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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all :)

So to start鈥 post on here a lot, sorry馃槄 Anyway, my little guy has really been slowing down recently. He sits in the same spot at the top of the tank most of the time, right in between the glass and his floating log, or just floating nearby his floating log, kinda resting on it. He still eats mostly, but recently he has been having a really hard time seeing his pellets and it takes me a while to feed him since I basically have to put it on his face, and even then he sometimes won鈥檛 get it. I kinda remedied this by feeding him frozen bloodworms for his night time meal each day (he has two a day, a couple pellets In the morning and either a couple pellets or a couple bloodworms at night). Today though he got one pellet and 2 tiny bloodworms for dinner but he had a hard time and he ALWAYS eats his bloodworms and sees them easily, so that worried me. I think he has a much harder time seeing now. And today I noticed a weird little brownish bump on top of him. I鈥檒l attach some pics of my little guy. I know he鈥檚 getting old, I鈥檝e had him since we bought him at Petco in September of 2020. He looks pretty rough since he is a fin nipper and also has some black coloring due to him being a white opal, but I do think I take excellent care of him. He has tannins/IAL in his tank, live plants, VitaChem, his water parameters and temperature are perfect, etc. I will attach the betta care form below in the comments. I guess I鈥檓 just curious if maybe he鈥檚 about to die, or if he鈥檚 sick or if that weird bump is something bad, or what鈥檚 going on.
Wood Bedrock Grass Trunk Landscape

Water Wood Body of water Fish Marine biology

Water Wood Bedrock Watercourse Liquid

Plant Pet supply Terrestrial plant Fawn Houseplant

Vertebrate Plant Wood Rodent Terrestrial plant

Plant Pet supply Organism Terrestrial plant Grass
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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? Ranges from 77-79掳F
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? Imagitarium betta pellets and freeze dried bloodworms and mysis sometimes, also frozen bloodworms
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? Yes, see above
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Twice a day, 3 pellets in the morning, and either 3 pellets or 2-4 frozen bloodworms at night

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 50%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use other than conditioner? API stress coat, VitaChem, a tiny drop or two of pH Up just because of the tap water where we live
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.

I USE API 5 IN 1 TEST STRIPS AND TETRA EASY STRIPS FOR AMMONIA

Ammonia: looks like 0ppm
Nitrite: looks like 0ppm
Nitrate: looks like 0ppm
pH: Looks to be around 6.5-7.5
Hardness (GH): looks like around the 60-120ppm range
Alkalinity (KH): looks to be around the 50-90ppm

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Just a day or two ago
How has your Betta鈥檚 appearance changed? He has been changing ever since we got him, getting more black coloring which I was told was due to age, he also has tattered fins due to what I was told is nipping. Just noticed a brownish small bump on the top of him today
How has your Betta鈥檚 behavior changed? He stays in one spot most of the day, kinda wedged between the front of the glass of the tank and his floating log, and he will also sometimes lean on the other side of his log and float there. He will still move around but has been sticking around there a lot, which he hasn鈥檛 done until recently, like within the past month or so
Is your Betta still eating? Yes, but he鈥檚 been having a harder and harder time seeing his pellets. He usually sees his bloodworms just fine but had trouble tonight, and also didn鈥檛 seem to really want to eat. Sometimes he鈥檒l even just get bored or something of eating and goes off to another spot in the tank, either to play with his filter or just swim around or go hang out somewhere else, and ignores the rest of his food
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Not necessarily, other than I recently started using 5 drops of VitaChem in his water every water change. He also has an Indian almond leaf in his tank all the time
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No I don鈥檛 believe so
How long have you owned your Betta? Since September 2020
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No I don鈥檛 believe so
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry your boy is doing so poorly. You care is great but there is an issue.

Your Betta is being malnourished. He needs to build up his weight. Try feeding him 3-5 x per day. 3-4 of pellets and 2-3 frozen. Imaginarium is not the best of foods; too many fillers in the first ingredients. A better one should help: NorthFin Betta Bits, Fluval Bug Bites, New Life Spectrum, Aqueon Color and Betta formulas (not their "Betta Pro) and Omega One. I feed Devour Grain-Free Bug Crumbles but those need to be ordered as only the company that makes them sells.

Stop the freeze dried unless it's Daphnia but soak those for a bit before giving. Daphnia are a natural laxative for insectivores. You can soak them, as well as his pellets, in a bit of VitaChem. You could alternate with garlic juice for his food.

The most critical thing is to get him eating and build up his weight. When people or animals starve they often lose interest in food. I'm sure there's a scientific reason but I don't know it. That may be the reason he shows little interest.

I'm not one for meds but I would consider a mild dewormer; especially if a better nutrition don't help. Someone else may have another idea or can tell you what to get.

As far as age, Your boy is really not that old. Most pet store fish are 2-5 months old when received so he's probably not yet two.

FYI, from above, a fish should look like a bullet or torpedo with a gradual slimming to the base of the caudal. There should be no indent between head and body. This is a healthy fish:
View attachment 1037901
Oh my gosh really?? Oh I feel so bad. I was told a few times that I was feeding him too much so I brought it down馃槶 Okay, I will get on that right away. I really hope he will be okay, I wouldn鈥檛 want his death to be because I starved him to death馃槶. Do any of those pellets float? He鈥檚 never really been known to chase after them if they sink, ever since I got him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry your boy is doing so poorly. You care is great but there is an issue.

Your Betta is being malnourished. He needs to build up his weight. Try feeding him 3-5 x per day. 3-4 of pellets and 2-3 frozen. Imaginarium is not the best of foods; too many fillers in the first ingredients. A better one should help: NorthFin Betta Bits, Fluval Bug Bites, New Life Spectrum, Aqueon Color and Betta formulas (not their "Betta Pro) and Omega One. I feed Devour Grain-Free Bug Crumbles but those need to be ordered as only the company that makes them sells.

Stop the freeze dried unless it's Daphnia but soak those for a bit before giving. Daphnia are a natural laxative for insectivores. You can soak them, as well as his pellets, in a bit of VitaChem. You could alternate with garlic juice for his food.

The most critical thing is to get him eating and build up his weight. When people or animals starve they often lose interest in food. I'm sure there's a scientific reason but I don't know it. That may be the reason he shows little interest.

I'm not one for meds but I would consider a mild dewormer; especially if a better nutrition don't help. Someone else may have another idea or can tell you what to get.

As far as age, Your boy is really not that old. Most pet store fish are 2-5 months old when received so he's probably not yet two.

FYI, from above, a fish should look like a bullet or torpedo with a gradual slimming to the base of the caudal. There should be no indent between head and body. This is a healthy fish:
View attachment 1037901
Should I do 3-5 pellets AND 3-4 frozen each time I feed him 3-5 times a day? Or is that pellets OR frozen each time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry your boy is doing so poorly. You care is great but there is an issue.

Your Betta is being malnourished. He needs to build up his weight. Try feeding him 3-5 x per day. 3-4 of pellets and 2-3 frozen. Imaginarium is not the best of foods; too many fillers in the first ingredients. A better one should help: NorthFin Betta Bits, Fluval Bug Bites, New Life Spectrum, Aqueon Color and Betta formulas (not their "Betta Pro) and Omega One. I feed Devour Grain-Free Bug Crumbles but those need to be ordered as only the company that makes them sells.

Stop the freeze dried unless it's Daphnia but soak those for a bit before giving. Daphnia are a natural laxative for insectivores. You can soak them, as well as his pellets, in a bit of VitaChem. You could alternate with garlic juice for his food.

The most critical thing is to get him eating and build up his weight. When people or animals starve they often lose interest in food. I'm sure there's a scientific reason but I don't know it. That may be the reason he shows little interest.

I'm not one for meds but I would consider a mild dewormer; especially if a better nutrition don't help. Someone else may have another idea or can tell you what to get.

As far as age, Your boy is really not that old. Most pet store fish are 2-5 months old when received so he's probably not yet two.

FYI, from above, a fish should look like a bullet or torpedo with a gradual slimming to the base of the caudal. There should be no indent between head and body. This is a healthy fish:
View attachment 1037901
Oh and also, about that brownish bump on him, any thoughts? Sorry haha, just trying to get this together so I can help him. I just have him a few more bloodworms with some Vitachem mixed and he did pretty good, thank goodness
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@RussellTheShihTzu
So I got him to eat 3 pellets soaked in Vitachem and a couple frozen bloodworms this morning, which made me happy. But, I鈥檓 currently at work and my boyfriend is trying to feed him, and he鈥檚 not having it, my bf said he鈥檚 just hiding behind his filter, which I haven鈥檛 ever seen him do, and he can鈥檛 reach him to feed him, so that鈥檚 not great :( He said he鈥檚 going to keep trying to feed him throughout the day, and maybe he鈥檒l come out at some point and wanna eat
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I hope he does better for you, too.

Overfeeding is when they get too much at once. Twenty pellets at the same time is overfeeding; 20 over the course of five meals is not.

Sorry I wasn't clear. Sometimes I'm like that. ;) I mean either/or. You can increase amount to four of either as long if his stomach is gently rounded but not bloated.

He might not be eating because he's not used to a new feeding schedule. You can wait until you get home from work and feed him a couple of meals before you retire. When he's used to that you can try one in the middle of the day and work from there. Just keep experimenting.
Okay, that sounds good. I鈥檒l check with my boyfriend when I get home to see if he鈥檚 eaten yet, and if not I鈥檒l try to feed him a few times before I go to bed! Little guy is quite set in his ways馃槀 It鈥檚 just scary when he鈥檚 usually very excited to eat and he isn鈥檛 most of the time now馃槩 I bought some new food for him, actually my Petco nearby had almost all of the foods you recommended sooooo I bought a few to try and see if he likes one more than the other馃槀馃槀 I will keep a close eye on his stomach and his shape, and come back if I have more questions (which I probably will馃槄)

oh also! I saw that API has a product called General Cure, have you or anyone else heard of that? Maybe that would be beneficial? I also have aquarium salt?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
@RussellTheShihTzu

Really sorry for these long posts!!!!

Last night I got him to eat decently well, the only thing he eats mostly routinely is his frozen bloodworms, which I really want him to try his pellets too because I don鈥檛 think he can just live on frozen bloodworms, right? This morning is rough. He鈥檚 not interested in eating his pellets at all. I think he might be partially blind, he swims into the glass and just hangs out in the same spots all day. That spot still looks the same I think. I鈥檝e also noticed he is swimming kind of sideways if he swims a longer distance than just a few centimeters. I鈥檓 so worried馃槩 I feel like once we moved 2 hours away from the city we bought him, 6 months ago, and he was in a shoebox lined with towels and in his little cup for a day, he started deteriorating slowly and then this eating thing and the sideways swimming and the staying in one spot all the time and the spot on top of him all happened quickly.

I was looking around his tank, trying to find things that may be causing issues. The only things that look maybe slightly concerning to me are this brown algae?? or something else? that is growing on his big decorations. I鈥檒l post a pic with it circled. Plus on the sides of the glass there鈥檚 these little鈥rystals?? idk. Tiny crystallized little things that pop up on the glass of his tank. I can try to take a picture, they鈥檙e hard to see. When I slide them off of the glass, they鈥檙e hard and feel kinda like sharp tiny crystallized shells or something. It鈥檚 hard to explain馃槀 But they鈥檙e soooo tiny, like prob around a millimeter. There鈥檚 not many of them, depends on the day but usually around 10 all the way around his glass, in random spots, usually sitting near the top of the water line. That鈥檚 all I can really think of :/

Okay update, as of this morning after trying to feed him pellets for 25 minutes, we just tried frozen bloodworms and he eats those right up. Little dude just does not want pellets. I assume he can鈥檛 live on bloodworms? Ugh I don鈥檛 know. I鈥檓 stressing trying to get this little bugger to eat馃槀 And to figure out what鈥檚 wrong with him

he just looks so sick and unhappy and it breaks my heart

Here is that 鈥渁lgae鈥 or whatever it is
Plant Vertebrate Organism Wood Pet supply
Purple Terrestrial plant Wood Plant Natural material

Wood Kitchen appliance Gas Event Food

Plant Felidae Small to medium-sized cats Tail Magenta
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@RussellTheShihTzu @betta4ever! @X skully X

Do any of you think that there鈥檚 some general medication I can give him? I was going to go to my LFS after work to pick up some more IAL, and wanted to know if there鈥檚 anything else I should pick up to help him..

Not sure if the things I said in my post this morning help you guys to help me at all, but it is there haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I feed my Betta a variety of frozen foods and the occasional Devour Grain-Free Bug Crumbles. They do fine on all frozen if you want to go that route. Bloodworms are the most fattening but I'd still alternate with one or two of the following:

Brine Shrimp (with Spirulina if possible)
Freshwater Frenzy
Krill (rinsed)
Cyclops
Mosquito Larva (some are listed as "Mini Bloodworms" so check)
Tubifex Worms

Also, you can easily culture live foods like Micro and Grindal Worms.
Oh that鈥檚 good to hear!! I got some frozen mysis shrimp to try since he loved the freeze dried ones, I鈥檒l see if I can get some of that stuff as well :) And maybe try those Devour ones! It鈥檚 just hard if things don鈥檛 float for long or if I can鈥檛 hold them with tongs, since he has never chased stuff, or very rarely if he does. Thanks :) I will see if anyone sees this and has any medication recommendations. I have API Betta Fix and aquarium salt as of now
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I鈥檓 so sorry about your guy, I can鈥檛 think of what meds would be useful since no one knows exactly what is going on with him. Any suggestions on meds could cause more harm than good. Only thing I would suggest differently is soaking his food in the vitachem instead of dropping into the tank water. I know it says that in the bottle but it would be better utilized if ingested. In fact most antibiotics used in the water column do very little. Mixing the meds with food have better results or so I have read. kanaplex is most recommended because it is better absorbed through the skin. Honestly鈥 I have very little success treating my fish for ailments, I鈥檓 terrible at diagnosis! I don鈥檛 offer advice in the emergency threads anymore for that very reason. I鈥檓 well read on common fish diseases but personal experience is very little. I do agree that if it鈥檚 lack of nutrients (for whatever odd reason, your care seems great btw) that would make his immune system weak. Even with medications a weak immune response will keep causing issues. I sincerely hope he makes a turn around with added meals. The best I can offer is that he didn鈥檛 get sick suddenly and he won鈥檛 flourish suddenly either. It will take time for him to bounce back. Big hugs to you! I know these things are never easy 馃挏
Thank you so so much for your reply. It鈥檚 certainly never easy, you鈥檙e right. He鈥檚 the first pet I鈥檝e ever had on my own, so I鈥檓 especially attached. And thank you, I do try and take such good care of him!

The few pellets he has been eating have been soaked in Vitachem, he seems to like it (as much as he can right now), so that鈥檚 good :)

I will look into Kanaplex, just to have it on hand in case it comes to that. Thank you so much, I appreciate it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Update:

Tonight when I got home I fed him some tubifex worms that I had just bought, he loves those too!! And my boyfriend had fed him at least 6 bloodworms throughout The day. Then I put a pellet soaked in Vitachem in, and he was NOT having it. I tried the multiple different pellets I have and nope鈥 think he鈥檚 just sick and tired of them?馃槄 Of the frozen food variety, I now have bloodworms, mysis, Spirulina brine shrimp and tubifex worms. He鈥檚 still sticking in one area in the tank and doesn鈥檛 come to the front anymore for food, but maybe he will start doing that again, I hope!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Update!

So it鈥檚 been the same with the pellets, he totally avoids them and also just flips his fins around aggressively when I put one in to get it away from him馃う鈥嶁檧锔忦煒 But I鈥檝e been feeding tubifex worms, bloodworms, mysis shrimp and I鈥檓 going to pick up the spirulina brine shrimp today. I put a frozen chunk into a little cup and add a few drops of Vitachem and tank water, and he gobbles them right up.

Also鈥nstead of always eating in the back corner and it taking forever to feed him, he鈥檚 come back to the front almost every time I feed him and eats where he usually does and devours his frozen food馃ズ He still has a ways to go but him eating and coming back up to the front is a big step and it makes me super happy.

His spot still looks about the same. I went to my LFS on Thursday and bought more IAL, and his tank is nice and loaded with tannins.

He still swims a little funny, like kind of sideways and also erratically sometimes, but at least he鈥檚 coming to the front and eating.

Quick question, is it okay to defrost a small chunk of frozen food, soak in Vitachem and tank water as usual, and since he doesn鈥檛 finish all of it in one sitting, just keep the cup with it in the fridge? Will it go bad? Just so I don鈥檛 have to dump out so much food haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I mix mine is medicine bottles with child-proof caps (for better seal). If you don't have any most pharmacies will give you a couple.

I feed mostly frozen with Devour Bug Crumbles to a lesser degree. You can also add a couple of pellets to the mixture a minute or so before you feed and see if that works.

It's strictly a guess, but it could be his thinness is the reason he swims funny.
Oh that鈥檚 a good idea!! I have plenty of those orange bottles laying around. I tried the Fluval bug bites but they sink so quickly that he can鈥檛 get them :/ Which is a bummer. Okay I鈥檒l try adding pellets to it right before I feed! He has eaten a couple pellets in the past few days. He got too spoiled with the frozen and now he is over the pellets 馃槀馃槀馃槀

How long do you keep the defrosted mixture in the fridge in the pill bottle? Just until it turns a weird color like @X skully X said? Thanks again to both of you!
 
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