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Old 10-18-2010, 06:10 PM   #1 
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Very Sick Mr Betta Friend

My sick Betta Friend... Answered all the questions recommended below... any help or suggestions would be wonderful as I have really gotten attached and i want to save this guy but not sure if he is just too far gone???

What size is your tank? 2 Gallon (saving for 5 gallon to upgrade) I am one of those first time Betta owner who thought I was doing awesome giving him 2 gallons versus the tiny cups most get... but after reading i see now that he needs even bigger soooo i am saving for that but in the meantime need to fix him :(

What temperature is your tank? usually around 78 but heater allows a drop to as low as 74 and goes as high as 80. He did not have a heater at all before and the first time I saw him acting weird I read up and found I needed heater so dashed out to buy one and he has had it even since.

Does your tank have a filter? Small Undergravel

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes a tube that goes into the Under gravel thing and has a cylinder stone

Is your tank heated? Yes, but its a pre set heater

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? The Betta Pellets

How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day 2-3 pellets and purchased him frozen blood worms but have not fed those yet cuz he got sick and I wanted to try to fix him first


How often do you perform a water change? Not as often as I should, but just Friday 10/15 i did a full water change. Making sure to treat water with de clorinator, and floated him in a cup in the tank for several hours to be sure water temp was the same. I also added Fish-Mox to try and fix him.

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? I have always done full water changes but have only had this guy about a month.

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Top Fin Water Conditioner I just purchased Stress Zyme but have not added it yet to the water... waiting to get your opinions.

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

Have not tested water.

Symptoms and Treatment
Got this guy from Petsmart couple months ago and it all started about about a month ago he was no acting himself and was spending more time on top or at the bottom so I did a full water change and figured out he needed a heater so bought one and he seemed better after that. Then about a week after that with warm water and all he was acting funny again so did a full water change and again he seemed to perk up a bit more. Then about a week ago he seemed not to feel good again so did another full water change and again seemed a little better. Then a day or two later I hit the internet and started reading and here is what I see.

His body has turned grey, his gills do not close all the way (assume he has some sort of gill disease) his fins are clamped and he sits on the bottom. Somtimes when swimming he allow himself to bend in half and it looks really funny. He is not eating that i can see. My baby is gonna starve to death if this illness doesnt kill him first :,(

So Friday I did full water change again and added meds this time.

Per instructions on the bottle of meds (Fish-Mox) I have done:
Friday-Full water change and medication
Sunday - 25% water change & Medication

When I did the full water change Friday and added the medication almost immediatly he seemed a little more lively (not completly normal though) , saw a bit more color in his body and was not so clamped on his fins but then still did alot of sitting at the bottom. I was puzzeled at how he could change that quickly?? So water change made me hopfull but he still lays on the bottom and then by next morning he was starting to clamp fins again and being blah again sometimes when he is swimming to the top he will allow himself to kinda bend in half. This morning I though he was dead he was on the bottom sorta tipped to the side and I had to slosh the water to get him to even move. Put food in the tank and he swam right to the top like he normally would to come and eat but then didnt even try once he got there he just sorta sat there and then went to the bottom again.

Ok so I hope you can follow my story and hope that you have some ideas on how to fix him!!! Thank you!!
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:37 AM   #2 
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I'm not really experienced enough to help with this but I can say you should probably doing more than a water change once a week on the 2gal. Try daily partial water changes till he perks up! I hope this helps and I hope someone more experienced comes to help ya
Heres to your sick friend getting better
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #3 
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Amotien, you can try feeding him the blood worms. They really enjoy them and they are filled with protien. Often they will eat bloodworms even if they are not feeling too good (I know my betta who had dropsy wouldn't eat anything but when I gave him bloodworms he would amnage a few). I'm not sure whats wrong with your betta but you can actually leave the temperature at 80. The warmer temps help them.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:22 AM   #4 
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Sorry you are having sounds like the affect of poor water quality...I would start by making 50% daily water changes and see if he won't perk up-hold all food for now-if after 3 days of the daily water changes and he had not improved- I would do a salt treatment.

Qt him in a smaller container and add aquarium salt 1tsp/gal along with 100% daily water changes for 10 days
Pre-mix the salt in a 1gal jug to make water changes and dosage easier-offer half feedings if he eats offer this every other day during the treatment-if not remove the uneaten food and try again the next day
If you don't have a smaller container to use for QT-use the 2g half full of water, turn off the pump until after the treatment.
Keep us posted and once he recovers we can go through proper care in your filtered 2g tank...good luck.....
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #5 
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Should I keep up the every other day fish mox ... Another dose today and Thursday?
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:14 PM   #6 
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This sounds exactly like what happened with the fish that we lost before I figured out we had to cycle the tank. Ammonia built up, made him sick, then any ammonia in the water only made him more sick, which added to the stress, which made him produce more ammonia. Ammonia blockers didn't work, and only made things worse.

Frequent water changes, or keeping him in a smaller clean container where you can change his water easily at least once (or twice if very small) a day are key. Once you get him back up and healthy again, then keep the water clean in the two gallon tank while you cycle the five gallon tank.

Once you move him into the larger cycled tank, he should do well.

Get an ammonia test kit, and check for ammonia levels. I'm telling you, they make me paranoid now, even though Alvin's tank has been awesome now that it's cycled. No ammonia, no nitrite, and little nitrate. Ah, fishy bliss.

Good luck. If it is ammonia, clean warm water alone will work wonders.

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Old 10-19-2010, 07:35 PM   #7 
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So then would it be better to do 100% water changes in the 2 gallon on a daily basis for now??? See all along I was afraid to stress him by changing water too often and come to find out I was killing him by doing so.....
Yesterday I did 50% water change and today I did 50% change again.... Hmmmm twice a day change??? Again that would be ok and not cause too much stress?? How u find the fine line between to much changing water and not enough??
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:36 PM   #8 
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Also yes going to buy test kit...any recommendations on what kits are most accurate or best?
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:47 PM   #9 
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I know, I thought the same thing, but the ammonia will kill him, and ammonia in the tank will stress him worse than the water changes.

That said, try to keep the changes as stress free as possible. Make sure new fresh water going in is the same temperature as the old water, and pre-dechlorinated. Don't move stuff in the tank around, just change the water.

I had our new fish Alvin in a small glass bowl with no gravel and a little plastic tube for him to hide in for just under a week where I was changing the water twice a day. He was healthy, but it didn't stress him out. He was bored to tears, but he was active and alert the whole time until I could get him in his new tank.

It's that gray color that scares me. If you keep him in clean water and that goes away, you know it is the ammonia that's poisoning him.

Last edited by JessG; 10-19-2010 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:50 PM   #10 
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API is a good brand for test kits. The ammonia ones are pretty easy to find, and everyone seems to recommend their "complete kit." Paper strips aren't accurate and hard to read.

I have API ammonia test kit, and it is both easy to do and easy to read. If it turns green at all, as opposed to yellow, you know you've got a problem. It comes with a handy little color scale that is pretty simple to follow to tell just how big a problem you have.
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