Sick Betta Fish

Moist_Ham

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This is my double tail halfmoon betta Bubbles
I bought him from a thailand breeder about 6 months ago
he currently lives in a 10 gallon tank, with 4 snails
He has always been a nervous fish but about a month ago he got really really sick and his nervousness got worse
I noticed a dark spot on his head (showed in the picture) about a month ago it was white and red-ish but it turned black and seemed to be fine. Though a few days after finding that I noticed that he has a hole right by his mouth (almost like he had a nose which doesnt make sense, I can't get him to stay still for this photo) he still has this hole and i can see right through it to the other side being able to see the red from my gravel in the tank. I assumed it was hole in the head since i saw some other pitting by his eyes. A few days after noticing that he got cotton on his eye that quickly went away, but he is still very very sick to this day.

I treated him for a bit with melafix and Pemafix no improvement
then i treated with General Cure for a bit, still no improvement

He has been fighting for weeks, all he does it lay at the bottom breathing rapidly and sometimes quickly going to the surface for air but quickly going back to laying down, either upright on his side. I am worried for him, he is a strong little fishy and i wanna help him get better. I am aware of the state of his tail, since being sick he has eaten it like crazy.

The water temperature is at a solid 82 degress F
The test kit stuff
Ph: 7.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0

His tank is due for a cleaning tomorrow so there is a bit of build up in the gravel, especially because he only stays in that once spot by the rocks

I use API Slime Coat+ for the water changes and coming to post was my last resort, I am just so worried for him, I love him to death and wanna do my part as his mommy to help him feel better but I don't know how else to do that.

if any more info is know please ask away, anything to help my little Bubbles
 

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Moist_Ham

Moist_Ham

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Here is a video link to how he is breathing and laying within my tank, he has been in this state the entire time
normally he would swim around and get excited when i would come into the room but now he is just like this
 

Colin_T

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Can't tell anything from the picture. We need pictures from the side and front.

The fish is breathing heavily in the video. This can be poor water quality, something in the water that is affecting him, or some problem with his overall health.

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Until you work out what is wrong, the best thing for sick fish is to do the following.

Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week or until the problem is identified. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk and this means any medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use them. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration to maximise the dissolved oxygen in the water.

Stop adding chemicals.
 
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Moist_Ham

Moist_Ham

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So stop the medications
and change the water 75% everyday, when i do that do i keep him in the tank?
also does fish sponge just mean a sponge that i just use to clean the inside of the tank


as for more photos here is some, his bottom is turning a bit white, it was not always like this
 

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Colin_T

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So stop the medications
At this stage yes, stop adding everything except a dechlorinator, which should be added to new tap water before it is added to the tank. We just want to rule out any possible chemical poisoning issues.

and change the water 75% everyday, when I do that do I keep him in the tank?
Yes, just leave him in the tank and use a gravel cleaner (if you have one) to drain some water out and clean the gravel/ substrate.

also does fish sponge just mean a sponge that i just use to clean the inside of the tank
Yes, a fish sponge is just a clean sponge that hasn't been used for anything except the fish tank. If you buy a cheap packet of sponges from a shop, make sure they don't have soaps or anti mould additives, then wash them well under tap water and use them specifically for the fish.
 
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Moist_Ham

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Okay I will do this, how long should i wait to see possible improvements if these are the issues?
and if he doesnt improve how can i go about trying to figure out what else might be making him sick.
 

Colin_T

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I can't see a hole in his face but if a small red hole appears in the face and you can see straight through it, then it's usually a bacterial infection. Sometimes salt can clear it up but other times you need something that treats bacteria (not anti-biotics). A broad spectrum fish medication that contains Methylene Blue or Acriflavine might help but beware of Methylene Blue because it can wipe out the filter bacteria.

If you want to try salt for a week, that might be a way to start. You can use salt and do the daily water changes. Then if there is no improvement after a week, look for a broad spectrum fish medication.

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SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.
 
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Moist_Ham

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I have done the first 75% water change and dose of about 1 1/2 tablespoons of aquarium salt. Ill see how he is in 48 hours, i tend to keep the light off on the tank most the day since i really want him to get rest (only keep it on for about 4-5 hours) Ill touch back in this thread if i see no improvement in two-three weeks (If that is okay with you) . Thanks for the help and quick replies this really gave me a place to start, you have no idea!
 

Colin_T

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If there is no improvement after a week, post another response. Don't wait too long because they can die pretty quickly if it's something bad.

A video of the fish might offer more information too :)
 
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Moist_Ham

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I’ll touch back in a week then and provide a video of how he is doing so I can have second opinions on if he is getting better or not.
Once I am home from work I’ll be doing another water change and salt dose just like you suggested, crossing my fingers this will have luck in helping him on his journey to recovery.
 

Colin_T

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Take a video of him now for yourself, and again in a week. Then you can compare the videos at home and see if he has improved. You can also post them on here and we can compare them.

The best way to put videos on this forum is to upload them to YouTube, then copy & paste the link here.
 
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Moist_Ham

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Will do! I’ll keep you updated cause I really love to have second opinion, again thank you for the help!
 
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Moist_Ham

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I was able to find a decent photo of the locations of the holes in his face, the white looking circle things are the holes when at this view


!I also have a small update!
Since I got home he is definitely trying to swim around more, he has gone up to the top just to swim and look at me not like his normal dart for air then back to the bottom, plus he isn’t laying on his side as much, he is laying normally, belly on the ground normal. I am hoping these are good signs and I’ll be doing another change tonight.
 

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Moist_Ham

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Sad to say but my little guy passed away today, he was living this morning but came home from work and he was sadly gone.
Thanks for the help, I’ll use this help in the future when getting my fish next fish.
 

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