Sick Female Betta Help

  1. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Something's up and it happened relatively fast. Yesterday morning I turned on the tank lights and checked everyone out (10 female bettas, 2 BN plecos, tiny upside-down cat, cycled 29gal planted). Everyone was accounted for but oddly my lovely little white female was not begging for food as she usually does. She was staying in the back among the plants and I saw her bump into the driftwood. I didn't think too much of it as sometimes the girls are still "sleeping" when I turn the lights on and they'll swimming kinda drunkenly.

    Later that day I kept checking on the tank, as per usual, and my little girl is still not acting normally. Now the other fish are noticing and going to check her out, when they approach she darts away, then swims with a bit of a tilt, as though she doesn't know what's going on.

    Around 5pm I see her resting on the partially sunken IAL so I take the chance to scoop her up. I let her float in the cup for closer observation as I had to go to work right after. I take note that she is swimming in circles within the cup, then leave for work.

    I get home around 10:30 and now she is nose up, maybe gasping at the surface but breathing more heavily than normal. She does a little bit of swimming and goes in a spiral like fashion, much like a football. As of yet, her condition is the same. Visibly there is nothing amiss, no swelling, not torn fins, wounds, etc. For now, I put her in a jar of fresh water and switched her to that instead of the tank water.

    I recently added another female and the upside down catfish on Monday. Both look and behave very healthily. They've already made themselves at home in the tank. One tuesday I did a roughly 50% water change and deep clean as I also bought a tube of large anubias that needed attaching to the driftwood. Basically the tank got a bit stirred up because of that.

    Of course I decided to do some researching and came across whirling disease, which is usually contracted when a fish is fed live or frozen tubiflex worms. They do not get fed tubiflex worms but rather frozen brine shrimp and there usual omega one pellets. But, I did add some plants that I collecting while camping about 2.5 weeks ago. I soaked them in alum for a couple hours and vigorously rinsed them. Would a tubiflex worm of survived alum and gotten into the tank from that? According to my research, whirling disease is a cool water parasite that usually infects salmonoid fish, and the lake I took the plants from had rainbow trout in it...

    The temp is kept around 80F, ph 7.8, ammonia and nitrites @ zero, minimal nitrates.

    Normally she looks like this, fat and happy. I got her and a few others about 2.5 months ago.

    This is what she does now:
  2. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Is that reddish purple coloring on her head and gill flaps normal?

  3. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    She has always had a pinkish head, but now that you point it out there are a couple tiny spots on the top of her head that are darker pink/purple than they used to be.
  4. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Does she perk up with a water change?

  5. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Not really, the nose up behavior is the same. I'll try taking another video showing how she kind twirls. I'm thinking to do a bath of some sort, either Meth. blue or epsom salts. Meth blue for detox and the salts for possible bloat/swim bladder issues.
  6. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Hard to tell about her swim bladder. Can you get a picture from the top where I can see if there is an enlargement?

    Honestally I'm not seeing much externally on her, but because she is white, things can be easily missed.

    Try also a MB bath, 1/4 teaspoon per gallon with a 30 minute soak. Try to get a picture as well from the side while she is in it. Fungus problems will stain blue, some bacteria will light up like a florescent sign under a black light. This way we might spot something eternally with her.
  7. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Sorry, I did the Meth. blue bath right after my last post and didn't get any pictures of it. I kept her in the jar and added 2-3 drops of MB, soaked for 15 minutes. As for staining, there was none on her body or fins. These pictures are from after the bath and another fresh jar of water. Still seems to be doing ok, I haven't been able to get a video of her spinning about.

    These are the best I can do, go ahead and ask if you need more pics from different angles.
    IMG_1434.JPG IMG_1435.JPG

  8. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Her swim bladder looks ever so slightly enlarged. The red spot on her head looks like some septicemia setting in. Is the red spots raised at all? I can't tell from the pictures. Does it look like it's internal or like skin brusing?

    I'm thinking you might have a bacterial problem going here. I'm suggesting some Furan 2 treatments. Between the red spot on the head and a slight enlarge swim bladder, it's leading me to this conclusion. I also suggest to keep up with the MB baths. Though it won't really help with what is going on (I believe), it has a seditive effect and will allow her to destress. Also it will increase the oxygen flow in her body, which will help speed healing.

    Please let me know about the red spot questions.
  9. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    The red spots are not raised, but rather look like indents, much like you would see on many a betta's head. To me is looks like natural color pigment but it could be bruise-like too. If it is septicemia resulting from a bacterial infection to the swim bladder, wouldn't there be red streaking within the fins and along the thinner edges of her body?

    I don't have any Furan 2 on hand, but I do have several other meds. I have API general cure, Ich cure, Tetra fungus guard, life guard, and maybe some parasite guard as well. Prazipro and Melafix are also on hand, but I don't use melafix on bettas and I doubt the prazipro would be of much use for a bacterial problem. Would any of these be of use?

    I'm going to do some more reading up on swim bladder infection, hopefully I can figure out a bit more.
  10. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    I'm not there, so I have to rely on your pictures and instincts. If you really do not think it's anything other then markings, then go with that. Do not let me convince you otherwise. Like I said, I'm not there, so if your gut tells you that, trust your gut.

    Septicemia shows up as hemorrhage spots, and if that does not look like a hemorrhage, then you are defitally right.

    I'm looking for nutrofurazone, which I believe Fungus Guard has. If it does, use that.

  11. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Just checked the ingredients and it does indeed have nutrofurazone. I'll get her started on that and hope she pulls through.
  12. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Things are looking promising, the 4 day treatment seems to of done something. She's swimming straight again and I got her to eat a few micro pellets before I moved her to a breeder basket in the main tank.

    Something is still off though. Seems to me she is having problems seeing. When she goes to get food her aim is off a bit so she misses often. She's far more cautious of me than she used to be too, pretty fearful in general. I debated on doing a second treatment but decided not to. Hopefully she keep improving.

    Thanks for the advice!
  13. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Update, still swimming straight. She isn't as fearful but she must be suffering from partial blindness. I can't get her to eat pellets so I've been feeding her frozen brine shrimp and blood worms. She'll only eat a few at a time and it takes a while for her to find the food.

    I'll give it more time, but I don't think her sight will recover enough to put her back in the sorority. Looks like I'll be setting up another tank, this one might have to be of the smaller cube tanks (2-3gal). If it takes her so long to find food in a small breeder basket it will take her ages in a 10 or even 5gal tank.
  14. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Doing better, still has bad aim but she's eating pellets again instead of just brine shrimp and blood worms.
  15. Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Vitya lives, but has a messed up eye (I'm working on treated it). After being separated for a while, her fins started getting longer, and longer....

    Behold, Vitya reborn. He's in his own 3.4gal, fully cycled and planted.
    His eye, which has a bulge just behind the it seems to be slowly getting better.