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Old 02-09-2013, 05:54 PM   #1 
Raabster
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Location: Chilliwack, BC
Betta "suddenly" has white cottony patches...please help!

My son was gifted a blue Betta six days ago; here is the CURRENT situation:

tank size: 1 gallon
heated: yes - 76 degrees
filter: no
number of fish: one
age of fish: over a year for sure - purchased at local pet store
water: treated with Nutrafin Aqua+Plus and aquarium salt
Food: Omega One Betta Pellets

We received "Bloowie" last Sunday; I knew right away that the tank was too small, but I didn't want to stress the fish any more than necessary since we had to transport him home (half hour drive) and I figured that was stressful enough for one day! So I let him be for a few days. He wouldn't eat. I was told by the pet store that this was normal - he was sulking from transportation.

I figured that the water was too cool, but couldn't deal with that situation until yesterday (Friday). I purchased a heater, new gravel, a plastic plant so that he could hide and rest, and put this all together in a gallon pickle jar (it IS bigger). I noticed that this pet store kept their bettas in tiny bowls...sigh. I spent the entire evening acclimatizing him to the new environment, and he seemed very happy!

Above image shows the happy fish around 9pm Friday night.


This morning, he didn't want to come out from hiding in the plant. When we DID finally see him, it took me a while to notice that he has fuzzy white patches on his sides (both). It is difficult to see unless the lighting and angle are both right. I have tried taking pictures (see below).



The pet store says it is a fungus, so I will go purchase something this afternoon. Any advice is welcome, but please understand that I'm not going to invest $100+ in a larger tank until I can afford it, which won't be for another six months.
Did I do something wrong with setting up the tank? Was he sick before he came to us? Do I have to take him out to treat him? Do I wash everything in the tank and start again (if the fish survives)?

This is all so stressful!
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:59 PM   #2 
callistra
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He probably actually has columnaris. I would look for Kanaplex by Seachem, Triple Sulfa or Furan 2, in that order.

Unfortunately, he's still not in a large enough container but it's a start. 2 gallons is minimum for keeping bettas healthy long term but you can treat and get him well in this.

I don't see a thermometer.. how do you know what the temperature is?

What conditioner are you using?

While is is sick I would do daily 100% changes or 50% 100% every other day, along with the redosing of meds according to instructions (some need daily, others every other day but if you're changing the water daily they still need to be redosed daily) The meds also need to be dilluted to the size so if you need help with this let us know when you pick something up.

For the water changes I would cup him in a plastic solo type cup and not use a net as it is stressful. You need to match all new water to existing water using the in tank thermometer (if you don't have one you need it) and then I would still include an acclimation period of floating in the jar for 30min-1hr and either adding a few tablespoons of new water to his cup every 10minutes, or a series of 50% changes/adds every 10min at most.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:52 PM   #3 
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Got the meds...just not sure which one first!

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Originally Posted by callistra View Post
He probably actually has columnaris. I would look for Kanaplex by Seachem, Triple Sulfa or Furan 2, in that order.
WOW! So much info, and so quick - I could pull it up on my phone when I was at the store - thank you!

They didn't have Kanaplex, but they did have Triple Sulfa. However, that comes in packets for 10-gallon tanks, so I got Pimafix because I can control the dosage for the 1-gallon jar. I also purchased some Betta Revive (from Aquarium Solutions), which is easy to dose: 1 drop for every 16 ounces.
Which should I use first?

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Originally Posted by callistra View Post
I don't see a thermometer.. how do you know what the temperature is?
I bought a thermometer. Rookie mistake; the water was perhaps too warm - 88 degrees. I've unplugged the heater and when I do the water change, it will come down to a better temp. I suppose I'll have to keep adjusting the temp myself...that will be interesting!

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What conditioner are you using?
Nutrafin Aqua+Plus and Aquarium Salt; there is no chlorine in our water (some of the cleanest water in North America), but I didn't want to take chances. Is this where I could have gone wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
While is is sick I would do daily 100% changes or 50% 100% every other day, along with the redosing of meds according to instructions (some need daily, others every other day but if you're changing the water daily they still need to be redosed daily) The meds also need to be dilluted to the size so if you need help with this let us know when you pick something up.
I'm confused - the fish is stressed because of the changes every few days; won't water changes of this amount stress him more? I'm willing to try this, but the pet store guy said no more than 25% each day. (But then they keep their bettas in tiny bowls).

Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
For the water changes I would cup him in a plastic solo type cup and not use a net as it is stressful. You need to match all new water to existing water using the in tank thermometer (if you don't have one you need it) and then I would still include an acclimation period of floating in the jar for 30min-1hr and either adding a few tablespoons of new water to his cup every 10minutes, or a series of 50% changes/adds every 10min at most.
Okay...no net, just cup. Always gradual. I'm going to start with a water change to get some oxygen in there and wait for advice on which kind of medicine to use first: the Pimafix or the Betta Revive.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #4 
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Primafix has no chance. Betta Revive wouldn't be my first choice as it is carcinogenic drug cocktail but you can try it.. You can also dilute Triple Sulfa safely. I would treat for two full weeks whatever you choose as columnaris can be hard to treat and you don't want a relapse.

You can't manually adjust a heater. The swings are very hard on bettas, even as much as a degree or two if it keeps happening over and over through the day. It can even be lethal if they are too wide or too fast. You need to get a different heater. I would give it a thorough test run in similar size container for 24hour to make sure it's going to hold a consistent appropriate temp between 78-80F. Also when you upgrade to a 2g-5g you can use a 25w adjustable heater and that would be ideal. In 5-10g you can also use a 50w. I like Aqueon Pro (black ones not the regular glass line), Jager and Marineland Visitherm personally.

The higher temps jump started columnaris which may have already been present, because columnaris thrives in high heat, especially over 80. I would keep him at 76 until he is well, then bump it up slowly to the 78-80 range after he is well.

The conditioner is fine but the aquarium salt isn't. Aquarium salt can only be safely used up to 10 days. After that you risk premature organ failure.

The additional changes are necessary to keep the water clean enough in such a small container. If you do the changes the way I described the stress will be minimal and there will be no physical shock.

Last edited by callistra; 02-09-2013 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #5 
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Quote:
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Primafix has no chance. Betta Revive wouldn't be my first choice as it is carcinogenic drug cocktail but you can try it.. You can also dilute Triple Sulfa safely
Drat. The store is closed until Monday. So, I'm going to try the Betta Revive for the next 48 hours and see how he does.

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You can't manually adjust a heater. The swings are very hard on bettas, even as much as a degree or two if it keeps happening over and over through the day. It even even be lethal if they are too wide or too fast. You need to get a different heater.
I need a different tank so that the heater is appropriate - I realize this. If the fish is still alive on the 15th I'll try to find the money for a bigger tank.

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The additional changes are necessary to keep the water clean enough in such a small container. If you do the changes the way I described the stress will be minimal and there will be no physical shock.
I've got him out...he's so listless! Poor fish. I'm hoping he lives through the night.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #6 
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Well until then he'll do better at room temp than you trying to manually adjust the heater, so I would just move him to the warmest room of your house and make sure you don't let the house temp drop below 75.
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