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Old 07-02-2011, 09:38 PM   #1 
twinks79
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HELP - Betta sliding on his side, white spots on head

Please help me! My little Seb has been sliding around on his side on the bottom of the tank. He seems to have trouble getting to the top for air, or food, and his tail is constantly sinking to the bottom. He can't stay upright - is constantly falling to one side, so he tries to prop himself up on a branch or the stick heater to stay straight.

He has some white fluffy spots on his head and back ( a few scales have turned white).

I changed his water and added some fungus treatment. I also thought he had swim bladder so have been fasting him for 2 days. Now he's not eating at all.

Is he going to die? Please help!
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:59 PM   #2 
Sakura8
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Hi twinks and welcome to the forum. I'm really sorry it's for such a stressful reason. Can you fill out this sticky for us? The more information we have the better we can help you. In the meanwhile, get him into a small container for QT, like the cup he came in from the pet store or something similar in size. Little unused Gladware containers work great. Lower the water level in his container so he can easily reach the surface, you can lower it to an inch if necessary. In a gallon container, mix one gallon of dechlorinated water and 1 tsp of aquarium salt. Use some of this in his QT container. Keep him warm, too. Float his container in his regular tank if neccessary.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #3 
twinks79
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Hi Sakura,

Thanks so much for your reply. I've only had him for about 5 months, and I've always kept him in a small container (actually I use a medium sized glass teapot). Is aquarium salt different to sea salt?

To answer the questions:

Housing
What size is your tank? about 2 litres
What temperature is your tank? I have a heater that keeps temperature at 25 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? just an air stone
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari gold pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day (about 5 pellets)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water dechlorinator

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? yes, after the last water change, he developed white spots on his head (not opaque white, just off white slightly transparent, a bit larger than a pin head)
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? he struggles to swim to the top, tail keeps sinking, and now he slides on his side on the bottom of the tank. He tries to prob himself up on the air stone, or a branch)
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 6 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes, changed the water, added a few drops of Fungus and Fin Rot medication (green stuff). Also stopped feeding him.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no.
How old is your fish (approximately)? not sure?
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:18 PM   #4 
Neil D
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Alright, first, I don't know what 25 C is in F, but your tank should be 78-82* F. Another thing, he needs to be in a container that is 2 gallons +. 2G cookie jars from walmart work well.
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:24 PM   #5 
twinks79
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Thanks for your reply Neil. A quick search on google says that 25 degrees celcius is 77 degrees fahrenheit. I can get him a larger container (we don't have Walmart or Gladware here in Australia) but I have a 10L tank - I just thought that was too big!
Sakura said that since he is sick at the moment I should have him in an even smaller container...so he can come to the surface for air.
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:51 PM   #6 
Sakura8
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Aquarium salt is different from table salt in that it does not contain iodine or other anti-caking agents. If you can't find aquarium salt, yes, you can use a tsp of table salt for now but AQ salt is preferable just to be on the safe side.

Neil has a point that for his regular home, you might want to consider something larger for Seb's home so your 10L tank would be perfect. However, it's okay to keep Seb in his teapot if you don't mind changing his water every day or every other day at the least. I suspect that Seb's white spots and his other symptoms are due to ammonia poisoning, which is caused by not enough water changes. Fish excrete ammonia through their gills as part of their waste but ammonia is highly toxic to them. And even though the water LOOKS clean, the ammonia levels can build up very high and very fast. Don't worry, it's an easy mistake but also easy to fix by upping the frequency of water changes. However, fixing Seb's symptoms might be a little more difficult.

If you'd like, you can leave him in his teapot for his treatment, I didn't realize it was so small. He may feel more comfortable in his familiar home. Just be sure to lower the water levels for him so he can easily reach the surface. He has dropsy, which is a symptom of ammonia poisoning. Dropsy causes fluids to build up in his organs, bloating him up and forcing his scales outward in a "pinecone" effect. If he reaches this stage, it can be very hard to reverse. :( Dropsy also causes his organs to push against his swim bladder which is why he has having such trouble swimming and his tail is dragging. Because of the severity of Seb's symptoms, I would suggest upping the dosage of salt to 2 teaspoons of salt per 4 liters (I'll switch over so it's easier for you to keep track ). If you don't have any way of heating his container or teapot, try wrapping a towel around it so it can stay warmer.

Continue to fast him and change his water every day, redoing the salt treatment each time, for ten days. The best thing for him is clean water.

If however, he looks like he is getting worse and seems to be in distress, post immediately. He might need to be euthanized. :( But we'll do everything we can to avoid that. Hang in there and keep us posted.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:48 PM   #7 
twinks79
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Hi Sakura,

Thanks so much for your advice.

He doesn't have a "pinecone" look...he just looks like he's trying to stand up vertically on his tail...I've looked up dropsy online and it looks quite different to what Seb has? He doesn't have a swollen stomach, he's just got a few cottony patches on his head, and seems to lean from side to side (he tries to prop himself up on the heat wand to stay upright).

I've kept him in a 1L teapot with 1 teaspoon of salt and the heat at 25 degrees, and have been changing that daily. I think he's doing much better! He's not lying on his side anymore (though his balance doesn't seem to be at 100% yet) and he's moving around more. He's also ferociously hungry so I've been feeding him 3 pellets a day - I hope that's ok?! He just attacked them! He still seems to be trying to walk on his tail, like a human...but at least he seems happier!!!

Thanks for saving him!!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:24 AM   #8 
Sakura8
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Well, I'm not sure I've saved him just yet but I'm glad I could help make him more comfortable. It's good he's not on his side, that's generally a bad sign. And it's good he's not pineconed either. He may just have something wrong with his swimbladder. This problem could disappear after a few more days, or it might take a while longer. Keep up with his treatment for at least a few more days and hopefully we'll know by then if his swimbladder issue will go away.
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