URGENT help: Betta on bottom looks like dropsy

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by amber0107, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    I have a betta that's always been "sick". She was a rescue from Walmart and has always had a swim bladder issue and floats at the top. Otherwise she is healthy. 5.5 gallon heated, filtered, cycled tank. Water change 3 days ago. All seemed normal.

    Yesterday I fed her as normal and she was fine. I went out of town overnight and my husband told me this afternoon that she was laying on the bottom (which she never does since she always floats). Her Swim Bladder was normal sized (another weird thing for her) and that she was breathing heavily. I had him lower the water level add an air stone and add prime in case something was wrong.

    I just got home and she is pale, breathing heavy and her scales are standing out.

    What do I do? Does dropsy occur this quickly? What can I do for her? I've removed her to a small bowl so I could get a better look at her and have meds on hand to treat if necessary.

    Edit: There is NO swelling of her body.

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  2. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    Could you get us a picture?

    If it is dropsy I think this link will help:


  3. fishy friend2Valued MemberMember

    dropsy is a secondary infection that occurs from stress, along with possibly another previous disease, and by the time the scales are sticking out, your best choice is the euthanize her, because her organs are already failing. there has only been a few reported cases of treating Dropsy, and that was with, daily, large water changes, salt, and heavy medications

  4. amber0107Well Known MemberMember


    This picture shows her darker colored than she appears in real life. She is normally black/dark blue but right now appears grey.

    My husband also mentioned stringy poo, which I didn't see.

    The only thing I remember seeing "odd" the last few days was the metallic coloration on her face. That's not typical for her.
  5. fishy friend2Valued MemberMember

    yes. it does look like dropsy, I would eauthanize her as its next to impossible to treat
  6. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    I don't give up on my fish that quickly. Thanks anyway.
  7. fishy friend2Valued MemberMember

    This disease progresses far quickly than you may think, it can kill within the next day or so, as the fish's organs are already starting to fail
  8. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    Like I said, this fish and I have been through alot during the past 4 months. I'm not giving up on it. Thank you anyway for your advice.
  9. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Im sorry but please PLEASE do your research before giving out advice.
    Dropsey is NOT a secondary infection of ANY kind. It is a symptom, such as bloating, fatigue, sore throat and the such. It occurs during organ failure or inability to exspell toxins from the body. It is in no way impossible to treat, however it depends on the exact cause. If you can properly treat the underlying cause you can easily reverse the dropsey effect. If its organ failure theres not much you can do. Something intresting here is that your fish doesnt seem bloated very much, i belive in this case however, euthenasia may be the kindest corse. Unless treated immeadiatley when its discovered its normaly a bit rough on the fish. Not to mention, i cannot diagnose the underlying cause in this instance. A varity of things can cause organ failure, including impropper care, old age, illness and so on. She is suffering greatly right now, being torn up by poison inside out, a quick death would be best.
  10. fishy friend2Valued MemberMember

  11. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    I'm sorry your betta isn't doing well. :(

    Not that I'm an expert on it but I don't think I've seen a picture of a betta with dropsy that wasn't bloated.
  12. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    What baffles me is that this fish has always had a VERY enlarged swim bladder. I tried everything to cure it, but gave up when nothing was helping. So, I just cycled a tank and put her in it and she's been fine...as "fine" as she can be.

    Then to find that her swim bladder is completely normal today, my husband said she had odd colored stringy poo, and that she's pineconing and on the bottom...I'm just very confused. I keep wondering what could have possibly caused all of this. It doesn't make any sense.

    For now, I've moved her to a tank in a breeders net so that she can surface easily. I put some maracyn II since it stated on the back that it could help with dropsy if that's what this is.

    I'll just do some more research, I guess and pray she makes it.

    This picture shows how she has looked for the past few months. (note the bulge on her side)

  13. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Possibly, a lethal mix of parasites and SBD. I wonder if this doesnt stem from how she was raised as a fry, its claimed and expeirinced that if betta fry arnt given enough live foods when they are young they will grow up to have a vairety of swim bladder dysfunctions. You may want to look into Jungle anti parasitic food. Marcyn2 is an antibacterial. NOW asuming that her SBD is bacterial then this would help. But if its chronic then the marcyn isnt doing anything.
  14. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    She's not eating right now but I do have that food on hand plus nls Thera a. I also have parasite guard I can use after this treatment if she makes it that long. It's not looking promising right now.

    Edit: she just died. Thank you for your responses.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  15. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Oh, I'm so sorry!
  16. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    I noticed when she finally flipped over that there was a tiny red hole where her swollen swim bladder used to be. Don't know what to make of it. Breaks my heart. She was my favorite by far. At least I gave her a better life than she would have had in that tiny cup I found her in.
  17. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    That sounds like parasites for sure. Now the real question is how was the parasite causing the scales to pop. Its a tad odd.
  18. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    Is it possible she could have had them that long? I had treated her for parasites before with the Parasite Guard but it never helped.
  19. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

  20. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    So, to be on the safe side, what do I do with its tank to disinfect it? It has a piece of driftwood, a java fern and some fake plants and gravel as well as a small internal filter.

    I also had a nerite snail in that tank. Not sure what the fish died from, so can I move it to another tank?

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