Betta Fish Problems

aanand11

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Hey everyone,

My brother has a male crowntail Betta. For the past few weeks, he’s been sitting on the substrate all day. He doesn’t swim up to eat and doesn’t interact with us anymore. Initially, we thought it was boredom so we upgraded from a 3 gallon to a 5 gallon tank. This didn’t fix the problem and we noticed that one of his dorsal fins was torn off. I made sure that our water was clean and it’s starting to grow back. He still lays on the substrate and has started to grow a weird lump under his gills. Does anyone know what the problem is?

Water test results:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20 ppm
pH: 7.5-7.7

I attached a picture of the lump.
 

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Abaddon

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Oh dear, he looks as though he's at death's door... how old is he? The raised scales look like dropsy and his eye is definitely abnormal (popeye maybe?), he needs treatment ASAP and I hate to say this, but it doesn't look as though he has much time left. Normally I'd associate this kind of sickness with extremely poor water quality, but if your parametres truly are what you say they are, then that can't be it. Nonetheless, water quality tests can be inaccurate (especially if you're using strips), so to be on the safe side I'd do a water change - as big as you can without shocking the fish. He MAY perk up a bit. Also, it might be advisable to move him to a shallower spot in the tank, as he may not have enough energy to go up to the surface for air if he's lying on the bottom all the time. What's the water temperature and how long has he gone without food?
 
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aanand11

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The temperature is at 78 and he hasn’t eaten since yesterday. What medications should I use to treat him?
I’m really worried right now.
 

Abaddon

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OK that's not that long, (healthy) bettas can go up to 2 weeks without food so I wouldn't worry about that now. Keep offering him food though, and clean up anything he doesn't eat. Temperature is OK. Treating him is the priority, but be prepared that he might not make it. If it's dropsy then you'll need an antibiotic that targets gram-negative bacteria, such as fish amoxicillin. You can also give him a bath in methylene blue. If you can you should move him to a quarantine/hospital tank, add some aquarium salt and then the antibiotic according to instructions. I can't make any precise recommendations as Idk exactly what meds you have available in your area.
 
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aanand11

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OK that's not that long, (healthy) bettas can go up to 2 weeks without food so I wouldn't worry about that now. Keep offering him food though, and clean up anything he doesn't eat. Temperature is OK. Treating him is the priority, but be prepared that he might not make it. If it's dropsy then you'll need an antibiotic that targets gram-negative bacteria, such as fish amoxicillin. You can also give him a bath in methylene blue. If you can you should move him to a quarantine/hospital tank, add some aquarium salt and then the antibiotic according to instructions. I can't make any precise recommendations as Idk exactly what meds you have available in your area.
Do you think API Fungus Cure would work? If not, do you have any recommendations as to what brand/product. In terms of availability, I think I should be fine.
 

Abaddon

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Dropsy is caused by bacteria (gram-negative, to be precise), so an anti-fungal medication won't help. It needs to be an antibiotic. Do you have a separate tank that you can move him into? Because antibiotics shouldn't go into the display tank as they can kill the good bacteria in the filter.
Start with aquarium salt and maybe catappa extract/leaves to soften the water and reduce stress, then you can try Furan-2 or Maracyn-2 (in a separate tank), but honestly I'm just going off a quick online search as I've never personally used them.
 
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aanand11

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I’m confused. I looked at him from the top and his scales seem normal. The only think I see is discoloration. Could it be velvet?
 

Abaddon

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Maybe, although it doesn't look like that in the picture. Try shining a light on him, if it's velvet you should be able to see it.
 
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aanand11

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Maybe, although it doesn't look like that in the picture. Try shining a light on him, if it's velvet you should be able to see it.
I don’t see anything out of normal. Could it just be old age? He’s reached max size and was one of the older bettas at petco.
 

Abaddon

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That's not long at all... bettas can live up to 3-5 years under the right conditions, but longer lifespans aren't unheard of. Pet stores usually sell them when they're between 6 months to a year old, so unless he'd been sitting on that shelf for more than 2 years, he's not that old.
 
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aanand11

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That's not long at all... bettas can live up to 3-5 years under the right conditions, but longer lifespans aren't unheard of. Pet stores usually sell them when they're between 6 months to a year old, so unless he'd been sitting on that shelf for more than 2 years, he's not that old.
I don’t know what to do I feel so bad for him. I can’t even figure out what’s wrong.
 

Abaddon

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A few more photos might be helpful - different angles (esp. from above). My money is still on dropsy, unless I'm being misled by that first photo. For the time being, do a partial water change and add some aquarium salt/tannins (if you have any). He's in very bad shape so I don't know if that will help, but it's better than doing nothing. I'm pretty sure he needs more aggressive treatment though.
 

EllRog

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His scales are raised which is why you see the lack of colouration. This has happened because he's puffed up due to his internal organs shutting down due to dropsy. The chances of him recovering are almost non existent at this point unfortunately
 

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