Sick Bettas - Going Out Of Town! Help!! Help

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by smoteymote, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. smoteymote

    smoteymoteNew MemberMember

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    BACKSTORY
    A woman surrendered 3 bettas to me on March 25th. The small divided tank they were in "read" 8ppm ammonia (I am assuming higher because the test doesn't go further) and she said that "Water changes stress them out so I don't do them too frequently"



    The info below is relevant to my CURRENT set up, not anything she did since I can not be sure about that. I will get more updated photos when I get home this afternoon.


    Tank

    What is the water volume of the tank?
    20g long (bettas are separated in large breeder nets with plants in the nets for them to rest on and plants between the nets to avoid line of site.)
    How long has the tank been running? Since Mar 24th (used a cycled filter)
    Does it have a filter? Yes, 1 double-sponge rated for 20g, 1 internal canister set to low with outflow blocked by driftwood. (Needed to circulate water so temp stays steady)
    Does it have a heater? Yes
    What is the water temperature? 81.6 F
    What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 3 betta fish. (Crowntail, Black (unknown type), and Veiltail)

    Maintenance
    How often do you change the water?
    1x a week
    How much of the water do you change? 20-30% depending on test kit levels
    What do you use to treat your water? Since these guys are so sick, I've been using API Stress coat+, but usually seachem prime
    Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? bare bottom tank

    *Parameters - Very Important
    Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
    Yes!
    What do you use to test the water? API Master Freshwater Test Kit
    What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

    Ammonia:
    0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 5
    pH: 7.6

    Feeding
    How often do you feed your fish?
    1x morning, 1x evening.
    How much do you feed your fish? Until stomach gently rounds
    What brand of food do you feed your fish? Frozen Bloodworms, Spectrum New Life (pre-soaked before feeding)
    Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Frozen bloodworms

    Illness & Symptoms
    How long have you had this fish?
    1 week
    How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? They have been looking bad for "a while" according to the previous owner.
    In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
    - Crowntail - popeye, shredded fins
    - Veiltail - missing ventral fins, all other fins clamped (fin melt?)
    - Black one - destroyed fins and.... side-laying when resting. *swimming is much stronger now but still side-lays.* Watch to end of video

    Have you started any treatment for the illness?
    - Kanaplex (dosed 4 scoops in 20g tank every 48 hours for 3 days)
    - Fresh, clean water and good food.
    Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? Surrendered, and yes.
    How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? DRASTICALLY. They're all so much better now. I will get better photos when I get home tonight.

    Explain your emergency situation in detail. I am leaving on the 5th for a conference and won't be back until the 15th. My partner is able to feed them but I am not sure what do to about medication. Is there something helpful I can add to the tank to help the one with popeye and make sure they don't die while I'm gone?
     
  2. Rtessy

    RtessyFishlore VIPMember

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    You should be fine honestly. Maybe get your partner to do the weekly water change(s) while you're gone. Kanaplex is a great med to use in these situations, but it is a very strong medication, so it's best to give fish a break between kanaplex and anything else, so you shouldn't medicate them while your gone anyway.
    And great job saving them!
    Are they still in breeder nets or did you get dividers?
     
  3. Fanatic

    FanaticFishlore VIPMember

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    Hello, and welcome to fishlore!

    The shredding of the fins can either be caused by fin rot, biting out of stress, or damages from a previous filter intake. I don't see fin rot on the black betta, that looks to be some extreme biting or damage from a filter, as the fins are ragged on the edges followed by missing chunks. The veiltail I cannot really see clearly from the sides on the after picture, so I am unsure whether that is fin rot or not. The crowntail appears to have his fins rotting off as you can notice the rays are receeding and most of the webbing is left, and the obvious sign of popeye.

    I also see that you have started treating with Kanaplex, which will cover the popeye along with plenty of frequent water changes to aid in healing and to prevent infections from grabbing hold while they are weakened. I think they need to be treated by daily water changes, as this is a very crucial aspect when treating any fish for an illness. If you can instruct your partner how to do a water change, maybe he could do that two or three times while you are gone.
     
  4. WinterSoldier.

    WinterSoldier.Well Known MemberMember

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    I am appalled. "water changes stress them out" what is she thinking? Is she crazy? My bettas LOVE water changes and always build HUGE bubble nests after them. I think you should be fine. The best possible cure for these little guys is clean water and a solid diet. I would do an extra water change. Do you have live plants? Also I would add an indian almond leaf. It was healing powers with bettas.
     
  5. Rtessy

    RtessyFishlore VIPMember

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    Who knows, she may not have been using any water conditioner :/
    Also I second the IAL if you happen to have any
     
  6. Makennaroni+Cheese

    Makennaroni+CheeseNew MemberMember

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    My female betta gets stressed out when I do water changes (and boy is it noticeable when a navy blue and black betta gets a silver stripe running all the way down her side!), but I've worked around that just by being very gentle and taking her out of the tank if I need to be more thorough. That's just a bad excuse to neglect an animal. It's like saying your long haired cat doesn't like getting brushed so it's acceptable for it to be covered in mats, or that trimming your dog's nails stresses them out so you just let them keep growing.

    I second the almond leaf (maybe look into salt treatments?), and maybe you could leave step-by-step instructions for your partner for the water changes so that they feel more confident when doing it.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    smoteymote

    smoteymoteNew MemberMember

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    Good to know! They're still in the breeder nets since they're not swimming so well right now. They're the large ones so they take up most of the tank but are more shallow (so they don't have the whole height of the 20g long to try and swim up).

    They know how, the issue is medical so they are unable to actually DO the water change. Usually it's not an issue but all of our housemates are out of town as well. It's kind of a nightmare. I wish the woman who surrendered them had actually given them to me 5 weeks ago like she said she would :mad:

    They are in a cycled 20g with a internal canister pushing about 75gph and a sponge filter rated for 20g. I'll be doing a 90% water change right before I leave. My two other tanks that have way higher bioload than this one usually only get up to 10ppm nitrates in a week max. Do you think they'll be okay? I don't anticipate this one going over 5ppm nitrate even.


    RIGHT? I think it was because she was using non temp matched water and lord knows if she added dechlorinator (especially in our area that's ramped up the chlorine lately). Plus the swing from filthy to clean probably didn't help either.

    The tank is packed with plants and IAL as well as driftwood!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    smoteymote

    smoteymoteNew MemberMember

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    You replied while I was typing but I'll add in - my partner physically can't and our housemates will also be out of town that week. I have IAL in the tanks but everyone I've talked to so far has said don't add salt to the tank - it should only be done as a separate treatment for a short period of time.

    (Side note that my nieces have a long hair cat and have that issue right now because they can't get him to sit still because he doesn't like it and I've had to pin him down every time I go over to give him a brushout because he's getting matted. :banghead:
     
  9. Makennaroni+Cheese

    Makennaroni+CheeseNew MemberMember

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    Yeah, no no no don't add salt to the whole tank! That's definitely a quick treatment you do outside of the tank in a separate container.
     
  10. Rtessy

    RtessyFishlore VIPMember

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    If you can't do water changes, then you can't, no need to stress about it honestly. Water changes while you're gone are the ideal, it's fine if you don't meet the ideal. Starting out with 5ppm, they should be absolutely fine, and at least you have someone who can call you if they take a turn for the worse
     
  11. emtp123

    emtp123New MemberMember

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    I’m new here, but my Baby Boy Betta’s fins burned off overnight with Ammonia spike to 4.0 a week after adding 2 live plants. It looks like the black Betta is having trouble swimming with the damaged fins and just giving up. Poor guys! People here recommended very frequent water changes, adding live bacteria, and shallow water so he could easily get to air. Things have improved for my Red...and we are wishing you good luck.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    smoteymote

    smoteymoteNew MemberMember

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    Phew okay! That's what I thought but a part of me was like CAN I?

    I've had a fair few bettas in the past, my longest living 7 years, but all but one have been healthy and so some of the treatments are still a little foreign to me!


    Yeah it's been a pretty big worry. Water tests will happen daily and we can call a local fishkeeper out if it's absolutely necessary!
     
  13. OP
    OP
    smoteymote

    smoteymoteNew MemberMember

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    I am not concerned about the tank ammonia spiking. This has basically been an established tank for a year that I moved over (and it's not the first time I've used this method for sick fish!).

    The black betta is doing much better with swimming (I'll get some recent photo/video when I get home) but I think the severity of damage is impacting his ability to swim. He loves resting in the plants I've got in the net though!

    All three are getting the things you listed - my concern is going out of town and how to keep caring for them since my partner is unable to physically do water changes and I didn't want to add meds to the tank that needed to be removed immediately.
     
  14. Fanatic

    FanaticFishlore VIPMember

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    I think you will be fine, the nitrates are unlikely to rise past the comfortable levels because bettas have a very low bioload, just have your partner keep their best watch on it and update you accordingly.
     
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