I was wondering about the source water too, so after i cycled the tank I started using the Prime on it in case it was the original culprit. I'm more concerned that my test strips are inaccurate since they were a clearance discount that expire later this year. I'll get a testing kit in the morning to get accurate results
The white fuzz could possibly be excess slime coat, especially if he lots of gold on him. Have you seen him dart and rub on anything? Or the cories? If they have velvet, they may feel itchy and try to rub on stuff to dislodge the parasites.
The best treatment for velvet is 3 tsps of AQ salt per gallon, high heat at about 86 F, as close to complete darkness as possible, and daily water changes. But the cories . . . I've heard mixed things about cories and their sensitivity to salt. If you do end up needing to treat the cories, I'd recommend using a salt dip for them, not a round-the-clock bath like you will need to for the betta boy.
If velvet HAS taken a hold of him, it's possible they are in his gills and affecting his ability to breathe. :/ It is a real tenacious parasite and hard to treat with medications/chemicals because only one stage out of its entire life cycle is susceptible to chemicals. All other stages (larvae, adult etc) are pretty resistant.
EDIT: That's a good idea to use Prime because it will also neutralize any heavy metals that might be in the water, as my other thought was perhaps heavy metal poisoning.
i wish I would have known that about the Cories. no more purchases based on pet store advice without proper research of my own! I got the dwarf cories to be a buddy with the first spotted cory since my plan was to get a school I wanted the littlest ones I could get and keep the bioload as little as possible. I had read of people with slightly overpopulated tanks (6"-7" of fish to 5 gal) with additional filtration and aeration. Mine is pretty heavily planted and I have the 5gal filter and added a 10 gal filter with aerator with the idea of once the new filter had grown substantial bacteria I would have the ability to give my lonely accidental cory four or five more buddies to live with the Betta and ghost shrimp....
That was the idea until this place turned into a triage camp :(
I haven't seen him darting or rubbing, but when I got the new filter I put a sponge on the outflow to prevent any current and he loved sitting in the bubbles from it's aerator. He would swim over to me and go back and forth at the front of the tank and then swim back into the bubbles and hang out for a second before coming back to beg for food or say hi.
The cories kind of hang out together and will school up the side of the tank together and go back down, they don't seem too affected... yet. I'll be keeping a close eye on them too and make sure everyone gets the love they need.
When it comes to dwarf cories, it depends on the betta. It sounds like your little guy is on the more aggressive side and probably resented them. Because of their small size, dwarf cories tend to swim midwater instead of resting on hte bottom like big cories so your betta probably thought they were intruding on his territory. Because they're so small, you could probably get htem their own 5 gallon tank.
Don't worry, my 20g is seriously overstocked too but it has two filters and is heavily planted. Or was, until the honey gouramis ate all the plants. Anyways . . .
Okay, they don't always rub/dart with velvet (more so with ich). If he hasn't perked up by tomorrow just being in clean water, you can definitely try salt on him (3 tsps per gallon) but I'd highly recommend treating him in a separate smaller tank because salt will melt your plants.
And again, if it is velvet, it's important to keep the tank as dark as possible because velvet is light-responsive and thrives in bright tanks. Blocking off light shortens/slows down their life cycle. Bettas can withstand high heat pretty well so 86 F will be fine for your guy if you can get the temp that high. The most important part is the daily water changes to remove the parasites that fall off.
Sorry for the crummy quality, but these really illustrate what I'm seeing now:
The first one shows how hard it was to get a photo of his gold coloring because he ended up just reflecting big time. But with him in the corner of the tank you can see the obvious gold dust look.
Also, note the white spots on his mouth, I know it's hidden behind the joint of the tank and silicon sealant, but you can tell it's all the way almost up to his eye. But it also seems there is white fluff on his pectoral fin and edges of his dorsal fin too. Am I reading into my worry too much or does that look accurate to you too? I don't have a macro lens, so I can't really do too much better than this right now...
Velvet sounds possible. Copper or Proform-C is good for that. Salt, higher pH and dark also help get rid of it. The salt will help increase slime coat. It is present in all water and stress cause the fish to succumb to greater numbers of them.
If he has lost some color and just laying around and bloated he probably has some sort of internal parasite. Could have in addition to the velvet. I'm not sure he will pull out if he has internals. Feeding metro might help if still eating.. but when they start hanging around like this they are often too far gone, even with the velvet. Sorry.. hope this is not the case.
Last edited by Basememnt Bettas; 05-12-2012 at 05:47 AM.
s thomas, are the last few pics that were taken done with flash? Flash usually shows velvet pretty clearly.
I can just barely see the white spot on his mouth. Does it look foamy/slimy/cottony or does it look like cauliflower? If it is foamy/slimy/cottony, there are several possibilities. Could be excess slime coat caused by the velvet or even the beginnings of columnaris. If it's cauliflower, it's lymphocystis which is a virus that is nontreatable. On its own, lympho is usually nonfatal but in combo with velvet . . . I'm not sure.
Sadly, Basement Bettas is right. When a betta stops eating and just hangs there, prospects aren't good. But that doesn't mean we won't try everything we can to get him back to full health. If necessary, we'll try the copper as she suggested. I don't usually recommend copper because it's a very strong medication but we can try it if you want. Just be sure to do so in a separate tank. Otherwise you have to get a copper testing kit to make sure you get all the copper out of the water afterwards.
For the cories, I'd recommend the salt dip. Put the salt water in a small container and net the cories. Lower the net into the water and let them sit in the container for maybe 5-10 minutes, keeping your hand or something else over the top so they can't jump out. Repeat this once a day.
As BB said, velvet parasites are always present in the water but removing your betta (and if necessary, the cories) gives the fish time to fight back against the parasites that are on them. When the fish is at full strength, it is no longer as susceptible to an outbreak and can fight off the parasites.