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Old 01-09-2012, 02:29 AM   #1 
linharespeixoto
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Help! DYING Betta. DON'T know what to do!

So i used to have bettas when i was a kid and teenager. I am NO expert. I just did what the pet stores told me… changed half the water every couple weeks…. made sure it was always clear… added the betta water drops in when changing water etc…

BUT my neighbour had a betta and when i went over to their house to help her with something today… i saw the betta in a bowl with water so brown and dirty you could not even see the fish properly. She said she was fed up and didn't really want him anymore. So i took the bowl home…. changed the water… added nutrafin betta plus tap water conditioner to it. I noticed right away that the betta has fin rot and is not swimming around. He is laying at the bottom of the bowl and not moving. it looks like his head is pointing upwards and his gills are a little puffed out (inflamed gill maybe??? I DONT KNOW!)

I called a pet shop and they told me to add a pinch of table salt to the bowl… so i did that.

I am feeding it freeze dried blood worms.

It sort of looks like there is a sore on the top of its head…but its not white or fuzzy or anything..just looks like a scrape.

Is there anything I can do to help this betta? He is a really pretty blue/green color and i know he USED to have red tipped fins…but now almost all the fins are gone…..

I don't know ANYTHING about bettas. Mine were always pretty healthy and lived for years…so I never had to deal with a sick betta until they were older.. I've had 2 before.. one that lived for about 3 and a half years and the other i had for 5 years.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:58 AM   #2 
Ajones108
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I'm glad you rescued her fish. :) Forgive me if I come across as crass; some people that work in pet stores are just plain stupid.

NEVER, EVER add TABLE SALT to a fish tank. You want aquarium salt, the most common brand is sold by API and its in a blue box-like container. 1 tsp per gallon to help an ailing betta, slowly wean off to 1/2 tsp per gallon. I do salt treatments at a week at the most, then stop using it.

The best thing you can do for that betta now (if it is a gallon-sized bowl) is daily 100% water changes with water conditioner and some aquarium salt. That betta needs clean, fresh water. If his gills are inflamed, it's probably because of ammonia poisoning. How would you feel if you were constantly swimming in your toilet after you used it and your water was only changed every couple weeks? Gross huh? :p

If it's in a smaller-sized bowl, I recommend going to the pet store, and getting a bigger bowl. But I understand if you don't wish to buy supplies for this betta, since he was a rescue and you probably can't just up and go to the store. I recommend keeping him in the warmest room in your house, as they are tropical fish, and prefer to be between 76 to 82 degrees water, extreme range. Mine are kept at 80. :)

I hope this helps you.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:19 AM   #3 
Tikibirds
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Quote:
I called a pet shop and they told me to add a pinch of table salt to the bowl… so i did that.

I am feeding it freeze dried blood worms.

It sort of looks like there is a sore on the top of its head…but its not white or fuzzy or anything..just looks like a scrape.
First up, table salt is BAD. The only salt that should be used is either AQUARIUM SALT or EPSOM SALT. Epsom is for internal things like swelling. AQ salt is for fin rot or stuff on the outside of the fish.

Second, you should switch over to pellets or flakes. Pellets are usually better because they are less messy and flakes sometimes cause bloating. Bloodworms should only be used as a treat - maybe 1 or 2X a week.

Third, normal water changes should be 2X a week. one 100% and one 50%

However for now:

Do you know how big the bowl is?

I am guessing the fish is suffering from ammonia poisining, especially if its a tiny bowl and the water was never changed or not changed in a long time.

What I did when I got a fish from walmart that was in pretty rough shape due to ammonia poisining was this:

1) daily water changes, but i did it slowly - using a syringe.
2) Amquel Plus - I used this for the conditioner, supposedly it helps with ammonia poisioning.
3) kept his cup warm by floating it in a heated tank.

After a few days, he perked up and then I moved him into his own tank with a heater.

Make sure the water temp of the clean water is the same as the old water he is in.

Fin rot can usually be solved by super clean water and aquarium salt can be added to help fight infections but do not use it more then 10 days. Fins will regrow. Stress coat is good to have to help with the regrowth but for now I would say his main concern is the gills/ammonia poisioning.


Oh and my final word of advice, always seek a second opinion on advice given from petstores, especially petco and petsmart....

If he makes it, you may want to upgrade him to a bigger home (2-5 gallons would be ideal) and add a heater. They are tropical fish after all.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 01-09-2012 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:36 AM   #4 
Gen2387
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Well, first of all welcome. It's good you took that poor little fish home.

The two previous comment say it all.

1. Do 100% water changes every day.
2. Add AQ salt.
3. Switch to pellets or flakes.
4. Keep him warm. They are tropical fish and do better in water between 76 to 80.

If he makes it through you can transfer him to a bigger tank (i don't know the size of his tank right now?) usually 2.5gallon per betta is a good rule. I keep mine in a 5gallon and a 3 gallon.
You will need a heater (you can find some that aren't too expensive at the petstore).
Depending on if you will have a filtered tank or non-filtered, you will need to do water change a couple of times every week. For example in my 5 gallon filtered I do one 50% water change every week and in my 3gallon filtered i do 2 50% water change every week because ammonia builds up faster in smaller tanks.
Don't forget to test you water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrate, pH level, water hardness, etc. They usually do it for free at the petstore.

Oh and bettas love silk plants and little caves in the tanks to hide in.

Good luck!!!! Keep us updated!
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:19 PM   #5 
linharespeixoto
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Oh no! now i feel rlly bad for adding table salt! i didnt think it sounded right…but i figured the guy at the pet store knows better than i do… plus its not a regular pet store… its an aquarium place!!!

He's still alive.. didn't think he'd make it through the night…. i can only get to a pet shop on Wednesday….so i don't know if he will make it till then. He is in a 2 litre betta bowl…. its one of those fancy ones you mount to the wall…. i just have it in my bedroom on a table for now… to keep it warm. it's pretty small.. though all the betta bowls ive seen are….. if he lives i will try to get a bigger aquarium.

There is gravel at the bottom and a fake plant in the middle….though he just stays at the bottom.

I havn't changed the water again today because i barely have any tap water conditioner left.

If he lives and i get him in an aquarium.. can i just have a filter instead of water changes all the time?
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:16 PM   #6 
callistra
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No. Filter does not replace water changes. Filter isn't really needed the same way the heater is but can be helpful if you have larger tanks (2.5+..really more like 5g+) and want to cycle. But make sure you do something to soften the current or use a sponge filter.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:30 AM   #7 
Sakura8
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Hi linhare and welcome to the forum. Don't feel bad about the table salt, it was a mistake. As a general rule, you probably don't want to listen to pet store employees.

Keep us updated. :)
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:08 AM   #8 
Ajones108
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Dude at that aquarium store needs a new job. >.>

If he does pull through and lives, definitely upgrade him to a bigger tank. I know that some pet stores carry 2-gallon bowls but honestly, they're the same price as a 5-gallon rectangular tank. Haha. Judging by your use of Litres, I'm thinking that you may not have a Wal-Mart in your country. If you do, they normally sell a 5-gallon starter kit with filter, hood, and light bulbs for $30. A good heater would run you another $15-$25 if you shop around. But this is American currency. It's the best advice I can give right now, since I don't know where you're from. :p
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:54 AM   #9 
Sakura8
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I wonder why some people get pets when they are just going to "get fed up" with it? Would someone have a kid and just get "fed up" with the kid after a while? Parents, don't answer that. XD (I know, I know, I was a problem child, haha)

Anything is going to be better than what he is in now. 2 liters is just a bit over half a gallon so I can see why he is a sick little guy. A 4 liter bowl/tank is the minimum but I recommend something twice that size simply because it is easier to heat and change the water in.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:59 AM   #10 
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Just to point this out, don't worry too much about adding table salt, he'll be fine. It is still recommended to use Aquarium Salt (AQ Salt) in the future though.

(looks like I have another guide to write... lol)
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