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Old 11-10-2011, 05:03 PM   #1 
honeyfish
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Unhappy I think Andrew is dying. =[

I think Andrew is dying. He's about 2.5 years old, so I guess it's to be expected, but I'm still sad. He's having a hard time swimming around in his tank and eating his food. Right now, he mostly stays slumped over on a leaf, and I can see that he sinks when he tries to move. What should I do to help make him more comfortable in his last days? Or, is there anyway I might be able to help him get better and maybe NOT die? =[ I'm very sad that he looks so miserable. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, guys.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:07 PM   #2 
Badjer
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If you could fill out the form below, we might be able to help you. If he was very young when you got him and he's only 2.5 years old, that's not very old for a Betta. We might be able to help you. (:

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:59 PM   #3 
honeyfish
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He lives by himself in a 5 gallon tank. It's heated and has a filter, but no specific aeration device. The tank generally stays about 80 degrees. I feed him Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets, about 3-4, about every other day. I change about 15-20% of his water about every 2 weeks (although I admit sometimes I fall behind on schedule). I treat the water with Prime water conditioner. I haven't tested the water yet, I don't have my own testing kit and haven't been able to bring any water to the local pet store. The last time I tested the water (about 6 months ago), the girl at the pet store said everything was normal. He's much more pale, and looks a lot more scaly (not as shiny and smooth-looking). He almost looks like he has a white layer on him. My boyfriend thinks it's mold and that there is something stuck in the intake for the filter, but there is nothing in the tank that could get stuck in the filter and become moldy (all of his plants are silk). He used to be very peppy and swim around his tank all the time. Now, he spends almost all of his time laying on a leaf of his plants. When I tried to feed him this morning, he seemed confused, like he couldn't figure out how to get to the pellets. I almost had to push them to his little mouth so he could eat them. I've also noticed that he spends extra time at the top of the tank, and it looks like he's breathing hard, like he's having a hard time, or he just got done with a long run/sprint. Then he starts to sink towards the bottom of the tank. And it seems to me like he is having a hard time keeping himself level, or getting to where he wants to go. I just started noticing these symptoms yesterday, and I haven't started treating him because I don't know how to treat him. He has had ich once, about a year ago, and he has a long history of biting his tail, but the ich went away after about 2 or 3 days and it never came back. I have had him for 2.5 years, and I don't know how old he was when I bought him but he hasn't changed in size at all (I don't know if that helps but I thought it might be worth mentioning). I don't know if any of this helps or how much it does, but if there's a way I can make him better that would be awesome. Thanks for your help. =]
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:44 PM   #4 
Pataflafla
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If your tank isn't cycled, maybe try upping the changes to 20-30% weekly instead of every 2 weeks.

there might be ammonia build up that he's more sensitive to. His age is fairly old for a pet store betta as well, so it might just be that or a combination.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:30 AM   #5 
Myates
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeyfish View Post
He lives by himself in a 5 gallon tank. It's heated and has a filter, but no specific aeration device. The tank generally stays about 80 degrees. I feed him Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets, about 3-4, about every other day. When he is feeling better, it's wise to feed 2-3 pellets per meal, twice a day rather then so very little and less often. Small meals multiple times a day will help him keep up on nutrition that is needed to keep him healthy and keep him immune system going strong.
I change about 15-20% of his water about every 2 weeks (although I admit sometimes I fall behind on schedule). 5 gallons filtered you should be doing 30-50% weekly, with regular siphoning of the substrate. With so little water change, you are risking him having ammonia poisoning among other problems like fungus and rot.
I treat the water with Prime water conditioner. I haven't tested the water yet, I don't have my own testing kit and haven't been able to bring any water to the local pet store. The last time I tested the water (about 6 months ago), the girl at the pet store said everything was normal. He's much more pale, and looks a lot more scaly (not as shiny and smooth-looking). He almost looks like he has a white layer on him. My boyfriend thinks it's mold and that there is something stuck in the intake for the filter, but there is nothing in the tank that could get stuck in the filter and become moldy (all of his plants are silk). He used to be very peppy and swim around his tank all the time. Now, he spends almost all of his time laying on a leaf of his plants. When I tried to feed him this morning, he seemed confused, like he couldn't figure out how to get to the pellets. I almost had to push them to his little mouth so he could eat them. I've also noticed that he spends extra time at the top of the tank, and it looks like he's breathing hard, like he's having a hard time, or he just got done with a long run/sprint. Then he starts to sink towards the bottom of the tank. And it seems to me like he is having a hard time keeping himself level, or getting to where he wants to go. I just started noticing these symptoms yesterday, and I haven't started treating him because I don't know how to treat him. He has had ich once, about a year ago, and he has a long history of biting his tail, but the ich went away after about 2 or 3 days and it never came back. I have had him for 2.5 years, and I don't know how old he was when I bought him but he hasn't changed in size at all (I don't know if that helps but I thought it might be worth mentioning). I don't know if any of this helps or how much it does, but if there's a way I can make him better that would be awesome. Thanks for your help. =]
Poor guy, if you can post a picture, that may help. He is a little older, but they can live for a few years longer then that. So right now I'm thinking it's more of enviroment catching up, rather then his age.

Move him to a smaller container and float it in his tank to keep him warm (or keep him in his home tank, just lower the water level). Keep the water level lowered to 3-4 inches to make going to the surface easier for him.
It sounds as if his slime coat is shedding, which they will create and excess of it when they are in unfavorable conditions and trying to ward off toxins.
Do water changes daily, 100%, adding in Prime. (You can use a gallon water jug to make this easier for you when doing the daily water changes.)

I want to say it's ammonia poisoning (can't swim properly, gasping at surface for air, pale, and lack of changing the water regularly), which sometimes can be hard to reverse. But we'll do what we can to help that :)

Go ahead and in that gallon jug, mix in 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt (you can buy at any pharmacy in places such as Walmart, make sure it's unscented, plain Epsom Salt). It's safe and won't be harsh on him. Going to use that in case it's a swim bladder issue he is having- if it is, then that will help him, if not, no harm and can scratch that off the list of why he can't swim properly. Do the treatment for about 10 days, daily 100% water changes. If you see him swimming properly, then just do the treatment for a day past the last time he was sideways. If he still isn't swimming properly at the end of the week, then let us know and we can either try something else, or conclude whether the swimming issue is part of ammonia poisoning.

But other then ES, just warm, clean water with your conditioner will help him right now. There is no medication that will reverse the poisoning. All we can do is make him comfortable, give him the clean conditioned water he needs and hope he is strong enough to fight it off.

Last edited by Myates; 11-11-2011 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:56 AM   #6 
BETTACHKALOVE
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I agree with Myates but just to want to add something. For 5 gall you need a little bit more water changes. Just in the future- the recommended dose 50% weekly and 100% monthly.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:06 AM   #7 
Myates
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BETTACHKALOVE View Post
I agree with Myates but just to want to add something. For 5 gall you need a little bit more water changes. Just in the future- the recommended dose 50% weekly and 100% monthly.
"5 gallons filtered you should be doing 30-50% weekly, with regular siphoning of the substrate." - you don't need to do 100% with a filtered tank, and a lot of times it's not recommended. Why I said 30-50% weekly with siphoning. The 50% weekly, 100% monthly are for tanks that size that isn't filtered.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #8 
honeyfish
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Wow, thanks guys, I'll try out the epsom salt/daily water changes to see if he improves. Since last night he's just been sitting at the bottom of his tank, looking miserable. =[ I feel so bad, like I didn't do my job right. I hope I still have time to save him! I'll post updates to let you know how he does and ask for more help if he gets worse. Thanks a bunch, guys!
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:57 PM   #9 
honeyfish
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Hey guys, I'm trying to attach some pictures of Andrew so you can see how miserable his poor little face looks. Sorry if you can't see them or they are crappy quality. I had to take them with my camera on my phone. I've put him in a tiny .5 gallon tank, and I'm warming up some towels to cover his sick container in for the night. I just hope he doesn't give up on me. =[
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:00 PM   #10 
Myates
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Aww what a cutie. Regular clean water right now should help him out greatly. I do hope he pulls through.
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