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Old 07-20-2013, 09:07 AM   #1 
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Unhappy Suddenly letrhargic, has somethng like cob webs growing in tank. Please help.

My fishes tank seems to have some sort of film over the top of the tank. There is also a cob web like substance coating everything in her tank. I have tried many things to clean it up, but none have worked. It didnt seem to affect my fish. A few days ago I came home and saw her laying on the bottom of the tank. She was very lethargic and has fin rot starting. :(

What size is your tank? 5 gal

What temperature is your tank? around 73

Does your tank have a filter? yes

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes

Is your tank heated? not currently

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? nothing

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? pellts

How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 times a week

How often do you perform a water change? just did a 100% about a week ago. planning another water change soon.

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? about 50%

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner, salt, slime coat/ good bacteria.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? no. I need to go get it tested. Will do soon.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? appearance seems fine, though she did just develop som fin rot in the last few days.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? She was very active, always excited to see me. Now she lays on the bottom of her tank, and swims very little. She also doesnt get excited for food or eat much.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? The tank has been weird for months. I tried so many things to make it right, but nothing worked. She appeared to be unaffected buy the cob web like substance and film over the water, but 5 days ago she just stopped swimming. She seems like swimming is harder too.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? complete tank, gravel, accessories tank change. Salt. Previously the tea tree oil medication, extra water conditioner, ammonia neutralizer, stronger filter

Does your fish have any history of being ill? no

How old is your fish (approximately)? Ive had her for about 2.5 years. She wasnt full grown when I bought her.

I got a chopstick and swirled it around in the tank trying to get all the coating off. I turned on my filter, which is decently strong for the tank size. The film and cobwebs seem to be gone, but they will return to settle on things if the water is left stagnant. Not sure what is the problem and how to fix it.

Thanks for any help offered.

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Old 07-20-2013, 09:28 AM   #2 
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Is the tank fully cycled? I have had white cob webs before in both my tanks. The first one lasted during the time it was still cycling but after it finished I never saw them again. The other one had it because of the snails they were laying eggs and it hatched on the plants. I think the white cob webs shouldn't harm your fish thats coming from my own experience with them.

If your fish is laying at the bottom it should be something to be concerned. You had her for 2.5 years and usually betta fish live up to 2 years she may be getting old and its effecting her or she may have swim bladder disorder. The symptoms involve constantly floating at the surface or sinking to the bottom and having difficulty swimming. It can also cause the spine to curve.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:51 AM   #3 
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She used to have snails. But not for a long time now. The webs were in her last tank really bad. There was no snail in that tank either. That's whats so weird to me. None of my other fis have it, and they've all had snails in the past. I understand that she mght be getting old, but she had such a sudden drop in energy it concerns me. She never floats on top, but shes still lying on the bottom. :(
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:10 PM   #4 
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Any rapid breathing? You should check the water parameters immediately to see if it could be a water problem.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:03 PM   #5 
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73 degrees is a bit too low for a betta. After all, they are tropical fish. Is she darting or rubbing against anything? She could just be getting old. It's good that you stopped the tea tree oil medication, since it's been known to cause problem with Bettas' labyrinth organs.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:34 AM   #6 
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There are a lot of things cobwebs in the water could be.

Algae can look like thin threads of cobwebs, mostly reside on plants, and can be white, green, or brown in colour. It's harmless to fish.

Fungus in the water may appear like cobwebs, and you would need to thoroughly clean the tank to stop your fish from being affected. Web fungus also leads to cotton mouth disease.

The worst thing it could be (And this is what it sounds like to me...) is a bacterial disease, specifically columnaris. My brother's betta died from it, and it looked like cobwebs wrapping around the fish and everything in the tank. The fish became lethargic, wouldn't eat, went through organ failure and fin rot, and died within a week. Columnaris thrives in high nutrient water, so if you have hard water, that could be a factor. Salt is an excellent treatment for columnaris, but this disease puts your fish at high vulnerability and I haven't heard of any treatment curing a fish or preventing death. I treated my brother's betta with salt dips (Last resort). He regained all of his vitality while in the dip and would eat, but once I put him into his tank, even if I cleaned it, sanitized it, boiled it, the columnaris would return. This fish was old and already experiencing organ failure, so that could be a factor. He also didn't mind the high salt levels; For a more sensitive fish, I wouldn't do salt dips at all. Columnaris is extremely stubborn and may transfer from tank to tank through fish, or even remain in a sanitized tank. The only thing that stopped it from coming back in my tank was using ethanol (Rubbing alcohol). If you sterilize the tank, you should also make sure all of your tools and anything that comes into contact with the water is sterilized too. Columnaris will affect humans, always wash your hands and don't handle anything to do with the tank if you have an open wound.

I REALLY hope it's not columnaris, but here is all the info I can give you if it is. Start with a test and check your water hardness. I don't know much about medications, but bettafix for fin rot has worked wonders on my fish, and fungus guard works well on bacterial and fungal illnesses.

Good luck!
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