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Old 01-26-2011, 11:20 AM   #1 
sukiesstar
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Exclamation Help! My Sick Betta Is Getting Worse :/

Sorry if i ramble a bit...

when i got my betta (5/6 weeks ago) i noticed one of his fins (a little one by the side of his body, i think its called a pectoral fin or something? :/ ) was about half the size of the other. I thought it was just a stunted fin or something but a friend said (about 2 weeks after i got him) she thought it might be finrot so i kept an eye on him to see if it would start to grow back on its own. Apart from that fin he seemed great, he was active and he'd come up to say hello if someone came in the room and he gobbled down all his food.

Then his proper fins started to look a bit tatty round the edges and the bottom one started to look paler. I bought 'King British fin rot & fungus control'. I used it for a week but he seemed to be getting worse, he was looking like a delta/crown tail but when i got him he was a super delta. He was also starting to get a bit lethargic.

So i went and bought 'Myxazin fin rot & bacteria' to use instead. I left it 48 hours between swapping and monday was the last day of the 5 day cource the bottle says to do. However he is looking worse and, although he eats and comes to say hello if he notices your there, he spends a lot of the time at the bottom of the tank with his head buried in my moss ball (i assume because its dark).

His in a 19l (just under 5 gallons) tank with filter, heater (80F), a moss ball and what i think is egeria densa (plant). I also have a couple of ornaments and silk plants i swap and change round when i do a water change (i do a 20% change once a week). Theres also quite a few ramshorn snails in there. The waters fine apart from being a bit hard. I feed him Hikari betta bio-gold pellets 4 times a week, freeze dried bloodworms twice a week and nothing on mondays.

Anyway, what should i do now? should i continue with one of the medicines? or shall i leave him without for a while to see if that helps? Should i turn the tank light off for longer so he gets more sleep? At the moment its off overnight for about 9 hours
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:39 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta is not well......

I would start by making some daily 50% water changes for 5 days and stop all medication for now and see if he won't perk up with improved water quality

Then in a 5gal filtered un-cycled tank-I would make twice weekly 50% water changes until the nitrogen cycle has established (4-6weeks) 1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate vacuuming or stir and dip method...once the nitrogen cycle has established-then 1-50% weekly with vacuum should maintain water quality

Make sure the water temp is within a couple of degrees between new and old water so not to cause temp shock and always use a good dechlorinator with any water added to the fish

Give the filter media a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month and when the water flow slows to maintain good water flow.

How strong is the water flow-sometimes the water flow itself can be hard on long fin Bettas-besides the stress, it can sometimes cause open wounds and this in turn can become a secondary infection unless water quality is improved and I suspect this may have been an issue due to the tank being new and multi meds used that will kill the good bacteria.....

You may need to baffle the filter-there is a sticky on this site with step-by-step instruction on how to do it

Keep us posted...
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:45 PM   #3 
sukiesstar
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thanks for replying :)

i cycled the tank before i got him using API tap water conditioner and API stress zyme and i use it when changing the water. I put the fresh water in a tall plastic jug and put it in the tank for about 15/20 mins so its a similar temperature

the pH is 8; the nitrite is 0; the nitrate is 20; the amonia is 0

but the water is really hard, could this have an effect? and if so whats the best way to get it down?

i've got the filter on its lowest setting but i agree, i think it still might be to strong. Its 50 l/hour :/
I've had it with a spray bar directed at the side of the tank to weaken it but that bottle baffle looks like a good idea so i'll definatley try that :)
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:25 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Usually Betta will adapt to your source water pH and hardness without any problems...its best to have a stable pH and hardness and not try and change these with chemical additives especially in the smaller tanks that need frequent water changes...what is your KH/GH and pH

With nitrate at 20ppm you may need to make some deeper substrate vacuuming....although 20ppm is safe...it is best to try and keep this in the 5-10ppm range....IMO/E...but the stress zyme may be doing this as well...

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 01-26-2011 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:36 AM   #5 
sukiesstar
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the pH is 8, the GH is 180ppm and KH 240ppm. The GH and KH could be higher though as the test doesn't go higher than that :/

i've done a 50% water change today and put carbon in the filter. A guy on another forum suggested getting aquarium salt in the tank, do you think this might help?
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:04 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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To re-cap and up-date...

What is going on with the Betta today-signs and symptoms

You don't want to over treat...

Aquarium salt or Epsom salt for short term treatments are great when used for the right reason, dosage and duration.....
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:05 PM   #7 
sukiesstar
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his a lot less active than a few days ago and spends most of his time lying on the bottom of his tank. Normaly when i do a water change he comes and checks out whats happening and trys to headbuts my hand, today he swam up a few times but mainly just stayed back and watched. His fins aren't getting any better either but its more his change in behaviour that worries me :(

heres a photo from 5 weeks ago and one from today:






the guy on the other forum said about salt:
'do a 50% water change to take the meds out or if you have activated carbon(charcoal) put some in your filter and it will take out the meds.
Next change 25% of his water daily and add aquarium salt,or epsom salt or uniodated rock salt.use a dosage of 1 teaspoon a gallon and add the salt gradualy over a few days.remember to disolve the salt in water first then add the saltwater to the tank.
Do the daily parcial water changes for a week and keep the temp at 80.hopefully it will help.
A word of warning , dont use salt for more than 10 days as it will cause kidney probelems in your betta.
Salt doesnt evaporate so you have to take it out by doing partial water changes.'

Last edited by sukiesstar; 01-27-2011 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:28 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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That is pretty close to the treatment I do when I do salt treatment-except I QT in a small container that can be floated in the heated tank and maintain a water temp in the 76-77F range for bacterial reason and pre-mix the aquarium salt 1tsp/gal in a jug of dechlorinated water to make 100% daily water changes for 10 days...I also add tannins to the pre-mixed treatment water for added antibacterial/fungal benefits and stress reliever as well as cover the QT with a plastic veggie wrap to maintain warm humid air above the water for the labyrinth organ...... to cover as many bases as I can with as little chemical additives as possible and I never use harsh chemical due to the negative affect it can have on both the fish and the environment......

A thing to remember is the healing process takes time and improved nutrition is also important in the healing and re-growth of fins-with high protein foods fed in small amounts several times a day.

You also have to find the root cause of the problem and fix that...often this is environment related...one of the best medications for fish...is fresh dechlorinated water, good nutrition and time.....with the understanding that often fin may never look the same or return to their full glory.....the amount of damage play a role...... as does the age and general overall heath of the fish....if this Betta came from poor conditions you can also have internal organ involvement and this can affect healing process-being a short lived fish to start and sometimes with poor breeding/genetic can also be a factor...building a strong immune response with improved conditions is the best first step and then the fish can re-build damaged tissue but they have to be given the tools....since they are in a closed system it is up to us to provide them with the tools they need.......

Natural treatments-treat the whole system-fish-water-as well as the offending pathogen-you create an environment that encourages strong immune response in the fish-yet creates and environment that is difficult for the offending pathogen to thrive/multiply without harming the fish or creating poor water quality......it can sometimes be a fine line......or rock and hard place...lol.....

You can also over treat and this can be as- if not more harmful as no treatment in some cases.....the simple systems can become toxic and the medication end up being the cause of death.....

Freshwater fish thrive with fresh water and to be a good keeper of fish you must first be a good keeper of water......
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:57 PM   #9 
bamsuddenimpact
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I could be wrong, but a PH of 8.0 is extremely high. Bettas generally need 6.5-7.5 with a preference of 6.8-7.2?
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:38 AM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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My pH is over 8 and my KH and GH are over 300...I have really hard well water....and I have never had any problems keeping or even spawning Betta...generally-the Betta splendens will adapt to your pH and hardness and if you think about it they really don't have a normal range anyway....these are man made fish or domesticated.....our tanks are the natural habitat for this fish....
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