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Old 02-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Exclamation Davy Jones is sick - I feel terrible...

Ok - So I have had Davy Jones since September 2011. I feel terrible because I did not realize the issues that a betta could have. I have had several betta's throughout my life and have never had one get sick like this. He is usually in a 2 gallon tank in my office (which is larger than any tank I have ever had for one. I have him in a small cup right now so that I can change his water and monitor him easily.

When I came into work on Monday, I thought he was dead. He was sitting on his hammock almost on his side. When I started to really look at him it was very obvious that something was wrong. He has not eaten in several days and with labored effort he swims from the bottom of his 5" cup to the top to take a breath. Air bubbles immediately come out of this gills and he then sinks back down to the bottom. I started him on bettafix on Tuesday and have changed his water fully every other day. I usually changed about 25% of his tank once a week with a full clean out once a month. Up until this week he has been a happy healthy fish. I have some pictures attached and would appreciate advice on further care. It is very obvious that some tail rot is going on but his gills seem to be open more than they should be all the time so I don't want to treat him for one thing only to make another worse.

He does seem to have a little more spirit today when he swims but then he settles back on the bottom and does not move... I dont want to drag out his suffering but I dont want to assume he is a gonner either.

The first picture was taken at Christmas a few months ago.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:33 PM   #2 
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What size is your tank? 2 gal
What temperature is your tank? 75f
Does your tank have a filter? ni
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? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Min Tropical Medley Vibrant Blend
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day Monday - Fri

How often do you perform a water change? 25% once a week 100% once a month
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Bottled Spring water treated for chlorine
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Wardley Watercare Chlor Out

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Gone Grey - gills do not close, tail rot
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? very lethargic - seems to be dead then spry for a few seconds swimming everywhere then sinks back to bottom of cup
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Monday Morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Betta Fix 9 drops a day, 50% water change daily
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? less than a year
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:50 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Rapid City, South Dakota
I'm so sorry. I don't know how to help much since I'm not an expert, but I'll tell you what I know. In a 2 gallon tank you should do two water changes a week, one 50% and one 100%. Ammonia gets too high otherwise. That could very well be why he got sick. Also, Bettafix and Melafix both contain tea tree oil which can hurt a bettas labyrinth organ. The labyrinth organ is what they breathe from the surface with, and even though they have gills, if their labyrinth organ is damaged they can't get enough air and will suffocate. Some people use it at a quarter dosage and don't have any problems with the labyrinth, but I wouldn't use it. It's your choice though. He looks like he's a pretty guy in the first pic. People who can give you more advice should come soon, you're doing good!
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:33 PM   #4 
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Welcome, and sorry to hear your little guy isn't doing so well..

It looks to be as if he has a bacterial infection going on.. I also believe he is starting to pine cone (the scales sticking up) slightly, which tends to be a sign of internal organs shutting down.
Treatment for him at this point would be 1 tsp per gallon of Epsom salt, along with either API Tetracycline, API Triple Sulfa OR Mardel’s Maracyn I & II for the bacteria. He looks pretty far in the infection, so I can't promise he will pull through, but if you are willing to try then that is the way to go with those medications.
I normally would just go with AQ salt for bacteria infection, but since he is pine coning, Epsom would be a better choice.

On some other notes- in the first picture, his dorsal fin looks see through, or perhaps missing part of the fins at the base? It also looks to be a case of fin rot, as his points of his fins are missing.. in time it may of caught up to the body from lack of treatment and proper water changes, along with high ammonia.

As mentioned above, recommended to not use the "fixes" on the bettas, as the risk for damage is greater with them then other medications.

In a 2 gallon a 25% is a dangerously low amount- as mentioned, ideally for anything unfiltered, no live plants 1-4 gallons is 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week with water conditioner. Without proper water changes the ammonia build up will cause him to go into shock, poison him, and burn him- him getting holes in his fins and since the water quality isn't ideal, the fin rot (a bacteria) will set in on the damaged fins.

Bottled water is not ideal to use in aquariums- it lacks the proper nutrients and minerals that is taken out during the filtration process.. the water is not as healthy as tap water with water conditioner in it.

There are a lot of myths out there, a lot of pet store employees who have not done any research nor are trained in fish care, and a lot of wrong info on the internet (Yahoo! Answers is especially bad for information).. so not wanting to sound down on you, just letting you know there are some required changes to properly care for these guys to avoid illnesses such as what is going on now.

Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:15 PM   #5 
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I feel like a total failure... I have had several Bettas in the past - one who lived a little over 5 years and this is the first one I have ever hatld get sick... The reason I feel like a failure is because I have been so uneducated on the subject for far too long!!!

I am trying the salt and triple sulfa... Unless someone has a better recommendation. Is it cruel of me to try this if he is too far gone? I can see the pine conning when I shine a flash light on him. He is laying on the bottom of the medically treated water bowl breathing hard... But he hasnt given up yet so I don't want to either...

On the topic of water, I live in a city where it is so hard I am constantly soaking my dishes in vinigar to remove the build up. Is that water really better than bottle? I have a second ba at home, jack sparrow, who seems to be fine but will get lots more attention now... So I would like thought for his and future bettas sake.

Also, do you have any recomendations for live plants in fresh unfiltered water?

Thanks again for all the advice - I am realizing at the sake of poor Davy how inadiquite I am as a fish mom...

Last edited by bettanameddavyjones; 02-09-2012 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:44 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ohio, US
This does happen and is part of this hobby unfortunatly, many on here have lost fish for various reasons. If you were a bad fish mom you wouldn't be on here asking advice.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #7 
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Exclamation Davy Update and New Better Pic's - Water change at 8pm - Should meds change?

Ok - So he made it through another night... and seems to be swimming a little more but still sinking to the bottom...

Last night I used AQ Salt because I could not find epsom that did not have something like Lavender in it. Do you still think I should try and find Epsom? Also I used AP Triple Sulfa but if someone thinks there is a better option I am all for getting it. He is fighting and has made it this far - I want to do everything I can to help him make it.

He is due for a water change at 8pm tonight. If I need to do something differently I would like to have everything ready to go by then.

The pictures attached below are better because I used an LED flashlight and camera instead of iphone. The black spoon in the picture is there because I had to help him get to the surface every now and then. He usually would lay on it after a water stir... Which there is so much junk in his water that is less than 24 hours old... just crazy!
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