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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have a male Betta and he has been acting off key lately, which makes me worry. For the past two days he has come up for feeding, but will take only one or two bites and then swim away. He usually cleans out the whole portion, EASY(even goes after seconds by getting at the food for the cherry shrimp). He seems fine when he swims around, but today he has been very slow and he has nuzzled himself into a plant and just lays there completely motionless. He usually does this only at night, and even so, not when he notices me approach the tank. The water parameters are all great and the temperature is constant. The red cherry shrimp are doing great, so it's not the water. What should I do? Why is he acting so sad? :(
Ps. He is small because he was a "baby Betta" when I bought him. He has grown quite a lot from the baby I got him as.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I woke up this morning to find Frankie (my Betta) in the plants just like he was last night. In the same exact spot. I tried tapping the glass to get him to move, and even wiggled the plants with my clean finger and he barely moved a fin
I panicked and decided to put him into a shallow dish with plenty of room and clean water mixed with tank water. Not sure if this was the best thing to do, but that is what I did. He tried swimming away from the net when I fished him out, but the swimming seemed like he was tired and not trying hard. Please offer any advice on what I should do.
I've had him since November. His belly looks decent size, and he eats Tetra Plus pellets. He has never had an issue with the food before(always eats everything). I don't ever see him poop, but I do find it around the tank gravel so he's doing it. He doesn't eat the plants but he sometimes pecks the algae wafer for my cherry shrimp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Swimming odd?
I put him in a small container and he just started "coughing" out of no where and now is completely still. It looked like convulsions and he was opening up his mouth real wide. When I moved the tank a bit, his fins fluttered for a brief moment. Is he dying?:( is there anything I can do to save him?:( sorry I don't know how to add this to my other post.
 

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Betta are generally tough, also lost one recently, but I blame it 100% on the conditions he was kept in at the store.
They get so helpless when they are ill. Keep him in the dark, keep him warm, he will probably pass away, might as well keep him comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Betta are generally tough, also lost one recently, but I blame it 100% on the conditions he was kept in at the store.
They get so helpless when they are ill. Keep him in the dark, keep him warm, he will probably pass away, might as well keep him comfortable.
Well that's depressing. I have placed him in a smaller bowl and am accommodating him as best as I can. He actually showed signs of improvement last night! His fins were starting to wiggle continuously and he was hovering more upright and not just laying on the bottom of the bowl. I'm doing 50% water changes a few times a day (his half filled bowl is being hovered in the main tank so to do water change is quite easy, I take about half of his water, and just take water from the tank and put it into his container=same water same temperature! Hack?? I think so). He is being kept really stable. Hopefully he will make it. I have raised him from a fry so I am very much so attached to him(attaching throwback pictures). I will do everything in my power to make him better. Thank tou for any advice.
 

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Sorry for not replying soon. I'm bad at navigating this site. I normally just check notifications I get, and the "New Posts" tab, and if I don't see the thread pop back up in the New Posts tab (when I'm online), I normally don't check back on the thread. I've noticed for some reason I sometimes don't get notifications when people quote me (such as the one in post#5).

But anyways, is that last pic of the Betta and his current state of health? If so, he still has his color and doesn't look too bad. I'm not all too familiar with Betta anatomy, but from where I think Betta's bellies/stomachs are (just above ventral fins), he does look a little skinny, but that might just be from him not feeling well enough to eat recently and doesn't exactly indicate internal parasites.

When dealing with sick or stressed fish I usually don't recommend moving them to different tanks as that stress is pretty hard on the already weakened fish. However some cases it is better to do so (prevent infecting others, cheaper to treat in smaller tank, only other option, etc). But if not absolutely necessary, I suggest leaving them in their tanks for better chances of recovery.

Just wondering, the new container the betta is in, is it filtered? I know you are saying you are doing multiple water changes a day. That does have it's benefits, but that too can be more harm than good. It can cause stress from all the chaos of water changes, and the more stressors the fish undergoes, the worse they do. A water change really isn't necessary if the water parameters remain good.

Now more onto the symptoms. Even though from a pic he may look fine, his behavior indicates he is not feeling well. I still can't pin point what exactly is wrong.
This "coughing", does it look like he is choking or trying to spit up/dislodge something in his throat? He might have something stuck in his throat (piece of food, shrimp, gravel, etc). Try and visually inspect.
Or is he just flaring like Bettas do (extending fins and gill plate covers)?
Do the gill tissue looks redder than normal? Do the gill cover protrude constantly?
Is he breathing hard? Gasping at the water surface?
Does he flash a lot? (scratch itself against object, particularly the gill area)

Fish having "convulsions", the only time I hear about that is if they are the verge of dying (suffocating or poisoned), have whirling disease, or some other disease that infects the brain, or from sudden drastic pH or temperature changes (severe shock). I've heard some people say their fish had a "seizure" when the bright lights would turn on.
Or was he just "shimmying"? (means fish fastly wiggling/"swimming" in place)

Just found this vid
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CCLMXmJUk0
It's a Oscar that developed "seizures" from a injury. I guess it's just another possibility. Although your fish only exhibited this behavior after initially becoming sick, so I don't think injury is the cause.

Have you added meds to the tank such as MelaFix?
Do you feed tubifex worms or any live foods?

Those epsom salt baths are worth a shot. He might just be "backed up" internally causing him to not feel well and the epsom salt might help.

Sorry I can't identify what exactly the issue may be. Observe the fish more and try and mention any other symptoms you see.
I would double/triple check ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, GH, KH to make sure those aren't a issue.

I don't see any external signs of disease (besides behavior), so it's probably an internal disease, but I am not certain whether it's bacterial, viral or parasitic.
I normally never use meds unless I know what is wrong, but if the fish is getting worse and you still can't ID the issue, it might be worth attempting to cure whatever disease it might be by using a broad spectrum medication. You could try Seachem Paraguard. If not there are broad spectrum antibiotics. But reply back and I will see if any new info pops up that might help ID what is wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the responses. I have moved him back into his home so he has at least some more options of hiding places and a more comfortable environment. He is not doing great. Today I saw that he has an enlarged abdomen and it almost looks like there is a rock in his stomach or something. The scales on that spot are different colored(yellow) and not like his normal body color. I've never seen this on him before(including pictures). The parameters are completely fine and the shrimp are doing great. Currently, Frankie is sitting at the bottom of the tank and he hasn't gone up to get air for a while, which worries me a lot. He is still breathing because I can see his gills moving around. I don't know what to do but watch in horror. I have since tried doing a 20% water change on the tank to give him something fresh and didn't seem to help him much(shrimp are loving the water though). How long can a Betta go without food or air? It's been approximately 3 days since he last ate anything. The coughing was not like convulsions but it did look like he was trying to dislodge something from his throat. Maybe there is something in there? It's definitely in the abdomen, whatever it is now. Will his abdomen return to normal? Should I still try the Epsom salt? He seems so weak I'm afraid to move him..
 

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He should be getting the epsom baths asap, twice a day if possible...
It will sooth his skin and unblock his stomach. I have even cured bettas with bad dropsy this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you everyone for the kind advice. I have done everything I can to save him, but I guess it was just his time to go. He struggled for a while, but sometime during the night he took his last breath. My heart is completely broken right now, and I can't stop crying. But, hopefully he is in a better place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone. I know I tried the best I could, but I do constantly think maybe there was something more i could have done in this situation. its awful, but I guess I just need time to heal. Thanks again for any advice and kind words.
 
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