Lava is sick again... still...

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Phloxface

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I just don't know what's wrong with my poor boy! He seemed to be getting better and then he started getting worse again. He's tipping over to one side and having a lot of trouble swimming. He seems to really dislike floating sideways at the top and has found a spot in the back of the Hex tank wedging himself between the filter and side of tank. This seems to keep him upright. He has moments of activity and still has a good appetite but otherwise seems listless, depressed and sick. His belly is a little bloated and he seems slightly wider around the abdomen when I look at him from the top than he usually was. Those lumps near the back of his body are still there too. I'm so worried about him. Maybe I shouldn't have discontinued his meds after just one round. Maybe the bacteria wasn't completely killed and came back. I just hope it's not immune to Maracyn-Two now. I did a water change today and have started him on a combination of Maracyn and Maracyn-Two. I wanted to use Coppersafe too in case it's parasites but wasn't sure if I can use all three at once. It might be too much for his sick little body to handle. I put a Vitamin Pyramid in his tank which disolves slowly and gives him extra vitamins. I figure he can use all the help he can get now. If this course of treatment doesn't help I may move on to medicated food. I saw some gel-based penicillin at the lfs which I could try next weekend. Not sure how to use gel-based food... Anyone know? Maybe you soak the pellet in the gel or something? 
I just hope this isn't the early signs of dropsy.  His scales are not sticking out right now. His eyes do seem a bit more popped out than usual. It's hard to tell. They seem cloudy and he looks sick and in some pain or distress. I'm feeding him VERY little and he gets pea every day which he LOVES.
His ammonia level seems to be under control now so that helps a little. I used Prime water conditioner to remove the ammonia.
Prayers for my boy would be appreciated... 
 

lisa987

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Ahh, I'm so sorry that Lava is struggling. I will be praying for you both.
 

COBettaCouple

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I was going to say check but I see your post there so I know you have.

We lost our Mario last week to Dropsy but he had different symptoms than Lava and he was gone within a day so I don't know if Lava might have it or something totally different. I wish I'd had the sense to really check here a lot sooner - maybe we'd still have Mario then.

I hope whatever it is gets knocked out with Lava's current meds and he's back to being himself soon. We'll pray he recovers soon and this experience will turn into the joy of having a healthy Betta back.
 

cherryrose

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Poor Lava. I am so sorry that he hasn't made a complete recovery yet. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

CherryRose
 

nmwierman1977

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I am praying for both you and Lava Phloxface. Natalie
 

poefox

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He might have the popeye parasite...if his eyes are truly a bit extended then I'd consider putting him back on the antibiotics perhaps. Prayers that Lava will recover along with your help are coming to you from me.
 
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Phloxface

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He's a little less tippy today. He's floating on the top of the tank at the front now, totally upright. He's still not that active. Every once in a while he darts around and goes downward in an awkward manner. I'm starting to suspect he may have parasites because of his weird swimming behaviour. There is nothing for him to scratch himself against at the top of the tank so maybe he is trying to reach bottom to scratch himself? His gills look like they are more open than usual as if they are irritated. I started him on Maracyn AND Maracyn-Two yesterday and have decided to add the Coppersafe to his tank as well to take care of any parasites. Hopefully that will do it.  I've kept his tank light off in case it is Velvet. When I shine a flashlight on him he has shiny gold flecks all around his chin and gills. It looks like actual gold, really shiny. It doesn't look like powder though, they are spots about the size of scales. I don't know if this is Velvet or just his coloring. I always thought Velvet was more of a fine yellow matte dust... Has anyone here had a fish with Velvet that could tell me what to look for?
 

antisen

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I think I learned the hard way that what you're seeing probably isn't velvet. Dory had the same thing and I medicated him in the dark for a month before realizing it just didn't go away and was therefore supposed to be there. So I wouldn't worry about velvet.

Sorry if this is obvious, but did you do a good water change before starting medications? The one time I have seen a betta like that was when I gave Dory a bad water change (either too much chlorine or soap residue, I'm still not sure). So maybe it's something in the water, not necessarily a bacteria?
 
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Phloxface

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I've done 4 water changes in the past four days.  Each time I changed 2 gallons of his 5 gallon tank. Even though I started his antibiotics yesterday, I decided to start Coppersafe today so I did another large water change, removed all his live plants (because Coppersafe kills plants) and vacummed his tank thoroughly to remove any possible bugs hiding in the gravel. I added more Maracyn and the Coppersafe.  I always add water conditioner to his water BEFORE adding to his tank and never wash anything used for fish with soap.  I usually use NovAqua+ as water conditioner because it has extra vitamins and anti-virus protection. I also added a little Prime as well this time to help keep the ammonia and nitrites down since I can't do any water changes for a few days (unless I see a problem then I have to). Normally I use Prime only for emergencies such as high ammonia or times when you can't do water changes for awhile. It's heavy duty stuff and a good thing to have around for those times.  NovAqua+ is excellent as a regular conditioner.
You're probably right that he doesn't have Velvet, but he does have SOME kid of parasite. His gills are really irritated. The Coppersafe should help him. I'm keeping his light off most of the time to reduce stress but he's not in complete darkness. His temp is at 84F. I hoping he'll feel more comfortable soon. It must be terribly stressful to be so itchy and not be able to scratch!
He's swimming around a little and has a good appetite so that's a good sign so far. I've got to get this boy completely well soon!
 

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I hope and pray it will be so. You are probably doing the right thing, so I encourage you to continue.
 

chickadee

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Our prayers are with you. You are doing the best you can do for him.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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Still no improvement. He seems worse this morning. He's really swollen around the back where his kidney and swim bladder is. He's having a very hard time staying upright and is floating on his side most of the time. He can straighten himself out but only for short periods. It seems to cause him pain.    He's on his last day of the Maracyn. I'm going to do a water change this evening and maybe add a little salt (only 2 teaspoons per 5 gallons) to his water. I don't know what else to do. Antibiotics don't seem to be helping. Maybe the salt can get some of the swelling down. I'm going to give him a couple days break from the meds and if he still isn't better maybe try a different antibiotic. I wish I could find some Kanamycin. It's a very strong antibiotic. I think one of the lfs here have it but only in a gel food variety. I'm not sure how to give it to him. Maybe soak his pellets in it? If I can't get the Kanamycin I'll try Tetracycline and see if that helps.
Watching him struggle just to straighten himself out to eat his food is really sad. He spends most of his time wedged between the filter and side of tank. It's the only way he can stay upright and sleep without floating sideways. 
 

COBettaCouple

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Phloxface said:
Still no improvement. He seems worse this morning. He's really swollen around the back where his kidney and swim bladder is. He's having a very hard time staying upright and is floating on his side most of the time. He can straighten himself out but only for short periods. It seems to cause him pain. He's on his last day of the Maracyn. I'm going to do a water change this evening and maybe add a little salt (only 2 teaspoons per 5 gallons) to his water. I don't know what else to do. Antibiotics don't seem to be helping. Maybe the salt can get some of the swelling down. I'm going to give him a couple days break from the meds and if he still isn't better maybe try a different antibiotic. I wish I could find some Kanamycin. It's a very strong antibiotic. I think one of the lfs here have it but only in a gel food variety. I'm not sure how to give it to him. Maybe soak his pellets in it? If I can't get the Kanamycin I'll try Tetracycline and see if that helps.
Watching him struggle just to straighten himself out to eat his food is really sad. He spends most of his time wedged between the filter and side of tank. It's the only way he can stay upright and sleep without floating sideways.
I think Genie had good luck with putting the gel meds on pellets & then feeding the pellets. The salt & meds break sound like the next step at this point. His scales are normal, right? Has he had an appetite for peas or other favorite treats?
 
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Phloxface

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He still has a good appetite. He come wiggling right over at feeding time. Tipping over sideways makes grabbing the pellet hard but he doesn't give up. If I can just get the swelling down it would take pressure off his swim bladder and allow him to swim normally again. Problem is, I don't know what's causing the swelling.
 

COBettaCouple

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Phloxface said:
He still has a good appetite. He come wiggling right over at feeding time. Tipping over sideways makes grabbing the pellet hard but he doesn't give up. If I can just get the swelling down it would take pressure off his swim bladder and allow him to swim normally again. Problem is, I don't know what's causing the swelling.
So, peeled peas haven't brought it down any? And his scales are normal?
 

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Phlox, I'm sorry to hear that Lava is having such a hard time. Do you think an Epsom salt bath would help?

Nicole
 
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Phloxface

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He's not constipated. His belly is small and he's been pooping. I'll never use Epsom salt baths again on my fish. I had Phlox in one and after about 5 minutes he looked like he was dying. It was scary! I took him out fast. I'm going to try a little aquarium salt and see if it takes away the swelling a bit. The area that is swollen is in the lower part of his body, near his tail. I checked a chart of fish anatomy and that's where his kidney and swim bladder is. I'll give him a couple days off the meds with just a little salt and then maybe try another type of antibiotic and see if it helps.
 

COBettaCouple

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Phloxface said:
He's not constipated. His belly is small and he's been pooping. I'll never use Epsom salt baths again on my fish. I had Phlox in one and after about 5 minutes he looked like he was dying. It was scary! I took him out fast. I'm going to try a little aquarium salt and see if it takes away the swelling a bit. The area that is swollen is in the lower part of his body, near his tail. I checked a chart of fish anatomy and that's where his kidney and swim bladder is. I'll give him a couple days off the meds with just a little salt and then maybe try another type of antibiotic and see if it helps.
Sorry, I misread where the swelling was. :-[ Really does sound like a swim bladder issue, is that what you're thinking might be the cause? If so, does this link help diagnose him? https://www.fishyfarmacy.com/fish_diseases/swim_bladder.html
 
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Phloxface

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I did his water change and gravel vac today. He's been pooping up a storm because I cleaned a lot of it off the bottom. He's very happy and wiggly now. He loves getting water changes! It's like a fresh clean shower for him! He still can't swim down much and is floating at the top but not tipping over much and seems active and eating well. He goes down to the bottom sometimes for about 30 seconds and flares at the picture of a fish on his Coppersafe bottle which is next to his tank. It's so cute!  He's not worse so at least that's a good sign. If I could only get the swelling down maybe he could swim normally again. I'm holding off all meds for a few days and just added a little salt to see if we can get rid of the bloat that way. Maybe his kidney is swollen from all the meds. I want to let him work it out of his system for a while and see if that helps. Other than that, nothing much to report. He doesn't seem to be in any pain that I can tell and is hanging in there. I think mostly he's bored from having nothing to do but swim back and forth along the top of the tank. He comes to the front of the tank in the evening and watches TV. He loves it! He stares at the TV for hours.
 
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