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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. This is my first time posting here but we are hoping someone can help us with our girl, Ariel who we believe is at death's door.

Short version- Is this velvet?

Long version- Two weeks ago we bought our first fish, Ariel for our daughter's birthday. She was in a tank with 7 or 8 other female Bettas and we noticed they were all snacking on a dead tankmate. At the time, we though nothing of this but we now wonder if she became sick way back then. Her first night home we fed her 5 pellets (we now know this is too much) and she immediately became bloated. The next day she pooped but her belly hadn't gone down.

We cut down to 3-4 pellets a day the next couple of days and she continued to poop a few hours after eating but her belly wouldn't shrink. Next we tried fasting for a day which resulted in no poop and no change to her belly. The next day she ate half a pea, pooped, no change in belly. This has been our pattern for most of the two weeks. We thought maybe she was eggbound so we put her in front of a mirror for a while. She did flare at it but no eggs were dropped.

About a week ago, her poop looked a little whitish so we assumed she had parasites and ordered some Tetra Parasite Guard, 4 days ago we turned off the filter and medicated the tank. By the next morning her activity level was WAY down. She was hiding a lot when normally she is very happy to swim over and greet us and she suddenly was sleeping a ton. She has now gone through two rounds of Parasite Guard with no improvement. If anything, she is worse. The past few days all she does is sleep, sit at the bottom of the tank motionless or (more than anything else) sits at the top of the tank motionless. The only reassuring behavior I am seeing at this point is that she still has an appetite.

We've only had her two weeks but we are all heartbroken over this. She is our little buddy and we would hate to see her die. If anyone can give us any sort of guidance, we would so appreciate it! Thank you.
 

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Thanks for the detailed account of what you've done to treat her. You'll still want to fill this form out with the other info about her tank, though, please:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=612810

Personally I think her belly in the photo looks normal for a female. They just plain have bigger bellies.

As for the matter of velvet, she's a very iridescent fish, so what I see in the photo just looks like her coloring. Velvet will look like she has a dusting of shimmery rust over her scales. Iridescence is clearly part of them. Mild velvet is easy to cure with clean warm water (raise temp to at least 82 Fahrenheit) with aquarium salt added, and darkness.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for your response and sorry about not filling out the form! I was looking all over for it and couldn't find it to save my life!

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank: 2.6g
Filter: Yes
Heater: Yes
Temperature: 74-76 Deg (new heater is on it's way!)
No Air stone/aeration
No tank mates

Food:
Brands - Aqueon Betta Food and Omega One Marine Mini Pellets
Pellets only
Ate some freeze dried once but switched to non freeze dried
How often? -1x/day since giving up on fasting a few days ago

Maintenance:
Water change anytime water showed any readings above 0 (every 2-3 days).
20% water changes while healthy
50% water changes while ill.
Some substrate was vacuumed but mostly just dip out water
2-3 drops of Seachem Prime for treating new water
Water is heated before adding (boil + mix with cold tap, then treat with seachem and put into tank

Water params: (from API Master Test)
Ammonnia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6
GH/KH: Not read

If any Ammonia or Nitrates found the water is changed.

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Bloating started the first night home. More severe symptoms started 5-6 days ago.
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Bloated
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Her first week home with us, she was extremely friendly and swam happily at all tank levels. This last week, she has been the complete opposite. She hides a lot, sleeps a ton and usually sits at the top of the tank motionless when awake.
Is your Betta still eating? Slowly, but yes.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Tetra Parasite Guard (completed 2 rounds)
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not to our knowledge
How long have you owned your Betta? 2.5 weeks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am happy to hear you think she is just naturally sparkly and that her belly looks normal. I do want to attach two pictures, just so you can see why we are concerned. The first (no flash) is from the day we got her. The second was yesterday. As you can see, her belly is quite a bit bigger now but if that is normal, great!

More than anything my concern is the drastic change in behavior. I'm far from a fish expert but as a lifelong pet owner, when I see a lethargic, inactive animal, I get worried. Especially since she was nothing like this a week ago. Could I really be worrying about nothing?
 

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Someone who is more familiar with keeping females will probably be able to give you ideas on how to deal with egginess, if it could be that.

How has her poo been since all the pea treatments and parasite guard? You're right to wonder about her behavior changing. It's surprisingly easy to tell when something is "up" with your fish once you know how they should act!
 

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If you have a male betta, float her in her cup in his tank for a little bit, that will usually encourage them to drop their eggs :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you again for the responses you guys! Do you both suspect she may just be eggy then? Any idea if that would explain the change in behavior? And should I be posting somewhere else for advice specifically for female bettas?

Her poop is totally normal and about the color of her food. She is still going a few hours after eating so I would guess we can rule out constipation.

We don't have a male Betta (or any other fish for that matter). I wonder if a Youtube video of a boy might do the trick? Haha! We are going to take her gravel out tonight and see if she happens to be dropping any eggs. Maybe I'm grasping at straws here. I just really want an explanation so I know what the course of action should be. ��

Really appreciating the help!
 

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I'm not sure about a youtube video, thats unique haha XD

Uhm, I'm really not sure how else to go about encouraging her to drop her eggs. I've never had an eggbound female myself, and if they do get bloated the first thing I do is float them with one of my boys & fast. Some people give eggbound females salt baths/dips with epsom salts, but I have personally never done it because I haven't needed to.

Go ahead and try a video of a male flaring and showing off, if it works that would be pretty funny haha!

We can rule out sbd & constipation if she's pooping and swimming fine. Can you take a picture of her head on and above? She looks pretty healthy and it does appear that she is just bound up with eggs, its very common in young females. If they get really bound with eggs they can become a little strange acting because it's similar to being constipated. Just watch her, I've seen some females get really eggy and when they pass eggs they strain so hard to pass them that they end up prolapsing.

It's weird she got worse when you medicated her. For parasites I use PraziPro and my females all act fine and dandy during and after treatment. I've never used the Paraguard fizz tabs before, so not sure if it was some weird reaction to that particular medication? Usually if a fish/animal gets worse after medicating it has to do with the medication. Let me know if her appetite starts to fade, the bloating becomes worse or any other changes you notice.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is all so helpful! Thank you so much for the replies!

I have great news this morning! Ariel's new heater came yesterday and we were able to get the tank up to 80 degrees finally. She is back to her old self! Swimming quickly and happily all over, coming to greet us, eating enthusiastically, etc. The change in behavior is incredible! We are thrilled!

No change in her belly. We took the gravel out of her tank last night so we can monitor what's coming out of her. I didn't see it but my husband said it was absolutely filthy so I am sure that wasn't helping the situation. So far, no eggs at the bottom.

I tried a video of a male and she enjoyed the movie (haha!) but not surprisingly, nothing happened. I also tried a mirror again and after flaring for a minute, she decided to just hide from it. I do think we will try the epsom salts and see if we get anywhere with that.

Thank you for the PraziPro recommendation. That's good to know that her behavior while being treated wasn't typical so we will try that next time.

I did my best to get some pictures from above and head on but she is so wiggly today! Hopefully you can see what it is that you are looking for? I will say in the one from above, it's not just the angle of her body that makes it look this way, she IS a little fuller on her left side than her right.

Again, thank you thank you thank you!!
 

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She looks like a typical eggy, young female to me :) if her behavior is better with warmer water and shes eating and pooping I wouldn't worry too much. Sometimes they will just reabsorb the eggs naturally. If she hadn't perked up with the heater, that would have been a little worry some. As for now I think you're a-okay and she will be just fine.

Here are pictures of an eggy female/females I have, she has since dropped some eggs. This will help put your mind at ease
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is such a relief to see your girls looked so similar! Thank you for that.

Can I bug you with just a couple more questions? Wondering if you know about how long the eggs usually build up before they should be dropped? We are coming up on 3 weeks with that belly of hers. Also, any idea if it is better to do Epsom salt baths or just adding it to her tank?

So appreciate the help and sorry for asking so many questions! She is doing so well today that I want to make sure we keep doing things right. ��
 

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That is such a relief to see your girls looked so similar! Thank you for that.

Can I bug you with just a couple more questions? Wondering if you know about how long the eggs usually build up before they should be dropped? We are coming up on 3 weeks with that belly of hers. Also, any idea if it is better to do Epsom salt baths or just adding it to her tank?

So appreciate the help and sorry for asking so many questions! She is doing so well today that I want to make sure we keep doing things right. ��

I've had my sorority girls (the ones pictured) for about a month now, and they go through varying stages of super eggy and not super eggy. Epsom salt should only be used as a dip, there is a lot of speculation around this but epsom salt is a laxative, and you don't want your fish swimming in a laxative for long periods of time. AQ salt goes in the tank, epsom for dips.

Dips last about 20 minutes, and I would only really do one if you notice her becoming SEVERELY bloated or struggling to pass her eggs. If it got really, really bad, I would consider getting a male betta..it's also an excuse to get another fish lmao. She should be ok though, and I wouldn't worry too much for now. Like I said, if she changes let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Perfect, thank you for the info! Ha! We immediately wanted more fish after we got Ariel but figured we better make sure that we could properly care for one first. I may just consider getting a male too, especially if they can help each other out!

You've been so helpful! I will update if anything changes and hopefully I have all good news in the next few days. Thank you!
 

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Perfect, thank you for the info! Ha! We immediately wanted more fish after we got Ariel but figured we better make sure that we could properly care for one first. I may just consider getting a male too, especially if they can help each other out!

You've been so helpful! I will update if anything changes and hopefully I have all good news in the next few days. Thank you!
No problem, glad I could help :) now go relax and dream about what kind of male betta you would want LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey guys! Just wanted to come and update real quick. Ariel has been doing incredibly well since we put her new heater in! Still has her chubby belly but it doesn't seem to be getting any bigger and she is happy as can be!

We did end up getting a second tank and just chose a boy (we named him Flounder) a few days ago. He is still getting used to his home and had been very shy but we plan on trying to float her in his tank once he seems comfortable in there.

Thank you again for all the help before! We are so happy with our Ariel! She's back to her outgoing, wiggly little self! Now if we could just get Flounder to like us....
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