eating.

I've also noticed that the surface of the water is turning slimey within a day or two of me changing it, and gets progressively foul smelling.

I've researched, but nothing I find sounds anything like any of the symptoms he's exhibiting!

At first I thought it was ammonia/nitrate/nitrite poisoning from the dank water he was forced to live in while I was gone, but I would have hoped that would have cleared up by now with the changing of the water. Is he toxic? Can I save him?

Mr. Fish became my best friend. I greet him when I wake up, and tell him goodnight when I go to sleep. We play together, and I love him. It would break my heart to lose him after only having him in my life for such a short period of time. Please, help me help Mr. Fish.

Last edited by SwitchbladeStella; 07-12-2010 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:15 AM   #2 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Accedint MaryLand
Sounds like parasites you should add Epsom salt(1 teaspoon per 3 gallons).I hope your little buddy gets better I know how it feels when your betta is sick.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:31 AM   #3 
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What size is your tank and are you using a filter, heater etc.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:15 AM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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It sounds like scar tissue secondary to ammonia burns due to poor water quality, not much you can do but keep him comfy.
The scar tissue can make it hard for them to breath and due to the struggle to breath it can make them really tired and stressed
You can lower the water level, add a gentle airstone, keep the water temp in the 78F area, and keep the water really clean with daily 50% water changes, you can also place plastic veggie wrap over the top of the tank to help keep the air above the water warm and humid.
At this point salt may or may not be helpful, but if you chose to use salt I would use aquarium salt not Epsom salt at levels of 1tsp/gal for no longer than 10 days.

I hope you are feeling better, I understand what you went through, when I got sick and became bed bound for nearly a year..... I lost all my stock and years of work (except 3 fish).....our health come first.........
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:04 PM   #5 
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Thank You!

Thank you so much! I went and mixed up several gallons of the aquarium salt/water solution and will begin 50% water changes daily starting tonight. We'll see how he feels in a week.

I'm assuming by the "just make him comfy" statement that Mr. Fish's life expectancy has dropped dramatically. He's such a trooper though. Even as I'm typing this, he's still trying to get my attention with what little energy he has.

I'm still concerned about his eyesight. Would ammonia poisoning cause any sort of catarax, scarring, or clouding of the eyes? He still can't see well enough to eat, even though he's trying and trying. The only thing I can think of to do to give him sustinance is drop in one of my weekly feeding tablets. They're brightly colored, and 1/3 the size of Mr. Fish, so I don't think even he could miss it. I just know that he doesn't really think they're the most delicious thing ever created, but right now I'm not worried about it being gourmet, I'm just worried about him starving.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:32 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
I wouldn't use the feeding tablets if they are the type that are to be left in the tank for any length of time, often these tablets will not contain enough nutrition and then over a period of time any nutrient will be diluted/leached...... besides the ammonia that they can produce from natural decay.

A good pellet type food made for Bettas and fed daily would be better, also you can use a drop or two of fresh garlic juice on the food and he will be able to find it from the smell...... a good varied diet is also a good idea as most creatures thrive best when varied food/nutrition is offered.
And yes, ammonia burns can affect vision, long term side-effects can affect the total system of the animal in general

It sounds like you have a strong willed wet-pet...a surviver.......
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