Is my betta old or is he sick?

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kaleen

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I have a male betta in a 5 or so gallon tank. Lots of plants and places for him to hide. Low flow, temperature stays at 77-79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0

I’ve noticed he’s laying at the bottom a lot more & he’s not as strong as he used to be. When I come to the tank he brightens right up & comes to the top but he seems to have sort of a hard time staying up & usually needs to rest at the bottom after a few seconds. I’ve had him since May so it’s been 4 months since I got him. When I got him he had some moderate fin rot which I started treating for right away. He started getting significantly better over the next month or so, so I stopped treating him (I was using BettaRevive at first then switched to Melafix). Probably a month or so after I stopped I noticed him laying near the bottom more & not being as active. Now I’ve noticed his fins look a little worse than they did before & his pectoral fins are looking a little torn too. The area around his gills also looks white. He eats just fine.

What could be the problem? Is he just old or should I start treating for something soon?

Pictures attached
 

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BettasAreSuperior

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kaleen

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bettaandcorylover said:
Do you know how old is he and can you fill out this: emergency template
I do not know how old he is.

Tank

What is the water volume of the tank?
5 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
5 months
Does it have a filter?
Yes
Does it have a heater?
Yes
What is the water temperature?
78F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
One male betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
Once a week minimum
How much of the water do you change?
25 percent
What do you use to treat your water?
Seachem Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Vacuum Substrate and wipe down the inside of the glass for algae

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
I do not quite remember but I don’t think I did
What do you use to test the water?
API Freshwater Master Test Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 8.0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Once a day
How much do you feed your fish?
2-3 small pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
New Life Spectrum Thera A
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
As treats, very rarely

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
4 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
About 2-3 weeks ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
White gills, lethargy, weakness, slowness
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Melafix and BettaRevive
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
Yes, minor case of fin rot
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
He got better and plateaued, then has very slowly been declining again.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
I’ve noticed he’s laying at the bottom a lot more & he’s not as strong as he used to be. When I come to the tank he brightens right up & comes to the top but he seems to have sort of a hard time staying up & usually needs to rest at the bottom after a few seconds. I’ve had him since May so it’s been 4 months since I got him. When I got him he had some moderate fin rotwhich I started treating for right away. He started getting significantly better over the next month or so, so I stopped treating him (I was using BettaRevive at first then switched to Melafix). Probably a month or so after I stopped I noticed him laying near the bottom more & not being as active. Now I’ve noticed his fins look a little worse than they did before & his pectoral fins are looking a little torn too. The area around his gills also looks white. He eats just fine.
 
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Mazeus

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Hi! So something is wrong with your readings. You shouldn't be getting 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. Are you shaking the heck out of bottle #2 of the nitrate test? You should be showing some nitrates.

On to the betta, he looks very sick. He looks to have popeye and pic 2 he looks really, really thin. This is more than just age (if it is age at all), the popeye suggests an infection. Can you start doing 50 % water changes each day for the next few days/weeks to see if that helps clear up the infection?

Also, how long are you leaving your lights on each day? There is quite a bit of algae on your plants, which suggests they might be be getting too much light.
 
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kaleen

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Mazeus said:
Hi! So something is wrong with your readings. You shouldn't be getting 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. Are you shaking the heck out of bottle #2 of the nitrate test? You should be showing some nitrates.

On to the betta, he looks very sick. He looks to have popeye and pic 2 he looks really, really thin. This is more than just age (if it is age at all), the popeye suggests an infection. Can you start doing 50 % water changes each day for the next few days/weeks to see if that helps clear up the infection?

Also, how long are you leaving your lights on each day? There is quite a bit of algae on your plants, which suggests they might be be getting too much light.
I’m not sure why it says 0 nitrate, but it always has. I was just thinking the plants were using it up. I shake the nitrate bottle #2 for 30 seconds very hard then I shake the actual solution in the test tube for 1 minute very hard. What could be the reason for this?

Oh no, I’ll get started on those water changes right away. Should I do just water changes or should I medicate along with that?

I usually leave them on from when I wake up at around 7:30 am to when I go to bed which is around 10 pm, but I’m having the same algae issue in my other tank so I’m limiting the light. So in turn I will do the same with this one. My room also gets a lot of sunlight so that might have something to do with it. Plus the fact that the cycle just finished if I’m correct. Can I dose with some algae fix? Or will simple water changes help with algae too?
 

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kaleen said:
Oh no, I’ll get started on those water changes right away. Should I do just water changes or should I medicate along with that?
I would do a few days of water changes first before any medication. Clean water normally clears up popeye.

Regarding your test kit, it's possible the plants are using up the nitrates, if the tank was quite heavily planted.
 
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Do you change out your filter cartridges every month as directed on the packaging? If so, then that is definitely part of the problem. Also, unless your nitrate readings are wrong, your tank is uncycled. Your tank does not have the build-up of the healthy bacteria that is needed for your fish to live.
 
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He’s looks a little stressed so I would suggest you do a water change and get rid of the meds. Then, for a couple days (maybe two), just do water changes and add IAL . In those days, you can post here to make a treatment plan and find out what’s wrong. Good luck!
 
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Mazeus

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kaleen said:
I usually leave them on from when I wake up at around 7:30 am to when I go to bed which is around 10 pm, but I’m having the same algae issue in my other tank so I’m limiting the light. So in turn I will do the same with this one. My room also gets a lot of sunlight so that might have something to do with it. Plus the fact that the cycle just finished if I’m correct. Can I dose with some algae fix? Or will simple water changes help with algae too?

Oof, just saw this. That is way too long to have lights on in the tank. I would suggest getting a timer set the lights to be on for about 8 hours each day. Get the lighting right and that should fix your algae problem.
 
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kaleen

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Hugooo said:
Do you change out your filter cartridges every month as directed on the packaging? If so, then that is definitely part of the problem. Also, unless your nitrate readings are wrong, your tank is uncycled. Your tank does not have the build-up of the healthy bacteria that is needed for your fish to live.
I don’t, I actually use a small sponge filter and I only every once in a while squeeze it out in aquarium water to get the dirt & grime out. Could that be part of the problem?
 
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kaleen said:
I don’t, I actually use a small sponge filter and I only every once in a while squeeze it out in aquarium water to get the dirt & grime out. Could that be part of the problem?
You should Squeeze it out every week. Also did you watch the video? And what meds are you using? look at my post above. Sorry if I sound like a meanie. lol
 
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bettaandcorylover said:
More meds isn’t the answer right now. Clean water and Indian almond leaves would be the best course of action. They could also add in some aquarium salt but some believe that the salt and Indian almond leaves (or.. the tannins they produce) counteract each other so They may just want to do one or the other.
 
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kaleen

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bettaandcorylover said:
Well, melafix isn't good for bettas it destroys their internal organs so no melafix, pimafix, or bettafix from api. Those are bad for bettas. For medication use api furan-2 and api fungus cure. You can find these on Amazon and here is a very helpful video please watch it.

Okay, I’ll stop using melafix. And I was actually using BettaRevive by Aquarium Solutions. And thanks for the video! It helps a lot
 
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jkkgron2 said:
More meds isn’t the answer right now. Clean water and Indian almond leaves would be the best course of action. They could also add in some aquarium salt but some believe that the salt and Indian almond leaves (or.. the tannins they produce) counteract each other so They may just want to do one or the other.
But her parameters say 0 ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. That's pretty clean. Aquarium salt tenses up the body and irritates (in a good way) so the body can be more resilient to other illnesses. I think medications and water changes are key currently. 25 percent water changes every 2 days
 
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kaleen said:
Okay, I’ll stop using melafix. And I was actually using BettaRevive by Aquarium Solutions. And thanks for the video! It helps a lot
Your welcome!
 
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kaleen

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jkkgron2 said:
More meds isn’t the answer right now. Clean water and Indian almond leaves would be the best course of action. They could also add in some aquarium salt but some believe that the salt and Indian almond leaves (or.. the tannins they produce) counteract each other so They may just want to do one or the other.
Ok, I can do an aquarium salt bath. I actually did one when I first got him and it seemed to help some.
 
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bettaandcorylover said:
But her parameters say 0 ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. That's pretty clean. Aquarium salt tenses up the body and irritates (in a good way) so the body can be more resilient to other illnesses. I think medications and water changes are key currently. 25 percent water changes every 2 days
The water changes would be best daily. Aquarium salt helps build up the slime coat and tannins are anti bacterial. Meds can be very very bad when used without a positive ID on the issue. Sometimes they can even kill if the fish is stressed out enough.

kaleen said:
Ok, I can do an aquarium salt bath. I actually did one when I first got him and it seemed to help some.
For a salt bath you might want to do epsom salt, it’s more effective than aquarium salt when used as a bath as long as it’s for a short amount of time.
 
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kaleen

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jkkgron2 said:
The water changes would be best daily. Aquarium salt helps build up the slime coat and tannins are anti bacterial. Meds can be very very bad when used without a positive ID on the issue. Sometimes they can even kill if the fish is stressed out enough.


For a salt bath you might want to do epsom salt, it’s more effective than aquarium salt when used as a bath as long as it’s for a short amount of time.
Okay that works better because I recently ran out of aquarium salt but I have some epsom salt lol.
 
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kaleen said:
Okay that works better because I recently ran out of aquarium salt but I have some epsom salt lol.
Make sure it’s pure epsom salt. I don’t know the exact dosing but it is very effective when used as a bath. Sorry I can’t give more exact details.
 
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kaleen

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jkkgron2 said:
The water changes would be best daily. Aquarium salt helps build up the slime coat and tannins are anti bacterial. Meds can be very very bad when used without a positive ID on the issue. Sometimes they can even kill if the fish is stressed out enough.


For a salt bath you might want to do epsom salt, it’s more effective than aquarium salt when used as a bath as long as it’s for a short amount of time.
How often should I do salt baths?
 
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jkkgron2

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kaleen said:
How often should I do salt baths?
I think you should do Once daily but you can do every other day if you want. I would Use tank water.
 
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BettasAreSuperior

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For the salt bath you can do pure Epsom salt. Make sure it's pure and does not have anything else in it. Keep the betta in there for 30 minutes.
 
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Hugooo

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Hi again,
See the very helpful article linked here for more information on salt baths.

kaleen said:
I don’t, I actually use a small sponge filter and I only every once in a while squeeze it out in aquarium water to get the dirt & grime out. Could that be part of the problem?
No, keep doing what you are doing, this is helpful!
 
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BettasAreSuperior

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Hugooo said:
Hi again,
See the very helpful article linked here for more information on salt baths.


No, keep doing what you are doing, this is helpful!
Hi! I agree with hugooo you should read that link he listed. ( I copied and pasted it) For the exact dosing you can do this:
1 to 3 teaspoons per 5 gallons.
(based on the severity of the situation)

linked here
 
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RayClem

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Normally, a male betta will be somewhere around a year old when you purchase it in a pet store. Because male bettas a kept in isolation for most of their lives to prevent aggression between males, it is unusual for a betta to be sick when you purchase it unless it has been kept in poor conditions in the pet store. That is certainly a possibility in some stores.

The normal lifespan of a betta in captivity is somewhere around 3-5 years, depending upon the level of care it receives. A betta kept in a fish bowl or very small tank is not likely to live that long.

High levels of water flow can be stressful for a betta if they constantly have to struggle to get out of the current. However, having too low a flow is not good either. If you lay in bed constantly, your muscles with atrophy. If a betta is kept is stagnant water, the muscles that allow it to swim will atrophy as well. The aquarium should have areas of moderate flow and areas of low flow so the betta can rest when necessary.
 
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kaleen

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jkkgron2 said:
I think you should do Once daily but you can do every other day if you want. I would Use tank water.
Today is day three of one salt bath a day for about 10 minutes, how many more days should I do them?
 
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jkkgron2

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kaleen said:
Today is day three of one salt bath a day for about 10 minutes, how many more days should I do them?
Has he been improving? Right now I would stop the baths, give him a few days break From the salt baths and continue with The daily water changes.
 
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kaleen

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jkkgron2 said:
Has he been improving? Right now I would stop the baths, give him a few days break From the salt baths and continue with The daily water changes.
He seems slightly more active but not much. Still sitting near the bottom most of the time
 
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