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Old 08-15-2011, 12:58 PM   #1 
Vanah
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Help Roland! Clamped fins & lethargic after a stressful night...

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallon (3-way divided)
What temperature is your tank? 77-80
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? Alone in his section, but shares water with 2 other betta

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Mostly pellets, occassional bloodworm
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice daily (3 pellets per meal)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? It's a new tank, but I plan to do a weekly 25% and a monthly 80%

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? AquaSafe conditioner


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins completely clamped
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic, resting on the bottom a lot
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for about a month, he came from Petsmart; so adult but young


So I did a couple things last night that could have caused this. First, the middle section of the divided tank was having a lot of cloudiness, so I added a dose of Seachem Clarity - I don't usually like to just toss in chemicals, but I swear by Seachem. They are the best.
Due to the divided setup, though, it was having trouble doing the job, so I went ahead and turned my Fluval nano filter all the way up. Roland is in the section with the filter. When it is on low-flow it does not bother him, but high tosses him around a lot. I thought it would be allright for one night. This morning I awoke to a crystal clear tank... and a very clamped-up fish. I immediately shut the filter off so he can rest for the day.

This tank was only set up two days ago, but the fish have all been quite happy with the new arrangements. I realize that anything could be going on given the new tank syndrome, but the timing of Roland being just fine until I cranked up the filter and added Clarity seems to point to having stressed him out too much. I'm concerned as his symptoms could suggest Velvet, and given the natural coloring of both Roland and his neighbor Mitch, it would be near impossible to diagnose that. Roland is a metallic coppery-gold dragon, and Mitch has a lot of subtle metallic gold as well. I realize that stressing him out might allow an infection to take hold overnight, so I can't rule it out. Most of the books I have say medicating "in case" is a bad idea but at this point with all three of my beloved dragon plakats sharing a home I don't know what else to do.

I should also add that it is VERY likely he was exposed to something before he was moved into the new tank. Something had happened in his Water Wonders the last couple days he was in it. I had put a new decoration in, and despite rinsing the hell out of it as I always do, within a few days the water had clouded up and a nasty stringy brownish whitish slimy... something was all over in the tank. God knows what it was but I got him right out of there.

So I'm curious, do you guys think that the stress of the filter and new home and all that might have caused him to actually fall ill with something he was fending off (needing treatment), or are the symptoms a direct reaction to the stress (he just needs time to chill)?

Before:

After:

It is pretty much impossible to say for sure whether the coppery and gold sheen is Velvet, since he has that as part of his coloration. He's truly an incredible fish in coloring. Full of surprises, with every turn catching the light with colors I didn't even see in him before.

Last edited by Vanah; 08-15-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:50 PM   #2 
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Did you cycle the tank after setting it up? And I would suggest raising the temp to 82* to begin with. I also suggest adding aq salt just to help keep anything that he might have at bay.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:30 PM   #3 
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While I usually cycle anything 6 gallons and up with a combination of a very light fish bioload and Seachem Stability and have always had 100% success in the past, this is my first time putting betta into anything larger than 2.5 gallons. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't cycle, but I read in a few places on this forum that cycling isn't necessary for betta. And it made sense, because they usually get 100% water changes when in smaller unfiltered homes...

Was this a totally idiotic move on my part? I'll literally never forgive myself if I lose Roland to such a stupid mistake.

I plan to crank up the temp and add salt tonight... should I take Mitch and Pei Ling out or leave them in?
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:41 PM   #4 
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I honestly I wouldnt move them out if their fine leave them in... also yeah sometimes cycling isnt necessary but cloudy water as you probably know is a sign of cycling... is there someone with a cycled tank near you? if their is steal their filter media lol it will help rule out a lack of cycling... also look at his gills are they red and not healthy looking it might be ammonia build up...
try doing a 25-50% water change asap it might help if your boys are used to 100% water changes...
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:57 PM   #5 
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I actually was thinking that the cloudiness was due to Mitch's rock, since it was only in his section. He has one of those ones that's composed of crushed shells and it gets all crumbly if I move it too much. I should just get him a lava rock like the other two. -_- But ruling things out is good, so my neon and rasbora community tank is all cycled, I could raid that filter, and add a little bit of Stability also.

Ugh, I'm so anxious to get out of work and check on him right now. I'd be up all night crying if I lost him... it's been just long enough now with him living with me that we've bonded.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:17 PM   #6 
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He would be sad to loose I hope he is alright! and yeah lol I havent cycled a tank in years I always steal the filter from a cycled tank first :)
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:20 PM   #7 
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His condition did not worsen but did not improve. Temp has been raised to 82, 1 tbsp of aquarium salt added, and the kicker, a Jungle Fungus Clear tab. I thought about taking him out and setting up a hospital tank, but if an infection IS setting in, I want it dead before it harms my others. Well it's a good thing I like blue-green, because that's the color of their water for a few days at least. As a permanent tint though, not such a fan. Hope it doesn't stain the substrate... ._.

The package suggested I do 2 tbsp of salt, but my guys haven't ever had any salt in their water so I didn't want to overdo. Do you think I should still add the extra tablespoon? I'm also trying to decide if I should run the filter still. I had to take out the media for now because of the meds, but it'd still be nice to keep the water circulating. But right now I'm scared to even put it on low if he's already weakened.

I'm so pissed at myself right now. Everything was perfect last night, and I had to get in a little fuss over a stupid cloudy section of water caused by a harmless rock.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:30 PM   #8 
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Thats great the first step is to keep him from getting worse so he can get better :)
Aw you dont even know if its cause of the rock.. and did you move the filter media too? I assume so. And I would add the extra salt maybe in a few days and I dont think they would mind the filter as long as he has a slow moving sit at...
Hope it all works out!
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:01 PM   #9 
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OFL enlightened me to this when I had a similar problem, if you turn off the filter for more than two hours basically, and then turn it on, you are dumping the dead bacteria from the filter back into your tank, and that ammonia can make your fish really ill. My advice would be to totally rinse out your filter, test your water if you can (to see how high the ammonia is) and if it's high, to do a water change. Your boy Roland looks like my Brutus! Good luck.

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Old 08-15-2011, 10:55 PM   #10 
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GreenTea, I did not know that, that's good to know. I had planned to not run it all the time both cause it's really rather noisy and to give the fish a break, but... Looks like I'll have to get used to the filter noise somehow.

I've moved the filter to the middle section with Mitch, since he lived in my Fluval SPEC when I first got him and never seemed to mind the filter. He even plays in the current sometimes, but he'll swim behind the flow completely or to a different area of his section to take breaks.

The water looks horridly discolored with the Fungus Clear in there, but the small amount of water needed for the test vial was clear enough to run an ammo test. Levels are at .50ppm, so not great, but still below 1, so I think I'll hold off on the water changes for a bit to let the meds work.

Brutus is cute~! :3 Roland also has that sort of aqua and sometimes even blue tint to his scales. Depending on the light they can be a copper color all the way to a blue-green. It's amazing.

....And now I'm tearing up. I hate this part, the waiting and trying to force yourself not to overtreat or do TOO much. I've had sick fish before and I've managed to nurse them back to health, but I know they don't all pull through. That's just the nature of life. Ergh, sorry to angst you guys. Off to bed, updates in the morning!
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