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Old 07-17-2010, 09:48 AM   #1 
breannakristine
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Betta Emergency

Okay, so my purple Betta has been moved from my 5 1/2 gallon back into his smaller 3 liter tank because he couldn't handle the filter and I don't have money to get a smaller filter at this time.

My question... His gills (underside of his face) seem to be swelled. This is the second time it's happened. The first time he was in the big tank and it went away after I turned the filter off. Now he's in his old 3 liter tank with no filter and it's happened again. I do water changes every other day on the little tanks/bowls and 50% on my bigger tanks every couple of days.

I've added aquarium salt to his water this morning but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Should I prepare for the worst, pray he makes it or buy some type of medicine?
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:34 AM   #2 
Adastra
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Does he act sick? Is he lethargic, breathing heavily, not moving, not eating?

Definitely do not medicate your fish if you don't know what's wrong, you could be doing more harm than good. Also, some things can be made worse by aquarium salt--generally I only use it for the treatment of open wounds and tail injuries.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:48 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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I agree Adastra, and so true about aquarium salt, sometimes it can even make things worse, with swelling issues I like to use Epsom salt 1tsp/gal along with 100% daily water changes, however, if the Betta is acting fine otherwise I would just do water changes and give the Betta time to take care of it himself, often clean dechlorinated water can be the best medication for our wet-pets....
Over treatment can be just as bad as under treatment IMO...
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:59 PM   #4 
breannakristine
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He is very lethargic. He's laying at the bottom of his tank and breathing heavily. When he comes up to the surface he races around for a few seconds while putting his head out of the water before he sinks back down.

I don't think he's able to breath when he comes up. When I went to feed him this morning he tried to take the food but he couldn't grab it.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:10 PM   #5 
Adastra
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Aw man, this happened to me once. Second betta I ever owned, and to this day he was my favorite little guy. One morning I went down to turn on the light and he was on the bottom gasping and his face was swollen for no apparent reason. I put him in a hospital tank with some epsom salt, and he kept doing what you describe, skimming wildly along the surface trying to breathe, but seemingly unable to. He died a couple of hours later, and to be honest, if he hadn't I would have euthanized him. It's just an awful thing to see them go through, so I definitely sympathize with you.

Unfortunately, I really don't think there's much you can do at this point. I would lower the water level so he only has to go a few inches to reach the surface, that will make him a lot more comfortable. If you have an airpump/airstone, you can tie a few knots in the tubing and put that in so that the flow from the air is only slight. Make sure you lay the heater down on its side so it can still warm the water safely. If you have some epsom salt you should try a bit of that per OFL's instructions. Turn off the light and leave him alone, just let him rest quietly. Maybe he'll get better, but from what I've seen he probably won't live that much longer. It's best just to make him comfortable.
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