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Sick Betta Fish Help

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by greencarpet, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. greencarpetNew MemberMember

    Hey! I'm new to the forum, I just need some quick help for a very specific situation. I'm not a betta person, my mom usually does the betta stuff, but she's away at work and I've noticed a.. concerning problem, to say the least.

    Here's the sick fish template:


    The tank is a 20 gallon, it has 6 betta fish in it. (Don't worry! They're siblings, there's never been issues with aggression.. ever. We watch closely and were gonna move them, but they got along really well so, we let them stay together.)
    The tank has been running for a pretty long time, like, a little less than a year. It was gonna be our breeding tank, but we only did one clutch. It was a small clutch, and the 6 babies are in there now.
    It does have a filter.
    It does have a heater, but it's not on because we live in Florida and it'd be way too hot if it were on.
    The water temperature is about 80.
    There are 5 other betta fish, all girls. The issue I have is with the one boy in the batch.

    My mom changes the water quite often, I don't know exactly but it's a lot. Once a week? I'm not sure. It's usually while I'm at school.
    I'm not sure how much she changes, at least 10%?
    I'm not sure what we use to treat the tank, as it's my mom's.
    It's a bare-bottom tank. Again, supposed to be a breeder, but that didn't happen.

    *Parameters - Very Important
    [Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?] Yes
    [What do you use to test the water?] I'm not sure.
    [What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.] Can't test, I don't know where she keeps the tests.

    [How often do you feed your fish?] A bit too often, admittedly.
    [How much do you feed your fish?] A pinch of food?
    [What brand of food do you feed your fish?] Varies. I don't know.
    [Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?] We used to when they were babies, but not much anymore.

    Illness & Symptoms
    [How long have you had this fish?] Since he was a baby. We bred him, he's about, a little less than a year old.
    [How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?] Today. Admittedly, should've noticed earlier, but I don't mess with the fish much.
    [In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?] His scales poke out a little bit, not much. He's disoriented, and has trouble swimming.
    [Have you started any treatment for the illness?] I have no clue what to do, I'm no fish expert, I put him in a cup on my desk to keep him monitored, and put in a drop of stress guard to calm him down.
    [Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?] Not purchased, and nope.
    [How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?] Pineconed slightly, and a bruise on his head.

    Explain your emergency situation in detail.
    While I was checking out the fish, I saw him against the bottom of the filter. I know nothing about fish, but I tried to help him get off as soon as I could. I moved the filter, and he wiggled away, but was swimming sideways. His scales are the tiniest bit pineconed, he seems to have no clue what direction he's going in, and he can't pull himself upright for long. There's a white spot on his head, and red near that, it looks like a little bruise. Probably from the filter. The filter was put in so that babies physically couldn't get stuck on it, it's a sponge filter (I think that's the name?) His spine doesn't look bad, and I gave him some food, he gulped it down as soon as he noticed it was there. I don't know what to do, the only person who knows about fish in this household, my mom, is at work. She can't text during work or she'll get a strike. We have medications, but I don't know what to use. I don't know if there is even anything I can use. I don't think putting him back in with his sisters would be the worst thing, as the only physical damage he's sustained doesn't seem to be their fault, but I don't know if he can handle the current.
  2. CaptainAquaticsWell Known MemberMember

  3. RepolieWell Known MemberMember

    Can we see pictures of him? If his scales are slightly raised, then he has dropsy. Dropsy is a symptom of an underlying cause which is most commonly an internal bacterial infection.

    I suggest you move him to a hospital tank so he can have his own space for treatment and not a cup. Kanaplex (kanamycin) is usually used for treatment because it's easily absorbed through the skin and gills which makes it effective for an internal infection. An epsom salt bath, which is 1TBSP/Gallon for 10-15 minutes in a separate container, can help relieve some fluid retention.
  4. greencarpetNew MemberMember

    It's not a good photo, as the lighting in here is awful, but here he is. Yeah, I was deeply hoping it wasn't dropsy, but that's what it looked like to me. I can ask my mom to pick up that medicine, and I'll see if there's anywhere we can put him. We don't have any good spare tanks currently set up, but when my mom gets home for break, we can try go get him somewhere better.

    Attached Files:

  5. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Unfortunately, the scales are pineconing which means it is indeed dropsy, and there isn't much you can do once it's this far along, but you can try to treat with daily epsom salt baths and kanaplex.
  6. CaptainAquaticsWell Known MemberMember

    I hope it works out, dropsy is a fast killing, hard to get rid of illness. It can also spread to other fish so I would recommend treating the tank as a pervenitive.
  7. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    I disagree, dropsy usually does not spread, as it is not a disease, it's a symptom that happens when an organ fails, usually the kidneys in the fish.
  8. greencarpetNew MemberMember

    Dang. I assumed it was dropsy, but it's sad to hear it confirmed. Well, thanks for the help! My mom and I will try to help him, but I don't know if it'll work out. We've never had anybody survive dropsy.
    Just to be safe, how would you recommend I treat the girls? I don't wanna overdose them, in case it isn't actually a threat. Do I treat them with the before mentioned kanaplex? or something else. I know some medicines you should only use if they very clearly need it or it could cause damage, so I wanna be really careful.
  9. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    You should only treat the infected fish, and the package instructions say to use one scoop of kanaplex per five gallons, but I have heard that some people recommend a higher dosage.