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Old 10-08-2011, 10:47 AM   #1 
purplemuffin
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So sad.. Sick fish.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78
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? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day, skipping a day once a week (3 pellets)

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? once a week, mega change once a month
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? dechlorinator

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Haven't tested them today, but I can if the problem is possibly related, just trying to get a fast answer

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No change in appearance
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Low activity level, lays down a lot, often on his side. He swims vertically too, and possibly seems to have a curve in his spine
When did you start noticing the symptoms? last night
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I did a water change, but was unsure what else to do at this point
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Never
How old is your fish (approximately)? A little over a year



Very sad, he looks absolutely pathetic. I'm not sure what it is(seems like so many diseases have similar symptoms) but could it be swim bladder disorder? I know that makes them 'swim' funny. But he just lays down crumpled at the bottom of his tank all day, sometimes on his side, sometimes vertically. Scares me a lot. He doesn't like to swim. He came up for food this morning(only fed him one) but then just went straight back down to the bottom. He is usually a very active plakat, but now is just sad.. He can breathe fine, and has no reddish gils or hurt looking scales. Coloration is normal. Just sits down a lot.

I tried to research and found all sorts of answers and some people saying that it could be swim bladder disorder since sometimes it will just cause the betta to have trouble swimming, not always making them float. I feel that if it is sbd, I would know what caused it. My parents used to take care of him while I was in college, and since I've been back have had trouble adjusting to me being his primary caretaker. We had to make a sign so we could tell if he was fed today or not. Sometimes that means they will accidentally feed him on his fasting day, or I will feed him after they already have if they didn't say so. I keep telling them to just STOP, but they think I don't know how to take care of a dang fish.

If it's something else... Well. I hope it's something he can get better from.

It's totally heartbreaking to return to this site only to talk about my first little betta being sick. I really hope he recovers.

Last edited by purplemuffin; 10-08-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:27 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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I would go ahead and start Epsom salt 3tsp/gal (Not aquarium salt) treatment for 10-14 days....if you have any tannins like- IAL or dried Oak leaf all the better....

Qt him in something small-bare bottom that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-77F range and cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain the heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ....attach the QT to the side of the tank so it doesn't sink or get knocked around by the filter and turn the light off-hold food for now....

Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and tannin source and let this steep for 30min so the salt can dissolve and release some of the tannins....

Use this premixed Tx water for 50% water change every 15 min for 1 hour-to total 4-50% changes today and tomorrow start 100% daily for the next 10-14 days while in the small QT container....he needs to stay in the Tx water/QT since this is a treatment not a bath/dip....

Diet-after 2 days-offer small frequent meals of a good quality varied diet and if you have access to mosquito larva-offer some rinsed for one of the meals per day....

Good luck and keep us posted.....
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #3 
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Will keep you updated on his progress.

It's odd, he honestly just looks like he does when he's sleeping and first wakes up in the morning--but just all the time, and sometimes sort of lays on his side(though he tries to stay up right). He doesn't look as sickly as I have seen bettas look(pale, torn fins, etc.), but I know with small animals things can progress and worsen very quickly, so I'm glad I caught this problem before it was too late. Hopefully.

My brother is driving me to the pet store tonight so I can pick up supplies.
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:11 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Epsom salt usually can be found at most stores with a pharmacy dept like Walmart and some grocery stores...I have never seen it at pet shop

IAL (Indian almond leaf) usually you have to get this online

If you have any Oak trees-collect naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf....I use 12-18/gallon-crushed and add to the 1gal jug....

The longer they steep the more tannins will be released-the darker the water-the more the Betta likes it......

Both the Epsom salt and tannins have antibacterial/fungal properties and the Epsom salt will help with any edema or constipation issue and the tannins help with stress, lower the pH slightly, toughen scale/fins-both have healing properties....

For the 1gal jug...I use milk jugs that I have rinse out really good with hot water

Keep us posted.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 10-08-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:10 PM   #5 
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I do have an oak tree--but does the type of oak tree matter? I was double checking the leaves, and some oak trees have more rounded edges, and some are pointier. Is this important? I don't want to put something in the water I am unsure about.

Our oak tree has leaves like this:


Other than that question I'm ready to start treating him. We got epsom salt and have the quarantine tank ready.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:45 AM   #6 
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Sad, he's started to really really decline quickly...

Did the hour of water changes with the specially treated water. But he's still listlessly laying at the bottom of the water.

When he does swim, he swims actively(partially vertical still) but he just chooses to lay. He looks dead most of the time when I see him. Color started to pale.


It's going to be a rough morning I think.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:15 AM   #7 
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He made it through the night, but is in worse condition than before. Can barely swim. Now it looks like he's developing popeye as well as whatever the heck it was before. He's getting sick rapidly and his spine is getting more bent out of shape. He also suddenly appears to be getting extremely thin.

It's hard to see if he has injuries due to his intense red-purple color. His gils and side of his body always look a dark intense red. His gils may be more red than before, but I could be just looking for things and thinking I see things I don't.

Could it be TB? I check his main tanks water parameters, and all were within normal range. I was very strict about water changes.

Last edited by purplemuffin; 10-09-2011 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:40 AM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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I have about 8 different species of oak tree that I use......you want naturally dried and fall from the tree...no green leaves.....

It can take 4/6 days before you start to see improvement

It also may be age related and not a lot you can do but make him comfy.....
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:19 AM   #9 
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He's only a year and two months, so I didn't really think it would be age related.

Used only the naturally dried brown ones. Trying to just make his as comfortable as possible, but boy does he just always look dead now. Will keep trying my best.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:17 PM   #10 
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The sad boy this morning before the water change. He struggled to swim, so i lowered his water so he can much more easily get to it without trying. I never see him move much, but he is definitely moving around the tank for air. He repositions himself occasionally. Sometimes he'll be 'laying', or just sitting at the bottom, or completely vertical right under the top of the water so he can just hop up for a quick bit of air.

Actually as of tonight he seems to be able to float a bit better instead of sinking. Only his tip of his tail is touching the ground. Still swims weakly, and hangs his tail near the ground, but not as vertical as before. It's like he's dragging his lower body and only has enough strength to lift his upper half? Maybe cause his fins are clamped so tight?



How he swims at it's worst. If he's moving slow, it's like that, if it's fast he seems to swim a little better.
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