Help Betta Not Feeling Too Good (constipation, Fin Rot, Maybe Dropsy?)

sad

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I have had my betta for around 2.5 years and right now he is very ill. I have a 1 gallon tank and I do weekly 100% water changes. The temperature is 79-80 degrees. He has been floating on the top of his tank for around two weeks, and his stomache is bloated. His scales are also sticking out a little (I know this is a sign of dropsy) but I'm not sure if it is a normal amount of sticking out... since it is pretty minimal. Also, around 3 weeks ago he had this white thing stuck to the bottom of his mouth, but it fell off in two days and I havent seen the white stuff since (I wasn't sure what it was. It didn't look like mouth fungus or any of the betta fungal diseases).

I think what caused him to get sick was me not feeding him for a week. I was on vacation, so I left him at home without food for a week. I guess that when I started feeding him again, his body wasn't used to food, and thats what caused him to get constipated/sick. (I feed 2 pellets a day)

He was bloated so I thought he was constipated. I didn't feed him for around 5 days to see if he pooped, and he hasn't (I tried to feed him a pea but he would NOT eat it). Then I thought he had dropsy since I could see his scales sticking out slightly, so I added Jungle fungus clear (says on the box that it can cure dropsy) and aquarium salt (for the bloating). After 2 days of the treatment, his fins started to rot

I don't know what I should do or if I am even diagnosing his disease correctly.

BTW I know a 1 gallon tank is small for a betta fish, but he was in a 5 gallon tank with a filter for a month and he did not like it (he got anxious and the filter current was too strong).
IMG_1745.JPG
IMG_1749.JPG
 

v2424

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
wow this is really weird seeing as my betta fish as well got sick with the same symptoms. I’ve just been using bettafix everyday for about a week or two and his fins have started growing back a little(i know probably not the best treatment to use but it’s what i had). good news is my betta has recently been getting a lot better with the treatment, so maybe you can look into using something similar to bettafix to help with his fin rot and maybe his other symptoms will go away as well.
mind you i’m definitely not a fish expert, but instead someone who went through a similar problem and how i went about solving it. Sorry i couldn’t give great advice though maybe all this is happening because your betta is getting relatively old, along with the stress of you being gone on vacation.
I really hope your fish starts to feel better soon!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

sad

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
wow this is really weird seeing as my betta fish as well got sick with the same symptoms. I’ve just been using bettafix everyday for about a week or two and his fins have started growing back a little(i know probably not the best treatment to use but it’s what i had). good news is my betta has recently been getting a lot better with the treatment, so maybe you can look into using something similar to bettafix to help with his fin rot and maybe his other symptoms will go away as well.
mind you i’m definitely not a fish expert, but instead someone who went through a similar problem and how i went about solving it. Sorry i couldn’t give great advice though maybe all this is happening because your betta is getting relatively old, along with the stress of you being gone on vacation.
I really hope your fish starts to feel better soon!
No, your advice is really appreciated!! I’ll put some Betta fix into his tank to help with his fins.
 

Repolie

Well Known Member
Messages
3,546
Reaction score
2,176
Points
298
Experience
4 years
I see that you don't know about the nitrogen cycle in your profile and suggest that you research more about it. Basically all tank inhabitants produce ammonia as waste which is toxic, but you have beneficial bacteria that live in the filter to convert it to nitrites then nitrates which are less toxic and can be removed with a simple water change.

There are several things concerning about his environment. Yes a 1 gallon is too small for him, you could've made some modifications to the filter of the 5 gallon instead. The 5 gallon also has a larger water volume which mean it dilutes the waste produced making it less toxic.

It's also ill advised to do a 100% water change as that's very stressful for fish and you'd have to re-acclimate the fish back into the tank so that you don't put them into shock with a temperature or pH difference. For a tank that small, you would have to do 50% water changes daily.

I can see he has fin rot which often occurs due to poor water conditions. Do you test your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)?

A betta can easily go a week without food with no problems. Environmental conditions, stressful events, or water conditions can weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to illnesses.

His scales are raised and that is a sign of dropsy. Dropsy is a symptom of an underlying cause, most commonly a bacterial infection. It affects kidneys and liver which causes him to retain fluids and the scales to raise among other symptoms such as lethargy, clamped fins, and loss of appetite.

Treatment should be done with Kanaplex which is the most effective medication because it's easily absorbed through the skin and gills. Aquarium salt is not the right kind of salt to use for bloating, pure and unscented epsom salt is. Epsom salt baths (1TBSP/Gallon for 10-15 minutes) alongside the medication in a separate contain can help relieve some fluid retention.
 

CheshireKat

Well Known Member
Messages
1,145
Reaction score
502
Points
133
Experience
More than 10 years
I have had my betta for around 2.5 years and right now he is very ill. I have a 1 gallon tank and I do weekly 100% water changes.
Haven't even finished reading your post and I can pinpoint a problem already. Now, be prepared to potentially be suggested to get a bigger tank as 1 gallons isn't not enough space for a betta. But my bigger concern is the 100% water changes! Bettas are pretty hardy (or they used to be; nowadays they don't seem to be as much) and will survive poor conditions and treatment, but their quality of life won't be good.
Doing 100% water changes stresses fish as you have to remove them, put them in a strange place, then put them back in their tank. And what's really bad with this is that you are likely killing off good bacteria that is absolutely needed in an aquarium. And since you're doing this weekly, the good bacteria that "eats" the poisons in the water never gets a change to build up to be effective. Your fish has probably been living in poison. Assuming, of course, that you don't have a filter in it? Substrate has good bacteria growing on it too though.

Here's a video that I personally like explaining the nitrogen cycle:

....I didn't even look for replies after I read the first two sentences and what I was going to and have written was already addressed.
So. Yeah. Kanaplex and epsom salt is what you need to do.
 

jdhef

Moderator
Messages
14,196
Reaction score
3,213
Points
583
Experience
More than 10 years
Welcome to FishLore!

I seriously doubt your fish's problems were brough on by not feeding him while you were away. As mentioned, a betta really should be in a filtered, cycled, heated tank. If your doing 100% water changes, that means your are always netting him out and putting him back in. That can be pretty stressful for a fish, especially as it gets older.

best of luck!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

sad

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Ok so I have a couple questions.

It will take a couple days for the kanaplex to ship to my house, so in the meantime should I continue the Jungle fungus clear and Bettafix?

I will do the espom salt baths, but how many should I do?

I haven't fed him properly because I thought he was constipated (he has probably gotten 3 pellets in the last week and a half but has not pooped), so should how should I feed him now that I know he has dropsy?
 

ThePetPavilion

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
42
Points
28
Experience
Just started
Don't do 100% water changes, it can stress your betta, do 75% water changes at most. Try to get at least a 2.5g, and turn the filter on for an hr a few times a day if it stresses him out.
 
Last edited:

CheshireKat

Well Known Member
Messages
1,145
Reaction score
502
Points
133
Experience
More than 10 years
It will take a couple days for the kanaplex to ship to my house, so in the meantime should I continue the Jungle fungus clear and Bettafix?

I will do the espom salt baths, but how many should I do?
Um... Well, I'd probably stop if I were you, to give his body/system a rest since you'll be hitting him with another med soon.
Do 2-3 baths everyday. How long you'll need to do them depends on the affect they have and the condition. There's no real specific amount of time because dropsy varies case-to-case. You should do them at least until the Kanaplex arrives, though I'd recommend doing them in conjunction as well. How long before Kanaplex arrives?
 

LagerthaM

Valued Member
Messages
312
Reaction score
93
Points
38
Experience
4 years
Lots to cover here. A one gallon tank is way too small of a tank for a betta, its more of a torture chamber then a tank, so consider upgrading your tank before doing anything else. Also, in a tank that small you wont be able to properly medicate with kanaplex and if you cant properly medicate, you are more likely to hurt your fish then help them. For a tank you don't have to get something big and fancy, you can use a travel container for a tank if it is large enough. I am linking a tank that I currently use for one of my bettas, it costs $12 and it comes out to about 5 gallons, add a filter (you can get everything you need for a sponge filter for $20 on amazon) and a heater and you're all set.
https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/fish/fish-tank-maintenance/imagitarium-pet-keeper-for-aquarium-fish-large
As for your medications, I would stop all of them cold turkey if you are going to use kanaplex. Kanaplex is a very strong medicine so you will want to tread carefully with it (if you use it correctly you have nothing to worry about) and mixing other medicines with it is not a good idea. Instead, do large water changes between 50% and 75% daily and do an Epsom salt soak every other day while you use kanaplex.
The final thing I want to cover is how much and how often you feed. Bettas do best with multiple small feedings a day. For example, I feed my bettas twice a day and I alternate foods so they get more nutrition and variety in their diet. One day I might feed pellets in the morning and then bloodworms in the evening and then another day I might feed another brand of pellets for both feedings.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.
 

e_watson09

Well Known Member
Messages
3,323
Reaction score
331
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
First thing, tap the breaks on all the meds. Sometimes doing too many things at once can cause more problems than not treating at all. I'd try to at least get a sponge filter and a heater for him if you can't get a new tank right now. Honestly a new tank may be super stressful in the state he is in.

You can get a small sponge filter on amazon super cheap and you can get little heaters actually designed for bowls. This isn't going to be a permanent solution but it will most certainly help him out.

Once you have that I'd do daily or every other day 50% water changes. Changing less water but more frequently will do him good. Be careful when you're changing the water not to disrupt him too much.

After that I'd pick 1 treatment plan rather than mixing multiple. Too many things at once can be stressful to the fish which is already having a hard time.
 

AlpineTheBetta

Valued Member
Messages
135
Reaction score
31
Points
28
A lot of good advice.

1 gallon and 100% water change is inappropriate. Waste would have built up to stressful level in that small volume of water before a week.

Larger tank with filtration is the solution. If he did not like strobg flow, sponge filter would work. I have a betta that hates current but he loves his sponge filter and sometimes lets himself get sucked up against it and fall asleep like that.

Beyond being able to maintain 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and low nitrate, your fish need that filter bacteria as they outcompete pathogenic bacteria and makes it less likely that your betta will become ill. I saw an aquatic vet yesterday( brought a betta who jumped out of the tank because I forgot to put his lid back on and seem to be developing secondary infection) and he stressed the importance of having healthy bacteria flora in the tank, kind of like we need to have healthy bacteria flora in our gut. Ever took antibiotics and have diarrhea afterwards because the antibiotics wiped out all bacteria, good and bad?

You may ask why he did ok for 2.5 year in that setup. This is because he was young and his immune system was stronger. As he gets older he would not be able to tolerate poor husbandry.

Removing fish out of their enclosure is stressful. I have had one of my fish develop fin rot the day after I removed him ( was doing some extensive rescaping and did not want him to get hurt). All vets I have spoken with confirm that handling is stressful and can make fish get sick.

You are dealing with systemic infection. I would start with kanaplex just like othes suggest. Add aquarium salt in his main tub/ tank at 1-2 tsp per gallon to help with osmoregulation. Gradually add salt, do not dump in 2 tsp/ gallon all at once.

Feed a small amount daily. If fish is sick but still eating you should feed. Getting skinny and emaciated will not help him heal.

Last , what is making him sick may be mycobacteria ( fish TB). In that case, seeing an aquatic vet would be best. They can culture and do antibiotics cocktail treatment, and for stubborn bacteria like that it is best to get professional help.
 
Last edited:
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom