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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
You've been such a help to me with my fish Frankie in the past and I'm so grateful! Suddenly my boyfriend's fish Sammy Hagar seems very ill - we thought maybe he was overfed and had a bit of constipation but he's not improving and so we're getting very worried! He is acting sicker than Frankie did after he jumped out of the tank, so I'm thinking this is really serious! Don't know what is causing it but I have been trying to treat for the most likely things - no improvement yet and starting to freak out a little bit....if not swim bladder then what? Some symptoms seem consistent with ammonia poisoning but ammonia tests conducted every 3 days or so have always been negative. We did experience a major hair algae bloom a few weeks ago that clogged up the filter but we cleaned it all out and it has not come back. There does seem to be a gold sheen to his fins - could this be velvet? Desperate to help him but don't know what to do next!

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 5
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? None

Food:
What food brand do you use? Omega One
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Flakes
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Once daily, just a tiny pinch of flakes, but he may have been fed much more than usual on Friday because I fed him again after my boyfriend already fed him

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Tank seemed cycled so only 1/2 weeks or so
What percentage of water did you change? 25-50%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability

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
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: About 7.5-7.8
Hardness (GH): Unknown
Alkalinity (KH): Unknown

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Saturday the 26th, darting around, not as social
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Color fade, then developed "stress stripes" directly following a 50% water change. Stress stripes faded but his color is still off. I started looking at him under a flashlight and noticed a gold sheen on the fins.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Periodic darting, extremely lethargic, antisocial, laying on leaf at surface, or laying on bottom, some fin clamping
Is your Betta still eating? Not sure - we were fasting him for a few days thinking he may have been overfed Friday and he hasn't been fed again yet - may try feeding a cooked pea or flakes this evening.

Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Fasting in case of swim bladder. No improvement after a day of fasting and then noticed a goldish sheen on his fins and so dosed aquarium salt on Sunday and started treating with API Erythromycin. Performed 50% water change on Sunday before the salt and the antibiotic; did another 25% water change today per API Erythromycin instructions.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? He had clamped fins and some color fade when fist brought home from PetSmart, but other than that, nothing
How long have you owned your Betta? A few months - purchased in May
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Not to our knowledge

1022129


1022130
 

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Can you post a photo from above him?

What caused that algae bloom?

According to the feeding instructions in the Omega One betta flakes container, you're possibly underfeeding him. Just for comparisons sake my boys get New Life Spectrum pellets, as much as they want in 60-90 seconds (the amount each one eats is quite different, but even my light eater gets quite a bit more than what you're describing, I think? --a pinch can be rather variable) and they're doing well after almost a year, knock on wood :) anyway, a photo from above him would give another view of his body condition.
 

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He isn't emaciated but he's on the thinner side. If it were me, I'd try feeding him more, and also I would do more frequent water changes, once or twice a week, 25 - 50 percent.

This provides information about body condition;
A healthy weight Betta should have a gradual taper from head to caudal peduncle. If there is a visible “waistline” before the peduncle, it’s a sign of insufficient fat stores in the peduncle, which is the portion of the fish’s body just before the tail fin starts. When viewed from above, if the fish’s head is significantly wider than the body, rather than showing a gradual taper from the front to the back, then the fish is certainly underweight."
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank You! We will feed him a little more if he lives through this but I don't think this is diet related - he is laying on the bottom or laying on the surface - clearly in severe distress. Wont eat. What can we do to save his life??
 

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I don't think this is diet related
I agree, and thank you for your patience about that.

Water changes often help with issues, and water conditions can cause so many ailments, plus the backstory seems to me to suggest more frequent water changes.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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Did you remember to add Prime after the first 50% water change? Has his behavior improved at all or continued to deteriorate since you started his meds? I would purchase frozen Bloodworms to see if you can get him to eat and keep up his strength.

Just to set your mind at ease a bit, it's doubtful the sheen is Velvet. This is Velvet:
Velvet.jpg

Yours is a real conundrum. His care is good; although, no matter the parameters, five gallon tanks need weekly water changes if for nothing else than replenishing vital minerals and trace elements.

I agree with the feeding, too. He should look like this:
FishFromAbove.jpg

As I said, a conundrum. But.....long-term lack of proper nutrition can slowly have an effect on overall health so his symptoms could be partially because of diet. Personally, I do not like flakes because I'm afraid the Betta will gulp air along with the flakes. Mind you, this is not proven. Just something that worries me. I also can't really tell how much fish are actually eating so I prefer frozen or pellets.

I can't tell if he has any bloat but if you see it you want to use Epsom Salt and not Aquarium. ES acts as a diuretic while AS causes fluid retention. In tank treatment is one tablespoon (three tsp.) of plain, unscented, completely-dissolved ES. If you use a hospital tank it is one teaspoon per gallon. You want to treat for volume of water and a five holds around three gallons.

You want to replace in proportion. So remove one gallon and add one teaspoon ES to the gallon of replacement water. I do not know how it reacts or if it does react with the meds. You might contact the company or wait until treatment is done.

Hoping @Veloran will see and have more concrete ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Did you remember to add Prime after the first 50% water change? Has his behavior improved at all or continued to deteriorate since you started his meds? I would purchase frozen Bloodworms to see if you can get him to eat and keep up his strength.

Just to set your mind at ease a bit, it's doubtful the sheen is Velvet. This is Velvet:
View attachment 1022162

Yours is a real conundrum. His care is good; although, no matter the parameters, five gallon tanks need weekly water changes if for nothing else than replenishing vital minerals and trace elements.

I agree with the feeding, too. He should look like this:
View attachment 1022163

As I said, a conundrum. But.....long-term lack of proper nutrition can slowly have an effect on overall health so his symptoms could be partially because of diet. Personally, I do not like flakes because I'm afraid the Betta will gulp air along with the flakes. Mind you, this is not proven. Just something that worries me. I also can't really tell how much fish are actually eating so I prefer frozen or pellets.

I can't tell if he has any bloat but if you see it you want to use Epsom Salt and not Aquarium. ES acts as a diuretic while AS causes fluid retention. In tank treatment is one tablespoon (three tsp.) of plain, unscented, completely-dissolved ES. If you use a hospital tank it is one teaspoon per gallon. You want to treat for volume of water and a five holds around three gallons.

You want to replace in proportion. So remove one gallon and add one teaspoon ES to the gallon of replacement water. I do not know how it reacts or if it does react with the meds. You might contact the company or wait until treatment is done.

Hoping @Veloran will see and have more concrete ideas.
Thank you Russell! I will try the ES! Yes we added Prime and Stability with the water change. I put him in an isolation tank with lights off to see if that helped and still no improvement. Tried to feed him this morning still- no luck. The trouble with the flakes is that we have tried and tried to get him to eT other food like pellets or bloodworms and he won't eat anything but flakes. So we gave up and stuck with just that. I was able to snap a pic of him that seems like it shows a bulge under his abdomen but maybe I'm wrong. Also I noticed that every now and then he seems to "burp" or make a movement like a vomit that sometimes produces a gassy looking bubble.. could this indicate he was gulping air with his food? Any thoughts?
 

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How far into the API Erythromycin treatment are you?
You have a good first step in putting him into a hospital tank, make sure to take out any artificial decorations with the exception of something that will let him rest at the surface. I'd also stop using the Stability unless absolutely necessary.

The symptoms you are describing sounds like a water quality issue, do you know if they flushed the hydrants in your town recently?
Leave him in the tank with fresh water and add some Indian Almond Leaves or a Rooibos teabag. I don't see anything obvious and with him being on Erythromycin I would rather see how he progresses.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Hi we finished the Erythromycin with no improvement. Someone else suggested he might have gill flukes or some other parasite so just finished a course of API General Cure and still no improvement. He has not eaten for about a week now so this morning I tried to give him frozen bloodworms and frozen brine shrimp. Wouldn't touch it. He goes between his floating log and the bottom of the tank. At this point we are out of ideas and wondering if its time to euthanize....we don't want him to suffer. oh and disregard the pics - turns out that's just some uneaten food when bf tried a day or two ago. Thanks all
 

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