unidentifiable betta illnesses, scared!

  1. bleedingheartmommy

    bleedingheartmommy Valued Member Member

    Heads up, long one ahead...

    Ok. I got a wild type female veiltail (from petsmart... I picked her bc she was healthy and strong) her name's Orchid. She has a golden iridescence to her (as many wild types do)... I was worried about velvet, but I still feel it's her natural color. But she has been in a heated cycled 5.5 gal tank with an Anubias barteri, and Nanna. As well as 1 nerite snail and baby ramshorn snail (both hitchhikers on barteri when got it). She's been with us 2 weeks today. her readings are consistent: amonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 10-20ppm (it doesn't fluctuate, the colors are so close I just can't decipher wich it is). pH 8.

    A few things to mention before I continue: tank move, new gravel, pH and nitrates, snail scratch, and new food.

    Tank move: was in corner of lonely kids room too close to Window. Moved the tank as advised by Aquaphobia. So an obvious stresser. This move also equalled a large water change cause of the removal of water to move the tank.

    Gravel: my ph was hitting at 8 and was told to check gravel to see if it's breaking down wich could be the cause. Found out some gravel that came with my first and only other betta in her tank was NOT aquarium grade gravel (looked painted on and was dissolving from red rock to pink). When moveD tank i also removed the possibility harmful gravel (only about 2 cups of substrate total, I put it in to remember my late CT Spikette... But bad choice) I did use a gravel vacuum before removing the old substrate and again before adding the new substrate.(PS PH still between 8-8.2)

    nitrates: hanging between 10-20 ppm I test at night so photosynthesis does not effect reading (to get true reading). I do have plants but am wondering if this is too high?

    Snail scratch: so our nerite snail Gary comes into her hidey house whenever he's done cleaning at night and Tues morning she came out with a small scratch on her snout I am relatively sure this came from the snail as none of her decorations are able to give her a scratch. With the stress of move on sunday a small wound and compromised immune system could let in parasites or lingering illness...?

    pH has been at 8, but was told consistency it better then one particular number? C'est faux? (True or fake?)

    Food: wanted only the best so changed her food to biogold she loves it. Also got a flat pack of frozen brine shrimp san Francisco bay brand, only fed it once. Worried she may have gotten parasite from this?!?!

    Finally the problem: all this started midway thru Tuesday, not even 2 full days ago. Bloating. She looks bloated, and admittedly I have overfed her a little bit She also has clamped fins (also started yesterday) she is seemingly having swimming problems (like filter current is moving her around but my filter is adjustable and turned down, and she never had issues before. She would play in the outflow before) she also curls to the side like she's turning, but can't all the way and straightens back out. I'm terrified of swim bladder issues. None of this started until late Tuesday and nothing new or unusual had taken place. She also keeps curving her spine upward, like she's trying to stay in place and look upwards. She has also stopped going in her hidey house and been hanging out in the anubias roots that branch all over, but not rubbing herself on anything. She does swim a little quickly now in some fast sharp movements, but she did this from jump as she can see her reflection on some of her tank and has always been the more feisty and territorial type. She's not glancing off anything tho or rubbing/hitting herself against tank, plants, or decorations.

    I have searched high and low and can find nothing completely conclusive. I read constipation/bloating can cause swim bladder issues as it pushes on the air filled organ then keeps them buoyant?? But doesn't explain the fin clamping and body curling. if this were velvet wouldn't it have affected her sooner, and I t only would explain the fin clamping.

    Please help me, my first betta was given to us on her death bed dying from droopsy, and thru that experience have become better knowledged with bettas but I have to help her, she's suffering and relying on me to fix this. Two days in pain is 2 days too long!
     
  2. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    A pH of 8 is fine, I've kept bettas in even higher and they did fine!

    Can you take a video of this curling movement? Is it possible that she's trying to swim but can't get going because she can't fan out her fins?

    What kind of a hidey house does she have?

    How did you cycle the tank or keep it cycled? Did Gary stay in it after Spikette's passing to maintain the bacteria?

    Do you shake nitrate bottle #2 really vigorously? Maybe can you have it double checked by someone else, maybe at your LPS?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    bleedingheartmommy

    bleedingheartmommy Valued Member Member

    Ok, from last to first: yes I shake the ever living faith out of it (bc I thot I had crashed the cycle somehow due to 0 readings for 2 weeks, then was given the tip to be more thorough).

    Cycling: fishless; fish food method before Spikette, and after her passing there were both snails (Gary's full grown, and unknowingly we had a baby ramshorn that had to come on same plant, crusing around in there).

    The hideyhouse is a med/small rock cave. It is a little taller on one side. I dremelled the window does and openings to ensure no fins scraping but shes short tailed so not much an issue. Its more wide then tall, it's got good room for her but is only 9 cm one (tall) side, and 5.5 cm at short end...12-13 cm at widest but it's kinda round. very natural looking rock cave. But she used to sleep in there and the snail likes to hang upside down from the top inside it.

    Her fins do fan just fine. She's not 100% of the time clamped, when she swims most of the time they expand and at other random times I see her look normal but she always goes back to the clamp.
    She will be swimming in place then her tail starts to curl forward, then her dorsal and anal fin do to so that she makes a gentle U shape like she's turning around but instead of leading with her head it's like her back end is initiating the turn. If that makes any sense.

    I also noticed just now as I watches her and type (I love having her in the living room, i get to sit with her often) she's getting real personal with the broad leaves anubias, not quite rubbing but shes touching her body against some more often as she swims by ..hmm.?!?
     
  4. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    It all sounds good! I would double check the inside surfaces and openings of the house just to check for rough spots or nubs that aren't really visible. Antique china collectors run their fingers over pieces to check for imperfections in the glaze that aren't visible to the naked eye, that's a tip;)

    As for the curving, it sounds suspiciously like a move that my bettas make when they're unsure of something and want to take a second look or that my girls make when they're measuring each other up to establish pecking order.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    bleedingheartmommy

    bleedingheartmommy Valued Member Member

    Ok but the clamped fins are no bueno! And she's doing alot of kinda horizontal floating that's looks somewhat uncontrolled, she was a super strong swimmer before this. I'm wondering if it isn't velvet, but I've read alot on it and I don't want to medicate her until I'm sure. But with velvet they say the sooner you treat the better...
     
  6. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Can you post a pic?