Betta not doing well, what can I do?

Paulie B.

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So I've had my Super Delta Betta for about four or five months now, and he's usually the life of my little community tank, checking in with all his tank mates and swimming around all day. But two days ago it was like someone flipped a switch. He became withdrawn and morose and soon settled on the substrate, hiding out under pieces of driftwood. When he refused to come out yesterday even to eat I moved him to a five-gallon tank and started API General Cure and aquarium salts. He's still just lying down, tilted to one side, barely moving at all.

I'd read a bit about swim-bladder disease and it seems like that could be the culprit, but the article says he may need medicated food. Unfortunately the only medicated food I can find is anti-parasitic, which the General Cure has covered. Seems to me he may need something different altogether. Tell me is there anything I could/should be doing to help alleviate his discomfort?

Thanks in advance.
 

Rocky998

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So I've had my Super Delta Betta for about four or five months now, and he's usually the life of my little community tank, checking in with all his tank mates and swimming around all day. But two days ago it was like someone flipped a switch. He became withdrawn and morose and soon settled on the substrate, hiding out under pieces of driftwood. When he refused to come out yesterday even to eat I moved him to a five-gallon tank and started API General Cure and aquarium salts. He's still just lying down, tilted to one side, barely moving at all.

I'd read a bit about swim-bladder disease and it seems like that could be the culprit, but the article says he may need medicated food. Unfortunately the only medicated food I can find is anti-parasitic, which the General Cure has covered. Seems to me he may need something different altogether. Tell me is there anything I could/should be doing to help alleviate his discomfort?

Thanks in advance.
Is your fish breathing heavy?
 

Rocky998

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So I've had my Super Delta Betta for about four or five months now, and he's usually the life of my little community tank, checking in with all his tank mates and swimming around all day. But two days ago it was like someone flipped a switch. He became withdrawn and morose and soon settled on the substrate, hiding out under pieces of driftwood. When he refused to come out yesterday even to eat I moved him to a five-gallon tank and started API General Cure and aquarium salts. He's still just lying down, tilted to one side, barely moving at all.

I'd read a bit about swim-bladder disease and it seems like that could be the culprit, but the article says he may need medicated food. Unfortunately the only medicated food I can find is anti-parasitic, which the General Cure has covered. Seems to me he may need something different altogether. Tell me is there anything I could/should be doing to help alleviate his discomfort?

Thanks in advance.
Also, can you give me your water parameters and let me know if any of your other fish are acting strange?
 
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Paulie B.

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No other fish acting strange. Water is as follows: pH=6.2; kH=20; chlorine=0; gH=75; nitrite=0; nitrate=20.
 

Rocky998

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No other fish acting strange. Water is as follows: pH=6.2; kH=20; chlorine=0; gH=75; nitrite=0; nitrate=20.
Ok, I see 2 small issues in your parameters (I dont know if these could be the cause). So, your ph is 6.2 and bettas mainly like a ph of 6.8 to 7.5... The more concerning parameter is your nitrates... You said 20, which is pretty high. There is also a thing called nitrate poisoning which can make fish lethargic and lay at the bottom. Does your fish seem fat at all?
 

OliveFish05

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Hi! I am so sorry your betta is not well!

What is the tank size?
Tank mates?
Pictures of the fish and the tank?
What is the ammonia?
What are you using to test the water?
Tank temp?

Those nitrates aren't anything extreme, but depending on the test kit or test strips, it may not be accurate.

It could be swim bladder, which is caused by stress or constipation. Stress could come from tank mates, inaccurate water temp, or something else. If it is constipation, limiting his food for a couple days, then feeding a skinned, thawed pea should help.

If the PH were the issue, I would have expected it to become a problem sooner, and it is just barely outside the typical range that comes up when you search "ph for betta"
 
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Paulie B.

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Ok, I see 2 small issues in your parameters (I dont know if these could be the cause). So, your ph is 6.2 and bettas mainly like a ph of 6.8 to 7.5... The more concerning parameter is your nitrates... You said 20, which is pretty high. There is also a thing called nitrate poisoning which can make fish lethargic and lay at the bottom. Does your fish seem fat at all?
No not fat. There's been no change in external appearance.
 

Rocky998

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Hi! I am so sorry your betta is not well!

What is the tank size?
Tank mates?
Pictures of the fish and the tank?
What is the ammonia?
What are you using to test the water?
Tank temp?

Those nitrates aren't anything extreme, but depending on the test kit or test strips, it may not be accurate.

It could be swim bladder, which is caused by stress or constipation. Stress could come from tank mates, inaccurate water temp, or something else. If it is constipation, limiting his food for a couple days, then feeding a skinned, thawed pea should help.

If the PH were the issue, I would have expected it to become a problem sooner, and it is just barely outside the typical range that comes up when you search "ph for betta"
All of the betta's symptoms mixed with the nitrate reading are just telling me its nitrate poisoning.
 
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Paulie B.

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Hi! I am so sorry your betta is not well!

What is the tank size?
Tank mates?
Pictures of the fish and the tank?
What is the ammonia?
What are you using to test the water?
Tank temp?

Those nitrates aren't anything extreme, but depending on the test kit or test strips, it may not be accurate.

It could be swim bladder, which is caused by stress or constipation. Stress could come from tank mates, inaccurate water temp, or something else. If it is constipation, limiting his food for a couple days, then feeding a skinned, thawed pea should help.

If the PH were the issue, I would have expected it to become a problem sooner, and it is just barely outside the typical range that comes up when you search "ph for betta"
It's a 20-gallon community tank with the betta, seven cherry barbs, three electric blue rams and one male dwarf gourami who's slated to be moved out. The betta gets along with all but the gourami, who is hated by all the tank's other residents. Sorry I'm currently finishing a bottle of Tetra Easy Strips, so no ammonia level. Temp is 80.5 F.

Hopefully constipation is all it is, and if so I'll certainly get him on more veggies!

I'll send some pics tonight.
 

OliveFish05

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All of the betta's symptoms mixed with the nitrate reading are just telling me its nitrate poisoning.
Normally 20 wouldn't be enough to cause any concern, but since the test strips are known for being very inaccurate, I suppose it could be!

I would keep the betta in his five gallon for now, so the other fish can't pick on him. How tall is it? You want him to be able to easily reach the surface. I would do a large water change, bettas can be sensitive to medication. Keep his water clean, make sure he stays at a consistent temperature, make sure all new water is dechlorinated and matches as close as possible to the tank temp. You could do the salt, I have heard that can help. Is it filtered? The more aeration the better. You don't him getting tossed around though.
 
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Paulie B.

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Normally 20 wouldn't be enough to cause any concern, but since the test strips are known for being very inaccurate, I suppose it could be!

I would keep the betta in his five gallon for now, so the other fish can't pick on him. How tall is it? You want him to be able to easily reach the surface. I would do a large water change, bettas can be sensitive to medication. Keep his water clean, make sure he stays at a consistent temperature, make sure all new water is dechlorinated and matches as close as possible to the tank temp. You could do the salt, I have heard that can help. Is it filtered? The more aeration the better. You don't him getting tossed around though.
I will do those things right away, thanks. The 5 gallon is filtered but just with one of those little internal deals so no worries on excess current.
 

Myraan

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Is it possible the Betta got up one morning and decided it had enough of his friends? You say he would "check in" with his friends.... maybe he was trying to intimidate them and the stress of them not noticing the intimidation got to him. Some people on here to keep Betta alone.... I have no personal experience.... but I noticed the other week my LFS clearly had an order of Bettas that was bigger than those rack things they use, so they put the overflow of Bettas in the the normal sales tanks, but only one per tank. Also in lFS you will see tanks full of baby Rams or Angels or Gourami and what have you.... and everyone looks fine.

My interpretation is that such compatibility work on a temporary basis while the fish is young.... as it gets older the hormones that tell it to be territorial increase, so the social conditions it accepts will change. Maybe the stress made him succumb to a tummy bug from rotting food that normally his immune system would fight off without any illness.

I would consider keeping him in the 5 gallon for good, scape it up nice for him.
 
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Paulie B.

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IMG_20210915_070207.jpg

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Here are the pics I promised. Sorry for my ancient Android phone. The first one is him in the small tank this morning. He actually seems to be doing a little better. He's still lying on the substrate, but he's out in the open and he's breathing normally. Still refusing food though. Still I'm taking it as a promising development.

Second pic is him just a few days ago hanging with his besties the blue rams. I did a 50 percent water change last night on that tank that brought the nitrates down to 10 and added some Prime which should wipe them out completely.
 

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