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Old 10-11-2011, 07:20 AM   #1 
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Location: Nebraska
Betta Floating Tail Down

What size is your tank? 3 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78 F
Does your tank have a filter? No
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

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 twice daily


How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime/stress coat

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Dull color
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? sitting listlessly at bottom of tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)?1 year

I had 2 bettas in identical tank setups. On Friday I moved my crowntail from his spot between the other identical tank and the light green wall to a spot on my white bookshelf. On Sunday he started floating with his tail a little lower than his head, right at the surface of the water. I was away Sunday night and all day Monday. When I came home late Monday night, he was at the bottom of the tank, but responsive. His tail, which used to be white had turned pinkish. I did 2 50% water changes with 1 tsp/gal aquarium salt over the course of the day yesterday. I had to use stress coat as a water conditioner as I ran out of prime the other day. He passed this morning. My doubletail, who I got a few months after him is now starting to show the same symptoms. I'm worried it's septicemia, but I don't know if I should treat it before I know for sure since the medication is kind of harsh. Any suggestions? On hand I have Pimafix, Melafix, and Triple Sulfa, but Petsmart is right next door.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:58 AM   #2 
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The other betta looks fine now, thank goodness. Anyone have any idea what it could have been? How should I go about cleaning the old tank if I decide to use it again?
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:24 AM   #3 
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I'm sorry to hear he passed =(

Hot hot water will work in cleaning the tank. You want to avoid soaps of any kind.

I wouldn't use AQ salt when they look as if they can't stay upright.. usually it means something is going on with their swim bladder (not always though) and AQ salt can make it worse. Epsom Salt is better to use, as it works for internal problems whereas AQ is for external such as Ich, fin rot, etc.
Whenever you do add in either AQ salt or Epsom, you will always want to do daily 100% water changes, adding in the salt each time. AQ salt shouldn't be used for longer then 10-14 days at a time.
I don't think it was the salt that killed him, he sounded as if he was far along by that point, poor fella. But just wanted to say that in case you ever think you need it again. Epsom Salt (unfragranced, etc) can be purchased at any store with a pharmacy in the pharmacy dept. Walmart has a good amount for less then $2.

One more thing I would like to add.. 1-2 pellets a day is underfeeding them. If they are the mini pellets, 8-10 a day spread between 2-3 feedings. The regular medium sized pellets 4-6, up to 8, a day spread between 2-3 feedings is idea. They need the proper nutrients to keep them strong and healthy to fight ailments better.
Again, not saying that is what killed them, but it does help to keep them healthy and strong.

When you changed the water right before the symptoms started, was the temp different then in the tank? Sometimes a difference in temp, even by a couple degrees, can cause symptoms of what you described, similar to SBD.

I wish I could tell you exactly what happened, but it's hard to say. He showed only a couple signs of illness and it seemed as if he passed quickly. It sounds like something to do with the water, but what exactly, I don't know.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #4 
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That's good to know about the epsom salt, I'll pick some up tonight to have on hand in case of emergency.

They both got usually 2 pellets per feeding, twice a day, so about 4 a day. They're the little round pellets, I don't know if they're considered mini or not; if they were any bigger I don't think they'd be able to fit them in their mouth.

He was acting listless before the water change, but the heater I've got to warm up the water change supply doesn't always heat evenly, so it may have been a few degrees cooler than what he had in the tank. It's never bothered him before that I've seen, but it might have compounded the problem. I'll be more careful about that in the future.

The thing that really worried me about it was the way his fins turned pink. I've never heard of anything that does that besides septicemia and I can't imagine how that would have been introduced into the tank. Is that a more common symptom than I'm aware of?
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