Betta Fish Medical Emergency

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Stephie F, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Stephie F

    Stephie FNew MemberMember

    My new male Dragon Scale Betta named Kinga is not doing well. I got him about two weeks ago from Petco. His tank had been cycled, and for the first week he did very well. Now, he is acting very sick. He has clamped fins, and is hiding under my marimo. He is breathing heavily. He still eats, but it's very worrying. He'll take it, and then spit and try and eat it again. But as he does this, his gills are spasming and white stuff comes out of them. I can't tell what in the world it is, or how to help. It doesn't have the appearance of any fish diseases I've ever heard of. After doing that, he'll go back and lie on the bottom of the tank. Please, has anyone heard of this? Can it be treated?
     
  2. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore :)

    What size tank is he in? Does it have a filter and heater? How did you cycle it and what are your water parameters - pH, temp, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?

    My guess with clamped fins and breathing heavily might be something to do with the water quality. If you can answer the above questions and maybe attach a photo if you can, we can help more.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Stephie F

    Stephie FNew MemberMember

    Thank you for your quick response, I really appreciate it! My pH is at 7.2, ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0, and and nitrate at 31 (as tested by Petco). The temp is a solid 74. The tank is a three gallon, so I don't have a heater for fear of overheating. No filter either, so I do weekly water changes of about 25%. Also, in the tank I have a marimo and anubias, which is said to help with those levels. For the cycle, I just set up the tank without fish and left it for about two weeks, doing weekly water changes. When all the levels were stable, I got Kinga and acclimated him. Since he's very recluatant to move out from the marimo, I can't take a picture. Maybe I'll try and coax him out with some food, but I'm worried about the spit gill thing.
     
  4. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Did Petco use test strips or a liquid test kit? If test strips, they are very inaccurate. I would invest in your own test kit - most of us use API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It's important to know the quality of your water especially at times like this.

    Secondly, that temp is too cold for a betta. They need it around 78F. You really do need a heater and they do sell ones for smaller tanks like yours. You also need a filter because unless you're doing daily water changes, I can only assume the ammonia is much higher and is contributing to your betta's issue. The filter will be where most of the beneficial bacteria will colonize that help process the harmful levels of ammonia and nitrite. Letting the tank run for 2 weeks without an ammonia source does not cycle a tank.

    So the next steps for you is to pick up a heater (I think Tetra sells a small 25w heater), a filter (sponge filter will be perfect for this tank size), a good water conditioner like Seachem Prime that will detoxify ammonia and nitrite up to 1ppm for 24 hrs and a bacteria supplement like Tetra SafeStart Plus or Seachem Stability that will help cycle your tank. We can go through the exact steps once you can get the test kit with accurate test results and the products mentioned.

    I would also read up on the nitrogen cycle as this is the single most important part of fishkeeping.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Stephie F

    Stephie FNew MemberMember

    They used test strips, which would explain it. I will pick up/order those things as soon as possible. Is there anything I can do for Kinga right away? I'm afraid he won't hold on much longer. Also, thank you for all your recommendations.
     
  6. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Do you have a water conditioner? I would do daily water changes of at least 50% for now. If you can't get everything right away, I would at least pick up Seachem Prime first so that it helps with the ammonia he may be exposed to.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Stephie F

    Stephie FNew MemberMember

    I'll get some right now! Thank you for all your help! I'll be sure to follow the recs you've given me
     




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