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Old 07-31-2012, 01:32 PM   #1 
Sky
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Fungal Infection or Ick?

Hey guys,

I'm not exactly sure what's wrong with my male betta fish, Thunder. I have been super busy with things going on in my life, so I haven't been doing regular water changes to my 2.5 gallon tank. Sometimes there's green algae in the tank so I'll do a 100% water change. I know this is bad, but I just haven't had the time for water changes and no one else can do it but me.

Thunder has had a protrusion on his side for nearly a year now. I posted a forum with a picture and some people told me it may be a tumor. Regardless, he has lived with it for a year now (he's over two years old). Lately though, with my lack of water changes, I've noticed that he's become lethargic and will lie on his side on the bottom of the tank. I also noticed that sometimes he'll either have these cottony patches on his head or white dots. Naturally, I believed it was a fungal infection, but then the white dots look like Ick. However, he hasn't been scratching or rubbing himself on anything and he's still very hungry.

I'm not sure how to treat him because I'm not sure if he has one or both. Sometimes the dots even disappear and then I'll see the cottony patches instead. In addition, he has clamped fins/fin rot, and I've noticed that he's gotten quite thin on the top of his head.

Apart from more water changes (now I'm more on top of it), what sort of treatment should I perform?

I have posted pictures so you can see what I'm talking about. I've labelled all the different physical changes I've noticed.

Thanks.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Usually every day, but he'll fast about once every 2 weeks.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Lately, I've been really bad with them. About once every 2 weeks and filtering about 2 times within that time.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% since the water is bad
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime conditioner

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? clamped fins, fin rot, and he's become very skinning around his head
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lays on his side in the bottom of the tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The "tumor" a year ago; the patches on his head about three weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I tried bettafix but it's not working so i stopped
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Fin rot. He's also had the protrusion on his side for nearly a year
How old is your fish (approximately)? Over 2 years
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:53 PM   #2 
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I'm very glad you're on top of the water changes. That will help your fish enormously.

It's very possible he has both ich and fungus, which makes treatment trickky as the high heat often used in ich cures makes the fungus speed up.. yet ich can really affect breathing.. and they use quite different treatments, as one is a parasite and the other bacterial.

I would increase the temp over the next couple of days to 86 and use 2 tsps per gallon salt + 86 degree heat with --daily-- 100% water changes for five days at least to kill off the ich (there's more info in the diseases stickies at the top of the forum). The daily changes are essential to getting rid of the parasite. Then 100% water change to flush the salt out of the tank - then rest him in clean water only and get some Kanaplex for a full antibiotic treatment. If he's got fin rot -and- fuzz, he's succumbing to the bacteria and after the ich treatment he'll need proper meds..

I am suggesting heat + salt to avoid the use of two harsh medications. If he's seriously sick with both, I'd use ich meds with no heat increase (not necessary with those..) and the rest him 4 days in clean water, hit the bacteria with Kanaplex or Furan-2. There's a risk he'll not cope with both meds one after the other (the 4-day break is essential! between them) but then both these diseases can kill fish pretty quickly.

Poor little guy. I hope he recovers..

ETA: Make sure those are ich.. sometimes little detritus worms can look like ich.. and I'd suppose yu might have those, if your tank has been dirty. Ich does come and go and the cysts mature and drop off to produce more parasites. It looks like tiny raised salt sprinkle lumps, and can spread very quickly. If it's only one or two at a time and they vanish without spreading in number and he's not gasping or darting, it could just be detritus wigglers hitching a ride..

Last edited by Aus; 07-31-2012 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:39 PM   #3 
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write a very detailed message! It's super interesting because I've never heard of detris wigglers. Yes, the tank has been dirty lately. I actually JUST finished a water change. That'll be my first priority and I'll start doing them more to see if it is Ick. I noticed you mentioned gasping. I actually DID see him do it ONCE. He was laying on his side and gasping which I had never seen him do before. I had forgotten about it actually since I only witnessed it once.

If the Ick comes and goes I guess it could be that then since it's not there all the time. I'll go ahead and do water changes. I have no heater though so I can't change the temperature of the water.

Because I can't change the heat, should I do the salt treatment first or Ick meds? Also, what type of salt should I use, aquarium or epsom salt? For how long should I do the salt treatments before a water change? I've never done a salt treatment so I'm worried I'll accidently kill him.

Once I've dealt with the ick, then I should give him those 4 days to recover and use the Kanaplex or Furan-2 for the bacteria. Did I get that right or should I do something different?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus View Post
I'm very glad you're on top of the water changes. That will help your fish enormously.

It's very possible he has both ich and fungus, which makes treatment trickky as the high heat often used in ich cures makes the fungus speed up.. yet ich can really affect breathing.. and they use quite different treatments, as one is a parasite and the other bacterial.

I would increase the temp over the next couple of days to 86 and use 2 tsps per gallon salt + 86 degree heat with --daily-- 100% water changes for five days at least to kill off the ich (there's more info in the diseases stickies at the top of the forum). The daily changes are essential to getting rid of the parasite. Then 100% water change to flush the salt out of the tank - then rest him in clean water only and get some Kanaplex for a full antibiotic treatment. If he's got fin rot -and- fuzz, he's succumbing to the bacteria and after the ich treatment he'll need proper meds..

I am suggesting heat + salt to avoid the use of two harsh medications. If he's seriously sick with both, I'd use ich meds with no heat increase (not necessary with those..) and the rest him 4 days in clean water, hit the bacteria with Kanaplex or Furan-2. There's a risk he'll not cope with both meds one after the other (the 4-day break is essential! between them) but then both these diseases can kill fish pretty quickly.

Poor little guy. I hope he recovers..

ETA: Make sure those are ich.. sometimes little detritus worms can look like ich.. and I'd suppose yu might have those, if your tank has been dirty. Ich does come and go and the cysts mature and drop off to produce more parasites. It looks like tiny raised salt sprinkle lumps, and can spread very quickly. If it's only one or two at a time and they vanish without spreading in number and he's not gasping or darting, it could just be detritus wigglers hitching a ride..
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