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Old 09-14-2010, 04:35 PM   #1 
Kabu
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DROPSY... first time betta owner, unsure of what to do

I recieved a betta fish from my brother-in-law about two weeks ago. He passed away earlier this week and I had to leave my betta for about three days to help my sister. I figured he would be okay and asked my roomate to feed him, but when I returned, he had a bloated stomach and his scales are starting to stick out. I looked up the symptoms and got dropsy.

I just moved into college and I have very few resources. I'm not sure where the nearest aquatic store is. I read that treatment with antibiotics was a good way to get rid of dropsy and also read that if it isn't treated quickly, it can turn fatal fast. Having little time and trying the best option, I broke one of my minocycline pills in half and poured the powder into his tank.

Did I just do something incredibly idiotic?
His water has a yellowish tint now, does that mean I put too much in?
I don't know what to do and I can't ask my brother-in-law. He WORKED in a fish store, he knew everything. I don't want to lose my last link to him.

EDIT: Some additional info - Water is generally warm enough, I don't have thermometer for temperature but it's a little above room temp, as Toki's water gets warmed up for half the day when the sun reaches my side of the building.

His water was in very bad condition when I got back from the weekend, so I changed out the whole tank and washed out all of the gravel.

He is usually a VERY lively fish, always gets really excited when he knows he's about to get fed. Now he is a bit lethargic, though he is not hanging around any specific part of the tank. He's floating about, though slowly. His stomach is pretty bloated.

His diet consists of about five Seachem Betta Banquet pellets per day.

Last edited by Kabu; 09-14-2010 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:07 PM   #2 
Ajones108
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You don't... Dose fish with human medicine...

And as far as I know, I don't believe there is a treatment for dropsy... Dropsy is caused by kidney failure and fluid build-up in their bodies, causing their scales to stick out. Normally it's from poor water quality or age. Tank size? How often do you change the water? Filtered?
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:23 PM   #3 
Euphie101
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If the scaes start pineconing than it's generally too late. I think there might be a cure if you treat it before pineconing, but I'm not 100% sure. But If you do want to prolong the time you have with your betta, take him out of that medicated tank and put him in some clean, water conditioned water. Just some reccomandations. If you don't/can't get water conditioner, then I think you'll just have to put him in tap water (though I don't think that's very good for him)
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:41 PM   #4 
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Yeah, untreated/unchlorinated tap water is very bad for bettas, especially for sick ones. Tap water has too much chlorine and heavy metals in it for their sensitive bodies.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:49 PM   #5 
Kabu
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Tank size is about one gallon, I changed about 50% of the water every three to four days, but as I was gone for the weekend, the dirty water went longer and that's probably what got him.
Water is not filtered but is treated to remove chlorine.

I emptied his water and replaced it with fresh tap water which has been treated with the proper amount of Stress Coat that removes chlorine/chloramines. Managed to take a train down to buy some Bettafix; employee said it would help? Also mentioned to try feeding Toki a pea. Anyway, when I returned, his bloating actually looked a little less severe and he had defecated two or three times, I suppose that's a good thing considering dropsy is supposed to be an infliction on the kidneys?

I can't really be sure if he's pineconing. His scales are more noticeable than usual, and he seems to have slightly changed color. Something about his scales just looks different. Belly is still bloated but not as badly as before. Maybe it isn't dropsy?

And yeah, I feel like an idiot for putting human antibiotic in his water but it was desperation. It's been cleared out now. I'm a first-time fish owner, I'll make some mistakes before I learn how to really keep my fish healthy. I'm working at it.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:59 PM   #6 
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It's okay, you're doing your best. :)

I would fast him for a while, and then give him either frozen brine shrimp or daphnia. Brine shrimp you can get at basically any store that sells fish- a quick google search will bring up any fish stores in your area.

Pineconing with dropsy looks like... well, a pinecone. The scales stick out at the base like a pufferfish. It could be, if your fish doesn't look like that, he's just bloated an the scales are stretched. At any rate, don't feed him for a couple days and watch to see if he poops. Keep his water clean, change it every day or every other day if you're worried about stressing him.

In the long term, it would be better to get him a larger tank. I understand that at college you have severe space restrictions, but a five gallon tank really doesn't take up much desk space, and your fish will be really happy. My boy's personality really bloomed when I upgraded him from a 3.5 gal to his 5.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:03 AM   #7 
dipsydoodlenoodle
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Dont feed him for 3 days, feed pea on the 4th day

Twice a day give him a salt bath (1 teaspoon of epsom salt per gallon of water) for no more than 30mins.

Constipation shows similarly. One of my girls is going through the same thing, so good luck with him.

Is his tank filtered? or Heated?
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