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Old 08-29-2011, 12:16 AM   #1 
rheld
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Betta fish has flaky fins and acting lethargic. Please help!

Please help my Betta fish. This is the information I can give:

Housing

What size is your tank?
cylindrical tank holding about 3 pints
What temperature is your tank?
don't know. not heated.
Does your tank have a filter?
no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
no
Is your tank heated?
no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish?
about one pellet a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
100% every other week
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
just dechlorination drops

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water?
no

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
yes. fins and upper scales seem to flake as if shedding (see picture attachment)
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
floating at the top. not eating or moving a lot.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
I noticed today. The fish had a "lucky bamboo" plant submerged in the tank, but the plant died, had a horrible smell to it, and made the water murky; This is when i noticed the fish being lethargic and slight flakiness to his fins (the fins themselves are not falling off). I threw the plant out, and changed 100% of the water, but his condition has not changed.
Have you started treating your fish?
no, just changed the water.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
no.
How old is your fish (approximately)?
He was purchased about a year ago. I don't know how old he was then.


Thank you for any help you can give.

-Ryan
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:08 AM   #2 
earthworm88
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Oh boy! That looks like his slime coat is deteriorating and coming off his body to me. This usually happens due to very poor water condition they are in. When this happens, the fish is susceptible to fungus, bacteria infection and other diseases as well.

From your sticky, 3 pints is not even half a gallon which is way way too small for any fish. Even though your vase isn't heated, you still need to know the water temp they live in. Because of the poor quality water with a dead plant in it, it is likely your betta is infected.

To start with, put your betta in a clean plastic cup. Sterilize your vase with hot water and let cool. Don't put anything else in it as it is small enough as it is :) In the meantime, get yourself at least a gallon plastic critter keeper type container to put your betta in. A gallon tank requires 100% daily to every other day water change, so a 2 gallon will be even better. You also need stress coat or stress guard. I personally prefer Seachem StressGuard.

1) Pre-mix 1 tsp of Aquarium salt with 1 gal of water in a cleaned jug
2) Add conditioner
3) Add stress coat or stress guard* if you have
4) mix well and pour into new container, then your betta

*Put about three drops of StressGuard (need a dropper as it doesn't come with a dropper type opening) into one gallon of conditioned water.

This is what I got from DM sticky:
Body Slime Infection
•Symptoms: Your betta is covered in a white film. It may just be in a few areas and may rise of the skin a bit. Lethargy, clamped, loss of apetite, may have cloudy eyes.
•Treatment: Body Slime infections or Slime Coat Sloughing are due to bacterial infections. Perform daily 100% water changes. Use 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt for up to 10 days. If that does not work then use API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR Jungle’s Lifeguard.

So let's start conservatively and observe if there is improvement in 5 days and change treatment plan if necessary. Have you got any frozen bloodworm or brine shrimp? If not, try to soak his pellet in garlic juice (just mince a clove of garlic to get the juice form there) then see if he is interested in eating.

Good luck! The experts will be coming along soon hopefully to add anything I have missed.

Cheers!

Last edited by earthworm88; 08-29-2011 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:46 AM   #3 
Myates
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I agree, you need at least a gallon for the fish to be healthy. As well as you are not changing the water anywhere near what is needed. For a 1gal 1 50% AND 1 100% water change a week is the minimum. Anything smaller you need to be doing 100% change every other day to every day with the proper chemicals.
Do the treatment above posted by Earth and your lil guy should get better. Good luck!
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:57 PM   #4 
Thunderloon
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Triple-sulfa and aeration, daily water change and prep water beforehand.
(Get a heater and some kind of water tub like a cat litter box and set both the tank and the new water in it so both are heated equally, takes about 3 hours for the jug to match up.)

Still tons of web pages out there telling people to use gram+ on gram- infections.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:50 PM   #5 
rheld
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Thank you everyone.
I have started treatment, and the clearish-white film on his fins has gone away, although now his fins seem tattered (not bitten). I will continue the treatment, and let you know how he is doing.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:54 PM   #6 
earthworm88
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Good news! Hehe....he has only got one slime coat to shed Don't worry about the fins for now, they will get well on their own as long as the water is super clean. Just monitor closely as he is now very vulnerable to anything as his natural protection is gone.

Keep us posted and good luck.

Cheers!
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:28 AM   #7 
rheld
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He is much more active now, and eating very well. The part of his fins that were ragged actually fell off yesterday. Is that okay? Will they grow back?
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:00 PM   #8 
earthworm88
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Yay! I am glad he is feeling better. Yes, the fins will grow back, the speed will depend on how healthy your betta is and how clean the water is. So be sure to keep changing the water daily so that no bacteria or fungus is going to attack the open sores on the fins. If you have frozen blood worms or brineshrimp, it will help make the regrowth faster.

Do you have stress coat or stress guard on hand?
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:14 PM   #9 
rheld
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Yes, I've been treating the water with stress coat every time I change the water (every day).
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