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Old 01-31-2011, 09:19 AM   #1 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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Question Persistant Popeye Issues

First, the basics.
Current tank perimeters:

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 82F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, power head (bio & mech)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes, from water return churning in oxygen
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Three cory cats and myer's loach (bioload is high)

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Harkari/Omega One; she also steals food from bottom dwellers
How often do you feed your betta fish? Small amount, twice a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Every 3-4 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 33% with gravel clean
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta conditioner

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20ppm
pH: 7.4
Hardness: unknown
Alkalinity: see PH

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Popeye, two weeks ago
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No change, she's active, eating
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Two weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? See below
Does your fish have any history of being ill? See below
How old is your fish (approximately)? One year old

Baby Blue came down with Popeye two weeks ago. Her right eye was affected, and her left eye looked iffy.

I did a 50% water change and started her on epsom salts and tetracycline.
After the course of tetracycline (I treated the whole tank because the loach also had reddish inflamation) and water changes to go with it, I removed all the tank's residents to a heated bucket, and did a major tank clean. In doing so, I removed about 3" of gravel from the tank and left a bare inch of it to anchor the plants.

Baby Blue slowly improved. Two days ago she was looking the best I'd seen her since the popeye began. Both eyes were small and clear looking.

Yesterday was the day before the scheduled 33% water change and gravel clean (in order to vaccumm all the gravel, 33% of the water is removed). This is done twice a week. I noticed that BB's right eye looked a little swollen and both eyes looked a little cloudy.

I immediately did the tank clean. Then, I mixed up a 1/2 bucket of temperture adjusted, conditioned water with a 1/4 cup aquarium salt, poured it into a floating container (clipped to the side of the tank), and put BB in it overnight.

Morning after update:

olgft (lol... my cat typed that while I was checking BB... silly cat!)

BB's eyes look smaller and clearer the morning. I am heating up her new batch of salted water and will transfer her into the floating container in a few minutes. She ate two pellets this morning and seems to be her chipper self.

I still needs some answers/help, though....
  • How long should I treat her (with the 1/2 gallon & 1/4 tsp solution), to clear the popeye once and for all?
  • Should I make any adjustments to the solution?
  • What can I do to further stimulate her immune system?
I love this fiesty fish and want her to heal completely.

It should be noted I am looking to reduce the bioload in the 5 gallon tank by moving the cori cats into a 29/30 gallon sorority tank eventually... but that set-up is still months (and a pile of money away)...
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:00 AM   #2 
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Until you fix the stocking problem in the 5gal-you may continue to have problems....you have more than a bio-load issue when you overstock or stock poorly....you create stress and the stress in turn cause immune response problems for all livestock.....then you start having nitrate issues that in turn cause stress and immune response problems.....

Pangio myersi-they can get 4 inches they are social fish that do best when kept in groups in large planted tanks and soft substrate.....just like the cory cats...more the better so they will be happier and less stress...both species are really neat fish and deserve to be in the proper habitat.....

As for the popeye-I would keep her QT in a small container that can be floated in a heated tank of 76-77F range and use Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) 2tsp/gal, tannins along with 100% water changes for 10 days and then place her in her own container with frequent water changes until you can get the other species housed properly to meet all species needs.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:58 AM   #3 
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oldladyfish,

Yes, I know you're right... of course, not what I wanted to hear, but it's obvious that things are not improving.

Questions: would you use espom salt in conjunction with the aquarium salt solution I now have BB isolated in? Can I substitue green tea for tannins?
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:12 AM   #4 
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I would use Epsom salt for popeye instead of the aquarium salt...the Epsom salt will help with the swelling and it also has the antibacterial/fungal properties like the aquarium salt.....decaf green tea will work for the tannins, however, I am not sure if it contains the antibacterial/fungal properties like the oak leaf and IAL...if it was heat processed it may not do any more than tan the water....however, this is also good and can help with stress....it better than nothing....lol.....I guess is what I am saying....lol.....
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:47 AM   #5 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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oldladyfish,

You've mentioned something that I'm not familar with. What's "IAL"?
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:14 PM   #6 
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IAL-Indian almond leaf...you usually can't find this in most pet shops...only online....that why I use oak leaf...it is 99% the same as IAL plus its free out in my yard...lol....
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:26 PM   #7 
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oldladyfish,

Ahhh! Any tips on how/when is the best time to harvest oak leaves? Any particular species? Next autumn I'll be sure to harvest some. ;)

Good news... got a few good leads this morning on some used aquarium equiment for a reasonable price, so re-homing everybody is looking 'betta'!

Another question: Best way to sterilize used equipment?
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:32 PM   #8 
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I use diluted bleach on my used stuff/tanks etc.....rinse well and air dry and use a bit extra dechlorinator with the finial water fill and on tanks 10g and larger I do a 24h leak test......

I collect native oak leaves from several different species of oak tree....you want naturally dried and fallen from the tree.....make sure the tree is in a location that does not get pesticide and/or poison sprayed on or around them....
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:51 PM   #9 
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Thank you for the advice! I do appreciate your help. :)
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:53 PM   #10 
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I've heard also decaffinated green tea works?
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