Need More Advice For Sick Betta!


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Tango last week

Tango today


What is the water volume of the tank? 10 gallons
How long has the tank been running? 6 months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 80
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
1 betta fish
1 nerite snail
2 moss balls

How often do you change the water? Weekly
How much of the water do you change? 20% to 30%
What do you use to treat your water?
Aquasafe plus
API stress coat
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Use gravel vacuum

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water?
Tetra easy 6-in-1 test strips
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: Not tested
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: < 20
pH: 6.8

How often do you feed your fish? Daily with occasional fasting once a week. Tango has been fasted for 4 days since swim bladder issues appeared
How much do you feed your fish? 3 to 5 pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Aqueon betta food
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 5 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
About 3 to 4 weeks
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Lightening of scales on underside of hills, black spots on side of gills, lethargy, swim bladder issues
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Diluted bettafix and aquarium salt
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
Tail bitten, healing
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
Continues to tail bite occasionally, hanging out more on bottom of tank or on top of the heater
Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

Tango is about 10 months old and I’ve had him for 5 months. He was doing great until the past 3 to 4 weeks. He is swimming around the tank less and instead residing more on the bottom or resting on the heater toward the top of the tank. I noticed some discoloration of his gills. His gills are lighter and almost white on his underside and there are black spots on the sides of his gills. There’s are small and difficult to distinguish from his normal dark red coloring and he has natural (been there since he arrived and have not shown any signs of being fin rot) black tips on his fins. I really want to correct any issues to prevent whatever this might be from getting any worse. I posted about this in an older thread and was advised to purchase a new testing kit and the API freshwater master kit is on its way. I was also told to try to prevent boredom, so I moved around some of the plants in the tank but I’m thinking that this is unfortunately more than boredom’s. I did a 50% water change and continued to treat with bettafix but now Tango has started to show signs of swim bladder disease.I fasted him for 3 days and on the 4th day (yesterday) offered him a peeled (cooked) frozen pea, which he ate part of the quarter I gave him. He still continues with the swim bladder issues. He still approaches when I remove the lid of the tank and looks to eat but spends most of his time hiding behind the filter or heater. I added a tiny bit of aquarium salt (1/4 tsp when I did a 30% change this morning and 1/4 tsp the previous 50% change last week). I continued to treat with bettafix for about a week but I am nervous about continuing with the treatment longer because I have heard that it can be harmful. The bettafix has seemed to encourage some new growth of the part of his tail that he bit but he still has some color fading on the bottom of his mouth and underside of his gills. I’m in the process or ordering a new water testing kit but my water parameters are the same according to my current 6-in-1 testing strips. I want to avoid treating with antibiotics for a few reasons: 1. I have never had a successful fish recovery status post antibiotics in my past experience with bettas, 2. I see no clear indication for what I might even be treating, and 3. I am worried about not having a clear diagnosis and simply contributing to antibiotic resistance if I resort to a broad spectrum antibiotic without any intention of switching to an antibiotic with more narrow coverage. I have included pictures above. Any suggestions??



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Los Angeles
4 years
My first (and only) suggestion as of now is to ditch the test strips and invest in the apI liquid test kit to see what your parameters including ammonia are.

Test strips are inaccurate and are useless to get actual readings.

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