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Old 12-22-2010, 12:43 AM   #1 
jessiepbg
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1 Scale Sticking Up, Lethargic, Bloated. Ate Algae Tablets

Housing
What size is your tank? 10g
What temperature is your tank? 74 F
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? 6 Cory Cats

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Was on Bloodworms until Friday, 2-3 twice a day. Switched to Betta Pellets 3-4 twice a day.
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day, 3-4 pellets.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Every day-every other day, trying to do a fish-in cycle.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime

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

Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: .75
Nitrate: 10
pH: 8.4
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Bloated. Has one scale sticking up on his right side.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lazier, won't eat
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Right now, was a little lazy this morning and didn't eat much yesterday morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Nothing today, waiting for the water to warm up for a 50% water change
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Had ammonia burn on right gill, still sticks out a little.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Bought him at Petsmart 6 months ago


I got Cory cats to add to his tank on Saturday and at first I thought he was just investigating the algae tablets. It took him a few days to figure out how to eat off of them and I thought I was doing a good job of picking them up after the cories were done and before he got to them, but he's bloated and won't eat his own food now. On top of that, I'm trying to cycle this tank, so the nitrite and nitrate levels are higher than I'm comfortable with. I wasn't sure if that could be adding to his general laziness that's shown up as of yesterday morning. I'm going to do a 50% water change tomorrow morning just to get the nitrite/nitrate levels down. The water is just above freezing or else I'd do it right now.

He's also got what I think is a scale popped up, but it's bigger than I thought one of his scales would be. I only see one. Is this anything I should be worried about?

Also, how do I get him to leave the Cories' food alone? I tried dropping the tablet and then distracting him with his own food while they ate, but I can only feed him 3-4 pellets. It doesn't give them enough time to eat what they need to. He doesn't bully them away from the algae tab either, he just joins the circle around the tab and munches away with them. It would be adorable if he didn't try to eat himself sick.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:45 AM   #2 
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The nitrite levels are pretty high, so I would try and up the water changes a it. Could be contributing to his problems, and the cories won't handle it well either.

As for the scale, not a big deal. He probably got stuck somewhere and dislodged it. Be sure to keep an eye on it because your tank is pretty 'dirty', increasing the risk for infection. In fact if you have a QT tank would move him in as a precaution.

The algae wafers... actually contain more fish-meal than algae, hence their appeal to bettas. It's almost impossible to get bettas to stop stealing them and they really bloat a fish up badly, so I dropped them in favor of sinking pellets. Smaller pellets fill fall in between the gravel where only the cories can pick them out, which encourages natural foraging behavior and keeps them entertained while keeping your betta 'regular'.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:54 AM   #3 
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If you had a QT I would move your betta over to that and fast him for a bit. This will help the bloating a good deal. Also I would warm the tank up just a bit to about 78-80*F. Also a small bit of aeration wouldn't hurt, that would help gas out the water from the bubbles breaking the surface. Just don't use something that is to much for you betta, same for the filter. I would pick up the water changes % to get the parameters fixed up. Your pH is also a little high should be 6.8 - 7.4. Just bettering the condition of the water might deal with the Lethargic behavior. And with the current parameters you have a much higher risk of that scale being infected.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:24 AM   #4 
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Your tank should be warmer. Do you feed 3-4 pellets a day or every time you feed? If you feed 3-4 every feeding time, you should either scale back to 1-2 every time you feed or 3-4 once every day. Other than that, I really can't help you. Good luck.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:46 AM   #5 
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Ok, I've got a 1.5 gallon tank for a QT, is there anything special I should do to it or just fill it with conditioned water?
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:58 AM   #6 
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Make sure its heated!
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:41 PM   #7 
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Oh wow, you really made it difficult for yourself trying to fish-in cycle a betta AND a whole group of cories! You really don't want ammonia or nitrite to creep above .25ppm, but with that bio-load, you need to test and change every day. Depending on the species of cory, you are either very stocked or overstocked--if they are panda cories or pygmy cories, you will be OK in the long term, but many other species get a little too big for this setup to be practical.

In the long term, you may also need to train your betta to swim into a trap or a cup during feeding time. You can easily make your own trap out of plastic needlepoint canvas and zip ties. Cories are omnivores so it's good to give them fresh blanched veggies, blood worms, and other meaty treats. Algae wafers aren't the best staple diet for them, so you might want to take the time to research other easy alternatives. :)
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:51 PM   #8 
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I knew when I started the cycle that it was going to involve daily water changes, hehe. I will up the percentages though.

I like that trap idea. I think I'm going to do those sinking shrimp pellets for a daily Cory food (those are good for them, right?) and I might see if I can make a natural looking Betta trap for his fasting days and Cory treat days. I can't imagine it will be too hard, he already follows my finger along the glass. What veggies in particular are good for them and how should they be prepared exactly?

My Betta's in a little 1 gallon heated plastic tank with an opaque cup as an easily cleaned hidey-hole. He looks like he's feeling better and I'll be doing 75-100% changes on that QT tank until he's back to his spazzy self. He hasn't eaten for the last 24 hours; should that be a long enough fast? He doesn't look bloated anymore, but I'm not seeing any poo in the tank.

Last edited by jessiepbg; 12-22-2010 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:20 AM   #9 
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Help! Betta Breathing Heavy, Swimming Frantically

I had Samuel in a 1 gallon QT tank. He was fine in there the first day, but all of a sudden when I got home tonight, he started spazzing out, swimming around the tank and bumping into corners. He's breathing really heavy like he did when he had ammonia poisoning. I just did a 100% water change on him probably 12 hours ago. His water is testing at 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. All three of my tanks (big 10 gallon with Cories, 1.5 gallon with new betta, and the 1 gallon QT tank) were changed with the same water. I did just short of a 75% change on the 10 gallon and 100% changes on the QT and the 1.5 gal. The other Betta is doing just fine. He even ate for the first time since I got him yesterday. The cories are being really hyper though, but it is feeding time, so the may be part of it.

The only difference between Sam's tank and my other two is that it does not have the adjustable heater. His tank was around 74 while the other tanks were closer to 80. I put him in the cory tank to warm up. He slowed down a little, but is still breathing really heavy. I checked the prams on the 10 gal and the nitrate was at 5 ppm, so I'm doing a 75% water change on that right now. He's in an opaque cup right now. Does anyone know what might be wrong or what I can do for him?

Edit: Shoot, the only other difference is the cup I had in there with him as a shelter. It was an old plastic cup that I thought would be safe for him. I pulled him out of it and am going to clean out that QT tank before I put him back in there if I do.

Last edited by jessiepbg; 12-24-2010 at 01:23 AM.
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