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Old 05-29-2011, 11:17 PM   #1 
tjoshae
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Home for 3 days and sick and I don't know what to do.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 80
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? a stupid cherry shrimp that wasn't supposed to be in the moss.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? betta pellets. I have frozen blood worms but I'm afraid to alter anything.
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice the first 2 days. I've only fed him once today.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:20
Nitrate:0
pH:5.5
Hardness: 150
Alkalinity: 180

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His fins are losing color and his overall color is starting to look dull. He also has a discolored spot on his head that has gotten bigger in 3 days.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? His tail is starting to drag a bit. His fins are clamped close to his body. He still eats, isn't lethargic and can flare (I'm not having him flare for fun, only for diagnosis).
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday, day 2 of having him home and he seemed to be having a hard time staying afloat to rest. Today he's been fine but if he stops swimming his tail droops. His abdomen isn't swollen and I didn't over feed him (I did that to a fish when I was a kid and I've never forgotten that lesson).
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Lifeguard tablet first dose and aquarium salt along with worried looks.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've only had him 3 days


Ok, day 3 and I need help. I know that I should have started here but I just found this forum.

I used API water conditioner.
I ran the filter.
I have pebble substrate that was thoroughly washed.
His temp has always been between 76-80 (it was on the low side when he came home so i slowly bumped it up).
I have fern moss that ended up having a hitchhiker cherry shrimp who wishes he was somewhere else.
I floated him properly, slowly added water to his bag to acclimate him and then set him free in his new home.

Day 1 - Everything was fine. He swam around like a toddler. If he could talk I'm sure he was saying "mine?!" I got him from a LPS (local pet shop right?) and his conditions weren't horrible. He arrived on Tuesday and I bought him on Friday so he wasn't there long. I can't speak for where he was before the shop. His fins didn't seem to be ragged but I guess in hindsight.He ate and was happy.

Day 2 - He ate and again seemed happy but I noticed that his pelvic and anal fins were being held close to his body. I also noticed that if he stopped moving that his but sank a bit. I also noticed this slight discoloration to his head.

Day 3 - his fins look horrible the head discoloration has grew (in one day wth) he's still active and still wants to eat. He started exhibiting signs of rubbing himself against things so I figured that I was looking at fin rot which is why I started the treatment but he also seems to be sluggish this evening. I'm chalking it up to him being tired but I'm also worried.

Should I be doing a water change? If so how much? The lifeguard package said not to until day 6 but I *know* that can't be right. He needs clean water but I don't know what to do.

He doesn't have the pinecone scale look but could this be the first sign of dropsy?

Is there anything else I can do for him? Is it a waiting game? Argh...please help.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:41 AM   #2 
tjoshae
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Update - I woke up this morning and he's worse. He only swims up for air and then butt slides back to the bottom. I'm leaving his tank dark today and i will try a water change. Please, please, please help. What am I doing wrong and what else should i be doing?
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:23 AM   #3 
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Does your tap water usually have that many nitrites? Test the water straight from the water. Pretty sure the pH is too acidic as well...
Are you using a liquid tester or strips?
Did you cycle the tank before you got him?
Can you get pictures for us?
I wouldn't use anymore of that lifeguard tablet thing until you know what is wrong with him. It does sound like he may have parasites though, because he is rubbing against things...
How much AQ salt are you treating with? You may want to move him into a smaller container, a "quarentine" container to make it easier for him to get to the top to breath.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:19 AM   #4 
tjoshae
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Our water is extremely hard which is typical for this area. No I didnt cycle the tank (i seem to have learned my lesson there). I could put him in something smaller but I would need to float it in his tank as my house is quite cold in the morning and doesn't warm up because it doesnt get direct sunlight (my house is under several trees).

I've attached a pic of what he looked like when I first got him. The second is him at the bottom this morning. The third is him at the top (sorry but the light diffuses different at the top and he wouldn't swim still).

I was using strips but I'm heading out to get the liquid tester. Water straight out of the tap is:
Nitrate - 20
Nitrite - 0
Hardiness - 100
Alkalinity - 300
pH - 8.5

I just checked my previous post and I flipped the nitrate and nitrite numbers on my original post. I'm kinda frazzled by this. I fell in love with Abernathy as soon as I saw him and I really want him to be ok.

I will stop the tab. I will quarantine him but I'm still going to have the water problem. I only have the API betta water conditioner to treat the water.
Attached Images
   

Last edited by tjoshae; 05-30-2011 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:15 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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Are you treating him in QT or the display tank

Have you checked your source water for nitrate or have you added something to the water to cause the nitrate reading in such a new tank...

If he is starting to get worse with the medication you may want to stop it....

To understand....you have had him for 3-4 days...he is eating and swimming okay.....and when he stops swimming his tail sinks and his head is discolored...what color discolored........then he started to clamp and flash...how often did he do this and you started a OTC product...correct....

You hard water is fine....Bettas will adapt......
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:20 PM   #6 
Neil D
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I noticed you said something about the shrimp and moss? Remove them and put them into another container. See if that helps? Not sure...
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:09 PM   #7 
tjoshae
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OFL here are your answers

Are you treating him in QT or the display tank - I treated him in the display tank. I dont have a QT yet. I could float a container but since my house is so cold I don't dare leave him without heat.

Have you checked your source water for nitrate or have you added something to the water to cause the nitrate reading in such a new tank...
We have a water softener attached to the main line that uses salt pellets but that's it.

The tap water readings with the test strip are:
Nitrate: 20
Nitrite: 0
Total Hardness: 100
Total Alkalinity: 300
pH: 8.5

I'm getting ready to test it with the API tester.

I bought the API Master Test Kit (my husband's gonna kill me when he gets home) and I just did the test and the readings are:
pH: 7.6
Amm: 0.50
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate:5.0ppm

If he is starting to get worse with the medication you may want to stop it....
I only gave him one dose and will not give him more until I understand better.

To understand....you have had him for 3-4 days...he is eating and swimming okay.....
He was struggling with swimming a bit yesterday and it's worse today but could that be because of the flow filter? I have it on the lowest setting. Should I turn it off? He wants to eat. I did give him one pellet and he gobbled it up and waited for another.

and when he stops swimming his tail sinks and his head is discolored...what color discolored........
He has a brownish tint to his head. I thought it was his natural coloring when I bought him but its growing towards his fins.
then he started to clamp and flash...
He started clamping the second day and today he doesn't flare at all. I haven't tried to show him his reflection because I don't want to stress him more.

how often did he do this and you started a OTC product...correct....
Yesterday was when I started it after watching him keep rubbing himself over everything. I've only given him one dose and as I said I'm not going to give him more unless you (my experts right now) tell me to.


You hard water is fine....Bettas will adapt......
I figured as much. The LPS where I bought him got him from a local breeder so I thought he would be used to the water.

I have ordered IAL from Amy Lin on ebay but they wont be here soon enough. What else should I do?
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:20 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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Is this the source water used for the tank or the tank water
pH: 7.6
Amm: 0.50
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate:5.0ppm
If not...test your source water with the API master test kit...be sure and shake and bang the #2 nitrate reagent bottle really well..it tends to settle and you can get skewed readings....

The water from the home water filter is not good for fish...bypass this and use straight tap water with dechlorinater...start making 50% water changes a couple of times today....you want your numbers to be 0ppm on ammonia and nitrite and 5-10ppm on the nitrate....don't worry about the pH...you just want to avoid the extremes.....

The brown area may be normal pigment...hard to say...good that he still want to eat...this is a good sign.......sagging tail could be related to the filter or the weight of the fin itself.....

Did he come in a cup when you bought him...if so this works great for a QT and you can usually float it in the heated tank to maintain the water temp in the 76-77F range....

How often did he flash...a lot or just a few times......

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 05-30-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:34 PM   #9 
tjoshae
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Is this the source water used for the tank or the tank water
pH: 7.6
Amm: 0.50
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate:5.0ppm
If not...test your source water with the API master test kit...be sure and shake and bang the #2 nitrate reagent bottle really well..it tends to settle and you can get skewed readings....

I will test it right now. That was the test of his current water.

The water from the home water filter is not good for fish...bypass this and use straight tap water with dechlorinater...start making 50% water changes a couple of times today....you want your numbers to be 0ppm on ammonia and nitrite and 5-10ppm on the nitrate....don't worry about the pH...you just want to avoid the extremes.....

I don't have a way to bypass the water softner. It's attached to the main water source but this is what I used for his water.

The brown area may be normal pigment...hard to say...good that he still want to eat...this is a good sign.......sagging tail could be related to the filter or the weight of the fin itself.....

He didn't have the tail sag when I got him. Should I keep the filter off?

Did he come in a cup when you bought him...if so this works great for a QT and you can usually float it in the heated tank to maintain the water temp in the 76-77F range....

They had him in a glass jar on a shelf and transferred him to a bag. Could I use a tupperware container attached to the side of the tank?

How often did he flash...a lot or just a few times......He flashed quite a lot the first day. I started using the filter a bit for the first day and then for the second and third. I've turned it off currently since he seemed to be struggling with it.

Is there anything I can use in place of the IAL until it comes in?

Ok, going to do test and will re-post when it's done.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #10 
tjoshae
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tap water results

High range pH: 7.4
pH: 7.6
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5.0ppm

also, my avatar picture is what he looked like on his first day home.

Last edited by tjoshae; 05-30-2011 at 02:01 PM.
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