Betta Died--strange Thing Happened With His Scales? Question

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by ohdearcheesus, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. ohdearcheesusNew MemberMember

    So, a couple weeks ago, my Betta was pineconing slightly and was bloated. I did daily Epsom salt baths for around a week and his pineconing went down! He seemed better for a bit, more active and actually interested in food and stuff. But then, he went really pale and was hanging around mostly at the bottom of his tank, but I still got him to eat a couple pellets here and there.

    Yesterday, I got him to eat a brine shrimp and then that night, I noticed he was bloated and pineconing slightly again. I immediately did another Epsom salt bath for him. Today, he still wasn't looking great. I had to go to work and I just got home to find him dead. :c

    Now, there's obviously not anything I can do for him now, but I did notice something strange that I wanted to see if anyone else has any experience with. Behind his pectoral fins and tummy, there's about a quarter inch of scales that looks really strange. The rest of his scales seem to be raised still, but those look flat and darker than the rest. It goes all the way around his body in that same quarter-to-half inch section. What would have caused this? Or is it just some strange thing that happens when fish die? I've never really noticed it happen before in my experiences.

    His only tankmates at the moment are snails--a small horned nerite snail, maybe a couple pond snails, and a teeny tiny ramshorn somewhere that came in on a plant.

    Last check (which was the other day), my parameters were:
    ammonia: 0
    nitrites: 0
    nitrates: somewhere between 20 and 40 ppm? they'd been higher than that before the last water change I did

  2. skllkdNew MemberMember

    Hey - to the sound of it, it seems like your Betta had dropsy - not a disease but more the result of an underlying problem (bacterial, parasitic infection, intestinal problem). I feel like most of the time dropsy and pinecone scales happen when overfeeding - were you giving him the right amount of pellets and other food? Did you try and give him so mushed pea for bloating? I’m sorry your Betta’s gone.
  3. ohdearcheesusNew MemberMember

    We’d give him 2 to 3 pellets each time we fed him. I originally had him on the Tetra Betta pellets, but got him Omega One recently to give him something better quality. He ate them for a while but around when he was having issues the first time, it was hard to get anything in him. I got him some frozen bribe shrimp and was feeding him a couple of them at his feedings and still trying the pellets in between.

    I also got him the New Life Spectrum Betta pellets and he was giving me trouble with those, too, even after soaking them in aquarium water or in Garlic Guard. I did try giving him part of a pea when he was bloated the first time, but he wouldn’t touch it. The bloating did go down after doing the Epsom salt baths for a few days and his scales went back to normal as well that first time. I got Kanaplex for him but didn’t end up medicating him with it since he’d seemingly gone back to normal.

    He was alright for a while (at least a week) and then suddenly started going downhill again. He was pale and hiding and I couldn’t get him to really eat the pellets except for a couple smaller pieces. He finally ate a brine shrimp (I think, at least) yesterday when I tried. Then suddenly his stomach was bloated and he was pineconing again.

    I upgraded his tank to a 20 gallon the middle of last month and I’ve been having trouble keeping fish in it since.
  4. Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    I’m so sorry you lost your Betta.
    Dropsy (pineconing) is a symptom. The epsom salt helped with that. I would have used the Kanaplex but I’ve had experience with dropsy. If this happens to you again, be careful how much you feed. Though bacterial infections can still happen without over feeding. Be careful switching food brands during the illness. You were doing well before “upgrading” right? I’m asking because I recently upgraded my flake food to New Life Spectrum. My water became instantly cloudy. Better today. Been doing 25% wc/day four days now.
  5. ohdearcheesusNew MemberMember

    Thank you.

    I was only giving him 2 or 3 pellets a day and I changed his food before he was showing any signs of illness. He was still in his 10 gallon when I changed foods and it was a week or two after that I did the tank upgrade. I made sure I did research before I changed tanks and have been using my old filter and media alongside the new one, as well as dosed Stability as instructed on the bottle.

    I’ve tried adding a couple otos and some shrimp since the tank change and nothing has survived. I didn’t quarantine anything like I know is recommended, but I don’t currently have the space to run two tanks. They all seemed okay up until I found them dead in the tank, but I’m wondering if the Betta may have caught something from them.
  6. Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    It’s possible they brought something into the tank. And we’ve all been guilty of not doing proper quarantine. And sometimes after weeks in qt, they pop up with something as soon as you add to the cycled tank. You just do all you can do and hope. I’ve got a microscope but can’t use it anymore. My vet does when he comes out. My heart goes out to you. :(
  7. ohdearcheesusNew MemberMember

    It could’ve been a number of things, I suppose. It’s funny because up until this year, the way I was handling my tank was not the right way at all, really, and since I started doing more research and trying to do it the “right way,” the fish have been giving me problems all over.

    And thank you! I appreciate it ❤️

    Quick question, also—will the couple snails in the tank (and the dead plant matter, since I’ve got live plants?) be enough to keep the cycle going at all on their own or will I need more than that? I’m worried about trying to get any other fish right now since everything keeps dying.
  8. Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Keep checking your parameters. You may need to add a little food occasionally. The snails will eat it too. Take your time. There are always fish out there needing rescued. Keep up with PWC. Best wishes.
    And we’re here. :)
  9. ohdearcheesusNew MemberMember

    Thanks so much! I’ll definitely keep up with it. I’m going to keep doing my research for things and get my tank set up closer to how I want it and everything.

    We’re going to be moving soon, so I think as much as I want to get more fish in the tank asap, I’ll probably hold off until after that. That’ll take unnecessary stress off the fish!
  10. Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    And you! Much easier to keep snails happy during a move. And please check out the aquarium forum tab. Look at aquarium builds to get great ideas. Check out the fish diseases section. Everything you could ever ask is there. I’m still listening to posts in there. Not all great but most are.

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