Urgent!! Betta lying at bottom and not eating

Awesomeneptune

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
15 us gallons
How long has the tank been running?
About 2 years
Does it have a filter?
Yes, a sponge one
Does it have a heater?
Yes
What is the water temperature?
26 degrees Celsius
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
1 make betta, 2 corydoras, some pest snails and 2 nerite snails

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
Once a week
How much of the water do you change?
About 1/3
What do you use to treat your water?
Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Vacuum

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
Yes
What do you use to test the water?
Nt labs liquid test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0 (just tested)
Nitrite: 0 (just tested)
Nitrate:5 (last time I tested, will do again now)
pH: 6.5-7 (last time I tested, will do again now)

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Once a day
How much do you feed your fish?
Betta: 5 pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Big bites, hikari, vibra bites
Do you feed frozen?
Occasionally
Do you feed freeze-dried foods?
No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
Almost 2 years (since October 2020)
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
Just now, but I've been away all day.
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
My betta is lying on the bottom of the tank, not even moving when the Cory's get close. He's going up to the surface every so often and takes a few gulps of air, although it looks like a bit of a struggle. He may be pineconing a bit possibly, but it's extremely difficult to see so I'll keep watching.
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Have said

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

I got back from a 2 week holiday a few days ago and did a water change on the tank. He was looking fine then and was ok this morning too. I gave him a new food the other day (vibra bites) but apart from that I've done nothing differently. He is just lying on the bottom of the tank (sometimes on his side) only moving to get air from the surface. He also didn't eat. Please give any advice! I'll try and take some photos but he's at the back at the minute. Thank you!!!
Edit: Here are some photos of the tank and I attempted to get some of my betta but it's almost impossible
Really sorry, it's not letting me attach photos
I also think my Cory may have laid eggs in the last couple of days, and I've caught my betta eating a few. Is it possible he ate too many and is constipated? Or is it likely something else
 

Rose of Sharon

Hi,

It is possible that he is bloated from eating the cory eggs. Without a pic, I am going by your descriptions only. I would fast him a couple of days, and then try feeding some frozen daphnia if you can get some of that.

I am not familiar with vibra bites, but it may be necessary to soak his food before feeding him in the future to avoid any bloating issues (if you don't already do this).

Do you have anything at the top of the tank that he could lay on in order to get air easier - plants or betta log or something like that?

Or do you have something that is shallow that you can use as a hospital tank for him like a plastic tote? If so, you can remove him from the main tank, put him into the clean container with clean tank water, add a small heater and small air stone, and make it easier for him to get air and to treat him if treatment with meds is needed.

If his scales are pineconing, then you can do an epsom salt bath using pure, unscented epsom salts with no additives. Use a clean container with clean tank water that is temperature matched to his tank water. Dissolve one tablespoon of epsom salts into one gallon of tank water, and add the betta to the bath. If he isn't too stressed, leave him in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes. If he poops right away, take him out of the bath and put him back into his tank/hospital tank.

I hope this helps!!!
 

Awesomeneptune

Thank you so much, that helps a lot!!

He's got things that he can rest on at the top of his tank including a betta log and some plants that reach the surface. He slept on them last night but is laying on the bottom now.

I'll definitely fast him for a few days and try daphnia after that, if he will eat.

Thankfully I do have a 5 gallon hospital tank that I can move him to if necessary (my parents thought it was going to be useless, but I'm so happy that I still bought one)

Also I do usually soak his food, but I guess with a different brand it may be necessary to soak them for longer.

Thanks again! I'll keep you updated
Here are some photos from last night. He is pine coned, and bloated, although possibly slightly less bloated than last night. I don't currently have any Epsom salts but I can get some and try baths. Although will it be too stressful to move him tanks a lot? Also I know a lot of people use kanaplex to help treat dropsy, would you recommend this?
 

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Rose of Sharon

You are very welcome!!!

It's always good to have an extra tank for a hospital/quarantine tank, so that was an excellent choice!

I am so sorry that you little boy is sick! Bettas these days are mass bred, and have become genetically weak, especially those that come from big chain pet stores. It's like they can't fight off anything. You can do all of the right things, and they still end up passing because of weak genes.

And poor little baby! Now that I am seeing a pic of your little guy, then yes, that is most probably dropsy. I can't tell from the pics if he is pineconing, but you are there, and you would better be able to look at him from above and see it from that prospective.

The epsom salt baths will be a bit stressful, but if it helps, then it is worth trying at least one to see what happens.

If he does have dropsy, then yes, kanaplex is often recommended. If you are seeing the scales pinecone, then I do want to caution you that most of the time dropsy (which is not a disease, but a symptom caused by illness like a bacterial infection) is fatal. Once the illness gets to the point where the betta is retaining that much fluid, it means that the internal organs are shutting down - liver and kidneys. I have never been able to treat an underlying cause of dropsy successfully. I have tried all manner of fish antibioitics along with methylene blue baths, epsom salt baths, and aquarium salt in the tank. Many fish keepers will euthanize when they see these symptoms - the pineconing and extreme bloat - and not even try to treat for it. I, on the other hand, am apparently a glutton for punishment and want to do all that I can to save my fish because they are precious to me, so I try treatments until I see that the betta is struggling to breathe, stops eating, and/or stops moving. When that happens, it is just more humane to euthanize, sadly.... :(

So you do what you think is best. You know your fin baby better than anyone else.

I do hope that he beats the odds and pulls through! It would be nice to see a betta actually get better and rebound from this type of illness!

I hope this helps, even if it is bad news....
 

MacZ

I've answered in the other thread already, but now, seeing that fish with what looks a lot like swollen eyes additionally...

Spare it the treatment, it won't survive it. I'm sorry. :/
 

Awesomeneptune

Small update:

He ate some pellets today! He came up to the surface when he saw I had food and ate like his usual self (basically stuffing his mouth lol).

He isn't in the hospital tank yet, although it's set up, because the heater in it has been acting up annoyingly. I did manage to get some Epsom salts though, so I'll be giving him a bath tomorrow. I also phoned my lfs to see if they had kanaplex but they informed me it isn't sold in the uk. Instead they recommended esha 2000 so I'm going to go in on Sunday to buy some, and possibly a heater for the hospital tank if I can't figure out how this one works.
 

MacZ

lfs to see if they had kanaplex but they informed me it isn't sold in the uk.
Just as in continental Europe you have no access to any antibiotics without prescription, then.
they recommended esha 2000
Oh boy... that stuff is a fish killer, thanks to its copper concentration and the fact it usually causes acute oxygen depletion. The "med" (actually it's only a strong disinfectant) doesn't work against internal infections. You can at best treat external stuff like flukes or disinfect a wound with it.
The fact they sold it to you tells me the shop hasn't got much else in store.
 

Awesomeneptune

Oh boy... that stuff is a fish killer, thanks to its copper concentration and the fact it usually causes acute oxygen depletion. The "med" (actually it's only a strong disinfectant) doesn't work against internal infections. You can at best treat external stuff like flukes or disinfect a wound with it.
The fact they sold it to you tells me the shop hasn't got much else in store.

Oh good to know! I haven't bought it yet and definitely won't now. Is there anything youd recommend instead?
 

MacZ

Oh good to know! I haven't bought it yet and definitely won't now. Is there anything youd recommend instead?
Knowing in which country you live now... sadly not really.
All we can do in our parts of the world: Frequent (every 24-48h) high volume (50%+) waterchanges, humic substances (aka "tannins") and that's it. So get IALs and alder cones and get to work.
I told you already there is no real option, antibiotics or not. Now this is pretty much decided for you. Sorry.

For the record: I'm already against hard med treatments, so my course of action would have been a waterchange treatment for a week tops, then euthanasia if that wouldn't work.

I recommend getting clove oil and using the search here on the forum or google for the instructions on fish euthanasia, just to be prepared..

You might feel like it would be better if we had these meds here. I think it's for the best we don't. Here's some reading for you.
Hold the Antibiotics! Overuse and Resistance in the Aquarium Hobby | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health Forum | 453975
Great resource on fish antibiotics | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health Forum | 523806
 

Awesomeneptune

Ok so I just read something saying that you should fast your fish 24 hours before a sakt bath. Is this true? As I just fed my betta some frozen daphnia but was hoping to give him a salt bath tonight. I can always wait till tomorrow if necessary
 

MacZ

I would only avoid feeding right before the bath, so regurgitation is unlikely. Otherwise that doesn't make sense.
 

Awesomeneptune

Thank you, I'll wait for a couple of hours then. I'm going to use an old (washed) ice cream tub for the bath
Ok he was in the bath for about 8:30-9 mins. I then put him in the revival tank for a few mins, then back to the main. He seems stressed by it all but I guess I won't know how he is until later/tomorrow. It was terrifying the whole time he was in there. I kept on scaring myself by thinking he was dead, he isn't though.
 

SparkyJones

I mean at this point if it hasn't changed or improved, it should be in it's own tank, and you should be monitoring for if it's pooping or not. if it's pooping you could at least rule out constipation as the reason for the bloating or fluid retention. if it responds to the salt baths (aquarium salt) and releases fluid retention, then it's probably going to be organ failure. Epsom salt would help if it's constipation, but not really if it's water retention.

Personally from the pictures, I'd think it's an internal bacterial infection, not necessarily organ failure yet, but that's where it heads to when the infection hits the blood stream.

I saw this OTC product, "AquaCare Anti-Internal Bacteria" and some other products like it available in the UK. if you don't have antibiotics available that you could get at, one of those might be worth a shot. this looks a lot like our Pima and Mela "fix" type products though, if so it's not very effective. .....

I also did some real hard digging, there is a product called "Waterlife Octozin" available OTC in UK, it's sold as anti-parasite, but it contains 0.085g per gram dimetridazole, and yes, it's anti-protozoal but also anti fungal and anti bacterial.
I don't know either product personally, but it appears that this "Octozin" with dimetridazole, is a lot like metronidazole.
When I search this in the U.S. it send me to Fritz maracyn products.
I UK websites SwellUK and ALLPONDSOLUTIONS UK hav it for sale, AMAZON UK has it as sold out.

I do know if it's internal bacteria, doing nothing isn't going to work and the fish is going to die in a week or two or so.

There's crushed garlic juice and soaking some food in it so the fish can eat it and take it internally, there's some anti-bacterial properties with that, that might help, it might not help also.....

I'm out of ideas.
 

Awesomeneptune

Thank you so much! Yes unfortunately he didn't really change after Epsom salts, I'm going to move him into his own tank today and hopefully purchase one of the products you've recommended or one similar. Thank you so much for the medication suggestions as ive just been researching tonns and finding almost nothing in the uk
 

Awesomeneptune

Sadly Neptune passed away today. He seemed to perk up a bit after the treatment, but then went downhill pretty quickly. He will forever be missed and I'll never forget him SIP Neptune.
 

SparkyJones

Sadly Neptune passed away today. He seemed to perk up a bit after the treatment, but then went downhill pretty quickly. He will forever be missed and I'll never forget him SIP Neptune.
Sorry for your loss.
 

Rose of Sharon

So sorry for your loss!!!

SIP, Neptune, you beautiful boy!!! :emoji_cry:
 

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