inherited betta

  1. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    Well, my sister just inherited a betta from a gal at her work who is moving. His name is Eugene. Eugene doesn't feel well, and I'm not sure exactly what the problem is. He spends most of his time between the filter and the back wall - almost like he is propping himself there. When he doesn't have that support, he sort of floats sideways. He is in (I think) a five gallon tank with a filter - no heater. There is a light on the tank. The water temp stays around 78 - 82 degrees farenheit (cooler in the evenings, warmer in the day time). He was the "office fish" for the past year and has never been super active.

    He eats teeny tiny little pellets. His previous caretaker would feed him 6-7 every night - no feeding on the weekends (since he was at the office and she was at home). My sister brought him home and feeds him 2 (sometimes 3) pellets each morning and each evening.

    He may have swim bladder issues (since he has a hard time staying vertical in the water), so we are trying to feed him peas. They sink. Before he has a chance to try to eat them. And he doesn't follow them down to eat them off the bottom. Also, he is so tiny (and his mouth is so tiny) that a piece of pea that is stuck on the end of a pin is almost too big for him.

    I suggested to my sister to mash up the peas and some fresh garlic (from my garden) and soak his pellets in the mixture. Then let the pellets dry so they will still float (when they were wet, they sank faster than the pieces of pea did). That seems to be working - the pellets soak up the pea and garlic juices, dry out and float just fine. Eugene loves them and eats them fine. Then goes back to hiding behind the filter. He still tips over when he is not supported.

    I do not have any photos of him at this point. He is at my sister's and she is having a hard time getting pictures.

    Any advice for us to try? He is a sweet little fish, and my sister keeps saying she doesn't want to have to tell her co-worker that Eugene didn't make it.
     
  2. renthus Well Known Member Member

    What kind of filter are we talking here? Power filter? Sponge filter? Is there much of a current in the tank? Is there any cover in the tank where he can get out of the current? I know I've seen bettas hide a corner or become inactive when they're in a high-current tank.
     

  3. Crissandra331 Member Member

    When I had my beta he absolutely loved frozen food, If it's not a swim bladder issue or something due to the filter, I'd consider getting him some frozen food especially blood worm, might perk him up and make him a little more active :)


    I acquired a beta that was in less than a gallon bowl, he was cramped, had somewhat of a bent body, between good water adequate swimming space and addition of frozen food he lived a pretty pleasant end, but I don't think he ever recovered from his neglect. I think the small bowl deformed him cause he straightened out a little bit but never fully, he lived in that bowl for 2 or 3 years :( It was like he was shaped to it :(
     

  4. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    The filter is a HOB - fair current, but not too strong. My sister turns it off when she feeds him. There are a couple of plants in there also.

    I'll try to see if I can get her to take some pictures.
     

  5. kittykat0725 Member Member

    Bettas need to be fasted 1-2 days a week to clear out food, they get constipated a lot. Bettas live two weeks without food so don't feel like he'll starve. Bettas also need a stable temperate, although it doesn't seem like the temp varies to much in that tank.

    Sent from my KFSOWI using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  6. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    Double checked with her on the temp in the tank. All she has at the moment is a peel and stick thermometer that sticks to the outside of the tank (she doesn't want to invest in a whole lot of equipment if the fish is not going to make it). The temp seems to be holding steady at between 80 and 85 degrees farenheit.

    He actually ate three tiny pieces of pea tonight. I told her not to feed him anything else until tomorrow night - to give the peas a chance to work. We'll see how he is tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (which is making it hard to type).
     
  7. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi Gremlin Nice to see you :)

    It won't hurt to add some garlic guard and vita-chem to the water.
    Both will help his immune system.

    Best of luck with Eugene. Hope he feels better soon!
     
  8. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    He is about the same. At least he is finally eating a bit of the pea and trying to swim a bit more. I told my sister to soak the pellets in garlic juice (had fresh garlic from the garden).

    I should be able to get some pictures this weekend when Mom and I go over.
     
  9. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    Update on Eugene the Betta. I was over to my sister's house today, so I took my camera and got a couple of pictures.

    The filter is a Whisper filter that hangs inside the tank. It seems to be working just fine. There is not much current, but it is more than Eugene can handle well. Unfortunately, I don't think it would work to block the current, and the filter does need to be kept running.

    Palm to forehead - I forgot to check the temp in the tank. Oh well.

    She has switched him completely over to a (my) home made flake. Basically, cooked pea and garlic mushed up together. Then mushed through a strainer so it is very fine. Then spread out flat and allowed to dry. This crumbles nicely and he seems to enjoy it. She is feeding him a tiny bit every other day.

    He still has a bulge. Not sure if he has pooped at all. She is gone to work all day, and the gravel in the tank is black (which makes it difficult to see much of anything). I suggested scooting the gravel all over to one side so there is a spot by the filter that is bare bottom - just to make it easier to see if there is any poop (and to make it easier to vacuum up the flakes that he misses - since they sink.

    In this one, you can kind of see where the bulge is on his side towards the back.

    004   bulge on side    .JPG


    And another of him...

    005   .JPG


    Here is a top view - you can kind of see the bulge.

    006   top view of bulge    .JPG


    And another showing his colors.

    011   .JPG



    He does not really swim around at all. He just sort of sits in the water. When the filter is on, he drifts with the current and starts to list to the side. He spends most of his time behind the filter where he is "braced" between the filter and the back wall. It's almost like it is just too much effort for him to swim. I also noticed that his fins seem to be quite ragged. There is no telling how old he is. He was bought from WalMart about 1 year ago, so he is at least 1 year old. Is there any way to tell how old he is?
     
  10. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    Here are some links to some video I took of him. He looks mostly red unless he is in the light. Then the blue really shows.

    Swimming without the filter and trying to eat a bit.

    Eugene swimming


    and the next video

    part two


    and

    part three

    In the last one, you can see how he ends up on his side.
     
  11. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Poor little guy.

    My guess is the lump is tumor or cyst.
    If he was constipated the lump would be on his underside more evenly distributed.

    Ime there isn't much you can do for that.

    Again, a guess but his age is probably closer to two since he was bought a year ago and most likely full grown when bought.

    Sorry I can't suggest anything other than what you are already doing.