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Old 08-31-2011, 10:37 AM   #1 
Critter Servant
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Betta Dying!

I posted about the beautiful betta I found at Petco here.
http://http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=78026
Yesterday he didn't look too good. He was red and puffed out under the gills and his fins were clamped down. I gave him a 1/3 water change and today he looks worse. The area under his gills is really red and he's sort of tipping over on his side. His fins are still clamped in. Since he's been here, the water has been kept clean and the temperatures have been in the 70's. I've been feeding betta pellets along with an occasional (once a week) treat of blood worms. I have to leave for work later this morning, and don't think he'll make it through the day. Ideas? I'd hate to lose the beautiful little guy.

Last edited by Critter Servant; 08-31-2011 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:50 AM   #2 
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I'm very sorry your boy isn't doing well, hes quite lovely.

Could you please fill out this little form so I(and others)can better understand how to properly offer advice on how to help him?
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

Red gills and clamped fins to me sounds like a water quality issue, likely having to do with high ammonia levels though....
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:00 AM   #3 
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Housing—the tank is 1 gallons, no filter or anything, house temps kept in the mid-70’s at all times. I had another betta in the same tank for 5 years and he did fine.

Food—betta pellets 6 days a week, blood worms once a week

Maintenance—The tank was seeded with water from my other betta’s tank and the rest was tap water that had been allowed to sit in an open container for a week to evaporate the bad stuff out. About 1/5 changed every few days until yesterday, when I did a 1/3 change.

Parameters—Haven’t tested for anything.

Symptoms—fins gripped to his body, puffed out red gills, sort of listing to one side.

Edited to add: Doing an ammonia test right now.

Last edited by Critter Servant; 08-31-2011 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:12 AM   #4 
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It sounds definitely like a water quality, and possibly a bloating issue.

See, when you don't have a filter in a tank, the good bacteria that break down the harmful chemicals exceeded by your fish(ammonia)have no oxygen and thus; don't grow(the tank is also too small to grow a decent, stable colony of bacteria even with a filter).
For a 1.5 gallon, you need to be doing at least two 100% water changes(that is taking the fish out, pouring out all the water, rinsing everything in hot water, replacing and refilling and then accumulating your guy back in)a week; I suggest doing one every other day in order to keep your water clean. Otherwise your ammonia will only build up to dangerous and deadly levels over time.
Red gills and clamped fins are a classic sign of ammonia poisoning.

When you get home, do a full 100% water change ASAP. Accumulate him slowly though, make sure the water is the same temp as it was before, and don't forget the conditioner of course.

Now, for the bloating...
How much exactly are you feeding him and how often? To address the bloating he has now, fast him for a couple of days, then feed him a little Frozen Daphnia. Depending on how much your feeding him/how often, might want to cut him back a little.

I'd also still highly suggest a heater...just because your other betta survived without one for five years doesn't mean this one will; bettas are individuals, some deal with stress and not so great conditions a lot better then others, and some are a lot more sensitive. A heater not only keeps his water warm, but it keeps the temp stable, which is very important as fluctuating temps can be stressful.
An adjustable/submersible 25 watt or under heater would work just fine to keep his tank at a steady temp of 78-81 degrees F.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:15 AM   #5 
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The ammonia test just showed 0 ppm, so the ammonia level probably isn't the issue. Should I still due another water change?

I've been feeding him as much as he'll eat every day.

I just added a small heater.

Last edited by Critter Servant; 08-31-2011 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:20 AM   #6 
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What sort of test are you using to test the ammonia?
That sounds a little fishy....with a water change schedule like that in such a small unfiltered tank, there should be some ammonia reading. I'd get a second opinion....maybe take a sample to your LFS and have them test it(providing they use a liquid test kit of course).

Still, do a full 100% water change and get everything nice and fresh and clean. Clean water, if anything, will help regardless of whats going on.
Any chance you can get a pic of him?

You should only feed him 2-3 pellets twice a day/a few frozen bloodworms to replace one feeding. Bettas don't have an on/off switch to their hunger like....lets say some Lizards; they can and will eat themselves to death. Their stomach is roughly the size of their eyeball and the pellets will take on water and swell in their stomach.
Therefore, you need to regulate how much he eats.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:22 AM   #7 
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I don't think you're changing his water enough, for one and half gallons, you should probably do at least a 50% a week and a 100% a week, or two 100%. I'd recommend you just do 100% now instead of that 1/3, and maybe change it 100% a day untill he feels better, you can also add 1.5tsp of aquarium salt as long as you have no live plants. the best medicine for a fish is very clean water he doesn't sound too far gone yet, so he should be fine
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:24 AM   #8 
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The testing kit I used is made by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, and it's an NH3/NH4+ liquid test kit.

I'll need to feed less.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:26 AM   #9 
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If he is having buoyancy issue...I would get him in QT and start Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and tannins along with 100% daily water changes for 10-14 days, hold all food for 2 days and then feed small frequent meals of a varied good quality foods....

Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add the Epsom salt 2tsp/gal(Not aquarium salt) and tannins-either IAL or dried Oak leaf-let the tannins steeps for 30min-1h to release tannins and salt to dissolve and use this water for the 100% daily water changes for 10-14 days while in a small QT container....cover the top of the QT with plastic veggie wrap to retain the heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ...goal temp is 76-77F during treatment....
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:27 AM   #10 
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Hmm...still get a second opinion, just to be safe; you never know.

But yes, definitive feed less and change more water more frequently; a little AQ salt(I'd start on a low dose personally; half a teaspoon-on teaspoon per gallon) won't hurt either if you have some sitting around, just be sure to dissolve it fully and add it to the new water.

Any chance of getting a picture of him?
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