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Old 08-14-2011, 11:24 AM   #41 
SVC
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Yeah, it's just weird that it happened so suddenly. He looks great despite himself but you may be right about bacterial infection because there was definitely something off with him for the last week with first the lethargy and then clamped fins and not eating. I just thought it was getting better since he perked up and seemed almost back to normal this past few days.

Anyway, I did give a call to my friend at the LFS and told him what's up and he's about to bang his head against the wall too b/c something's always up with my tank or fish. lol So he said that I could try and rub PTG's belly to see if the bloat could be coaxed out but there's no way I would trust myself to do that. He won't even stay still when I get near him, how does he think I'm going to be able to take him out and hold him. That's a disaster waiting to happen. So when I said no way, he told me to bring him in and he would try to do it for me. I was going to go in anyway for the other stuff, so I'll bring him along with me and have Mike give it a try. He said he's done it for others. I'll also pick up the meds you suggested to have on hand if it doesn't work.

Ayayay, I have 4 kids that aren't giving me as many problems as this one fishie!!
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:40 PM   #42 
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Ok, I have a few moments to update on the swim bladder saga.

Poor PTG was struggling all afternoon and couldn't maintain his balance. It was so sad to watch. I'm glad it is not painful for them (so I read) but you could tell he was mad he couldn't stay upright. I couldn't just stay and do nothing so I took him into my fish guy and he tried to massage the bloat out of PTG. It was weird watching that and I definitely couldn't have done it. He scooped him up and tried to massage the air out of him. He said he passed a few air bubbles but I couldn't tell. When we got home he looked just as bloated and was still floating sideways so I didn't think anything had helped. I thought I would try giving another pea a try and poor thing couldn't get the pea off the tank floor so I put it on a toothpick and he ate it up. I went out with my hubby for a couple of hours and when I came back and checked on him, he was suddenly able to swim properly again near the bottom of his QT tank! There wasn't much poop on the tank floor to speak of but something had happened because the belly was deflated too! I'm not getting overexcited though because I know sometimes it can come back but I am going to keep an eye on it and hopefully he will recover. I'm still hoping the pea will induce a big poop. Unfortunately, I was out of luck on the medicated food and Maracyn II etc. as they were having a sale on that stuff and were out of all that stuff. Hopefully his poops will go back to normal and I won't need it but I have this sinking feeling there is something amiss there. Btw, is it normal for swim bladder to just practically disappear from one hour to the next??

As for the water chemistry questions, I asked about the KH and GH stuff and the fish guy said that was more a concern for salt water tanks. I guess it wasn't his forte. They also didn't have any test kits there for that stuff that I could find. Anyway, he ended giving me 3 danios to put in the tank and said it would help to have fish in there because my water tested so clean all the time.

Anyway, that is the big update for today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better for PTG!
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:32 AM   #43 
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*scratches head* Well, I HAVE heard of bloat and SBD coming and going like that so I'm not too surprised but I am still puzzled as to the exact cause; I'm stil leaning toward internal infection. It's too bad you couldn't find the Maracyn-II but keep an eye out for it. I'd still like to treat him for an infection. Also, definitely keep him in the 3 tsps of epsom salts even though he seems okay. It's important to make sure he's still passing waste.

Uhm, your LFS guy sounds kinda . . . interesting. Can't say I would have thought of nor tried to rub air bubbles out of a fish, especially because I'm pretty sure air bubbles don't cause swim bladder problems - pressure from the surrounding organs, tumors, and parasites are the most common causes. I think he just wanted an excuse to pet a fish. One thing to remember is when doing water changes is make sure the temperature of the water you're putting in is the same as the temp of the water you took out. That way putting PTG in won't shock him as much; temperature shock can cause temporary SBD problems.

I think you can still feed him but again, space the pellets out one at a time throughout the day. If he's having problems digesting food, too many pellets at once could cause him to bloat up fast.

I hope the next day goes better for you and PTG as well, the both of you must be so tired of these little bumps in the road.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:09 AM   #44 
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Yes, the cause of the bloat was puzzling to me too! It had never happened like that before. I still agree with you though that there might be some meds requiring thing going on and I will go look for that stuff at another fish store if I have to.

Yesterday, after I fed another pea, PTG had a bit of a poo and there was this white piece about a cm long followed by more fuzzy stuff. Definitely not solid mounds so I would say poops are not normal yet. This morning however, there was more poop including the pea pretty much in its entirety. Some of it was brown but here's the thing, can fish get diarrhea???? The water in the QTank is completely cloudy. There are a couple of fuzzy wastes but it looks like the rest is all in the water. He needs a water change ASAP. The good news is that he is able to swim at the bottom now. He still struggles a tad bit when he wants to eat off the floor of the tank, but there is an 80% improvement over yesterday.

I also had one more question re: salts. I read on a random site (not a forum) yesterday that constipated fish should not be kept in Aquarium salt because that type of salt makes them retain water whereas epsom salt makes them expel water. It's so confusing when you read such conflicting info. You never know if what you are doing is right or not.

LOL, yeah my fish guy definitely is an interesting character. He's a cool guy that is willing to give his time and you can tell he's really passionate about his work and his animals. Like I said before though, he's pretty unconventional and I wasn't lying! I would never have thought about rubbing a fish's belly either and all the money in the world couldn't make me do it. You're prob right, he just wanted to pet the fish! In the end though, I think it was more the pea that helped PTG than the belly rubbing, although I'll never know if he had a good old burp and got his bloat out. hahaha Still, I like to talk to him whenever I go though because he's the one that set me up with my whole tank when I walked in there for the first time, and I really have learned a lot from him. Also, it helps not to have to explain your story all over again whenever you have issues. With him, I can just say what is going on that day and he will know what I'm talking about b/c he knows the whole history. Plus he's the type that is very take charge and will tell you exactly what you have to do rather than just saying let it be and see what happens. There's another guy there that is really experienced too but he just says leave it alone and see what happens and that drives a neurotic personality like mine nuts.

Oh, and I totally agree about the temp thing. I tried so hard yesterday to increase his temp gradually to 80 (it's preset at 78), but I think the fact that the tank won't maintain that temp and drops back is bad. I hadn't considered that in the beginning. I think when everyone is ready to go back in the tank, I need to separate PTG in his own space. I read that the danios prefer a much cooler temp than betta's and if there is a chance of them harassing him, I want to avoid it. Then I'll have more choices for tank mates if the betta is not in there. Also regarding food, I think I will fast him today to give him a break. I'd also like to get things under control with whatever's going on internally before returning him to a regular diet.

Well, I hope things will get better. I really am tired of all the bumps in the road.

Btw, how the heck are my tetras still alive??? They are not getting any better and yet they are still kicking day after day. At this point I don't want to put them back in the main tank because I don't want them passing on whatever they have. Do you think it is neon tetra disease? Also, would that be contagious to PTG? They were all in the same tank when they started getting sick.

Well, hope you are having a nice morning. :)
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:32 PM   #45 
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You know, I honestly don't know if fish can get diarrhea. I didn't think they could but PTG is testing that. And it makes sense - if they can get constipated, why wouldn't they be able to get the opposite? It certainly sounds like it. The white piece sounds suspiciously like a parasite. :/ At this point, you can either continue looking for Maracyn-II or treat him with General Cure, which is a parasite medication.

Yes, constipated fish should not be in aquarium salts. Epsom salts aren't even technically salt, but magnesium sulfate. They're a laxative, even humans can use it for that purpose. If they want to drink an epsom salt mixture anyhow. Blech.

Is your thermometer a non-adjustable one? If it gets cold where you are in winter (and since you're in Canada, I'm guessing it does), you may want to get an adjustable one. And I definitely agree with you, PTG probably should have his own tank. I just don't trust danios with longfinned fish. And then you can have the fun of a community tank. Hehe, I just got neon tetras for mine but they're still in quarantine. I can't wait until I can put them in, though.

Are your tetras pale? I think Neon Tetra Disease causes them to die pretty quickly though. Weird. Those are some hardy tetras. If they do have Neon Tetra Disease, I don't think it's contagious to PTG but I'll doublecheck on that.

I hope things get better for you. You and PTG are putting up one heck of a fight.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:13 PM   #46 
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Yeah, who knew the bowel movements of fish would become a daily topic of conversation in my life? LOL

I actually called the big fish store we have around here - one that only deals with fish and a few reptiles and asked the guy in the fish room about PTG's issues. He didn't seem to think the white, fuzzy poop was parasitic or bacterial. He said if it was a parasite, the poop would be white and long and stringy.

The bad news is that it seems PTG is starting to "bob" again. He is not as bad as yesterday, and he is not flopping on his side, but he is struggling to get to the bottom of the tank again and he is also "biting" at the surface of the water and having bubbles come out of his gills again. I'm afraid he will end up as bloated as yesterday. Big fish store guy said that the most likely cause of the bloat is the constipation and advised me to cut back on feeding for at least a week, even two. Before I talked to him, I gave PTG a small bit of pea again in hopes it would clear out some more and then I will fast him for a bit.

As for the epsom salts, I never knew someone could drink them. Ew! I always figured you put them in your bath to relax your muscles. What's interesting is during my second pregnancy, I got really bad blood pressure problems (toxemia) and they put me on a magnesium sulfate drip to prevent me from going into shock or having a stroke (yeah, it was that dangerously high! ) I had no idea that is what epsom salts were. Man, was that a terrible feeling to be on that drip. It made me so wonky and out of it.

So anyway, I don't think the heater will let the water get below 78 degrees. Once it is colder here in winter (and you are right, I am in Ontario which can get extremely cold) I am sure the heater will just be working more often. Right now it is mostly off and only occasionally I will see the red light come on for a couple of minutes if the water drops below 78. If I see that it is not able to keep up, I will get an adjustable one. The only bad thing about it is that you can't turn it up higher if you want to treat illness.

I wonder if PTG can live in a wall aquarium or I can keep him in the 10g and move the other fish to the wall one if I get one. I saw some pictures of those and they are awesome looking. That is what I want my next endeavour in this hobby to be. I think the only drawback is that it might be hard to clean being such a narrow space.

Yes, my tetras are losing colour by the day. At first they seemed to be improving a bit on the rid ich but today they are breathing really fast again and won't eat. I don't know what they have but considering the other ones knocked off so fast, it's a wonder these guys keep hanging on. Somehow, I have a feeling they will not make it back into the main tank though. That's great that you got some too! They are beautiful fish for sure. I loved their brilliant colour and how their eyes pierce in the water at night. How long do you quarantine new fish for?
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:40 PM   #47 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVC View Post
As for the water chemistry questions, I asked about the KH and GH stuff and the fish guy said that was more a concern for salt water tanks. I guess it wasn't his forte. They also didn't have any test kits there for that stuff that I could find. Anyway, he ended giving me 3 danios to put in the tank and said it would help to have fish in there because my water tested so clean all the time.
While this is true, it's fairly important for ALL types of aquariums. If your KH is zero then your pH will fluctuate however the heck it wants, which is dangerous for fish or natural planted tanks...

That's too bad for him, but in any case that is unfortunate that you couldn't find any kits.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:11 PM   #48 
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Wow, SVC, that must have been scary during your second pregnancy. *gulp* Glad you made it through okay.

I'm just not sure I like how PTG's buoyancy problems come and go. :/ Hopefully the teeny bit of pea will help again but, uhm, how can he be constipated if he has diarrhea? And it sure seems like he has diarrhea. I'm confused. PTG, stop confusing me! Anyway, do fast him for a few days. No food, not even a pea. See if that helps him.

Those wall aquariums are neat. I would put PTG in there; I believe one other person on the forum has a betta in one of those wall aquariums. I assume they're the long narrow picture-frame kind, not the little round bowl one. It might be hard to clean. I'm not sure. I think they ARE pretty narrow.

Okay, usually you want to quarantine new fish for at least a week, but most experts recommend up to a month. I was bad. I needed the tetra's quarantine tank for a new betta so I put them in their 10g after only two and a half days. Cross your fingers that they aren't carrying any diseases.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:44 PM   #49 
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Bahamut - Yes, I agree that it's unfortunate I could get neither test kits or information that day. Well, I guess one person can't be an expert at everything but I also think it was crazy busy in the store so I didn't get the undivided attention I usually get on a weekday. He just threw something at me about the hardness not really being an issue and something about buffers for pH which completely went over my head. I am attempting to read up more on all the KH/GH stuff myself but between the problems my betta is giving me, and my kids climbing the walls, it's a challenge. Now that they're in bed, I will try to read up a bit.

Incidentally, I thought I'd check the tank water again, and the results were:

pH - 7.8
Ammonia - 0.25
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite - 0

It's so bizzarre to me that I am never seeing any nitrates or nitrites at all!
Also, it seems that my pH that once used to be very acidic is now showing on the alkaline side which is strange because yesterday when LFS tested it, he said it was slighly acidic. I did do a low range pH test and that came out at 7.6 so I then did the High range one and it was a definite colour match for 7.8. I'm totally confused with all this discrepancy. My seachem metre that is suctioned to the tank is on beige which is like 5.8 or something but then I don't put much stock in that one. It says its only good for about 3 months and although it hasn't been even 2 months, it's probably no good. I think I'll take it out and put it in my tap water to see if the colour at least changes b/c we know that one is definitely on the high range.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:54 PM   #50 
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The low range test will top out at 7.6 if your pH is higher than that. And I tried those little meter things that stick on the tank and all it did was provide one more thing for my betta to catch his fins on. :/
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