Hello, I am new to this. I have recently rescued a Betta on Monday. He was in a gallon tank at work. The owner put some type of small frog in the tank on a Friday and Monday his tail looked chewed on so she took the frog out. Then the fish started getting white patches, so we bought ich medication and some other stuff. Each time the tank was cleaned the next day the water was cloudy. The fish quit eating about a week ago, his lips were swollen, eyes were huge and cloudy and he just lays on his plant. They gave up on him but I refused to, so I brought him home. I bought a 5 gallon tank yesterday, with pump, filter and heater and all new stuff. I was told to only use Distilled water to fill it. The water was clear until today. Then I read not to use Distilled water which scared me so I took out about a gallon of water and replaced it with tap water and added the conditioner. His eyes are almost back to normal now, but he isn't active. He stays at the top of the tank in the corner. Please help I don't want him to die.
He's been on Ick drops and Melafix for about 2 weeks. This past Monday I started him on Fungas Clear Fizz Tabs and the Start Zyme. Today I did a 50% water change. I am new to this please help.
Okay first things first, don't use distilled water and glad you did stop using it for the conditioner. Basically warm clean water is going to clear up most of his problems.
Stop using Melafix, it also eventually coats their labyrinth organ and will suffocate him!
It sounds like he's got a fungus infection. Does his eyes still pop out and are his lips still swollen? It would be great if you could get a few pictures of him up in different angles for us to determine more.
Start Zyme is only supposed to be used at water changes and stuff, it's not a medicine like the Fungus Clear tabs are so if you're using it daily, you don't have to :)
But with anything I'm going to suggest getting a quarantine bowl, you can use brand new plastic ware that has never seen soap (soap is very toxic to fish) or you can get a critter keeper at walmart or something for only 6 dollars or something. But you're going to float him in the 5 gallon to keep him warm and you're going to have to change the water out 100% daily to help him get better.
But I will hold off on instructions for medicines until I see some pictures and better determine what he might have :) Until them, just warm clean water. You don't have to do 50% changes on the 5 gallon everyday unless you really want to, but just make sure you don't leave food in for it to rot and cause more problems :)
His eyes and lips are doing much better. I can't keep the water clear. I'm not feeding him because he wont eat. I tried one pellet today and it was still floating when I got home from work so I removed it. So only use Start Zyme if I do 100% water change and not a 50% right? But I should use a water conditioner for the 50%? And only use the Ick drops and the fungus tabs?
2) Always use the appropriate amount of StartZyme for the NEW water when doing water changes. Tap water contains chlorine and other disinfectants. Water conditioner neutralizes/removes these.
For example, say the bottle says to add 10 mL per every 10 gal of water. If you are adding 1 gal of water to the tank, you would add 1 mL of StartZyme to the new water. (1 mL is about 20 drops.)
3) Tap water is better than distilled water. Tap water contains electrolytes that are needed for your betta's health (and for our health, too).
4) There is a lot of controversy about Melafix (and other -fix meds). They contains oils, which may coat the betta's labryinth (breathing organ) and make it difficult for them to breathe. Until more info is know, I would try to avoid them. Also, since he's been on it for 2 weeks, I would say it doesn't seem to be doing much at this point.
5) Does he still have white "dots?" If not, I would stop the Ich meds since he's been on it for 2 weeks.
6) Do the Jungle Fungus Clear Fizz tabs contain nitrofurazone, furazolidone and potassium dichromate?
If so, this is effective for many bacterial infections that affect fish. I would keep using this. If you have a filter though, remove the carbon from it. The carbon neutralizes the medicine.
7) What type of pellets are you feeding him?
The two most often recommended pellets on this forum are New Life Spectrum (NLS) Betta pellets and Omega One Betta Buffet pellets. They contain quality proteins, and bettas tend to like them.
Another way to entice them to eat is to soak the pellet in garlic.
8) Is he having problems with his buoyancy? (Or does he just like being near the surface?) If he's having trouble swimming, you can lower the water level so that he can reach the surface more easily.
9) It sounds like his eyes and lips aren't as swollen now. That's good! Does he look bloated at all? If so, let us know, as he might benefit from having a small amount of Epsom salt added. (Let us know though, and we can tell you how to use this.)
Every time you add new water from tap you should add a conditioner. Some of the more popular conditioners are Prime (from SeaChem), API Tap Water Conditioner and any StressCoat items you see. Those will help remove metals and chlorine from your water that can be harmful to your fish :)
Other things like Start Zyme, Start Safe or Aqua Safe are basically bacteria in a bottle that can help with the cycling process but I never use them if I'm trying to help a fish and in a smaller environment. So there's really not any need to be using them if you are doing water changes more frequently than just a week.
But other than that you seem to be on the right track! Oh also, don't leave the pellet in if he doesn't eat it within the first 3 to 5 minutes, otherwise it will rot and make his water dirty which allows for more infections and stuff. You could try a pellet before you go to work and then one later after you get home to see if he will eat it.
And as LittleBlueFishlets said, you can try smashing a garlic clove and soaking the pellets in that to see if it makes it tastier for your Betta, or you could pre-soak the pellets in some conditioned water to make them soft first and see if he'll take it then.
And I think that's all I have for now :) Keep us posted for sure!
@lilnaugrim - The OP has a 5 gal tank with a filter. I figured the StartZyme was being used to initiate a cycle. It also does the "usual" conditioner work too (neutralizes/removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals).....
As for the food, I don't like presoaking in water as this leaches out water soluble nutrients, reducing the quality of the food. Instead, I use a fingernail to break up the food into smaller pieces.
I agree with removing uneaten food. If the he doesn't consume it within the first few minutes, I would remove it. Then try again later with new food. You could also try a different type or brand of food. (Most bettas seem to like New Life Spectrum and Omega One Betta Buffet pellets.)
Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 05-04-2013 at 08:49 AM.