My Betta Is Not Ok, Please Help

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by skinandbonesx, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    <0.05ppm *
    Nirites: <0.01ppm *
    Nirates: ~2
    pH: 7.5-8
    Tempeture: 26C

    (None of my tests have a 0 reading, so the <0.0 numbers are basically the minimum reading my test will show*. Please don't tell me to get the   test, I live in sweden and would have to get in imported in, which would cost more than getting a different european brand that does the exact same thing.)

    I've been having trouble with some of my other stock dying off since starting my tank (which I've resolved was likely because of too soft water for the moment, but I can't resolve the issue until next week), but my betta has been very happy and healthy the last few weeks, even after there was other deaths in the tank.

    The problems started over the weekend. There was a minor ammonia spike overnight when I didn't check the ammonia the previous afternoon, so the ammonia was elevated for about 24 hours. It wasn't anything totally life threatened but definitely enough to make him uncomfortable. I woke to my betta being a little more sluggish than usual but after a 60% water change he seemed to be doing better.

    Except, he never fully recovered to his full self because shortly after I noticed he had pooped funny. Normally my betta has tiny little pink balls of poop which are about the same color as the flakes I feed him.

    This time the poop was long a white and stringy. I figured out that this was a sign if either constipation of an internal parasite.

    I consider constipation to be the more likely scenario and the one that was treatable for now. I did notice that his bell was a little larger, and I will admit I was liberal with my feeding.

    I fasted him for one day as suggested and he seemed alright in general besides being a little more sluggish than usual. Still often came to the top of the water when I came around thinking I was going to feed him, very eager to eat as he's been since the day I got him.

    Stomach was still a little swollen so I did the pea method yesterday. He took to the pea ok at first but obviously once realizing it was not his normal food he was uninterested and stopped taking from me. He had eaten enough for it to be effective I think though so I let him be. He had another long stringy bowel movement and actually also sorta coughed up/threw up some of the pea about 40 mins later :(

    Today he is just... not looking great. His stomach hasn't seemed to gone down at all and he's just... not moving much. I checked on him in the morning and he was resting against the filter so I didn't want to bother him much, but I come home from work 8 hours later and he's in the exact same spot. His gills also weren't moving for a moment and I sorta panicked and disrupted the water a little to see if I could get him moving and he started breathing again, but immediately swam away and practically buried himself under the driftwood in my tank (he almost never goes down there and prefers to hide in the leaves of my plants or in the corner behind the filter where he builds his bubble nests)

    I also tried to give him a flake of food just to see if he would take it, and absolutely no interest at all anymore.

    I don't know what to do. Today really scared me and he's not looking good. At least before the pea he was acting more himself but it feels like after feeding him the pea everything has just gone down hill really fast.
  2. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    I would start with a water change.
    With a test that accurate you will probably always see a trace of ammonia and nitrite, as the fish constantly create it, but the levels you list are microscopic . They would show as 0 on the API.

    Does he have tankmates? How high was the ammonia spike? Does he look bloated?

  3. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    Had a snail and some shrimp but they died. My conclusion was soft water (since the shrimp were dying while trying to molt) but I don't have the means to fix that right now so I was gunna just let the betta be on his own for a while since he seemed to be doing just fine in the soft water.

    The ammonia was around 0.2 when I checked it. The spike was lightly caused by the things in the tank dying off. He looks bloated in comparison to what I remember, but honestly I dunno maybe my hysteria is getting the better of me (should have been taking more pictures.)

    I took him out briefly in a small glass container to try and get him in a smaller area so that he'd notice the food and eat but nothing. I took some pictures while doing so though to try and show the bloating.

    He looks extremely stressed and his face is pale verses the almost black usually (to be fair was shining a light to get some good images of him but still, the difference is extreme). Keep in mind that he usually has some red markings around his gills, he always has, so i don't chalk that up to inflammation or anything, but the paling face is definitely worrying. His tummy didn't used to be pale either which is why i worry about him being a little bloated because the pale color makes it look like he's bloated.

    Some pictures of him right now

    And a video of him before when he was healthy

  4. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    He is probably pale from the stress of being in the cup. They can change colors drastically. I can't really see any bloat, could you get a top view? If he's not in the cup anymore don't pull him out again.

    What do you normally feed him, just flakes?

    Start with not feeding him for three days. Then you can soak his food in garlic water. It helps immunity and usually makes them go crazy for it. It's easier with pellets if you have some.

    That ammonia reading is very small, and shouldn't have affected him too bad.

    You say your pH is 7.5-8 but your water is soft? Does the ph fluctuate? Do you have a way to test your gh and kH? Ph swingscan cause problems, but the ph you listed should be fine, as long as it is stable.

    As far as symptoms he is lethargic, not eating (since the pea), and has stringy poo, and maybe a little bloat? I'm not real great with choosing meds, so I'm gonna call @CindiL, but hopefully I've gathered enough info for her.

  5. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    I've left him alone since taking the pictures, light off and everything. As you said his color is back so it's likely a momentary thing, but I still find he's off colored from what I was used to, even when I leave him be. You can't really see any significant bloat from the top.

    today will be 3 days without food besides the pea yesterday. I did try to feed him today but he didn't take to the food... I'm worried at how drastically worse he was today, I don't know if he'll make it very much longer.

    I've never had a pH fluctuation in the 2 months the tank has cycled and the few weeks I've had livestock in it. It comes out of the tap as listed, soft and around 7.5-8. I worried about that too since my shrimp were dying but so far it doesn't seem like a problem.

    you've got the symptoms right. Continuously more lethargic (it was sorta just a little laying around before but still going to the surface and begging for food, but after the pea he hasn't been the same and today he did not move from his spot for consecutive hours), completely uninterested in food since the pea when before he would go crazy for it and beg constantly if he saw someone checking out the tank, long (at one point the string of poo was almost as long as his fins) stringy white poo on more than one occasion (after ammonia spike, after pea.) and possible bloat.

    If meds are suggested please give me general options, like what exactly to treat for rather than just names of items, since I'll have to buy equivalent local brands. I am worried now that it's an internal worm or something...
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  6. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    It's hard to treat internal parasites if he's not eating. Praziquantel is a mild med, found in the brand prazipro, and metrodonazole in general cure. I would start with one of those. I listed the drug name first, and then a trade name you might can find.
  7. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    I can get a treatment with praziquantel from my local pet shop. Metrodonazole I can't seem to find off the website at least. Would giving a treatment do harm if he doesn't have a parasite or is it fine to treat him for it while also doing constipation treatment as well?
  8. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    The praziquantel is mild. Some people use it as a preventive in all new fish. The metro I believe is easy on them as well. Kinda like worming a dog.
  9. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    Ok. I'm picking up meds in a little bit along with pellet food
  10. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi there, I don't have much to add as all the advice given already is the same I would offer :)

    I'm sorry your little guy is sick. Did you happen to test the ph in his tank before the water change? I am wondering if the ph dropped drastically since you have soft water. I agree that with your ph and ammonia at .20 it still wouldn't be enough to cause him issues though a ph drop can cause sickness and death depending on how far it drops.

    I would just be doing daily water changes right now along with the praziquantel.

    Do you have any aquarium salt? What size is your tank?
  11. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    Thanks. I got the praziquantel but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to start the treatment since it requires a water change 6 hours after dosing. I also got some pellets instead that I can soak in garlic if needed to hopefully get him to start eating again. They smell much more like something he'll like once he gives them the chance. He still seems generally uninterested in coming to the water's surface unfortunately, but his breathing seems to be find and he isn't have trouble moving around when he wants to, he just, really doesn't seem to want to (from my few weeks experience with him he does seem like he can be a drama queen at times so I feel like he's just giving me the cold shoulder a bit after the yucky pea) He's not laying on anything or swimming strange so I'm hoping that means he's not going to be belly up after one more night, he's just clearly not feeling so hot.

    There shouldn't be any pH problems. I measured again today and it was the same as always, don't think my pH has ever read anything difference since getting my liquid test (it used to fluctuate a little when I was measuring with stripes but that wasn't much either). But I'll definitely make sure to measure more often with that in mind as well

    I don't have aquarium salts rn. this was kinda a budget thing so they weren't really in the plan since... generally it's not needed lol. I had to use the credit card for the meds until I get paid on tuesday ^^;. Tank is 19L so ~5g
  12. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    You shouldn't need to do a water change 6 hours after using prazi. In fact, usually you put it into the water and leave it there for 5-7 days. It becomes in-active after 3-4 days in the water column either way.
    What brand is it? Will you take a pic of the instructions?

    If you need salt, really, any salt will do though preferably kosher or sea salt without any additives like anti-caking agents or iodine.
  13. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    Just going by the instructions :( Like I said, I have to get local european brand

  14. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hmm, that shouldn't matter. How about this, what is the mg of prazi per dosage?
  15. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    I was bored and wanted to brush up on my Deutsch, so I wrote to the company and asked since there wasn't any info on the packaging or any website I could find.

    Here's their response: "we give 5 ml of DACTYMOR for each 100 l of aquarium or pond water. 1 ml of DACTYMOR contains 40 mg of Praziquantel. That means that the dosage is 200 mg of Praziquantel for 100 l of aquarium water."

    This response was directly from the company Aquarium Münster Pahlsmeier GmbH that makes the product. They were very fast at responding! Wish most companies in the US had this customer service...

    Hope this helps!
  16. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    I dosed according to the instructions :)
  17. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Ok, so according to the prazi pro bottle each dosage gives a concentration of 2.5mg/l so a 100l tank would have 300mg in it and with the medicine you're using 100l tank would have 200mg in it.

    On the bottle it says that praziquantel is good for a dose lasting 5-7 days. I honestly don't think you should remove it after 6 hours.....maybe email them and verify this would be ok? I think even something like external flukes would take at least 24 hours to kill off.
  18. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    I can email them later today but currently on my way to a meeting with a client.

    If you'd like to email them the address is  

    Even though I asked in Deutsch, I said I was American and got a response in English , so you can just ask in either language I'm sure.

    Otherwise I'll email them back when I get home this afternoon but it may be too late (after 6 hour treatment) by then
  19. skinandbonesxValued MemberMember

    It is. I already changed the water. To be perfectly honest though I would have anyway. I really don't feel comfortable going against the written instructions of a medication :/ There could be other things in the dosage that change the way it interacts in the water etc, that just because your particular brand says one thing does not mean the same instructions apply for another brand.

    For now it's safer in general to just follow the instructions imo, especially since it's not guaranteed this is even the problem he's having.

    Update in general on my betta. I tried to change the water as stress free as possibly so I just left him to hid while I siphoned the water out and then back in again, both times. He's been hanging out at the same spot he's been the last few days, against the filter and near the heater. He's very lethargic and even his breathing is slowed down a lot. I worry because sometimes it's almost like he's not breathing at all, but if I do try to get him to move a little, he seems to swim fine with no troubles. I haven't seen a bowel movement today from him, but he pooped out more white yesterday night, and is still looking chubby in the stomach area. Still no interest in food either.
  20. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I sent them an email and will copy and paste it here when they respond. I just don't see the point of using it if its not left in the water long enough to do its job.....but we'll see what they say.
    We don't know if its parasitic you're right though based on his behavior and poop it could be.

    Do you have epsom salt? I can't remember if I asked you that earlier.

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