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Help!! Early signs of dropsy

859 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  hubbley
My betta fish is showing what I think is the early signs of dropsy. He is bloated (and has been for about two days) and his scales appear to maybe be starting to pinecone. I did a 100% water change and took all of the plants and decorations out of his tank. What else should i do to help him?

What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? approx. 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon color enhancing betta food (pellets)
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day, 2-3 pellets

How often do you perform a water change? every 2 weeks
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? Top Fin betta water conditioner, API stress coat

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.8
Hardness: 50
Alkalinity: 180

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? bloated
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? a little bit more lethargic, a little bit of trouble swimming, swims on side sometimes, every once in a while i see him at the bottom of the tank floating vertical with his face facing down
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 1 day ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 100% water change, removed all decorations from tank
Does your fish have any history of being ill? had fin rot once, has healed
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1 1/2 years old
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I attached photos of him. Now that I have looked at him more closely, he seems to have paled a bit.


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well for starters you aren't doing enough water changes for the size of your tank. With a 1 gallon tank you need to be at least 3 water changes every week - two 50% water changes and one 100%.

also get a heater! Bettas need a heater. Unless you live in a climate where it is 90+ degrees F every day then your tank will not be warm enough. Also remember that water is about 10 degrees cooler then the temperature of the room.

If you are starting to see dropsy, add some epsom salt to your tank. You can find it hardware stores or drugstores. Add 1 teaspoon per gallon, so in your case 1 teaspoon. Also do 100% water changes every day. If you can, get a heater ASAP. I am being very serious. There are cheap heaters out there so not all of them are crazy expensive.
I must admit that I don't really agree with Vivian on the heater thing. Yes, bettas usually do need a heater, but in a 1 gal bowl, it might be fine. If the 80 degrees you mentioned is the actual temperature of the water and not the temperature of the room then getting a heater doesn't have to be the first thing on the list. Getting medicine should be. If 80 degrees was a guess, then check the water with a thermometer to make sure, because 80 is a fine temperature for bettas. It's true that the room temp and water temp will not match, but my experience showed it wasn't as drastic as 10 degrees, but that probably depends on the living space. If the water temp is below 75 then yes I would suggest getting a heater.
Now saying all that, I think you should get a heater. It's good to have one around in case of emergency or you decide to use one.
I am new to this site and betta ownership but I feel comfortable saying this to you because my betta lived in a 1 gallon bowl for about three weeks the water temp was about 76-77 on its own. We didn't get a heater until he was moved into the 5.5 gal.

Sorry I can't help more with the actual problem your fish is having, just thought I'd throw in my two cents on the heater matter.
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