Help I Think My Betta Is Dying. What Do I Do Next?

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bettafish247

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Well, I last made the drive not too long ago (end of April, I think).


I think the hospital tank is better. I don't think kanamycin sulfate will reduce oxygen levels that much. Add an airstone to the lowest part of the tank.

The correct dosage for 5.5 gallons is 3,300 mg of Kanaplex.
I do have an airstone going for him. Though how much does that really aerate the water? Are these little bubbles that helpful? And I don't want to turn up the air flow too hard and disturb him. Also, I have the filter going just to help the water flow, with a teeny waterfall, but there's no cartridge in it.
 
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bettafish247

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Is the tank he's in cycled? Have you tried natural remedies like almond leaves? or other botanical extracts? That worked wonders for my betta. What kind of water conditioner do you use? If it has added slime coat then that could me making it worse?
Yes it's cycled. Has been for months. I had almond leaves in there and then switched to mopani wood so he'd have more tannins and the other benefits of that in his tank at all times. I use Seachem Prime and API Quickstart conditioner. And Kordon Fish Protector for his slime coat. He's had these things all along and unfortunately are not aiding in fighting his infection
 

AvalancheDave

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I do have an airstone going for him. Though how much does that really aerate the water? Are these little bubbles that helpful? And I don't want to turn up the air flow too hard and disturb him. Also, I have the filter going just to help the water flow, with a teeny waterfall, but there's no cartridge in it.
They can be pretty effective if the bubbles are fine and the water isn't too shallow. I have a dissolved oxygen meter so I'm able to observe these things.
 

LHanna61

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Yes it's cycled. Has been for months. I had almond leaves in there and then switched to mopani wood so he'd have more tannins and the other benefits of that in his tank at all times. I use Seachem Prime and API Quickstart conditioner. And Kordon Fish Protector for his slime coat. He's had these things all along and unfortunately are not aiding in fighting his infection
Sorry for all the stupid questions, just trying to get a better understanding. More thinking out-loud.
In your previous post, you said the tank is 4 degrees cooler (?) then room temp? so that would make it 68? but your profile says it runs at 80? Do you have an additional thermometer or just the heater readings?

Additionally, I'm worried that if you only use filter cartridges, you're constantly breaking your cycle by removing all of that beneficial bacteria. How much water are you changing?

I would 100% put filter media back in the HOB. No need for the charcoal.

When did you last test the water? do you test both before and after WCs?
 

AlpineTheBetta

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In your situation it is safer to just water change and not count on bio filtration unless you can test ammonia and nitrite every day. And after all with sick fish more waterchange help. While I am not a water change fanatic I have to say pristine water is good, as long as you don't overdo it.

In addition if you had real filter media in filter ( not just the cartridge, those are pretty useless ) heavily medicating or turning it off for days or hours at a time wiuld cause them to die off. If you have dead bacteria in your filter and turn it back on, all that dead bodies ( lol) pretty much create ammonia and foul the water faster. Been there, done that. No good.

If he has no proble reaching the surface I would let him go free and wedge himself against whatever. Comfortable= less stress= better chance of recovery. To feed him, you can put food on a stick and drop it in front of his face. If he is interested he will eye it and try to eat it. I have a betta I am trying to fix now ( free from big box store because he was very sick) that has lingering swim bladder issue and he would grab pellet off the stick or the tip of the spoon.


Aeration using an airstone while adjusting the flow so he does not get tossed around is good enough. Speaking of med depleting oxygen, per your situation it is only precautionary because you are not using a cocktail of 4-5 different meds at high dose so at this point I think oxygen wise Obie will be fine as long as you aerate the water with an airstone or two and keep the flow low and gentle.


I would not euthanize an animal if there are still other options.
Clove oil may not really be the least painful way to go. I heard of some betta struggling and appearing to be in pain. If I am going to euthanize I would obtain MS-222 tricaine which is anesthesia veterinarians use. It had to be buffered because used by itself it is acidic and that would be a painful way to go if not buffered properly.

So according to my experience and @AvalancheDave 's going to the vet is really not that big a deal. He would possibly be ok and I think you should give it a try. I remember driving three hours to take my fish to the vet the first time, and it took me a while to get over thinking that it would stress the fish out too much. There are some fish that would freak out and hurt themselves, but most of them are going to be ok!!! Really! I promise you my bettas were so relaxed that I realized the only person stressing out was me!!! Just make sure the temperature does not fluctuate and wrap the towel around his tub to keep it dark or dark-ish. The office can be cold, so bring your heater along too. Make sure there is a thermometer strip on the tub and the tub is at least 2 gallon so you dont cook your fish. ( i have used 50 w adjustable heater for 2 gallon tub for fish when taking the to the vet and worked ok)


If Obie is really sick I would caution you against dosing 3300mg in 5g? I had a fish that was in better shape than him that was starting to act really off at 60mg/ gal.( that is 60 mg of active ingredient, not 60 mg of kanaplex since seachem added a lot of excipient to it). My aquatic vet mentioned that the upper limit in the textbooks which is 400mg/ gal is really really aggressive and I don't think Obie will tolerate that right now.

One predicament when medicating a really sick fish is ...that chemical treatment ( medicine) is stressful for them. Finding the right balance where the medicine would cure the fish but not stress them out so much that it kills the fish can be difficult. If high dose it causing Obie to act worse ( such as going sideway or losing appetite) you may have to decrease the dosage. ( I know you probably think I am nuts for telling you to increase the dosage, then a couple days later tell you to possibly consider decreasing it. One aquatic vet said it best when it comes to figuring out how to fix critters -- " do the best you can to figure out the right dosage and listen to the fish and make adjustments accordingly" Another drug that might be worth trying is ciprofloxacin.What could work and is gentler on the fish is sulfamethoxazole- trimethoprim ( Thomaslab fish sulfa forte).



In all I think you should take him to see the vet. He is in rough shape and as much experience as all of us here have and as much as we try to help youm a competent aquatic vet would be able to make better calls. Sometimes I have seen them turn fish that look like they would be dead for sure,around. Good ones can do a lot! I myself have once managed to cure a cory cat my husband was sure would be dead ( fuzzy inflames mouth, not eating, not moving, no fins left). The little guy did not give up, nor did I give up on him. Fish can be more resilient than we think they are....just give them a chance and trust that he is tough enough to survive the trip to the vet because he will!!!I know you are trying, and really feels good to see someone who cares about their pet.

One last thing
Sick fish can find osmoregulation to be a lot of work.. they tend to "drink" too much water as in having a hard time maintaining that osmotic balance because their blood has higher salt concentration than the surrounding water and getting rid of that water that keep trying to make its way through the body is a lot of work. i suggest some aquarium salt, up to 2 teaspoon a gallon, increase the salt content very slowly,....0.5 teaspoon a gallon per day only.
 
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bettafish247

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Hi everyone. Sad news about Obie. He passed away sometime during the night. Never even had the chance to euthanize with clove oil, but I think it was for the best anyway. I made him as comfortable as I could and it was his time. I laid him to rest today. Thank you for your help and concern.
 

juniperlea

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My fish is dying and I need to talk to a vet with expertise in fish. After trying and discussing EVERYTHING, I think a fish vet is now my last resort. I need a vet to tell me what to do with the little that remains of the rest of his life, or maybe provide an unlikely but possible diagnosis and the right treatment. My betta has an unidentified illness (I've tried endlessly to diagnose it with others on other threads here on Fishlore) and I don't even know if he's suffering or not. He looks awful with a rapidly spreading white growth. He's listless, now half blind and lost interest in eating. I need to know when, and if, and how I should euthanize him. Transporting him in his condition is not possible. Anyone know a vet I can do a live chat with or at least speak over the phone? Thank you.View attachment 587072
I'm only about 3 months into this hobby. But, I had to recently euthanize a female betta. She had severe dropsy when I bought her and I didn't know what what that was. When, or if, you decide to euthanize your fish, please be careful about the dosage of clove oil. I read that if the fish was under 4 inches, 4 drops would be good, because more would make them freak out. So, I used 4 drops for her and she freaked out, because she was only about 2 inches max. Just be careful. I ran out of the room when I saw her freak out. What a coward. I couldn't take the drops out though. But, she did go into the 'sleep' stage after about 5 minutes. Best wishes to both of you.
 
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bettafish247

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I'm only about 3 months into this hobby. But, I had to recently euthanize a female betta. She had severe dropsy when I bought her and I didn't know what what that was. When, or if, you decide to euthanize your fish, please be careful about the dosage of clove oil. I read that if the fish was under 4 inches, 4 drops would be good, because more would make them freak out. So, I used 4 drops for her and she freaked out, because she was only about 2 inches max. Just be careful. I ran out of the room when I saw her freak out. What a coward. I couldn't take the drops out though. But, she did go into the 'sleep' stage after about 5 minutes. Best wishes to both of you.
I'm sorry you had to go through that experience. It's awfully sad. My clove oil didn't arrive in time so I never had the chance to use it. My betta died naturally and I suppose it was for the best. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it
 
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bettafish247

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Since my betta is gone now, I figure I should close this thread. But I don't know how to do that. Anyone know how? Thanks
 
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