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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi!
My female betta is about 1 1/2 years old. I had an algae problem and added two apple snails. About 6 months later one snail died. I removed the body, tested the water, which tested to be fine, then did a 50% water change. The next day my betta wouldnt eat. This progressed to her staying ina top corner of the tank. About two weeks ago she began poking her mouth out of the water and appeared to be gasping. Again I tested the water,clear again, but i did another 50% water change and replaced the charcoal filter. The anorexia, lwthargy and gasping continued, so after 48 hours removed her to a hospital tank with a pump circulating the water but no filter and treated her with erythromycin. Today is day 10 of the antibiotic. She will occasionally eat part of a crushed pellet, but usually not. She looks awful, and continues to gasp. I will go to town and buy a gram negative antibiotic. ..but I might also buy clove oil. I dont know what else to do! Please help with ideas!!! Ill try to attach a photo or two.
 

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Please answer these questions from the sticky:

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hospital tank is only 1/2 gallon. Previous tank is 3 gallon
tank is room temp
I removed the filter dueing antibiotic treatment but there was a charcoal filter, wich I replaced every 2 weeks
Aeration from the water pump (running minus the filter)
Tank is not heated but the room is about 77 degrees
no tank mates in hospital tank but she was with an apple snail

She will now eat some of one crushed zoo med betta food every day.. Previously she ate 4-5 pellets a day and occasionally another couple at night

In the hospital tank I do a 25% water change daily. Previously it was 25% every week.
I use distklled water and add tetra aqua safe to it.

Water in hospital tank is currently
ammonia 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
pH 7.0

Last dose of erythromycin this morning...10 day course... Fish is currently propped on her side draped over a filter suction cup. Her breathing is very fast. Idk what else to do!!
 

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Take a look at these water change guidelines: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758

A 3 gallon should be getting two water changes weekly, one 50% and one 100%. With a filter, you can do two 50% changes. Charcoal really isn't needed in the filter, just a sponge. Only replace it when it's literally falling apart.

The tank will always be several degrees cooler than the room it's in. A heater keeps it warm and prevents massive temp fluctuations. You need a heater asap.

A .25 gallon should be getting daily 100% water changes.

Distilled water lacks a lot of the minerals they need. Bit by bit, move her over to tap water, still adding the water conditioner of course. I would do a 100% water change now and fill it with 3/4 distilled and 1/4 tap. Tomorrow, another 100% water change with 1/2 distilled and 1/2 tap. And so on until she's totally on tap. She could be having a massive mineral deficiency.

Finished the course, then stop medicating her. Not a good idea to medicate a fish unless you know what's wrong.

If you can get your hands on frozen bloodworms, give her some. The protein will help her.

EDIT: Add more tap water every other water change. That might be easier on her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you!
I cant get to a heater til tomorrow. Should I put a heating pad under the tank? What temperature and how quickly do I raise it? Ive been using distilled water because I could not regulate the pH in our tap. How do I address that? Also, I have freeze dried bloodworms. So far shes refused them but ill keep trying and ill look for frozen ones tomorrow if she's still alive. Thank you so much!!!!
 

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Do not use a heating pad. It heats the water too quickly and unevenly. Just wait until tomorrow to get a heater. The temperature should be 78-80 degrees.

Do not worry about the PH, just make sure to acclimate your fish properly when you water changes (which you should be doing away since not acclimating your fish can send them into shock).

do not feed her the freeze-dried blood worms. They will lead to bloating and constipation. Just wait to get the frozen ones tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok many thanks!! I've changed 25% of the water to treated tap water. I tested the water again a minute ago and again everything tested ok. Poor Layla is now at the bottom of the bowl, but still floating. It looks like her breathing is labored... whatever it is where a persons neck would be is moving really fast.
Incidentally I meant to say shes "anorexic," not "anemic." Another one for autospell!
Thanks again, and good luck with your thesis and your health!
 

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Have you seen her poop, do you know what color it was?
Fish typically aren't anorexic, was she looking particularly emaciated even when she was eating? I'm considering the possibility that she might have parasites.
 

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What's your tap water's ph? Shouldn't be a problem unless it's really really low or really really high.
 

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Have you seen her poop, do you know what color it was?
Fish typically aren't anorexic, was she looking particularly emaciated even when she was eating? I'm considering the possibility that she might have parasites.
That is what I was thinking. Anorexic isn't a description of a fish looking underweight.

If she looked underweight while eating then it could be internal parasites.

If she is underweight from not eating then she is sick and something is wrong with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Her poop is a tan color. I dont think she really looked thin until she basically quit eating. She does look thin now. She just doesnt want to eat, not even food she used to enjoy. It seems like her gills don't work right. She keeps her mouth above water most of the time. The tap water pH is usually around 10...then when I put stuff in to lower it and check again it's too low, raise it again too high... It was scaring me. No fish were in this water, happily, because I messed with it before putting it in the aquarium, but i just couldn't seem to get it right. I cant believe I never thought about minerals! How dumb! Should I consider even adding some treated mineral water today? She's still with us, looking the same.
 

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10 is quite high. Mix half distilled and half tap in a container and measure the ph then. I'm sure all distilled has the same ph but I don't know what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do you think she will still get the minerals she needs with. 50/50 mix? Poor fish... It just occurred to me to try tap from my parents' (in another town). Poor fish! She's not gaasping at the moment, but I know she must feel awful.
how quickly is it ok to heat the tank? I don't want to stress her further.
 

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She should be able to.

Do you have a thermometer to measure the water in the tank? What is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
74 or 75... still slowly heating up. She looks/acts better, swimming a little and ate a few bites of a smashed pellet. Both pet stores were out of frozen bloodworms but I'll check again tomorrow. Thanks so much for your help!!!! I'm thinking maybe she can go back in the regular aquarium soon...but ill give it at least a week I think...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm afraid to leave the heater on overnight... right? I foolishly got a cheap one for small aquariums and it doesnt have a temperature gauge. Ive been watching this today...but yikes... I sure dont want to cook her. I lost my good one in the divorce lol... I'll go shopping again tomorrow. Clearly I wasnt thinking.
 

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What kind of heater is it? Some, while not adjustable, do still have a thermostat that won't raise the water temp above a certain point. Those would be okay to leave on overnight.

If you can give us the brand, we could probably help you make the determination whether to leave it on or turn it off.
 
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