My Other Betta Now Has Dropsy?! Important

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by mintfossil, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. mintfossil

    mintfossilNew MemberMember

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    Last week my first Betta passed away from Dropsy that I had been treating and was unsuccessful and he passed away. I treated the tank with a large water change, new water test and I’m now running charcoal in the tank, the new Betta in this tank is doing perfectly and he’s a happy little guy!

    However, in my second 30l tank, also water tested (all good, no ammonia etc) and water changed 50% weekly and I’ve been doing this in both tanks for nearly 2 years now with no issues until now. Larimar (my Betta) has never been the healthiest, he is a dragonscale Betta with tumours and diamond eye but this never bothered him and he was a very active and happy Betta to me.

    About a week ago he started to float near the top and showed signs of swim bladder, now this is my first Betta along with the other so I’ve never treated this before. So I bought a swim bladder treatment that my local fish store recommended and have been following the instructions along with extra small water changes. He has honestly gotten worse and tonight he has pineconed and is breathing rapidly near the top; this is how my other Betta died.

    How can both fish get dropsy in the same amount of time?! Have I done something wrong? I’ve used the same bucket and siphon for years and the same water conditioners and food etc.

    Please don’t be rude or anything, I still consider myself a new fish keeper and I have done everything I can to help my bettas and do quite a lot of research, obviously I want to do my best for them so any advice would be great!

    The current Betta with dropsy is in a 30l planted filtered and heated aquarium with 4 amano shrimp and 1 nerite snail. Water was changed yesterday.

    Thanks so much.
     
  2. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    "Swim bladder treatment" ?? I've never heard of a product that "treats" swim bladder disorder. What is this product?

    Huh, that is most peculiar. My guess is that whatever caused the other betta's dropsy, such as a bad bacteria, could've infected your other betta. If that bad thing was on the bucket, siphon, or in the food, your betta that has "never been the healthiest" might've been vulnerable to it. I'd do a heavy-duty cleaning of all your equipment (bucket, siphon, any tweezers, tools, algae scrapers, anything you share among tanks that could contaminate) to prevent cross-contamination, maybe with hydrogen peroxide or even bleach, although I'm personally wary of bleach with my fish stuff. This might be overkill, but then it might not be.
    There's also a chance something is in your tap water. Or the food. Honestly, there could be many possibilities, which is why dropsy is hard to treat and manage without a vet.

    What do you feed them and how often? How long have you had all those foods?

    As for saving your betta, Epsom salt baths can help reduce the internal swelling causing the pineconing, and Kanaplex will take care of internal infections. You may want to lower the water level so he doesn't have to struggle to the top to get air, if that's an issue.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  3. ShimmeryLuna

    ShimmeryLunaValued MemberMember

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    Betta fish live for roughly 3 - 5 years in captivity, so it could be entirely possible that after two years bad genes just means he has a shorter lifespan than usual (he may also have been a year old already when you got him). Then, with old age weakening his immune system he's gotten sick from some bacteria that's gotten onto your cleaning products.
     
  4. OP
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    mintfossil

    mintfossilNew MemberMember

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    This is the one I was recommended!
    Interpet - Swimbladder Treatment Plus - 100ml

    I’ll do a deep clean of my equipment tomorrow, I hope when I changed my new bettas water with it it hasn’t done him any harm, but there is carbon (not charcoal) running in the tank now so I guess that will help that.

    I did move a month ago so it could be a case of the tap water being different? Though it’s quite a late reaction? I’ve done a good 5 water changes since then.

    I feed them Hikari Betta pellets, 3 pellets a day and I’ve had the packet for a while, it doesn’t have an end date on it so I didn’t assume it had one? So much stuff to learn.

    He is almost 2 years old now yes, 2 I believe in September or October. So if that is the case, that’s incredibly sad and I wish I knew about dragonscales before I bought him.
     
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  5. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    Huh. I'm very tempted to say, from my research and experience, that that product is nonsense and a waste, but I'm not a vet or anything, so :emoji_shrug: Does it list any ingredients?

    I suppose it's possible, though I rather doubt it... Unless something in the water caused something wrong internally, but I still rather doubt it. Pineconing is not the first sign of something wrong; it's caused by a build up of fluids or swelling internally, causing the scales to press up/out. An internal infection or kidney failure can be occurring for some time before this.
    The stress of moving could've made him vulnerable, too. Who knows.

    Fish foods usually don't, but I think the general consensus is to throw out food after 3 months or so to be safe. Constantly opening and closing the packaging or container means lots of opportunities for air and other potential contaminants to enter the food, and since the food contains meats such as fish, it's possible for food to go bad. I personally don't follow this rule, and I know I'm potentially risking the fish... But it seems like a waste to me, one I can't really afford.
    Although it's optional, I do recommend feeding more of a variety of foods, not just those one pellets. Fish really enjoy it, just like we do, plus it helps ensure they get different nutrients and nutrient sources. Frozen foods may be a bit much for just a few fish, but it's an option. Freezedried bloodworms and things like that, once soaked, are good as well. Even just different pellets. Take a look at the ingredients. Many foods are full of "fillers," or things that don't provide much to their diet. You don't want a bunch of things like wheat, yeast, corn, other grains and whatnot in the beginning of the list, as that means that's primarily what the food is made of.

    Edit: looked up the Hikari food you mentioned. I don't like the ingredients. "Fish meal, wheat flour, soybean meal, rice bran, potato starch, krill meal, corn gluten meal, wheat germ meal, brewers dried yeast, wheat gluten meal, fish oil, DL-methionine, spirulina, garlic, dried seaweed meal, astaxanthin, choline chloride" and then a bunch of vitamins and stuff. Although it's necessary for some wheat, flour etc. To be used to make the food form, it seems they're relying on things bettas and any fish normally wouldn't be eating for nutrition, and I'm not a fan of that. Most of the better ingredients are in smaller amounts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  6. ystrout

    ystroutWell Known MemberMember

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    I'm sorry to hear that. Sometimes it's just bad luck and timing.

    Dropsy normally isn't contagious. It's caused by an internal fluid buildup and can be caused by anything.

    My first betta got dropsy after a month for some strange reason. The tank was cycled and had no other tank inhabitants. The only thing I can think of is bad genes and organ failure. I've had my second one for about a year (same tank without cleaning it) and he's very healthy.
     
  7. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    That's true, but I do find it highly suspicious that right after the other fish died of dropsy, this fish comes down with it. Could be a strange and bad coincidence of timing, but it's still suspicious to me. I'm rather paranoid about such things though :emoji_sweat_smile:
     
  8. wrs2

    wrs2Well Known MemberMember

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    Were they both bought at the same time from the same retailer? Are they potentially related bettas?
    I see so many cases of Dropsy with bettas, especially with the koi bettas! Betta health has gone down hill lately with all the breeding for this color or that. I would just assume it was genetics on both bettas due to the breeding, and nothing you did caused it. If you were able to treat it, I would assume it would return in a month or two and be harder to treat. This happened to me with 2 of my bettas. I was able to treat the dropsy, but around 2 months later it returned, much more aggressive than the first time, and they both died.
     
  9. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    I feel the same way. When I kept bettas growing up, I never encountered fin rot, dropsy, ich, tail-biting, etc. and I was the now stereotypical bad betta owner: 1 gallon or less tanks, no heater, no filter, 100% cleanings, no cycling. And they were from Walmart, PetCo, PetSmart. Sure, some died, but probably due to poor environment and care (though I thought I was caring for them well, as I had a betta book and believed myths and advice now known to be false), not illness like those. Some lived quite some time despite all that. There weren't all these color, pattern, tail variations available, just standard royal blue or red. All these people dealing with dropsy and fin rot boggle my mind, especially when they are doing everything or most things right!
     
  10. wrs2

    wrs2Well Known MemberMember

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    Fin rot has plagued me many a time in the recent year! I think it’s more than just finrot though Asner it leads to the bettas getting skinny and wasting away. I also see bettas with dropsy a lot in stores. It’s very sad. You think you are doing the right thing, yet they are doomed from the start because of the breeding.
     
  11. OP
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    mintfossil

    mintfossilNew MemberMember

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    My other was a half moon dumbo, blue with a dark red face and pale white fins. Larimar is a dragonscale with black fins and silvery blue coloured scales, also a half moon, though he doesn’t look like that now.

    My dumbo Bixbite was just from eBay and Larimar from a really popular Betta breeder here in the UK so not related at all. Funnily enough, the eBay fish was a lot healthier for much longer. I guess the popular breeder is maybe bad?

    Ahh ****, had no idea about this! Thankyou for the info! I also have some dennerle Betta food lying around somewhere, I wonder if that would be better?
    Here are the ingredients for that food:

    Insect protein from Hermetia illucens (27%), vegetable glycerine, wheat flour, wheat protein, krill (6.5%), cuttlefish powder, spinach, maize, brewer's yeast, potato flakes, salmon oil, water fleas (1%), garlic, Moringa oleifera, freshwater shrimp (1%), chicory inulin, calcium carbonate, stinging nettles, spirulina, melissa, fennel, chlorella, aniseed, grape seed flour, artemia, green-lipped mussel, mannan-oligosaccharides, ß-glucans, rosemary extract

    If not, is there a food you would recommend??
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2019
  12. ShimmeryLuna

    ShimmeryLunaValued MemberMember

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    Crude protein values of around 30% - 40% are usually considered the minimum for "good" Betta food. Lots of starch-like/plant-based ingredients generally indicate that they're filler ingredients (the purpose of having filler is to make more food in one batch, plus plant based fillers are much cheaper), and serve little nutritional value for Betta fish (Betta fish are carnivores/insectivores).

    The Hikari food looks like it has high protein but a lot of filler, whereas the Dennerle food has low protein but a lot of good ingredients in it. However, I would rate the Dennerle over the Hikari purely for the higher quality ingredients.

    This resource has good information on it, as well as this one. Overall, it's up for debate as to which Betta food is best, though price is usually a good indicator of quality. I tend to stick to the Omega One brand for my Betta food, though that's just my preference (I find it to have a good balance between price and quality).

    (Completely unrelated, but I'm a big fan of your work, mint!)
     
  13. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    I mean, it's much better, but I still don't like that three top ingredients are wheat or vegetable glycerine, whatever that is. At least the first ingredient is from insects, but it says "insect protein," so that sounds like an extract.
    Those foods aren't necessarily bad; food is food, after all, and they still provide protein and vitamins and whatnot. I just personally prefer that protein and as many vitamins to come from sources fish actually eat in the wild.
    One of the food I feed all my fish is Bug Bites: https://www.fluvalaquatics.com/us/bug-bites/ It's a very popular food among fish keepers.
    Frozen foods are an option, but with a few bettas, I don't know if you want to spend the money on it as the cubes are very big and you get a lot.
     
  14. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    Do you use a pellet or flake? I have Omega One flakes but I don't feed my bettas it. I don't like feeding flakes to bettas. I used to feed my 25 gallon Omega One flakes but one platy constantly had diarrhea with it, and after I stopped feeding it, he's had no problems. Just that one fish didn't handle it well for some reason.
     
  15. OP
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    mintfossil

    mintfossilNew MemberMember

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    Awesome, Thankyou both for your advice. I’ll start feeding the dennerle one for now and have a look at the others for next time!

    Good news though, I checked on my Betta this morning and the pineconing seems to have gone? But he’s still floating near the top so the swim bladder is still a problem. Since the treatment is probably garbage, how do I treat swim bladder effectively?
     
  16. ShimmeryLuna

    ShimmeryLunaValued MemberMember

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    I use the flakes! I try to make sure my Betta gets the same portion everyday, roughly the size of half my pinky fingernail. Sometimes I have to feed him two flakes because of the inconsistent sizes, but he really seems to like them, and he has no digestion issues.
     
  17. ShimmeryLuna

    ShimmeryLunaValued MemberMember

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    I'm not too versed on Swim Bladder Disease (SDD), but this appears to be a good starting point for research.
     
  18. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    The thing about swim bladder disorder is that something is affecting the swim bladder, an organ that allows some fish such as bettas to have balance, buoyancy, etc. Often times this is over-feeding and/or constipation that puts pressure on the swim bladder, messing up the fish's ability to swim, but in special cases, there might be something wrong with the swim bladder organ.
    The most common treatment is fasting and/or providing fiber foods like deshelled, cooked pea mashed up, greenbeans, spinach, daphnia, and so on to get the bowels moving and relieve pressure. However, these might not work if something else is causing the swim bladder to go wonky. It's a case-by-case thing.
     
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