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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So for some reason my cycle in my 5.5 gallon crashed this week. Normally a weekly water change of 25% keeps everything in check, and I did my change 3 days ago. Then Tesla started acting strange. His fins got torn up for seemingly no reason (and eventually started to grow a little fungus on the ends) and he started spending more and more time at the bottom of the tank. Last night I checked the ammonia level and it somehow spiked to 1 ppm! I immediately changed as much water as possible. (About 75%, I didn't do 100% because at this point he was barely moving and I didn't want to stress him further by removing him from the tank.) I treated what I now assume is finrot and a secondary fungal infection with API Triple Sulfa (2 doses so far) and as of right now the ammonia level is back down to zero. But he hasn't improved much. He barely moves around, only occasionally comes up for air, and spends most of his time breathing heavily at the bottom of the tank. I lowered the water level, turned off the filter and added an air stone. What else can I do? What are his chances of surviving the ammonia poisoning? I'll be devastated if I lose him.
 

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They are pretty hardy, so hopefully he is just not feeling well and some really clean water And tlc will help. Treating fin rot and fungus is good and the sooner the better but I believe if he is that stressed the best route for him would be just a lot of good clean water ans aq salt at this point. Others may say differently. You can by all means treat with meds too but if there is any way to make sure his water is changed every day while getting him through this ordeal that would be best. I myself would do 25-50% every day for a while just to ensure clean conditions as that will help immensely with fin rot too and the aq salt also helps with that. If you catch it early enough that treatment in itself can be enough treatment. You did right by getting him clean water. Add a little extra stress coat to help him him through this stressful time too and just keep an eye on him. Hopefully you caught it in time and he will revover. You may want to revisit the betta fish care stickys about feeding and water changes and make sure you are doing well with those parameters to see if you can find a reason for the spike. Good luck and hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply.

I took him out of the triple sulfa treatment today and put him in a 1 gallon hospital tank with 1 teaspoon of aq salt instead. (In hopes of helping his gills.) I didn't know if it would be okay to use both so I decided it's easier to add the meds back in later than take them out. While I was at work he managed to get himself wedged in between his "cave" (a teacup) and the side of the tank. When I removed the teacup he swam around a bit and eventually got himself on his betta leaf near the water line. He's still breathing very heavily but I'll take every bit of improvement. Also it looks like his color is improving.

I think the reason for the spike may have been my poor dead snail :/ I should have isolated him when I suspected he was dead/dying. (no movement but no smell of death either.) When I was finally able to confirm his death he hadn't moved in a week. I only did one extra 50% wc after removing the body and I guess I should have tested the water to make sure that was enough. I used to test the water every week but I had consistent 0 results for ammonia/nitrate with my 25% weekly water changes so I stopped doing the tests.
 

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Well I am by no means an expert and you will have to watch him closely for other signs of disease, and yes you may need to meditate him still but I suspect he is just really stressed by the ammonia.
A dead snail would definitely cause a problem if that was the case. I prefer to keep mine bachelor's but then again one of my boys eats all his tank mates so maybe he chooses to be a bachelor. Lol

Keep doing a 100% water change daily and adding 1tsp of aquarium salt to the new fresh water and hopefully he will perk up a bit. Remember to match water as closely in temperature as you can and acclimate him to new water over an hour each time. So take him out in some of his old water, like his like a small bowl and slowly over the hour add in a little of the new water each time. He is already stressed do we don't want to stress him too much more. The salt will hopefully treat any disease starting. Don't forget to add water Conditioner and you could even add bit extra to help out.
When in his bowl remember to put a piece of plastic wrap with some wholes poked in it, the last thing he needs is so flop out of his bowl. Lol keep him in a dark quiet place and let him recover. If he doesn't feel like eating for a day or two I wouldn't stress too much they can go a week or more but try and get him to eat a treat if he will it will join strength. Never underestimate these guys and the lower of clean water. Hopefully he will fight as you are. Let me know how it goes.

Also like I said I am not an expert so if others offer an opinion take it into consideration. Would be nice to see a couple pictures of fins so I can help direct o weather you should medicate him.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's a picture from early in the day yesterday, it's the best I could get cause he was pretty much sticking to the bottom and he never really flares anyway. The white stuff fell off and re-formed a couple of times over 3 days and doesn't seem to be there right this moment.

I should also note that he seems bloated but not extremely so.
 

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I honestly don't know, is it white and fuzzy when on the fins? If so then it might be fungus which is usually a secondary infection, but I didn't think it fell off and grew back. I don't want to steal you wrong. Maybe ask one of the reference team as they tend to be a little more informed, although I can tell you what you have done already won't hurt him. Start a new thread and direct them back to This one and ask someone from the refe rence team to help out. I hope I havn't led you in the wrong direction and that they can help. You may need to medicate right away after all. Good luck.
 

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Hey, I just sent a message to ( lilnaugrim) one of the reference team members about this. So wait a bit and see if they respond k. Keep me in touch though as I am curious, I truly wish you and your boy all the best, I know it is awful when they are sick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Might as well fill this out too.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5.5 gallon (currently in a 1 gallon sick tank floating in the 5 gallon to heat it)
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees (it's a 100 watt adjustable heater set to 72 and it usually heats to around 78 instead)
Does your tank have a filter? Yes (not the sick tank)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Not the regular tank but I have an airstone in the sick tank
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None currently, recently had a nerite snail that died.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum small fish formula, occasionally Omega One betta buffet cause my fiancé can't separate the tiny NLS pellets, frozen brine shrimp and frozen blood worms as treats (once a week or less, not much recently) Recently fed frozen daphnia because of bloat.

How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day, 6 NLS pellets or 3 omega one per feeding.

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? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime and/or Stress Coat (for fin damage which happens a lot)

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

Ammonia: 0ppm (now, was 1 ppm)
Nitrite: 0ppm (was 0 before as well)
Nitrate: 0ppm (didn't measure before because after seeing the ammonia results I didn't wanna waste time before changing the water)
pH: 8.0
Hardness: n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?: Clamped fins, dorsal fin shredded with white growth, slightly bloated stomach
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?: Difficulty swimming, mostly sits on bottom of tank, heavy breathing, doesn't eat
When did you start noticing the symptoms?: Bloat started about 5 days ago, other symptoms 3 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Epsom salt for the bloat but it didn't seem to help so I didn't replace it with my water change. Then 2 doses of Triple Sulfa (yesterday and the day before.) Then I put him in the one gallon sick tank with 1 tsp aq salt and no Triple Sulfa.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Fin problems constantly. He snags his tail on everything and almost cut his dorsal off on a decoration with a sharp edge about 2 months ago. I might have noticed the illness sooner but I just assumed he caught his fin on something (even though at this point there wasn't anything he could have caught his fins on)
How old is your fish (approximately)?: No idea. I got him in late August and he hasn't grown at all since then. He's a red VT so he could have sat on the shelf awhile before the people who gave him to me bought him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for referring this to lilnaugrim. I'm kicking myself so much for this because I've been so diligent and careful since I rescued him and of course after the snail fiasco this is my first real problem. I've been google searching all day to find answers to give him the best chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
These two picture show how he is right now. The white stuff is gone as far as I can see. He's got himself propped up in the plant in his sink tank (it almost looks like he's holding onto it with his fin.) Still breathing heavily, vastly improved coloring. I don't think he has come to the surface for air for awhile though :-(
 

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Well, he doesn't look so horrible, so that is a good sign, I am glad you are seeing improvement. Don't be so hard on yourself either, everything was going great with my boys and I noticed and was treating for fin rot even though water parameters were good and water changes too. All of a sudden it was bad really fast and before I knew it his whole dorsal fin is gone and we have been fighting and medicating and now seems to be healing. It happens the important part is you noticedand want to fix him and hopefully it will make us both more diligent to out ffishy friends in future. We are always learning. If you don't here from lilnaugrim by later tonight then do as advised and start that thread so anyone know reference team.
 

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Hi guys, sorry your boy isn't feeling so well Jacky!

For Ammonia burns you can use Methylene Blue to help balance everything back out again within him but should be fine without it.

The white stuff looks like possible secondary infection that likes to grow on new growth of fins that had fin rot. That can be treated with any fin rot medication namely antibiotics preferably like KanaPlex, Maracyn I & II, Furan-2, and Tetracycline.

Sorry I'm pretty sick at the moment so I'm not all here right now so if I've missed something just let me know and I'll try to read through the thread again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
How long do you think it will take to see improvement with his breathing and ability to swim? The reason I'm so worried is because this is his third day like this. Can he get enough oxygen if he's not going to the surface regularly?

Also, thank you! And I hope you feel better! Should I discontinue AQ salt and switch to an antibiotic or do both?
 

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Hi, I just wanted to let you know that sometimes a bath in methylene blue can really help with ammonia/nitrate/nitrite poisoning, especially if the gills were irritated. On a secondary note, methylene blue can also be used as a fungus treatment.

I've copied some directions about doing this from americanaquariumproducts.com:

1 teaspoon 2.303% solution per 5 gallons (double dose) in a bath of aquarium water from the tank the fish you wish to treat came from, I usually use about a ½ gallon of water, however you may use less.
Measurement of the Methylene Blue does not need to be precise as this bath should be used for about 30 minutes (although do not grossly overdose).
You may also add salts to your bath to improve effectiveness for certain problems when preparing baths for freshwater fish (such as swim bladder, dropsy or unknown problems). Generally I would use 1 teaspoon of sodium chloride (regular salt) per gallon and occasionally ¼ teaspoon of Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) per gallon.

Here's a larger article from that site on using baths for fish:
http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2009/07/fish-baths.html

I think they talk about how you can occasionally use potassium permangate for this as well (walmart sells this under the name Jungle Clear Water, it's just not marketed as a bath treatment by them). So if you can't get the methylene blue fast enough you can try that.

I hope this helps and your fish gets better soon!
 

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If you do try the methylene blue as lilnaugrim mentioned and I gave some details about, you may want to put an airstone in with your fish during the bath if he's still struggling with breathing. I'd definitely treat for fungus too if he shows any more signs of it.
 

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Wow, that is alot of info and probably very useful but even I found that overwhelming. I have heard use of methylene blue baths before but I also think you have to be careful about treating with too many things and stressing him out further. And while I have had excellent experience and results with Epsom salts and treating bloating, constipation and general betta not feeling well, I think you need to make sure any other salt is only (aquarium salt) specifically as alot of people mistake it for table salt which is harmful to fish . Think whatever you choose to do don't do it all at once. I know you can use aq salt with other medicines but just don't overdue it. Trust your gut k.
 

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Good luck, hope he feels better soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the help everyone, but unfortunately I must have been fighting more than just ammonia poisoning and fin rot. Tesla passed some time in the early afternoon. My only guess is it had something to do with his swollen belly. I never thought the bloat could have been a severe problem because his scales weren't sticking out or anything. I guess it was the combination of whatever that problem was and the ammonia that did him in. Thanks again for trying to help me, he was a fighter.

SIP Tesla.
 
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