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Old 01-27-2013, 01:55 PM   #1 
Syriiven
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2 Fish, 2 problems - Popeye, Missing Scales

Okay...please read.

My tank is cycled.

My fish were fine till they both got ick, which I treated successfully a week ago.

Then I added some cuttlebone for the nerites (apparently too much), and over teh week my pH jumped to 9.5 and ammonia to 2.0.

Removed all cuttlebone I could find, did the water changes needed to bring my pH and ammonia back in line. That was on Friday, the 25th, when I noticed Kalec's eyes were bugged out and had white circles around them. He's been on epsom since Friday night.

Yesterday and today, Seiya has lost a scale per day in the same spot, adding to his recent fin damage. I suspect a tank decoration and this will be fixed - but do I want to qt him with aq salt, or do daily water changes to keep the water clean enough he'll heal that way?

Housing
What size is your tank? 10g
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? Yes
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Tank stock = two betta (with divider), two nerite snails

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? omega one buffest pellets and frozen bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? once a week usually is all that's needed
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime

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

Ammonia: 0.5 (just tested, will be doing a WC)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.6-7.8
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Kalec (Popeye) Swollen eyes, white ring around eyes, scales look...rough. A little raised on his gill plates. Seiya (scale loss) has two scales missing side by side on his head, along with torn fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Neither ebtta's behavior has really changed. Kalec (in floated qt tank) even made a bubblenest this morning. Seiya still dances.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Friday, Jan 25th
Have you started treating your fish? Kalec, yes. QT'd with tsp of epsom salt per gallon, floated in larger tank for heat. Seiya, not yet
Does your fish have any history of being ill? A week ago they both had ick and we had a 'fun' week with both qt tanks being floated as I treated them clear of it.
How old is your fish (approximately)? ...maybe over a year?

I'm not looking for negative feedback, I've made mistakes and am fixing them as soon as I discover them. But I've had these two since November in the split 10g without a problem until ick recently. I know that the sudden pH rise and ammonia spike led to Kale being sick. Today Kalec will be given his own 3g as his home where I will continue to treat; should I continue with just epsom salts? Or should I use a medication?

As for Seiya, I really don't want to dose the 10g with aq salt if I dont have to, but my ammonia spiked to .5 in a day and night, so~ doing a 50%water change and another syphoning today. I don't want Seiya's missing scales to get infected. And I'll be removing the aquarium decoration I suspect of being the culprit.

Anyways...I'm asking for guidance on the popeye, and suggestions of what's best for Seiya. After today they won't share a home anymore so they can't bounce illness back and forth.

Here are today's pics of the two;

Kalec


Seiya
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #2 
callistra
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Your tank is not cycled, sorry. A cycled tank will never see ammonia and nitrites and will have some nitrates present. A tank with an ammonia spike and no nitrates cannot be cycled, especially one with this high a bioload. Cycling can take up to 2 months to complete. The only kind of bacteria starter I have found to work is Dr. Tim's One and Only, but otherwise it will just take time and patience.

You should be doing daily tests for ammonia and nitrites and doing a 50% change any time you see either hit as low as .25ppm. With ammonia this high you will need two 50% water changes to catch up. In addition to these extra changes a once weekly 50% with siphon is needed. It looks like your cycle is barely starting based on those readings. First you will see an ammonia spike, then nitrite. Ammonia will stick at 0 first followed by nitrites finally leaving only nitrates which should be kept <20ppm by the once weekly change with siphon.

What filter are you using and how do you maintain it? How long has your tank been set up with fish in it? Have you ever used medications in it?

I suggest not adding anything that effects your ph. These swings can be very lethal.

Aquarium salt will kill your snails.

I would remove both and QT both and continue cycling just with the snails. In the QT I would use 1 tsp per gallon predissolved epsom salt - 100% pure magnesium sulfate and a gram positive medication like Kanaplex, Triple Sulfa or Furan 2. I would treat for a full week and ideally a full week past the last sign of symptoms. At least remain in the epsoms 2 full weeks.

Last edited by callistra; 01-27-2013 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #3 
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My tank doesnt normally have ammonia spikes. Its been 0's across the board since I put them in, ammonia would barely reach .25 in seven days. This spike is after the ick and cuttlebone. I cycled my tank before adding my fish in November.

I treated the tank for ick with the nerites in there - since I researched that and nerites naturally breed in saltwater. So they'd be fine.

For meds all I have for popeye is Maracyn, and I dont have any options to get others until the 2nd.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:36 PM   #4 
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Even if you are seeing as little as .25ppm ammonia this is a sign of a tank in the process of cycling. You will have 0 ppm ammonia even after week+, 0 nitrite and some nitrates will start to show. Your tank is definitely not cycled if you are seeing some ammonia and no nitrites or nitrates on a weekly basis.

How did you cycle the tank and how long did you cycle it? You would have had to have set it up in September and been seeding with an ammonia source that whole time. With fishless cycling you want to maintain 2-4ppm ammonia during the entire cycle. After a few weeks keeping ammonia up, you'd start seeing nitrites. One day ammonia would have popped down to zero. At this point 4ppm ammonia would have been eaten in 12hours or less and you would have had to keep adding until you saw nitrites just fall to zero leaving you with very very high nitrates (mine are always off the chart at this point) that would have taken a 90%+ change to get under control, and maybe even a second 50% after that.

Maracyn might help with popeye since it is gram positive but it wouldnt' be my first choice.

Last edited by callistra; 01-27-2013 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:39 PM   #5 
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If you have a lot of active growing stem or floating plants, that could explain the 0ppm nitrate-unless you added antibiotic or over cleaned the tank or if you normally have a really low pH.

On the Betta with the popeye-is this one or both eyes

For just missing scales-often just clean water from partial water changes-along with good nutrition- is usually all that is needed-unless you have active infection going on.

What are your water prams base-line on the source water-with and without additives you normally use. What kind of testing products are you using.

What is the source water-well water, city supplied tap water and do you have a water softening unit hooked up on the house, if so, can you by pass it for the aquariums if its the type that uses salt.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:41 PM   #6 
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I only have so many options.

And I'll confess to not eagle-eyeing the tank cycle but did start it in September. Wasnt aware pure ammonia was purchasebal at the time, so used fish food every day for two months with few water changes. I was late in getting my test kit, but tested my water before adding the fish and it was 0's. if after two months with two bettas and a month of two snails, weekly water changes....it should've cycled over the course of the last eight weeks.

IF i had a cycle, could the ph have crashed it? Because I think the ammonia spike could be from the fish being sick too.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:49 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
If you have a lot of active growing stem or floating plants, that could explain the 0ppm nitrate-unless you added antibiotic or over cleaned the tank or if you normally have a really low pH.

On the Betta with the popeye-is this one or both eyes

For just missing scales-often just clean water from partial water changes-along with good nutrition- is usually all that is needed-unless you have active infection going on.

What are your water prams base-line on the source water-with and without additives you normally use. What kind of testing products are you using.

What is the source water-well water, city supplied tap water and do you have a water softening unit hooked up on the house, if so, can you by pass it for the aquariums if its the type that uses salt.
I had two canes of bamboo and 4 marimo and an anubia and amazon sword. The amazon sword before the ich. The anubia and moss balls and bamboo was moved out so I could treat for salt. Only the bamboo and marimo are there now. I have a Nutrafin Master test kit tgat tests ph, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. My tap water has 0's in each of those and ph is 7.6. Not sure about the rest, no way to test for it currently. I'm in an apartment, and dont think the building has a softner.

The popeye is in both eyes.

I'll admit for testing ammonia i use an individual API testing kit, but test ph and nitrites and nitrates with the Nutrafin Master.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:54 PM   #8 
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Whether the tank was cycled or not in September, I would think that it would be fish-in cycled by now, UNLESS somehow, something managed to kill off the cycle like our tank. (and ours started dying before the filter incident)

Syriiven, if that's the case (defunct cycle die-off), then my best thought is to recycle your 10. If you have a spare tank for Seiya, it'd be helpful to do a fishless. If not, you may have to do what we're doing. Start over, fish-in.

I'm sorry that your boys keep getting sick, I also wish I had better answers for you.

IAL might help you there, and something you could always try (and I've had some success with bettas and other species) blackwater extract till your IAL comes in.

B/E is all those awesome tannins that an IAL or driftwood would release into your water if you had them, and I remember reading somewhere that bettas like "blackwater". They generally like it darker than I'd usually do for other blackwater fish, but they perked up instantly.

(NOTE: BLACKWATER WILL LOWER YOUR PH! Be careful if you try using it.)
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:50 PM   #9 
Syriiven
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Thanks for the replies! I will move Kale onto eps and meds in his 3g and will dovthe water changes needed on the 10g for Seiya. Think i'll order some IAL too. Really appreciate the kind words and tips =)
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