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Old 04-03-2012, 07:11 PM   #1 
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Assistance - Anthony Acquires An Ailment!!

Greetings, all!

I am relatively new to the betta fish scene and I am sure enjoying my cool betta, Anthony. Except for a bloating scare when he ate Crusty, my RCS, everything has been moving along swimmingly (pardon the pun!). I still feel very badly about that incident and I was totally surprised when Anthony did him in because I had been watching the interaction like a hawk for a few days and Crusty was being totally ignored.

Anthony is a beautiful blue crown tail, bought him from PetSmart last September. He has tons of personality like most bettas and I have enjoyed watching him develop from a puny little cupped fish to a long finned spectacular looking fish.

He was living peacefully in his 16g NPT until I added some new plants approx 2 months ago. These plants came complete with numerous snails (RIP) and some kind of condition that covered the plants in brown material and eventually they died, despite my best pruning efforts. I ended up tearing 90% of them out. There is also brown algae (diatoms??) that sometimes grows on the tank glass. When I change the filter pad it is covered with this material.

I did a 100% water change on Sunday which involved removing Anthony and his tankmates, and imagine my horror when I spotted some sort of horrible fuzz growing on the ends of a few of his fins!! Looks like miniature cotton balls!! In my panicked researching through DarkMoon17's Betta Fish Disease and Treatment Part 1, I still cannot decide whether it is a fungus attack or fin/tail rot. I can't see any red streaking.

I stopped at PetSmart and bought some AQ salt tonight, will start with conservative treatment as recommended; just wondering if I could prevail upon more experienced fishkeepers for some advice and tips??

I do have a small fish tank .5g I can use for a temporary hospital tank until I can get a 1g tank. I understand I am to do 100% water changes every day. Does the hospital tank need to be filtered, and heated - can I just float it in my big tank, and would the 100% daily water changes account for the non filtration ?? I would need to put the cover on the .5g tank to ensure my cat Patches doesn't get too interested; what are the chances the .5g tank would somehow dislodge and fall to the bottom of the 16g tank and he would drown? Ever happen to anyone?

Thanking you all for any help you can give me regarding Anthony! I have grown quite fond of Anthony and his tankmates, Tic, Tac & Toe, and I am prepared to do anything to restore health. The corydoras are perfectly fine. I realize they are sensitive to salt so Anthony will be treated in a separate tank.

What size is your tank? 16gal
What temperature is your tank? 81F
Does your tank have a filter? yes
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? 3 pygmy cories

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS small fish formula
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice daily but Sunday fasting

How often do you perform a water change? 25% once per week religiously, more when redecorating because it is a tall tank
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime, API Stresscoat, two IAL leaves

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

Ammonia: unsure
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.2
Hardness: 150
Alkalinity: 120

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Horrible white fluffy balls stuck on the end of some of his fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? still eating and bubbling, flaring at anything shiny
When did you start noticing the symptoms? two days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? nothing yet but poised to start with AQ salt pending green light/input from forum members
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1 year (?)

Thank you.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:06 PM   #2 
Sea Dragon
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Location: Livermore, California
I'm not an experienced fish keeper but I can give you my two cents :)

My own fish is currently recovering from some fin rot. 100% daily water changes helped plenty and I think they do compensate enough for filtration (I don't have a filter). If you can, you should allow your betta to swim into a cup and scoop him out during each water change to minimize stress (this was pretty easy for me, considering that my betta is a 100% convinced my finger is edible if bitten hard enough). Floating the hospital tank in your heated tank will also be needed. If the container kinda-sorta floats on its own, then I think the chance of it upsetting if secured to the side of the tank is low. Try using some bulldog clips or something similar.

AQ salt, stress coat, and warm/clean water are doing wonders for my betta :) Healing is slow for me, but at least I kept the rot at bay.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:43 PM   #3 
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Thank you, Sea Dragon, I was getting kind of overwhelmed. I can't understand how he got it in the first place! Do you know whether it could have been one of the plants or one of the snails that was carrying a disease??
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:04 PM   #4 
Sea Dragon
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Well I know that wild snails carry parasites that like to travel up the ladder to vertebrates (including fish and humans), but I never heard of something like that being a problem in the aquarium. Both plants and snails can be a culprit here, did you quarantine them before adding them to the tank?

Can you add a photo or two? Maybe a more experienced member will be able to help :)
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #5 
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I quarantined the plants for a week, washed them by hand to rinse off any possible snail hitchhikers .... they must have been hiding really well! I probably disposed of a good twenty of them over time. All my troubles started when I switched from black gravel to Flourish black sand, in deference to the corydoras. It seems like any plant I put in died in the sand. I kept trying different kinds with little luck. I'm down to some camomba (sp).

The part of his fins with the fuzz surrounding it actually fell off late last night. I mean a part of his fin tip went with it. Very shocking. I took the detritus out of the tank to examine it up close and it basically fell apart and didn't look like anything except some fin tips. Granted, just the very ends but that can't be good. I will attempt to post a pic but it will have to be extreme close-up .... and while he has an ailment of some kind, he is still swimming around actively ...... it will have to be extreme good luck getting a close up! Thanks
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