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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first post to this forum, but I have been reading it since we got our betta fish August of 2012. We didn't know it when we bought him that he was very sick, and we have been through almost every parasite, fungus, bacterial infection there is. Through reading here he has lived a very happy life for 1 1/2 years. However he is very sick now. He has been swollen for about a month and I think he was being overfed. We have since stopped feeding him as much, and he seemed to get better, although the swelling never completely went away. The last few day he has been laying at the bottom of the tank, very swollen, has labored breathing, and now is losing scales. I have given him 1 epsom salt bath, but then I was concerned it was too stressful for him. The last two days I have been putting maracyn oxy in the tank, with no results. He is getting worse. Tonight, I started tetracycline because it dawned on me the swelling may be a bacterial infection (It's the only antibiotic I have and we are snowed/iced in here in the South!). I would like advice if there is something I am missing. I have left him in his 10 gal tank and turned the filter off. Thanks in advance! Sorry to make this so long. :oops:
Housing tank
What size is your tank?10 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? omega flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? last month- 1 flake

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? avg. of every other week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime and aquarium salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I use Mardel 5 in 1 test

Ammonia:safe
Nitrate:safe
pH: ideal range
Hardness:moderate
Alkalinity: ideal range

Symptoms and Treatment swollen belly (no coning), labored breathing, losing scales
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? starting to lose scales
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? laying at bottom of tank several days, labored breathing.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? swollen-1 month, others symptoms last couple of days
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? maracyn oxy 2 days, tetracycline today
Does your fish have any history of being ill? has had illnesses off and on
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1 1/2 years
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forgot to mention

I forgot to mention on the picture you can see a couple of red spots where the scales are coming off. His top fin has always been deformed since we got him, so that is not part of the current problem. Thanks!
 

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Your boy may be suffering from a few things, I'll try and do a breakdown=

Losing scales is a sign of either itching (they hit themselves on things) or something internal thats letting it fall out.
On his side is particularly worrying because this means he is too tired to remain upright, fish hate being on their side if they can help it.
Swelling can be the product of several things, GIT upsets, bacterial infections or parasites.

May I ask what waste he is passing?
What you can do right away is to add epsom salt to his tank- it is safe enough to use full time and will hopefully cleanse his organs a little and make it easier- if you see him struggling to get up for air you should either lower his water or net him up in a breeders net on the side of the tank to keep him near the top and still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I don't think he is elliminating. The pictures don't show how swollen his sides are. I cleaned the tank yesterday and didn't see any (of course I have gravel so it's hard to tell. Thank you for the information on epsom salt. I thought I could only do it for 20 minutes, and I think it would stress him to move to a smaller sick tank at this point. How much epsom salt do you recommend for a 10 gallon tank? He also can't get to the top so I will make the adjustments to get him close to the top. Thank you!
 

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I use 3 tablespoons per 2 gallons when treating mine, I feel you can go stronger than that but i am always worrying about overdosing.
The salt rules mostly apply to AQ salt and even that you can add for short periods of time- the bath method is mostly used for really strong levels of AQ salt. Good to see you being so careful though.

if he has a swelly belly and it doesnt respond to treatment it will be time to up the treatments. Constipation is always the first concern, hence my waste question and others are an infection in their GIT or a parasite.
Parasites are easier to spot- the waste the fish passes is clear or white and despite eating they lose weight. Constipation is a case of being vigilant and searching for waste. in that case the epsom salt will help because its a natural laxative.
Infections is the worst of the three and can lead to his internal upsets and missing scales/lethargy. You have used a number of antibiotics though so for now possibly best to give his system a rest and work on the softer illnesses first. Too many drugs can be as bad as none at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just added epsom salt to the tank and put him up high on his betta leaf he loves. I just started the tetracycline today, so it sounds like I shouldn't give him any more and just see if the epsom salt works? Thanks so much for the advice!
 

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if you have started the tetra keep using it- stopping and starting isnt very safe with antibiotics. I was working on the assumption you habdt started anything new is all. heres hoping the tetra kicks it!
Also epsom can be paired with many things so you can double up if you like or leave it for when the tetra runs its course.
My fingers are crossed for you both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the clarification. Since I already added the epsom, I will just leave it and keep giving him the tetra. This has been going on a month (that he has been swollen) and I have fasted him and fed him peas, so I am starting to think it is bacterial. I have helped this little guy through alot since he was not well when we got him. It's amazing he has made it a year and a half. I really appreciate the advice! I will watch for ellimination and try to update.
 
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