So this morning I turn on my tank lights and feed Finny as per usual, but I noticed he wasnt going at them (his pellets, presoaked) with his usual vigor. I looked at him from the top of the tank, and I see that his right pectoral fin isnt moving, just tucked into his side, while the other one is fine. I also noticed that the area around his pectoral fin was swollen-looking. He seems to be a bit bloated, so I'm going to fast him for a couple days, even though just a few days ago I was gone for a day and a half and he only got fed the morning I left. What can I do to help him? He's not as active, but still swims around. He rests on the bottom or on one of his fake plants often too. D:
What size is your tank? 14g.
What temperature is your tank? 81F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? The filter outtake does a bit of aeration.
Is your tank heated? Yes, for sure!
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardleys Betta Pellets, presoaked.
How often do you feed your betta fish? About 4-5 pellets a day, I do most (about 3-4 pellets) in the mornings as at night I will forget.
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week, although sometimes I cant so sometimes I do the water change once every two weeks. Luckily my tank is cycled, but I'm still trying to improve my water change schedual.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30-40%, more if I bring two buckets into my room.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water condtioner.
I dont have a test kit, nor ability to buy one.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Right pectoral fin tucked against his body, swelling around the general area.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not as active, although still tries to swim around. He has trouble swimming downwards because of his one working pectoral fin D:
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This very morning, although I noticed he wasnt as active when I got back from my trip this past Friday.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No treatment, I'm just going to fast him for a couple days as he looks kinda bloated anyway, and I cant imagine it's helping.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, nothing besides fin damage
How old is your fish (approximately)? Who knows, at least a year I would guess.
Edit: Also, should I keep his tank lights off just to make sure he's comfortable?
I would start a 50% water changes for 2 days and then twice weekly for a couple of week just to get the water quality improved, I would also lower the water temp to the 76-77F range for a week or so as well....or QT in a small container that can be floated in the heated tank (attached so it doesn't sink) and start a Epsom salt 1tsp/gal treatment with 100% daily water changes for 2 day and then 2tsp/gal Epsom salt on day 3-10 along with the 100% daily water changes.....
Thank you for the quick reply, but I live in a small town that does not have a petstore, so I have no access to these kind of salts. >.< Is there anything else I can do for him? A water change I will do as soon as I can, in a few minutes actually. He looks rather uncomfortable, and the swelling isnt getting any better. Should I still lower the temp? I'm thinking of lowering the water level too as he likes to rest on the bottom (even though Ive got lots of plants for him to rest on >.>) and when he goes up for air, he has trouble swimming down with his only working pectoral fin.
*Edit: I just remembered that I think there is Epsom salt at my grocery store, would that help his condition, or just the bloating? I will take pictures a while after the water change, I dont want to stress him out, as it is he doesnt like me coming up the the tank, hes startling a bit easier.
Yes, Epsom salt is what I would use for the swelling/injury and you usually can't get this at pet shops anyway...
Also, kosher salt, canning salt, pickling salt- you get at the grocery store will work as fish treatments too....you want to find salt without anti-caking additives...this is what can be toxic to fish in high doses.....its cheaper than pet shop salts too......
Alright, finished the water change, was able to do 50%. So, to be clear, I should put him in a small QT container inside the main tank, and attach it so it floats? How would I attach it? I dont want to poison him or anything... I have a tiny one-gallon thing similar to a critter keeper, should I use that? Also, for the epsom salt, how do I administer that? Do I just put in a teaspoon of the stuff (since my QT is a 1g) while hes in the QT, or put the salt in before hes in there and mix the water around a bit? And do daily 100% water changes? Sorry, I havent done this before >.< He's always been a healthy fish, so I never had to treat him for anything. I wish I knew what had caused it D:
You need to decide if you want to treat the fish in QT or in the main tank...
I would try improved water quality in the main tank first and if the 50% water changes for a couple of days don't work...then move to the salt treatment in QT
QT-the small container that a lot of Bettas are sold in work great for the temporary QT and treatment or anything that is rather small, clear, bare bottom will work....if all you have is 1gal container-you may not need to float it in the heated tank....the goal of floating in a heated tank is to maintain a stable water temp in the 76-77F range
To attach a small less than half gallon container in a heated tank....I use duct tape-some use rubber bands....some times you have to get creative....
It is best and easiest to pre-mix the treatment water-by using a clean 1gal jug (I use 1gal milk or OJ jugs) add the correct amount of salt to the dechlorinated water in the 1gal jug to dissolve.....its important to dissolve the salt before it is added to the fish-due to the salt can burn the fish when not dissolved.....shake well before using the pre-mixed treatment water for the 100% water change in QT.
Make sure the pre-mixed treatment water is within a couple of degrees in temp with the Betta in QT-to prevent water temp shock issues...making things worse....
By using a 1gal jug to pre-mix the treatment water- you can also add tannins to steep-an added benefit when treating...but this is optional.....
Tannins-pesticide free-naturally dried and fallen from the tree- Oak leaf (10-12 crushed/gall) or Indian almond leaf (1-med-lrg/gal crushed) both of these tannin source have the added benefit of antibacterial/fungal properties as well as tan the water a nice amber color-the longer they steep the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta will like it....
You can also use blackwater extract that are sold in pet shops and even decaf green tea bag-however, due to processing they may only provide the tan water which is a great for stress
Last edited by Oldfishlady; 02-28-2011 at 04:45 PM.
Thanks for all the info! I havent gotten the epsom salt yet, as yesterday we had a power outage and everything shut down, and now today it's blizzarding. However, he's doing so much better! I kept the tank temperature in the low range like you said, kept his tank dark, and that with the water changes seems to have helped alot! He's not 100% better, but he uses his pectoral fin more, swims around more than before, and he greets me :D The swelling has gone down alot, it looks like it just has a little ways to go. I think I'll still use the epsom salt, it's just not a mad dash to get to it now. I'll keep doing what I'm doing until I get the salt, since it wouldnt hurt to use it anyway to be sure :D I also havent fed him since I noticed something was wrong, and he seems to be less bloated now too. I think what caused the bloat was not eating for a day and a half and then me feeding him his normal amount right away when I got back >.< I suppose I should have built up to his 4 pellets a day. Anyway, thanks so much for your advice and quick answers! I dont know what I would've done without you!