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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I found here so many posts about dropsy already. I still hope he is not having any issues that will lead him to pinecone, as I only once succeeded to bring the fish back from the pinecone stage. I will be glad if there are ideas based on his video and picture. I will attach videos as links to my Google Drive though.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 1,05669 (4 liters)
Does it have a filter? No
Does it have a heater? No
What temperature is your tank? 29 °C / 84,2 °F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes, airstone
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:

What food brand do you use? No brand. Altering frozen (bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp) and alive (daphnia moina, fruit flies)б sometimes give dry pellets. I fed him fruit flies 4 days ago, and since then symptoms have appeared.
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Once or twice a week granules.
Freeze-dried?
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 2 times, 3-5 bloodworms depending on the betta size. Any food I usually feed them until I see the belly is getting bigger than before feeding.

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? One in 5 days, sometimes once in 6.
What percentage of water did you change? 75%, the other week 100%.
What is the source of your water? Tap water (in my city taken from river)
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? No substrate.
What additives do you use other than conditioner? 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.

Ammonia:
Nitrite: no chemicals on hands to check
Nitrate: no chemicals on hands to check
pH: 7.5 (electronic device)
Hardness (GH): 2
Alkalinity (KH): never tested

Symptoms and Treatment:

When did you first notice the symptoms? 4 days ago.
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? his scales turning brown-yellowish on his belly and chin area.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? After feeding him fruit flies, he was dashing around the tank on the first day. From the next day, his energy started decreasing. He mostly lays on the bottom or in the leaves of Anubias Nana. He look like having trouble swimming horizontally - even though he got bitten during the mating attempt, he was swimming normally and having a good mood after. But 4 days ago started to sink tail first. When laying down on the bottom, sometimes looks like a bit falling on the side. Looks sorta depressive and definitely not well.
Is your Betta still eating? Yes, but I started fasting him yesterday.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Methylene blue in very low dose, just a bit blueish (maybe 3-4 drops?!) water yesterday after 75% water change + salt from today
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? Over a year
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? When purchased - "knot" on the eye, which remains the same size. He was badly injured 14 days ago when a female dipped all his fins off.

He when I just took him out from the breeding tank. 1-day depression other 9 days after that day he was looking happy, building a nest, eating a lot, and reacting to me talking with him.
Water Liquid Fish supply Fluid Fish


Starting from Thursday. Some are not really clear, as if I approach him or turn the light ON, he starts moving and looks just a bit floaty and not well. So I had to picture his 70% of the time behavior from afar. The discoloration of the chin and belly is pretty visible in some of the pics.
Picture frame Textile Plant Wood Interior design
Eye Beak Feather Fish Wing
Window Wood Electric blue Tail Glass
Fish supply Fin Organism Fish Underwater


Reptile Azure Lizard Scaled reptile Terrestrial plant
Reptile Lizard Scaled reptile Terrestrial plant Electric blue
Azure Art Feather Wood Wing
Blue Terrestrial plant Beak Tints and shades Wood
Lizard Scaled reptile Terrestrial plant Reptile Electric blue
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Sorry, the video just uploaded.

Google Drive

Also some notes. I live in Japan, we normally do not have access to either API or Seachem products. I order Seachem Prime conditioner via parallel import or via the biggest Marine store in Osaka, which works with Seachem directly to import some of their marine-for products.

What I have locally as medicine:
  • methylene blue
  • malachite green
  • Oxolinic acid in concentration of : 50 mg / 1ml
  • Nitrofurazone + Sulfamelazine sodium + Binding agent Macrogol (in the form of sand for self-dosing
    the antibiotic nitrofurazone used in fish farming
    )
  • Sodium nifursyrenate acid + lactose (also in the form of sand for self-dosing,
    is an antibacterial nitrofuran that has been widely used for the prevention and treatment of bacterial infections in fish in Japan
    )

Al 3 antibiotics listed in the end are considered to be extremely strong. Likely as Seachem or API products people usually recommend for dropsy cases. Once I returned fish from absolute pinecone by using number (4) for 14 days. But that was the only successful case out of 7... In Japan recommended the last one, when pinecone, but the chance to save fish / kill fish with medicine is 50/50. As often said here - this antibiotic is the last resort.

So I don't want to start antibiotic treatment until I am sure what is going on with my boy.
 

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Too many blood worms, too small of a tank, needs a heater, needs a filter. He has been through hell and back.

Is this his normal tank or just a hospital tank? When you treat with medicine make sure you do a full dose, otherwise you breed much stronger bacteria. Too many bloodworms causes intestinal problems, they are best saved for only once a week or so. Being fin nipped by a female might also cause stress, leading to an infection.

From what I can see, he is developing dropsy. The scales look like they are just starting to pineconing. Depending on how his condition progresses, euthanasia might be the best option. Considering his physical condition, I'm not surprised he is sick. Epsom salt baths and Kanaplex I have heard helped reduce the symptoms of dropsy, but from what I've read is once they start to pinecone death is almost certain due to organ failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello, ghostking679! Thank you for reply and a confirmation of my biggest nightmare ...

With all my respect and kindness,
Too many blood worms
Depends on the size of the worm itself. Mine are just twice bigger than tubifex (which I forgot to mention above). So their food routine looks like this (day or two repeats the same food): bloodworms, then daphnia alive or frozen, then tubifex, then fruit flies, then granules, then frozen plankton, such as cyclops and Rotifera, then frozen brine shrimp, and then either fast one day, or repeat the cycle. They do not eat bloodworms for more than 1 or 2 days in a range of 7-10 days.

too small of a tank
needs a filter.
I agree, but for massive breeders or private collections of more than 200 fish, this is the only choice. We have to choose - to skip the hobby or to follow the Thai / Indonesian style. I hope you can accept it as my personal choice after a long time of thinking about the pros and cons of keeping all breeders in a no-gravel / no-filter tank. This style doesn't mean that fish will be 100% sick. Unfortunately, they get sick in any type of tank - filtered and not filtered.

needs a heater
With a temperature of +29-31 degrees? Yes, during winter I agree, but during summer I rather need a cooler 😂 and what is funnier about it, Japan doesn't have any heaters with temperatures higher than 28 Celcius. They just do not import any. With water being stable at +29 or +30 between May to mid of October, such a heater can do nothing so at this season I do not use any. It is used only in the season when the water temperature comes below 28 Celcius.

Epsom salt baths and Kanaplex
As mentioned before, in Japan we do not have access to Seachem medical products. They seem to be prohibited to import into the country.

・But I do use salt right now in the concentration of 0,3%. Is there any specific concentration recommended?
・After your confirmation that it looks dropsy, I started the antibiotic Nitrofurazone + Sulfamelazine sodium and followed your recommendation about concentration with a full understanding of the reasons you explained.
I sucked 90% of the water and used the dripping method to deliver medicated fresh water, every 30 minutes checked his condition. Seems like he tolerates salt and medication well so far. From now the only thing is to pray 😔

Will be glad to receive the recommendation if there will be something else!
 

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Hello, ghostking679! Thank you for reply and a confirmation of my biggest nightmare ...

With all my respect and kindness,

Depends on the size of the worm itself. Mine are just twice bigger than tubifex (which I forgot to mention above). So their food routine looks like this (day or two repeats the same food): bloodworms, then daphnia alive or frozen, then tubifex, then fruit flies, then granules, then frozen plankton, such as cyclops and Rotifera, then frozen brine shrimp, and then either fast one day, or repeat the cycle. They do not eat bloodworms for more than 1 or 2 days in a range of 7-10 days.



I agree, but for massive breeders or private collections of more than 200 fish, this is the only choice. We have to choose - to skip the hobby or to follow the Thai / Indonesian style. I hope you can accept it as my personal choice after a long time of thinking about the pros and cons of keeping all breeders in a no-gravel / no-filter tank. This style doesn't mean that fish will be 100% sick. Unfortunately, they get sick in any type of tank - filtered and not filtered.


With a temperature of +29-31 degrees? Yes, during winter I agree, but during summer I rather need a cooler 😂 and what is funnier about it, Japan doesn't have any heaters with temperatures higher than 28 Celcius. They just do not import any. With water being stable at +29 or +30 between May to mid of October, such a heater can do nothing so at this season I do not use any. It is used only in the season when the water temperature comes below 28 Celcius.


As mentioned before, in Japan we do not have access to Seachem medical products. They seem to be prohibited to import into the country.

・But I do use salt right now in the concentration of 0,3%. Is there any specific concentration recommended?
・After your confirmation that it looks dropsy, I started the antibiotic Nitrofurazone + Sulfamelazine sodium and followed your recommendation about concentration with a full understanding of the reasons you explained.
I sucked 90% of the water and used the dripping method to deliver medicated fresh water, every 30 minutes checked his condition. Seems like he tolerates salt and medication well so far. From now the only thing is to pray 😔

Will be glad to receive the recommendation if there will be something else!
What temperature are the tanks? Are they room temperature at 28-31C? Or are they a bit cooler? 28C is what I would consider the maximum for bettas, or not far off. 31 is too hot, for sure. 78-82f (25-28C) is from my research considered optimal. I understand why you don't have a heater, but make sure it's not too hot.

The problem with bloodworms isn't strictly the size. They are very high in fat, and just do to a worm's physical body makes digesting them not as easy as other food. If overfed bloodworms, fish tend to bloat and the worms get stuck together in their G.I tract. It's not fatal, but it's just not ideal to overfeed them bloodworms. It's like eating 3 sticks of butter, it'd just make you sick. But 1-2 every week doesn't seem too bad so that's good.

I understand about your tank size/filtration predicament. Especially as a breeder. Unfortunately, if the fish is living most of it's life in a 1 gallon unfiltered tank, regardless of why it is going to cause some problems. Yes they can survive, but they are going to be stressed and significantly easier to succumb to illness. I have no doubt if the fish lived in such a small tank most of it's life, that was probably a significant cause for it's deteriorating health. I can clearly see your fish is in very rough physical condition. Filtration, proper water chemistry, proper water temperature, a healthy diet, and an adequate living space are all incredibly important for giving a fish a long healthy life. When kept in too small of a tank (I'm assuming you were doing proper water changes. A tank that small needs to be changed daily at least), it's only going to deteoriate their health over time due to stress and less than stable water parameters. You should be on top of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in that small of a tank. It's going to build fast in a 1 gallon with no filtration.

Are you using aquarium salt, or epsom salt? Aquarium salt can treat external bacterial infections, but does nothing to assist with dropsy. Epsom salt help sucks some of the fluid build up inside the fish. Make sure you are using epsom salt. Keep in mind, dropsy is caused by organ failure. Most dropsy treatments are for helping the symptoms and comfort of the fish, with no expectation of curing the underlying cause of the dropsy. Once dropsy sets in, it's almost impossible to cure because it's organ failure. The medicine and salt baths you're using are simply to help relieve symptoms before the fish ultimately passes.

It is unfortunate that Seachem doesn't service Japan. Be careful of overmedicating. Salt baths should only be done for a few minutes, for a few days. Too much time in the salt can be detrimental to the fish. Same with medicine, too much medicine (especially the wrong one) can cause more harm than good. In order to treat an illness effectively, you need to know the cause of the illness and treat with the proper medicine, the proper method. Make sure your fish isn't in salt too long. You're gonna have to keep an eye on him to see how your treatment is affecting him. It's good he is tolerating the salt and medicine, but keep a close eye on him. From what I know, an epsom salt bath treatment for dropsy is 1 tablespoon per 1 US gallon of water. I am unsure of the metric conversion for this.

At the end of the day, if it is dropsy, the most important thing is making the fish as comfortable as possible before he passes. Dropsy is for all intents and purposes, incurable as it's a sign of severe illness. You might help him by the salt baths and medicine, but just be careful and monitor him closely. I know if my organs were shutting down and very ill and It might not be the most pleasant thing to be dunked in salt water and back out and then back into medicine water and then back again.

Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you tons again!
Are they room temperature at 28-31C?
Tank temperature. Obviously hot and I do my best to keep it at 29 Celsius. But daytime it's hard to control AC as room temperature is heating extremely quickly and tank water may grow up to 30.

The problem with bloodworms isn't strictly the size.
Received and noted.

It's going to build fast in a 1 gallon with no filtration.
I accepted all these risks from the beginning. Aged, UV filtered, and passed via carbon water from past ammonia and nitrate tests was stable up to 7 days, so I considered it to be safe to do water changes once in 4-5 days, which I usually do. As I suck the poop out twice daily and remove all other waste, I sometimes just add new 200ml+ right after "vacuuming". This is how I was maintaining things so far.

Make sure you are using epsom salt.
Impossible, as there are no info on the package :cry: I will request the shop where I bought it for info. Noted the main differences.
What's new to me, as the recommendation about bathing, rather then keeping.Japan stand out. They keep them in salt for about a week. Bathing is only for high dosage, which normally brings fish to a shock state. Never did that and never will.

I am unsure of the metric conversion for this.
Will do on my side to note the amount. Thank you!

I still do hope he just got a problem with fruit flies and if he simply poop all waste out he will bounce back. But he need to move actively to poop, what he doesn't do and I am afraid to force him to flare. 2 min was usually enough to make any of the fish release everything they had, but he is not in the state, right?
 

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@ghostking679 Imagine the investment it would require if breeders were to follow the same guidelines for every individual fish that we follow for our pets......can you imagine what that would do to the price of betta? It's a nice thought that every fish would live in a 5 gallon planted and heated tank but that's just not feasible.

@WolFoX I am wondering if he maybe has suffered some internal damage from the fight with the female?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am wondering if he maybe has suffered some internal damage from the fight with the female?
It can be the case, but I guess he would show it quickly within first 10 days he stayed alone after I separated them. It started from 11th day and 5 days in row now, daily declining. Except from severe damage from female, the only thing that changed from his regular care was fruit flies, as I gave it him first time. I look stubborn blaming flies, but only single poop for last three days, he may develop things due to constipation with food he wasn't used to digest.
 

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I've been following you in the Breeding sub-forum. Your boy sure has been through it. :(

I do not think you're being stubborn; however, I do agree with @BettaloverSara. Sometimes it can take several days and even weeks for internal damage to manifest. It could be the fruit flies or it could be coincidental.

The quoted web site gives the nutritional analysis of Bloodworms. It warns aabout feeding estuary Bloodworms because of the danger of disease. As did @ghostking679, it also cautions against overfeeding.

"Bloodworm is a nutritious food for fish; analysis showed that bloodworms contain 12.8% dry matter, of which 48.5% contains protein, 10.9% contains fats, and 19% contains carbohydrates. The nutritional value of bloodworms, which have a lot of hemoglobin in their blood, cannot be overestimated. Depending on the size of the fish, they are fed a large, medium, or small bloodworm." Tetrauni.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, @RussellTheShihTzu!
Sometimes it can take several days and even weeks for internal damage to manifest. It could be the fruit flies or it could be coincidental.
It leaves me almost zero chance 😭 I follow a girl on Instagram and see her bringing both - bettas and goldfish - back to life from pinecoing and absolutely "buried" like condition. But comparing everything I read here and what I saw in her stories, it seems like the chances are high only in the case, when pineconing isn't caused by the internal organ failure. I brought back two females from pineconing stage, but they developed it after being covered with fungal "mantle". As their organs wasn't damaged, they have bounced back after antibiotics. Reading everyone's comments I feel like her success and mine are based on that. However both my females died about half a year later.
There is no way to surely see if it's organ failure, right?

I don't want this guy to suffer the same as others before, I love him so much. But if there is a single chance of the other reason, I wanna try to save him. Now he is hanging at surface and flaring when I approach. He is not yet in the very severe stage. Chin and belly are still bigger than he normally is, though. I'll try to update pics later, as the other symptom everyone seems to note with dropsy - he became sensitive to light.

Additional question. I confirmed with the shop, where I bought the salt that it's aquarium, not Epsom, so in the process of ordering one. But feel afraid to make a switch, as reducing old salt will take 3-4 days with daily 50% change. Let alone redosing with antibiotics. Only this in case of little wrong dosage may kill him.
・I never should mix aquarium salt and Epsom salt, right?
・Will Epsom salt show itself when testing with electronic water saltmeter?


In case I won't have questions after replies, if some will follow me, I may decide to skip updating the page, as there may be others who need help. I'm sincerely grateful for everyone's advice and support!
 

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While there are many others who need help, there are just as many (if not more) who will benefit from questions and updates.

I've gone over and over your photos and I see no evidence of pine coning; even when enlarged. As far as the Epsom Salts, if he keeps improving and is less lethargic you can hold off.

You are correct, though, there's no way to really know if there's internal damage. I would imagine he went through quite a bit of shock and that can take a while to get over. That he's trying to flare is certainly a great sign.

I hope he continues improving for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've gone over and over your photos and I see no evidence of pineconing
Let me provide you with yesterday morning's picture. May you have a close look at the chin to belly area? Discoloration there was the first thing I noticed, the next day scales were like that a bit up.
Azure Fish Liquid Feather Electric blue


But this is an update of today: Green F Gold Granules + Aquarium salt 0,3% concentration for ~28 hours.
In case you have an interest in the medicine I am using, please search by グリーンFゴルド顆粒. I slightly remember some info I found, that it is simply what human knows under the name Furacilin.
He doesn't show them to be up like yesterday, though it is not perfectly smooth as it was before. He more actively responds to my approach (before remaining resting on the floor until I was faking to give him food), however yet most of the time either floats at the surface or stays still on the bottom.
Wood Art Flooring Display case Window
Azure Liquid Water Rectangle Fish
Art Glass Tints and shades Automotive lighting Vehicle door
Arthropod Insect Amber Wood Spider


I am a panicker personality, so to me, even so minimal pineconing is already a sign of future tragedy. How does it look to you, guys?

Sorry for re-asking,
・how I better introduce Epsom? (Fastest arrival on Thu or Fri though)
・Should I first change water daily to remove aquriaum salt? Or is it OK to mix them both?
 

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I understand what you mean; I didn't see the first photo above in earlier post but could well have missed it.

As for the bath:

It is suggested to use a small container for the ES' do not use in his tank. And there's no need to use all of the mixture.

You need two containers: One to contain the 1 tablespoon of ES to one gallon of treated water. The for what is called a "reviving" tank. One isn't often needed but if he does have an adverse reaction to the bath you place him in the reviving tank before putting back in his tank. The reviving tank has half as much Epsom Salts as the bath.

For the reviving tank mix one cup of the treatment water with a cup of plain water.
 

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Remember, aquarium salt is Sodium Chloride (NaCl) and Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulfate (MgS04). They are not related chemically.

I don't know if they react with each other in water, but let's say you do mix them: I don't think anything bad would happen besides you getting a weak dose of both, so no benefit. That being said I would avoid mixing them. Who knows what could happen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hello, everyone. I decided to update, as things changed and I am getting confused.
Comparing his picture made on Sept. 12th and the one made today Sept. 14th 19:30 I can see that the scales on the chin and belly have completely closed. His coloration in these areas also seems to be coming back.
・Does everyone also see an improvement in his scales?
Azure Fish Liquid Electric blue Snout
09/11

Beak Rectangle Wood Fin Fish
Beak Fish Art Feather Paint
09/14

He pooped today in a very strange color and shape waste and his belly immediately returned back to his normally "skinny guy" size. I gave him daphnia today again, to make sure everything that was left from the previous feedings (before he started crashing) will be released.
... fruit flies ... 😂

(Video attached to my Google Account again, could take some time uploading)
Less lethargic for sure, but he obviously has problems with keeping his body horizontal - his tail has been chopped almost until the caudal peduncle, but looks like it has tripled weight on it. So he still spends most of his time at the bottom. I was scared to change anything in medication as if he didn't bounce back completely yet, it means something left unhealed. So changed 75% of the water, add some medication, and only reduced salinity from 0,3 to 0,2% to slowly free him from aquarium salt (a very Japanese method to keep fish in salt for up to 10 days consecutive).
・If possible to receive, a recommendation on swimming problems? He wasn't that unstable before and never dives until the bottom moveless. Or do I just need to give him time to recover from whatever he had?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Do you have any floating plants like Anacharis, Hornwort, etc., that he could rest on?
Wasn't sure whether to update it or not, but ... year, I used what is called "betta sleeping leaf", he didn't like it. But yesterday I did 100% change, as I was daily reducing the medicine concentration. All sales are back to normal, as well as he himself :)
Uploaded new vid of him on Google Drive.

And I have questions about dropsy again, as I have another dropsy case just next to Grizzly. That blue/red buy fully pinecones on Tuesday the 13th, and his belly was like triple times larger than his head. So I had no рзую He was on another medicine, as started showing pre-dropsy signs about a week before Grizzly, but seems like Oxolinic acid isn't strong enough. So I changed 100% and started Nitrofurazone + Sulfamelazine sodium on that guy from Tuesday. Wednesday Epsom arrived and was added. Thursday his belly lost about half in size. Friday morning belly back to normal size, and the scales started closing. Now is Tuesday, 1 week of treatment and he looks fine in general, swimming (but floaty), not so good appetite, but if I lay bloodworm on the surface, he will eventually eat 1 or 2 within the next hour.
・Is it what people mean as "help them suffer as less as possible until they die" or do I have a real chance to completely save him and provide him with 2 more years of a happy life?
Hood Beak Fin Fish Wood
Hood Beak Shade Wood Tints and shades

Video a week ago
Video of today
 
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