Betta loosing color, lying on bottom of tank?

frostmystique

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Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 9L (I know this is too small. He has a bigger tank as well however he is currently in the small one which I was using to medicate)
How long has the tank been running? 3 years
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 25 degrees Celsius
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) One betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Once a week
How much of the water do you change? 30-50%
What do you use to treat your water? Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? The substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? AP Master Freshwater test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: 7.4

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Every day
How much do you feed your fish? Twice a day
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Tetra
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 3 years
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Two weeks ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Loss of color, lying on bottom of tank, gills seem to be working very hard (only started today), not eating as much
Have you started any treatment for the illness? I have done a weak of broad spectrum medication and soaked all ornaments in this as well
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? See above

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

Hi everyone,

About two weeks ago I noticed my Betta lying on the bottom of the tank a lot more often. He often only came up to eat every now and then and I thought he might have just been getting a bit lazy. At this point he was still eating at least once a day. He was showing no signs of illness and in fact, he was still more than capable of swimming around. *I should add here that he does have a habit of biting his fins, so they have been pretty uneven his whole life since I got him.
I decided at this point to do a water change and dose it with some broad spectrum medication. I also soaked the ornaments with it as well just in case. I then kept them separate and put them back in around last week, and he seemed to be fine however was still showing the same signs. It got to a point yesterday where he would not come up to eat his food at all, however was still capable of swimming around as normal and moving around to different locations in the tank.
Today I have come up to check on him And he seems a lot worse. He is lying on his side on the bottom of the tank. I can visibly see his gills working very hard. He has lost a lot of his color (he is normally a bright blue, as can be seen in my profile pic). He will not come up to eat. However it still appears that he can swim around.
I am just not exactly sure what to do at this point. Everything is normal, I have not changed anything at all in is routine. He has no visible changes whatsoever beside the loss of color. Is it possible that he is just getting old? *I just wanted to add as well that I have added some photos that I took of him just before. In this image next to his gills it does appear red which from the view of this photo makes it seems like he might have ammonia poisoning. However I can assure you he has had these for the entirety of his life with me (in fact when I first got him, I made an entire thread about this on here just to make sure they were just part of his natural coloring). Therefore, although in the photo it does seem like he has ammonia poisoning, I promise you he does not, ammonia levels have consistantly been 0 for the entirety of this process (you can also have a look in my profile picture (hopefully) which should show the same coloring from when he was healthy). Thanks in advance!

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FreshwaterHG

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As far as I can see I don't see a cause for disease from the tank itself. Your tank is small, but still cycled and the water parameters are good. It could be some sort of parasite or bacterial infection but its too hard to tell from the photos. Red gills may be a sign of a bacterial infection for sure but again, from the photos I cant really see much. I had a honey gourmai show similar symptoms and was advised my the fish med guy at my local fish store to treat for general bacterial infections. I used kanaplex and furan-2 in combination which will cover a wide range of bacterial illnesses. I cant say for sure if this is what you should, maybe someone else can weight in here. I will say that not swimming and not eating is not a good sign for fish and the outlook may not be great, even with treatment.
 
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frostmystique

frostmystique

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FreshwaterHG said:
As far as I can see I don't see a cause for disease from the tank itself. Your tank is small, but still cycled and the water parameters are good. It could be some sort of parasite or bacterial infection but its too hard to tell from the photos. Red gills may be a sign of a bacterial infection for sure but again, from the photos I cant really see much. I had a honey gourmai show similar symptoms and was advised my the fish med guy at my local fish store to treat for general bacterial infections. I used kanaplex and furan-2 in combination which will cover a wide range of bacterial illnesses. I cant say for sure if this is what you should, maybe someone else can weight in here. I will say that not swimming and not eating is not a good sign for fish and the outlook may not be great, even with treatment.
Hi there and thank you so much for your response! I will try and get a better photo but it’s proving to be quite difficult - he is always lying down in the most awkward corners of the tank. I will have to try again tonight.

I am not sure if I made this clear enough but I wanted to post a photo of the broad spectrum treatment I had used for two consecutive weeks (with no change). I am not sure if there are some differences in what is available here in Australia but at the time this was the only one I had available. It says on the back that it is specifically designed to target both bacterial and parasitic infections so I would have hoped that if it was any of that then it would have been knocked out by now. He had two weeks of doses of this, and then one week of normal water, if that makes sense. I’ll attach the photo below. Thanks!
 

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Kjeldsen

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The only thing that stands out to me is the age of your pet. If you've had him 3 years, he's probably about 4, which is doing pretty good.
 

FreshwaterHG

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I'm not familiar with that medication but I can say that after 2 weeks it would have shown improvement if it was working. Most medications I have used say to repeat a dose after x number of days for up to 2 weeks. It is possible it is more susceptible to sickness due to old age but old age alone wouldn't cause redness in gills.

Once I see a medication isn't working I tend to try a different active ingredient. For example I have some corys in a hospital tank right now with an external parasite. After treating with copper safe for 3 days and only seeing it get worse, I did a massive water change to remove the mediation and I'm trying metropelx next. Its possible the specific strain of infection just isnt being taken out by that active ingredient in the general medication you are using. It would be best to determine if its a parasite or bacterial then choose a more specific treatment option. Thats the best I got with my knowledge at least.
 

Utar

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I agree with Kjeldsen on the fact that your Betta is getting pretty old. I did some research on the lifespan of a Betta in captivity and everywhere I looked 2 to 5 years is the their average life span.

Edit: I wanted to ask a question isn't 25c/77f a bet on the low side for a Betta?
 

FreshwaterHG

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Utar said:
I agree with Kjeldsen on the fact that your Betta is getting pretty old. I did some research on the lifespan of a Betta in captivity and everywhere I looked 2 to 5 years is the their average life span.
While this is true, the betta is old, it does not mean that this is necessarily caused by the old age and cannot be treated. Its likely the fish got sick due to being more susceptible to disease at older ages, and I would not be surprised if it was unable to recover, but I believe OP was looking for possible treatment options. I would say red gills are an indication of some sort of infection going on and theoretically could be treated, but the outlook may not be as good given the age.
 

FreshwaterHG

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I just had a thought. What kind of filtration are you using? If the filter media you use contains carbon and it was not removed, the carbon was actively removing the medication from the water. You may not have carbon filtration or you may have removed it just it’s just an idea.
 

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