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Old 04-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #1 
xswornxoffxjello
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Exclamation Please help before it happens again

Cora, one of my sorority girls, is dead. I quarantined her two days before she died, but she had dropsy. I also quarantined another girl who didn't look well; she now has the raised scales and bloat; she did not when I put her in quarantine, and neither did Cora. Please help me make sure it doesn't happen again: I'm heartbroken at the thought of the rest of my sorority girls dying. Thank you.

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 79 degrees
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? Female bettas

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari betta pellets (no live foods whatsoever)
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3-4 pellets once daily

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Every 4-5 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 60%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None (well water)

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: na
Nitrate: na
pH: na
Hardness: na
Alkalinity: na

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Cora had popeye before developing the raised scales; both Cora and Dakota were darker than normal and had long vertical stripes of dark red around their faces.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Sunday or Monday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No (I have no idea what do besides quarantine!)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None whatsoever
How old is your fish (approximately)? Between 1-2 years

Is it safe to use the siphon I used at their last water change? And if not, how do I disinfect it? Thank you so much for your help.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #2 
redbettagirl
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I found an old post by Old Fish Lady for treating dropsy:

"2tsp/gal [of epsom salt] is what you want at this point...you may even want to go up to 3tsp/gal along with the 100% daily water changes with the Epsom salt(Magnesium sulfate)....tannins are from Indian almond leaf or Oak leaf...I use oak leaf from my oak trees...naturally dried and fallen from the tree 10-12 crushed/gallon of water...the longer they steep the more tannins will be released the darker the water the better the Betta likes it....the tannins provide antibacterial/fungal properties and the tanned water can help with stress

Depending on the root cause of the symptoms your Betta is showing...he may or may not recover....sadly once the sign of dropsy shows up it can mean the system has shut down and not a lot we can do but provide comfort....but you also don't want to give up too soon as long as the fish is not suffering.... " -OFL

Unfortunately, it's difficut to determine what causes dropsy. Causes can include bacterial infection (most common), parasitic infection, viruses, or water-quality issues (also common). I hate to use medications unnecessarily, but because your infection seems to be spreading, I would be tempted to try treating the tank with a combination of Maracyn1 and Maracyn2 to prevent infection of your remaining bettas. I would also perform more frequent water changes for the next little while, and get yourself a water-testing kit.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:55 PM   #3 
redbettagirl
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I also thought of something else: The physiological cause of dropsy is impaired/compromised kidney function. Heavy metal toxicity can also impair kidney function. Well water sometimes contains heavy metals. If you've been using well water for a while, and have had no previous issues, it may not the problem. However, just to be on the safe side, you could use a water conditioner that helps to remove heavy metals.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:19 PM   #4 
xswornxoffxjello
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Thank you. I will try that. I've used well water since I first got bettas, and it hasn't been a problem, but I can pick up some water conditioner to be safe.
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