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Old 01-24-2012, 08:03 PM   #1 
dormfish
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Unhappy Oh no! Odysseus is Sick!!!

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallins
What temperature is your tank? about 76 degrees F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Min
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 times a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50-75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Dechlorinator and Easy Balance ph buffer

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH: 6.2
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Paling colors, drooping fins and tail
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Very lethargic, laying down in the substrate on his side. Not very interested in food.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 2 days ago
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)?about 6months
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #2 
SwimmR
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First thing - get that temp up to 80-82F. 76 is at the low end, and if he's sick he'll need to be kept warmer. Then try a salt treatment - 1tsp/gal for 7-10 days. Aquarium salt (not iodized).
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #3 
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I was cleaning the tank and found some suspicious film growing on the heater and filter. I rinsed everything off in hot water, and I moved the heater into the center of the tank so it reads the water temp better. The tank is now at 79 degrees. I'll get some salt as soon as I can...I have him in a cup now, as the tank is settling for a few minutes. He kept floating towards the top if the water. My roommate suspects swim bladder disorder?
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:28 PM   #4 
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If there's a strange film, I suggest a 100% change to see if that improves anything, if you haven't done so already.

As for the floating, is it uncontrolled or does it seem like he's wanting to go to the surface? Does he have trouble swimming down or staying upright? If not, then it might not be sbd.

Keep him in shallower water or cupped to make things easier for him while he's healing. If it is sbd, then avoid aquarium salt and go with epsom instead.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #5 
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Unfortunately, I was too late. Odysseus swam to the Rainbow Bridge late last night. I have since done a thorough cleaning of the tank. I'm going to go look for a new betta soon. I'm going to change the food I use from flakes to pellets and brine shrimp. From his symptoms, it appears he was constipated, which caused sbd. He was having a hard time swimming before he died. He would either float of sink uncontrollably. Over Christmas break, he wasn't his usual self, but I thought it might have been because he was in a new environment, but now I'm upset, because I missed the early warning signs of constipation. :'(
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:07 PM   #6 
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I'm sorry your lost him :(

Cooler temps can also slow down the digestive process, so keeping your new boy 78-79 is good. Some good pellets are Omega One Betta Buffet or New Life Spectrum Betta. Hikari recently changed their formula and now they are mostly wheat based so that's not recommended. Both the Omega One and and NLS have first three ingredients as fish and they are a high quality pellet. How much depends on how big and active your guy is but 5-6 of the NLS split up twice a day or maybe around 4 of the Omega One should be good, plus make sure to give one fast day a week. I also wouldn't feed live personally, because you risk bringing along bacteria and parasite issues, but some people do. Freeze dried is probably best for preventing this but you must soak thoroughly (10-15min) in either in either treated aquarium water or something like garlic guard (pure 100% garlic juice extract by Seachem) before feeding or it can cause constipation as they are very dry.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:58 PM   #7 
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Petsmart's house brand, Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bits are also very good (1st 2 ingredients = fish meal & shrimp meal) and even higher in protein than New Life Spectrum (42%). I like them better than NLS because they're bigger and they float better.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 PM   #8 
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Just got a new betta from Walmart. I'd rather have gone to a pet store, but there's not many options in a small town. The selection was the worst I've ever seen today. :( Almost all of the fish were sick and missing scales. I don't even know what color the crowntail I bought is, he has almost no scales. Poor guy. I set him in to float in the tank, and he started making a bubble nest while he was still in the dirty cup water. He's in the tank now complete with heater, filter, silk plants, and a dose of melafix. He's not the healthiest by any means, but I'm hoping that he'll be able to pull through.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:12 PM   #9 
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Be careful with melafix. It contains tea tree oil which is harmful for the labyrinth organ of a betta.

I would suggest clean, warm water and 100% daily changes for a week before starting medication, unless an issue becomes clearly prevalent like a fungus or parasite. Medication is often harsh even on the healthiest of betta, so it's tougher on a weak betta fresh from a chain store.
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