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Discussion Starter #1
Housing
What size is your tank? 1.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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? Wardley Betta food pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Every evening although he has stopped eating.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every few weeks.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? All.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Top Fin Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He seems less vibrant than he used to be and his fins seem like they are clamped. His body seems to have a curve to it.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He hides out at the bottom of the tank, darts up really fast to gulp air. I have found him a few times positioned vertically with either his head down or his head straight up.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a week ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)?I have had him for two years, but I don't know how old he was when I got him.

About a week ago Fred stopped eating. I feed him every evening so I thought maybe he was eating too much (I keep hearing to feed Bettas daily, to feed them every other day, I couldn't find a definitive answer) and it would be best to let him eat when he was ready.

He's usually at the bottom of his tank, hanging out in a corner. He used to respond to people being nearby and would flit around and go to the top of the tank for food. For about a week now he just sits in his corner. Occasionally he darts up to the top and gulps hair. His body seems slightly curved and he looks thin. I've seen him positioned vertically in his tank and sometimes he lies on his side.

He also almost looks like he has a really really fine dusting on him. I read Ich looks like salt particles and velvet has a rust/gold colour and what he has doesn't look like either. I tried to get some photos but he's at the back of his tank and I didn't want to move it around too much. The photos are blurry and it looks like he has a white spot on his eye, but it's just the way the camera picked it up. His eyes are clear of any spots or irritation.

I'm really not sure what to do for him. The pet stores around here are zero help. I love this little guy and want to help him in any way I can. Please advise me!

You can see how he is just laying at the bottom of the tank. You can also see how he bends slightly to the right:

 

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With a 1.5 gallon tank I believe you should be changing his water one 50% and one 100% per week. I would look into ammonia poisoning as a possibility. Is that red streak in his tail normal for him?

Could you test his water and let us know what the water parameters are? Do you have a test kit?

Here is a website that discusses these problems:
http://www.oneworldinternetcafe.com/betta/betta_fish_diseases.html

So sorry this happened!
Carol
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had a feeling something like that could possibly be it. I just did a 100% water change tonight so I'm hoping that will help him and not cause more distress. I don't currently have a water testing kit but will look into getting one tomorrow. I did just get a new filter so hopefully that will help as well.

Thank you so much for the link, it's really helpful! I'm wondering if it could be nitrate poisoning because he has all the symptoms except browing of the gills. He has been moving his gills very quickly and that seems to be a symptom of nitrate rather than ammonia. Or maybe it's both :( I won't know until I can get a test kit I suppose. I don't clearly see a red streak in his tail but my vision is not the best :(

I will definitely clean his tank and do water changes more frequently. I started out doing it weekly and then got nervous that that might be too much - I did't want to stress him out. Thank you so much for the information, it's so nice to finally get some definitive answers! The pet shop I got him from just didn't know what to do for him and depending on who I spoke to I got different answers.

Is there anything else I should be doing for him immediately? It's too late to get a test kit right now - should the new conditioned water & filter help?
 

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I think you should pm Myates or OFL (Old Fish Lady). I'm concerned about the curve to his body and the vertical posture. He may have Swim Bladder Disorder as a possibility. He may benefit from epsom salt but I'm not sure in your case if this is appropriate or not. The above posters would know and can give you the right dosages.
 

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Try putting a mirror in front of the tank. I did that to my betta and it helped him A LOT!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Right now he is lying on a plant in his tank with his mouth above water. I'm really worried he's not going to make it :( I'll try to contact the members you suggested. I would have done it sooner, but my internet completely failed last night/this morning :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here he is in his head down position. I've never seen him like this prior to this week. Sometimes he goes even more vertical than this.


and here is his current position, it does not look well at all :( He isn't that pale, I had to use flash (I hope that didn't distress him) You can see how near the surface he is


I'm so sorry for so many photos & posts, I just don't know where else to turn. I'm getting a water test kit today and am wondering if I need to pick up anything else for him.
 

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Sorry your Betta isn't well...sadly, it looks like it may be an age related issue and not a lot can be done, however, don't give up either.....I would go ahead and start Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) with tannins....But at anytime he looks to be suffering you need to do what is right by him....as sad and hard as that can be.......

Normally you would want to treat in a small QT container-but I think it may be best to use his 1.5gal tank....turn off the filter and remove it......make a 50% water change-then lower the water level to 2-3 inches.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source if you have one-either IAL or dried Oak leaf....using this water make 25% water changes every 15min for 1hour today

Tomorrow start 50% WC using the premixed treatment water...if you added a tannin source the water should be darker each day as the tannins are released and this is what you want...the darker the better...don't make any 100% water changes at this point....right now I think comfort care is what he needs.....

Turn off the light, cover the tank with a towel, maintain water temp in the 78-80F range and cover the top with plastic veggie wrap for his labyrinth organ....

I wish I could give you more hope and better news.....sadly this species is not a long lived fish to start...average 2-3 years and since you have had him 2 years and he was most likely at least 6mo-1yr when you bought him.....and then the signs/symptoms and the pic.....it looks like he is aging out....the normal process of end of life........

Be sure and wash your hands really good before and especially after you handle/work with him and the water.......

Sorry I couldn't be of more help and hope......
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you so much for all the information Oldfishlady. I really appreciate it so very much. I'll do my best to keep him comfortable. I'm just happy I had so much time with him. He's a great little guy and brought me a lot of joy <3
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Fred just passed away. He wasn't struggling or in pain, he was resting comfortably on his little plant and slipped away. I want to thank everyone who commented on my post so very much for taking the time out of your day to help me out. I really appreciate it and I truly appreciate the creators of this forum for giving me a place to go to get good information. Thank you all so much. I know Fred would thank you too :)
 
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