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Old 08-15-2011, 10:07 PM   #1 
Cheries
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Please help!

My betta is sick. He's been sick for a while, actually. I'd be so grateful if some experts can tell me what is wrong, what he has, and what I can do.

It probably started when I accidentally gave him the wrong water (we have a filtration system for drinking use and it was set to alkaline instead of normal filter), which lowered his immune system.. then when we were moving, I couldn't change his water (2.5 gallon) until we were out of the old house completely..
Anyways!
He looks pretty bad right now. He had lost his dorsal fins due to fin rot (but they're growing again now). It started at the base and took me by surprise, because I thought it would start at the ends. Noticed it when he jumped for his food and a piece of fin broke off (what the..)
Now it looks like he's losing color and becoming a pale flesh colored fish. The pale body started from below the dorsal fin area and then the forehead area and now they're connecting.
My guess is that the fin rot advanced to a worse stage, but that's weird because I put him on meds. Perhaps the meds were too strong? (Triple Sulfa by API)
He also looks like he has hemorrhaging in his fins, which the Triple Sulfa is supposed to take care of as well. And after I ate dinner when I went to check on him, I noticed he was flaring his right gill- Only the right one, not his left.

He still eats his food like a pig and has been swimming happily since I started the aquarium salt and meds. (I didn't have salt before, only the stress coat)

It's frustrating that I don't know enough about tending to this and every time I do something, there's more to learn about things (and other things) about bettas that I didn't see previously which would have helped if I had known.
(ie. 1. aquarium salt, 2. meds can be harmful and the best option is just salt and change 100% of the water everyday, 3. fin rot can start at the base of fins, 4. alkaline water lowers his immune system because of the pH)

I'm so sad about his condition..


OH also, he hates when I use the net to fish him out of the tank (he pooped 3 large ones the other day after I used the net to get him into a new tank) so I've been using a tiny temp fish bowl to scoop him up (now I wait for him to swim in) and bring him into the new water. (I alternate with the 2.5 tank and a 3/4 gallon (?) tank now so he has clean water daily because the other day there was too much shedding on the bottom of the tank to be healthy for him- although it had been 24 hours since the last 100% change)
What's a better way besides getting a large tank with a water filter?
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:42 PM   #2 
Sakura8
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Hi Cheries and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry your guy isn't doing well. Let's see what we can do.

First, I'm a bit surprised the fin broke off at the base too. Usually it comes off in chunks from the ends on down. If I had been in your case, I probably would have jumped straight to medicine too, seeing how serious it was. Triple Sulfa shouldn't have caused any adverse reactions by being too strong unless you accidentally overdosed, which is easy to do for smaller volumes of water. Why oh why can't they make dosing instructions by the gallon instead of by the ten gallons . . .

How long have you been doing the aquarium salt? And when did you finish treating with the Triple Sulfa? And finally, does he have a heater? Cold water also lowers the immune system a lot so if you can, get a heater to keep his water at 80 degrees. Feed him a high protein diet with lots of live or frozen foods such as frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp. This will also help speed up healing of his fins.

The paler coloring is most likely because he isn't feeling well and his immune system is down a bit. What I'm hoping is that the Triple Sulfa killed the infection and now what we want to do is keep the water super clean so it doesn't get infected again before it has a chance to heal. The hemorraghing is a bit suspicious. Can you describe that in a little more detail? Are there streaks of bright red going up and down his fins?

Oh, and it's fine to scoop him out. Most of us actually prefer using a cup or bowl to scoop our bettas out so it doesn't stress them as much.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:06 AM   #3 
Cheries
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Thanks for your welcome and reply, Sakura!

The hemorrhaging was there for a while. I just never knew what it was until I picked up the Triple Sulfa (treats multiple things). Right now, the tail fin has a streak of white going through to the end (he is a spotted fish and his spots are still there) and the bottom fins still have streaks of brown. (the webbed parts)

I think his color is coming back in some parts of the pale areas and I'm hoping it isn't just my imagination. Not so sure because other dark areas are becoming pale and it's ever so slight. Maybe the dark are the bad parts and they're coming off?

My mom insists he is doing better because he's swimming happily.. but that gill flare is throwing me off. I looked up on bettatalk.com and it said that it is an inflamed gill infection. MY goodness! How can it be one thing after the other? Poor Sushi doesn't catch a break =(

The treatment's last dose was supposed to be 2 nights ago, but I started it again because of the hemorrhaging. Initially wasn't going to, but maybe it is working after all? I don't know.

He hasn't pooped much, so I'm contemplating giving him some mashed pea. (yesterday he pooped the size of 1/2 his eyeball and nothing yet today) It could be that he pooped so much that last time I used the dreaded net (3 nights ago) that he has nothing left in his stomach, but again, I don't know for sure.

I'll look for a water heater, non pellet foods, and some gill inflammation meds.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:17 AM   #4 
Sakura8
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Does the gill flare seem like it might be this?
http://nippyfish.net/sick-betta/gill-hyperplasia/
If so, it could be due to some ammonia burns he had even before you got him.

Don't panic just yet about the pooping. Some bettas poop a lot and some poop like once a week. You could be right that he just pooped a whole lot when he was in the net. It might be possible that he's not passing as much waste because his body is using more of what he eats to heal, I don't know. If he hasn't pooped at all by tomorrow, then try that mashed pea but a piece no bigger than a pellet. Better yet, if you get some non-pellet foods, try to pick up some frozen brine shrimp. Brine shrimp also encourages them to poop and is better for them than pea.

For meds you might want to try Maracyn 2, it should help with both the fin problems and his gill issues (if his gill problems are treatable). It will also help clear out any bacterial infections he might have brewing internally.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:57 AM   #5 
Cheries
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The pics from that link is somewhat similar. Just like the picture, the flare is not a full on flare like he would if he saw red nails but it is only to one side. (and no ich.)
It happened suddenly (while I was eating dinner) so I'm hoping it is treatable.

Thanks so much. Your posts make me feel calmer about the situation! I'll add the Maracyn2 to my list.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:44 PM   #6 
Sakura8
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I'm glad I can help. It could be Sushi had something caught in his gills and was trying to get it out. Is the partial flare permanently stuck that way or does it happen only some of the time? What does his gill look like underneath? Red is normal unless it's like a super angry inflamed looking red. Pale pink, gray, or whitish gills are a bad sign.

How is his coloring, is he still getting pale?
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:34 PM   #7 
Cheries
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Update:
The good:
Sush's gills are back to normal.
Top fins are growing in and are connected and look like almost a real fin again.
His body scales seem to be getting color again.
The bad:
When i moved his tank over to the window, it looked like he has velvet, so i put him on velvet meds (General Cure by API) as well.
His tail is getting more pale streaks on it.
He is hating having to move back and forth between tanks when I change his water (been doing 100% changes nightly) and it is stressful for him.
The Ugly:
His head still looks really bad. Like it's a piece of wood with lichen growing on it.
His tail fin is getting holes in it (2 "pin holes", as called by a website, so far) where the streaks were starting to grow. I have a bad feeling he will lose his tail fin and while they are regrowing, he will lose his belly fins..

How could he still be deteriorating when he is on the meds?

Last edited by Cheries; 08-22-2011 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:42 PM   #8 
Sakura8
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I'm glad his gills are back to normal. Do you have a pic of him? A lot of things look like velvet but aren't. Here's a guy I have who's currently being treated for velvet.
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=78662
Does he have these yellow spots? Even though the spots in velvet are smaller than the spots in ich, you can still see individual spots like this. If he doesn't look like this, he may not have velvet. Which is good because velvet is really hard to treat.

Again, a pic would be helpful if you could. I'm having a hard time picturing his head but it doesn't sound good. :/ I'd like to be able to see it, if possible. Although if not, I understand. Bettas are hard to take pics of.

If he doesn't look like he has velvet, stop the General Cure. Try just clean water and Stress Coat for a few days and see if that helps his fins any. Were you ever able to pick up a heater for him? The heater will help with his fins healing.

Keep me updated and I hope he gets better.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:52 PM   #9 
Cheries
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It looks like his head has gotten better now and the lichen look is mainly on the lower half of his head. The top half looks like it's getting more and more translucent though.. Kind of how his body was before the new scale colors came in.
Sometimes his body has a glistening white glow to it, and sometimes I think I see red (like blood).
His tail looks worse and worse every time i check in on him. Now there's a split and more and more holes are appearing.


As you can see from the photo, the scales under his dorsal fins are coming in again.
The scales above his tummy fins are losing color.
Edit:
As for the heater situation:
Because they are small tanks I can't use heaters with them. The water height requirement wouldn't be met.
Another thing I am worried about is, what if his pectoral fins rot away? Poor thing won't be able to swim then! Does that ever happen to them??

Last edited by Cheries; 08-22-2011 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:19 AM   #10 
Sakura8
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He's such a handsome betta, very striking coloring. I can see what you mean about his tail. Refresh my memory, what treatment are you using? AQ salt still? You may want to switch to Maracyn 2 and really put the whammy on that fin rot before his tail gets worse. We don't want the rot to go onto his body. His anal fin looks pretty good and fortunately his dorsal is growing back, it looks much much better. And I've never heard of them losing their pectorals to rot but I suppose it can happen. However, I think it's very, very rare for the pectorals to be affected so he should be okay.

This white glistening stuff on him, does it look almost slimy and mucous-like? And the red, does it come and go or do you see blood-like red all the time?

He may still be losing color on his head and body because he's still sick and fighting off the fin rot. Some sick bettas look like completely different fish than when they are healthy.

And I understand about the heater, it is hard to heat smaller tanks. Try and keep him as warm as possible, though, near 76-78* if possible.
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