Sick Betta, Out Of Ideas

Status
Not open for further replies.

S. Decoteau

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Points
1
Hi Guys, I have a 2 year old male Betta fish that has been sick for a few weeks now and I feel like I've tried everything. It began with a move from Maine to Florida in which his fins got pretty torn up due to a serious miscalculation on my part. I immediately began adding a bit of BettaFix to his tank to help him rebuid his slimecoat and try to prevent infection. 10 days later he seemed pretty much his usual curious, hungry self, except that I kept finding large bits of fin at the bottom of his tank during daily gravel vac.

Two weeks ago, I noticed that he was acting far more lethargic than normal and I saw what looked like a fuzzy white patch on one side. I had stopped adding BettaFix by that point, so I started adding it again. When that did nothing, I moved on to Melafix, even as I was doing research and attempting to aquire materials for a more aggressive approach. At the same time I realized that the pH in his water, which I'd been fighting to raise for a few months at that point, was down to 6.2.

So we raised the pH (I can explain how if asked). We've been monitoring all of the other parameters throughout this process as well, and everything but the pH has been perfect (0 PPM ammonia, 0 nitrites, occasionally elevated nitrates but well below the threshold). I had a very well balanced and cycling tank for months before all of this. But now the pH had overshot the mark and was hovering around 7.4 - 7.6!!

My Betta got worse. While waiting for Kanamycin to arrive from Amazon since no one has it in store, I began treating with what I had on hand already: Fungus Clear tabs (active ingredients: nitrofurazone & potassium dicromate) and aquarium salt, both according to directions on the box. But my Betta kept getting worse; the white patch cleared up but he started laying on one side at the top of the tank when not swimming, and it seemed like it was hard to get his attention. Almost as if his sense of hearing and sight are not working right. After a few days of the fish steadily declining, I switched tactics and tried Betta Rescue on the days between the Fungus Clear tabs, while *still* waiting for the Kanamycin. After a full course of Betta Revive there was no improvement in his condition, so when the Kanamycin arrived I cleaned the tank and everything in it with hot water, changed the filter media, performed about a 60% water change, replaced the substrate altogether, and then began the course of Kanamycin. For about a week I was alternating Kanamycin and Fungus Clear tabs and performing a 1400ml water change daily (out of a 3 gallon tank which probably has closer to 2 1/2 gallons of water in it).

He still had an appetite even though I had to help him see his food & wake him up to eat it. Yes, before you ask, at one point I tried fasting him for a few days to see if it's his swim bladder, and nothing changed. I have been offering him 2 pellets of Hikari Bio Gold twice per day because he usually manages to eat them once per day (uneaten extras are immediately removed from the tank).

We had to go out of town for 5 days and just returned yesterday. My brother in law was looking after him, said he'd been eating, but I slurped a bunch of food pellets off of the gravel (grrrrr!!!!) along with a bunch of poop when I got home. I don't think he was eating. And he looks worse than ever, spending all if his time laying on his side at the top of the tank behind the heater.

When I checked the water pH last night it read 7.4, so I added pH down per package instructions. I checked all of the water params this morning and everything but the pH was spot on. But the pH *still* reads 7.4!!

He's not eating at all now, and he looks dreadful. He barely swims at all and when he does he immediately flops back over on one side and floats at the top of the tank. I think his eyes look a bit cloudy, and his fins still look ragged, and he's obviously lost weight.

Please, if anyone has any idea of anything else I could do to save him, please let me know. My family loves this little guy, and I'm out of ideas

In a last ditch effort I turned off the filter & added another full dose of Kanamycin as well as a full dose of Fungus Clear tabs a little while ago. Otherwise, I'm completely out of ideas.
 

Iverg1

Well Known Member
Messages
1,554
Reaction score
642
Points
108
Location
Minnesota USA
Experience
1 year
Hello! Welcome to Fishlore! Sorry to hear about your little guy. May I ask what is your tank size? Heated? Filtered? Do you know your parameters? Why were you messing with the PH? The ph doesn't really need to be messed with it just needs to remain constant. In the future please don't use melafix or bettafix or any fix as it contains tree oil that could coat your bettas labyrinth organ and cause him to die. I agree that he has swim bladder I reccomend fasting for three days and then feed him a pea afterwards you can use epsom salt Can we see a picture? I also suggest stopping the meds and changing 50% of the water to get the meds out of there. With so much meds it could be the reason why he is getting worse. Let me just call @Repolie @Sakura48 @CanadianFishFan @Gypsy13
 

Repolie

Well Known Member
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
2,170
Points
298
Location
Alberta
Experience
4 years
Ok we need a picture, but the ripped fins on the bottom of the tank sound like he's fin biting. The white patch on his side sounds like a fungus infection but most fungus looking things are actually bacterial. You should've never used Bettafix or Melafix because it contains tea tree oil which covers the surface of the water and coats the betta's labryinth organ which potentially suffocates them. You also shouldn't be adding chemicals to change the pH because those can cause swings in the pH which can put a betta in shock, they can adapt to the pH with some time and proper acclimation. Never clean the entire tank or throw away the filter media because that houses all the beneficial bacteria to help convert ammonia to less toxic things. Again, with the large water change and cleaning of everything, you can put a betta into shock if you didn't properly acclimate him to the water.

I think you loaded him on too many medications, with the large cleaning and water change caused stress to lead him to become more vulnerable to infections and other things. During the time he was with your bother in law, he probably got ammonia poisoning from the decaying food and waste. His swim bladder disorder could've come from many things such as cold temperature, pH shock, water parameters, over feeding, or constipation. I think it's safe to rule out over feeding or constipation because he's not eating.

Ragged fins sound like fin rot from bad water quality or from the fin biting. His cloudy eye could be caused by water parameters, parasites, medication interactions, changing water temperature, or bacterial infections. A pictures of him from multiple angles would help. Unfortunately I do not think he will make it with the crazy ordeal he's been through. I think I would just stop the medications and chemicals and do a partial water change to dilute the rest of it for a few days to eventually get rid of all of it, properly acclimate him and add in some Methylene Blue and hope for the best.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
OP
S

S. Decoteau

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Points
1
Thank you. Tank size is 3gal, but there's about 2.5gal in there right now. It is filtered, heated, temp steady at 79°F. Params as of 11:00 am today are:

pH: 7.4
Ammonia: .25 PPM (I went looking for a source and discovered and removed some poop & uneaten pellets from when we were out of town. We just got back last night.)

The pH was between 6 and 6.2 two weeks ago. I agree that a steady pH is much better for the fish than changes in pH, but I panicked a little at 6.0. Additionally, due to the fuzzy white spot I'd been suspecting columnaris and read that a lower than ideal pH helps the bacteria grow.

Is there any pH that is bad for Bettas even if it's steady, then? I read that anything under 6.4 or over 7.4 was a danger zone. It seems that I was misinformed.

Hello! Welcome to Fishlore! Sorry to hear about your little guy. May I ask what is your tank size? Heated? Filtered? Do you know your parameters? Why were you messing with the PH? The ph doesn't really need to be messed with it just needs to remain constant. In the future please don't use melafix or bettafix or any fix as it contains tree oil that could coat your bettas labyrinth organ and cause him to die. I agree that he has swim bladder I reccomend fasting for three days and then feed him a pea afterwards you can use epsom salt Can we see a picture? I also suggest stopping the meds and changing 50% of the water to get the meds out of there. With so much meds it could be the reason why he is getting worse. Let me just call @Repolie @Sakura48 @CanadianFishFan @Gypsy13
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
S

S. Decoteau

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Points
1
TDS: 212 (hovers around 200-220)
pH: ~ 7.0. Down a bit from 7.4 @ 11:00 am
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Reran tests with old API kit and new one to confirm.

Lethargy continues. Hangs out in floating log or in a corner a lot and not interested in food. Floats mostly sideways, but seems to swim without problems up right when he moves around.

Other data point. The initial pH concern was our kit only goes down to 6.0, and the water temp had been higher than we realized, even with heater off.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Toggle Sidebar

UV Sterilizers Worth It?

  • Yes

    Votes: 27 23.9%
  • No

    Votes: 11 9.7%
  • IDK - never used one before

    Votes: 75 66.4%




Top Bottom