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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my betta, whom I call fishie, for almost a year and a half now. I realise now that I haven't been taking the best care of her - no heater, no filter, no special tank, just weekly water changes and feeding. To make a feeble attempt at an excuse, I'm just a student in a boarding school with very little funds to invest in any equipment. But I have grown very attached to her over time...

I noticed the past few days that she wasn't eating; she's usually very excited when I feed her, but she completely ignores the food and hides in the corner next to the makeshift mini-cave I put in for her. And today I've noticed her scales pineconing. I have attached two images of her, but I don't think the quality is good enough for much to be seen. But please do take a look for me in any case.

I googled in a panic and found this illness called Dropsy, which apparently is mostly fatal, and involves organ failures and should have been detected earlier when she was not eating.

Please, is there anything I can do? I am planning to buy epsom salt tomorrow for salt baths, but is it better if I put the salt in the aquarium or make her have salt baths for a period of time?

Please, please help soon. I'm sorry I can't give you any parameters about the fish tank or anything...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have just realised that I have to answer these questions. Here are the answers to the best of my ability, but there is little more information I can give...

Housing
What size is your tank? N/A
What temperature is your tank? I live in a tropical country so about 26-30 degrees Celsius depending on the day
Does your tank have a filter? No...
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? It does, but I don't turn it on very often.
Is your tank heated? No.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No tankmates. She had another female betta with her before, but she killed her by biting at her within a month...

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Tetra's BettaMin flakes and Little betta food granules, I'm not sure about the name. A pea once a week
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week usually, sometimes once a fortnight
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Dechlorinator

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No... I have no testing equipment..

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? I think she is pineconing, her scales are all standing up.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? She refuses to eat and spends much of her time in a corner - she usually eats voraciously and likes swimming around the tank and always reacts when I show her mirrors or even just go close to watch her.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Behavioural change about three days ago, physical appearance today.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, not yet.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not at all.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I'm not sure how old she was when I got her, but I think she was fully grown, she hasn't grown since when I got her. After that I've had her for almost a year and a half. I don't know how old she is...

Thank you so much for reading all this... Please please help!
 

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IMO you did a fine job in caring for her with what you had-She had been fine for 18 months after all. Since she was most likely already about 6-8mo old when you got her-You might be seeing end of life S/S. A lot of keepers don't get to see this due to premature death. So don't be too hard on yourself.....Anyway, once you start to see the scale stick up like that-they usually are going into system failure and its just a matter of time. What I would recommend-Epson salt and tannins.

Get a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add Epson salt 3tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL or Oak leaf-If you have any Oak trees near by-collect naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaves-Use about 20 crushed/gallon-Let this steep for at least 30min.

Using this premixed treatment water-make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today-this will get her acclimated to the new chemistry.....
Then lower the water level by half is she is in her tank-if in a small QT you may not need to lower the water level-you can add a couple of whole Oak leave to the tank too-this can help give her something to hide in/around as well as the extra tannin they will release for added comfort.

Then-using the premixed treatment water-make 25% water changes every other day to every 3 days-You want low stress and comfort care at this stage-

If you have access to live mosquito larva-offer several a couple of times a day-Otherwise offer what ever she likes to eat best.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for your comment.

I will try to get Indian Almond leaves or Oak leaves today, but I don't know if I will be able to get them from shipping soon enough... (I couldn't find any in the petstore or fish shops) I read in another thread that decaffeinated green tea works similarly. Can I use that in the method you outlined until I can get a hold of the special leaves?

Thank you!!!
 

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I heard peas are REALLY bad for their digestion. It's actually indigestible that's why they pass it so well. Not saying that's the reason but I wouldent suggest feeding peas anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the information! I'll be avoiding peas from now on.

I have gotten her brineshrimps, she seemed to love it when I got it for her before. Will that be bad for her as well?
 

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I hate to tell you this but my girl Coco had it that bad and I tried everything. She end up dying a week later. :'-(
 

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Is it frozen, freeze dried or live? Freeze dried is okay but anything freeze dried has lots of air and can cause bloat so feed it as treats or soak it in conditioned water before serving :3
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@hail0788 I am sorry to hear that... I am hoping for the best but am preparing myself for the worst as well...

@ReeseInPieces Are live ones okay? Or would she be too tired to chase after them? Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just saw pus come out of her body... Is it still okay to go on with epsom salt? Im scared that the salinity will hurt her, since I assume that the pus means she has an open wound

Thank you for all your constructive comments til now, please help me til she gets better...
 

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If you have her in aquarium salt it's normal slime coat over production from the salt. If it came from her anus she may have an internal parasite. I have very little experience with fish medications and I don't want to give you poor advice, I'm sure someone will chime in. I hope she gets well soon.
 

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Can you post another picture? Pineconing is painful for fish and a lot don't survive after it has started to happen, I'm really sorry that this is happening to your girl.. The Epsom salt is to help draw out fluid, it's not actually salt it's magnesium salfate but I'm not sure how that effects wounds.
 

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Dropsy occurs when the internal organs (kidneys, etc) can't eliminate fluids and wastes. As these build up, there is bloating, and eventually pineconing.

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is different from Aquarium salt (which has a high percentage of sodium chloride.) Epsom salt has a fluid reducing effect, and will help draw the fluids/wastes out of her body. I would go ahead and use it exactly as OldFishLady described.

Also, studies have shown that fish have fewer external pain receptors than people. They likely feel discomfort, but the studies indicate that they won't feel pain the same way that we do..... But, unfortunately, her pineconing indicates the her internal organs aren't functioning well anymore. The Epsom salt, tannins, and mosquito larvae may help her be more comfortable right now though....

Good luck! Keep us updated......
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you all so much for the helpful comments... Fishie has moved on to a better fish tank in the sky... Her gills stopped moving and she was hanging upside down in the water, with pus exuding from under her scales.

I guess, I'll maybe try again after I graduate with proper equipment.

Thank you so much.
 
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