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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have a 3 year old betta fish in a 5.5 gallon tank.
It has very high quality planting soil in it, lots of plants which are flourishing, clean water which has never has any traces of ammonia or nitrites or anything of the sort...
I have a great filter, which is not too strong and does not push him around, a heater, high-quality food, and I always condition the water.
He had been vibrant and active until about maybe 1-2 months ago.
Now he only swims to come up and take a breath, and barely shows interest for food anymore.
He either lies down at the very bottom of the tank, or lies up at the surface on top of the tallest plants so he doesn't even have to swim up to the top to breathe, he can just do it from where he is lying.

Unfortunately, there are a few things that could be contributing to this:

1- i noticed that the pH level in my tank is 6.4, which is significantly lower than my tap water. I have an indian almond leaf in there because I used to think my pH was too high, but now I think it is too low for him. (I just ordered the proper pH 7.0 product and put a bit into the water)

2 - unfortunately... sometimes i may have fed him too much. usually I would count out the pellets carefully but I have to admit that sometimes about 15 pellets would drop into the tank and I would just let him have them because I was in a rush and I needed to get out the door.

3- maybe he is just bored? He has been in the tank since the summer of 2015...

I am aware that he is nearing the end of his lifespan, which google tells me is 3-5 years, but I was hoping that he would last a bit longer because all of the work I put into the tank (the plants, heater, water quality, etc.)

So what I'm asking is, what do you think this might be? Old age? A reaction to the low pH levels? General depression from boredom? Did I damage him by feeding him too much?

Any insight will be appreciated.
Natasha
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for the prompt reply. Here is the questionnaire - I am trying to upload the pictures but having difficulty... Will keep trying... In the meanwhile:

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 5.5
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? Unknown
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:
What food brand do you use? Ocean Nutrition Betta Pellets and Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Yes
Freeze-dried? Occasionally
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Before he was sick: 2-3 times a day, ~7 pellets or 2 bloodworms (if he was lucky) Now- because he barely eats, I try to feed him once a day, sometimes once every two days.

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once every 6 weeks
What percentage of water did you change? 80%
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vaccuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Big Al's Water Conditioner

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: 0.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: 0.0
pH: 6.4
Hardness (GH): Unknown
Alkalinity (KH): Unknown

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 1-2 months
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? He looks more sad, pale, old. I believe some black spots have been forming on his body. Black scales?
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He doesn't swim around anymore at all - always lying down
Is your Betta still eating? Barely
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? 2.5 years - no
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did buy a thermometer online from some online store but it did not work (crappy Chinese product..)

I know the heater works though because the water is at a nice temperature, I think.

I can run out and get a thermometer if it's required to find out what's wrong with him.
 

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I dont think ph could cause your problem as long as you're water ph are consistent & doesnt swing. I have 6.4 ph as well as i have driftwood in my tank. Aren't you overfeeding your betta that much. I usually give my betta 3-4 pellets max a day and sometimes flakes on every other day. Just waiting for my bloodworm to come. From what i've read their stomach is the same size as their eyes. I noticed that your water parameters are amonia-0 Nitrite-0 nitrate-0. Could your tank be having a mini cycle? What test kit are you using? Make sure you are using Api Master test kit. Definitely get a thermometer to make sure not only your thermometer works but it's always on the right/stable temp. Hope he gets better soon.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #10
guys help it's cotton wool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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We really need a picture to help determine what he has, and how best to treat him, it would also help to know how it developed and what it looked like. From what I found out while trying to figure out what my Betta had a lot of fungus look remarkably similar but present differently and will take different treatments.

From what I've read epsom salts aren't going to help with a fungus. Aq salt for external problems, epsom salt for internal.
 
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