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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!
First time poster here looking for some help for my male dragonscale betta. Ever since around mid-November he has been acting a little off. At first he looked a little bloated, was sinking in his tank, and slowly lost interest in eating (though he still did, just didn't swim up to the wall and immediate eat pellets the way he used to). I thought it may be swim bladder, bloat, or dropsy so I tried fasting, the blanched pea thing, tried to feed some daphnia to maybe see if he was just clogged up, and did a round or two of SeaChem Kanaplex. None of that worked and he seemed to get neither better nor worse. He never looked immensely bloated and did not ever appear to have obvious pineconing and I have been adding API Aquarium Salt during water changes since.
However, since the beginning of the year he has also started to develop these blisters of various sizes throughout his body (not on his fins) that come and go. I did a couple rounds of API BettaFix and just finished a round of API Super Ick Cure but neither has made a difference. The ick cure was my last resort even though his spots aren't white.
He still has blisters, still is lethargic/generally sinks the bottom of the tank and hasn't regained his previous appetite/clear interest in feeding though he must be eating something if it's been months and he's still alive? I haven't been able to figure out what it is, as I can't find any images online that match his appearance. Has definitely lost some of the intensity of his coloring as well. We also did a long cross country move in the beginning of September, so I am thinking it could maybe be a long, sustained delayed reaction to stress from that event but it's been 6 months in the new place so I'm not sure if it would have passed by now if it is stress based. I am open to any advice because, as I've said, I haven't found a similar case online and can't think of what it could be with the research I've been able to do on my own. Thank you for any help you might have!
Images include 2 from when I thought he looked bloated (no blisters), 2 are from 2 weeks ago with some larger blisters that have now disappeared, and the last is one from tonight with a new larger blister on his head.
Organism Pink Window Magenta Aquatic plant
Purple Organism Underwater Pink Petal
Plant Organism Pink Fish Terrestrial plant
Organism Fish Plant Terrestrial plant Underwater
Eye Organism Reptile Snake Terrestrial animal

How many gallons is your tank? 2 gallons (planned to upsize after moving but then he's been ill)
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 84F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Filter hanging on back of tank
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? None

What food brand do you use? Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bits (also tried Omega One freeze dried mysis and blood worms since issues began, but he is uninterested)
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Once a day, 3-4 pellets now. Used to be twice a day before he got sick.

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once every week and a half or two weeks
What percentage of water did you change? ~50%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? API Quick Start, API Tap Water Conditioner, API pH Up or Down as needed. Now add API Aquarium Salt since illness began.

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
pH: 7.2
Hardness (GH): 0-30?
Alkalinity (KH): 0-40?
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH are with API Fresh Water Master Test Kit and GH and KH are from API 5-in-1 Test Strips so a little harder to read since the ranges are so large.

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Mid-November
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Blistering on body (not fins), faded color, slight bloating.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Lethargic, sinks to bottom of tank (can still swim up), no activity around feeding time
Is your Betta still eating? Very little
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Tried various de-bloating tips (fasting, peas, daphnia), tried to swith to freeze-dried food, KanaPlex, BettaFix, Super Ick Cure, adding Aquarium Salt during water changes, breaks in-between treatments of keeping water parameters in check.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? Over a year, close to 1.5 years
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No

· Super Moderator
2,360 Posts
He appears to have dropsy. If you had not already tried a plethora of different things I might suggest trying a medication but I think at this point you should keep the water as clean as possible, add tannins and hope for the best. I am not sure what the blisters are, but from the looks of hi he is likely in organ failure.

When treating fish with medications, it is always important to know exactly what you are treating before giving medication. Often the treatments can be harder on the fish than the illness.
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