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Old 11-22-2010, 10:41 PM   #1 
LeftCoaster
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Hope someone can help!

Hi everyone, I'm really hoping someone here can help a relatively new fish owner! My 5 year old's betta is really sick and I can't figure out what's wrong. :( I apologize in advance if I ask a whole bunch of silly questions or use the wrong terminology!

Housing

What size is your tank? 10 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 76F
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

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Bites
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice per day but he hasn't eaten since Thursday evening.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 25% every other week but I just did a complete change yesterday, details as to why below.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aqua Plus

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I don't normally test but had a friend over last night and she tested with her kit. All tests came back normal, the only one I remember offhand was the pH which was 7.0

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Pale fins, single white patch near one eye.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Dory (my 5 year old son named him, I have personally started calling him Lazarus because every time we think he has died, he comes back to life) was found Friday morning lying at the bottom of his tank, he would not eat at all and when he swims, he just darts around the tank very skittish. He used to come up to the feeding corner whenever he saw us but now just hides.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? Friday morning, so 3 1/2 days ago.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Have dosed his tank with MelaFix, started last night and did a second dose this evening.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? No

How old is your fish (approximately)? Unknown, we got him in August.

I really hope someone can help me with this, my son is really upset that his Dory is sick.

Oh, the reason for the complete water change yesterday...I was out and my husband called me to tell me that it was over and I should get another fish. I asked him to make REALLY sure that Dory was gone and he checked and said yes, that Dory was really gone...so when I got to the store, I called to get him to check again...yes, Dory still definitely gone. Dory 2.0 was acquired and hidden in my purse so the little one didn't see. (I know, cheap trick, but my little guy would be so upset!) Anyway, I start emptying the tank to prep it for 2.0 and am 2/3 of the way done, when Dory the first starts swimming! I hide 2.0 until my fish friend can come and get him to board with her for a while and finish with the tank. Since I did the complete water change, Dory 1 has been slightly more active but will still not eat and is still hanging around at the bottom of the tank.

Advice???
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:55 PM   #2 
Malvolti
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Location: Mississauga, Canada
First, Thank you for being such a caring Betta owner.

Pretty much everyone will tell you you should start with daily water changes while the fish is sick and add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon. Aquarium salt is very different from table salt so you'll have to go to the store and get some if you don't have it.

The next step would be to post pictures, it's easier to diagnose from pictures.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:58 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malvolti View Post
First, Thank you for being such a caring Betta owner.

Pretty much everyone will tell you you should start with daily water changes while the fish is sick and add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon. Aquarium salt is very different from table salt so you'll have to go to the store and get some if you don't have it.

The next step would be to post pictures, it's easier to diagnose from pictures.
I forgot to add, I picked up aquarium salt yesterday and added some to the new water! Do I need to add more today or just when I change the water?

Also, when you talk about daily water changes, do you mean a complete water change or a partial?

I'll try and take pics, Dory is being quite shy right now! :(
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:03 PM   #4 
Malvolti
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Only add salt when you do water changes (so if you change 5 gallons add 5 teaspoons of salt).

As for how much to change, I would say do 50% but I could be wrong. I don't usually deal with 10 gallon tanks.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:07 PM   #5 
bettablue
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I may be wrong.... but 5 years old is pretty good for a betta.... maybe he's just old?
I would still listen to Malvolti's advice tho...
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:12 PM   #6 
Malvolti
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The child is 5 years old, the betta is probably about a year old . Most pet store Betta are several months to a year old.

But yes, 5 years is a good life span for a Betta.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:14 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by bettablue View Post
I may be wrong.... but 5 years old is pretty good for a betta.... maybe he's just old?
I would still listen to Malvolti's advice tho...
Sorry, I had a feeling that wording was confusing...the fish belongs to my 5 year old son...I'm not sure how old the fish is, we got him this August.

I'm trying to get some decent photos, the Melafix has made the water cloudy so pics are looking less than helpful.



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Old 11-22-2010, 11:28 PM   #8 
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Okay a few pics.





And to compare his colour, this was Dory on Friday, the day he started acting sick.

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Old 11-23-2010, 12:52 AM   #9 
kfish
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Melafix is okay in really, really small doses, but I would honestly ditch it for this. It can cause breathing problems in labyrinth fish like bettas. I don't think it's going to fix your problem. It's an antiseptic more than anything.

I don't know specifically what's wrong with the fish - I'm not an expert like some people on here (Oldfishlady), but I would recommend stopping the Melafix, raising the water temperature (if you have a dial-adjustable heater) to 80-82 (double check with thermometer), and using aquarium salt in a concentration of 1 tsp/gallon. Keep the water quality pristine.

You may want to move him to a smaller container for this (like a rubbermaid bin), just to make water changes easier. It will help the fish greatly to have clean water, and changing the water frequently (once every day or two) will be much easier in a smaller container. Test your heater first to make sure it will work without overheating the water in a smaller container. Not sure what type you have, but it's going to be necessary to heat the water!

Without better pictures, I'm not sure if anyone will be able to tell you specifically what's wrong (particularly a picture of that white dot). Has the dot grown at all? It could be fungus, a fluke that has nothing to do with his sickness, a parasite, an ulcer...

I hope the fish pulls through. :(

EDIT: Just re-read your post. You said the fish was acting skittish and darting around the tank... is he rubbing on stuff/thrashing against the tank walls? Was your tank cycled? If not, you probably need more water changes than you were doing, which could be what lowered Dory's immune system.

Last edited by kfish; 11-23-2010 at 12:55 AM.
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