Sick Double Tail Male -- what else to do??

  1. claud1a Initiate Member

    I have a blue double tail male betta -- 10 months old -- had stopped eating 10 days ago (though ate 5 pellets this morning) and also very lethargic since then. Hangs at bottom of tank. Started breathing heavily today. Hasn't even swam to the surface for air since this morning.

    No signs of fin rot
    Belly looks fine (not distended)
    Color looks fine
    Not s-curved
    Eyes look clear and not protruding
    Pooped for the first time in 10 days yesterday. Big poop too!

    Care:
    in a 1.5 gallon tank with hiding spaces, live plants and stones on bottom
    As soon as I realized he was sick I started purchasing "betta water" from Walmart thinking perhaps my spring water with conditioner method wasn't good enough.
    I change about 1/3 to 1/2 of the water once a week
    He has a water heater in the tank that maintains proper temperature -- 78-82F -- always.
    He used to eat 8-10 pellets a day. (I know, a lot for a betta!)

    I tried feeding him 1/2 a pea. He didn't go for it.
    I tried feeding him flakes (store clerk said it's easier on his stomach). He didn't go for it.

    The only thing I can think he has is swim bladder issue. I don't know what else to do. I am attaching 2 photos from a few days ago. Anyone have any ideas on what else I can do? He's been a healthy and happy fish until 10 days ago.

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  2. Platylover Fishlore VIP Member

    To start off, don't feed him for three days then give him a pea, until you know what it is, repeat. If he gets better the you can continue feed him regularly, although I wouldn't feed as much, maybe try 4-5 pellets? Do you have a liquid test kit? What are the parameters? I had a betta(Keshet) that had to fast for 6 days with a pea every three days, it works great if it's a swim bladder issue! Maybe Flowingfins can help as well. Welcome to the forum, sorry your first post is about an issue.:(
     

  3. Annie424 Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry your betta is unwell. :( What are the water readings in your tank (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH) and do you have a filter in it? What have you been using to condition the water when you change it? I love the iridescence in the colors of your fish, he's lovely. What is his name?
     
  4. claud1a Initiate Member

    Hi, I use the bottled betta water so i don't know what the levels are. I had assumed I didn't have to monitor because it it is supposedly perfect for a betta. I do not have a filter. I just change about 1/2 the water every week. His name is Dr. Bubbles 2.0.. :) He really is a beautiful color!

    He isn't eating the peas. Have tried to give it to him but he swims away from them every time. Is there a surefire method to feed them peas?
     

  5. Annie424 Well Known Member Member

    I'd highly suggest getting some API liquid test kits and check your tank water. It's hard to say what might be wrong without knowing your water quality readings. Even if the water you are using for changes is 'good' for a betta, unless you are testing regularly you don't know what your betta is living in. It can go from good to not-so-good very quickly. Unfortunately you can't tell good water from bad just by looking at it. :(
     
  6. claud1a Initiate Member

    Here are the numbers as just tested:
    Nitrates: 20/0 (fine)
    Alkalinity: 180 (safe)
    pH 8.4

    i think those numbers are all good, right?

    Ideas anyone? The poor fish ate 5 pellets again today but otherwise has been pretty motionless on bottom of his home :(
     
  7. claud1a Initiate Member

    Hi again, does anyone have any advice? Tips? Please?
     

  8. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    A nitrate reading of 20 is fine but what does the /0 mean after it? What about your ammonia and nitrite?

    What kind of a filter are you running? Did you do any maintenance on it recently?
     
  9. BrokerTamara Member Member

    First good thing you are checking this forum. Please remember to check water changes and Bettas. The size of your tank is really small especially for all the feeding. The BEST thing anyone can ever do is frequent water changes. If you look up Bettas and the size tank you have you should be doing a water change every other day as it is very small and water goes back quick. Small tanks can be ok with Bettas only if you are doing frequent water changes as a fish gets sick quickly in the wrong conditions. I try and feed my Betta the inside of a pea once a week or so to keep his system regular. I am sorry your betta is not well and I you still may have time for him to recover. In the future make sure you look up tank size and water changes as this is important as your tank can be used with proper water changes. Remeber decor takes up water space so your tank could be closer to a 1 gallon which means more water changes. I also treat my tap water with Prime and it works great with no special water needed as I find the prebottled not necessary and some wait to change water because of the cost. Prime works instantly to make tap water safe ( there are other brands that are great also)This would be a big help to condition tap water and save trips to the store. Prime you just need a dropper of and the bottle lasts a long time. Water CLEAN water is the KEY to healthy fish. Good luck and keep us updated.
     
  10. KyleMarie Member Member

    My girl just recently got sick out of nowhere and the only signs of anything were that she was very lethargic and laying at the bottom of the tank, and she had clamped fins. I ended up going through and doing a 50% water change the first day, and then 25% water changes each day after that. I also moved around everything in the tank to make sure she wasn't just depressed because she was bored with her surroundings. Once I put in some live plants, had her mess around with her new mirror, she started moving around a little more. She still always went back to the bottom, but I was fasting her (even though she didn't look bloated) and then all of a sudden two days in she had pooped a lot, and began moving around a lot more. I fed her a pea that night and have been feeding her 1-2 pellets twice a day and shes gotten a lot better.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is check your Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate every day, do some small water changes so you don't stress him out, use Prime to condition your water, fast him a little bit, and then try to feed him part of a pea. If you keep and eye on him and make sure his water is good quality, he might start getting better on his own.
     

  11. Annie424 Well Known Member Member

    Your nitrate reading is on the high end of acceptable, but what are your ammonia and nitrite readings? pH is a little high, but if it's stable and your fish is quite acclimated to it, it may not be an issue. But something I'd monitor, as you don't want it any higher. Are you able to test for these things? Are your current testers liquid or strips? Strips are notoriously inaccurate, although will give you a ballpark reading in a pinch. Also, how often do you change your filter media, and how do you do it? With a 1.5G tank, I'd be doing a 30-50% water change daily. It won't take much for the water quality to go south in a small tank. Do you use Seachem Prime as a water conditioner, or something else? Have you ever tested the bottled betta water you use for water changes? How is your betta doing today?
     
  12. claud1a Initiate Member

    I have been changing 30% of the water daily as suggested with no change in the fish's demeanor. I am becoming increasingly convinced that the fish is bored and depressed. He eats relatively well now...and he comes to the side of the bowl once or twice a day when I interact with him (that is, 2 out of the 6 or 8 times a day I interact with him, for example). i don't have a filter for the tank. I have a live plant in there which I think helps a little with the water quality. I have been testing the water daily and the same levels seem to come out every time.There are two levels for "nitrates" which is what the 20/0 reading is. I don't know what the second nitrate reading is -- but according to the chart on the dip stick the levels are all safe and acceptable for a betta.

    Question: is a depressed or bored betta common? He didn't used to be this way -- should we consider getting a female betta to keep him company? Would they kill each other?
     
  13. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes they probably will at least injure each other. Bettas really are better off alone.

    I've never heard of having two readings for nitrates. Can you please get the results for ammonia and nitrites?
     
  14. Platylover Fishlore VIP Member

    You could try taping photos to is tank or comic book pages, I've heard of them enjoying looking at them. You could also occasionally show him the mirror and put a ping pong ball in for him to play with. Hope he gets feeling better!:)
     
  15. PythonTheBetta Member Member

    Python loves when I put new things outside her tank. Her favorites are brightly colored hair ties(especially if you lightly toss them by the tank), brightly colored markers(pink and orange are her favorite), and a purple toy dinosaur. I've tried the ping pong ball but she doesn't seem interested in it. I've also heard of putting water/soda bottle caps or milk rings on the surface of the water(just make sure they're cleaned and there's no sharp edges)
     
  16. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Lots of plants and things to explore, tunnels, stuff like that, all add to the interest of the tank. Mine like to lurk under floating leaves;)
     
  17. KyleMarie Member Member

    I've heard that Bettas get bored very easily. Put things outside of their tank for them to look at, or put their tanks in an area where there is a lot of traffic in the house. I have my tanks around my desk where I am the most of the time, so that they always see what I'm doing. Also, something that I've found useful is every week or so I'll go in an switch up the decor in the tank. All of the live plants stay in the same place, but I'll switch out hidey-holes, silk plants, floating logs, and things like that. Also, everyday I let them look at a mirror for a few minutes so they can flare and get some excitement.
     
  18. PythonTheBetta Member Member

    just bought a small hamster tunnel for Python today! We'll see if she likes it
     
  19. ashleyb Member Member

    I would highly suggest purchasing a larger tank for the Betta, I generally would say 5 gallon minimum for them to thrive. Is there any way you could purchase a larger tank with a filter? He would be much happier and healthy, and the larger the tank the less maintenance it is for you. With a tank that small I would be doing daily water changes. Also, can we please get your readings for ammonia and nitrite levels? That would be really beneficial to being able to provide you with better advice. I hope he feels better soon!
     
  20. Annie424 Well Known Member Member

    You need a filter for the tank. One live plant won't help much for the water quality. Knowing your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, GH, and KH readings are key to keeping a healthy environment, so both we and you know where to go with keeping your fish healthy. Yes, the liquid testers can be somewhat expensive on the frontside, but are so worthwhile and more accurate on the backside as to be a non-issue. If you can make it happen and get the testers and test regularly, you will be so far ahead of the game that it's not funny. As I'm sure you've figured out by now, the tank you have your betta in is not appropriate. Unfortunately, sometimes the almighty dollar is more important than the welfare of the creatures that the venues we have to get them are willing to do.....it's a lesson we all learn at one point or another. Sadly so. I wish that LFS - whether big box or small time - would have the health and welfare of the creatures they are selling as foremost and forefront importance...sadly they do not. It's up to us to research and determine what's right. And with so much conflicting 'experts and sources' it's often very hard to really be able to piece together what makes sense.