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Old 10-17-2011, 07:05 AM   #1 
ashlyn1992
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Sick betta? help please

Hey all, I did a 50% water change on my tank (i ONLY do these once a month) yesterday and rinsed off all the items in the tank because of the diatoms. I noticed my betta was acting a little odd yesterday, hanging out at the bottom fo the tank and he looked a little pale, i figured a water change and some bring shrimp would perk him up a bit. He ate a little bit (maybe 1 or 2 shrimp) and i figured he was OK so i went on about my day. I woke up this morning to a very ill fish. He is on the bottom of the tank breathing heavy and the inside of his gills seem red (i am not sure if this is normal for a betta, generally speaking i cannot see inside thier gills) He is pale around his face and gills but his fins and the back part of his body still have color. the 2 corys that are in the tank are still swimming around and doing whatever corys do, they do not seem stressed in any way. Water parameters tested normal and i used decholorinator and a tiny (and i mean tiny) bit of pH balancer in the tank when i changed the water just so i wouldnt shock the fish with the differing pH levels.

He does not seem to be bloated or to have any other outward signs of what can be wrong, i happen to noticed the inside of the gills when i was looking for him in the tank this morning, other than that and a little paleness everything else seems to be more or less normal. i have no idea what could be wrong. any help would be appreciated, thanks a bunch!

Incase anyone is wondering:

GH- 180
pH- between 7.0 and 7.5
nitrite-between 0-20
nitrate- between 0-20 (typical results for me)
ammonia- "ideal"

Last edited by ashlyn1992; 10-17-2011 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:04 AM   #2 
Myates
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Sounds as if it is ammonia/nitrate poisoning. You want 0 for ammonia/nitrate/nitrite.. if you are showing these, then you need to do more water changes. There is no "ideal" amount of ammonia other then 0.

Once a month water change for any tank is a bad idea.. you have to do weekly water changes. Unsure what size tank you have, but if you have corys then I am assuming you have a filter. You will need to do another 50% water change, and 30-50% per week from now on. You also stated you added in a tad bit of conditioner, you must ALWAYS add that in when doing water changes, and ALWAYS dose for the full amount of the tank, regardless how much water you change. And never use a pH balancer, as messing with it will cause them harm/death.. a betta will adjust to your pH on it's own and they can survive in a wide range of it.. Some fish need it a certain way, but not bettas.

What size is the tank he is in with the cory?

Take him out of the tank and put him in a QT tank and lower the water to 3-4 inches so he can get some air easier. Make sure to add in water conditioner...

What is the temp of the tank? Should be 78-82.. so if you have a heater in there, then float/tape the container your betta is in, in the tank to keep him warm.

Fresh, dechlorinated water should help him.. there really isn't anything else I can think of to do to help him at this point.
I want to think you could try AQ salt while in his QT container (don't add it to the home tank, as the corys will not be able to tolerate it).. 1 tsp per gallon with conditioner, 100% daily water changes, no longer then 10 days.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:24 AM   #3 
ashlyn1992
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Let me reword this real quick. I do a 25% water change each week and a 50% once a month. The tank is...or was?....fully cycled and balanced. I have had a problem with diatoms and have been fighthing them for a while now...it got so bad they were completely taking over my tank, i just could not get a handle on it...thankfully that had gotten better...although i wish it would go away lol.

I ALWAYS use a conditioner and decholorinator on changes..full dose like you said (I have been doing this for 5 years now...learned that lesson really quick) I was instructed that pH shock could harm a betta which is why i used just a tad bit of balancer when i changed the water....i will stop that...i had no idea that it could harm the fish.

He is in a 10 gallon tank with a filter, heater, and 2 corys. temperature ranges from 78-82 so its always warm...i make a point to keep the water warm. When i did the test strip for the ammonia....it was the color of the "ideal" marker...i assume 0? or is there a trick behind those test strips meaning ideal is NOT zero? as for the nitrate/nitrite...the color on the stick just had a slight slight hit of pink to it.....it was not totally white and far far from totally pink....can that little bit of change cause illness?

as i stated before he was acting odd saturday but i did not have time to clean the tank right then and there....im aure you guys know how that is....so i did a 50% change on sunday and rinsed the diatoms off the plants and hiding places with warm water as well as vaccumed the rocks.

When i get home i will take him out and put him in the medical tankw (1.5 gallon) and get some aquaraium salt in there and see how he does. Sorry if the first post was a little confusing, i made myself sound like i didnt know what i was doing with the water changes...oops :)...i really appreciate your help, if anyone else can add on to what could be wrong please feel free
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:54 AM   #4 
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Okay, that does sound better lol I know sometimes when something is off with your fish you just want help and you type fast and not think about how things look because you know what you mean lol.

The breathing heavily and the red gills still sounds like ammonia poisoning.
The symptoms of ammonia poisoning is:
Fish gasp for breath at the water surface
Purple or red gills
Fish is lethargic
Loss of appetite
Fish lays at the bottom of the tank
Fish may appear darker in color
Red streaking on the fins or body

He has the red gills, the gasping, laying on bottom of tank. Sadly, there really is no treatment for ammonia poisoning, not as far as any of my research has mentioned.

But that is my educated guess though.. there may have been a spike recently.. maybe a filter change, or over fed a few times. Hope someone else comes to possibly offer their ideas and advice.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #5 
ashlyn1992
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Alright, well im getting him in the 1.5 gallon tank with some aquarium salts....if anything atleast hes not in the main tank. The cory cats dont seem to be bothered by whatever is wrong, so i am going to leave them in the main tank and keep an eye on them

***i dont plan on putting a pump or air stone in there so he doesnt have to fight a current...he will be ok with out one correct?***

Last edited by ashlyn1992; 10-17-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:22 PM   #6 
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Bettas don't need air flowing in their water as they breathe majority out of their labyrinth organ at the surface. So he doesn't need bubbles at all. (None of my betta tanks have filters nor bubbles of any sort.)
Poor boy =( I do hope he gets better soon for you.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:21 PM   #7 
ashlyn1992
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Me too, thanks for the help. I am not home right now but my sister reports that he is "hovering in the middle of the tank" which is good....hes not at the bottom any more although he is still having a little bit of trouble swimming. how long should i keep him in the medical tank? and when it comes time to place him back in the main tank how do i introduce him back to the tank water? i want to make it easy on him...least amount of stress i can get
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:03 PM   #8 
ashlyn1992
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***sorry for the double post***

i noticed something when i got home today..and i am hoping this make sence to someone (i tired to get a picture but i couldnt zoom in enough)....besides what i said earlier he doesnt seem to be able to close his gills all the way....they arent flush to the body when closed like a normal fish...its almost as if they are swollen. I can look down at him when he is verticle in the tank and his head looks like a cone...the gills sticking out almost make his whole face look like a circle (he is not flaring) His trailing fins are now clamped to his body as well...which i know isnt good....if anyone has any ideas please post them...im willing to try anything.

this came on so suddenly i cant think of what possibly could have caused it...i did not change my routine cleaning in any way...the cory cats are not affected by anything either...they are swimming around the main tank without any issues...it is just the beta that is ill
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