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Old 02-11-2012, 09:42 PM   #1 
orphansparrow
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please help...i think hoshi might have parasites.

oh dear god...i don't know what's going on, i am REALLY hoping it's not parasites, but here's the sticky, and some side notes:

i didn't think of it until now, but a couple weeks ago i got him new live plants - banana plants from petsmart. they were in a fish-free tank in a sort of island, where it didn't look like they shared any fish water. i don't know though.

as a side note, hoshi seems much more energetic the last month or so than usual, he's even built 2 bubblenests in this time. both his firsts.


Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? a little less than 75
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? no

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? hikari gold & "color-enhancing" pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 or 3 times daily

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 1 1/2 times weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? one 100%, one 20-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH: i forget, i used to test it regularly, and it was always pretty high
Hardness: same as above
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? i'm not positive, but it looks like there might be a very slight lump, a oval/cigar shaped something underneath his scales on one side of his head. i try to look at it, and think i see nothing, but occasionally, i swear it's there. also, a little discoloration appeared on his lower fin a while ago, but it seems like he changes color every now and then. plus he's a major fin-biter, so sometimes I don't know if it's from that.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? for the last 2 days, hoshi has been doing something very odd. he'll swim down to the bottom of his tank, and kind of thrash around at the rocks. i've only seen him do it 3 times. and after he does it he sort of swims around bent, with his head sort of angled down
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
2 or 3 days ago

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no

How old is your fish (approximately)? i got him when he was probably a young adult 9 months ago.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:09 PM   #2 
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can someone help me with this? he did it twice today too, and besides that, he's swimming a little funny sometimes, and flaring randomly at seemingly nothing, which he has never done before. =( i know something is wrong, i just don't know what to do. would adding salt in the next water change help? i have epsom salt and aquarium salt. thank you~
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:33 PM   #3 
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Sorry to hear your guy isn't doing so well..

Can you get a picture of the lump the next time you see it?

Internal parasites normally will start to cause the fish to become thin.. wasting away. Also, the poo would be long, white and stringy..

Lumps tend to be more of a bacterial or tumor rather then parasitic.

The flaring may be him seeing something that spooked him, or his reflection- I wouldn't worry too much about that, as a good flaring session a day is actually healthy for them. Sometimes they see something outside of the tank and will bull rush towards the glass flaring. Never know what's going through their little minds when they do those things.

How funny is he swimming? Is he tilting? Does his head or tail point up more then it should?

Unsure about the thrashing- is it like he is darting against it, trying to scratch an itch? Or attacking it? Or looks as if he is like a fish out of water?
Are you sure he isn't trying to dig into the substrate?

How many pellets are you feeding per meal?
75 is a little too low for them.. possible to bring up the temp to 78-80? A few degrees is a big difference when it comes to fish.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Can you get a picture of the lump the next time you see it?

Internal parasites normally will start to cause the fish to become thin.. wasting away. Also, the poo would be long, white and stringy..

The flaring may be him seeing something that spooked him, or his reflection- I wouldn't worry too much about that, as a good flaring session a day is actually healthy for them.

How funny is he swimming? Is he tilting? Does his head or tail point up more then it should?

Unsure about the thrashing- is it like he is darting against it, trying to scratch an itch? Or attacking it? Or looks as if he is like a fish out of water?
Are you sure he isn't trying to dig into the substrate?

How many pellets are you feeding per meal?
75 is a little too low for them.. possible to bring up the temp to 78-80? A few degrees is a big difference when it comes to fish.
thanks so much for your response!

okay, to answer your questions:

* i tried to get a photo of the "lump", but it's not possible. it is miniscule to non-existent. i couldn't see it at all today, though i swear i had seen it before.

* i do flare him with a mirror once a day or every other day, but this looks like he is flaring at nothing. he was flaring, and then sort of turned the other direction and flared the other way. i don't know, it didn't seem normal somehow..

* the funny swimming he is doing is like he is sort of bent in half at the middle, and then sort of swimming in an "off" sort of direction, like he's having trouble figuring out where he is going. this doesn't last long, and he'll "snap out of it" in less than a minute. i've only seen him do it a couple times.

* the thrashing seems like he is stuck in something, though he's not. he acts like he's stuck, and is trying to get free of some invisible thing. he does this down by the rocks, so they sort of scatter a bit, but he doesn't look to be trying to scratch himself or anything like that.

* i feed him one or two pellets per meal.

* i know about the heat. :( this is my second heater for him, and it just won't go any higher than that. i could consider getting him another one again...

thanks so much!
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:01 PM   #5 
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Sounds like you have a very personable fish there rather then an ill one to be honest.
I can't tell you how many times I thought some of my fish were neurotic because of how off the wall they would start acting out of the blue for a bit..

The lump could be a lighting trick.. unless it comes and stays and grows, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Other then that, unless he becomes pales, has a hard time with buoyancy and can't stay upright all the time, tips to the side, lays on the bottom and won't move, or gasping at the surface/on the bottom then all you can do for now is just keep an eye on him. He is just quirky.. I have one named Butters Scotch from the kid in South Park because he "twitches" when he swims and moves around, and when he's trying to get your attention.. not dance, but erratic and just silly.. healthy as can be though.

You seem to be doing good by him, good sized home, good feeding schedule and amount, great water changes, etc.. I don't see anything that would of caused him to become ill. Usually there is an underlying issue with care if there is an illness, but since you don't see anything physical, his care is great.. I am going to have to say in my personal opinion, he's just being nutty.

As for the heater- when you do your water changes, use a thermometer and try to get the temp of the new water to around 78- a lot of times pre set heaters only heat to a few degrees above room temp, or have a hard time heating up enough.
So having the water at a warmer temp can help the heater to keep it there, rather then have to work up to it.
Otherwise I would say a 25-50 watt adjustable would be more suitable.
75 isn't deadly low, nor is it really harmfully low- but bettas tend to thrive more and be more active/healthy overall in 78-82* (as you are aware)... so don't kick yourself if you can't get it that high, as you have been trying. If you do decide to get another (if the raising the temp during water changes doesn't work) I would suggest an adjustable one as they tend to work great.. sometimes those smaller heaters aren't worth it.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #6 
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okay, thank you myates. i really hope that he's just in a weird mood or something...do fish get hormonal? ;)

it's only odd because he is the most stable, predictable, boring fish known to man, except lately. so no, he is not usually quirky.

when i started the thread with "oh dear god", it's because i have an almost-serious worm/larva phobia. omg - groooosss. i don't know what i'd do if hoshi started having worms come out of him.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:05 PM   #7 
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okay. today there are new symptoms. he will swim around and kind of smack is face on things, like the leaf of a plant, or the filter etc. it looks really violent, and then he'll zoom off, and then just be still for a really long time. what is up with my guy??

i'm going to ahead and start adding a pinch of AQ salt to his water, because i don't know what else to do, and besides his fins are looking pretty ragged from his fin biting, and maybe it will help that...

okay, if anyone can help i'd appreciate it. :)
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