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Old 10-23-2011, 08:35 AM   #1 
asbo604
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Help! Very sick betta! Should I euthanize?

First time ever posting on the forums, and its a big emergency for me anyway.

I left my newly aquired Betta with my wife for 6 days, while worked. (I had him for 5 days prior). 16 Gallon tank all to himself around 25 - 26.5 degrees C at all times thanks to a good heater and a warm room.

He was a beautiful blue, turqoise colour and very lively, interested in goings on outside the tank, etc.

I return to find him floating at the top of the tank, resting his body against the side, with most of his fins gone and very dark in colour, almost black. He is such a sorry sight, still moves about a little but he is really weak.

I spoke to my friendly local fish shop who suggested a number of issues. I subsequently spent alot of money on a very good water testing kit which showed hardly any amonia, good PH levels, but extremely high Nitrate, and nitrites.

I immediately removed the fish to a medi tank, and began a phase of water changes to lower the nitrate and nitrite.

30% yesterday,
25% today,
and it will be 20% tomorrow,

and the tanks Nitrates and nitrites are slowly dropping, almost roughly half of what they were yesterday but still pretty high.

Anyway, my main concern is for the fish. He looks so sick, not gasping, bit so dark in colour, and loss of around 70 - 80% of fins which again wouldnt bother me, but just how weak he is and his inability to swim down or really anyway. I think he may have just loss the use of one of his front fins(name?) too.

I certainly dont want to give up on him, and if he can recover then I couldnt care less if he regains fins etc aslong as he will be happy. But I dont want to be causing him undue stress or pain and wondered if I should put him out of his misery? I know Betta's are tough, but he looks really unhappy.

Never thought I would get so upset about a fish, I served in Afghanistan and Iraq and I am a cop for gods sake, but this brought me near to tears. Any help or advice would really be appreciated.

Especially to avoid this happening again!


Ph I have added aquarium salt to both tanks, and unfortunately I dont have a digi cam so no photos yet.

Awaiting eagerly for replies.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:08 AM   #2 
earthworm88
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Hi Asbo, sorry to hear your betta is faring poorly.
For a 16 gal tank, I am sure you have got a filter etc, but you didn't mention anything about cycling the tank, so it is very likely he has Nitrite poisoning from your test results.

Immediately put him into a 1 gal Quarantine tank (for ease of changing water) with the same temperature water as the big tank. Add 1 tsp of aquarium salt to dissolve, and add Seachem Prime for conditioning. Make sure everything is mixed and dissolved before adding your betta. If you have Indian Almond Leaves, crushed a few leaves to be put inside a disposable tea bag type thingy (if you have that is, just make tank water less messy) and soak for 1 hr to steep and then remove. Change his water 100% daily and repeat the above steps. If you have aeration, see if that will fit into your hospital tank without making any ruckus to keep the water 100% aerated to saturate the water with oxygen.

While he is in the hospital tank, you need to make sure your big tank is completely cycled before adding anything to it.

If it's only been 6 days, he may be able to recover. Good luck.

Cheers!
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:28 AM   #3 
asbo604
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Thanks for the fast reply, Yeah I did cycle the tank, for 10 days, although the store said 7. Although I didnt do I Nitrate test then. Do you think it should have been cycled for longer?

Yeah also has a filter, built in. Its a Biorb life, which was bought for me as a present.


He is in a tank with good clean water, and a small heater, all tested so I will try what you suggested. As I said, any sign of improvement would be good as I really want him to survive
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:23 AM   #4 
earthworm88
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I am not 100% sure about the cycling of a tank your size, but I think it should take about more or less 3 weeks to be on the safe side. Someone will be able to give you an accurate answer I hope.

Clean water with maximum aerated water and aquarium salt will help to reverse this type of poisoning. So don't give up yet.

Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:43 PM   #5 
asbo604
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Thank you, think i will need it.

Ah, I think thats my problem, as I only waited 9 days until I put him in. 3 weeks and I may have avoided this problem.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:53 PM   #6 
earthworm88
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Things like this happen. We learn from our mistakes everyday. As for the cycling of the tank, try PM OldFishLady as she is one of the best here and be able to guide you through and give you tips.

When you can get your hands on a digicam, post up some close-up photos, so we can get a better idea of what else is going on.

For now, be sure to change the water daily, keep the water saturated with O2 if you have got an aeration stone to drop in as well as all the other steps I mentioned.

Good luck. Hope your betta will improve.

Cheers!
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:06 PM   #7 
Sakura8
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Welcome to the forum, asbo. I've got a great guide on cycling. I'll PM it to you. Hang on.

Edit: Sent.

asbo, it's okay you put your betta in after only 9 days. It's just that you weren't aware the tank was still cycling so you couldn't do the proper water changes to keep the levels down. That's all. Don't worry, every one was once new to fish keeping and we all made similar mistakes. The real problem was what the pet store people told you, that it only took 7 days. The only way a tank cycles that fast is if it is using a mature filter from an established tank.

Your guy's fins probably rotted off from the high nitrite/nitrate levels. Don't worry, once we get the cycling under control, your guy's fins should grow back.

Last edited by Sakura8; 10-23-2011 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:31 AM   #8 
asbo604
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Thank you everyone for all the replys and the PM. Unfortunately I cam down this morning and checked on the medi tank with my Betta in it and he was floating on his side, no reaction what so ever, I monitered him for quite a while with no movement or finaly lefted him out as a desperate attempt for some kind of reaction but he was dead.

Im gutted and annoyed with myself as its basicly my fault. Its a shame too, as he did show signs of recovery yesterday.

I am still water changing the tank now, and am getting the nitrate and nitrite levels down slowly. I will continue doing this until levels are normal.

Is there any advice regarding the cycle now that anyone can give as the last thing I want is to make the same mistake again.

Once again thanks for all the replies, just wish I had found this sooner.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:47 AM   #9 
earthworm88
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So sorry to hear your betta didn't make it. Sakura is one of the experts here in fish keeping and I hope you will have a more enjoyable experience next time.
Cheers!
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:12 PM   #10 
chicagojo
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I am so sorry to hear about your betta. I too was wracked with guilt after a recent betta death because I had just believed everything the pet store people told me when I should have done more research and learned more about how to properly care for them. So I can definitely identify with the sense of self-blame that is complicating your loss.

The good thing is that you came here, where there are tons of super-knowledgeable betta owners who will help you along every step of the way in caring for your next betta, should you decide to get one. I am still sad for the loss of our fish Feathers but because of it I am now better informed and better able to care for our surviving betta Rock N Roll and our latest acquisition Feathers II (my kids name the fish around here in case you are wondering).
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