Does anyone know what's wrong with my betta? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-22-2012, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone know what's wrong with my betta?

1. Size of tank?
Was in a 21L tank, spent a few weeks in a QT, now in a 9L tank.

2. Water parameters
I don't have a test kit, but every time I've had my water tested at the pet shop, they say it's fine but the pH is slightly high.

3. Temperature?
Currently at 26oC, but was unheated before. I live in a sub-tropical climate and the heater was overheating the tank before. I got a new heater which is working better. I plan on increasing the water temp gradually over a few days.

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)?

5. How long the aquarium has been set up?
The original one was running for about 11 months before Holly got sick.

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
Holly was by himself from April to Christmas, when we added 2 platys. The platys kept chasing him, so I bought a new tank and moved them out after about 2-3 weeks. We've had Holly since April last year and the platys since Christmas Eve. We've had no health issues with any of them before this trouble started with Holly.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?
Holly went into a cycled tank when we got him. The platys weren't quarantined, but they've been fine and and Holly didnt get sick until at least 6 weeks after I took them out of his tank.

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
Yes, live plant on driftwood
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?
Had gravel, now just bare bottom to facilitate daily 100% water changes
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?
I bought a log for Holly when he got sick, as an extra hiding pace, but I realised after a few weeks it had some rough bits on it so that's gone now.

9. a. Filtration?
In the 21L tank, yes. Always on. Since he's been sick, he;s been in either a QT or now the 9L tank with no fitration but daily 100% water changes
b. Heater?
Only in winter last year. When it's 34oC here, the heater overheats the tank, even on the lowest setting. I have bought a new heater and the tank is currently stable at 26oC

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?
Just natural light coming in from the window. The tank gets a fair bit of light, but no direct sunlight.

11. a. Water change schedule?
I was doing 25% every week, as advised by the pet shop. I am now doing 100% changes daily.
b. Volume of water changed?
c. Well water, tap water, RO water?
d. Water conditioner used?
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?
Never. They told me I didn't need to bother as I had a filter. Since he's been sick, he's had a bare bottom tank and the platys are getting a weekly vacuum.

12. Foods? I started off feeding Hikari Betta pellets, but when the platys were in with him, he LOVED their flakes so I kept feeding him them. The people at the pet shop said they were fine as they were tropical fish flakes. Since he's been sick, I've been feeding him pellets twice a day (4-5 each time) and I started giving him freeze-dreid bloodworms every day at lunchtime too.
How often are they fed?

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Yes, Holly keeps getting white/silver patches on him. They are NOT fuzzy like a fungus, more like a discolouration.
b. Appearance of poop? Normal
c. Appearance of gills? White/Silver and slightly inflammed. Bubbles have recently started comig out of them when he gulps air and when he eats.

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
b. What meds were used?
Yes. Did a week in AQ salt in a QT. Started adding Stress Coat because I thought he had fin rot but it was actually his tunnel. Then moved on tri-sulphur tabs for 6 days. Then my kid had to go to hospital so nothing for nearly 3 days. He was nearly back to his full colour, but after a few missed water changes, he has gone patchy silver/white again. Started back on tri-sulphur and stress coat and daily water changes on Wednesday night.

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo 1 (1).jpg (66.8 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg photo 2 (1).jpg (66.9 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg photo 3 (1).jpg (65.4 KB, 19 views)
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-23-2012, 06:58 AM
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It's so hard to figure out what's going on with our fish sometimes isn't it??

I'm not exactly sure what's going on looking at your pictures but it is possible that he's marbling which is the color change to white and sometimes back again. A few of my bettas had that and until I knew what it was, it was freaking me out! If they carry the gene, it's perfectly normal.

Having said that, his fins are in pretty rough shape but I don't see any black or signs of rot around the edges. Are they growing back from his issue with the decoration or are they getting worse? He could have a bacterial issue in which case you'd want to lower the temperature gradually not increase it.

If it were me, I'd stop with the meds. and do daily water changes. If you haven't seen improvement with the sulphur, chances are it's not working and you could be doing more harm than good.

You are over feeding him a bit as welll. Feed him 2 or 3 pellets or flakes twice a day with no bloodworms as a snack in between. You can feed the bloodworms once or twice a week as a meal but it's a good idea to soak them in some tank water for about 5 minutes to rehydrate them before feeding.

Keep the water changes up and see if there's any improvement in a few days and then let's see where you are at that point. Good luck.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-23-2012, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

I did think maybe he was marbling, but he regained nearly all his colour in the AQ salt and I didn't think that would happen if he was marbling. His fins are getting better, not worse, but the long ones under his gills are white on the end and one is shorter than the other.

Should I put AQ salt in the water again when I stop the sulphur? Should I put the filter back in, or just keep with the daily changes?

Thank you for your help! Holly is my sons betta, but I am far more attached to him. I never thought I'd feel this way about a fish....
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-23-2012, 09:33 AM
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If you mean put charcoal back in (filter pad), then yes. It will help remove the meds that remain in your water.

Salt does not dissipate over time so if you add more salt each time you do a water change, your adding to the salinity of the water that's already in the tank. Since you've been changing 100% of the water every day, this shouldn't be a problem - just don't overdo it.

If it were me, I'd put the filter in to remove meds and just keep the water clean and conditioned with Prime (excellent choice by the way).

Give it a few days without adding anything to the tank and then see what the symptoms are at that point. Fishy could probably use a break from salt, meds, and food for right now.

His eyes look pretty clear and bright in the photos and he doesn't seem to be bloated so those are good signs.

Keep us posted on his behavior and other symptoms.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-23-2012, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I will get the filter running again today ( I had removed the whole thing as I thought the current might be too much for him, especially when his fins looked like they were disintergrating) and then just leave him alone for a bit.

Could it be a stress reaction? Holly hates water changes (I have been cupping him so I can clean the tank out really well each day), and I have been wondering if the daily changes have been stressing him out more.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-23-2012, 06:30 PM
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I never take my fish out of the tank when doing water changes. I just use a small siphon and leave enough water in there so they can still swim around a bit. Then when replacing the water, I pour it very slowly over a tank ornament or you could put a small bowl or cup in the bottom of the tank to disperse the water gently back into the tank.

Not sure how many US gallons a 9L tank is but most of my bettas are in 2.5 gallon tanks and they don't stress out at all. You just have to take your time and be somewhat gentle.

You can also divert/baffle the water flow going into the tank on the filter. Or if you're going to continue to do water changes daily, leave the filter out completely while you have him in the temporary tank.

The only reason I said to put the filter back in is to remove any residual meds. that might be in there but you're doing such large water changes you can probably just skip the filter altogether.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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