Pale Sinking Betta

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Keeks

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I've owned bettas before and know about their care + the nitrogen cycle. Recently, maybe a few months ago, I got a king betta. He really colored up and was active once he got out of his tiny toxic cup. Something happened 2 days ago like he flipped a switch. He's lost all color again, won't eat, and only comes up for air and sinks to the bottom like he has no energy or control of his body. My last betta who died of dropsy had these similar symptoms before he started pineconing.

Tank is 10 gallons, heated 80 degrees, has only live plants. Params are 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 20-30 nitrate (but it might be lower as I did a tank flush hoping it would help).
 

Blueberrybetta

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What's your feeding schedule? Could be SBD or constipated
 

julkosi17

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Is he in the same tank as your previous betta? Dropsy isn’t necessarily contagious, but it can still spread to the same species somehow (I’m not sure exactly how that works or if I’m explaining it right).
Also have you checked your pH?
If it is dropsy, then an Epsom salt bath and antibiotics should hopefully help.
 
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Keeks

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I don't think it's swim bladder or overfeeding. Yes it is the same tank, but I thought I cleaned it good enough. I never really mess with ph but will check. If it was a Ph problem I'm not sure how it'd come out of the blue like this after he's been adjusted to my tap for months.
 

mrsP

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Fish can adjust better to stable, non-ideal pH than constantly changing one when someone is trying to get it to ideal.
 

julkosi17

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Do you have a picture of him?
 
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Keeks

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Yeah I don't think it's ph either. It's very hard but he's had no trouble with it before. Sorry don't have a pic now, but I know what to look out for. He isn't pineconing but his colors are very pale.
 

julkosi17

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Hmm... The only thing I could think would help would be a Epson salt bath. Do you think it also might be dropsy? If not, then I think it could be a fungal infection maybe?
 
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Keeks

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Is it internal? Since he has no fungus or anything on him that I can see. I don't have epsom salt right now unfortunately.
 
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Keeks

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Webp.net-resizeimage.jpg Yup looks like he's pineconing (look at his belly). I'm so frustrated I didn't think dropsy was contagious like this. Is epsom salt the only thing that can maybe help?

I know people who keep bettas in awful .5 gallon conditions with no water changes and they live 4+ years, yet when I keep them in the best conditions possible they seem to die off like flies. Not sure this hobby is for me anymore.
 

julkosi17

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Did you use any other supplies from your previous betta’s tank (like the filter or plants/decorations)? That could of been how the your current betta got it.
This website covers everything on how you can treat your betta:
Betta Fish & Dropsy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment | Bettafish.org

Also don’t give up! I’m still new to the hobby and I made so many mistakes and ngl I thought about giving up a couple times, but I keep going bc I want my betta to thrive and have a great life.
 
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Keeks

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I'm giving him an epsom salt bath, hopefully that does something. Thanks for the link!
Yes it's the same filter. I can't recycle a whole new tank right now, so if he recovers can he just catch it again from the filter?
 

julkosi17

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Keeks said:
I'm giving him an epsom salt bath, hopefully that does something. Thanks for the link!
Yes it's the same filter. I can't recycle a whole new tank right now, so if he recovers can he just catch it again from the filter?
If there is something in the tank that’s causing the dropsy then maybe. I’m not sure if fish can get dropsy twice, but I wouldn’t risk it. You could maybe try cleaning the filter.
 
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Keeks

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I have another filter that's unused, I'll move my filter media into that instead. But the media might have stuff in it too right?
 

julkosi17

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The filter media would most likely have the stuff on it too. The best option would probably be recycling the tank, but you already mentioned you can’t do that. Do you have any other tanks that are healthy and cycled? What you could do is put the unused filter in that tank and let it run along side of the filter that is currently in that tank. It’s a type of cycling that could maybe work for you.

Do you have a hospital tank or are you treating him in the main tank?
 
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Keeks

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Nope he's my only tank. I don't think he can handle two different filter flows since he's so weak. I have ammonia in my tap too so removing the media would subject him to high ammonia which would only worsen things.
 

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Yeah I understand. I'm dealing with high ammonia currently and it sucks. I guess you could treat him in the tank with antibiotics, that way the whole tank is being treated, but another problem would be losing the beneficial bacteria...
 
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Keeks

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Unfortunately he passed. It happened so quickly too; when my other betta showed symptoms he lasted a week afterwards. Could the salt dip have caused this quick death? I didn't want to do nothing though as he was pineconing. Yeah I think I'm done owning fish. :(
 

julkosi17

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Keeks said:
Unfortunately he passed. It happened so quickly too; when my other betta showed symptoms he lasted a week afterwards. Could the salt dip have caused this quick death? I didn't want to do nothing though as he was pineconing. Yeah I think I'm done owning fish. :(
I'm so sorry to hear that :(. Dropsy is usually fatal, but you did everything you could. You shouldn't give up though! Unless you feel like the hobby isn't for you anymore, I'm obviously not going to try to convince you to continue if you truly feel you shouldn't. I hope you choose to continue, and if you do I wish you good luck!

Edit: I forgot to answer you question. I don't think that the Epson salt bath caused the death. I think that, like other diseases, it can either move slow, or it can move fast.
 
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Keeks

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Thanks for helping me. Dropsy is so brutal.
 
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