Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-26-2010, 06:12 PM   #1 
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Unhappy Please help identify my Betta fish's problem :(

I just noticed today that my Betta was on the bottom of his five gallon tank, and I thought he was just being particularly lazy, as he usually sleeps a lot. But he would try to swim and unsuccessfully get an inch away from his starting point and droop back on the bottom of the tank. He would look at me with his eyes but not move his body. His appetite hasn't been too great the past couple days and I have noticed that his colors seem a bit dull. I moved him into a bowl rather than his 5 gallon tank in case he is sick and he is still laying, unmobilized, at the bottom of the bowl. I have been researching the diseases that he could have and I just do not know how to diagnose him. He is my first Betta fish :( I didn't think he had tail rot but now I think his tail might be short but I really don't know because I wasn't ever paying attention to it. He seems to have trouble breathing, like he is panting for air and I feel like one side of his face is swollen. I can't tell if he has any white spots on his scales because he is a white and orange Betta.. like a Koi fish Betta..
I don't know if this could be the issue, but I did change his tank water a couple weekends ago,, he had a very bad algae problem in his tank and I scrubbed down all of the decorations and the inside of his tank and gave him all new water. I don't know if the shock of the new water could be the cause of this behavior or not. When I changed the tank I also changed the filter. I am attaching some pictures in case anyone may notice something that I am missing..

Sorry for typing so much... I am just so worried about him. I've never had any fish before and I have been worried that I would kill him :(

vo00doo0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 06:25 PM   #2 
Drift's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PA
I would get him in some new water ASAP! Make sure it is the same temperature as his current water is and that you use a water conditioner that takes out chlorines and heavy metals!
Could you please answer these questions as well?

In a 5 gallon tank you should still be doing partial water changes weekly with conditioned water. My guess is you had an ammonia/nitrate spike and he is suffering from ammonia/nitrate poisoning. He is also emaciated and has very short fins, it doesn't look quiet like fin rot. He might be tearing them on some type of decor in your tank.
I know people recommend pure Methylne Blue for ammonia poisonings if you can get that at your store. =/

I hope someone more experienced comes along to help you out.
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?


How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
Drift is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 06:39 PM   #3 
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2010

I have a 5 gallon tank.
The tank was at 78 degrees before I moved him into the bowl.
My tank has a medium size aqua tech filter.
It does not have any other type of aeration.
I don't have a heater for my tank yet
My Betta fish lives alone.


I feed my Betta fish Tetra "BettaMin" Tropical Medley
I feed my Betta fish once a day about 8 flakes, sometimes skipping a day if he doesn't seem interested in eating.


I perform a water change whenever I notice that the water in the tank has evaporated a few cm's from the top.
I usually take out about half a gallon of the water in the tank and fill it back up about an inch from the top of the tank
I use tap water and I add about 3 drops of a water conditioner per half gallon

Water Parameters:

I have never tested my water because I don't know how to do it and I don't own the materials to do so. (First time fish owner <-----)

Symptoms and Treatment:

My Betta seems to be a bit pale and his fins seem to be short. Also he seems skinny and the one side of his face seems to be swollen.
My Betta has been particularly lazy, laying on the bottom of his tank and sleeping more than usual.
I started noticing the symptoms about 3 days ago.
I have not started to treat my fish because I didn't know what to do :(
My fish has never been ill before.
I don't know how old he is but I got him in the beginning of summer, soo, 3 or 4 months ago.
vo00doo0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 08:15 PM   #4 
Drift's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PA
As I said before I would keep him in the bowl and give him 100% clean water treated with a conditioner at the same temperature of the water he currently is in.

I would invest in a heater soon with winter being around the corner. Not sure about you, but were I live it gets cold at night quick.

I would read up a lot of betta care so you understand the basics of betta fish keeping. They are wonderful pets full of personality and can live several years when well taken care of.
Here is a sticky on general care. That you should read.
Fish are constantly excreting ammonia through their gills, think of it as urinating. Also when they defecate you have feces in the tank also causing ammonia. After a while it will build up and need removed. Unfortunately fish can not do this themselves and need regular tank cleaning. So we siphon/suck some of it out. Usually 25-30%, and replace it with clean ammonia free water. :)
The smaller the tank the more often you need to do so. A 5 gallon uncycled tank would need at least 50% of the water changed weekly.
Any animal left to sit in their own excrement will end up getting sick.
I would read up on how to cycle your tank so that way 30% water changes weekly would be sufficient.
Here's an article on cycling and the several different methods on how to do so.
Drift is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 08:24 PM   #5 
vaygirl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Middlesex County, NJ
Drift has it pretty well covered. Also, his head isn't swollen, he's just incredibly skinny in the body. It makes his head look puffy. If you keep his water very clean, get him in a heated tank and change him over to a better food (frozen bloodworms would be GREAT for him), he could pull through. Whatever he's eating now, it's not enough. He's emaciated. A healthy body shape should look like this:

Read the stuff Drift suggested and keep him clean. I hope he pulls through. :)
vaygirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 09:27 PM   #6 
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
I have him in a Betta bowl for right now and I've been trying for hours but he still won't eat.
I don't know what to do.. I have some of the dried bloodworms but he won't eat those either
vo00doo0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 11:56 PM   #7 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
That is the most emaciated fish I have seen in a long time.. he looks terrible.

Due to the loss in body mass he's very likely parasitized as well, which is not good for a fish in this poor condition. Do you have a local fish store that sells live food? Try to find a place that will sell you live blackworms. The wiggly motion of the live worms will entice even the sickest fish to eat. It's very important that he get some calories in him so that he can reach some kind of stability before you treat his other problems. I don't think he has ich, but it could be internal parasites and possibly a bacterial infection. If it's the latter, he's probably not long for this world in that body condition. If you can find some pure methylene blue--I would definitely use it. It will help prevent diseases that he could catch in this vulnerable state, and if he sustained ammonia burns/poisoning from his earlier situation, it will help detox his system.

He's probably cold in that bowl, which isn't doing him much good, either. How big is the bowl you've placed him in? It seems like he was subjected to poor water quality in his 5G--uncycled/unfiltered 5Gs should get a 100% change per week. I give my filtered cycled 5G a 30%-50% change per week. If the bowl is a gallon, I suggest doing water changes every other day--if it's less than a gallon, every day.

Last edited by Adastra; 09-26-2010 at 11:58 PM.
Adastra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 05:42 AM   #8 
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
I feel so terrible that I did this to my fish..
When I first got him I was reading up on how to take care of him and all the sites said DO NOT OVER FEED so I was very careful to not do so but I guess I was a little too careful. He has always been a tiny fish but a lot of times he would not eat when I fed him a couple days out of the week and I thought that he generally just wasn't a hungry fish.
Thank you for all of the suggestions, I am going to try and get to the pet store as soon as I can but I have school most of the day so I'm worried I won't be able to get there in time.
vo00doo0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 10:44 AM   #9 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Definitely try to call around to local stores to figure out if any of them have any live food available and go to whatever store that does.
Adastra is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bump on Betta fish's chin? iamgian Betta Fish Care 2 06-12-2011 07:33 PM
eating other fish's food funkiplanet Betta Fish Care 3 09-04-2010 07:52 AM
My fish's twin ThePearlFish Betta Chat 9 06-18-2010 11:56 AM
Another algae problem...Can anyone identify the type? Nauriel Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 1 04-10-2009 08:07 AM
Change in my fish's behavior Jitsuthebetta Betta Fish Care 3 12-31-2007 02:43 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.