Sick Baby Betta Help

  1. C

    Chimpidge New Member Member

    I've got a really young baby betta that I've had for around 2 weeks now. Three days ago I noticed his color change from a silver body and blue tinted fins, to more of a yellow body and pale fins. His appetite is nonexistent and he is very lethargic, typically with his head in the gravel and tail floating up. Unfortunately he is so small it is hard to see any other signs to pinpoint a specific illness.
    He is in a 2.5 gallon minibow aquarium. The tank is cycled, all water tests look good except the ph which is sitting around 8. The water was treated with prime conditioner and aquarium salt. The tank has a heater where I try to keep the temp between 74-80 degrees.
    I created an uncycled isolation tank with new water and have placed him in this morning. I'm not sure where to go from here. Has anyone had a similar issue or any advice that would help? I'm trying hard to not lose the little guy.
     
  2. maggie thecat

    maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    Hi, sorry you are having a problem.
    Jumped out:

    Why are you salting the tank? How much salt are you using?

    Salt should only be used as a medication, not as a routine addin.
     
  3. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Well Known Member Member

    Poor baby betta :(

    Don't worry about the water's pH. As long as it's stable, you're fine. Fish do much better with stable water parameters than they do with water that is always having it's chemistry messed with. And if you're always trying to reduce your pH, the water is not stable. Consistency is better than reaching that ideal pH. Besides, if you bought the fish locally, he's already used to the chemistry of your water, because the tap at your house and the tap at the store aren't that different.

    Agree that you should not be using aquarium salt unless there is a specific medical problem you are using the salt to treat. Habitually adding salt to the tank with each water change is a bad practice.

    Laying on the bottom, head down, tail up, does not sound good. I know he's tiny, so pictures will be tough, but can you try and get a shot from the side and a shot from overhead? Zoom in as close as you can but get his whole body in the picture. From what you've said about how he's acting, he should stay still for a few pictures.

    Since you made a quarantine tank for him, I'm assuming he wasn't alone in his primary tank? What tank mates does he have in his main tank? How are they acting?
     


  4. OP
    OP
    C

    Chimpidge New Member Member

    I've read on threads that the aquarium salt is good to for the tank and stress levels of the fish. It's a pretty debated topic both ways. I'm not sure the specific amount but I go by the instructions on the box, if not a little less. After the initial full I only add it in with a new water change and balance it for the new water, not the overall tank.

    He has no tank mates. There is a moss ball and two small sword plants. The plants are healthy and we rinsed and floated before introducing them. I made the iso tank because I was afraid that something may be contaminated and I am trying to purge any issues there.
    My camera sucks on my phone. Those were the best I could snap this morning.
     

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  5. maggie thecat

    maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    Salt is an irritant that promotes slime coat. That can have an antibacterial effect. But. It can also affect a fish's internal organs negatively over time.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    C

    Chimpidge New Member Member

    Ok so that sucks, I've possibly been poisoning him. So I need to start purging the salt out.
     


  7. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Well Known Member Member

    He's so tiny! I see why he's hard to photograph. I wish I could see more detail because that would make identifying problems much easier, but I understand how cameras and fish are.

    Honestly, I don't think the quarantine tank is necessary, because he's the only inhabitant of his tank. And if there is a problem with his main tank, and you treat him outside the tank, then he'll just get sick again when added back to the main tank. So you should be treating him in his main tank. All this moving him around and changes to his environment is added stress, and added stress is bad for his health. So unless you are planning on completely emptying out his main tank sterilizing it and everything in it, there's really no point in moving him to quarantine. Besides, since he is not feeling well, you want him to be as comfortable as possible. And he'll be the most comfortable in his home.
     
  8. maggie thecat

    maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    I would. If you salted the quarentine water then do it over the course of a few days. If the Q water is not salted then do 100% water change in his home tank and put him back.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    C

    Chimpidge New Member Member

    Yea I dropped in a little salt into the quarantine tank thinking it would help his stress. I didn't put in a lot but there is some. I guess I'll do a 20% water change before putting him back into the home tank. Thank you both for your help. I'll see if I can't get some better pics when I get home.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    C

    Chimpidge New Member Member

    He's opened up his fins more tonight but it looks like the symptoms have manifested a bit more. It now looks like he has black edges on his fins so I'm thinking it's fin rot.
     

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  11. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Well Known Member Member

    That does not look like fin rot to me. And his other symptoms (loss of appetite, lethargic, laying on bottom) don't say "fin rot" to me.

    I can't really see the detail of his scales from the picture, so I'm going to rely on you to tell me what you see, here. Stand directly over his tank and look down inside. Look right at him. Look at his scales. Do they look like they are sticking out from his body? Or are they laying flat like you'd expect? When you look at him from overhead, does his body kind of look like it has a pine-cone texture?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    C

    Chimpidge New Member Member

    It's really hard to tell with him being so little. The pic kind of makes the scales look more defined but He looks smooth to the naked eye. He doesn't look bloated like most pics I've seen of dropsy. If anything he looks too gaunt. His scales look normal. His head has turned a brownish hue, his overall color is yellow/green, and his central fins are red.
     

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  13. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Well Known Member Member

    I'm stumped.

    When in doubt, water change it out.

    I would put him back in his main tank, and change at least 50% of his water every day. Either he will get better, or his symptoms will become easier to identify.

    Fresh, clean water is the best general tonic for bettas. It promotes healing in ways medication can't compete with. You may be thinking "can't I just buy something so I don't have to do that?" No. You can't replace fresh clean water with a chemical additive and expect your fish to heal. Seriously, lots and lots of fresh, clean water. Just don't change 100% of his water at one time. That may shock him.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    C

    Chimpidge New Member Member

    Ok thanks for the help. I've been racking my brain for days and can't figure out the cause. I'll put him back in the home tank and keep at the water changes. Hopefully he'll keep fighting.