Betta with swim bladder issues, lifting scales on face
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Betta with swim bladder issues, lifting scales on face

This is a discussion on Betta with swim bladder issues, lifting scales on face within the Hospital Section forums, part of the Aquarium Related Chat category; I'm getting a bit worried about my veiltail betta. Long story short, shortly after a water change about two weeks ...

  1. #1
    Forum Novice BullDog's Avatar
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    Default Betta with swim bladder issues, lifting scales on face

    I'm getting a bit worried about my veiltail betta.

    Long story short, shortly after a water change about two weeks ago, Marm started to have swim bladder issues, he kept sinking, and mostly stayed on the bottom, propped up using a rock.

    Tried fasting for 3 days, then a bit of pea. Tried fasting for 4 days too.
    Since two of my other bettas seemed to be having similar symptoms, a couple days ago I decided to start Tetracycline. Currently on the third out of four doses (as according to the package). Also have been feeding him Jungle's antibacterial food (also on day 3).

    Before I started the antibiotics, I noticed a spot on his right side that looked like the scales were sort of "pinched together".
    Not the best pic, but this is from about a week ago:


    Now it looks like he's actually missing scales in this area.
    I'm wondering if the missing scales could be just from rubbing on the rocks/plants when he's trying to prop himself up, or if it could be a sign of something else.

    Also, tonight, shortly after feeding him, he seemed to be breathing heavily, though he seems to be breathing normally now.

    Other than being a bit listless, he's still eating, his colour is good, and he responds to me moving near the tank.

    Tank stats:
    2.5g mini bow, with mini filter.
    Heater currently unplugged, temp 78-80F.
    A chunk of java moss, a few rocks, and a piece of driftwood.

    I don't know if I'm being paranoid, but could the driftwood be throwing something off? It's a piece I collected from the beach (not sure what kind of wood it is), boiled it for half an hour to an hour, changing the water at least 3 times. It's been in there since I set up the tank, 3 months ago.

    Can anyone help me figure out what could be going on with him?
    Last edited by BullDog; 07-05-2010 at 11:35 PM.

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    Hi Bullfrog. I haven't seen this before, but is there any chance that it's Velvet and the scales are curling up or falling off from the infection? I have heard that Velvet is common in bettas but as far as I know, I haven't seen a betta with velvet.

    I see that you're in Kelowna. If you can identify your betta's condition and can't find a medication locally, I will send something to you by mail. I think that I can get it there overnight if it's not a Stat holiday.

    Good luck with your betta.

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    Thanks Morainy, it was a good thought. I checked him with a flashlight (though not a very bright flashlight), but didn't see any gold specks...

    Medication I can find off and on here, though I usually only check two of the stores here.

    Not sure, but he seems to be slightly better since I started the Tetracycline, though certainly no where near 100%. Finished the last dose today, and will do part water change + carbon in the filter tomorrow.
    Then, unless someone has a thought what else it might be, I'll just let him rest up, and keep the water clean, and keep an eye on him.

    It's really frustrating to see him like this and not being able to do anything about it

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    Hi Bulldog,

    I found this older post after reading a more recent one about problems with 3 of your bettas. I was looking for the update about Marm but didn't find it. (Is this Marm?)

    How is this guy doing? Did the Tetracycline help?

    I notice that you've got him in a mini bow with a filter. I've found with bettas in the past that they can be stressed by filtration in a small tank over time. While treating him, my only suggestion would be to turn off the filtration completely, let the water go still, and give a large water change every day. He may benefit from just being able to lie around for awhile.

    Good luck.

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    Hi Morany.

    Marm isn't doing any better. I think the missing scales are looking a little better after the T.C., but he's gotten much more lethargic.

    Somewhat good news is that he'll still eat, if I can coax him up from the bottom. I've been feeding the antibacterial pellets for about 10 days, and just switched back to regular pellets tonight (soaking them for 10 mins first).

    What concerns me now, tonight I noticed around his gills it looks like the scales are "lifting". Took a pic while he was laying close to the front.

    Can't see the lifting scales in this pic, but you can see his gill looks sort of uneven. It looks like he might have some kind of growth under the gill... It's sort of just starting to form a bump.

    Here's a pic that shows where the scales seem to be missing. It's the lighter area on his back, but like I said, it's not getting worse, so right now I think I need to focus on the gill.



    I've taken your suggestion of turning off the filter. I'll just leave it off for tonight, then do a water change tomorrow, and leave the water level lower, while I'm at it. Only thing I'm a bit worried about is temperature fluctuations with such little water.
    It probably wouldn't hurt to keep the light off too, right? It's a low wattage light, but it does give off a bit of heat when it's on. Would help keep the temp more constant.

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    I don't know what's wrong with him, Bulldog. I'd suspect velvet because of the gill involvement and the lifting of the scales, but I can't really see any signs of that from your photo.

    Sometimes, I think that bettas come from the breeder with infections or tumours or they are just plain sickly, and figuring out what's wrong with them is a difficult guessing game.

    Why have you turned off your heater, if you're worried about temperature fluctuations? Is it because your water level is lower? I have a small Marineland 10W heater that I'm not using. You can have it if you'd like. Luckily, it's summer.

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    He is just a petstore betta, so I know he's not the highest of quality. I've had him for over 3 months though, so it makes me feel like it's something I've done

    Heater was off because without it the water temp was at 80. The heater isn't adjustable, so when it was on, it was pushing it too high, 85-86.
    With the light off, I think it's safe to turn the heater back on, but I'll be monitoring the temp.

    I think it might be worth a try to give him some Velvet meds.

    One thing just to note, he's NOT breathing heavily or anything. In fact, the other day I thought he had died suddenly, because he wasn't responding to me, and I couldn't see his gills moving at all! Finally, after a couple of minutes, and after bumping the tank a couple of times, he looked around o.o

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    Just to keep this updated:
    Started Coppersafe today, going to decide in the next day or two if I should do another round of Tetracycline.
    Did a big water change today, and left the water level much lower.
    Filter is off, light is off, heater is on. Water temp is currently 80F.

    Marm was not looking good today. On his left side (the side missing the scales), the scales around his gills seem to really be lifting up.
    Still breathing normally though...

    I had the light on for a short while today, while I was changing the water, and had a good look at him for any other symptoms. Looked at him from above, no pineconing. He swam up and looked at me, and all his fins look good, no tears or rot. His eyes still look normal, though maybe not the sparkle they had before.
    Checked him with the flashlight, still no sign of the "gold dust" look of velvet...

    The lower water level is good for him. He's just lounging on the java moss, which is just a few cm from the surface.

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    I hope that Marm recovers, Bullfrog. At least he is showing no signs of fin rot or dropsy.

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    Thanks Morainy

    This pic pretty much sums it up: The side of his face that looks swollen, and the scales lifting up. Also noticed some red spots in the area, so started another round of Tetracycline.

 

 
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