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Old 01-17-2011, 02:35 PM   #1 
BettaOliver
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Laying on the bottom of the tank on his side

I've had my Betta for about a year now. It has lived in a 1 gallon bowl with water changes about once a week. This was fine and the temperature was always between 75 and 80 degrees, however, in the winter it got much colder. About a week ago he started becoming quite lethargic and was having trouble balancing. I originally thought it was swim bladder because he was sinking and couldnt stay balanced, however, a fast of three days did not help him. I moved him to a heated/filtered 5 gallon tank 2-3 days ago in hopes that the warmer (78 degree) water would help him recover. However, he is just laying on the bottom of the tank propping himself up on rocks so that he doesnt roll over. He cant make it to the top of the tank to get his food, so I have pre-soaked them in water so they would sink to his level. Although he sometimes sees them, he has trouble reaching them and seems disoriented. I have also tried frozen brine shrimp and a smashed up blanched pea, however, he has not eaten any of it. He has tried and darts around the tank when food is placed in the bowl but cannot seem to eat any and exhausts himself before falling to the bottom of the bowl again.

Any suggestions? This isnt looking good! I tried to take some pictures, however, he's currently in a bad spot and I couldn't get any that showed anything of importance. I'll try again soon.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:18 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta is not well.....

I would start a 10 day Epsom 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 or blackwater extract or decaf green tea-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 dark 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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Old 01-17-2011, 06:44 PM   #3 
BettaOliver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta is not well.....

I would start a 10 day Epsom 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 or blackwater extract or decaf green tea-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 dark 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
Started the treatment tonight. He's currently in his old (cleaned) bowl with a tablespoon of salt, as it's one gallon. I didn't try the green tea because I couldn't find any decaf in small amounts, but if you think it's really beneficial I'll look again.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:51 PM   #4 
BettaOliver
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Still alive. No real notable improvements, except he was still fighting the water change with vigor. Lots of life left in this guy when it matters. Hopefully he'll take well to the food tomorrow. Would you recommend brine shrimp or the usual flakes?
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:54 PM   #5 
BettaOliver
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Frozen brine shrimp, that is.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:04 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Are you using a tablespoon per 1gal of water or teaspoon per gallon of water???...although they can tolerate Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) at that level I would not start with that amount.

Decaf green tea bag-1 bag per gallon of pre mixed treatment water not in the 1gal tank with the Betta...it is best to pre-mix the treatment water and use this to make the 100% daily water changes with...you don't want to add un-dissolved salt to the fish-it will burn them......using a smaller QT container in the pint-quart size that can be floated in a heated tank can make treatment easier.

Frozen brine shrimp is fine

It can take several days to see improvement-also, long term sub-par conditions can take a toll on them and often will speed up the natural aging process...if he recovery it may take awhile.....give him time.....
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:15 PM   #7 
BettaOliver
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One teaspoon, sorry if I mis-typed. I will look for decaf green tea tomorrow. I have some caffeinated but figured that wouldnt work. Although perhaps thats the buzz he needs to get going again. Just kidding, dont worry.

I will start pre-mixing the solution a bit earlier to assure that it is very well dissolved.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:45 PM   #8 
BettaOliver
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I tried a feeding today. He saw/smelled the brine shrimp in the tank and perked up quite quickly. He seems very disoriented and I'm not even positive if he got anything to eat. When he stopped swimming in the middle of the tank, his tail end sank and front end floated so that he was vertical on the bottom.

I'm looking for any other signs, and have nothing to compare this with, but it seems like his gill is extending out a little too far. They are open and one side seems to be a little too far out, enough so to make me notice it. I don't know if this is related or relevant, but just throwing it out there.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:47 PM   #9 
turtle10
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Not sure if anybody has mentioned this, but with a tank that small (1g) you will need to keep up daily water changes, once a week is not enough. Also, make sure there are air holes in the plastic wrap.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:22 PM   #10 
BettaOliver
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Yes, I am now doing them once a day. I wish I had caught my mistakes earlier. Oliver is still doing okay, readily eating brine shrimp but still sinking. I will try to post some pictures soon and maybe there is something I'm missing.
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