sick betta

  • Thread starter

colleengirl

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Hi all. I'm new here. I've been reading lots of your comments here and hoping to find out what's wrong with my fish. I've only had Fu (short for kung fu) for a few months. He's in a five gallon tank, water is at 84-86 degrees. Up until a week ago he was doing great but all of a sudden he stopped eating, lays at the bottom, occasionally has spasmic darts about the tank, breaths slowly. It's been at least 7 days since he's eaten and he is wasting away. I tried the pea thing but he wouldn't eat that. I noticed he might have finrot so I put just put in a fungus eliminator. He seemed to perk up just a little when I did that. I don't know what else to do. I live in the far north and there isn't alot available to me as far as different product goes. I can send away for it but that would take too long in this case. What should I do? Before I got a Betta I would have heartily laughed at anyone who would cry over a fish but little Fu kinda stole my heart and I feel so sad for him and somehow responsible. Help!

And thank you.
 

Phloxface

Well Known Member
Messages
1,194
Reaction score
3
Points
208
Have you tested the water for ammonia/nitrates/nitrites etc? If you don't have any water testing kit try to get one if you can. Meanwhile I would try to do a partial water change (maybe 20-30%) and make sure you are using a water conditioner as tap water has chlorine and will kill him.
One of my Bettas also had finrot and possibly other bacterial infections. He was doing the same thing, laying around and then suddenly darting around the tank in a panic. I thought I was scaring him by accident but was told later that a sick fish will behave this way. After a few days of medication and clean water change he is all better.
What kind of medicine are you using? I used Maracyn antibiotic. (Petsmart sells it as well as most other large pet stores)
Definately I'd try a partial water change though too. Do you have a filter in your tank?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

colleengirl

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Hi Phlox! Thanks for responding.

I haven't tested the water at all. I did a partial water change today about 30% and I do use a water conditioner for the tap water.

I'm glad to hear your Betta revived! The medicine I'm using is called Fungus Eliminator (by Jungle Laboratories) and it says it clears cotton fungus, red sores, gray skin, fish bloat, fin and mouth rot, white film on eyes, red streaks on fins and swim bladder disease. I used one teaspoon of it. I removed the carbon from my filter but now the filter doesn't run without it. So I've just left it off right now. I didn't know what else to do! We don't have a Petsmart anywhere near here but we do have a pet store. I've just been running to WalMart for stuff as the people at the petstore don't seem to be very knowledgeable. However, they may have what I need if I knew what to look for.

One other question ... is there something I could put into the water that would get Fu the nutrients he needs? He hasn't eaten in so long that I'm worried he will die of starvation before the medication can heal him.

Thanks again for your reply.
 

sasha

Valued Member
Messages
96
Reaction score
0
Points
176
Hi just a thought, if you went to a pet sore or such like and descibed the look of your fish they will probably give you the specific medicine for it ,as i have heard that the "ALL IN ONE" medication are not as good as the specific ones for each illness, if you do get one make sure you do a big enough water change to take out or dilute enough of the previous medicine ,,  but then again its not a good thing to mix and match medicines mmm so its a difficult one to call ,,sorry to confuse you , maybe someone can comment on idea??

Dont know if you have seen this site or not but its there if want to look it may be relevant to you
 

Phloxface

Well Known Member
Messages
1,194
Reaction score
3
Points
208
What kind of food are you feeding him?  He may be constipated as well and that's why he's not eating. Is his stomach round and bloated looking (his stomach is right past his chin, not in the middle like ours). Maybe trying a food he likes better will help, like frozen bloodworms. I'm having a problem with my other Betta (Lava) as he is a picky eater too. He takes the pellets I give him and holds them in his mouth for a long time. I think he's chewed and swallowed them and then he spits them out 10 minutes later.  It's hard to know if he's eating anything. He still seems healthy and active though so far. Phlox, my first Betta has a healthy appetite and eats everything I give him the moment it hits the water!
I don't know of any nutrients that you can put in the water. Maybe someone else here will have some suggestions.

It's very frustrating when one of our fish kids is sick or not eating. At least people can tell you what hurts, they can't.
 

BlueBetta

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Isn't 84-86 degress kind of high for a betta? I keep my tank at 76-78 degrees. Also your betta isn't in a tank with other fish is he? If he is remove him and put him in something else. That way you can treat just him.

BlueBetta
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

colleengirl

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Thanks, Sasha. I will check out that site as well as our pet store for a more specific medication. Today was a holiday in Canada so alot of stores were closed. I'll check things out tomorrow.

Phloxface - I feed him just a wee pinch of dried bloodworms in the morning and evening. Because I thought he might be constipated I tried feeding him a pea but to no avail - Fu would have none of it. He hasn't been eating at all. Poor little guy. When I hit the pet store tomorrow I'll see about getting some frozen bloodworms. Usually Fu attacks his food just like Phlox. I surely do wish he could talk - he just looks at me like he knows I'm trying. I don't know what he's thinking but I sure hope he'll bounce back.

Hi BlueBetta! I used to have my tank at around 76-78 but he became very lethargic and didn't move much. Up until last week he's been happy and swimmy from 82-85. I initially thought it was too high so I lowered the temperature only to get a lethargic fishy again. He seems to love that higher temperature. He is alone in his tank.

Thanks everyone for replying. I went out for dinner tonight and when I came back he was swimming around a little more than he has been this past week which greatly encouraged me. He still hasn't eaten though. I will try feeding him again and will keep you posted. Again, if anyone knows of nutrients of some sort that I could put into the water while he regains his strength I would be most grateful.

colleengirl
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
Hello and Welcome to the Betta Board. I am so sorry not to have been here to welcome you before this.

There is a guide for Betta care at the beginning of the board that would answer some of the questions here, but just to give some quick information:

The temperature may well be just fine for your betta in the 84 degree range as they are in a very real way Tropical fish and need warm conditions perhaps moreso than some species as they do tend toward constipation and cooler temperatures do slow down metabolism and that complicates matters. Just use an air stone to add oxygen to the water at this temperature or it could cause some lethargy due to low oxygen levels.

If he is getting more than 6 or 7 bloodworms twice a day then he is being overfed and has probably got a great big tummy ache and needs to be NOT fed for a couple of days and then try the pea again. If he is hungry he will be more accepting. It is NOT mean, it is what needs to be done. Packing more food in to him is going to cause him to be really stuffed and unable to go at all. With the warmer temperature and no food to make him more uncomfortable for a few days and then he may eat the peas or carrot or whatever green thing you can get him to eat (peas - frozen, defrosted, skinned- are far superior), hopefully he can get to going on his own. Otherwise it may be wise to try an epsom salts bath. But it is best to try the least traumatic way first.

You may do as you wish with the frozen bloodworms, but I do not recommend them. I am still of the opinion that unless you have multiple fish to feed and will be using them at a very fast rate they are expensive and I am not sure of the quality and safety of using them.

They do have vitamins for fish and I do use them but they are not a substitute for food and fish can and do still become ill with them being used. It happens. I just feel that for those that are not good eaters, it may help a little. I will say though, that once a betta has been shown to be apt to be constipated, you will have to watch that they are not overfed again because it will take very little to have it happen again.

I do hope some of this is helpful.

Rose
 

poefox

Well Known Member
Messages
582
Reaction score
0
Points
176
I would back up what Rose said. The problem is of course that you can't take the little guy out and examine him.

I also recommend the water change; when Rusty was sick recently I did a fifty percent change and that was probably a bigger help than anything else. Controlling a tank is really being in charge of a whole environment, and now and then the water will go weird or something.

Have you tried your betta on any other foods besides the worms? They might be a bit too rich for him as well. I know breeding afficionados recommend worms and nothing but the worms but there are different factors for them. They want bettas to be on a constant cycle pushing them up again towards breeding, which is a tricky process and requires them to get particular amounts of protein. For a betta in a 5 gallon tank you might want to just feed the worms in future maybe once or twice a week and maybe 2-3 pellets twice a day. Like all fish their eyes are bigger than their stomachs, but while we have this mechanism that tells us that we've eaten too much fish don't seem to. Once you've given him a bit of a fast and tried the vegetables as Chickadee suggested you might want to try a different diet for him.

Good luck, I hope he gets better.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

colleengirl

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Thanks Rose and Poefox. I didn't end up getting him any frozen shrimp. He hasn't eaten in over a week! I will try the pea again today. He wouldn't accept it awhile ago. I've only seen him come up to the surface once or twice in the last week. Should I just drop the pea into the water or wait for him to eat it from me? The Fungus Eliminator is in the water right now and the bottle says it needs to be changed out every four days. Today he looked just a tad bit better. But he is still barely moving. I am forcing myself not to fret about it but it's hard. I will do what I can and I hope he revives.

When I went to the pet store today I saw 3 dead bettas right off the bat. I showed them to the guy who worked there and he said, "Oh, we haven't done Dead Patrol yet today." Gleep!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

colleengirl

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
I forgot to ask ... what is an epsom salt bath?
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
Dissolve 1 level measuring teaspoon of epsom salts (they can be purchased in the laxative section of any drug store and usually cost about $2.00 a pound) in a small amount of dechlorinated water. (some grocery stores carry them too in the area with the aspirin and such)

Add it to 4 gallons of warm (82 to 84 degree) dechlorinated water and stir well.

Put the fish in the water and leave him there for even overnight if you move the heater over to the container or tank.

If you don't want to leave him in that long or you don't have a hospital tank, get a small bucket and put 1/4 teaspoon in 1 gallon of water.  (you are going to have to measure as the amounts are important)  It is a good idea to get a set of measuring spoons and a gallon plastic pitcher for your fish use if you haven't already.  You will use them over and over.  I also have a new bucket that belongs only to them as you cannot use anything that has had detergent or cleaning supplies used in it or the residue could kill your fish.  If you use the bucket method, just leave him in for an hour or so, as the water will get too cool. (and try to keep it in a warm place)

Please let me know how he is doing, I am really hoping and praying for you.

Rose
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

colleengirl

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Hi. I'm sorry it took so long for me to respond but my computer was down! Bad timing.

Thank you for all of this information. Unfortunately little Fu died a couple of nights ago. I was almost relieved because I could see him suffering so much. But I cried hard. Somehow he just fished his way into my heart.

I'm really nervous to get another one right away. I think I want to read through this forum and get more information. I know he died because I didn't know what I was doing and that's really hard to take.
 

Phloxface

Well Known Member
Messages
1,194
Reaction score
3
Points
208
I'm so sorry for your loss!  :'( :'( :'(

He may have had an illness that was simply incurable. You did everything you could. At least you made an effort, getting information and asking advice. It's all any of us could do.

When you are ready you will find another Betta to love. A small piece of advice... since you don't know what Fu died of, you should thoroughly sterilize the tank and everything in it before adding another fish, in case it was something contagious. Maybe someone else here knows how to properly do that.

Again, I'm so sorry about Fu. Don't blame yourself. These things just happen sometimes and we can't control them.
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
When I had a fish die of dropsy, I thoroughly sterilized the tank and all I could but some things unfortunately just have to be thrown away. The gravel will be a complete loss. There is no way to bleach it as it absorbs the chlorine and will kill the fish when you add new ones. Empty the tank of everything and anything plastic or resin can be put in a new bucket of bleach water (1 part bleach to 19 parts water) and soaked for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse, rinse, rinse and soak in a bucket of dechlorinated water with twice the amount of dechlorinator in it than usual overnight. Then rinse, rinse, rinse. Let dry in direct sunlight for a whole day. Wash the empty tank with Clear Water (no detergents or soaps NOTHING). Then fill the tank with bleach water made in the 1 part bleach and 19 parts water solution and soak for 30 minutes at least and rinse, rinse, rinse. Rinse again with double dechlorinated water like you did the other things and rinse, rinse, rinse, again. Then dry in direct sunlight for a whole day just like the other stuff. Rinse it all with dechlorinated water and wipe with clean paper towels to remove any dust that may have accumulated. Then everything is ready to use as soon as you cannot smell bleach anymore.

Please replace the filter media and be sure to soak the heater and as much of the filter as has been in the water. Or better yet, please perhaps consider getting a new sponge filter and disposing of the other filter and just starting completely over since the tank will have to be recycled anyway and sponge filters are very inexpensive. Then do a fishless cycle and you are ready for a new baby.

I am so sorry for your loss and wish we had been able to help your little one. It is always sad to lose one of our friends. When you are ready to make a decision you will, but please do not make a permanent decision while you are grieving.



Rose
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

colleengirl

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Thanks for all your kind words. I really appreciate it. Thanks too for the advice. It's invaluable and I will do what I can to make a safe home for my next fish.
 

smillermom

Valued Member
Messages
190
Reaction score
0
Points
176
One thing to keep in mind also is the age of the fish. You have no way of knowing when you get them how old they are already. The way I look at it, you are giving the Betta a much better life than he had before so please remember what a great home you gave a little guy that was cooped up before in a little bowl!!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

colleengirl

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Thanks, Smiller. It's a good way to look at it and I want to begin looking at it like that, too.
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
When you shop for a betta, my words of wisdom are to watch the stores. Many stores are now beginning to sell younger bettas. An adult betta that can be any age is going to be 2" to 2 1/2" (5cm to 6cm) without the fins. A betta which is 1" or 1 1/2" or less is 3 to 4 months old and has a good chance at a good long lifespan, barring illness or injury. If you can find one who is fairly active and looks like it is small and has been kept in clean water and not had all its oxygen supply cut off, you could have a good chance at a healthy one. Just pick up the cup and see if it responds to you and moves around and is active and wants to swim and look out at you or anything. Then pick up a good food, preferrably a food that is for little bettas (Wardley pellets are too big and so are Tetra but they MAY be able to handle Hikari Betta Bio-Gold. Your absolute best bet with a baby is Atison's Betta Pro, the pellets are TINY). Get them started on peas from the start and remember that a young betta is going to be willing to be trained to eat anything better than an older one. They do not however, adjust to tankmates as well unless they are very docile. They have been too young and you better be ready to go through PUBERTY with them. It is funny, but not in some ways .

Rose
 

poefox

Well Known Member
Messages
582
Reaction score
0
Points
176
I'm sorry for your loss as well...when I lost Darth Pisces I felt very sad and thought I'd never get another betta. But I'm very glad I adopted Rusty, who is an entirely different kind of fish and while not the handsomest betta is such a little tough guy that I am always glad to see him when I come home.

I'm sure you did the best you could...sometimes the little creatures are hard to diagnose and respond to in time. We give them a better place than they would have had if they'd gone to some office in a vase.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom