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Old 01-02-2012, 09:34 PM   #1 
mjoy79
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Charlie is not doing well :(

Housing
What size is your tank? He was sharing a 20G divided with 3 other male bettas until a couple days ago. He's been in a 3G kritterkeeper up until now
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have a filter? 20G did. 3G no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 3 male bettas until recently

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets twice daily, 1 day of fast. occasional bloodworms

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 20 G - once every week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20-30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress coat

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


Ammonia:without additives = 1.0, appears with stresscoat about the same ?
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fins slightly more frayed than usual (his fins appear the most fragile/delicate of all my bettas)
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? hanging at the surface all the time. I just found him almost on his side, parially out of the water (on betta log)
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He's been hanging at the surface for a week or two. But it got very serious today. He appears to be dying at times.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've moved him to a smaller QT tank with freshly treated water (with stresscoat)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Purchased him in October - I would guess approx. 1 year based on appearance?


Here is a current video of what he's doing: Sorry about the lighting. I had the lights off and the light on my camera on

http://youtu.be/o0g8W-8J000
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:05 AM   #2 
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Charlie is still acting this way - he did show some mild improvement for a little while but now he's back to floating vertical at the surface. He acts like he has "hiccups" or a twitch or something. When l left for work this is how he was wedged next to the heater with his head sticking out of the water. I caught him earlier this morning with his head completely out of the water laying on the heater. I adjusted it so he'd go back in and lowered the water level some so the heater is sticking out higher.

His scales seem maybe slightly raised but I can't tell. His face and eyes look dead. He's acting like he's just giving up or something?

He's always been a special case for me since I got him several months ago. I've wondered if he has genetic issues.
But until a few weeks ago he had been swimming and eating fine.
Is there anything I can do for him if he's still alive when I get home from work?
If he's suffering I don't want to prolong it unnecessarily, but if there is something I can do to help him feel better I would like to try it.
He has eaten I'd say 50-75% of the food I've given him in the last couple weeks and rarely poops. He doesn't seem bloated. I had him in some epsom salt water last week but it didn't help him poop much.
I feel bad for the little guy :(
(both pics were taken this morning - in the 2nd pic that white stuff is on the tank, not on Charlie)
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:02 PM   #3 
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1ppm ammonia is too high. You have too much ammonia in your tank. Is is apparently not fully cycled or something has caused a crash that restarted your cycle. You need to test ammonia daily while it is cycling and do frequent small water changes to keep it down. Right now you need to reduce to .25ppm.

Are the blood worms live, frozen or freeze dried?

Are you fasting one day a week? This is important. It's possible he's got a swim bladder infection or possibly other internal infection. When he poops how does it look? On the second I would have suggested to fast him a good 2-4 days along with epsom salts but since this has been going on for so long it may be time to move to medication.

I still suggest fasting and epsoms and trying to find some Kanaplex (Kanamyacin) by Seachem and maybe some antiparasite fish food or metronidazole and focus by seachem.

Also, it's really important not to continue to feed bettas when they're constipated (not pooping regularly), bloated and/or doing the odd side float thing like your guy. It's quite possible this was a case of needing to be off food for a bit to let his gut catch up but as turned into an infection after prolonged non treatment.

What is the ammonia of the 3g now and how much are you doing water changes?

Last edited by callistra; 01-12-2012 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:06 PM   #4 
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Charlie is not in a cycled tank. He's in a small QT tank. I'm having difficulties with reading testing strips, etc. My ammonia test a couple of weeks ago appeared to be 1ppm with no additives. I can test the water he is in now when I get home just to be sure.
His water is the same or better than the tanks my other fish are in and they are fine as well.

Also - the 20G I have I'm not using right now BTW.
Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:30 PM   #5 
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I suggest picking up a drops test to be sure. Strips can be inaccurate. They can be more pricey (compared to strips) but if you just want to focus on getting an ammonia test at this point it would be worth it. Also really, when you take into account how many tests you can do from a drops kit compared to those strips it really isn't pricey.

Some fish are just more sensitive to ammonia or prone to infection than others. But if they're in the same tank whatever made him sick is still in with the others. IT doesn't mean they will become sick but you still need to make sure the water parameters are ok and watch them for signs of problems.

Last edited by callistra; 01-12-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:14 PM   #6 
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Ugh. Charlie died today while I was at work. He was in the same position I left him in.
I actually have the API ammonia test kit and I've been getting bad results from my tap water so I thought I might have been doing something wrong.
The water Charlie was in tested very high but it may have been because he was dead in there probably all day.
It looks like I may have ammonia in my source water. Is that common?
I have been using API Stress Coat as my main water conditioner for awhile now but I picked up some Seachem Prime the other day. The bottle says it removes Ammonia. the water I just dosed with Prime is testing at .25ppm it looks like, which is a lot better than with StressCoat. Looks like I may be switching!
Thank you again for your help. It looks like ammonia may have been the issue with Charlie. He was a strange betta but he might have made it longer if his water had been better. :(
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:29 AM   #7 
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I'm sorry about your Betta :(

I don't know how common it is, but it's possible to have ammonia in your water source. My experience is prime works a lot better for ammonia too. If you've got as much as .25ppm even with prime I'd say consider a different water source. The only thing about using bottled spring or RO water is you need to make sure the Ph is acceptable and also the downside to some sources will change ph across bottles as they come from different suppliers.

It's not cheap but if you can possibly invest in an under sink mounted RO system it sounds like it would be worth it for you. That way you will always have stable water parameters. Just make sure ph is okay again. Some RO systems soften so much they have the ph really really acidic below 6.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:50 AM   #8 
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Oh and I wouldn't be drinking that water either so RO system may benefit your health too :)
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:23 AM   #9 
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Thank you again for your help. I'm getting pretty concerned about my water source and I'm looking at fixing this issue ASAP. Fortunately all my other fish are doing fine - but it might be a matter of time before another one gets sick if I don't resolve this soon.
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