Bettas Suddenly Getting Sick - Urgent

BenjiBear

Okay, so I really need answers/help.

On Thursday one of my male bettas, Vincent, suddenly was sick. Wednesday he had been perfectly normal, he was incredibly active as usual and ate his food with no issue, like all bettas meal time was his favourite time. Thursday he wouldnt appear until late afternoon where he lay at the bottom of the tank and didnt move for literal hours. Friday no improvement so I got worried. I had decided it could be swim bladder so very slowly and carefully moved him into a smaller 2 gallon tank using his own water (which was tested as soon as he seemed ill and came back as 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite) with added IAL tannins. I moved his heater before putting him in and let the tank get to a temp of 28C. His usual was 27C so i let him acclinate in a plastic cup for half an hour then carefully physically examined him through the cup. He wasnt bloated at all and looked to be in perfect health except he was a lot paler than usual. He had steady gill movement and it didnt seem rapid or anything. I gently tried to feed him a bloodworm as they were his favourite but he didnt even try to eat it as i held it in front of him with small tweezers. So i put him in the tank and he sank to the bottom looking absolutely pitiful, it was really hard to look at. I watched him do absolutely nothing for a bit before leaving the room to walk my dog for 20ish minutes and then came back to see him in an upright position, nose pointed up to the surface so i freaked out but didnt dare put anything near him. He obviously sensed i was there and moved, floating down to hide under the heater where he lay, still breathing. I was so worried but tried to keep my mind off it because what else could i possibly do? Around maybe 10 minutes later I couldnt help but look at him again for the 20th time and i realised his gills werent moving so i got my long tweezers and very gently gave him a nudge but no response. He had died.

So obviously im upset, ive lost 2 bettas in the past but it didnt feel like this, mainly because they were very new fish to me and both literally no joke dissapeared overnight, no body, not having jumped out of the tank just gone. Ive blamed my big male BN for that. Anyway, it was very painful and now im having more betta issues and im scared.

One of my other male bettas, Pippin, is now acting sick in the exact same way.

My main worry was that he was temporarily put in the same water from Vincent's tank. It'll only make this longer if i explain why but in short he ended up with that water in his tank. Now, at the time i just didnt think and his water was safe right so why would there be an issue? Wrong, i didnt check the nitrate. And i know, i absolutely know people will be so mad at me for this but I hadn't changed his water in a long time, like maybe months. My reason was that his tank is almost a year old so there is very established bacteria and I KNOW that isnt an excuse but also because of the fact that my fish room is hot plus the lighting right above the tanks means the water in my tanks tend to evaporate within a week or so to about the 30% mark and then i just refill the water. Lazy, maybe, but it seems to be an efficient system. However Vincent was the only one with a solid lid so he had basically almost 0 evaporation and i get it sounds pathetic but i just didnt quite realise? I honestly feel more than terrible, im now worried he died of Nitrate poisoning because a lot of his symptoms were the same as what i googled. I know i should have tested but i basically cleaned out his tank the same night because i couldnt bear to look at it and see that he wasnt there. Im literally devastated that this might be my fault.

So of course I immediately took Pippin out of that water. He was in a holding tank as he was due a new one but the parcel was returned by the delivery company for some reason but i had vaccumed the gravel in Vincents then added 90% new water and some decor because A. i didnt want all that good bacteria to completely die and B. I have a giant betta who was temporarily in a 7 gallon and he needs that 15 (i planned to swap him and Vincent anyway) so then i checked the 7 gal and all the water tests were 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5ppm nitrate so i let him acclimate then got him into that tank (it was topped up on Wednesday night anyway). But hes now lying at the bottom and wont eat and im literally so scared im gonna lose another betta.

My point of this is:
A. Could it be Nitrate poisoning?
B. How can I help Pippin?

Im sorry this is so long i really am just beside myself at this point. I feel super guilty and I know I have to do better. I should have done better, im not an ametuer at this point.

I wanna tag BigManAquatics cause I know youre a betta guru on here i hope thats okay with you

PS. i know i made another thread about white marks on Vincent but when I physically examined him they were gone
 

BigManAquatics

Shouldn't be nitrate poisoning. The dirty secret about nitrates is that some people have done experiments and let there nitrates get way like in the 200 ppm range for several days/weeks before their fish started getting sick, not at the pretty miniscule levels most people keep their tanks at in comparison.

As far as what it actually is, i am clueless. Somehow i manage to avoid disease other than occasional finrot and even less occasion, ich. So i am not necessarily as schooled up on diseases as maybe i should be.
 

BenjiBear

Shouldn't be nitrate poisoning. The dirty secret about nitrates is that some people have done experiments and let there nitrates get way like in the 200 ppm range for several days/weeks before their fish started getting sick, not at the pretty miniscule levels most people keep their tanks at in comparison.

As far as what it actually is, i am clueless. Somehow i manage to avoid disease other than occasional finrot and even less occasion, ich. So i am not necessarily as schooled up on diseases as maybe i should be.

Thats pretty crazy to be honest, I had no idea. Just that both of them exhibit symptoms listed under nitrate poisoning. Its driving me crazy that i dont know how to help him :( Thank you though!
 

BigManAquatics

Thats pretty crazy to be honest, I had no idea. Just that both of them exhibit symptoms listed under nitrate poisoning. Its driving me crazy that i dont know how to help him :( Thank you though!
Well, certainly not saying it isn't, i mean, might be lasting effects from conditions they were in at the store and shipping.
 

BenjiBear

Well, certainly not saying it isn't, i mean, might be lasting effects from conditions they were in at the store and shipping.

Never thought of that, I know my lost boy Vincent was in a bad way at the chain store i got him in, he had chewed literal inches off of his tail. Man, did he grow it back big and beautiful :(
Very good point though, it makes me hesitant to buy from chains at all you know
 

BigManAquatics

Never thought of that, I know my lost boy Vincent was in a bad way at the chain store i got him in, he had chewed literal inches off of his tail. Man, did he grow it back big and beautiful :(
Very good point though, it makes me hesitant to buy from chains at all you know
I understand that. I hesitate anyplace that has to ship even to my house as well, though at least that does cut out a middle man.
 

BenjiBear

Pippind breathing is really laboured and hes lying on the bottom still curled up and i just feel terrible. Ive put him in a half dose of meth blue bc i read that can aid breathing plus hes got his heater which im gonna put down a degree slowly from 26c bc cooler water is more oxygenated if im remembering right. He also has his sponge filter in there.

Is there really nothing i can do for him?
 

BigManAquatics

At this point, making him comfy is probably about it. I have had a couple bettas get to that point, couldn't bring them back. Usually a couple years down the line, but same thing.
 

BenjiBear

At this point, making him comfy is probably about it. I have had a couple bettas get to that point, couldn't bring them back. Usually a couple years down the line, but same thing.

Thank you, I'll do my best then. Is it better in your opinion then that i keep up with medicating him and stuff or should i just put him back into his tank with all his things etc?
 

BigManAquatics

Thank you, I'll do my best then. Is it better in your opinion then that i keep up with medicating him and stuff or should i just put him back into his tank with all his things etc?
Really don't know. Maybe the meth blue pulls off a miracle. Or maybe it speeds up the process.
 

BenjiBear

Another unfortunate note to say that Pip has sadly passed away now :(
 

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