Cannot Diagnose Betta Illness -- Side By Side Photo Attached

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by claud1a, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. claud1aNew MemberMember

    I have a double tail male betta that is 2 years old. We go him 2 summers ago and he grew quite a bit since we got him so he couldn't have been too old when we brought him home. He is in a 4 gallon tank with a filter and a heater set at 78-80F, ate normally and was a happy fishie. 2 weeks ago he stopped eating completely, lost his color and is laying around. Please see the side by side photo attached. Left is from last December and right is from today. I've checked the water's ammonia and all other levels with the 5 in 1 strip --all is normal and ideal. He can't go on much longer without food. I don't want to treat with random antibiotics and such if I don't know what the problem is.
    Does anyone see anything unusual in the photo? Please help. We love him.

    Attached Files:

  2. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Aw, poor guy.

    I'm sorry to say that from the looks of it. Your poor guy might not live much longer, I know its sad to say, but. He might eventually die here soon. He doesn't have any illnesses, which means theres nothing to do to cure him.

    My exact betta went through this problem, he wouldn't eat and went for 13 days without eating anything at all. He died on Feb 8th.

    I'm so sorry about your beloved boy.

  3. andychrissytankValued MemberMember

    what have you been feeding him
    and when he doesn't eat do you leave the food in there

  4. claud1aNew MemberMember

    Thank you Fanatic.... I am so sad. This is my daughter's fish but I have taken care of him from the beginning and he has been my little kitchen companion. I am sorry for your loss.... Who knew I could love a fish this much? :)
  5. AsterWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry to hear that he's not doing so well :(

    What are the exact numbers you got for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? Strips are notoriously inaccurate, but they may be able to provide some info. I'd recommend the API Master Test Kit for in the future.

    What's your water change schedule?

    Your profile says you don't know the nitrogen cycle, I'd read up on that as well.
  6. claud1aNew MemberMember

    I had been feeding him pre-soaked pellets. When he had swim bladder long ago I tried giving him a piece of frozen pea but he wouldn't take it. He also never liked flakes. He also doesn't like bloodworms. Only pellets.
    I haven't removed them because they sink into the rocks below, and now I am afraid to change the water. (it's been 10 days since I changed the water... I have added Easy Balance a few times to regulate). He won't come up for food and even if it falls on him he just lets it sit on him.

    I have since educated myself a bit on the nitrogen cycle. Levels are:
    ammonia and nitrite 0 ppm
    nitrate 10 ppm

    Water change schedule is about 20% every 5 days. I've been doing that for almost 2 years and it's been going well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2017
  7. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Alright, levels are fine.

    Mine did the same thing. When I placed food into the water, I floated it near him, and he would get off the bottom, and let the food sit on him, just like you stated.
  8. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to the forum :)

    How were his fins looking before he started acting this way? I can't see them from the pic.

    Does he come up for air frequently? Can you get a pic of him when he does so we can see his fins.

    He does look really thin but if he hasn't eaten in two weeks then that would explain that.

    You should still be doing water changes and gravel vacs even with a sick betta. In fact even more with a sick betta. I'd do a 50% water change today and another one in a couple of days.

    I wouldn't assume so fast that he is not sick with an illness. Do you have any aquarium salt or medications on hand?
  9. CycerathValued MemberMember

    breaks my heart seeing a betta fish like this :bigtears:

    i tend to use aquarium salt.

    i've heard some people use indian almond leaves, they say it's anti-bacterial/anti-fungal, boosts immune system. maybe someone can verify this?
  10. NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    External meds, like salt or almond leaves (they do opposite things, so don't combine them) are not going to help here, I'm afraid. They make us feel like we are doing something, but this fish has an internal problem.
    The same with water testing - it is busy work here when the problems are clearly not water quality. You are doing everything right.
    You can see how his body is collapsing in. It is probably some sort of internal growth or cyst, and it is pressing or blocking his digestive system. To be safe, don't put your hands in if you have open cuts, in case it is Mycobacter. That can do all of the above, and create minor problems for us in very rare cases if we have open wounds.
    Whether it is a cyst or a tumour, there is nothing to be done, sadly. I wish I could offer better advice. Chances are the problem started when he had problems with the swim bladder, and you got him through that. The problem appears to have spread or grown since.
  11. BuganjimoWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with all of the above but... he might be just getting old. (I know cats and fish are a little different butttt) when my cat was getting really old and soon died he just got lathargic and sad looking, this might be the same. Sometimes petstore bettas don't live as long because of the way they were treated when they were young. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but make them comfortable for their last few days. If it keeps going on with nothing you can do and he looks like he is struggling you may want to consider putting him down. It's sad but he will go to a betta place (het ny pun? Ok not the time...) although if you start to see improvement I wouldn't put him down until you know for sure he can't get better.

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