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Old 10-13-2010, 10:18 AM   #1 
CrystalLace
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Unhappy White hanging beard thing? New Fish Owner

Alright I'm completely new to the Fish caring world (actually to the pet world at all) and I'm totally at a loss for what to do. I got my betta fish on Saturday (About five days agao) and I knew nothing about taking care of a fish. The girl at the pet store seemed informative, but as I found this site, I discovered she was wrong about just about everything. And now I think my poor Betta (Charles) is sick!

She told me to keep him in room temperature water, to change all the water once a week, and that my little 1/2 bowl would be plenty big enough. (All wrong, apparently)

I noticed about two days ago he was darting about the bowl in a bit of a twitchy fashion, but since I hadn't had him that long, I thought it was just his normal swimming. The next day though, it was more obvious and didn't look right, so I changed his water (It was about a 75% change)
He seemed better for a bit, but then he started just hiding in the bottom of the tank constantly, OR just floating near the top of the tank. I thought maybe he was just cold, but he's been doing that to an even greater extent today.

And then today I noticed this little white hanging piece coming off his chin, so I know something must be up. (Picture below)
Plus today's the first time he hasn't eaten. He tried about three times to swallow the food, and kept spitting it out, before giving up. I also noticed him doing a weird yawning thing in the water. I'm sure he wasn't actually yawning, but that's the best way to describe it.

I'm completely at a loss for what to do. As I said, this is my first pet, let alone fish, and I don't know where to begin. I've been reading around the site, but there's a lot more information to take in than the pet store worker led me to believe.

As I said, he's in a tiny half gallon bowl, I ordered a 2 gallon one, plus a heater a day ago, but it might take a week to get here.
I'm stuck in a college dorm room, in the middle of the city, with no good pet stores nearby. I know if he needs any kind of medication, I'll have a long hike to try and find it, so any advice you can give ASAP would be of some help =(.

...Plus detailed explanations of how to do things if I do need to get medicine/etc. I am totally knew at this >.<!

Housing
What size is your tank? 1/2 Gallon (2 Gallon one is like a week away =( )
What temperature is your tank? Room Temperature? Probably 68 degrees, I know it's too cold, but there's nothing I can do until the heater comes in the mail
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No (see above)
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2~3 pellets, once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? I haven't had him a week yet, but I did one yesterday, and from now on I'll probably do one at least every other day.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? I did 75% yesterday, because I hadn't done it at all (courtesy of the pet shop advice) I guess I'd do 50% normally? But I suppose that doesn't matter if I haven't done it yet...
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
No test kit >.<!
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Weird white hanging thing bellow chin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Twitch when swimming, but usually motionless. Often hiding in whatever hiding spot he can get too between the glass beads that line his tank, or floating near the surface of the water.
Also can't eat. Although I suppose it's a decent sign that he tried? But it worries me that he can't swallow it.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Three days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Just changed his water
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure, but not that old, I don't think the pet store keeps them that long.


I'd appreciate any advice you can give! I know I have a long ride on the T ahead of me to track down medicine or whatever he needs, and a busy day to boot! So help ASAP would be great.
I feel so bad for poor little Charles!

Picture:
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:42 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Location: USA
My first thought is parasite like fluke, anchor worm even ich in the gill with the yawning as a symptom of that-its hard to tell if the white string is a parasite or if it is excess slim from a reaction of something irritating the gills/gill plate area

I would start by doing 100% daily water changes with like temp dechlorinated water (if on city water supply) and use aquarium salt or kosher salt 1tsp/gal along with the 100% daily water changes-

I like to pre-mix my salt in a 1gal jug to make water changes and dosage easier.

I would look for antiparasite medication and treat-
I don't use OTC meds so I can't recommend anything, I would google external parasites and you should get some idea on what to get-

I manually remove external parasites and treat with salt, clean water and garlic with great success in my wild collected species.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:53 AM   #3 
CrystalLace
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
My first thought is parasite like fluke, anchor worm even ich in the gill with the yawning as a symptom of that-its hard to tell if the white string is a parasite or if it is excess slim from a reaction of something irritating the gills/gill plate area

I would start by doing 100% daily water changes with like temp dechlorinated water (if on city water supply) and use aquarium salt or kosher salt 1tsp/gal along with the 100% daily water changes-

I like to pre-mix my salt in a 1gal jug to make water changes and dosage easier.

I would look for antiparasite medication and treat-
I don't use OTC meds so I can't recommend anything, I would google external parasites and you should get some idea on what to get-

I manually remove external parasites and treat with salt, clean water and garlic with great success in my wild collected species.
Alright thanks so much for your response!
I've been using bottled spring water for him, I don't trust the city water. (Poland Springs Spring Water) which is already dechlorinated? I think?

And the white thing, whatever it was, fell off a bit ago, but he's still acting strange.
Still burring his little head.

But I'm not sure what you mean by treating it with salt, water, and garlic though, but I should be able to get kosher salt and add that without much of an issue.

I'll google for medication I guess? I'm stuck in classes all afternoon, so hopefully I can find a place that's still open!

Thanks again!
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:00 AM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Location: USA
Bottle water sometimes is just filtered tap water and can still contain chlorine/chloramines also the filtering process can remove the needed minerals the fish needs for good health...I would still use a dechloranator if you use bottled water and mix it 50/50 with your tap water to replace the lost mineral...or just tap and dechlorinator...you may be seeing a reaction to low doses of chlorine that is burning his gill and not parasites.....

Salt treatment-get a 1gal jug (I use an old milk or OJ jug) add 1tsp/gal and fill with dechlorinated water-make a water change every day using this pre-mixed salt water for no longer than 10 days
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:08 PM   #5 
CrystalLace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Bottle water sometimes is just filtered tap water and can still contain chlorine/chloramines also the filtering process can remove the needed minerals the fish needs for good health...I would still use a dechloranator if you use bottled water and mix it 50/50 with your tap water to replace the lost mineral...or just tap and dechlorinator...you may be seeing a reaction to low doses of chlorine that is burning his gill and not parasites.....

Salt treatment-get a 1gal jug (I use an old milk or OJ jug) add 1tsp/gal and fill with dechlorinated water-make a water change every day using this pre-mixed salt water for no longer than 10 days
Okay, so after a rather sketchy ride to the nearest pet-co, I picked up some meds called "Lifeguard" that say they treat just about everything, "bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic" however after I got back and went through the whole process of adding it, I noticed the back of the box, in fine print says it's "a broad-spectrum, non-antibiotic agent"
... which makes me wonder how a non-antibiotic would treat a bacterial infection.
Anyways, for helpfulness sake, it lists the active ingredients as "1-chloro-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-4-imidazolidione." which hopefully someone can tell me if that's useful or not.

When I got back, I added the water conditioner/dechlorinator I bought; Aqueon "BettaBowl Plus" to my jugs of water, plus a bit of kosher salt I had picked up at the grocery store. A shook that up a bit, and then went to go clean out his bowl.
I ran everything under super-hot water (glass beads, plastic plant, new thermometer) and wiped the bowl out with a paper-towel. (Didn't use soap, of course)

After some issues with the medicine, and an interesting use of math, I managed to get what I think is/what should be the proper amount of it into the water, and gave the jugs a good shake just to mix it up a bit more.
Then poured the new water into the bowl, since you suggested I do a 100% water change.
Then I put Charles back into his home.

I've been staring at him for a while since. I wish I'd had him longer, so I could be more familiar with his coloring and his behavior, I keep second guessing my judgements. When I first put him back in, he darted about a bit, still in a sort of twitching fashion, but now he's slowed down a bit. He's been going back and forth between the bottom of the bowl trying to find spots to shove his face in between the beads (like he was doing before) or going near the surface and just floating.
What's really concerning me now is that I'm pretty sure his face looks paler, particularly the area under his mouth/where those two little fins stick out from under him (Sorry, I don't know the technical term). Like I said, I wish I knew his coloring better, so I could be 100% sure it was paler, and not just my imagination, but I'm still relatively sure it's pale.
Plus I've seen him open his mouth a few times, not quite the same as the long "yawn" I saw him do this morning, but still opening his mouth.

Also, I'm not entirely sure what the term means, but I think his fins are clamped? Particularly those two that come out from his bottom side under his mouth. But as I went back and looked at the pictures I took when I first set up his bowl, all of his fins definitely look more closed, and maybe more worn? Or maybe I'm just psyching myself out...


Anyways, from the internet surfing I've been doing since I got back, I think that sounds like columnaris? But then, what do I know? I guess my biggest concern then is that that would be a bacterial infection, which the medicine I got doesn't really treat...

So if that's it, then I guess I need to go back and buy a different medicine? But I've already started him on this one... so I don't know what I would do about that, or about how to switch it/ what else I should do.
I hate watching him squirm around like he is, I just hope he gets better!

Thanks again for all the help! And thanks in advance for anymore response!
I'd rather not have Charles end up in the Charles
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