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Discussion Starter #1
My betta Fluffy has been pretty ill for the last 2 weeks- he doesnt swim anymore. He either lays onthe bottom of the tank, or he hides behind the heater (where he rests on the suction part). He CAN swim, to the top to get air and food, but then sinks again.

He was a bit bloated so I thought it was swim bladder and didn't feed him for 3 days (then gave him a pea). But one side of him has a bump, just on one side, thats been there for months. Recently I noticed the scales are a bit raised ont his bump now. The other issue is- I gave him a plant 2 months ago that he adored, back when he was active, but it was full of snails- they're now taking over the tank. I pull them out as I see them, but when I add water I can see all this "stuff" floating, eggs, larvae etc. I'm not sure if that's contributing to anything, since there's no ammonia, but it doesnt look healthy.

Currently in a 5 galonheated with a sponge filter.I have been changing the water 20% daily. Ammonia was at 0, nitrates at 5. Temperature is 78-80. I'm thinking that tonight I'm going to move him to a 1 gallon bowl, that's snail free, and perhaps treat him with somehting (but I don't know what to treat for?!) I dont' want to stress him out too much though, which that mights. His gills are looking a bit black, and he shows some signs of fin rot- I'm not sure if thats the cause or a side issue of his not swimming. Just over a month ago he had gone 2 weeks without a water change (I know :( ) at which point I changed it 75%. I thinkt hats what caused his fin damage.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I'd really like to get him healthy again.
 

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Hey! I'm sorry to hear FLuffy isn't feeling great :( Hopefully with the help of some other members we'll be able to help him out!

First of all. I'm very impressed with your commitment to water changes. However, it's generally not expected that you change 20% of the water every single day, especially with 5 gallon tank. You can safely change 30% of the water once weekly assuming your tank is cycled. Are you doing these frequent water changes because the fish is sick or just out of habit? Water changes can bring changes in temperature and pH, both which are stressful for the betta. Are you matching temperature, dechlorianting the water, and letting the water sit overnight? I am pretty sure you already are but I just wanted to get those grounds covered in case you aren't.

How long has he had that "bump" for? Was it there when you bought him? Sounds a little fishy! *no pun intended*

Food! How were you feeding the fish? What kind of foods and how much of it? If you were feeding freeze-dried foods or pellets, have you been soaking them before feeding?

It's totally possible that your fish has some sort of infection that compromised the swim bladder... the raised scales make me think that twice as much. I do recognize that the bump may not be infection-related and perhaps just a cyst, but I sort of feel like it's infection related. I'm curious to know what other members think. A picture(s) would help out tremendously.

The snails do add a little bio-load to the tank. They produce some physical waste, mostly just poo, but in my experience not exactly as you have described. I'm assuming you have pond snails, and their sticky eggs (stuck to surfaces and not flying around) do NOT produce free swimming larvae that cloud your water. If what you are seeing is long white and slimy looking ( and connected), I am almost tempted to say that you are seeing your fish's slime coat that has fallen off him. This often happens when you do a water change and water parameters are not matched exactly, especially in pH and temperature. Seeing that you do large frequent water changes, I am tempted to say that you are stressing him more than helping him even if you try to take precautions.

The swim rot may not be poor-water quality related in your particular case. Your water is changed VERY often and parameters seem fine.

For now, I would take some pictures and post them on the site for other members to see. Stop doing water changes in risk that you are stressing him out, but feel free to take daily tests. Antibiotic treatment may be a good idea for your instance. I feel like it is an internal infection of some sort (gram negative bacteria), and the fin-rot bacteria can probably be treated with the same medication. I like maracyn products but I am sure some members will suggest otherwise. I don't feel like constipation is the culprit.
Do not move him over to the 1 gallon tank yet for treatment until you hear back from more members. I never find it wise to take just one person's advice.

P.s. if you want to get rid of the snails, put a piece of cucumber in the tank over night and you'll have a stick of snails the next day. Discard them all.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! No water change is typically once a week, but I missed a weekend and he went almost 3 weeks without it- been changing daily to make sure its clean.

We use RO water, and match the temperature before we add it.

In regards to the snails- there are clear sacks of eggs on the glass and plats etc- but when I add the water, it stirs up th gravel (which I vacuum weekly!!) And it looks like tons of debris in his tank (the small white little worms, which appear to be snail larvae).

Ill try to take picks- the bump is on one side and has been there for months. I'd say it was a full belly/constipation but its only one side.

As for eating, I alternate between pellets and dried blood worms. Lately he hasn't been eating them )maybe a pellet a day) so I fish the excess out. Before he'd eat 5-6 twice a day. Probably too much, I know.
 

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i'd treat him with some epson salt...

If he's in a small tank...

1/8 of a tsp divided up into 5 equal parts then use one of those parts per gallon

larger tank use a 1/4 tsp per 10 gallons...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I dont have any epsom salt, but I do have saltwater tanks, so have aquarium salt.

However- I don't want to start treating him blind. I'd like to know what it is so I can correct it- if he's really sick (and he's been on the ground about 10 days now), I think he needs to be treated for whatever it is quickly.

I took a couple pictures of him, but I couldn't get the bump. Hard to take pics when he wont swim. All I can say is it looks like he's constipated on one side only. His scales aren't raised (after googling pictures), but they do have a black on the edge of some of them. He definitely has a problem with his fins, being black on the back and nearly translucent in a spot.

I guess i'm mostly concerned with his behavior- when he swims, he's kind of stilted, and he doesnt swim now unless he has to. When he's on the bottom on his side, it looks like he's dead. He does move when he sees me, but I thought whatever it was would have fixed him by now. I haven't moved him or added anything/done water changes. I fed him 2 pellets, he ate one. He only eats now if he's int he heater, and doesnt have far to swim to get the food.





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Is there any pineconing of his scales?

The epson salts will help with constipation / SBD if that is waht he has. If there is any Pineconing of his scales I'm afriad he may have dropsy which doesn't have a high survial rate.....

Adding straight aquarium salt isn't going to help him with this problem i'm afriad. If it was velvet or fungus based it would help.....

I fear he has dropsy..... The pineconing doesn't have to be present for it to be dropsy. Dropsy is just a term used to descibe bloating and organ failure.

You can try treating him. Better than doing nothing.

Treat him with Maracyn and Maracyn 2. Or tetracycline, or a borad spectum antibiotic food.

If it is dropsy the epson salt will help with fluid retention but won't cure the problem.
 
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