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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
This morning I did my regular scheduled water changes. My Betta seemed good before I changed the water. After I changed the water I noticed he can’t stay upright. He can’t swim correctly and he seems to immediately roll to his side. He is wedging himself in between objects to stay upright. Earlier I found him lying on his side gasping for air. I thought for sure he was dead.
I don’t really know what happened. I did everything the same as I usually do. He lives with guppies and they are all fine I changed my other tanks as well and everyone in them is fine just the Betta is sick. Water temp is at about 81degrees and I used API dechlorinator.
I’ve had him a little over a year. Is there any way I can help him. I have a feeling he isn’t going to make it much longer.
Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,
This morning I did my regular scheduled water changes. My Betta seemed good before I changed the water. After I changed the water I noticed he can’t stay upright. He can’t swim correctly and he seems to immediately roll to his side. He is wedging himself in between objects to stay upright. Earlier I found him lying on his side gasping for air. I thought for sure he was dead.
I don’t really know what happened. I did everything the same as I usually do. He lives with guppies and they are all fine I changed my other tanks as well and everyone in them is fine just the Betta is sick. Water temp is at about 81degrees and I used API dechlorinator.
I’ve had him a little over a year. Is there any way I can help him. I have a feeling he isn’t going to make it much longer.
Thank you
How many gallons is your tank? 5 gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes Aqueon quiet flow 20
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 78-81’
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Small guppies
Food: What food brand do you use? Do you feed flakes or pellets? Freeze-dried? How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 2 Wardley Betta pellets twice a day. Tetra blood worms (freeze dried)or baby shrimp a small piece twice a day.
Maintenance: Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Twice a week. Noticed he was ill right after the water change
What percentage of water did you change? 60%
What is the source of your water? Tap water
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum the gavel
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? API stress coat plus
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: Nitrite: Nitrate: pH: Hardness (GH): Alkalinity (KH): I noticed he was ill right after water change ph 7 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0
Symptoms and Treatment: When did you first notice the symptoms? Two hours after water change How has your Betta’s appearance changed? No appearance change How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Very lethargic, having trouble swimming straight. Is your Betta still eating? Not really he ate one piece of bloodworm Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No as I don’t know what’s wrong Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta?one and a half years
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No
 

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Did you test for ammonia? It only makes sense to happen right after a water change if you somehow disturbed a pocket in the substrate. Otherwise, did you feed him freeze dried the same day? Do you soak dried food before feeding?


For now, start fasting your betta, so no more foods of any kind. If it is food related your betta should recover in a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Did you test for ammonia? It only makes sense to happen right after a water change if you somehow disturbed a pocket in the substrate. Otherwise, did you feed him freeze dried the same day? Do you soak dried food before feeding?


For now, start fasting your betta, so no more foods of any kind. If it is food related your betta should recover in a few days.
I tested the ammonia yesterday and today. Both tests I have gotten 0ppm. He hasn’t eaten for about two days. The last day I fed him he had about two bloodworm pieces. The bloodworms are so tiny that I did not think I had to soak them. He seems to be doing a little better today. He’s not hiding and not breathing rapidly but still balancing himself in decorations and plants. He can stay upright in the water without moving but can’t do much swimming without falling to his side. He is back to trying to come over to the top of the tank when he sees me which is better than yesterday when I was convinced he was close to death.

A while I ago I had written on here and another site because he had started turning white and he had what looked like sores or something on his head. The first reply I got was on another site. This person claimed to be a vet and told me my Betta had Hexamita. He said he looked bad and was sure to die without Melafix. I didn’t think Hexamita was something Bettas got. I looked into the Melafix and figured it wouldn’t hurt so I tried it. After seven days it did absolutely nothing so I just stopped treating him.

I had gotten a reply on here after that from Russell the Shih Tzu and someone else and they both said he looked fine. When I got him from the store he was a strikingly beautiful fish. I had him about six months when his his bright red and blue colors started to dull. He developed white patches on the sides of his face and a dark red spot on his head appeared. Then his tail became shredded. I’ve always been good with my water changes and the water chemistry has always been good. He always zooms over to get his food. So I figured if he is that interested in eating he must be okay.
When this current not being able to swim properly situation happened I thought maybe it had something to do with his color changes and shredded tail. I can get some pictures up
If needed.

When do you think I should start to try and feed him again. Also how should I resume his feeding and schedule.
Thank you so much for all your help.
 

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When he is able to remain upright you can resume feeding him. It sounds like the bloodworms where the cause of it. Even though they are really small to us, they are pretty big to a betta, so I'm sure your already planning to soak them now :)

Sounds like you've been put through a ringer. I'm glad he is looking better, and that it wasn't caused by something worse.

I love marbled bettas, which is what it sounds like you have. I just got a girl that had half her body a bright blue and only two days she was white with speckles and only few bits of color on her fins. It was so sudden, but thankfully just a color change and nothing worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When he is able to remain upright you can resume feeding him. It sounds like the bloodworms where the cause of it. Even though they are really small to us, they are pretty big to a betta, so I'm sure your already planning to soak them now 🙂

Sounds like you've been put through a ringer. I'm glad he is looking better, and that it wasn't caused by something worse.

I love marbled bettas, which is what it sounds like you have. I just got a girl that had half her body a bright blue and only two days she was white with speckles and only few bits of color on her fins. It was so sudden, but thankfully just a color change and nothing worse.
Okay that sounds like a plan. That’s good to hear about your Betta. I’ve owned many of them and never had one marble before. Thanks again for all your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When he is able to remain upright you can resume feeding him. It sounds like the bloodworms where the cause of it. Even though they are really small to us, they are pretty big to a betta, so I'm sure your already planning to soak them now 🙂

Sounds like you've been put through a ringer. I'm glad he is looking better, and that it wasn't caused by something worse.

I love marbled bettas, which is what it sounds like you have. I just got a girl that had half her body a bright blue and only two days she was white with speckles and only few bits of color on her fins. It was so sudden, but thankfully just a color change and nothing worse.
Okay that sounds like a plan. That’s good to hear about your Betta. I’ve owned many of them and never had one marble before. Thanks again for all your help.
Well I spoke too soon. I figured I would wake up to him swimming around but he is currently wedged in his cave. He has turned his body into an 0 shape with his face stuck into the gravel and is breathing rapidly. He seemed to be getting better than he crashed again. He still hasn’t eaten anything since this began. I’m at a total loss here about what to do. Sorry to bug you again with this.
 

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Well I spoke too soon. I figured I would wake up to him swimming around but he is currently wedged in his cave. He has turned his body into an 0 shape with his face stuck into the gravel and is breathing rapidly. He seemed to be getting better than he crashed again. He still hasn’t eaten anything since this began. I’m at a total loss here about what to do. Sorry to bug you again with this.

Can you free him? That is really worrying, but it might be because he can't swim properly. I'd remove the cave until he recovers. SBD isn't fatal by itself, unless it is caused by a bacterial infection, if he doesn't recover in two more days you can start an antibiotic.

Tomorrow try feeding him Daphnia or a small piece of a blanched pea. Blanched pea: a once frozen pea that is heated up, remove the skin and cut a quarter of it into small portions the size of his betta pellets.
 

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Well I spoke too soon. I figured I would wake up to him swimming around but he is currently wedged in his cave. He has turned his body into an 0 shape with his face stuck into the gravel and is breathing rapidly. He seemed to be getting better than he crashed again. He still hasn’t eaten anything since this began. I’m at a total loss here about what to do. Sorry to bug you again with this.

Can you free him? That is really worrying, but it might be because he can't swim properly. I'd remove the cave until he recovers. SBD isn't fatal by itself, unless it is caused by a bacterial infection, if he doesn't recover in two more days you can start an antibiotic.

Tomorrow try feeding him Daphnia or a small piece of a blanched pea. Blanched pea: a once frozen pea that is heated up, remove the skin and cut a quarter of it into small portions the size of his betta pellets.
I went ahead and lowered the water in the tank so he wouldn’t have so far to swim up to get air. Usually I keep my water level high so that the current from the filter doesn’t bug him. With the water level down the filter is putting a lot of air bubbles in the water. I figure at this point it can’t hurt him to try to get some extra oxygen into his body. He came up and perched on a plant that is at the top of the water. He only has to barely lift his head to get air. I’ll go ahead and pull his cave out.

Tomorrow I’m going to see about getting him a small bowl or small tank to act as a hospital tank for him. I’m going to get a just in case antibiotic as well as I think I’m going to need it.
Is there an antibiotic you can recommend? I saw a lot of choices but I didn’t know what would be safest for him. I was looking at Prime Kanamycin but saw it could cause kidney damage in Bettas above a certain age. I’ve had him for a year and a half plus the time he spent in the pet store so I’m going to guess he is definitely over two years old.
As for the pea is it safe to microwave it? Also do I just feed him the pea pieces once a day?
Thanks
 

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Microwave is safe for peas, and just feed him one portion for the day. Make sure to let the pea cool down before feeding it. You can save the rest of the pea in the fridge in a baggy. Make sure he excretes before feeding him again, and you can start feeding him pellets afterward. I'd stop the bloodworms until his SBD is 100% gone.

If you have a glass or plastic Tupperware container its safe for bettas. I've had a betta in a plastic storage container for about a week now since his 5g tank sprung a leak. Oh, as long as he's in the hospital tank I suggest to changing the water 100% each day, or 50% with prime conditioner added to the tank because you need to be very vigilant about ammonia now that he is in a weakened state.

Seachem's Kanaplex is good for internal bacteria infections and you can use it to create medicated food(though you don't need to). I'd say its the best one for bacterial SBD.
 

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Update:
So I’m pretty sure there’s something going on with the water I’m using. He seemed touch and go for awhile. I was doing very small 20% water changes and each time I did one he got worse. I left the water completely unchanged for about the last five days. He seemed so much better. He could swim normally and his fins returned to being full and splayed out. His voracious appetite returned.
Today I knew I needed to do a water change and I was nervous about it. I did about a 40% change. I left the water out for about two hours next to the tank so both the tank and the new water were about 80 degrees. I have always used tap water and added API stress coat to that and never had a problem. The only thing I can think is that maybe since it’s summer there are more chemicals in the tap water.
After I added the new water I checked on my Betta and sure enough he was horizontal on the gravel. He seemed to have more energy this time and got himself into a plant near the top of the water where he is now in that scary vertical hanging position.
Should I be using spring water?
Thanks
 
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