Help New Betta Suddenly Sick! Dropsy? Parasite?

lsm21

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Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?- 2.5 gallons
How long has the tank been running?- a week
Does it have a filter?- yes
Does it have a heater?- yes
What is the water temperature?- 78 degrees
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) Betta, two water plants

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?- Weekly
How much of the water do you change?- 25%
What do you use to treat your water?- Betta conditioner, aquarium salt
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?- Substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?- No
What do you use to test the water?- 5 in one test for nitrate, nitrite, GH, KH, and PH and an ammonia test.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: < .5ppm
Nitrate: <20 ppm
pH: 7.0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?- Daily
How much do you feed your fish?- 2 pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish?-
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?- I have some, but he has not eaten them ever

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? Since Sunday
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Since Tuesday
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Bloated, lost color, a small pinhole in his bottom tail, lethargic, won't eat.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? I gave him an epsom salt dip. I also added an almond leaf to the water. Added fungus tab, betta fix, and aquarium salt.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No, I picked him because his colors were bright and he was active.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? He has gone from swimming around the tank and eating to sitting in the corner, won't eat. Lost color.

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)

I got a new fish on Sunday from Petsmart. I picked him out because he was very colorful and very active, so I figured he would be strong. I set up the tank using betta conditioner, tested the water levels. The GH and KH were high, so I swapped some of the water out for conditioned distilled water. He was good on Monday, but on Tuesday I noticed he wasn't swimming around and was kinda hanging out at the bottom of the tank, hiding. I've been checking on him the last day seeing if he's changed his behavior, but he's gotten more lethargic and has become bloated.He's also lost some of his color. I did a water change and added fungal treatment, betta fix, aquarium salt, and an almond leaf. I did an epsom salt bath which made him poop (it was long and stringy). I've attached photos of how he used to look and how he looks now. I have no idea what's wrong with him. My last betta years ago died of dropsy and I haven't had a fish since losing him because I was so sad. Please help me diagnose him!
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Repolie

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It's good you're at least trying to test the water, however test strips can be inaccurate. I and many others will recommend that you invest in the API liquid test kit which tests for all the needed parameters, is more accurate and lasts longer than test strips.

Bettas can live in a wide range of water parameters so you shouldn't be adjusting and messing with them. The fluctuations can be stressful and so stability is more important than accuracy.

Your betta has scales that are slightly 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 can continued to be done alongside medication to help relieve some fluid retention.
 
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lsm21

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It's good you're at least trying to test the water, however test strips can be inaccurate. I and many others will recommend that you invest in the API liquid test kit which tests for all the needed parameters, is more accurate and lasts longer than test strips.

Bettas can live in a wide range of water parameters so you shouldn't be adjusting and messing with them. The fluctuations can be stressful and so stability is more important than accuracy.

Your betta has scales that are slightly 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 can continued to be done alongside medication to help relieve some fluid retention.
I will look into the test kit for sure.

Do I treat him with only the Kanapex or with the triple medication system?

Thank you for a quick reply!! I'm so worried for him!
 
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lsm21

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I sprung for a Lyft to go to a local aquarium store and bought it before they closed. Did a water change to remove other treatments and dosed his water with the Kanapex. Fingers crossed he looks/acts better in the morning! Thank you again! I'll keep the thread updated with results.
 

treadingwater

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Freddie passed away overnight. I think I was just too late with the Kanaplex to save him. :(
I'm sorry for your loss.

Bettas are amazing companions but there are so many issues with them by inbreeding and genetic mutations. I would encourage you to try again but this time, cycle your tank first. That will definitely help. See if you can get some filter from someone else with a tank and that will give you a cycled tank faster. Take it slow and you could have your little friend for a long (for bettas) time.
 
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