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Old 06-27-2011, 10:58 PM   #1 
cmgh
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Unhappy Sick betta...TB or old age?

Hello Everyone,

I am new to betta fish keeping. My little friend Fabio is not doing well. I recently "rescued" him from my sister who was keeping him in a little 1 quart jar. (I put rescued in quotes because it looks like he's dying) She was ignoring him and I thought I could at least do a little better...guess not :(

Housing
He's in a 5 gallon tank
Temp goes between 77 and 80
In tank filter and underground filter (the in-tank filter wasn't doing enough)
It has an airstone
no filter, I live in a warm climate and don't want to accidentally bake him :(...also I'm living on a super tight budget.
tank mates are a couple plastic plants and a little ceramic pot

Food
freeze dried bloodworms
6 days a week, 3-4 worms

Maintenance

water changes are every 3-5 days
20% changes
I add dechlorinator and aquarium salt

Water Parameters:
I have not tested water parameters, I try to do twice weekly water changes to be safe

Symptoms and Treatment
He recently had finrot. I treated with salt baths and it got better but now progress has been slow if non-existent, his color is getting lighter, he looks thinner, when he's not swimming his spine is in an S curve but not humpbacked; it's side to side. No bloating.
He's very lethargic, hangs out in the top corner of tank not moving, I thought he died today and but he started to move a little bit after i poked him gently, he won't eat
noticed symptoms about 2 weeks ago
I don't have much money to treat him, I want to know if I should euthanize.
I think my sister gave him to me with finrot
I don't know how old he is but I'm guessing he's probably 2 yearsish


I don't know if this is old age or what. I'm a little worried its fish TB because of the loss of appetite and side to side S curve. If it is, then I have for sure been exposed. I cleaned out the tank with a cut in my hand. I don't really have too much hope for this little guy but I'd like to know if I might be contaminated with fish TB.

Thanks for your help, please don't judge me too harshly for not having a heater and not being able to medicate...I know at least most of you can remember being a starving college student.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:22 PM   #2 
DarkMoon17
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Sorry about your boy. I'm thinking it might have to do with diet actually. The S curve could be due to nutrient deficiencies. Freeze-dried bloodworms are not meant to be a staple food nor should they be fed more than once per week as a treat. He needs a good pellet brand that supplies all the vitamins and minerals he needs to support his bones and other systems. Get him a good food like Omega or New Life Spectrum and a frozen food like glassworms or bloodworms to encourage eating...

When you perform water changes, try to do more like 50% each time.

Get a heater if possible, I know what it's like to be tight on money (I'm a starving student too D: ) but that would really help him out.

Good luck with him. If he doesn't eat the frozen foods let us know asap.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #3 
cmgh
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not eating

I went out and bought frozen baby brine shrimp for Fabio today but he completely ignored them. I think he swallowed one by breathing it in but that's it. He will only move if I prod him and his gills are barely going. He's almost swimming on his side now too. I did a 50% water change to make sure he's in nice comfey clean water...I don't know what else I can do. I'll keep trying to feed him i guess.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:06 PM   #4 
Punki
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You may want to move him to a smaller container or lower his tanks water level so he can hopefully get up for air. Hes quite old though, if you recently cleaned up a spot and moved him from his nasty water to fresh water id say shock but you said youve been treating his finrot so i assume thats not the case. With his age weakening him, bad diet, and bad water for so long its hard for him to fight back anymore. Id say a shallow cup so he can reach up and breath without much effort, and try and give the brine shrimp as you can. If you have had any rain lately and a bowl/bucket outside you may have some mosquito larvae, they usually love those, and even when sick will want to chase it down, if you can find any, you could net them out, rinse and put a few with him, maybe itll inspire him to eat and get some strength. Otherwise aquarium salt 1tsp per gallon i think would help keep him comfortable and heal him if its not too late. At least if he doesn't make it he died in clean water with a caring new owner :)
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:47 PM   #5 
Sakura8
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Your poor little guy may have been neglected for too long before you were able to "rescue" him. What Fabio is battling right now is probably not your fault.

Euthanization. If you have clove oil or can get some, it is highly recommended you use that method; someone will be able to instruct you how to administer it or you can google. Freezing him, boiling him, or flushing him down the toilet is NOT a humane way of euthanization.

Definitely get him into a shallow container like Punki said. Only a few inches is necessary for him. Keep the container as warm as possible. The aquarium salt is 1 tsp per gallon, let it dissolve first before pouring the salt in. Change the water every day and redo the salt.

If it is TB, you would see lots of lesions on him. But it sounds like he has ich, emaciation, and some shock.

Don't worry about the meds, at this point I'm not sure it would help. :( Clean water and someone who cares is what this guy needs now.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:45 AM   #6 
cmgh
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dropsy

Well, he's developed raised scales so I guess it's dropsy along with whatever else...poor little guy. I feel so bad for him. I don't have clove oil and I don't think I have it in me to do any of the other methods, as you said; they aren't humane. I'll just try to keep him comfortable in a little glass of clean water. Thanks guys.

I don't think I'll be keeping fish after this but I have a nephew who wants my set up, how should I sterilize the tank?
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:48 AM   #7 
Sakura8
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Very hot water and vinegar, then sun dry. I'm so sorry Fabio is sick, though. Does sound like advanced dropsy, probably because his organs are shutting down. Only other method you can do is the hardest one (I know I couldn't) and that's decapitation. If he is not suffering or in obvious distress, let him go naturally, it shouldn't be long. :( We will miss you on the forum if you don't keep fish anymore, but maybe you can post for your nephew?
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:42 AM   #8 
Punki
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I definitely agree with Sakura. I actually did go the decapitation route because my girl was really suffering and scared, it was the right thing in my case but i tell you, i had a few good cries and a sick guilt feeling for a few days, its too emotionally draining. If hes just laying calmly id just let him go, maybe put a towel over him, the darkness calms them down further. At least he got some peace before going, his life wasnt 100% horrible because of you. Not to say i dont wish hed make a recovery for you but dropsy is a hard thing to come back from. Just know your doing all ya can and im sure hes content spending these moments soaking in some clean water instead of poo water!
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:55 AM   #9 
Sakura8
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And I still say you were stronger and braver at that moment than most of us on the forum ever could have been, Punki. It took real courage to do what had to be done.

cmgh, you've done a lot for Fabio and one way or another, you've made his life so much better. If he recovers, he will have a healthy home for the rest of his life. And if he passes, it will be peaceful and in clean water. I'm sure in his heart, Fabio is thanking you, cmgh.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:04 PM   #10 
cmgh
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:(

Well he died some time last night, poor little guy. Thanks for all your help and support.

I don't know how you did it Punki...I couldn't.

Last edited by cmgh; 06-29-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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