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Old 07-27-2004, 12:07 AM   #1
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Another sick Betta

I have an unhealthy Betta ( I believe). He is in a 10G tank with several mates; a small school of Neons, a couple Corys and a Pleco. He has been doing well, as have the rest of the fish, even after surviving the tank cycleing. The tank parameters are excellent and I just finished a 20 percent water change. I do that about once a week. He has always been a great eater and never gets picked on by his tank mates. Just today I noticed that he was extremely thin. When he bends his body to turn, he looks like hes almost completely flat in the middle as if hes been pinched. He ate when I fed him (Wardley Premium Betta Food) and he doesnt seem to be acting unusually strange. These pics dont do him justice....if you look at him in person you could swear his sides were touching each other inside. He does have a bit of gray coloring around his face, but he always has since I brought him home. Im not sure what hes got going on at this point. His fins look ok and he eats. Any iedas?

One question I had was regarding food. I had a couple of my Betta on flake food and it took a week or more before they would even touch the Betta food. Now, they wont touch anything BUT the Betta food. Those little pellets are hard as a rock but they gulp them right up. Is there something better I should be feeding them?




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Old 07-27-2004, 12:12 AM   #2
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I think I see what you are talking about in the second pic.
Try adding frozen blood worms to their diet. Has he gotten skinnier since you brought him home?
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Old 07-27-2004, 12:28 AM   #3
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I really have only noticed this in the last two days. It is possible that he has been getting skinnier since then....

Another note, the tank has been cycled for a couple of months now and everyone has survived and has been healthy as far as I can tell. None of the other fish are looking this way.
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Old 07-27-2004, 12:30 AM   #4
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Will brine shrimp work? I just started a batch today that should hatch by morning. All of the tank mates might like some baby brine shrimp but Im not sure if this will help the betta or not. Are the frozen bloodworms better?
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Old 07-27-2004, 12:46 AM   #5
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Brine shrimp are okay--as a treat! They are not very nutritious. If you want to try something as "fiber" and they won't take peas, try daphnia (frozen or live).
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Old 07-27-2004, 12:53 AM   #6
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This looks to me like the "bulge" problem some of the other members have posted in a different topic... I've never seen such a thing before. But I suggest you administer medication for dropsy immediately. It won't harm your fish, and it may reduce the swelling in the belly. The other members who had a similar problem mentioned dropsy meds helped.
As for food, betta love those crunchy little pellets! They dispise flakes, and would have to be nearly starved to eat them (or to have been fed flake at a young age)
Brine shrimp is best for them, though- they love it above any. Good luck, and keep us posted!
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Old 07-27-2004, 12:53 AM   #7
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I havent tried the peas yet. They say that Brine shrimp are nutritious when served as nauplii, although I havent tried it yet. I dont know what Daphnia is..sint that a flower? Guess I better run to the lfs in the am. Thanks Menagerie....
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:00 AM   #8
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The pics are hard to describe. The bulge in those pics almost seems normal if you were to look at him in the tank. Whats weird is the condition of his body directly behind the bulge of his tummy. Hes almost completely flat as if being pinched by a forcep. when he bends his body to turn around, his body is almost creased in the middle. Looks kinda scary to me.
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:02 AM   #9
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I believe daphnia is plankton... or diatoms... something oceanic, a little smaller than krill
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:04 AM   #10
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Almost as if he's not passing food through the digestive system and out as waste- okay, I see what you mean.
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:06 AM   #11
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Daphnia are insects and I bought mine frozen. They are "Bio-Encapsulated with multi-vitamins."

And why do your pics keep messing up the page margins??
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:56 AM   #12
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Bah. Cause theyre too big I imagine....128960 I think. I need to remember to re-size them before I post them here. Sorry!

I'll have newly hatched Brine shrimp in the morning and Ill rinse them and add to the tank first thing. Im just wondering if I should QT him for the time being or if I should just let him be and change his feeding routine. Would a little salt in the water do any good?
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Old 08-01-2004, 02:07 PM   #13
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sick beta....new pics

Here are some new pics of my weird beta. Its hard to get my camera to duplicate the lighting so I cant get pics to come out right. Hes really not looking well at all, but hes still eating. Ive given him frozen bloodworms, in addition to his normal beta food, everyday the last few days now and he really likes them. All of the fish love them. Hes still looking like hes been pinched in the middle. ITs almost like he has scoliosis or something....his spine is crooked and he even swims kind of sideways. he is extremely thin directly behind his belly...you can see light through his body at the thinnest part. Still not sure what is causing it or if it can even be cured.





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Old 08-01-2004, 09:47 PM   #14
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Maybe I should flush him before I go on vacation 8O j.k.

I take it noone has seen this before?
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Old 08-01-2004, 09:52 PM   #15
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Sorry, I've been away.

I don't think salt will help. What are his tankmates/are they doing well? What are the tank parameters? What temp is the tank? Is he expelling waste (color?, stringy?)?
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Old 08-02-2004, 08:27 PM   #16
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His tank mates are 6 neon tetra, 2 small cory cats and a rapidly growing Pleco who will soon find a new home. Water paramaters are good, tank temp is 80 degrees. The rest of the fish seem to be fine and its hard to tell if he is expelling waste....I havent seen it with my own eyes, but there is waste in the tank occasionally. Either it gets sucked into the filter or the cory cats eat that too..
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Old 08-02-2004, 11:44 PM   #17
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Hi youronlysin,
I can't really think of anything to tell you...if the betta is still eating and fairly active, then there's not much to do. I do see the curvature of the spine. Was he always like that -- curved spine?

One of my bettas is big and fat. Not overfed, just big, I guess. The other betta is very skinny. If you look at him from above, his head and gill area looks like a big bump, and then his body is so skinny. But he was always like that, and he's very happy, healthy, and active, and eats well.

So I guess if your betta seems to be doing ok, that's just the way he is. I know this doesn't really help you, but maybe just reading about my skinny betta will ease your mind a bit.
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Old 08-03-2004, 01:07 AM   #18
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I know vacation is calling! Just leave the betta and hope for the best. The bent spine could be related to poor genetics or a disease, but since he's eating, let him be.
Quote:
the cory cats eat that too..
FYI-no fish will eat another fish's waste. Snails break it down further, but fish will not touch it.

Enjoy your vacation!
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Old 08-17-2004, 12:42 AM   #19
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Thanks all for the words of wisdom. Vacation is over, sadly, but the good news is the fish are fine. They only got fed once in ten days but every one of them is still doing quite well. The beta still looks the same, but seems to be perfectly happy. As far as his condition goes, I swear he didnt look that way when I brought him home. In fact, he looks a lot fatter in some of my older pictures. He is still eating as much as ever and doesnt seem to be having any issues, so I guess we just keep feeding him and enjoying his company.

The pleco was getting too big for the ten gallon home, so I sold him to the lfs and replaced him with a few small ghost shrimp. Im going to add a couple japanese algae eating shrimp as well (some kind of amano shrimp?). My experience with ghost shrimp is, they just dont last very long but I'll take good care of them while theyre here....gotta be better than living at the lfs. I dont think that even 6-8 small shrimp will create near the load of my 7 inch pleco....that boy was growing fast!!!! Hopefully these japanese algae eaters(whatever they turn out to be when they come in) dont get much bigger than 1.5 inches at best. The lfs has some in a display tank and they are still quite small. If they cause too much trouble the lfs has been good about returns. Anyhoo...fishys are still happy.
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:01 AM   #20
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That's good to hear -- that the fish are all fine! I was kind of thinking about your betta. He looks fine to me in the pics. I guess that's all you can do -- if no disease appears to be present, then keep feeding him and taking care of him and, like you said, just enjoy his company! (but don't forget the peas once a week!) I guess I would also describe my skinny betta as "paper-thin" when viewed from above. He's very happy and active. I just added a new live plant to his tank. It was like "betta catnip"!

I had a ghost shrimp for about a week and it died. I think my water wasn't hard enough for its shell. I also saw some shrimp at the hatchery, labeled "algae-eating shrimp". They looked just like the ghost shrimp, at least to me, but they seemed to be a bit more active than the ghost shrimp. I asked if they were also called amano shrimp and the hatchery guy said yes. He said that type may last in my tank a bit longer than the ghost shrimp did. I don't think I'll get my bettas any more tankmates. I think they are happy the way things are now. They didn't bother the ghost shrimp but I think I'll just leave things the way they are. I would like some for another (future!) tank, though. If your betta doesn't mind shrimp, I'd get some of the amano shrimp to see how they work out.
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