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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 3
Does it have a filter? no
Does it have a heater? yes
What temperature is your tank? 77-80
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? no, alone

Food:
What food brand do you use? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold (pellet), Zoo Med Betta dial-a-treat (worms)
Do you feed flakes or pellets? pellets
Freeze-dried? some dry worms are given maybe 2 times a week
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 1 or 2 times a day, it usually eats maybe 3-5 pellets at once.

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? every 7-10 days
What percentage of water did you change? 100%
What is the source of your water? got an APEC reverse osmosis water filter on our kitchen sink
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? clean everything inside the tank, stones on bottom, decorations...
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? Tetra AquaSafe for Bettas

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? We never tested the water before. Now, 4 days after the last water change here are the measurements:

Ammonia: don't have a tester for it
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 6.5 (strip tester), 5.7 (electric tester)
Hardness (GH): ~20
Alkalinity (KH): ~20

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 4 weeks ago he started getting tired, resting more on the bottom
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? color looks more pale, but it changes depending on what color stones he sits on. but sometimes it becomes close to white...
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? he became more and more weak to swim. now he mostly rests on the bottom. every 20 minutes he used to swim up to the top for air, or when we fed him, but then immediately went to the bottom to rest. yesterday he was too weak to swim all the way up, so we removed half the water, he came up for air after that often, now he gained some strength, and can swim up to the half level if he wants to. usually moves around or changes location every 15-20 minutes, then rests again.
Is your Betta still eating? yes but little. only 1 pellet. or 1 warm at a time.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? don't know how.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? not really. he had no problems for 1.5 years since we have him.
How long have you owned your Betta? over 1.5 years
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? no

I just started reading stuff on this forum about how to care for the betta better.
I know we made mistakes.
Fish has a straight back, no curve. Eyes are not popped out. He sits on the bottom most of the time. Sometimes lays on it's side a little bit against a rock. He has not opened his fins like he used to for weeks. He cannot float in the middle of the tank, always falls to the bottom. Maybe the pellets are old, we still gave him the pack we bought 1.5 years ago. Expiration is still good for another year though. We never noticed that he had any problem when we changed 100% of his water every week for 1.5 years. We always heated the water to the right temperature before we put him back to the tank with the new water. He is alone in the tank, and we keep it clean. When food falls to the bottom, we vacum it out so it does not stay in the tank. Lately I noticed something white on his top fins too.

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you should never be doing 100% water changes as almost any beneficial bacteria breaking down the ammonia and nitrites are gone and the tank essentially has to be cycled again. His colours do look quite faded. You should definitely also add a filter. I’d recommend doing 15 - 25% water changes once a week (I do every Saturday). Now that he looks/seems a little sick It’s a good idea to keep the water clean by doing 10% water changes every other day or so until he is fine again. He might also be getting old and possibly dying. Maybe a salt (Epsom or aquarium) bath if necessary. I can’t exactly tell what he has but the white spots might be ich but I’m not sure, they might just be some colour loss/fade. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
you should never be doing 100% water changes as almost any beneficial bacteria breaking down the ammonia and nitrites are gone and the tank essentially has to be cycled again. His colours do look quite faded. You should definitely also add a filter. I’d recommend doing 15 - 25% water changes once a week (I do every Saturday). Now that he looks/seems a little sick It’s a good idea to keep the water clean by doing 10% water changes every other day or so until he is fine again. He might also be getting old and possibly dying. Maybe a salt (Epsom or aquarium) bath if necessary. I can’t exactly tell what he has but the white spots might be ich but I’m not sure, they might just be some colour loss/fade. Good luck!
thanks for the tips.

what kind of filter do u recommend for a 3 gallon tank? does a filter make it harder for the fish to swim? or is there something with low slower waterflow?

also what do you mean by salt bath? i ordered some aquarium salt to put in the water when i do water change. what should i do with the salt to do a salt bath?
 

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thanks for the tips.

what kind of filter do u recommend for a 3 gallon tank? does a filter make it harder for the fish to swim? or is there something with low slower waterflow?

also what do you mean by salt bath? i ordered some aquarium salt to put in the water when i do water change. what should i do with the salt to do a salt bath?
I’d recommend for example the Eheim Pickup 45, it’s a simple, hopefully not too expensive filter, you can also adjust its flow and it’s quiet, Eheim is a very reputable brand too. I have that filter and I’ve liked it a lot so far, the filter media is also pretty inexpensive to replace every month or so. Here are some simple instructions on how to do a salt bath The Betta Salt Bath - Fish Care I’d recommend you to do once a day, if your betta goes on his side after being put in the salt bath put him back into his main tank. Even if your betta isn’t that sick and just not feeling well doing a salt bath won’t do any harm. Good luck!

edit: for the filter, you can put it in the corner of the aquarium and turn the “head” of the filter to the side while also of course turning the flow down. You can put a little bit of salt safely in your tank as well but I’d recommend doing the salt baths instead of that, either will work though but preferably not both at the same time.

Also very important, don't use salt in the main tank if you have live plants, if you do, you should do the salt baths only
 

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I’d recommend for example the Eheim Pickup 45, it’s a simple, hopefully not too expensive filter, you can also adjust its flow and it’s quiet, Eheim is a very reputable brand too. I have that filter and I’ve liked it a lot so far, the filter media is also pretty inexpensive to replace every month or so. Here are some simple instructions on how to do a salt bath The Betta Salt Bath - Fish Care I’d recommend you to do once a day, if your betta goes on his side after being put in the salt bath put him back into his main tank. Even if your betta isn’t that sick and just not feeling well doing a salt bath won’t do any harm. Good luck!

edit: for the filter, you can put it in the corner of the aquarium and turn the “head” of the filter to the side while also of course turning the flow down. You can put a little bit of salt safely in your tank as well but I’d recommend doing the salt baths instead of that, either will work though but preferably not both at the same time.

Also very important, don't use salt in the main tank if you have live plants, if you do, you should do the salt baths only
You could also put in a sponge filter.
 

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Can you post a "before" photo?

There are trace elements and minerals in water that fish need for optimum health. RO water is stripped of these and over a period of time it takes a toll on fish.

There are two products you can use. One is specifically for tanks with live plants Seachem - Equilibrium. The other is is not Seachem - Replenish.

I would try those and hold off on treatment other than homeopathic as you don't want to stress him. Indian Almond Leaves and plain Rooibos Tea have antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can float a leaf or teabag to release their tannin. Two photos below show the tint of the water you want. I prefer something in between.

Frozen Bloodworms are not a good choice for the main diet of a healthy Betta because they contain much fat. However, when a fish is compromised they are a good meal substitute. If at all possible, alternate those 4 x per day with the pellets. Stop the freeze dried except as the occasional treat.

Betta are facultative breathers which means their gills are their main source of oxygen. their labyrinth being secondary. Filters oxygenate the water so Betta do not need to surface breathe.

I do not see indications any sort of salt bath is necessary at this time as he is not bloated, injured or appear to have parasites..
 

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Can you post a "before" photo?

There are trace elements and minerals in water that fish need for optimum health. RO water is stripped of these and over a period of time it takes a toll on fish.

There are two products you can use. One is specifically for tanks with live plants Seachem - Equilibrium. The other is is not Seachem - Replenish.

I would try those and hold off on treatment other than homeopathic as you don't want to stress him. Indian Almond Leaves and plain Rooibos Tea have antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can float a leaf or teabag to release their tannin. Two photos below show the tint of the water you want. I prefer something in between.

Frozen Bloodworms are not a good choice for the main diet of a healthy Betta because they contain much fat. However, when a fish is compromised they are a good meal substitute. If at all possible, alternate those 4 x per day with the pellets. Stop the freeze dried except as the occasional treat.

Betta are facultative breathers which means their gills are their main source of oxygen. their labyrinth being secondary. Filters oxygenate the water so Betta do not need to surface breathe.

I do not see indications any sort of salt bath is necessary at this time as he is not bloated, injured or appear to have parasites..
My mistake, I just read somewhere that salt baths can help a wide range of problems, my memory has had some issues recently though so might have been something else. Sorry!
 

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My mistake, I just read somewhere that salt baths can help a wide range of problems, my memory has had some issues recently though so might have been something else. Sorry!
No need to apologize. Normally a salt bath would be fine to suggest and give. It's with fish that are extremely stressed that we need to proceed with a bit more caution. I learned that the hard way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Two photos below show the tint of the water you want.
i cant see the 2 photos in your post.

thanks guys for all the great and helpful info. im learning a lot!

i got the seachem equilibrium. now how should i introduce this to the water? start with all new RO water in the tank and add this and the ph conditioner? or use the current water the fish is in, which is a 3 gallon tank with only half the water so he can more easily swim to the surface? how many % to change of the current water?

i also got a shponge filter. arriving tomorrow.

attached are 2 "before" pictures of the fish.

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i got a better close up shot of the current condition. does he maybe have fin rot but in white?
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok here is an update:

1.
I brought the RO water's quality up gradually by adding 1 liter of newly conditioned and remineralized water (with equilibrium) to the tank every day. I'm afraid to do it faster. (And I'm not sure what would be the ideal levels as I read different values on different Betta sites...)

These are the current tested levels:

Ammonia: don't have a tester for it
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 6.5-7 (strip tester),
Hardness (GH): 50-60 ppm
Alkalinity (KH): 40 ppm

Are these good levels? If not, how should I improve it?

I'm still keeping the water at half level of the tank so its easier for him to swim to the surface.

2.
I got and installed a shponge filter.

3.
I got some better quality food:

Northfin Betta Bits, but these are very tiny, and after a minute they sink to the bottom and the fish would not eat them.

New Life Spectrum, but these have a good size when I throw it in the water, but puff up after 2 minutes to a bigger size which the fish cannot eat.

I'm currently trying to feed him Ultra Fresh Betta Pro with shrimp patties. And sometimes blood worms. These 2 stay on top of the water. But when the shponge filter is on, it moves them around, and sometimes sucks them closer to the filter.

So I'm not sure if the fish has been eating them. I only see him eat maybe one pellet a day, or maybe 2.

4.
I also got some SunGrow indian almond leaves. I only add a small leaf in the water every day. I'm afraid to add more, because I read reviews where fish died when someone added leaves. The water is very slowly turning browner. But nowhere near the 2 pictures Russell showed in the previous post. How much can I add to the water to not shock the fish?

Even after all these changes I don't see much improvement in the condition of my Betta.

Current condition of the fish:

He is still hanging out on the bottom. Acts a little more active since all the improvements, but the color is still faded. He is tired and always sitting or laying against some rocks on the bottom. He swims to the top very quickly multiple times if he wants, so he has more strength, but then immediately falls to the bottom to rest again.

And I'm noticing pieces missing from his fin! I'm not sure what this is. Is this fin rot? And some white things are forming on the back fin, while every day a little more is missing from the fin. Now even the end of the tail fin is starting to look chopped.

I'm worried. What should I do? Add more leaves? Do add aquarium salt?

Please, help!

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