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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple days ago I noticed my betta acing really strange. He wouldn't swim unless you tapped the glass, hardly ate, & turned colors. I did an 100% water change & placed him in the water. He still didn't swim much but he changed back to his normal blue color. I didn't feed him for a day. Today when I left for work (9am) he seemed as normal as before. However when I got home (9pm) I noticed he turned into a red/brown color. His fins seem pinned down. He swims every so often but only to the top. He's currently laying on his side. I took his heater out (The guy at PetSmart said since its summer he didn't need one as long as his water temp was 80+). I just put his heater back in his tank. He laid by it for a couple minutes. I just don't know what else I can do.
 

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Fill this form out, please:


Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?

This could really be anything, from ammonia stress to a bacterial infection. We really need some more information to be able to help as much as possible. What kind of conditioner are you using in the water when you do water changes? For now, keep him as warm as possible and lower the water level if he is having trouble swimming to the top for air. If you have API Stress Coat on hand, dose the tank. If he is laying on his side and having trouble swimming, that could be a swim bladder disorder, in which case you'll want to fast him. Give us as much specific info as you can possibly think of and the people here will be able to help with better advice for what kinds of treatments and medicines you can use to help your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Additional Info :
Housing
What size is your tank? 2 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? No- My room is very hot
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta-Min Tropical Medley
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 times a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? At least every week
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? Water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Somewhat
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Water change
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None that I know of
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him in April/May
 

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Is there any chance you could take a picture of your betta with your cell phone or whatever so we can see what he looks like and what he's doing? For now do a 100% water change every day and use API Stress Coat for your conditioner. See if he improves in a day or two. My other initial reaction is to try a small dose of epsom salts in the water. If he is having a constipation, swim bladder, or internal parasite issue, this could help with that. If it doesn't do anything, than we can rule most of those out. Sometimes caring for a sick betta is a lot of trial and error.

Does he look bloated in the tummy area?
 

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Oh my. Let me message some other people who can help out more with this. I am really not sure what that is at all.
 

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Can you look at him from above and tell if his scales are raised or not? Like, do they look like they are sticking out from his body?
 

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You might also take a look at this older thread and see if any of it sounds familiar. Don't panic, but the color change is tipping me off that you could be dealing with a mystery disease that was very prevalent a few months ago but has been petering off recently:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=90086

Because of the drastic color change, I am thinking your fish is dealing with something bacterial. You need to go to the petstore and get the strongest fish antibiotic they carry. Kanaplex would be great. Maracyn Plus would be good. Every fish store should have Maracyn and Maracyn 2 if they don't carry those though, and a combination of Maracyn and Maracyn 2 could be effective. Since you have tried clean water changes, I think antibiotics would be my next step with a color change that drastic and scary.
 

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Hey there! So I just read through the thread and I'll see what I can help out with.

First things first, for a 2 gallon tank with or without a filter it really does need to be changed twice a week, otherwise poop and other dissolved organic compounds will build up and start to hurt him, this is my initial worry for him. It's kind of like being locked in your bathroom for all week and you can use the toilet all you want but it doesn't flush except for maybe once a week, maybe every other week. Doesn't sound fun, huh?

So I want you to start off with actually doing three water changes a week. Scoop him out of the water with a cup, any cup will do as long as it has never been washed or anything so plastic is great for this. Then you can dump the old water and replace it with similar temp water from your tap, if you need to run a glass thermometer under the tap to get it at 78-80 degree's for your boy.

Then you need to acclimate him to the new water once you've used your water conditioner. So if you can, float him in his cup in the tank, then every 10-15 minutes add 2 tablespoons of new water to his cup so that he can get used to the new water chemistry. Then once it's been about 30-45 minutes you can gently release him out of the cup.

That's just to start helping for now. What it looks like is that he's just super stressed out right now, he most likely has blue iridescence but a red under color so when he's stressed out he's going to lose all that color and whatever his base color is, you'll see that.

From here it looks like his fins are really short, most likely from some fin rot from the water not being changed enough, but he might be a plakat as well? Can you show me a picture of his fins? Maybe a picture from when you first got him and now?

He also looks like he's got a white ring around his eye, do his eyes look swollen at all? If so, he's got a bacterial infection called Pop-eye, fairly easy to treat if you have the right kind of salt.

There are two different kinds of salt that we use; Aquarium salt (AQ salt) and Epsom Salt. They do two very different things and they are what I go to first before medications because they aren't as stressful on your boy. So AQ salt helps with things on the outside of a Betta like Fin rot, Ich and Velvet where Epsom salt helps with things on the inside; it reduces swelling, releases fluids like things to do with constipation and/or bloat and swim bladder issues.

So since he looks like he has some pop-eye issues going on, I want you to find some Epsom salt, you won't find it at the pet store isntead you find it at a pharamcy or walmart or somewhere like that. You are looking for 100% Magnesium Sulfate, no additives and no scent. At wal-mart it's like 89 cents or something, pretty cheap :-D which is good ^_^ so anyway, this is going to help with any fluid retention he's got going on and you'll use a 1 tsp per gallon.

So what you need to do is:

Change half of his water today.
When you go to put the new water in (so it'd be 1 gallon since he's in a 2 gallon tank) add your conditioner and if you can find Epsom salt, measure out 1 teaspoon.
Mix the salt in a different cup first, very important since when salt dissolves it actually makes and gives off heat which can burn your Betta!
So mix in a different cup, pour it into your 1 gallon that you have waiting.
Then scoop with a cup and gently pour into the Betta's tank so as not to stress him out.
After an hour, take out another 50% and do the same as above.
So now you have 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt in the tank to make the equation 1 tsp per gallon.

If you can't find Epsom salt today than just do a 100% water change to get him started. Also you should turn off the airstone, Betta's hate moving water. They come from Rice Paddies in Thailand where there is almost no water movement and lots of tall plants. That's why they actually have a labyrinth organ is to allow them to breathe air in low oxygen environments. So shutting off the airstone is going to help him feel better, you should also get him some ornaments when you get the chance since it's looking pretty bare in there. Betta's aren't afraid of big spaces, they're afraid of big open spaces. So filling that with some silk plants (Don't get plastic) and maybe some hides will really help him as well!

If he's having trouble reaching the surface of the tank than you should lower the water level about half way and do water changes according to 1 gallon instead of 2. So if you put the salt in, just use 1 teaspoon total if it's 1 gallon, does that make sense?

Sorry, I know this is a novel and all! If you have any questions on anything, please ask away and I'll try to clarify for you ^_^

EDIT: also, never go to any medications first, always use either one salt or another, do not use both AQ and Epsom at the same time. This is the least stressful for your fish unless you know they have something extremely serious, you don't want to stress them out more and antibiotics are very stressful.

Also **Note** do not use any salts for more than 14 days, especially AQ salt as it can cause liver/kidney failure which is fatal. So you can use more than 14 days, but they need at least 4-5 days rest before you start another regimen of salts.
 

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OK, it looks like you have another thread about this too. I'm going to post a link so that people can view both threads: link to your previous thread.

On the previous thread, you said that you do frequent water changes because his food "gets stuck in the rocks." To me, this indicates that you could be overfeeding him. Also, you said that you're giving him Betta-Min Tropical Medley flakes.

Foods that contain a lot of grains and fillers (wheat, corn, soybean, rice, gluten, etc) can be constipating. The Betta-Min Tropical Medley that you're feeding him contains "Fish meal, ground brown rice, torula dried yeast, shrimp meal, wheat gluten, dried potato products, dehulled soybean meal, fish oil, soybean oil, algae meal, sorbitol, lecithin, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (vitamin C). Artificial colors including red 3. Ethoxyquin as a preservative."

How often does he poop? What does it look like? He may be constipated and/or in need of better nutrition.

If this was my fish, I would:
  1. Fast him for one day.
  2. Add Epsom salt. Since you have a 2 gal tank, you can take a small amount of tank water, add 1 teaspoon Epsom salt. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved, then pour it back into the tank. (This will provide a dosage of 0.5 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon.)
  3. About 12 hours after adding the Epsom salt, repeat the above process. Take a small amount of tank water, add 1 teaspoon Epsom salt. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved, then pour it back into the tank. (This will provide a combined dosage of 1 teaspoon Epsom salt per gallon.)
  4. Switch him to a high protein quality pellet food, such as New Life Spectrum Betta pellets or Omega One Betta Buffet. (I prefer pellets since they're easier to measure out. This means there's less chance of overfeeding, and you can determine exactly how much you're giving him.)
  5. It may take several days for the Epsom salt to do its job. Whenever you do water changes, premix the Epsom salt solution, by adding 1 teaspoon Epsom salt into a gallon of water. (This will maintain the 1 teaspoon per gallon dosage.) You can keep him in the Epsom salt solution for 10-14 days.

Edited to add: Could you turn off the light in his tank, and post another photo?

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@tngirl - this doesn't look like the "mystery disease" (Mycobacterial infection) to me. The color change is different. In Myco, the fins turn gray, which indicates necrosis (tissue death). But, to me, boopers93's betta has an overall body change, which looks more like it's stress-induced.

@lilnaugrim - I originally recommended Epsom salt at a dosage of 0.5 tsp/gal. But I'm using my kindle, so it's difficult to see the photo. Since you think he may have popeye, I upped it to the standard 1 tsp/gal. (It's definitely OK to use 1 tsp/gal, regardless.) You did a good job offering advice! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys. I added Epsom salt to his water. His eyes are still bothering me. He's swimming more but not like he was. Any other suggestions ? I'm heading to the pet store in a couple hours.
 

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I recommend a food change to one of the pellets I listed above. (New Life Spectrum or Omega One.)

The Epsom saltxmay take a day or two to work (assuming it will be effective). If you're concerned, you can the combined Maracyn / Maracyn 2 treatment that Tngirl outlined. Or you could try tetracycline. Continue using the Epsom salt though.

The new photo shows his blue coloration better. Thanks - that's what I was looking for.
 

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@LBF, oh I totally missed your little notes at the bottom XD thanks ^_^

Yeah I'm still sticking with Pop-eye for starters.

I think the best thing you can do for him right now boopers is just keep up with water changes to get all the dissolved stuff and poop out of there so that it doesn't hurt him :)
 

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If you're looking for an antibiotic to specifically treat his eyes, then erythromycin is the best choice. But for an antibiotic that will treat a system-wide infection, Seachem Kanaplex is the best choice as others have stated. It is one of only two gram negative antibiotics that I know of that are absorbed effectively through the skin and gills and thus can treat internal infections. The other antibiotic, Maracyn Two (aka minocycline), also absorbs well but it also has great potential to damage the kidneys, is not effective in high pH, becomes toxic easily, and many bacteria are resistant to it. :/ Sadly, it is the more readily available antibiotic.

Another possible choice is using API General Cure. The metronidazole in this medication can be effective in treating anaerobic internal bacterial infections, especially if food is soaked in the medicated water before feeding. It will also take care of any possible internal and external parasites that could be causing the symptoms.

Fortunately, it does not look like the mystery disease although I can see the cause for concern. If it was the disease, the rot on the fins would have advanced to the body within hours and the body would be a graphite color. This is a relief.

Good luck booper. You've gotten some great advice so you're in good hands. :) And welcome to the forum.
 
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