Lethargic Betta That Won't Eat

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by BlueVeins, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    Hey all, my betta Boreas hasn't been doing well for a while and I've been desperately looking for help on what to do, hopefully, you guys can help me! I can't upload pictures for some reason, so sorry!

    What is the water volume of the tank? : 10 Gallons
    How long has the tank been running? : A Year and a half.
    Does it have a filter? : Yes.
    Does it have a heater? Yes.
    What is the water temperature? 79 - 80 Degrees.
    What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
    1 Delta Betta
    4 Amano Shrimp
    3 Nerite Snails (Various Sizes)


    Maintenance
    How often do you change the water? : Weekly.
    How much of the water do you change? : 40%
    What do you use to treat your water? : API Tap Water Conditioner (I have well water but use conditioner just to be on the safe side.)
    Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? : Both. I try not to vacuum too much of the substrate but I often vacuum the excess poop off that the snails and shrimp make.

    *Parameters - Very Important
    Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? : Yes.
    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: 0ppm
    Nitrite: 0ppm
    Nitrate: Somewhere around 3 - 5 ppm. It stays solid around there all the time. (Not sure if due to the ferts I use or other factors)
    pH: Around 7.2

    Feeding
    How often do you feed your fish? Usually, I feed daily and leave a fasting day.
    How much do you feed your fish? I only feed my betta a few pellets or granules depending on size.
    What brand of food do you feed your fish? Mostly Aquarium Co-Op's Omnivore Pellets or Fluval Bug Bites. Sometime's I'll feed freeze-dried daphnia/brine shrimp/bloodworms/, and Aquarium Co-Op's Small Fish/Fry Food.
    Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Yes, Freeze Dried.

    Illness & Symptoms
    How long have you had this fish? : I've had Boreas for a year.
    How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? : A good month and a half. I've been searching for help on places like Reddit and other Fish Forums but people haven't replied or been able to help me.
    In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? : Lethargic, not eating. Stays floating behind the heater.
    Have you started any treatment for the illness?: I tried upping water changes and fiddling with the temperature and even salt, but otherwise, no. I have medication but am not sure how to proceed in treating him and don't want to hurt him or the inverts he's with.
    Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No.
    How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Despite not eating much or nothing at all for about a month, his stomach seems bloated. No raised scales, fin rips, or anything. Amanos aren't bothering him. He wasn't a very active fish to begin with but when he does move he mostly does spastic movements and sometimes ends up in really weird positions. Otherwise he just sits behind the heater. Despite not eating much or nothing at all for about a month his stomach seems bloated. If you took a quick glance at him you'd think he was dead, sadly. It breaks my heart to see him like this. Any help would be greatly appreciated, because I don't know where else to go to get any help.
     
  2. CatBo

    CatBoNew MemberMember

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    I'm having similar issues although mine still eats pretty well - someone here told me possibly early dropsy, but it's been going on for over a month now. They recommended salt and lifeguard. No luck. I figure it must be something causing swim bladder issues but I have no clue *what* I hate to use an antibiotic since I don't know what's actually wrong and medication can be stressful, but I think that's what I'll have to try next.

    So I don't really have any ideas for you, but wishing you good luck. I know how difficult it is!
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  3. FrostedFlakes

    FrostedFlakesWell Known MemberMember

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    If you could find a way to upload a picture that would be greatly appreciated. Have you taken any steps to try to treat the bloat? When was the last time he pooed? Did it look unusual?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    IMG_6590.

    I think I did it, hopefully it works. I initially tried to fast him and give him a pea, since I used to feed freeze dried daphnia as a treat and didn’t have access to live or frozen, so I wasn’t sure what to do. The last time he pooped or I saw him poop was a month ago, I think. From what I remember though it looked normal, wasn’t white or stringy.

    Thank you! At the very least I wish he’d just still eat. I feel so bad for the poor guy. That’s my issue too, with the antibiotics. I have shrimp and snails too, so I’m even more hesitant to do anything. I can move them, but I’d hate to do that, especially to the shrimp. Hopefully a solution will be found for the both of us, fingers crossed!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2019
  5. FrostedFlakes

    FrostedFlakesWell Known MemberMember

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    Are both of his eyes bulging at all?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    One looks a tiny bit bigger than the other, but not a huge difference. I had to really look to see if one was actually bigger.
     
  7. FrostedFlakes

    FrostedFlakesWell Known MemberMember

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    They look a bit like popeye. Comparing it to online pictures would you maybe think so? If his eyes are bulging then that is more evidence that this may be an internal bacterial infection. Try giving him an epsom salt bath and see if any of the swelling improves. The ratio will be one tablespoon of pure no additives Epsom salt to one gallon of water. Do this in a separate container with temperature matched water or tank water. Keep him in there for around 15 minutes. If he seems like he's having a hard time with it, immediately take him out. If his eyes aren't bulging then this could be some other internal infection, but with swelling it is possibly bacterial. See if the baths help at all. If he improves slightly but not a lot then kanaplex with probably have to be tried. Hopefully others can chime in as well :)
     
  8. OP
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    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    I’ll definitely try that, thank you so much! It’s a good thing I still have some Epsom salt when I was giving another fish baths a while ago. Also a good thing I have Kanaplex, will just have to see what I can do about the inverts lol.
     
  9. FrostedFlakes

    FrostedFlakesWell Known MemberMember

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    You may just want to move the fish instead of the inverts. It could be as simple as a Rubbermaid bin with an airstone and maybe give him some places to hide so he's comfortable.
     
  10. BarbaraLocke

    BarbaraLockeValued MemberMember

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    API General Cure is a safe way to treat a wide spectrum of illnesses, that won’t hurt your inverts, or stress your Betta too much. I see you’ve already tried feeding him a shelled, cooked pea, but if he’s bloated getting some veggies into him would be great. Maybe try a bit of cucumber or zucchini.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    I’ll see if I can get my hands on one. If all else fails I have a 10-15 gallon tank that was given to me, just need to clean it out and get a heater for it.

    He had a 15 minute salt bath while I was doing water changes this morning. Do I repeat them at all or does it depend on if I wait and see how he does?
     
  12. FrostedFlakes

    FrostedFlakesWell Known MemberMember

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    I'd say repeat them daily for around 3 days. If you see no improvement then we'll explore other options. Just want to make sure you're using Epsom salt?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  13. OP
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    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    Yeah, Epsom salt with no additives. I’ll keep on it and I’ll update with any and all improvements. Thank you!
     
  14. OP
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    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    Update: Very little to no improvement after day 3 of epsom salt baths. I ordered general cure, but I live in the middle of nowhere, unfortunately, so it's gonna take a while to get here. I'm not able to go to my LFS at the moment because it's over an hour and a half away, and I also wasn't able to get anywhere to get a rubbermaid bin as a store is that far away as well. I might give him a day or two to rest from the daily baths and then I might start a round of Kanaplex if that's the only other thing I can do for the poor guy.
     
  15. FrostedFlakes

    FrostedFlakesWell Known MemberMember

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    If you are going to do the kanaplex, then do a full round. Good luck!
     
  16. CatBo

    CatBoNew MemberMember

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    Good Iuck! I hope the kanaplex helps.

    Sorry the LFS is so far away - that definitely makes matters even more complicated.

    FYI - I got a package that had kanaplex along with metroplex and focus. I started by feeding mine the focus/metroplex. He seems to be perking up, although still swimming weird which leads me to think he does have some kind of internal infection. I am hopeful that the kanaplex will do the trick for both of our guys!
     
  17. OP
    OP
    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    Thanks! I hope it does too, and that both of ours get better!

    Thank you! Yeah, I'll definitely make sure to do a full round. I hope it does something for him. Thank you for all of your help and advice!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2019
  18. OP
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    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    Update: I’m almost done with the round of Kanaplex and he seems to be doing even worse. I know fish sometimes are worse before they get better, but the poor dude is laying sideways on his leaf hammock with his fins clamped. No interest in eating yet either. The general cure isn’t here yet, but I don’t think he’d be strong enough for another round of different meds. Earlier this morning he was dragging himself on the bottom of the tank and breathing heavily. If this doesn’t work I’m not really sure what to do next.
     
  19. CatBo

    CatBoNew MemberMember

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    Oh no!! Poor guy

    Have you done a water change since starting the kanaplex? Antibiotics can ruin your biofilter and cause the conditions to be really unstable. And I think I heard it messes with the oxygen too. I've been changing mine every other day while medicating, treating it like an uncycled tank.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    BlueVeins

    BlueVeinsNew MemberMember

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    Yeah, I’ve done the same. I’m just hoping he pulls through and this is the “worse before it gets better.” I’ve also increased the flow on the filter a little bit to try to help any oxygenation. I usually keep it as low as possible because of his long fins, but since he hasn’t moved from his spot since this morning I figured I’d try to up those levels.
     
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