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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank summary:

**Tank**
Image of water test as of 09-24-17. My nitrate levels were about 40-80ppm last wednesday. I did a 50% water change to bring them down to where they are now. I've been checking them to make sure they haven't shot up at all.

I have a 10 gal tank, 0/0/10-20ppm NH3/NO2/NO3, aquaclear 20 with water bottle baffle, sponge around intake filter, ~25% water change every week with vacuuming of the gravel (some spot cleaning during the week), 80-82 degF. When I clean the tank I rinse the filter material in the old tank water. Seachem prime for water treatment (I usually just put in about a quarter of a cap because the water change is <10L). 2 java ferns and 2 amazon swords and a moss ball.

**Fish**
1 x half-moon betta, Elliot, (almost 2years old)
4 x panda corys
2 x assassin snails

I took some images of Elliot and I can try and take more if he moves into a better position. He is constantly laying on the bottom of the tank with his head pointing upwards vertically. I've looked on this subreddit and online and and there's mention that this is a symptom of BSD or it could be the result of bacteria/ich.

I'm not entirely sure exactly what is the issue. I've decided to fast him for 48 hours then feed him with a pea. If this doesn't change his behavior I'll have to resort to something else but from the images and what I can see in person it doesn't look like ich or a fungus. He isn't pineconing and his eyes are still normal. It looks like he has a slight gold dusting (maybe that's just his colour with the light) so I'm worried maybe it's velvet? I'm running out of ideas and I don't know what else to do or if I'm missing something.

The pictures can be seen here. I took some with a flashlight to try and illuminate him better since his colour is quite dark. It might not be clear from the images but he has a little string coming from his butt. This wasn't here previously so I'm assuming it is a little strand of poop (or trying to poop?). It's pale and his usual poops are brown. He wasn't fed this morning or yesterday and he was eating very little the past few days. He would come up to eat but he would sometimes spit the food back out. I'm picking up some frozen daphnia to see if maybe he is slightly constipated. I can get more pictures if necessary when I get home from work but I'm really confused as to what is going on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Updated with form and embedded photos

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 10 gal
Does it have a filter? Yes, Aquaclear 20
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 80-82 degF
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? I turned it off to keep the surface more calm.
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? 4 x panda corys, 2 x assassin snail

Food:
What food brand do you use? Aqueon
Do you feed flakes or pellets? pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 3 - 4 every morning (depending on the size). Frozen bloodworms on occasion.

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? 25% once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? Tap water, nitrates have been tested and none are present.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum substrate (just the top) and rinse filter material in old water.
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Seachem prime.

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: 0ppm
Nitrite:0ppm
Nitrate: 10 - 20ppm (they have been 40 - 80ppm before I did a 50% water change last Wednesday. This could have lasted for a long time and I wasn't checking frequently.)
pH: 7.8
Hardness (GH): Not tested
Alkalinity (KH): Not tested

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 2 weeks ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Colour has changed to a darker shade
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Lays on the bottom of the tank, hides more frequently, when he comes up to breathe he sinks back down vertically right away.
Is your Betta still eating? Yes but it is a struggle to try and coerce him to come eat.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Performed a 50% water change to bring the nitrates down. Added in plants: 2x java fern, 2x amazon sword, 1x moss ball. I have fasted him for 48 hours and I will be feeding him frozen daphnia to help with any constipation if that is the problem.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? 2 years
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No.

PLEASE PROVIDE CLEAR PHOTOS
 

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I think I would do an AQ salt bath, or move him to a hospital tank with AQ salt. Probably the latter. In the future, I would feed higher quality food, like nls or omega one. Aqueon food is not that nutritious, but I don't think that's the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice. I'm leaning towards a bath as well since I now have plants in the tank. I've also had methylene blue recommended to me but I'm not sure where I can get it in Canada other than some online retailers.

My main concern is if he has velvet. The first image shows almost a sprinkling of gold but that could just be natural and since I don't make a habit of shining him with a flashlight I've never noticed before.
 

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This sounds exactly like what happened hen my last betta died, down to the gold sprinklings. I thought maybe he had always had it, because it didn't look like the pics of velvet I saw online. I thought he was just old. Is he gasping for breath?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
It doesn't look like he is gasping for breath. When I get home I'll take a video of him if he isn't hiding and post it here.

I'll also have a look at the corys but they haven't displayed any symptoms of any illness.

I'm still going to proceed with the daphnia first and if he doesn't improve after ~24 hours I'll do the salt bath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I gave him a methylene blue dip tonight. I used 1.67 ml ( 1-2/3 teaspoon ) for 1 gallon of water. I also tried feeding some frozen daphnia. He didn't really eat and he wasn't coming up for the food. I tried to put him in a smaller container to get him to eat but it didn't work.

I turned up the heater in case it is ich/velvet so I can get the heat to 85 degF. I'm also going to really limit the light in the tank to a few hours for the next few days. I bought some aquarium salt but I didn't want to give him a salt bath right now in case he is constipated.

He didn't have signs of heavy breathing and when I went to scoop him up he was swimming all over the place around the tank to get away but would sink quickly (which makes me think BSD again).

I finished off with doing a 15% water change and cleaning some (what looked like poop) off the bottom. Hopefully this was him but it could have been the catfish.
 

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This is what is happening to my fish as of right now. My thought was my Nitrates. It was very high but I'm not 100% sure. I did a HUGE water change to bring it down. It might be the same issue with yours as well? =( I hope both of ours get better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unfortunately he isnt doing any better :( I really don't know what to do. I've been doing small water changes and spot cleaning every day. The corys are doing fine though. One of them just gave birth out of the blue!
 

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Hey!

From my tidbits of research, I think this could be SBD or just simply constipation. How long have you been fasting your fish for? Since he is a bit old, he might just need less food. 3-4 Aqueon pellets is a bit much. Not to mention, it's already a lower-quality food brand. Try to go for Omega One, or New Life Spectrum. I think 1-3 pellets of either brand work well for feeding each day, and the frozen bloodworms will also up his constipation rates if he continues to eat 3-4.

Hope he gets better. Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He hasn't eaten for almost 2 weeks now. If it's SBD it's being caused by something else.


If it's nitrate posioning I'm not sure what else to do. I've been checking the water and doing small water changes each day as well as removing debris and waste. I did 3 rounds of methylene blue dip but his behavior hasn't improved. He still tries to frantically avoid the next which is nice but he isn't eating or swimming much.
 

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I would have to agree with DZIM: Nitrates.

Here are the symptoms of Nitrate poisoning:

Two or more of the following symptoms may be associated with nitrate poisoning; loss of appetite; bottom sitting; pressed to the bottom; bent positioning; curled positioning; crooked spine; uncontrolled swimming; swimming in circles

High nitrate levels create dangerous water conditions by oxidizing the iron atoms in hemoglobin, and by reducing oxygen supply to the blood stream and tissue. This condition is called Methemoglobinemia; closely related to the effects of DCS.
From Goldfish Emergency

The only way to correct is to do several water changes one hour apart until Nitrates are 0 ppm. You can follow some of the recommendations in the link.

https://goldfish-emergency.com/nitrate-poisoning/
 

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There isn't much that can be done about nitrate poisoning. He may not survive, or the damage may be permanent if he does. The only thing you can do is keep the water clean and hope he recovers.

Though, I've always wondered if a micro-bubbler/oxygen diffuser to heavily oxygenate the water would help recovery in cases like this.
 
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