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Old 12-31-2011, 09:41 PM   #1 
LionCalie
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Exclamation Sudden onset of mystery illness - Please help!

My young marble boy I purchased from a LFS on 12/11/11 has suddenly started showing symptoms that something is wrong. He has been the picture perfect of health until this morning. I found him sitting at the bottom of his tank with clamped fins. Usually he is an insanely hyper fish who constantly swims back and forth, so sitting at the bottom is not good. Neither is the clamped fins. Another thing I noticed is he's been "flashing" on and off throughout the day.

I did a bit of reading online and it looks like parasites could be to blame? I'm not sure though, I'm not very experienced with illnesses like this. Here is what I have on hand, please let me know if I should use any of it:
  • Aquarium Salt
  • T.C. Tetracycline
  • Methylene Blue
  • Jungle Anti-Parasite Medicated Fish Food

Quote:
Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallon (temporary)
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? No
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

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum BettaFormula is the staple
How often do you feed your betta fish? Daily, except for Sunday which is fast day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime and Neutral Regulator (we have soft, poorly buffered water)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0-ish, it's strange because I just did a 100% WC a few hours ago but there appears to be a tiny bit of ammonia in there. We have no ammonia out of tap, actually the ammonia out of tap is a perfect shade of yellow. His tank water is just slightly off yellow. I'm confused by this?
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.2
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Flashing, bottom sitting, taking repeated gulps of air at the top and not keeping weight on
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None
How old is your fish (approximately)? 6 months maybe?
Similar to how he looked yesterday, no problems...



How he looks today, very unhappy fish...



Here is a short video:
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:28 AM   #2 
Sakura8
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Did all of these symptoms just start yesterday? Did the symptoms start before or after his water change?
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:11 AM   #3 
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Yep and it was before the water change. I was hoping he would perk up after it, but he didn't.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:45 PM   #4 
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Bump! I really need help, he has taken a turn for the worse and is just sitting on the bottom.
Oddly enough he still has an appetite though.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:06 PM   #5 
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Very odd. Have you done another water change yet? Perhaps even put him in a cup with water from another tank who's fish isn't sick?
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:16 PM   #6 
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Parasites/Anxiety? Try steeping Decaffeinated Green Tea in his tank, this could help with the clamping as they sometimes clamp due to stress-Green Tea is a cheaper way of mimicking their natural environment. He could have injured himself, bumped into a decoration or two, thus explaining the "gulps", but then again it takes a while for internal parasites to surface sometimes, in terms of making their presence known. I would suggest looking into treatments for internal parasites and the clamped fins. This is my opinion though, someone may be more knowledgeable in this than I. Swim Bladder could be a possibility as well.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fish2fish View Post
Very odd. Have you done another water change yet? Perhaps even put him in a cup with water from another tank who's fish isn't sick?
I haven't, but I just went ahead and put him a cup of water from my 20 gallon which is healthy and established.
We will see if that perks him up. I felt like I needed to try something right away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleetwood View Post
Parasites/Anxiety? Try steeping Decaffeinated Green Tea in his tank, this could help with the clamping as they sometimes clamp due to stress-Green Tea is a cheaper way of mimicking their natural environment. He could have injured himself, bumped into a decoration or two, thus explaining the "gulps", but then again it takes a while for internal parasites to surface sometimes, in terms of making their presence known. I would suggest looking into treatments for internal parasites and the clamped fins. This is my opinion though, someone may be more knowledgeable in this than I. Swim Bladder could be a possibility as well.
He seems to be swimming just fine, so I don't think the cause is swim bladder related. Internal parasites seem like a likely possibility since he is flashing. Should I start him on a course of the anti-parasite food I have? Right now he is in a cup of aquarium water from my 20 gallon, so not sure if the green tea is a good idea. I would worry about putting too much.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:58 PM   #8 
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How is his poop looking? It is white and stringy or is it normal? Also, you may want to shine a flashlight on him and look for a gold/rust color to check for velvet.

Internal Parasites
•Symptoms: Betta is losing weight but eating normally and acting lethargic.
He/she might dart or rub against decor

•Treatment: These can be hard to fight and can get confused with the fatal disease Tuberculosis. Perform daily 100% water changes (if possible, for larger aquariums change 3/4). Make sure you carefully clean the gravel to remove eggs/larva. Aq.Salt does not seem to be affective against internal parasites. I find combining ES with an anti-parasite med is best. Treat with 1-2tsp/gal Epsom Salt combined with either Jungle’s Anti-Parasite Pellets, Jungle’s Parasite Clear Fizz tabs or API General Cure. PP is also effective against internal parasites.

External Parasites
•Symptoms: You may see parasites (other than ick) or you may not. Pay special attention to the area around the gills and fins. May dart and rub against decor, lose interest in food, lethargy, color loss
•Treatment: Some parasites can be treated conservatively with Aquarium Salt. For salt treatments, treat as you would with Ick. If conservative treatment does not work or if you have extenuating circumstances then there are a number of medications you could use. API’s General Cure and Jungle’s Parasite Clear fizz tablets are both affective ways to kill parasites. Do not combine with Aq.Salt.
•Alternative Medicines: I like PP for all stubborn external infections. It has never failed me, but it should only be used as a last resort.

Velvet
•Symptoms: Can be found by shining a flashlight on your betta. If it looks like it is covered in fine gold of rust colored dust then it has velvet. Clamped Fins, no appetite, darting/rubbing, loss of color, lethargic
•Treatment: It is very contagious so you should treat the entire tank. Treat as you would treat Ick

Last edited by Tikibirds; 01-01-2012 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:55 PM   #9 
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I would start him on the food, yes. It could be effective against both forms of parasites-depending on the brand, of course. Tikibirds has excellent advice, I'd start him on the food and start looking or shopping around for medications/treatments just in case. Still, taking preventive measures is always good.

As for worrying about steeping too much Green Tea, just one or two bags until the water is a greenish/brown or tea like color. It all depends on what you're comfortable with. However, I see your worry given he is in a small cup. Just for future reference, Green Tea also helps with their immune system and scales as well.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:31 PM   #10 
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Since it's sounding more and more like external parasites, I'd try 3 tsps of AQ salt and high heat (86 F) or General Cure. For ease in dosing, mix the AQ salt up in a 1 gallon jug.
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