sick betta

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Alka, May 9, 2006.

  1. AlkaNew MemberMember

    I got my male betta about 2 months ago. He was doing really well until now. The past 2 days he's been hiding and sitting on the bottom of the tank, and looks like he has trouble breathing. I havent noticed any visible markings on his body, except for a little bulge posteriorly on the left, but it might be insignificant (hes had it the entire time). I was wondering if anyone had any idea of what might be wrong with him?! The only thing thats changed in the past few days, is that I changed the filter sponges (not all). But I also changed some of the water, so I dont think its a nitrate problem.
     
  2. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    What are your water readings just in case? What has he been eating and how much? You mentioned a lump, how big is it compared to his eye? How is he swimming when he swims? Does he "shimmy" or move smoothly through the water? Does he still come to the surface now and then to breathe?

    Even if you changed part of the filter sponges, you could be having a mini-cycle. So we do need to know the readings for Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. If he has been overeating (more than 3-4 pellets per meal twice a day; or 6-7 bloodworms twice a day - either pellets or bloodworms not both) then he could be constipated and if he has been constipated for 2 days then you need to help him now.

    Get some frozen peas at the grocery store and take one pea and put it in the microwave or in some hot water for 30 seconds. Don't cook it, just defrost it. Take the skin off the pea and cut it in very small pieces about the size of a fourth of his eye and give him 2 of them so he eats enough to make about the size of one half his eye size. If he hasn't improved in a few hours then try the dose again with another pea.

    Please do send us those readings and the other information so we may be better able to help you.

    Rose
    :)
     
  3. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    One more thing, how big is the tank? What temp is it kept at?
     
  4. RichardWell Known MemberMember

    Is he in a tank by himself?..How often do you change the water in that tank?..and is the water in that tank kept at a constant temperature?..I ask these questions because I've lost 2 Bettas since I started keeping fish..the first was bullied to death by a male Black Molly who had a mean streak, in a community-tank..after that I kept all Bettas in their own individual tanks..the other Betta I lost during a water change,following which I found out...(A) Bettas are a little more susceptible to radical temperature-changes than a lot of other species...(B) They're capable surface-breathers,so water changes can be done every two weeks(as long as you don't overfeed)...(C)Water-changes,depending on the climate you live in(cool nights,hot days in my case),should be done in the morning when the temperature of the water you're using for the change would be closest to what's in the aquarium...(D)NEVER,EVER use bottled drinking water for fish..if you have a water-change planned,it's always a good idea to fill sufficient containers from your tap along with required water-treatment at least two days in advance..water-treatments,in my experience, eliminate a high percentage of the chemicals in your water,but other impurities take a couple of days to settle at the bottom of the container..it naturally follows that when making the change,you don't completely drain the container(s) into the tank...Having followed these basic rules,my Bettas have been healthy for the last year and more in some cases.
     
  5. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    Even if Bettas are Labyrinth fish and can breathe air, I do not recommend stretching out the water changes just because they may be able to handle it. I said at the beginning of this section, that I would expect the best for Bettas and that means that they should be treated with the same respect and consideration as any other Tropical Fish and that includes fresh water at least once a week.

    They are more prone than most to finrot and some of the bacterial diseases, and water that is less than the cleanest you can provide will only make them more so. It is true that some owners who do their level best to keep their Bettas well have problems because the bacteria that cause Ich, Finrot, Velvet and several other diseases occur NATURALLY in most tanks. When you do anything to weaken your fish's immune system, including stretching out your water changes you are asking for trouble. Your fish will thank you for your diligence and you will end up thanking yourself in the long run with healthier fish.

    There are some people who have serious Nitrate problems with their water systems and HAVE to use a partial change with bottled water or they would never be able to keep fish (including me). It is not a good idea to use more than 50% and the parameters need to be watched carefully and when you are mixing it has to be MEASURED not guessed at. This is only for the cases where the Nitrate levels have not responded to other measures such as the use of Amquel+ .

    Rose
    :)
     
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