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Hello everyone,

My 2-year-old betta Samuel has been suffering from a plethora of issues over the past few months. His left eye has been swollen for months and did respond to any treatment of antibiotics ,salt baths, or katapa leaves. I suspect this is a tumor as opposed to popeye. Recently, he has started sinking like a rock and does not have enough buoyancy to eat pellet food, which has forced me to feed him exclusively blood worms with a pipette. I know bloodworms do not provide essential nutrients for bettas, but he won't even touch any other food. He is very lethargic and won't eat bloodworms unless they are presented right on his nose. 

He is currently in a 10-gallon planted tank, which I try to keep as clean as possible. I will get some fresh water parameter numbers tomorrow and post them here. I am not even sure where to begin with treatment. He just keeps getting worse, and it's awful to see. Any help is greatly appreciated! 

image.jpeg.12781c3eebfb650da7bcb0ab9ca4f763.jpeg

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Water paremeters will be great when you get them! I had a betta with most of the same problems. So maybe I might be able to help. But idk we’ll see. The paremeters are huge in this situation. I would do more constant water changes, like every other day or every 2 days, in this situation, clean water is a big thing. @BlueTurtle25.

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On 5/16/2024 at 4:14 AM, Whitecloud09 said:

Water paremeters will be great when you get them! I had a betta with most of the same problems. So maybe I might be able to help. But idk we’ll see. The paremeters are huge in this situation. I would do more constant water changes, like every other day or every 2 days, in this situation, clean water is a big thing. @BlueTurtle25.

I appreciate the response! I got some fresh numbers today using the API Master Test Kit, and I also did a 70% water change AFTER testing the water. None of the water parameter numbers really stand out to me. Everything seems pretty average and normal. I'm kind of lost because most bacterial diseases like SBD and Popeye correlate with high levels of ammonia and nitrate.

EDIT: Maybe the high GH and KH levels are causing these issues for my betta? It's the only thing that's odd.

PH 8.2 ppm

Ammonia 0 ppm

Nitrite 0 ppm

Nitrate 10 ppm

(GH and KH are not included in API master test kit, I had to use the aquarium co-op easy test strips to acquire these numbers)

GH 300 ppm (maxed out test strip) 

KH 300 ppm (maxed out test strip)

 

 

Edited by BlueTurtle25
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On 5/17/2024 at 4:26 AM, Whitecloud09 said:

Yes, i think its your gh/kh. Bettas can't handle kh and kh parameters that high, ive read that it can cause fin rot, SBD, and other diseases @BlueTurtle25

The normal paremeters of gh, is 50-60 ppm, pretty kh much the same as gh

I went out and bought an API GH and KH test kit to get more accurate numbers. My KH is 8 degrees or 143.2ppm. My GH is 7 degrees or 125.3 ppm. I also found out that one of the big rocks I used when rescaping my aquarium a year ago is a chunk of limestone. Limestone contains calcium carbonate, which can leach into the water causing increased water hardness (GH and KH) and higher PH levels. I took out a gallon of aquarium water and replaced it with a gallon of RO water. I will test my GH and KH again tomorrow, hopefully I will find out how much RO water is needed to dilute my water and bring down GH and KH.

People seem to have pretty divided opinions online on whether high levels of GH and KH can cause issues for bettas. I am not sure what to think. Do you think lowering the GH and KH will be sufficient for recovery or should start some sort of treatment?

Thanks again for your help with all this!

 

 

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On 5/18/2024 at 5:14 AM, BlueTurtle25 said:

People seem to have pretty divided opinions online on whether high levels of GH and KH can cause issues for bettas. I am not sure what to think. Do you think lowering the GH and KH will be sufficient for recovery or should start some sort of treatment?

Yeah I have seen that. Hmm, I think the best thing would be to do these things, the gh kh, has it been this high since it’s been set up with him in it? Also for treatment, here is my suggestions. 
 

1. Give an Epsom Salt Bath. Epsom salt is helpful for aquarium fish with illnesses including dropsy, constipation, and swim bladder dysfunction. You can add some Epsom salt to your tank  and change the water's chemistry.

option 2. Fast him.  Keeping in mind that betta fish can go 1-2 weeks without having to eat, he will be fine usually I fast fish for 5 days, then I will feed some daphnia for swim bladder disease because it can clear up his stomach. He might have a possible tumor as well. 
 

3. Use aquarium salt, fritz aquarium salt is my recommendation, but if you have some, that’s good. The instructions on the back will say what to do for some different situations. 
 

4. Treatment. Treat him with maracyn or maracyn 2. 
 

The last tip for helping your bettas  swim bladder disease is to ensure your water changes are done correctly. When doing water changes, make sure the water being added is at or around the same temperature as the tank

@BlueTurtle25, hope that makes sense 🙂

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On 5/18/2024 at 5:02 AM, Whitecloud09 said:

Yeah I have seen that. Hmm, I think the best thing would be to do these things, the gh kh, has it been this high since it’s been set up with him in it? Also for treatment, here is my suggestions. 
 

1. Give an Epsom Salt Bath. Epsom salt is helpful for aquarium fish with illnesses including dropsy, constipation, and swim bladder dysfunction. You can add some Epsom salt to your tank  and change the water's chemistry.

option 2. Fast him.  Keeping in mind that betta fish can go 1-2 weeks without having to eat, he will be fine usually I fast fish for 5 days, then I will feed some daphnia for swim bladder disease because it can clear up his stomach. He might have a possible tumor as well. 
 

3. Use aquarium salt, fritz aquarium salt is my recommendation, but if you have some, that’s good. The instructions on the back will say what to do for some different situations. 
 

4. Treatment. Treat him with maracyn or maracyn 2. 
 

The last tip for helping your bettas  swim bladder disease is to ensure your water changes are done correctly. When doing water changes, make sure the water being added is at or around the same temperature as the tank

@BlueTurtle25, hope that makes sense 🙂

I was able to get my GH and KH both down to 4 degrees and my Ph to just below 7 by diluting my well water with RO water it seems to be fixing my diatom algae problem too which is a bonus. I am testing daily to ensure parameters stay stable. 

Should I do everything listed here or just what I can do? I have some Fritz Maracyn and aquarium salt which I can start dosing today. Should I fast him along with aquarium salt and maracyn? I am hesitant to perform epsom salt baths because when I did them last time my fish showed symptoms of shock even though the temperatures were identical. Do you feed live daphnia or freeze dried after a fast?

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On 5/21/2024 at 7:03 PM, BlueTurtle25 said:

I was able to get my GH and KH both down to 4 degrees and my Ph to just below 7 by diluting my well water with RO water it seems to be fixing my diatom algae problem too which is a bonus. I am testing daily to ensure parameters stay stable. 

Should I do everything listed here or just what I can do? I have some Fritz Maracyn and aquarium salt which I can start dosing today. Should I fast him along with aquarium salt and maracyn? I am hesitant to perform epsom salt baths because when I did them last time my fish showed symptoms of shock even though the temperatures were identical. Do you feed live daphnia or freeze dried after a fast?

I feed freeze dried daphnia, but frozen is better @BlueTurtle25, I would start with the fritz aquarium salt, and if no improvements in 3-5 days or so, I would start maracyn. You can fast and use aquarium salt at the same time, don’t do anything else with those 2 things though @BlueTurtle25

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I will start with 2 tbsp of fritz salt (1 tbsp per 5 gallons) to protect my aquarium plants. Should I completely cut all food for the 3-4 days of salt treatment or just feed smaller portions? I will also get some frozen daphnia as soon as I can. 

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On 5/23/2024 at 7:14 PM, BlueTurtle25 said:

I will start with 2 tbsp of fritz salt (1 tbsp per 5 gallons) to protect my aquarium plants. Should I completely cut all food for the 3-4 days of salt treatment or just feed smaller portions? I will also get some frozen daphnia as soon as I can. 

Yes, cut the food for three whole days, then feed daphnia in small portions for every other day @BlueTurtle25

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