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Old 06-15-2011, 11:02 PM   #1 
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HELP Please Swollen scale (pinecone) and grayish spots

So I noticed my poor little fishy started to look a little round about a week ago. His scales are now swollen and he looks like a pine cone. He also is dull in color with grayish spots. He's in a heated 80 degree 2.5 gallon tank. My local pet store said that the tank is too small to treatwith medication and suggested I just add aquarium salt (1tsp for 2 gallons) and hope for the best...I don't want to hear that! I also dont want him to suffer anymore. He stays very still floating towards the top of his tank but once I walk up to him he starts swimming around doing his little dance. Even though he does this, its still very obvious his energy has gone down. He also seems hungry because when I do feed him he heads straight for it. Sometimes he can't find it so I have to keep scooping it towards him and he'll eat it. I"ve taken all decor and gravel out of the tank. I think he may also be constipated because I don't see any droppings at the bottom of the tank. From what I've read it sounds like he might have dropsy and that its not curable. I'm hoping someone could give me some advice because at this point I have no idea what to do. I'm considering euthinizing him but I feel he still has some fight left. Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated! Thank you.

OH I've also purchased Bettafix. So far I've cleaned his tank once every 2to 3 days with 75% water change, 1tsp of salt and 1tsp Bettafix
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:31 AM   #2 
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Well, I suggest putting up some pics. Please answer all questions in the sticky thread.
Good move removing the gravel, etc.
I suggest you don't add salt to the water if you see pine coning.
The only problem with euthanasia is that you never really know if there might be some chances of recovery.
Also, It may not always be dropsy. Remember that dropsy is more like a symptom (or a group of symptoms- syndrome) which is indicative of a much more serious illness like kidney failure, severe bacterial infection, etc.
I suggest that you please post pics & fill out the answers to the questions in the sticky thread asap.
Here's some info on dropsy:


bloated belly and raised scale = dropsy

close up of raised scales

This is a most common and most fatal betta disease. oftentimes linked to the feeding of live foods, especially black worms. Very little is know about it, but what causes the raised scales is fluid building up under the skin, inside the betta's tissue. Usually what causes fluid to build up is simple kidney failure. And as you know, once the kidneys fail, the body dies. I think that is why we have had so little luck (mmmmm... Let me rephrase, NO LUCK AT ALL) in treating successfully bettas with dropsy. Although dropsy (the symptom) itself is not contagious, BACTERIA THAT CAUSE THE KIDNEY FAILURE in the first place usually are very very contagious. Since I stopped feeding live worms to my bettas I have not seen one single case of dropsy in my fishroom :). Thank God!

It is easy to diagnose a betta with Dropsy: Look for two signs: an abnormally big (bloated) belly and if you look at betta from the top, raised scales. Scales will look like an open pine cone. If you see this, you are out of luck, and so is Betta. He will soon go to betta heaven :((…

No known cure. Keep water clean, keep him AWAY from any other bettas etc… On occasion, in the case of a very mild raised scales, I have seen bettas recover on their own. But I suspect that this is because those cases are NOT real dropsy. Real dropsy always kills. So I guess you have to wait and see what happens. Treating is pretty useless. It may take up to 15 days for betta to die, though usually about 5 days. Any betta with dropsy should be immediately ISOLATED!!!! Prayer may not hurt.

Source: Betta Talk
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:00 PM   #3 
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Hello again... Sorry I'm new to this site. Below my Blue's info:

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 degress (few more or less degrees)
Does your tank have a filter? no
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? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? every 2 or 3 days


How often do you perform a water change? once a week...sometimes a little longer
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? half one week and full the next week
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? 1 tsp bettafix and 1 tsp aquarium salt

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? pine-cone dull grayish color
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? he's swimming funny. he floats with his head towards the water but does still do a little dance but not as energetic as he used to be.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about a week or so ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? cleaning 50% of the water every other day
Does your fish have any history of being ill? when I first got him in January, his tail seemed to be falling off
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him in January. I never owned a fish and my mother in law brought her home as a gift for my daughter. I had no idea i would actually fall in love with my little blue!

I'm going to try and post pics in just a bit...
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:09 PM   #4 
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Location: MA and MO
Okay, if he is definitely pine conned like in the pictures above then stop the aquarium salt immediately and switch to Epsom Salt (at Walmart-cheap) 1tsp per gallon. Normal Aquarium Salt is harmful to fish suffering from dropsy and will make it worse.

Start him on Jungle's anti-parasite pellets (sold at Petsmart-also reletively cheap) combined with Maracyn II. If you can't afford both, then the pellets are more important. Either way, do the Epsom treatment and do 100% daily water changes. If you can raise the temp to 82-84* that will also help.

Dropsy is curable if you treat it aggressively.

Last edited by DarkMoon17; 06-16-2011 at 11:14 PM.
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