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Old 01-29-2013, 08:37 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Rex, GA
Two bettas one had fungal infection (I think)

My daughter was gifted with two males bettas this past Saturday in a .5 gallon tank. I did a bit of research and bought a 10 gallon tank, lighted hood, filter and heater ASAP which was unfortunately yesterday. I conditioned the water with Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner and rinsed the tank and everything that was going in it with hot water prior to adding the fish and made a DIY divider. Both of the bettas seemed fine at first but as time passed the red betta became lethargic and around 11PM I noticed some white cottony patches on him. If I'm correct it was a fungal infection. Since we don't have anything on hand to treat the fish I was planning on running out this morning and going to the pet store but when I got up he was swimming around quite erratically then swam to the bottom and went sideways. After about 5 seconds of no movement I fished him out with the net and to check on him but it was too late. Blue seems happy, no patches on him and no clamping. He's active and eating.

I know I've done pretty much everything wrong but I didn't have a chance to do any research prior to getting these guys. What worries me now is whether or not what Red had is contagious and if so what should I do? I'm going out to the store to get a water test kit and a siphon but if there's anything else I need to fix what's going on in the tank now or just something I should have on hand please let me know.

I don't know anything about fish except what I've learned from the web since Saturday so any advice is greatly appreciated. I feel bad about the poor guy not making it and really want Blue to live a long, happy life.

What size is your tank? 10 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 76 degrees F
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? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily


How often do you perform a water change? None yet

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? White cottony patches, clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargy, occasional erratic swimming
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Approx. 11PM last night
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Unknown
How old is your fish (approximately)? Unknown

Last edited by arkhamresident; 01-29-2013 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Additional Info
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:16 PM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
I would keep a close eye on him - columnaris also produces white fuzzies and is deadly if not treated ASAP
Watch his behavior and for anything unusual with his appearance

good things to have on hand for emergencies - Aquarium salt and plain unscented epsom salt. A strong anti bacterial medication such as furan 2 is also helpful.

also, do you now about the nitrogen cycle? Since you have a 10G and a filter, bacteria are going to colonize the tank (they are good bacteria) but you need to keep up on water changes..

The filtered tank will cycle without you doing anything, however, since the process takes time to complete- if you don't make water changes the high levels of ammonia and nitrite can kill the Betta...But wait-you are going to make water changes anyway....RIGHT.....
So, you have been cycling your filtered tank with your Betta this whole time and didn't know it....See how easy that was......

Establishing the nitrogen cycle for the Betta in 1gal-10gal filtered tank can be safely completed with a healthy Betta with or without testing products.....provided that you make the needed water changes......

No matter what container you have your Betta in...You will need to make water changes due to the byproducts produced.....
The difference when cycling is that you are growing beneficial bacteria that can help keep the water safer with limited water changes once established.

Since the filtered tank is a closed system-you still have to make water changes.
Nothing leaves the tank until you remove it manually with the water change, however, once the nitrogen cycle is established-the BB can convert the most harmful byproduct (ammonia) to a less harmful byproduct(nitrate).....

You don't want to base water change needs on water test alone-due to the DOC's (dissolved organic compounds) that can be harmful when they buildup to high levels.

Understanding the beneficial bacteria:
The beneficial bacteria (BB) you are colonizing for the nitrogen cycle are self limiting. What this means-you can only grow a colony large enough based on-
Food source-byproducts from anything organic-like the Betta, fish food, live plants, shrimp, snails...etc....
Oxygen-when the water flow from the filter disrupts the surface you have gas exchange
Surface area-all areas inside the tank-like the walls, decorations, plants-both real and fake, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media.

The BB are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas within the tank-very little are in the water column itself.

The BB are alive..and many things can kill or slow the BB growth/colonizing.
Like dehydration, suffocation, chlorine/chloramines and some medications
If the BB dry up they die
If they are buried in mulm/debris that limits access to dissolved oxygen they can suffocate.
If the filter is turned off longer than 6 hours the BB will start to die
Both chlorine and chloramine will kill the BB
Many different medications will kill the BB
With pH 6 and less the BB can't colonize

It is important to vacuum the substrate in all areas that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots- at least weekly to keep the mulm/debris from suffocating the BB
It is important to rinse/swish the filter media in old tank water or fresh dechlorinated water a couple of times a month to maintain good water flow to the BB. The filter media should look dirty-this is normal and good.

The Process:

Once you setup your tank and properly acclimate the Betta.

Your first water change should start on or about day 3 and schedule the second weekly from that point.....

In 5gal-10gal filtered without live plants:
Water changes of twice weekly for the next 4-6 weeks
Of... 1-50% water only and 1-50% with vacuum in all areas you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots.

*The 50% with vacuum will be the water change schedule for the life of the system to maintain water quality once the nitrogen cycle has established.
Filter media needs swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of time a month

Last edited by Tikibirds; 01-29-2013 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:59 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
I would plan on doing a series of 50% water changes using same temp water (put thermometer under running tap) over the next couple days.

Look for Kanaplex and keep it on hand, but in the mean time just keep a close eye on your boy.

As for the tank, you need to be testing daily for ammonia and nitrite using a reliable drops test kit and doing a 50% change any time either show up. In addition to this a weekly 25-50% change with siphon is needed. First ammonia will spike then nitrite. Ammonia will stick at 0 first then nitrite leaving you with only nitrates. These should be kept <20ppm using once weekly 25-50% change with siphon. Cycling can take up to 2 months.
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