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Old 03-01-2015, 07:31 PM   #1 
GBS
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Need help ASAP - did whole tank water change and now he's suffering.

So my guy has been battling either fin rot or tail biting since October. It is not getting better. Yesterday, I changed out all his water in part because he was not getting better and in part because trapped in the gravel was all kinds of dirt with poop and food remnants (yes, I go in and suck out as much of it as I can regularly but it was just in need of a good cleaning - or so I thought). I also installed a new heater b/c his old one didn't seem to be keeping the temperature as it was set.

Since yesterday he has become lethargic and he just lays at the bottom with clamped fins. I did coax him to eat some frozen brine shrimp but he's just looking and acting sad, sick and lethargic.

I'm assuming the water change is the result here. However, that can't be undone. Is there anything I should be doing to help him at this point in terms of the tank, water, temperature (right now it's about 80), food? I'm worried he won't make it through the night.



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Old 03-01-2015, 07:33 PM   #2 
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Was the new water the same temp?

Did you use a chlorine/chloramine remover?

Warm water is good, hopefully more will chime in to help!

ETA:
Also if possible diluting his old water (his "holding container") with the new water will help acclimate him to any changes in water parameters

Last edited by fishtankwatcher; 03-01-2015 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:55 PM   #3 
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Yes, I used a de-chlorinator (and some stress coat for his fins) and yes the temperature was the same. I've done many water changes, including whole water changes, and this has never happened before.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:23 PM   #4 
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http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=346377

I'm sure you've already read that post, but just in case :)

Do you have a breeder net or a way to lower the level on the tank water since he's little weak? (not so much effort for him to surface)

Sorry your boy is having issues!
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:47 PM   #5 
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Yes, I have read that thread. To be honest, I still don't know if it's fin rot or tail biting. I do know that regardless of the cause of his fin problems he was still a happy boy until I messed with his tank yesterday. So, while he's having fin troubles I do not think that's the cause of the lethargy.

I've turned his light off for the night. I can lower the level tomorrow. I'm wondering if I should do something else though, too.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:50 PM   #6 
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Did you acclimate him to the new tank?

My guess would be that he's dealing with some kind of shock from the tank change. Whether that be nitrate shock if you had nitrates much higher in your old tank with the debris than it is now, or rapid temperature change if your old heater not keeping things consistent, it's hard to say.

For now, I'd cup him in a tupperware container or breeder box and float him in the tank. This should make it easier to reach the top. Then turn the light off and keep everything dark.

In the future - it would be wise to know what your water levels are. Fish adapt to their environment, and even if that environment is partially toxic (such as growing nitrates) a very hard, fast change can shock the fish. If Nitrate levels get too high, you wouldn't want to do a 100% change for example....you would want to bring it down slowly with partial water changes over a few days. That is all a guess here - but given you said that the gravel was in a pretty bad state it's the best guess I have to go on.
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:03 PM   #7 
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Shoot. I absolutely forgot to float him in the tank and every other time I've done complete water changes I have done that. I'm so stupid and I didnt even realize it until you pointed it out. I matched up the temperatures but I didn't slowly acclimate him back.

What are his recovery odds do you think? I'll put him in a cup tomorrow but do you think he can be saved!

I'm so mad at myself for accidentally doing this to him. :(
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:13 PM   #8 
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Give him time - some fish bounce back. It's hard to say for sure what will happen right now though. Maybe someone else will pop in with more ideas though. Good luck with your guy.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:44 PM   #9 
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Update - he's a little better but now what do I do?

So he's doing a bit better. I have him in the cup floating in the tank and his fins are less clamped and more splayed out. He has eaten some frozen brine shrimp. However, the stress has taken its toll on his already damaged fins. Lots of little pieces have fallen off since yesterday.

My question is what do I do now? Should I put him in a hospital tank with aquarium salt? With Kanaplex or some other drug? Will doing anything stress him out too much right now? I went through horrible fin rot with my last fish and he died a slow, slow death and I don't want to go through that again. If I can get him to rally, I really need to get those fins under control.

Advice?
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:58 PM   #10 
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Everything I've seen with this guy's fins really, REALLY looks like biting. Since biting is a potential factor anyway, it makes sense that he might take his stress out on his fins in a similar way to the way a human might bite their fingernails.

Could you get some clear, close cropped pictures of his fins? That would help us confirm that there *ISN'T* any rot that has popped up since he was last looked at.

I wouldn't medicate with kanaplex - don't use antibiotics unless you know specifically what you're treating. It isn't likely to do anything to help him in this case and could hurt him later as it increases the risk of bacteria growing resistant to that antibiotic. It would also be a lot of stress on his system right now.

Keep his light off for the next couple days. If you have a source of tannins (Indian Almond Leaf or Rooibos Tea) I'd add that to the tank as well.
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