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I gave my friend a fish for her Bat Mitzvah four days ago. Here is his picture from that day (with a little contrast):



Now he is very ill, and I have come over to her house to help her figure out what's wrong and what to do about it. It seems like he could have any variation of diseases. We need help, please!

He lives in a 1gal, heated, using API Stress Coat, four pellets of Hikari Bio Gold a day. Everything is top-shape, I set up the tank myself.

Symptoms:

Inability to stay up straight (having a hard time getting up for air, swimming in general... seems like he CAN'T swim even though he wants to), loss of color, lethargic (won't move from one spot), bloated, breathing very very heavily, black & red and swollen under both gills (both open), possible fin rot? Looks more like biting to me. His tail was already black around the ends so it's hard to tell. I could swear he lost the blue in his eyes too. Possible septicemia, it's hard to tell because of his coloration.

Please help, I don't want this little girl's fish to die once she's already gotten so attached. >:
 

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It sounds like SBD from over feeding, ammonia burn from not changing the water enough, and a possible case of fin rot. Now thats only what it sounds like, that may not be the case. First off I would find out if she's been doing the proper water changes and exactly how much is being fed per day. For treatment I would drop the water level to half way to make it easier to get air. If there is a filter or bubbler, turn it off. Get a gallon of fresh water and treat it with water conditioner, epsom salts (1 tbs per gallon) and stress coat (dossed to repair damaged fins). I would do a 100% water change every day so make sure you have plenty of treated water ready to go. If you can't get epsom salt go with aq. it wont help with the bloating or anything possibly internal but it will help with the fins.

Is there any way you could get a recent picture of the little guy?

edit: also introduce the treated water slowly and carefully, we don't need to shock his system. if you can bump the heater to 82-84 degrees F that will help with the bloat a little
 

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Also is there any other fish, snail or shrimp in the tank with him? If he does have a bit of an ammonia burn I'm wondering if there is something else in the tank. For a one gallon to do that in 4 days is kinda extreme...
 

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I don't mean to sound nit-picky Ivandert and apologize if it seems that way but I am just wondering if you mean 1 tsp of epsom salt rather than a tbs? Everywhere I've read says 1 tsp and I just want to clarify for my own curiosity as I thought a tbp could be lethal -- I could be mistaken though!

Sage, I'm sorry your friend is struggling with her fish and I hope he recovers! It does sound like SBD as well as a couple of other things but I won't say any more until you've had chance to respond.
 

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oh fudge...I got those mixed up didn't I? crap
 

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I didn't think you did, lol your good. I'm pretty hard to offend overall, and have a huge tolerance/patience level. I used to babysit kids from 2 yrs to 13 yrs. I watched my niece go from a 2 yrs old to a 4 yr old every Monday through Friday.
 
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