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Old 06-28-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
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Unhappy Sick Betta.

Hi there, I have a sick fish and I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out what is wrong with him.

Species: Betta splendens

Age: Approx 2 years

Tank size: 48ltrs

Tankmates: None

Filter: Fluval U1

Has light and heater (about 26 degrees Celsius)

Ammonia: Normal

pH: unknown

Last cleaned out: Friday (22.06.12 – 50% water change, gravel vacuumed and algae scraped off side of tank, ‘tapsafe’ added to water to remove chlorine). This is done every few weeks.

Tank set up: September 2011 (moved from old tank when moved house)

Feed: Tetra prima granules, been fed this since September 2011. Fed some other equivalent before that.

Live plants: None

Symptoms: Stays close to filter at all times and has difficulty swimming. Eats a little bit of food but quickly becomes disinterested, even when he hasn’t eaten for days. Not bloated. Scales not sticking out. Tried fasting for a week, no difference. He very rarely moves from beside his filter and when he does it seems to be a huge effort to swim against the current, even though it is very gentle. This has been going on for about 2 months, but got really bad in the last 2 weeks or so

He’s only ever had one tank mate (a bristlenose pleco) but they harassed each other and the pleco died (some time around Christmas).

I was given this fish 2 years ago. He’s one of two fish I’ve ever had and I don’t know much at all about fish keeping.

I’d be really grateful for any help.

Thanks,


Suzanne
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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I'm sorry to hear your betta is not well.

It sounds to me like you've done, and are doing, all you can for it.

The two other things I'd try checking are nitrites and nitrates and see if there's an issue there. Also, by 'normal' ammonia, do you mean zero? If not, that could certainly be part of the issue.

If the rest of your water parameters test well, it's possible that it's simply age. While bettas certainly can be longer-lived fish if cared for properly, two years is not an uncommon lifespan for a betta, and the symptoms you describe are not at all uncommon for bettas exhibiting old age. I'd certainly test those other parameters and try to rule everything else out though before coming to that conclusion definitively.

Perhaps others will have suggestions, but one thing you might try is lowering the water level in the tank a bit -- this may make it easier for your betta to swim to the surface to breathe.

Good luck, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for your betta!
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:20 AM   #3
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Hi Russell,

Thank you for replying to my question. As far as I could tell the ammonia was zero. It was one of those coloured card ones where you match it up to the sample. I really wanted it to be above zero and explain my fish's illness but I don't think it was. I will test the nitrates and nitrites as well. When I looked it up just now it said a symptom of nitrites could be gasping, and my little fish does spend most of the time with his mouth at the surface.

Thank you again!
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdes View Post
Hi Russell,

Thank you for replying to my question. As far as I could tell the ammonia was zero. It was one of those coloured card ones where you match it up to the sample. I really wanted it to be above zero and explain my fish's illness but I don't think it was. I will test the nitrates and nitrites as well. When I looked it up just now it said a symptom of nitrites could be gasping, and my little fish does spend most of the time with his mouth at the surface.

Thank you again!
You're very welcome.

If by colored card you mean test strip, you may wish to consider buying a liquid test kit. They are more accurate than the strips -- and while I understand that the up-front cost is higher than the strips, in the long run on a per-test basis, they're actually less expensive.
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