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Old 11-13-2011, 10:56 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
fin rot and other TBD illnesses?

I need you help please! my betta has been sick for a week and not eating for about the same I will admit I was niave and remember having a betta when I was younger and for whatever reason it just being "happy" in it's little bowl. Well my veiltail has been sick and it all started with his clamped fins, then he because lethargic and spent a lot of time on the bottom of the vase. Today I came home and he is laying on his side at the top of the vase and isn't leaving the area....I just want him to get better and being that it is 10:00pm my fiance went out and got some metafix in hopes to help at all until we can go to the store tomorrow. I don't know what's wrong but any and all advise is appreciated!!

What size is your tank? he is in a vase which will probably only be for the remainder of the evening as I had no idea how horrible they are supposed to be for bettas
What temperature is your tank? idk
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? hikari bio gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day


How often do you perform a water change? every few days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? lately he has only had full water changes
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? tonight only metafix

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? no


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? color has lightened and he has clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? much more lethargic
When did you start noticing the symptoms?a few weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? yes If so, how? metafix
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? a month?
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Last edited by beerit; 11-13-2011 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:10 PM   #2 
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Location: Seattle, WA
My first concern is how cold that water is... cold water can easily kill your fish. Room temperature is not enough, specially with the weather getting colder.
Also, you didn't mention a water conditioner, it's a must to remove harful chemicals in tap water.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:15 PM   #3 
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realizing now it is colder here in New England so I am in the process of figuring it out. and I am not using tap water I am using bottled spring water.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:34 PM   #4 
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You still need a water conditioner to make the water safe for bettas... or any fish for that matter.
Good luck with your fish!
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:43 AM   #5 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Pick up some Stress Coat next time you're out, most Wal Marts and almost any pet store will carry it. Put him in a quarantine bucket (I keep the buckets they came in) and clean his vase well, remove all rocks etc. Prep water with the Stress Coat and the Melafix (I use 5 drops/gal on the stress coat, you can go up to 10 for a sick fish). Do this every 24 hours and he may pull through. Melafix is supposed to be hard on the betta's labyrinth organ but I think that's about the last of your worries at the moment. Do you have somewhere where you can put him to keep his water temp stable?
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:11 AM   #6 
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Welcome, poor guy is in need of a little more TLC :) But he'll be getting it now since you are willing and learning :)

Anything 1 gallon and larger is idea for them- just keep in mind the larger the easier it is to heat.

Depending on the size of the tank you will be getting, the heater can vary. I would just recommend finding a 20-25 watt adjustable one, as those are easier to keep the temperature over the preset ones. Make sure to pick up a thermometer as well to keep an eye on the temp.

You will need a water conditioner- something to remove ammonia, nitrate/ites and binds metals. Most conditioners will do all that- as mentioned above, Stress Coat is a good one. Seachem Prime is better.

Spring/bottled/distilled water is not idea for fish- as it lacks the proper nutrients and minerals needed that the filtration process removes. It's safer and healthier to use tap water with conditioner.

Stop Melafix- any of the "fixes" can easily harm the labyrinth organ. I disagree with the statement above that you should continue to use it- as in this case it's not something you need or should be using. Not to be rude, but the treatment mentioned above will do more harm then any good. Only reason I am suggesting something other then clean water is because he is pretty far with the rot and melt.

He seems to have fin rot and fin melt- both easily fixable with two things: clean water and AQ salt.

What you will be wanting to do is get a gallon water jug, fill it with warm tap water, mix in 2 teaspoons of Aquarium Salt (per gallon), and water conditioner, making sure the salt is completely dissolved prior to putting your guy in it.
Remove the guy from the vase using his cup and empty the water from the vase.
Pour in the treated water (make sure using a thermometer it isn't too cold or too hot.. do this while filling it up- 78-82*F is what you are aiming for).
Float the guy in the water in the vase for 20-30 minutes, all the while every 10 minutes or so removing some water from the cup (dump it down the drain), and add in some of the treated water into the cup to acclimate him to both the temp and the chemistry properly.
You will need to do daily 100% water changes for no longer then 10 days.

During that time, the salt should kill off the rot. After the 10 days you will just want to be doing frequent water changes to try to reverse the melt.

Depending on what you get-

1-4 gallons filtered you will want to be doing 1 50% water only and 1 50% substrate cleaning per week. For unfiltered you will want to be doing 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week- always dosing with the conditioner.

For 5+ gallons filtered you will just be doing roughly 50% per week with regular substrate cleaning. Unfiltered would be 50% per week, 1 100% per month- dosing with conditioner.

But for a few weeks I would add in one extra 50-100% per week until his fins heal up.

The warm, clean, conditioned water should return him to health. Just make sure that you always adjust him to the new water appropriately, and keep up with the treatment with the AQ salt for the rot.

Whatever size tank you get, keep in mind these guys love a good amount of plants, decorations and especially a cave of sorts. Having something so open and bare could be stressful.

He also seems not to be eating- he is very skinny. It is most likely due to the water temp and chemistry. So hopefully with the clean, treated water he will start eating once more. Remove any uneaten food within minutes of feeding to reduce it from spiking up the ammonia between cleanings. 2-3 pellets of the size you are feeding per meal, twice a day is recommended (4-6 pellets total a day- their stomachs are the sizes of their eyes so don't want to do too many). By feeding once a day you will either over feed, or under feed- both are potential health risks. Smaller, multiple meals a day are what you are aiming for.

Good luck and any questions, feel free to ask!

Last edited by Myates; 11-14-2011 at 08:19 AM.
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