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Old 11-24-2011, 09:43 PM   #1 
NalaUchiha
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Exclamation Urgent Betta Fish Question! ((Will return favor by answering your questions))

Hello, please call me Emily. I have a urgent question about my Betta Fish, Damon. I must first admit I was an idiot because I believed that the filter cleaned the tank for me, my poor baby was in a nasty tank for 8 months. I feel so bad but that if not the point now!
Yesterday I went to change Damon's filter. He was fine, like always he was hyper, playful, happy, and brave as ever! Well I changed the filter and not but two seconds later he was belly up. I was in a panic, his eye still looked at me, moved, his gills was moving. I watched in shock for one more moment as he turned over on his side, still gills moved, he was attempting to move back to normal.
He couldn't do it, so in a panic I ran downstairs and grabbed the emergency fish bowl, filled it with filtered water, and then ran back upstairs and netted him out and put him into the other bowl. He looked so upset and sickly, I was so afraid, he wasn't looking to good and jumped only once, in an attempt of escape, when he usually jumps and swims happily through the water.
I automatically knew that I had been a horrible mommy towards him. That tank was filthy, something I had been dismissing for months. He looked unhappy and sick, even in the new bowl. So I put him in a different tank, that hadn't been used in about a year, and won't be used for awhile. I put him in that tank but he was a small fish in a HUGE bowl.
I quickly went and got his normal tank and washed it out, correctly, rinsed the rocks and plants, and put in filtered water into the tank. I cleaned the filter and replaced the filter; again. I then put Damon back into his normal tank where he looked happy for a second, and then turned on his side again.
I had put two of his plants back in and his rocks. Damon then got caught in the current of the filter! I left him alone for a moment until I noticed that he was not strong enough to escape the current. I quickly grabbed my net, which he hates, and gathered him up in it; I then moved him over to the flowers. Damon then hid in the flowers, laying on his side in the flowers; where he currently is.
Last night he did turn belly up again but his eye was darting back and forth and his gills were moving, so in a panic I tried to touch him. Usually he would lay still, I was calm about it, and usually he would let me pet him. No, not this time, he quickly darted away from my touch, turning back the right way, hiding in the leaves. He then turned on his side and laid on one of the leaves. There he is right now.
Damon is not excited or hyper like usually; but tired and afraid of everything. One of his eyes are larger then usually, bulging, really. He is laying on his side, on the leaves of a artificial plant in his tank. He is not eating because he cannot in his position. He is skittish of everything; even me just looking at him. Damon can also barely swim, he cannot manage it with such little energy, and cannot even face the currant of a low powered filter.
I looked his symptoms up and I decided he may have a bacterial infection. If he does I am willing to buy BettaFix from the PetSmart near me. I am not sure, I am scared that the medicine may not work and I will be stuck with a even sicker fish. Does he have a bacterial infection? Will BettaFix work?
One more thing. Today Damon's vibrant blue, red, and purple colors started to become pale and fade. Now he has a grey spot on his body.
Here is some answers about his life in his home.
Housing
What size is your tank?
Four Gallon.
What temperature is your tank?
Room Temperature.
Does your tank have a filter?
Yes.
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.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Hand Crushed Freeze Dried Worms. ((Damon is a draft. His mouth is too small to eat anything else then hand crushed freeze dried worms.))
How often do you feed your betta fish?
Everyday.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
For him I never have until yesterday. Eight months because I didn't know I had to change it with a filter, I was an idiot, really. I am now preforming a change everyday because he is sick. When he gets better, I hope he does, I will be preforming one every week and a half.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
None. We have a filter on our tap water sink and it filters the water out to the same that the store sells for betta fish; specially. My two bettas live in this just fine.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
No, I have never tested it but I could if I needed to.

Ammonia: Unknown.
Nitrite: Unknown.
Nitrate: Unknown.
pH: Unknown.
Hardness: Unknown.
Alkalinity: Unknown.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
Vibrant colors have started to fade and become pale. One grey spot is present on his body.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
Damon used to be hyper, excited, and happy. He was even friendly enough to be petted with your finger in the water; though he is a small fish. Now he is scared of everything, skittish, unhappy, depressed, and sick looking. He is also somewhat aggressive and seems to have no energy.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Yesterday at around 1 p.m.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
No.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
No.
How old is your fish (approximately)?
Probably around eight or nine months. No more then that.

Please do not leave me hanging on this subject, if anything, don't just say I am out of luck and he will die. I love Damon, he is very sweet, and even shows off in poses when you point a camera at him; usually. He is my baby boy and I would not like to lose him.
I will return this favor in anyway possible, maybe by answering one of your questions?
I can include a before and after picture of him. I do have them. The before one is not very good but the after shows well. I have one of yesterday and today. I have a few questions for you if you do not mind answering them.
Will BettaFix help him? ((Go to PetSmart and type in BettaFix to find the product.))
Does he was a bacterial infection? Bacterial disease? Are they the same thing?
Is this a bad situation or is this minor?
How much money will I be spending? ((It doesn't matter how much money I have to spend, I will do anything to save Damon.))

Thank you so much for helping me! Please answer, quickly. Also, thank you for even reading this. *hugs Damon* He is happy that you came here to. I know I sound like an idiot because of the tank situation but I am well aware now and that is not the issue right now.
Thank you once again!
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:10 PM   #2 
inkrealm
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no, bettafix is a nono. medicine in general usually is. I'm reading your info now and editing this.... but I'm afraid as you said there is a whole lot wrong with this picture :/
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:19 PM   #3 
bettafish15
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He likely has popeye, and that is fixed with clean water and aquarium salt. The floating could be Swim Bladder Disorder, caused by the freeze dried food. They make really small pellets from brands like HBH Betta Bites, so please use those regularly and do the freeze dried as a treat. In a 4g, you have to do 1-50% and 1-100% a week normally when he is better. You can fix this!

Edit: Also, he needs a heater. Bettas are tropical, and need temps of 77-80F which can be acheived with a 25W heater in your tank. Adjustable kind is best, even if they are a tad pricier, they last and you control the temp.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:29 PM   #4 
inkrealm
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alright~

please define room temperature, as this is different dependent on where you live. he probably needs a heater. Betta's need 78-82 degrees, 74 is pushing it for a healthy betta.
freeze-dried worms won't give him the nutrients he needs... try getting frozen... you can also use mosquito larvae or red worms ( which you can chop up into teenytiny pieces. ) and I'd look into the suggestions the above user gave you... I know they do have tiny pellets... maybe yours were just larger than usual... ^-^; what do you mean by a draft? if you mean tiny, how large is he? chances are he's not really as small as you think, or he's a baby ^-^; he should be able to east something other than freeze-dried bloodworms though; feeding him nothing but that is unhealthy for him :(
how many worms do you feed him total usually? as the user above me said, he may have SBD... does he look swollen in the abdomen? ie right before his tail starts there should be a bump on either side... does one look larger than the other or do they both look large?
for a four gallon you need to do one 50% and one 100% ( with the 100 you must scrub down the tank walls, floor, gravel, etc., or ammonia will still build up... ) and you need to do them once a week. ( hot water only, no chemicals! )
I'm always nervous about trusting filters and not using conditioner... I'd use Prime just to be safe and it lasts for ages... but I can't force you to...
testing water is also always a good idea ^-^
especially when they're acting strange or obviously ill...
pictures would be helpful, please do post them...
the bulging eye is pop eye... change his water every day and add in one tea spoon of FRESH WATER /aquarium/ salt for each gallon. YOU MUST MIX THE SALT IN AND LET IT DISSOLVE BEFORE ADDING THE WATER INTO THE TANK. it's time consuming, but you must do it. do the salt routine for five days, then stop adding salt, but continue changing daily for another three days. make sure it is FRESH WATER and AQUARIUM salt, do not use normal salt D:
API has some in a cardboard carton like you'd buy milk in. ^-^ I don't remember how much it cost, but one carton will last you forever anyway so it's worth it. I'd also suggest API's Stress Coat+ found in the water conditioner section. it makes them feel good and helps their fins. ^-^
you must watch the eye! it's very important that the swelling begins to go down. if the aquarium salt does not help let me know. I hope your guy pulls through, but honestly eight months is a very long time, and ammonia poisoning is a possibility... :/ you should ask in the habitat forum if four gallons is enough to cycle or if it has to be five.. even with a cycled tank you still need one 50% a week so he'd still be in trouble, but it would be less trouble than if the tank never cycled. ( also if it was cycled, the 100% and filter change will have killed it and you'd have to cycle it all over again )

it also sounds like he's getting handled A LOT which can be very bad for them and their slimecoat...
and bettas are very upset by currents, even harmed by them, because their ornamental fins don't fair well in it... I would suggest baffling the outflow... their are lots of instructions on how to make home-made ones with sponges and plastic bottles; I personally used a fake plant...

I hope your boy will get better soon... they are such sweethearts <3

Last edited by inkrealm; 11-24-2011 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:05 AM   #5 
NalaUchiha
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Alright, thank you both for helpful tips for Damon. :3
I am adding a fourth of a teaspoon of salt water for every gallon. He was moved to a two and a half gallon tank for the time being when we noticed he was having some trouble with the four gallon. Also, the tank never cycles, and I think I will be keeping him in the two gallon tank.
I am also using a highly expensive fish medications called Melafix. My mom says she has used it before on her fish for a fin issue and when I read the bottle it talked about pop eyed.
I am also scared to move him around to much D: And he is seeming to not enjoy it, being afraid of the net every time he sees it. To reduce this I took out the filter in the tank and added a heater to keep it just right. Room Temp. was around 73 degrees but just to be safe I am going to keep the heater in there with him.
I am going to change the water everyday until he seems better, the medication calls for it and I am sure it is a smart idea for right now.
Also! I bought some mini pellets and some betta flakes for him ((just in case the pellets don't work the flakes are easier to crush and easier for him to eat.)) I wish to do the blood worms but my mom and dad are against the idea of live blood worms in the house or even frozen ones. D:
I think you were both right about the Swim Bladder Infection. I looked it up earlier but paid no attention to it. I just looked at it in depth and he has all the signs. The pop eye is a definite.
May I ask you both one more question, he is getting paler still, is this just a sign of him being sick?
Thank you for your help so far! I sounded a little mean in my first post XD I think I was just stressed out about his conditions. Also, inrealm, he is a sweetheart and thank you for the luck. <3 I hope he fairs well. I will keep this updated. ^^
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:09 AM   #6 
bettafish15
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MELAFIX CAN DAMAGE THE BETTAS LABRYINTH ORGAN. Not all people have bad luck with it, but a fair amount of people have had their bettas die from melafix. Aquarium salt will do the pop-eye job. 1 teaspoon per gallon with 100% water changes every day with fresh API aquarium salt already dissolved. :)

I think the paleness is a sign of being cold and sick.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:11 AM   #7 
NalaUchiha
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Alrighty, maybe the Melafix should go? D: We have already put him back with it, I guess we are going to try it and if he is worse tomorrow I will quite the Melafix. I have the Melafix all natural? The Green Tea kind? Would that make a difference?
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:16 AM   #8 
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I'm not sure if the natural kind makes a difference... what I do know, is that melafix leaves a film of oil on the surface of the water which damages the bettas labryinth organ when they go to breathe. Thats my understanding of it anyways. I think it's better to be safe than sorry. If there isnt a film on the water or when you stick a finger in, then maybe that kind is okay?
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:19 AM   #9 
NalaUchiha
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There is no film :) None at all, actually. He seems happier, moving a bit more then he was, but still not really happy. Could I put an air pump in there to make it even better? No film, and I can get my finger in there.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:21 AM   #10 
bettafish15
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I think a gentle airpump in the corner of the tank would be fine, I don't know if it'll make it better but it might, if it doesnt stress your guy in his time of stress then I say go for it. :)
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