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Old 11-02-2011, 01:09 PM   #1 
Lovemyfishybuddies
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Help! My fish is sick!

Hi Guys,
I need help diagnosing my betta.
His name is Calcifer
and I've had him for 3 months. He's been fine and dandy and happy until yesterday. I don't know why because I change his water regularly and put in all the right stuff...
He has a 3 gallon tank, filtered and heated (of course) to 78 degrees F.

Symptoms:
Clamped fins
losing scales
bloated belly
difficulty swimming (its like he's too heavy to swim and its a big laborious task for him)
color is dull
won't eat very much

What measures I've taken:
Changed the water (with pretreated water)
changed the filter
cleaned all his toys and plants
added stress coat, a bacterial supplement (that's supposed to boost fish immunity), and aquarium salt.

He DOESN'T have pine cone scales or white patches anywhere, he isn't really belly sliding, and his fins don't seem to be rotting. I've shined a light over him and I haven't seen any sign of velvet...
I was reading up on some betta diseases and was thinking that he might have a bacterial infection but I'm not sure.

Please, any help is appreciated. I love this little guy! ):
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:11 PM   #2 
Lovemyfishybuddies
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actually...

I notice that he was acting a little wonky on Monday and gave him a little extra TLC in the form of stress coat...
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:36 PM   #3 
Myates
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Hi, and welcome to the forum.. sorry to hear your little guy is ill.

I can't say for sure what is going on with him, is there a chance you could upload a picture or two to help us see if there are any other signs?

A couple things you may want to consider:
AQ salt will actually make the bloating worse, so I would remove him from that for now. You will want to do Epsom Salt (sold at pretty much any pharmacy in places such as Walmart). I would do 1-2 tsp per gallon, daily 100% water changes until a few days past when you last see symptoms. You may want to put him in a smaller container while doing so - or remove the filter since it is new and just change out the water daily in his home tank.
You will also want to lower his water level to only a few inches from the bottom to help him be able to get air easily. (Why a smaller container may be more helpful, as it will also be easier to do the daily 100% water changes. Just premix the salt and regular water conditioner in a gallon jug if needed. Float/tape the smaller container in his main tank to keep the warmth.)

The clamped fins and dull color could be a few different things, bloated belly could be food related or parasites. You can tell if parasites if you see his poop is white and stringy.

Hopefully after pictures we can see more and possibly figure out what is going on fully. =( I'm sorry I can't be of much of help right now.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:37 PM   #4 
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If you can fill this out as well, it would be helpful.

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:
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:41 PM   #5 
Lovemyfishybuddies
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To Myates

Thanks Myates, I'll get on that asap.

As for the questionaire:
Housing:
-3 gallon (I have a 1 gallon that I'm going to move him into)
-78-80 degrees
-Yes, I have a filter (its a small one)
-And a bubbler for aeration
-Yes my tank has a heater
- He lives on his own

Food:
-He eats TetraMin Tropical Granules
-I feed him 1-2 times a day (5 granules each feeding- and one at a time)

Maintenance:
- I change the water every two weeks
-about a 90% change
- I add stress coat and recently have started adding a bacterial supplement

Water Parameters:
): Unfortunately I don't have a testing kit with me. But I'm going fishy supply shopping today so I'll be sure to pick one up.

The first attachment is him healthy
the other two are of him sick, I'm sorry that these ones are bad quality, he was being very shy and would come out if I had a bright light on.
the third one you can really see his clamped fins and bloated belly.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:23 PM   #6 
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Ok so another update, I cleaned out his tank and I did see white stringy things floating around in there ):
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #7 
Myates
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He is a handsome guy! I love the dark red and white.

I would fast him for 2 days to see if that helps with his bloating - 5 pellets per meal is an awful lot for a betta, as their stomachs are the size of their eyes. 2-3 pellets per meal, 2x a day is idea and recommended. The pellets also increase slightly while in their stomach as they absorb liquids.. so I would suggest cutting back on the food intake, the amount per feeding. But go ahead and fast him for 2 days and hope his system catches up to what he has. Basically, so he can poop it all out lol.

If after 2-3 days of no food and he is still bloated, we can start him on either parasitic medicine or Epsom Salt if he is still showing signs of bloating. The white stuff may not be his poo- so lets just do the feeding and watch him for the next week for any other signs (bloating once more immediately after eating, etc).

As for the water changes, in a 3 gal filtered, you should be doing 1 50% water change per week, as anything less the ammonia and such will build up and it can cause the lethargy, clamped fins, dull coloring. Dose the tank with the full amount of water conditioner when you are doing partial changes. Also siphoning it once every other week is good as well- or stir up the substrate and cup out the floating waste as filters don't make waste go away, just hides it.

He doesn't need a bubbler, as they don't need aeration- they breathe the air we do through their labyrinth organ, so no filter nor bubbler required for them.

I don't see a reason to add bacterial supplement as your filter will host all the good bacteria needed. Playing with the chemistry of a tank with additives could cause more harm then good. So I suggest not using it.

Right now, I suggest cupping him, cupping the filter in some tank water, and cleaning out his tank fully. Rinse out the substrate, wash the plants and tank with hot hot water then put it all together again. Float him in the tank in his cup for 20-30 minutes, every 10 mins or so remove some of the water from the cup and add in tank water so he adjusts to the change in the chemistry properly as well as the temp.

Is the stress coat your main water conditioner? If so, then that's fine, if you are only adding in a little bit and not have a regular water conditioner, you will want to make sure to use full amounts of water conditioner/stress coat each water change. (I couldn't be sure if you use one or not, sorry)

I would say between the couple days of fasting, and a fresh tank, you should see an improvement in him within a week.

*edit, just saw you cleaned it out recently.. did you do almost a full clean, like 90%? If so, then I wouldn't worry about doing another water change as I had suggested.. but if you added in the supplement, then I would do a partial to start to work it out of your tank.

Last edited by Myates; 11-03-2011 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:18 AM   #8 
Lovemyfishybuddies
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Thanks! (:

=O omg! I did not know that! He hasn't really been eating anything for the past day or so.

Ok, he is on a permanent diet starting now!

I lowered the water level like you suggested to 1 gallon and swimming doesn't seem to be as overwhelming for him now (:

I took out all his house and plants out when I was changing the water and cleaned them well (put 2 tsp of bleach in a bucket and filled it with water. I scrubbed them rinsed them REALLY WELL and now they are drying by my window to get some sunlight).

Oh, good to know about the bacteria supplement (I didn't put it in after I changed his water). Would it be okay to add that to my other 1 gallon tank? it houses a female betta (= and she doesn't have a filtering system.

Yes I add a full dose of stress coat to every change (:

Being the novice that I am on fish x], I sorta freaked out as soon as I saw he wasn't improving after the second day >.< and yesterday I went out and got Lifeguard all-in-one treatment by Tetra and started it him on it same night (took out the carbon in my filter as well). I also added 2 tsp of Epsom salt.

Since then his pectoral fins have significantly unclamped and he's had more energy and even tried to flare at me when I was examining him upclose (:

Last edited by Lovemyfishybuddies; 11-04-2011 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:05 AM   #9 
Myates
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Just make sure you rinse off the items really well with super hot water. In the future, you really don't need to go that into detail cleaning. I know it is safer for us, but for fish it's best just to use very hot water so there is no chance of chemicals leaking into the tank. Bleach is fine as long as you used the proper measurements. Usually I believe it's 10% of the water, such as 1 cup of bleach per 9 cups of water.

You don't need the supplement in the 1 gal either. I am going to have to do more research to it though to see what exactly it does- but non of my tanks (both small and larger) have filters and I don't put supplements in them as all they really need is just water conditioner.

I have never used that medication myself, but I haven't heard anything bad about it either. Just make sure to do it exactly as the instructions tell you (I don't trust medicines most of the time lol). But I am very happy to hear he is more active.
Once you see the bloating gone (He can have a small little tummy, just nothing extreme) you can take him out of the Epsom Salt.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:35 PM   #10 
Lovemyfishybuddies
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Ok, I'll be sure to rinse them again before I put them back in.

Ooh... hmm I wonder if I can get my money back on the supplement then...

Anyways, I'm doing exactly as the directions told me, I'm doing the correct dosage, but now he's developed what looks like a case of early stage Popeye (from the descriptions and pictures I've read/seen)

I did a 50% change a few minutes ago to see if that would help. But I really don't know what's going on with him. Or what I'm doing wrong in treating him.
Any instructions given to me I'll follow to the T.

Do you think I should stop the medication?

Definitely at a loss for what to do /=
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