Help! My Betta Is Very Sick!

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Elissa, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. ElissaNew MemberMember

    Dear forum,

    I have had my beautiful Betta, Moana, since January of last year and she has been wonderful. The past week, though, I’ve been growing concerned. I’m very afraid I’m going to lose her! She’s been growing more and more lethargic and has almost no appetite. Her color is good with nothing showing illness on the outside other than her behavior. Normally, she is very active and will come to the front of the tank when I call and maintains a healthy appetite, but now she spends most of her time either upright or on her side on the bottom of the tank and appears to be having trouble breathing. I keep checking to make sure she isn’t gone! She will move sometimes, but when she does she swims erratically and with barrel roll motions. Looks like a swim bladder problem to me, but her stomach does not appear bloated as with constipation. For her diet, I only feed her twice a week. She has 4 pellets on Monday’s and about two dethawed frozen bloodworms + brine shrimp on Thursday’s. She is in a 3.5 gallon tank. I did a full tank change on Wednesday evening, having prepared the water on Tuesday morning and since then she has continued to get worse. I checked the water perameters and everything is at the appropriate levels. I added half a tablet of tetra’s lifeguard all in one treatment this morning. No there anything else I can do for my Moana? She looks to be in such distress and I don’t know what else to do for her! I don’t want to lose her! Please help!

  2. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    I'm so sorry to hear about your betta! Right off the bat, I'm not sure what this is, but if I could get you to answer a few questions I may be able to help more.
    Can you please give the exact ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? What's your temperature at?
    Any chance you could get a picture or two, one of both sides and one from above?
    Stay strong.

  3. ElissaNew MemberMember


    Levels shown were taken at Petsmart. I also used my own at home kit and indicated where the levels differed....
    Ammonia 0.25 (I believe risidual from doing a 100% change a few days ago)
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 0
    Hardness 150 (was 120 with my home kit)
    Chlorine 0
    Alkalinity 120
    pH 7.8 (was 7.0 with my home kit)

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2018
  4. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Do you use test strips or a liquid kit?
    Did you cycle the tank?

    I am really sorry, these things can happen when we least expect them to, but that is nature. I would suggest a few things for your improvement.

    I think there is too much gravel, if you dont penetrate into it each water change, nitrites and ammonia can be released caused by the depth. Approximately how deep is it? Usually, two inches is a good number, but this is a smaller tank with a smaller footprint, so it requires a minimal level of substrate.

    Do his scales protrude out at all?
    He looks to be weakened, but not sure why.
    I personally think you should do another water change, and avoid regular 100% water changes. I actually found that repetitive water changes which involve draining the whole tank, actually damaged my betta’s conditions.

    Can you please keep everything updated on his condition?
  5. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    I'm very sorry, but I don't currently have an answer for you...
    Did you use soap during the change? That's the only thing that I can maybe think of, and if this is the case, do a large 80-50% water change.
    Any shiny or reflective spots? Any white areas?
  6. ElissaNew MemberMember

    @Fanatic I used test strips and a liquid kit for ammonia myself at home. Petsmart used Test strips. I believe that I cycled the tank. I let the treated water sit before I changed her conditions. The gravel is about two inches thick now. Sometimes I think her scales are protruding and then other times I don’t. No one else who has seen her thinks they are. How much of a water change should I do? I will keep updating.

    @Rtessy I did do a 100% water change because she seemed ill. I never use soap, just warm to hot water to rinse everything down. I don’t notice really any change in color or spots or anything on her on the outside.
  7. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    I’d do a 50% water change, and you might want to pick up some Seachem Prime. It’ll detoxify the ammonia, and you won’t need to wait before pouring in new water.
  8. ElissaNew MemberMember

  9. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Hmm, she looks sickly, and I cannot figure out why.
    What is she being fed?

    I hate to say this, but I think she’s suffering in old age. I cannot find anything wrong with your tank, and she’s not in terrible conditions either.If she hasn’t improved in a few days, then I would euthanize :(
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2018
  10. ElissaNew MemberMember

    Im so sorry these pictures are coming out so awful. Where could I get seachem prime? Not at Petsmart or PetCo because I was just there. I’ve only seen it online. Should I use what I have and do a routine 50% change now with water treated with stress coat or should I wait until morning? Should I leave her in the cup because it’s really hard to get her out of the tank? Also, not sure she’s going to the surface to breathe. Should I leave her alone for the night and hope for the best while intending to give her a second dose of the lifeguard tomorrow morning as scheduled?
  11. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Do the water change now, but don’t take her out durning a change. You should be able to get it at the store, but I would order it online if that’s the case. Yes, do the schedule you normally do.

    Please keep me posted.
  12. _IceFyre_Well Known MemberMember

    Doing 100% water changes every day for a week or so may help her to perk up. Old age in itself is not a disease, it just increases the chances of problems occurring. It's possible that her swimbladder has been damaged by an impact or some other issue, which could potentially correct itself over time.
    I would put her back in her tank if possible, but lower the water level to 3 inches or so to make it easier for her to reach the surface.
    Best of luck!
  13. ElissaNew MemberMember

    Ok so I should treat about a gallon of tap water with my stress coat now and how long should I wait with it so the levels balance out and the temp is good? Then I’ll take a gallon out and add the new gallon to the tank with her still in it?
  14. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, don’t take fish out while you do a water change, it’s stressful for them.
    You can prepare new water and wait for the temperature to balance with the tank, but levels won’t matter unless you have ammonia in your tap.
  15. ElissaNew MemberMember

    Ok I returned her from the cup back to her tank and did a little less than a 50% water change. She’s laying on her side on the bottom now, breathing a bit heavily. I will watch during the night and add the next dose of lifeguard in the morning as scheduled. Should I continue to do daily water changes as well, or will that dilute the medicine? If I should continue to do water changes, how much?
  16. GalaWell Known MemberMember

    When you rinse the stuff down with hot water, are you rinsing the filter too?
    Have you always fed her twice a week?
  17. ElissaNew MemberMember

    @Gala yes to both questions and I change the filter regularly as well.
  18. GalaWell Known MemberMember

    That may be the issue. If you're constantly cleaning the filter with tap water or tossing it out and putting in a new one you could be losing your cycle. That might be why you see ammonia and zero for nitrites and nitrates. The 100% water change could have lost you every bit of good bacteria you had.
  19. ElissaNew MemberMember

    Do you mean the filter machine or the filter cartridge? I wash down the machine every time I clean the tank and change the cartridge every 2-3 months. That’s what they said to do when I got my tank. Is that too much?

    In between months, I set the cartridges to the side and put them back in.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2018
  20. GalaWell Known MemberMember

    Unless you're using tank water to clean the machine and cartridge with then yes, you're losing your cycle. Also, if it was a petstore that told you to switch your cartridge don't listen to them. Just rinse it in tank water every month or whenever it gets dirty, only replace it if it is falling apart.
    When you say set them aside, do you mean store them away and when you change the cartridge you put them back in? If so, the bacteria will be dead. It needs a food source (ammonia) and flowing water.
    I have a hang on back filter and it is a little gunky lol I clean the sponge inside with tank water once a month and clean the actual filter when it stops working.

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