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Old 03-07-2011, 01:22 PM   #1 
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Polarkeet's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Valencia, CA
Duncan dilemna

Hey all, I'm new but I've been lurking for about a month, reading up on various things. I got my fish, Duncan, in November 2010 and had him in a 1 gallon, unfiltered/unheated bowl. I recieved a nice 2 gallon, with a filter (and heater) for Christmas and have been having little problems with Duncan ever since. He's been having issues with swim bladder lately, or at least what I -think- is swim bladder: listeless movement, belly a little distended, clamping fins. I fasted him for two days (wed and thurs of last week) in 5-6 inches of water, then cleaned and returned the water level to normal last Friday. However, last week I noticed he started to get stress stripes and lose a bit of color. I added 1tsp. aquarium salt, and 1ml stress coat on Sunday thinking this might help. But this morning I woke up and found that he has lost a bit more color, and some of his scales on his head are protruding a bit. Is this a normal effect for aquarium salt? I really would appreciate any and all suggestions.
I'm attaching two photos for reference.

What size is your tank? 2 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold, the baby bites
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 kibbles in the morning, 2 kibbles in the evening

How often do you perform a water change? every other day or so
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% every other day (Tues./Thurs.) and 100% on Saturday
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? 1tsp. API Betta Water Conditioner, and just added 1ml stress coat on Sunday

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I just had my water tested at Petsmart on Sunday, everything is normal. Water was a bit hard, and they advised to use aquarium salt. I know I should never listen to them, but did so anyway..

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Stress stripes, loss of coloration on head, a little bit on the body too but not much
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? was listless from swim bladder, but is a little better this week. He will meet me at the glass whenever I walk by and wiggle a little bit, but mainly just sticks to the bottom of the tank.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last week: listless and losing color. This morning: raised scales on head
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? just added 1tsp. aquarium salt on Sunday
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Just these past few weeks.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I wish I knew! I've had him for about 3 months
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Polarkeet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 04:11 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems.....

I would start a 10 day Epsom salt(Not aquarium salt) treatment on him.

Put him in a small QT container that can be floated in the heated tank (attached to the side so it doesn't sink)

Get a clean 1gal jug and fill with dechlorinated water of like temp and add 1tsp/gal Epsom salt(Not aquarium salt) use this water for 100% daily water changes for 2 days-
*then increase the Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and continue the 100% daily water changes with this water for 7 more days-
pre mixing the treatment water will help make water changes and correct dosage easier

Hold all food for the first 3 days and then offer half feeding twice a day during treatment

Maintain water temp in the 76-78F range

You can also add tannins to the Epsom salt treatment water from either-naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (10-12 crushed/gal) or Indian almond leaf-let one of these steep in the treatment water for at least 1 hour before use-the longer it steeps the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta will like it...shake well before use

Make sure the pre-mix treatment water is within a couple of degree in temp between the QT water-so not to cause temp shock problems.

Covering the top of the QT container with plastic veggie wrap will also help by keeping the air above the water warm and humid for the labyrinth organ.

Good luck and keep us posted....
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