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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, here's the stats of tank and fish:

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 76-78 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets 2x/day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every 2-3 days (usually 75-90% depending on dirtiness)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? *usually* 75-90% (75 if it's only been 1-2 days, 90% if 2-3 days)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Aqua Safe

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

Ammonia: N/a
Nitrite: n/a
Nitrate:n/a
pH:n/a
Hardness:n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No, not at all
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes. Betta fish darts around, startled by movement (trying to get his attention to feed him), will swim almost sideways (more like a diagonal swimming motion), can't swim to top without great difficulty, will no longer eat/no interest in foods, hides a LOT
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3-4+ days ago?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, trying daily water changes, roughly 90% water changes, no Epsom salt or AQ salt as of yet.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, had a slight episode of *possible* dropsy, few weeks afterwards, had a case of slight finrot (was able to treat with constant water changes and AQ salt), and NO signs leading up to issue today at all.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1 1/2 years (since I got him)

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I've had my betta for about 1 1/2 years now, have worked up past his dropsy, past a finrot case, but I've never seen anything like this. His appearance has not changed AT ALL. Yet, he's startled and frightened by movements we make to normally catch his attention to eat. Instead of swimming furiously to the front of the tank and make his poofy face at us like normal, he darts around the tank swimming DIAGONALLY, gets tired and sits at the bottom on his side (not fully, but he's resting on his lower finnage, again diagonally). I can't get him to eat any longer.

3 Days ago I changed out his water, moved him into a 1/2 gallon floating tank in his 3 gallon to let him breathe easier (shallow water), and within 5-6 hours from when I changed his water to when I got up in the morning to go to work, both tanks' water was almost MUSTARD yellow. I IMMEDIATELY did a total water change (only old water left in was the small cup of it I scooped him with), and haven't seen that discoloration come back since then. He's still very lethargic, hides a lot and... I just have absolutely NO idea what to do now, because there are just... no signs of pineconing, no signs of rot, no signs of pop-eye, no nothing. The finnage that rotted slightly on his dorsal is still growing back and he LOOKS healthy otherwise!! :-(

Could he just be OLD and it may be his time? Or could I possibly try to get something rolling with an Epsom salt treatment? I have also noticed that he is not pooping very well. He was doing great with movements and they looked normal. Now I see a tiny clump that looks almost black to me, could he be constipated? Tonight I'm going to try Epsom salt for him (since it DID work in the past for the dropsy issue), and hope for the best. I'm just so scared of losing him or putting him through unnecessary ... how to put it, suffering? Doe anyone have any ideas of what can be done??? Thanks so much for reading, this is just a sadly frustrating event - - I don't know what to do for him anymore!! :cry:
 

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Wow. I'm stumped a bit on this one. The yellow likely came from the 1/2 gal tank (although that worries me greatly that something made the water that color).

Alright. He might have some sort of internal infection or something internal that's making him like that. Try the epsom salts for now until someone else can better identify this. I doubt age is much of a factor in this (a bit of lethargy, maybe) but there's definitely something larger at play here and I just don't know enough to help. D: Epsom salts won't hurt him, so that's your safest bet for now.

I really hope someone identifies a cause and treatment for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow. I'm stumped a bit on this one. The yellow likely came from the 1/2 gal tank (although that worries me greatly that something made the water that color).

Alright. He might have some sort of internal infection or something internal that's making him like that. Try the epsom salts for now until someone else can better identify this. I doubt age is much of a factor in this (a bit of lethargy, maybe) but there's definitely something larger at play here and I just don't know enough to help. D: Epsom salts won't hurt him, so that's your safest bet for now.

I really hope someone identifies a cause and treatment for you.
Thanks Skitters. I hope so too. I've got him in Epsom salts 1 tsp/gallon (2 1/2 total for the tank - filled it to 2 1/2 gallons). I had to float him in his scoop cup for the night because I was so scared of him not making it through or being able to go up for air. Came in this morning to find him thrashing about in the cup (understandable because it's so small), but when I gently let him back into the larger portion of the tank, he just sank like a rock and is laying on his side, using his fin to prop himself up. He keeps his head lifted like he's trying to swim.

I showed him his favorite tiny red spoon we use for feeding him, and he just ran from it. He swam in a circle around the tank then went back to resting. It looks as if his gills are working overtime from the stress, but he was just the same when we'd leave him alone for a bit and come back to check on him.

I'm just completely stumped and pretty sad about it; it looks like he's suffering and I don't know what to do to help him. Praying that the Epsom salt works while I'm at work today. The only -other- thing I'm noticing now as I look closely at him, is that the very tip of one of his "whiskers" (can't remember what they're called atm) is white. Could that be of any consequence? He's had white tips of his whiskers before that come and go, but he was fine otherwise. Very healthy, active, and HUNGRY. :|
 

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My betta had the white tips on his whiskers for ages, my understanding is that it's natural colouring.

Lowering the water level in the tank is a good idea as it'll make it easier for your guy to get to the surface for air and food. I think you'd want to bring it down to the 5-6" level.

Does his swim bladder look any different than before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My betta had the white tips on his whiskers for ages, my understanding is that it's natural colouring.

Lowering the water level in the tank is a good idea as it'll make it easier for your guy to get to the surface for air and food. I think you'd want to bring it down to the 5-6" level.

Does his swim bladder look any different than before?
Hi Viperoni,

I well do that tonight. I'm not sure if I shouldn't keep the water level at 4" since he struggles so much just to go any further than that. I'm still pretty stumped. I was really just wishing for ANY change in his appearance; that maybe if he had signs of what WAS wrong, I could figure out what to actually DO. It is tough watching something you love change in a bad way and you don't know what to do.

His swim bladder hasn't changed a bit. This is probably day 3 he hasn't eaten anything but I'm going to try again regardless. When he lays at the bottom, he's laying in such a way that his front half points up instead of laying normally. Not sure what that is all about...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bumping for some answers. Seems like every time I post an issue, I don't get very many answers. If anyone has had an issue like mine with my betta, even if it resulted in death of the betta fish, please offer a post. I've kind of resigned myself to maybe it's just not something that's curable, but I'm still going to try to help him as much as I can.
 

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It sounds like that he does indeed have SBD (swim bladder disorder). My guess is probably from an internal infection.

I would start him on a round of API General Cure and also add 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt per gallon of water.

lowering the water level is also a good idea.

Just because you can't see a difference in his SB or stomach doesn't mean that he doesn't have SBD since it is an infection of the organ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Starting the API General Cure and continuing Epsom

It sounds like that he does indeed have SBD (swim bladder disorder). My guess is probably from an internal infection.

I would start him on a round of API General Cure and also add 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt per gallon of water.

lowering the water level is also a good idea.

Just because you can't see a difference in his SB or stomach doesn't mean that he doesn't have SBD since it is an infection of the organ.
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Thanks, VivianKJean. I'm doing a round of API General Cure and the Epsom Salt as well. He still isn't doing well, has zero interest in food now, hasn't eaten since I posted this topic, and his breathing is labored; little gills are pumping.

I pray the general cure will do anything good at this point. It's amazing how much you can be undone by something so small like a tiny fish, but you get attached, and when they get sick like my little guy is, I just don't know how to feel anymore except worried and wondering if he's really suffering. :cry:

He's laying on his side right now and seems to do that whenever I change the water or startle him by checking on him. There have been times during the day that he's been sitting upright like he normally does, but they are few and far between. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
General Cure + Epsom not working

Replying again just for an update. I've been doing the Epsom salt treatment, and API General Cure for Fishy (my beta's name) for roughly 5 days now., with virtually no improvement. Still maintaining daily water changes and attempting to feed him is pretty unsuccessful.

Fishy still is laying at the bottom on his side, not moving a whole lot otherwise... Any movement I see now is related to his gills moving, or if I "pester" him to go get some air. Two days ago I had left a pellet floating in the tank for him for a while, and came back about an hour later to find it missing. Since then he hasn't had motivation to eat.

The two days ago was also when I slowly moved close to the tank and he seemed to have a "seizure" (??) of some kind. It was like this: He saw me, darted away, shook and spasmed, and went for air, then sank down to the bottom again.

I haven't seen him do this since. Could he be at the end of his life expectancy with possibly an advanced case of this Swim bladder disorder? Reason I'm asking is that I hate seeing him lay at the bottom all the time, and I'm not sure if he's suffering. I feel like he has to be at this point, since he struggles just to get some air and his water is so shallow now. He's a little fighter, but is it time for me to let him go? I really am completely out of ideas.
 

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SBD isn't fatal on its own.

If the General Cure isn't working, then you must move on to tougher meds. I recommend Seachem Kanaplex. It can be tougher to find, you'll have to find it at a local fish store (not a chain/box store) or order it online. In addition to adding it to the water, you can soak his food in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Kanaplex: First dosage (will redose on 10-21)

SBD isn't fatal on its own.

If the General Cure isn't working, then you must move on to tougher meds. I recommend Seachem Kanaplex. It can be tougher to find, you'll have to find it at a local fish store (not a chain/box store) or order it online. In addition to adding it to the water, you can soak his food in it.
Thanks Vivian. I was able to find a store that had Kanaplex on hand, so I just administered it in his tank a little while ago. I am also lowering the Epsom salt little by little, to try and "acclimate" him back to regular conditioned water. It's a lot to keep track of honestly, so hopefully I don't get in trouble for chronicling it here so I don't forget.


Extras in tank as of 10-19:
  • 60 mg Seachem KanaPlex
  • 1 tsp. Epsom salt

Here's a little info about what I did to dose the KanaPlex (for my usage and anyone else not familiar with this stuff):
Per bottle, the full dosage is 160 mg (one level spoonful *spoon included*) for every 5 gallons (20 Litres), so I divided the spoonful by half to equal 2.5 gallons (10 Litres). PREMIX it before adding the fish, and if needing to lower the water level, do so AFTER mixing both Kanaplex and conditioner into your water.

He sure did have a rough time being transferred back into his tank. He attempted swimming upside down which just... scared me. He's still twitching around from time to time, but is currently laying on his side in the cup I have him floating in the tank with (he can't swim to the surface on his own for air very much at this point), flipping his fin.

I know he's trying to swim, and he's been upright several times today to SLOWLY patrol his tank before tiring and leaning against the tank for support or laying on his side instead. I wish I could keep a plant in for him, but the water would be too deep for him to swim to the surface.

It's killing both my fiancé and I to see him like this. I know the dosage for Kanaplex is every 2 days up to a maximum of 3 dosages. From what I understand, the maximum limit of 3 doses is so the filtration/biological media isn't harmed from the antibiotics, but please correct me if I'm wrong. How long should I let the Kanaplex (hopefully) do its thing?

His appearance has not changed, even after all this time. I thought for SURE his finnage at least would deteriorate from not moving around. The dorsal fin that had a bit of finrot on it weeks ago now is STILL GROWING BACK NICELY. He has absolutely no color loss at all. He still won't eat, and he's such a picky eater (normally), he only goes for the pellets. He HATES flakes and won't touch frozen daphnia or anything else for that matter. I'm surprised he isn't completely emaciated by now... :|

Wish the Kanaplex all the luck in the world at this point. I pray it works, because the little guy deserves to feel better after all that he's going through. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Fishy is doing worse today. I kept him in a shallow cup floating in his tank water through the night, and let him out into his tank for a while. Every time he tries to swim for air, he barely makes it an inch off the tank floor and swims around now having what I think are seizures. His head jerks quickly left and right with his body following suit (reminds me of the grand mal seizures my mother used to have) and each episode leaves him worse off than the last one.

He then became stuck underneath his tank heater and I had to quickly get him back in his cup and float him again. His gills are still pumping hard, but he can't even swim to the surface which is 1 inch of water above his head without seizing.

I hate to say this, but at this point, it may be for the best for us to euthanize him. I know I haven't given the KanaPlex time to try and work some magic for us and Fishy, but I can't stand the state he is in. He looks like he's in total pain and can't even tell up from down or left from right anymore. I'm devastated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Fishy has passed away.

After seeing the little guy react so violently to the new medication, we thought it would be best to euthanize him. His color started fading after the round of seizures he was having, and he looked plain awful. A few times he quit breathing and flipped over, and we -knew- we had to do something to essentially, put him out of his misery.

Trust me when I say this, because I KNOW I'm not the only one who has felt this way. Euthanasia is probably the worst thing you (morally) feel like you could do. To end the suffering of another being, no matter how great or small. I was bawling like a baby, to say the least, when we decided that we needed to help end his suffering. The last memory I'll have with him, is reaching in his tank to scoop him up (with my hand), and he raced over to my hand, seizing as he was, and nuzzled into it as weak as he was at the time.

It was the hardest thing we've ever had to do. I mean, since my fiancée and I have been together, Fishy was our very first friend... he was our baby. I know this probably sounds ridiculous, to care so much for a tiny fish, but he was the reason we were so eager to go home from work - - to see his tiny self race to the front of the tank and greet us every day, morning and night, and whenever we visited with him.

He was a great friend, and taught me SO MUCH about the right way to care for a pet. I just hope someday, if/when we decide to try again with another betta, we can make sure they lived as long or longer than Fishy. I miss him dearly, and I'm sure the full impact of his loss won't hit me till later on, but for now, I'm in tears but feeling just... drained. Thanks all of you who responded to my post. You helped me try to save him, and I'll never forget it.
 

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SIP little fishy.

You did the right thing, even though it was hard.

All of here can relate to loosing a fish. I know I was bawling when my last fish passed. So I understand.

You gave you little baby the best life he could have had and that is what's important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Vivian, and thank you again for the help you gave me. At least I have a better understanding with how to dose fish now with the Kanaplex meds if this ever happens again. Still pretty sad for the little guy, but I'm sure he's swimming peacefully now, with all the pellets and live food he wants and no one to harass him with "cleaning time". :-D I miss him though. It's hard looking at an empty tank and wishing he was in there flaring at us to give him attention and food. Sigh. At least that tank was on its last legs. I don't feel like housing another little fish in that one. It's an acrylic 3 gallon cube which didn't cost that much from Kmart. It's all scratched up though. Can't believe how clear it looked with the water in it at one time.
 
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