View Full Version : Sick (and now dead) Betta... any ideas?

06-14-2010, 03:14 PM
New post because this is unrelated to my other post...

I had a male Betta that I got about in May of '09. He was doing very well up until maybe the middle of May '10. Well, I did notice that his top lip looked kind of raised (not swollen, just didn't fit up against the bottom lip), but it didn't seem to affect his eating or bother him. As it had been that way for months, I just thought it was some endearing flaw. So back to the middle of May. One day he was just laying on the bottom of the tank, gasping for air. His gills did not look inflamed. I removed him from his tank and isolated him in a small jar. Before this happened there would be times that he would try to eat, but it was like his perception was off and he couldn't "catch" the food. After the gasping episode, he went off his food altogether for a couple of days. However, the gasping stopped, and he started eating a little, but not like he had been before. I did a partial water change in his tank and put him back into it. The next day, he was laying on the floor, gasping again. So, I took him out altogether and put him into a different, smaller bowl.

He was never the same. He showed a tiny bit of interest in food at first, but then... I don't know. He would sit at the top of his bowl, and I would drop food right in front of him... no response. I would tap his bowl and he would jump and grab a mouthful of air, and maybe swim around a little, but he would go right back to hanging at the surface.

Then, things started getting ugly. I noticed that the raised part of his lip was starting to look... different. Like it was amputating itself. I decided to take him out of the bowl and move him back to a jar (the better to see him and check on him), and when I stuck my net in, he went berserk and dove straight into the rocks at the bottom of the bowl... and his upper lip was removed in the process. I don't want to get too graphic, but as the last two weeks of his life went by, it was like he was decomposing, but still alive. I felt awful for him, and I still feel awful. I was very relieved when he finally died, but like I said, it took two weeks.

I was looking on the bettatalk website, and what happened to him sounds either like it could be a bacterial infection, or TB. Has anyone experienced anything like this before? I had another fish that had something similar happen to him, but not to this degree- but none of my other fish have it. I'm afraid to put anything into the tank that he was originally in... suggestions?

06-14-2010, 03:52 PM
Sounds more like an ammonia burn to me. The city sometimes adds extra chemicals to the water to protect us by killing the things that live in the water.
Be sure to use fresh chemicals when treating your tap water and test it before putting fish in it. I prefer to age my water for a few days after treating it to allow all the noxous chemicals to off-gas before I use it. Once the gills etc. are dammaged by the ammonia there is not much you can do. But if it is some sort of infection use an antibiotic and change the water daily.

06-14-2010, 04:12 PM
Is there some sort of antibiotic I can buy at Petsmart?

06-14-2010, 05:40 PM
I have found with my smaller tanks that simply buying a few gallons of Distilled water at the grocery store seems to give me quality water for changes. The PH on Ozarka is about 6.8 and my betta's seem to thrive in it.