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dying beta

September 1st, 2006, 09:09 PM
I think Betha may be dying. Well I hope she's not but she doesn't look very good.
I came home from work yesterday and went to feed them and I couldn't find her. She came out of one of the hiding things and ate maybe 2 flakes of food (size of pensil eraser) then went back into hiding. She came out a few more times last night but it was only to swim around like crazy and attack the danios (no visible injuries to them that I can see).
Today my husband was looking for her and said that she only came out to swim like a crazy nut then went back into hiding.
She looks really dark now(I posted a picture of her on a previous post to see what she normally looks like). She's looked dark before but only after she'd be sleeping or chilling out for a bit and would wake up. There are no injuries to her or anything on her (ie spots). I got her out of hiding when I got home today and she just swam quickly to the corner and layed on the gravel and didn't move. She kinda curled up a bit as well.
If there's something that I can treat her with that'd be great. I can't really take a picture of her since she's always hiding.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

September 1st, 2006, 11:20 PM
sorry, just a :grouphug: from me... no advice. That's exactly what one of my bettas acted like before he died- dark colour, laying on the gravel, etc. They don't live that long, despite our best efforts sometimes.

Today I started treating one of mine for fin rot. I'll keep my :fingerscr for both of the little guys.:pray:

September 2nd, 2006, 03:00 PM
Hey RVT,
you havent had her too long have you?
Cant remember exactly how long ago you got her,
but its gotta only be 6-8 months ago right?

I would suggest testing the water for ammonia,
nitrItes, and nitrAtes.
Do a good water change to make sure its nothing in the water.

To me, it sounds like Old Age creeping up on your little friend.
Bettas can live from 1 year to 2.5 years which is pretty much max,
and most bettas dont live past 1 year of age.
With no noticeable marks, spots, or wounds, I can only suspect one
of three possible things:
A) Water quality issue, test that water and see whats going on.
B) Old Age
C) Internal Bacterial Infection of some kind.

After you test your water (or have it tested somewhere), post back the results here.
If the water is good, (ammonia 0, nitrItes 0, nitrAtes below 40),
then its likely one of the other causes.

If you wanted to try treating her with something, if you suspect it may be a bacterial illness, Id suggest the medicine Maracyn 2. It cures most gram negative bacterial infections. You can pair it with Maracyn (1), which cures gram positive infections, if you want to cover the board.

I cant fully remember, what other fish are in the tank,
but I seem to remember it is 10g right?

One other thought, have you added any new fish lately?
Any small fish like neons or whatever in the tank that may have died
and could be causing an ammonia spike? Check for bodies in plants and stuff.

Also, have you noticed her to be pooping at all? normal poop? white,stringy poop? Any bloating at all? Constipation can commonly affect these fish, so try taking a canned pea, rinse it, take the outer hull off, and try feeding the soft inner pea to her. Do this for a day or two with no other foods.
If its constipation this should help. If shes still eating, its best to try now before she starts refusing food. Most bettas love peas.

Anyway, keep us posted and good luck! Hopefully one of my ideas may
spur something on your end.

Get well little Bertha!

September 2nd, 2006, 09:40 PM
We got her at the end of June and they said that she was a baby then (you can see that she's obviously grown since we've had her). Unless they lied to us (it was from a pet store after all :frustrated: ).
I will take the water tomorrow to be tested to see if that may be the problem. We did a good water change today (~40-45%) in hopes that that would help somewhat.
I do have 5 zebra danios in the tank with her. They are all doing well and being their normal crazy selves. They're still playing, eating, zooming around and they look fine with not marks/injuries on them.
Will adding any of the antibacterial meds affect them at all? Should I buy some anyway just to be safe? What about the peas? Is it still a good idea to try to get Bertha to eat them with the danios in there?
Nobody has died, we do a head count every day.
I know that she's just a fish and I can't take her to the vet or anything (I've asked the vets that I work with ;) ) but I'd still be sad if she died.
So my plan is to take the water to be tested tomorrow and I'll buy some peas at grocery time as well.
Thanks for the help. I'll post more when I know more.

September 3rd, 2006, 08:23 AM
my little guy died today. the rot had progressed to his body, poor little guy. I should have known better to buy him from that store, but he was so cute! They were in very dirty water and his fins were curled, but I thought I could rescue him... I guess he was too ill and stressed. RIP snow! :sad:

I hope that yours comes out of it... unless you know what the illness is, I wouldn't medicate... but if you do medicate, take him out of the 10g and isolate him. You could try the peas, watch and see who eats them. I've heard that aquarium salt can help in these situations... anyone know much about that?

September 3rd, 2006, 04:21 PM
Poor little fish. :sad: :rip:

September 3rd, 2006, 05:10 PM
Hi there RVT,
good on the water change.
You should be fine to treat in the tank with the danios.
Danios are tough hardy little fish.
Also, it is 10g so it will make treatment measurements
If you treat with Maracyn 1 and 2, then it wont affect your
bio cycle is a fairly safe, well tolerated medicine.
Furan 2 also does not affect the cycle. Tri-sulfa will, so I would
use that outside the main tank.

I would definitely feed the pea....the danios will like it too.
We want to rule out constipation as well, as these fish are prone
to it.

Heres what I would do to cover all basis:

Feed peas exclusively for 2 days, nothing else.
Dose Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 in the tank (i believe it is
2 tabs on the first day, then 1 tab after for 4 days I think)
Add 1 Tablespoon of Aquarium salt as well.

Depending on what the temperature in the tank is, you may
want to lower it slowly down to 76F temporarily. Bacteria
thrives in hot temps, so cooler water may prevent the bacteria
from spreading, and both the betta and danios will tolerate it.

Hopefully that treatment will cure up anything that is bacterial
in nature. Keep your air stones running and remove any carbon
from your filter if it has been in there less than 1 weeks time.
If its been in there longer than 1 week leave it, its no longer
active. If you have no air stones, add one. You want to keep
maximum oxygen in a tank with a sick betta, they need to get to
the top to breathe, and if they cant, they can drown, so improve
her chances with lots of O2.

The main reason why I suggest treating the betta in her home is because
bettas can be funny people....they can expire due to the stress of a move when they are already sick. She is comfortable in her own home, and the meds ive recommended are safe for everyone and wont impact your biological system much if any.

Also, you can do a course of treatment as this:
Day 1 dose a full dose of meds.
Day 2 do a 50% water change and dose 1/2 the med and salt dosage back.
Continue this till meds are finished according to dosage on the box.
Ive had great success with this method, it keeps the water super clean and yet keeps the meds at peak strength. Its up to you, whichever you prefer to try.

Good luck to you RVT and Bertha.

(also, most pet store bettas are nearly 1 year old when sold, many are retired breeding female bettas in particular are quite small at maturity (half the size of males on average) and grow rapidly to full size,
it would be hard to judge age by size. )

September 3rd, 2006, 08:34 PM
So...we took a water sample to two different places today (just to compare). The pet store did some laboratory testing with test tubes and everything (took 20mins). She told me that everything was fine, nothing was high in the water. She didn't seem to know anything about fish though (and she was the only one working in the fish section).
So I took the other water sample to an aquarium store. She did a dip stick test that took like 10 seconds. She said that the nitrites were still in the safe range but near the high side. But said that that shouldn't cause her to be as she is. She thought that it may be stress that's causing her to be like this. She sent me to talk to the expert. He said that it sounds like stress and that we should do water changes like three times per week and not treat her with anything since she doesn't have any signs of anything. He also said to not worry about trying to force her to eat because if she's stressed she won't want to. He said that she could go like a week without eating.
I don't really want to take his advice because my way of practicing is that if you can give them some med that MAY help them, but won't make them any worse, then why not?
Tomorrow is Labour day so I'll have to go out on Tuesday and get some meds for her.
In regards to the peas...can we buy fresh peas instead of canned peas and do the same thing (feed the pea guts)? And should I still give their normal food with it or is just pea guts enough for everybody? How much should I feed them (either just pea guts or pea guts and normal food amounts)?
Thanks so much for your help. I hope she lives.

phoenix, I'm very sorry about your beta. Working with animals is so great but also sucks because they can't tell you when something is wrong let a long what's wrong. And no vet that I know treats fish (yet).

September 4th, 2006, 01:07 AM
the guy at the fish store happen to say why the betta would
suddenly, out of the blue, after 6 months become so stressed
out she starts laying on the bottom?
I honestly dont think so.
These "experts"...take what they say with a grain of salt.
A betta does NOT just lay on the bottom of the tank because
of stress after they have been happy and settled for months.
No fish does this.

For fresh peas, yes, youd have to boil them till soft.

September 4th, 2006, 10:25 AM
Thanks RVT... sadly I have lost all my bettas- 2 males and 2 females- in the last 3 days. They were all in different tanks, I'm so upset. I know the two males died of the same thing (fin rot into body rot, despite the meds)... the two girls just bloated up... it happened so quickly. Weirdly, all of my other fish are fine. I just don't understand :sad: I might have passed on a bacteria between tanks from my tools or something.

I hope your little one makes it! Good luck and keep us posted.

September 4th, 2006, 05:26 PM
A (PINCH) of table salt per beta container will help them live a longer life. :-)

September 6th, 2006, 09:53 AM
Well, she looks like she's improving. She is still hiding quite a bit and I have to get her out to eat...but last night she was out for most of the night on her own. She's eating on her own now (the fish flakes), swimming around like normal (still does her freak out fast swim as well - but not as often).
I was getting really worried about her because her fins were looking see through and she was looking like pale white (not white stuff on her, she was white). But now you can actually tell that she's blue. She is still pretty brown, but there is a lot of blue to her now and her fins are normal colour again.
We'll keep doing what were're doing and hope that she gets 100% soon. One thing that went through my head though is that if fish are like other pets that they'll get better just before they die?
But thanks oh so much for all the help! I never ever could have done it without you guys! :grouphug:

September 6th, 2006, 08:45 PM
I am very glad to hear it.
I hope Bertha continues to recover, and enjoys many many
more months ( or years) of time with you.
It really is amazing how attached to a fish we can get eh?
I never thought so when I started, and was amazed
how quickly they all became so important to me.
Well, good luck Bertha, and keep us posted on her condition

September 13th, 2006, 10:46 AM
Just thought that I'd do another quick update...Bertha is looking better and better every day! We bought a bubbler and she started to perk up with that in even more. And the danios like to swim near the bottom, go near the bubbler and zoom up to the top in the bubbles (crazy little fish). But she's back to her normal blue/red colour for the most part, there's still a little brown on top of her head but it's a lot less than what it was.
She gave us quite a scare but now she's back to acting like her self and not hiding as much. Thanks again for all the help.