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Old 09-10-2010, 08:13 AM   #1 
ashleyy
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sick betta? (pics)

hi everyone, a week ago i went to walmart to see if they still had bettas. and boy, im sure you all know how terrible they were kept. i had to gently shake the containers to even see if there was a fish in there! so i decided to take one in, i picked the most liviliest one and i got a tank that said it was for betta fish. it was under a gallon. i also got Start Right complete water conditioner, and Wardley's Betta Food Pellets 40% protein. i set up the little tank and made sure it was room temp. but letting him in.

i went home and researched everything and realized i needed a bigger tank. so i got a large critter tote, hydor mini for the winter, thermometer, and an ammonia indicator. im worried that he is seeing his relfection in this tank. but i know some of you guys have your betta in this tote so im assuming he is okay.

he is sort of lethargic for the exception of when he totally freaks out whenever i go near the tank. (hes gotten better about that now). he isnt seeming to be eating. and his stomach looks swollen, so i fed him bits of a mushed up pea and i saw him poop. i didnt feed him for the rest of the day or the next. now im giving pellets again and i dont think hes eating it. his stomach still looks swollen and his back viewed from above has a slight S shape to it.

his fins also look terrible. not beautiful like the pictures of your betta fishes. they almost look like they were broken off at the tips and some of the tips of his spikes (i guess hes a crown tail?) look like they have a whitish tip to them.

is he sick? will his fins grow back? is there anything i need to be doing? his water is okay and is between 75 and 80 degrees.

also, whenever i do a tank change i always get little bubbles on the inside of the tank and on the ornament. is this okay?

his stomach looks swollen and his fins look terrible


the S shape




what i have him in now, do i need anything else in here?
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:48 PM   #2 
FuulieQ
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How often do you change the water?

It will take a while for him to get used to you, so don't worry about the flighty-ness. I actually have had my betta for about a year/year and a half now, and he's only just begun to act like other people say their bettas do (begging for food, greeting me when I come in, etc). It usually doesn't take that long, my fish is just weird. But he'll come around. :)

You might want to feed him daphnia or brine shrimp instead of the pea. Peas are rough on the betta's digestive tract.

Also, for a weak and stressed fish, it might be a while before he eats well for you. Bettas can go two weeks without food (I've heard - I'm too nervous to leave Freed for more than four days without it) so he probably won't starve.

I don't know enough about fish meds and diseases to be able to say whether or not you should be treating him for anything yet. :c He doesn't look to me like he has bloat, though. If you can get him healthy, his fins will grow back. c:
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:03 PM   #3 
ashleyy
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thank you for replying and helping me out!

he was doing much better for a day and now hes being lethargic again.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:38 AM   #4 
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Do you have a heater in the tank? Make sure ya got the thermometers in there and if its under 78 heat that sucker up to 78-80 he'll love ya for it! I did it with my fish and they loooove the heaters LOL.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:25 AM   #5 
Adastra
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If possible, I would return the mini-heater for an adjustable one. Mini heaters don't actually have a thermostat, so they often don't heat the water enough or they overheat the water depending on the ambient temperature of the room. Because of this, the temperature can also fluctuate rapidly, which isn't good for the fish. Adjustable heaters are just a few dollars more, but they give the user stability as well as control. I use and recommend this heater: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...8&pcatid=11368

How big is the tank? Every uncycled tank needs frequent 100% water changes to keep the ammonia in check. If you tell me how large it is, I can tell you how often it should be cleaned and changed.

The bubbles you see are nitrogen bubbles that are naturally in tap water--these do present a risk because they can actually form inside the fish, causing a condition called gas bubble disease. Since you have a lot of these bubbles forming, it might be prudent to wait a bit and give the water a good stir to help release the gas before you put your betta in after a water change.

Your boy probably is just dealing with the effects of ammonia poisoning. Even from the cleanest-looking cups, the ammonia reading can be sky high. I've gotten fish from a store whose water looked pristine, but once I tested it, there wasn't a swatch on the color chart dark enough to even read the large amount of ammonia the fish had been living in. The key to his recovery will be pristinely clean water--methylene blue baths can be helpful to fish suffering from ammonia poisoning, but methylene blue is a powerful dye that can be hard to work with because it's so messy. Last time I used it, I was super careful not to touch the stuff, but I still ended up with blue thumbs.. If you like the color blue and you can find pure methylene blue, it may be helpful.

He also looks emaciated--don't go nuts with the food all at once, but you may want to pick up some higher quality items to help give him a boost. Frozen blood worms (for protein) and frozen brine shrimp (for fiber) would be a good start. If you can find live blackworms at your local fish store, they will really give him a boost, just make sure you clean each worm with a bit of tank water before feeding. Extra protein will give him the nutrients to heal and build new fin tissue.

Last edited by Adastra; 09-12-2010 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:15 PM   #6 
ashleyy
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i typed in my measurements of my tank on a website calculator and it said it was 5.8 gallons...... but i used the "gallon jug test" and found it to be 2.5 gallons (darn!)

i dont know if this is a bad idea or not but i fill up 3 gallons or water put in the water treatment and let it sit for 24 hrs. when i up it in the tank the bubbles still formed on the decorations, but not nearly as bad as usual.

i am going to return the hydor mini b/c it is the one for 5-10 gallons and i was going to get the 2-5 gallon one. but i would muchhhhhhh rather prefer an adjustable one!

he is VERY skinny now and he is starting to become pale. he eats a flake twice a day and thats all i can get him to eat. the funny this is when i thought he had constipation i fed him bits of a pea on a tooth pick and boy did he devour it! i wish he would eat normal food like that!

im going to try to get freeze dried bloodworms today. i hope he will like that or im sure he isnt going to recover.

i also put in some betafix (i only put in half the amount it said to i just wanted to help out his fins)

i dont know what to do. he just hides out in his cave and occasionally goes to the top for air. he looks pitiful. :(
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:25 PM   #7 
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Bettafix is only for superficial things--the same results can be achieved with just clean water. I would do a water change to remove the bettafix since it will likely do more harm than good--studies have shown that the ingredient melaleuca can irritate the labyrinth organ of the betta and other anabantids.

I also do not advise you use freeze-dried foods as they can cause some severe constipation and aren't as good for your fish nutritionally as frozen foods. If you insist upon using them, make sure you rehydrate them by letting them sit in some tank water for at least 5 minutes, then break them into small pieces.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:01 PM   #8 
ashleyy
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i know i may sound dumb, but what is the difference between frozen and freeze dried?

they kind my boyfriend is going to bring to me is frozen, and there is a cube of blood worms in a "blister" pack.

the temp is over 75 because it is STILL 90 and above here and we dont like to use the a/c much... (ugh!)

i just did a 100% water change today... should i do it again so soon to remove the betafix?

i should have just got aquarium salt... i'm never going to listen to pet store workers again!
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:16 PM   #9 
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freeze-dried are frozen to dry them out. You have frozen ones, which most people say is better because it doesn't cause bloating like freeze-dried ones do, since freeze-dried has air in it. Make sure you don't give him the whole cube at once.
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