Help me diagnose my betta! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-30-2008, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Help me diagnose my betta!

My betta has been acting strange for the past 3 days or so. She just sits on the bottom, breathing really heavily. She'll swim up to the surface really quickly to get a breath, then swim down really fast and rest again. She has clamped fins most of the time. She is eating like normal and comes up to get food as usual. There is some pinkish/red on her gills and the one gill seems to have a bit of skin or something hanging off it (just a tiny loose piece). I think the pinkish/red has always been there, but I've only had her for a month. She seems a bit discolored. I want to say it's the gold dusty stuff you see with velvet, but it doesn't seem quite golden to me. It's more grayish/tan. It almost looks fuzzy, but compared to the pictures I've seen on fungus, this does not look like that. I want to get her medicine right away, but I've been trying to figure out what it is because I don't want to give her the wrong stuff and hurt her. Is there any sort of general medicine I can give her if I can't determine what her sickness is?

She's in a tank a bit smaller than 2 gallons. I don't know the ammonia or nitrate levels. I've been changing the water regularly. I only feed her what she'll eat to prevent build up of uneaten food, etc.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-30-2008, 04:25 PM
can u get a little more specific on the tank preamters like do u have a heater how often do u change the water and how much?
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-30-2008, 06:30 PM
How often are you changing the water and how much water are you changing? Are you using a water conditioner?

Poor water quality is often the prime suspect for some of these symptoms. I'd start with an immediate water change, if you haven't done so already. Since your tank is less than two gallons, I'd go ahead and change 100% of the water. Don't forget to use the water conditioner.

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-02-2008, 08:55 AM
What you are describing does sound like velvet to me. It is hard to diagnose anything without a picture, but I have read that velvet can be either a pale yellow or dusty gray color. Also fish with velvet will have rapid gill movement. Does your betta rub on surfaces in the tank? That is another sign of velvet, but they do not always do this. If it is velvet I would try coppersafe because it treats many external parasites such as those that cause ick, velvet, protozoan diseases, flukes, and anchor worms. Also, remember to keep the water pristine during treatment with regular water changes and keep stress to a minimum. I am definitely not an expert, this is just what came to mind when I read your posting. Good Luck!

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post #5 of 8 Old 05-02-2008, 05:00 PM
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your description does sound like velvet, but before you treat, your really need to find out your water parameters. A good liquid test kit is really one of the best tools a fish keeper can invest in. Water needs to be pristine for treatment, or it can cause more harm than good. Also, I'd check into the copper treatment a little more. I know that bettas are very sensitive to a lot of medications, I'm not sure they would handle copper, as that is a very powerful medication. Also, do you have anything else in the tank with your betta? Copper is fatal to inverts.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-05-2008, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I have yet to get medication because everything I read says not to medicate unless you know exactly what it is. She has gotten worse. She doesn't eat very often. She lays there and sometimes she starts to fall onto her side. She still swims up for air though. He gills are opening very wide, especially on one side. At this point I think it's safe to say it would be better to treat her with something than do nothing at all, regardless of whether I'm positive about what she has. I did a complete change of water the other day, but it stressed her out. I've been keeping it clean since then. The problem is that I'm at school and have no way to get any medication! I can get my parents to get some, but they've no clue what to get. So I called the pet store to see what they had and they were absolutely clueless about the medications. They didn't have the ones I wanted. The earliest I could get the medication is tomorrow. I fear even if I do, it will be too late. However, I want to do all I can for her. I want to get Aquari-Sol because it seems to treat many things and the symptoms of what she might have. Of course, the store doesn't carry that.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-05-2008, 04:34 PM
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Could you post a photo of your fish? If so, we may be able to help you pick the best medication, and you can have your parents order it online for you. The best general medication I'm aware of is a combination of Melafix and Pimafix. However a) bettas are very sensitive to medications and the dosing is different, I can look up the exact dosing for you b) it sounds like this illness is probably very advanced, and would require a stronger medication than these two herbal ones

Also, do you have a heater, filter, etc? Bettas really do best in temperatures of 78-82, or their immune systems become compromised. I would even jack the temp up to 84 degrees when you're treating him. Also, a good liquid test kit is just about the best thing you can own for your fish. I'd recommend picking up the API Master Test Kit (the paper strips are very inaccurate)
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-05-2008, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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I'm able to order the medication online myself, I just didn't want to wait that long. I ended up going to the store today and bought QuICK Cure. From the other things I've read, I think this will be the best chance at helping my fish. Please see the thread I made about QuICK Cure a few minutes ago. I hate to sound really stupid-I just want to do it in the best manner to help her.

It's about 84 degrees in there now. I read to turn the heat up. I used to have a filter, but it created too much water current and she was using all her strength to swim against it. I fashioned a small cup to go over the top of the filter and that cut the current dramatically, but it wouldn't stay. The filter has been out for a few weeks now, but I have been changing the water regularly. I plan to get a test kit for the water when I go home this weekend. It says it's unsafe to put medication in the water if the water levels perfect, but I have no way of knowing right now, but I just did a complete water change two days ago then a 50% one yesterday.
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