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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, Two months ago Henry, my betta had the same issue going on as now. He wants to stay inactive and float at the top of the tank, leaning against something. He seems like he has trouble diving. He still has an appetite for now.
Two months ago. he was not as bad as he is now. At that time, I had done a couple of days fast and 3 days of salt baths and he was back to normal. Two days ago he started again. I have a video but can't figure out how to add it.
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Sorry for the bad photo, this is the position he is in the most. Should I try an antibiotic, and if so, how do you know which one? Please help as he seems like this is worse than the last time. He was doing so well. Have added bloodworms 2 x week now instead of pellets. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 10 gal with divider to protect snail.
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What temperature is your tank? 78 - 80
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? nerite snail

Food:

What food brand do you use? New Life Spectrum Betta and bloodworms
Do you feed flakes or pellets? pellets, and bloodworms 2x week. won't eat much else
Freeze-dried?
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 2, twice daily (currently fasting since yesterday)

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? every 2 weeks
What percentage of water did you change? 50%- 70%
What is the source of your water? city, filtered, treated
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Seachem Prime or API stress coat

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: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 8.0, sometimes 8.2
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms. treated 2 months ago with aquarium salt baths. Improved with no symptoms, back to normal, then two days ago started acting extreme, worse than before.
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? tearing his fins, pulled out his betta log, the only thing left
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? 2 days
Is your Betta still eating? fasting since yesterday, but yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Did aquarium salt dip today
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not until 2 months ago.
How long have you owned your Betta? one year
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No
 

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Are you certain that your water parameters all read zero? The reason I ask is because of your water change schedule. The best thing to do is a 40-50% water change once a week, always using SeaChem Prime. Also, I'd suggest you stop fasting him if he isn't showing any physical symptoms. Otherwise, my advice would be to increase his food intake and schedule: three pellets, three times a day. Small meals a few times a day. Bloodworms - if frozen - are a great addition. I was scared away by freeze dried bloodworms after I learned that they provide virtually zero nutritional content.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ironically, his parameters have rarely changed. He is not acting normal. He does not move. He acts like he cannot go beneath the water and even keeps his mouth close to the top. When he swims, it is like his bottom half starts to sink to a vertical position. He stays between the corner at the top and seems to have a bobbing motion when trying to swim. Sometimes he looks dead. His entire bottom half stays vertical. Definitely not even close to his normal self. Even right now he is pressing himself against the corner of his tank at the very top in a vertical position. The parameters were checked yesterday, but did a water change yesterday and one this morning. I always use prime. Just got a new bottle today because his old one just expired. I did not recheck parameters this morning, but can. Also, the blood worms are freeze dried, he wouldn't touch the frozen ones no matter how I tried to serve them. Thank you.
 

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Prime is good for five years after expiration date. I'm pretty sure I found that on the SeaChem site but you can double check. Is his tank planted? If it is that explains the parameters

Does he have any swelling at all?

Aquarium Salt causes water retention and should be used for external issues. Plain, unscented Epsom Salt is for internal issues as it removes excess fluid.

Does he look thing if you catch him from the top? Are his fins torn from biting or damage? Are they clamped? Will he eat pellets at all? If not, have you tried soaking in garlic.

I have no idea if this will work, but you could try soaking the freeze dried Bloodworms in water. After it dissolves, add pellets but only a little bit so they don't start disintegrating. You can do the with the frozen. This may fool him into thinking their freeze dried.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good idea on the pellets. I do soak the freeze dried blood worms but could try it with the frozen. Thanks for the info on the prime, just trying anything.. Okay, so maybe epsom salt baths. His fins look a bit ragged, but I think he was tearing them on his log two months ago. I took it out at that time. I just worry because he seems unable to move much. Yes, it's a planted tank, but the plants have trouble living. Plant people have told me that a PH of 8+ isn't the best for plants. My water out of the tap is 8. I add catappa leaves. I also have mopani wood to the side Henry isn't on. If the plants melt, I order more tc's. The snails are active and never try to go above the water line. Here's another thing, Henry has never resisted chasing the nerite. It can crawl around him and he ignores it. Something is off, just hope I can figure it out. Would it hurt to try an broad antibiotic? I'll see if he'll eat something tonight. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is the best pic I could get with my phone of him in the top corner. There are water drops on the glass, sorry. This will give you a better idea of his fins. I just tried feeding him and he ate his pellets but never came out of the top corner, it had to be put in front of him. Any ideas?
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You can lower the GH by adding distilled + tap water when you do water changes. I'd try 25% distilled and 75% tap. Check GH 24 hours later. I've had Betta in much high GH but every fish is different. What won't bother one will another.

There's something definitely going on with his fins. If I were you, I'd start doing more water change by removing a couple of gallons 3 x per week. If you have siphon with the larger plastic piece, put it down into the gravel and vacuum that spot until water runs clean. Move to a new spot until the whole tank runs clean water.

I'm not versed on OTC med as are others but I wouldn't think a wide spectrum antibiotic would harm him. @Veloran and others may have ideas on specific meds.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You can lower the GH by adding distilled + tap water when you do water changes. I'd try 25% distilled and 75% tap. Check GH 24 hours later. I've had Betta in much high GH but ever fish is different. What won't bother one will another.

There's something definitely going on with his fins. If I were you, I'd start doing more water change by removing a couple of gallons 3 x per week. If you have siphon with the larger plastic piece, put it down into the gravel and vacuum that spot until water runs clean. Move to a new spot until the whole tank runs clean water.

I'm not versed on OTC med as are others but I wouldn't think a wide spectrum antibiotic would harm him. @Veloran and others may have ideas on specific meds.
Excuse my ignorance, but am I trying to lower the GH? It's his PH which is high in the tank. And yes, was concerned he may have an infection, thus the fins not healing. I do have bettafix here but read mixed reviews. I don't want to just start throwing everything at Henry but also don't want him getting worse. The epsom salt baths I did before seemed to help two months ago. All help appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well now you have me laughing. I went back to read what I wrote because I was thinking why did I write GH? Okay, then that confirms what I've been doing correctly. I don't mess with the PH other than wood, catappa. Just wish I could keep more plants alive. Looks like I'm going to be busy with water changes. Wish I never used the gravel I did. I have been siphoning it but it never looks clean to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Going to put him in a hospital tank today and treat him with something. He ate his breakfast, but still can only float or bob. Going to try to treat him with something and make it easier on him.
 

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Hi! Sorry about your boy. I wanted to tell you I have a PH of 8 and the plants doing well for me are Cryptocoryne, amazon sword, Anubias and the bulb plants Aponogeton and dwarf lily. I only have one tank with a planted light. The others are the led lights that came with the lids. I do use root tab fertilizer for my rooted plants. I hope your boy gets better after you do this latest treatment, and I hope you can find some plants that won’t melt on you. On a side note the crypt plants I got melted and then re grew. Sometimes they need to convert to water parameters before they will take off. As long as the root system didn’t melt too they will grow back.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi! Sorry about your boy. I wanted to tell you I have a PH of 8 and the plants doing well for me are Cryptocoryne, amazon sword, Anubias and the bulb plants Aponogeton and dwarf lily. I only have one tank with a planted light. The others are the led lights that came with the lids. I do use root tab fertilizer for my rooted plants. I hope your boy gets better after you do this latest treatment, and I hope you can find some plants that won’t melt on you. On a side note the crypt plants I got melted and then re grew. Sometimes they need to convert to water parameters before they will take off. As long as the root system didn’t melt too they will grow back.
I do have a few plants which haven't melted but aren't very large either. I love the crypts and have been working with them. Just been experimenting with the plants over the past year. Thanks so much for the information and kind words. Keeping my fingers crossed on Henry. Appreciate your kind thoughts for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got him in a hospital tank but I think he has swim bladder issues.. No control over swimming and leans towards one side. Floats at the top. The water level is kept low to help him. Now that I've gotten him out of the tank I do think he is bloated. I haven't treated him with an antibiotic yet, did add some pimafix. Would fasting or epsom baths be my next step? All opinions appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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You could try ES baths. One tablespoon per gallon; well dissolved. Leave in bath 10-15 minutes. Constantly monitor for signs of stress and remove immediately. I'm torn on whether to feed or not to feed.

It could be Henry has a chronic condition that you will need to treat the rest of his life. If the ES baths help this means immediate baths at the first symptom.

As an aside: I can vouch for the Anubias, Crypts and Swords (Echinodorus) in hard water. Just don't move the Crypts around until they are established. I have some codes you can use if you decide to online order. Send a PM when you're ready and I'll pass them on.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm torn on the same thing; feed or no feed. I don't want him getting weaker, so I gave him a feeding last night. Two months ago after the a/c broke and we had constant temp changes is when this all started. The epsom salts seemed to help him then. My mistake was I started him on freeze dried bloodworms but didn't soak first. It seems like he got worse after this. I would love to PM you for the codes, as I definitely need to add something Thanks. As soon as I figure it out I'll PM.
 

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Freeze-dried are not that bad as long as they are fed as a treat and not the regular diet. That's why I don't recommend them. I've not found any actual evidence that FD will cause issues if fed without pre-soaking' just anecdotal on social media. So don't think because you fed him straight freeze-dried you had a hand in his woes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for that, I kept thinking backwards and honestly other than the a/c breaking during 90 degree temps, I can't find any correlation to his downward health. May be coincidence, but may also be stress. I was only giving him bloodworms once to twice a week.
 

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Hi, I noticed that you are filtering the water, can you tell me why and what filter are you using for his water?
Can you get another picture of him, I don't think his floating issue is a swim bladder issue.
We can try a Triple Sulfa for the fins, but I don't believe the fins are the root cause but a symptom of something else.
Also, let him eat.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just out of curiosity; I am filtering the water, but it isn't on the side I took the picture (divided 10 gallon). It was the topfin filter which came with the tank. On Henry's side I have a sponge filter/aerator, only because I was told it would be good for him. I haven't been able to do a fast with him, but saw poop in his hospital tank, so won't be doing that. He ate this morning. He acts fine in his personality, everything, just can't dive. He's got a slight curve to his spine and leans towards one side. He tries to lay across anything in the tank so he is partially surfaced (mainly mouth). Do you know anything about API Fin and Body Cure? I bought it yesterday as it was available. Hard to find supplies sometimes. If you think I should try the triple sulfa, I'll order it quickest or call around today. I'm just at a loss for what to do next. These are the best pics I could get him to come out of his log for. Thank you for responding. I did put Pimafix in his hospital tank.
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