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Old 03-29-2012, 10:22 PM   #1 
OMGemily
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Unhappy Please help!!I cant stand another fish dead :'(

Housing
What size is your tank?
5.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78-79
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? lived with another betta (separated tank!) for about 3 days...then the new one died...

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 pellets twice a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
once a week on sundays. changed it yesterday after one fish died
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? about 90% sometimes i completely empty it and rinse everything
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner (different brands depending on what i have left)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
cant be too high. just changed the water
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
7.something
Hardness: 180 a month ago
Alkalinity: 150 i think?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
he has a kind of rusty looking color along his anal fin where it meets his body, i dont remember ever not noticing this though... also when Jacques was in the tank and Antione got stressed out, he got stress stripes, also his black face got way lighter, as did the color parts of his eyes, well his eyes still look like that... his fins have never been in the best shape :/ also the chunk where his rays and short is maybe losing color? its a much lighter shade. this also happened when he got stressed but the color came back when he calmed down...
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? keeps swimming into things... seems very leisurely, has been swimming at all levels of the tank since i got home but doesnt seem to be able to see...
When did you start noticing the symptoms? possible blindness, just when i got home a few minutes ago... but i dont want to go to sleep and wake up to him dead.....
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no... all i have access to at the moment is melafix
Does your fish have any history of being ill? treated for fin rot when i got him... his fins have never gotten better but i dont think he had fin rot now
How old is your fish (approximately)? ive had him for 4 weeks
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:57 PM   #2 
Sakura8
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Hi Emily. So his eyes have been cloudy and then he developed a white cottony stuff over his head? Are his eyes still cloudy? Is he acting normally and still wanting to eat?

It sounds like a bacterial infection, possibly brought on by stress. You can go ahead and continue to treat him with the Melafix but be extremely careful not to overdose. As you probably know, Melafix contains tea tree oil, which can damage a betta's labyrinth organ. As long as you don't overdose, there should be little danger of this though. I usually don't recommend any of the "fixes" but since I know you'll be careful and it's all you have, I think it's worth a shot.

Once the Melafix treatment is over, put him back into clean water for a few days. If his eys and cottony stuff hasn't cleared up by then, start him on 2 tsps of aquarium salt per gallon, predissolved in a bit of tank water. Do as many frequent water changes as you can.

Good luck and keep me updated. :)
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #3 
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I hope your fishie gets better soon!!
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:15 PM   #4 
OMGemily
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraAnne View Post
I hope your fishie gets better soon!!
thank you, i do too... he does seem to be getting better though :) i have hope for him

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
Hi Emily. So his eyes have been cloudy and then he developed a white cottony stuff over his head? Are his eyes still cloudy? Is he acting normally and still wanting to eat?

It sounds like a bacterial infection, possibly brought on by stress. You can go ahead and continue to treat him with the Melafix but be extremely careful not to overdose. As you probably know, Melafix contains tea tree oil, which can damage a betta's labyrinth organ. As long as you don't overdose, there should be little danger of this though. I usually don't recommend any of the "fixes" but since I know you'll be careful and it's all you have, I think it's worth a shot.

Once the Melafix treatment is over, put him back into clean water for a few days. If his eys and cottony stuff hasn't cleared up by then, start him on 2 tsps of aquarium salt per gallon, predissolved in a bit of tank water. Do as many frequent water changes as you can.

Good luck and keep me updated. :)
his eyes were never cloudy, it was just the irises? (the colored part) of his eyes. they were a dark brown and now theyre a really light brown. but by the way he was acting he didnt seem to be able to see... and then the next day, after putting him in the fresh water in his betta cup all night he developed the fungus, which got progressively worse throughout the beginning of the day. I first noticed it around 8 am. Then it was worse around noon. Then at 3 pm it was starting to come off of his head but had moved back to his body. Now, 9 pm here, the fungus seems to have cleared up significantly :) I put in the melafix this morning around 8 when i noticed the fungus.He seems to be acting normal. This is only the 4th time ive seen him today since ive been gone so much but he looks to be swimming around as normal (although he doesnt like his betta cup very much...) I have yet to feed him today because its his "fasting day" but he ate fine yesterday as far as i can remember... i might have only fed him in the morning, because i dont remember him having a problem finding his food... I know the "fixes" are bad but i bought it before i found that out :/ and i figured it would do more help than damage, especially since i couldnt get any AQ salt today... i try to be very careful with the dosages. i read an article recently about tank sizes not actually being that size and discovered mine is a gallon less than it says so i measure my medicine with that in mind. And if im not sure i try to aim for not quite enough vs. too much... I ordered some IALs on ebay as well and they should be here in a week or two so if he makes it that long hopefully those will help prevent this in the future. Ive discovered now that it's a good idea to keep a new fish in a separate tank to make sure it isnt sick before adding it with other fish... but i don't think i'll be adding anymore with Antione any time soon... This is way too close of a call. I'll be cleaning his tank thoroughly with hot water tonight so i can put him back in the actual tank soon.
Also, just to possibly ease my nerves... how serious does it seem? And if i let water sit for 24 hours will the chlorine combine with the oxygen and "evaporate"? Ive heard this from other fish keepers
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:57 AM   #5 
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Hi Emily. Hmm. So the eyes were never cloudy, they almost changed color? Could be a sign of nitrate poisoning. :/ If your nitrate level is higher than 20, there's a chance it could be affecting him negatively. It's pretty easy to forget about the nitrates (I know I do) but in high enough levels, they can be just as bad as ammonia. Of course, the eye change could also be something peculiar to him. You never know with these guys. Has his vision improved at all?

Okay, since it sounds like the Melafix is working for him, keep up the treatment as long as the bottle directs. I'm glad to hear things are clearing up and that his behavior is still pretty normal. As long as he continues to eat, there's always a good chance he'll recover. I only really start to worry when they stop eating. And you were quick to treat him so that's good too. :)

What I've heard about the chlorine is that if you let it sit overnight with aeration (ie, an airstone), the chlorine evaporates. But I've heard the water definitely needs agitation of some sort to create the oxygen.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:32 AM   #6 
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Ill try to get the water tested at petsmart today if i can (another busy day unfortunately) i just need him to make it through today and then i can spend all day watching him tomorrow... he is reacting to my hand when i slowly put it up to his tank so thats good. the fungus (im guessing?) has grown back on his face but its not as thick as it was yesterday, but it might still get worse like it did yesterday... i just tried to feed him right now and he didnt even acknowledge it... so that sounds not too good... the only times he hasnt eaten before are when i first got him (for about a week) and the first day i put Jacques in... could it because hes in his cup? i havent tried to feed him since i put him in there... also i just checked the ammonia in the cup last night and it was between 0 and .25 i believe. although i dont know about the nitrates. ill be close to my pet store today but i wont be able to actually go there, but ill see if i can get someone else to drop by for me and take my water. I did just change it though. Right after Jacques died i changed all of the water (but didnt think about cleaning the tank itself...stupid move i know) and then put Antione in new water 2 days ago. I dont know how nitrates build up though... the ammonia level soon after Jacques died was .5 so it couldve been bad then. Other than not eating, he doesnt seem to be having any problems. I dont think he likes being in his cup much, but hes not laying around on the bottom, doesnt seem to be having trouble breathing, swimming or seeing. Just kind of wandering around his tiny space trying to get to things in his tank. I fell asleep last night before i got to clean his tank but we should be home earlier today so hopefully i can do it tonight... Although im thinking about putting him in a 1 gallon for the time being so i dont have to change so much water again after the treatment but i dont want to stress him out anymore than he already is with a new home and i dont know if my heater (50W) would work in there. I guess i could probably just not fill my 5.5 up very much while hes being treated as long as i know how much is in there for medicine dosages?
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:02 PM   #7 
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The other possibility is the white fungus (which is most likely not even a fungus) is just excess slime coat. Either way, keep trying with the Melafix unless it seems like it's no longer helping at all. If that becomes the case, give him a day or two in just plain clean water and then switch him to AQ salt at 2 tsps per gallon. It's also possible he's not eating right now because he's in Melafix in a tiny cup. I can guess for a fish that's probably a big appetite killer. Do watch his breathing, too. You can try soaking his food in garlic juice as a an appetite stimulant.

The ammonia in his cup is going to get high fast because there are like, 6 ozs in those cups at the most. He won't have any nitrates in his cup, though. I was mainly more concerned with the possibility of nitrates from the 5.5g. If you can, try to change his cup once in the morning and once and night. To speed things up, you can premix his water in a big jug and just add the Melafix right before you put it in. You COULD premix the water with the Melafix in it but I honestly don't know how effective Melafix is premixed.

If he ever seems too stressed in the cup, then you can try a 1 gallon or a half filled 5.5g.

A 50 watt heater is fine for a 5.5g. It probably would work all right for a 1 gallon as long as you kept an eye on the temperature and made sure it didn't rise too much or too fast. But if you're not comfortable with that, then definitely don't try it.

Hang in there, little betta buddy!
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:34 AM   #8 
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OK, so last night i got home and cleaned his tank in really hot water, when there was just a little bit of water left and i was taking out the marbles the water looked disgusting... it looked like the white stuff that was on Antione had been everywhere... so i scrubbed his tank pretty good. I then filled it up with 2 gallons of water, added conditioner and let the heater get it to the right temperature. I turned the heater down though, partially because his cup water was colder, and i didnt want to float him in the tank because i was trying to keep the tank water as clean as possible, and partially because i heard that warm water can be good for bacteria/fungus. Although im still not completely sure what it is i figured it couldnt hurt. Hes still in a comfortable range for him at about 77 i think. I also didnt add anything back to the tank accept his heater and betta hammock. I was too tired to thoroughly clean everything that was in his tank and i wanted to go barebottom for now so i can see if the water is starting to get as bad as it was.

As for his appearance, i havent seen the white stuff since yesterday morning :) he might have just a tiny bit on his fins right now but not nearly as bad as it has been. AND hes eating! he didnt eat yesterday morning, but i fed him last night and just now and he sped to it like normal :) One thing i thought was weird, and it might help to figure out what the white stuff is. When i fed him yesterday morning, one pellet fell to the bottom of his cup, i have a little syringe i usually use to pick up dropped food but couldnt find it and had to leave so i left it there, with the intention of changing his water or moving him to the tank when i got home. But when i did come home, i noticed that i didnt see any white on him, but the pellet that i left this morning, was almost unnoticable, because it was covered with it... is it possible that it...moved to the food??

His behavior today and last night has been completely normal :) Hes swimming around like normal, His fins are always spread, but not quite flared he pushes them back when he swims and flicks them out as soon as he stops haha and i think his missing rays are really starting to grow back! Theyve regained normal color. Im still worried about some kind of fin damage. He doesnt have fin rot, but i saw a thread about fins melting? his anal fin reminds me of thet, two of the rays look like theyre stuck together at the very end but the ends of his caudal fins just look kind of curled maybe? my water is somewhat hard so ive beed told that could be it but i dont know how to change that
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:20 AM   #9 
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I have a betta with compleeeeeetely curly fins. caudal tail everything. still kind of beautiful in its own way though :) I almost named him Mr curly fins before I caught myself for breaking my "no name" rule
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:09 AM   #10 
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i cant exactly tell if theyre curled, he has one straight ray on his caudal, which i find weird haha but hes cute :) hes really small. Hes acting completely normal though. Im still finishing out the melafix treatment, slightly underdosing, but as of right now he looks perfectly fine :)
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