Question My Betta Fish Of Almost 2 Years Doesn’t Eat

Madgalaxia

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Hey everyone,
I have been taking care of my Betta fish for past two years and she has been super happy and was relatively active. Recently though she has lost her appetite all together and hasn’t eaten in the past 4 days. She has had swim bladder disease once 7 months ago but it was cured and she went back to normal. I check her water for nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and ph levels every month and everything is always at 0ppm. I feed her bloodworms, pellets or flakes and only a couple a day. She used to eat 3 pellets a day but now won’t even have one. I tried changing food but it’s not helping. She seems uninterested in anything and usually lies at the bottom of the tank. I look for any visible signs of disease but I don’t see nothing on her except some discoloration on her face. She doesn’t have the cotton disease or fungus or anything that I can point out. When she needs to swim up for air she goes without issues. I don’t see any other visible signs and cannot find out what’s wrong with her. She doesn’t have fin rot, they look normal. Her tank has a live plant,I used seachem substrate below her blue rocks. I added a drift wood to keep her ph steady. I sometimes add aquarium salt to as instructed with her water changes and I always de chlorine her water with water treatments and let water settle before I add it to her tank. She also has a heater on at all times with constant temperature. She is in a 5 gallon fluval spec tank fully cycled. I tried to explain as much as I could, can anyone please take a look at the picture and please let me know what’s wrong with her? She used to be all happy when I came home but now she seems sad. I took a picture of the tank just now, I’m making a water change so the water is not topped off. I wanted to point that out before I get criticized, I also moved her from my desk near a window few meters away to the hallway thinking she might get stressed out due to light. She wasn’t fully exposed to sunlight I kept her at the corner of my room but that room has a lot of sunshine. Please help me if you can, I tried explaining everything I could. She can swim properly but I find she sometimes hits the wall somehow. I don’t know what to make of it.
 
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kallililly1973

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Welcome here although i'm not a disease or ill fish expert it appears your bettas fins are pineconing and i believe that is a sign of dropsy. Other better betta pros will chime with more help than i can be. Sorry.
 

Repolie

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Her scales do look raised and that is a sign of dropsy. Dropsy is a symptom of an underlying cause, most commonly a bacterial infection. It affects kidneys and liver which causes her to retain fluids and the scales to raise among other symptoms such as lethargy, clamped fins, and loss of appetite.

Treatment should be done with Kanaplex which is the most effective medication because it's easily absorbed through the skin and gills. Epsom salt baths (1TBSP/Gallon for 10-15 minutes) alongside the medication in a separate contain can help relieve some fluid retention.
 

SharkBaitOohHannah

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I'm so sorry about your betta! Hopefully, this can help you with some places to start, at least. I'm also not by any means an expert, but I think kallililly1973 is right in regards to the dropsy symptoms, as her stomach is slightly protruding and her scales look stuck out. You'd know best, though, as you have watched her these past years. Maybe compare to some old photos? I found this article online that might be helpful as it talks a little about dropsy:

Repolie suggested a medicine track that should be effective in treating the underlying bacterial infection and help ease the symptoms. I'd also start by making sure you are being meticulous about your cleaning schedule. Dropsy is often brought on by stress and poor water conditions, although it sounds like your water is pretty much picture perfect. If you think something in the tank caused it, remove that item or possibly relocate her to a hospital tank. (You could get a five-gallon Sterilite bin from Walmart that would provide ample space for her and just move over your filter.) As for the loss of appetite, some garlic could do the trick until the medicine kicks in. Basically, you just cut open a clove of garlic and rub the pellets on it to transfer some of the juice. You might also want to try switching up her diet with some frozen foods to see if the variety will pique her interest.

Again, I really hope something in here helps! Good luck and get well soon to your betta!
 
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Madgalaxia

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Thank you everyone for your replies, I appreciate the quick responses. I have looked at dropsy before but her stomach doesn't seem to be enlarged as some pictures pointed out when I was investigating, so I ruled out that disease. If she is in the beginning stages of dropsy, that might explain why she doesn't have her stomach as enlarged, so I'm happy i caught this in the primary stages.

I'm pretty meticulous with her water changes and I keep a log where i track her water conditions, and she never has any spikes in ammonia, nitrites, nitratres or PH. Something did come to my mind, my husband was cleaning a month ago and by accident unplugged her heater for about half a day and I only noticed it when I got home later that evening when I was feeding her, she was hovering -5 degrees below her normal, so there was a drastic drop in temperature and this might have caused the issue. This would explain it, since I can rule out poor water conditions.

I was trying to find seachem kanaplex in my area, but I couldn't find any store that carries it. A lot of stores online don't even have it in stock, so I'm not sure what to do. Is there a similar medication I could use? I can buy epsom salt right now. The petland in my area only carries MELAMIX and PIMAFIX, would those work?

I will try the garlic idea and also buy some frozen shrimps to see if that spikes her interest. I was cleaning her tank today and she was barely moving, that truly brought me to tears. Whenever I clean her tank she swims around, but today she almost looked like she was half dead.
 
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SharkBaitOohHannah

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Thank you everyone for your replies, I appreciate the quick responses. I have looked at dropsy before but her stomach doesn't seem to be enlarged as some pictures pointed out when I was investigation, so I ruled out that disease. If she is in the beginning stages of dropsy, that might explain why she doesn't have her stomach as enlarged, so I'm happy i caught this in the primary stages.

I'm pretty meticulous with her water changes and I keep a log where i track her water conditions, and she never has any spikes in ammonia, nitrites, nitratres or PH. Something did come to my mind, my husband was cleaning a month ago and by accident unplugged her heater for about half a day and I only noticed it when I got home later that evening when I was feeding her, she was hovering -5 degrees below her normal, so there was a drastic drop in temperature and this might have caused the issue. This would explain it, since I can rule out poor water conditions.

I was trying to find seachem kanaplex in my area, but I couldn't find any store that carries it. A lot of stores online don't even have it in stock, so I'm not sure what to do. Is there a similar medication I could use? I can buy epsom salt right now. The petland in my area only carries MELAMIX and PIMAFIX, would those work?

I will try the garlic idea and also buy some frozen shrimps to see if that spikes her interest. I was cleaning her tank today and she was barely moving, that truly brought me to tears. Whenever I clean her tank she swims around, but today she almost looked like she was half dead.
Can you order online? It's in stock on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kanaplex-5-g-0-18-oz/dp/B00CJ0VY8G/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=dropsy+medicine+for+fish+kanaplex&qid=1565315473&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-1
I'm not an expert, but I've heard that both Melafix and Pimafix have been successfully used to treat dropsy, sometimes in combination with one another. Kanaplex is stronger and, as Repolie said, absorbs more quickly, so they may not be as effective, but could work. If you can't order online, Melafix seems to be more commonly recommended, so I'd say either go Melafix or dose them both.
 

Guppygirl88

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View attachment 579181 View attachment 579180 View attachment 579179 Hey everyone,
I have been taking care of my Betta fish for past two years and she has been super happy and was relatively active. Recently though she has lost her appetite all together and hasn’t eaten in the past 4 days. She has had swim bladder disease once 7 months ago but it was cured and she went back to normal. I check her water for nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and ph levels every month and everything is always at 0ppm. I feed her bloodworms, pellets or flakes and only a couple a day. She used to eat 3 pellets a day but now won’t even have one. I tried changing food but it’s not helping. She seems uninterested in anything and usually lies at the bottom of the tank. I look for any visible signs of disease but I don’t see nothing on her except some discoloration on her face. She doesn’t have the cotton disease or fungus or anything that I can point out. When she needs to swim up for air she goes without issues. I don’t see any other visible signs and cannot find out what’s wrong with her. She doesn’t have fin rot, they look normal. Her tank has a live plant,I used seachem substrate below her blue rocks. I added a drift wood to keep her ph steady. I sometimes add aquarium salt to as instructed with her water changes and I always de chlorine her water with water treatments and let water settle before I add it to her tank. She also has a heater on at all times with constant temperature. She is in a 5 gallon fluval spec tank fully cycled. I tried to explain as much as I could, can anyone please take a look at the picture and please let me know what’s wrong with her? She used to be all happy when I came home but now she seems sad. I took a picture of the tank just now, I’m making a water change so the water is not topped off. I wanted to point that out before I get criticized, I also moved her from my desk near a window few meters away to the hallway thinking she might get stressed out due to light. She wasn’t fully exposed to sunlight I kept her at the corner of my room but that room has a lot of sunshine. Please help me if you can, I tried explaining everything I could. She can swim properly but I find she sometimes hits the wall somehow. I don’t know what to make of it.
Your boy is just old hon there is not a lot you can do and you've probably got alot of good time left. The discoloration of the scales on his face are like a dog's muzzle going grey also he most likely doesn't see very well so he's bumping into stuff and with his age he doesn't heal as quick-I don't know why Bettas seem to show their age seems like overnight the best you can do for him is just keep doing the great job you've been doing offer his favorite foods more often and maybe get him a couple of those Betta leaf hammocks to rest on so he can see you good luck you two oh and welcome!
 
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Madgalaxia

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Can you order online? It's in stock on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kanaplex-5-g-0-18-oz/dp/B00CJ0VY8G/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=dropsy+medicine+for+fish+kanaplex&qid=1565315473&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-1
I'm not an expert, but I've heard that both Melafix and Pimafix have been successfully used to treat dropsy, sometimes in combination with one another. Kanaplex is stronger and, as Repolie said, absorbs more quickly, so they may not be as effective, but could work. If you can't order online, Melafix seems to be more commonly recommended, so I'd say either go Melafix or dose them both.
Thank you for all the help you've provided me! Yep, I've picked up Melafix,Pimafix an hour ago from the petstore and already medicated her tank. I removed the carbon filter as instructed. I also ordered Kanaplex online, so I will wait for the shipment. Until then, I will use Melafix+Pimafix to try to help her out. I read online that they can even kill fish if overdosed and not highly recommended by some experts, so I'm very careful on the dosage. I will be monitoring her for a couple of days to see improvement. I didn't really notice her fins were spiking out until i saw the picture up close. When you look down on her from above, it's kind of hard to see the pine cone fins.

I still have to buy epsom salt, the ones I found near by in stores were perfumed/scented, which I believe I should avoid at all cost. I will check different stores tomorrow.
 

CheshireKat

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her stomach doesn't seem to be enlarged as some pictures pointed out when I was investigation, so I ruled out that disease. If she is in the beginning stages of dropsy, that might explain why she doesn't have her stomach as enlarged, so I'm happy i caught this in the primary stages.
I've noticed bettas most often don't bloat out with dropsy. My baby platy did. And it wasn't the stomach, it was the whole body, as if someone pumped air inside. Because dropsy has so many potential causes, there are also a lot of potential symptoms, but the one I always see is pineconing. I wouldn't say this is the primary or beginning stage necessarily. Usually by this stage, something else has already been going on internally, whether bacterial infection or organ failure.

I don't really see what Melafix and Pimafix are going to do. The latter fights fungal infection according to API. Be very careful with it as apparently it contains stuff that can cause cancer as well as allergic reactions if you're sensitive to Bay oil, which is the main ingredient. The former contains Meleluca tea tree oil, which has many uses but in this case works as an antiseptic mostly. These may or may not help (I'm inclined to say not, but you never know, especially since we don't know what's causing dropsy), but I'm not sure if they're safe with Kanaplex. If there's an internal infection, I don't know if the two are going to be effective as they seem primarily external.
Epsom salt baths most likely will be more effective than either of those since it will help reduce swelling and draw fluids out until you can get Kanaplex to try to treat any infection. That's if the dropsy isn't caused by organ failure or something.
 
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Madgalaxia

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I'm so sorry about your betta! Hopefully, this can help you with some places to start, at least. I'm also not by any means an expert, but I think kallililly1973 is right in regards to the dropsy symptoms, as her stomach is slightly protruding and her scales look stuck out. You'd know best, though, as you have watched her these past years. Maybe compare to some old photos? I found this article online that might be helpful as it talks a little about dropsy:

Repolie suggested a medicine track that should be effective in treating the underlying bacterial infection and help ease the symptoms. I'd also start by making sure you are being meticulous about your cleaning schedule. Dropsy is often brought on by stress and poor water conditions, although it sounds like your water is pretty much picture perfect. If you think something in the tank caused it, remove that item or possibly relocate her to a hospital tank. (You could get a five-gallon Sterilite bin from Walmart that would provide ample space for her and just move over your filter.) As for the loss of appetite, some garlic could do the trick until the medicine kicks in. Basically, you just cut open a clove of garlic and rub the pellets on it to transfer some of the juice. You might also want to try switching up her diet with some frozen foods to see if the variety will pique her interest.

Again, I really hope something in here helps! Good luck and get well soon to your betta!
Yeah, I believe the sudden water temperature change was the cause of this issue. I do have an extra tank that I previously used, but I'm afraid if I relocate her to another tank she will stress even more. I medicated her current tank and removed
What are youe pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels now? How often and how much water do you change?
What are youe pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels now? How often and how much water do you change?
I use API master test kit every month to check her water parameters. Her ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are still at 0ppm. The PH level of the tank is at 7.6. I do her water changes every 3 days 10% water change and every month I do a 30% to 50% water changes when I do a full cleaning/vacuuming of the tank. I have never had issues keeping the water parameters low. She is alone in 5 gallon tank.
 

Momgoose56

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Yeah, I believe the sudden water temperature change was the cause of this issue. I do have an extra tank that I previously used, but I'm afraid if I relocate her to another tank she will stress even more. I medicated her current tank and removed



I use API master test kit every month to check her water parameters. Her ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are still at 0ppm. The PH level of the tank is at 7.6. I do her water changes every 3 days 10% water change and every month I do a 30% to 50% water changes when I do a full cleaning/vacuuming of the tank. I have never had issues keeping the water parameters low. She is alone in 5 gallon tank.
Are you "shaking" the nitrate solution bottle#2 as per the instructions on the API testing booklet? The instructions for the Nitrate test are different than the other tests in the kit. You should always have some measurable nitrates in a normal cycled tank. You might want to carefully follow the directions for that test and repeat it. What I'm thinking is that because of how small your weekly water changes are and how infrequent your bigger water changes are, that over the last two years, your Nitrate level has gotten much higher than what your test results are showing. Shake that #2 test solution vigorously for at least 30 full seconds
before adding it to the test tube...
 

ShimmeryLuna

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Are you "shaking" the nitrate solution bottle#2 as per the instructions on the API testing booklet? The instructions for the Nitrate test are different than the other tests in the kit. You should always have some measurable nitrates in a normal cycled tank.
I was just about to say this. It also helps to bang the nitrate test bottle against a table to free up the crystals that precipitate out when the bottle isn't in use.

What you see as 0ppm nitrates might actually be around 10-20ppm. When I first started out in fish keeping I thought I crashed my cycle because suddenly all my parameters were 0ppm, but I just hadn't shaken the nitrate test #2 bottle properly.

Also, from the size of that tail, I'd say your Betta is a male. I hope you've caught the dropsy early enough, good luck!
 
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