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Old 08-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #1 
123 bettas
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Unhappy Need Advice Symptoms Are Changing

Hi, I'm new here and need advice. After my father died in June, I inherited three male bettas. One is in trouble and I don't know what to do. I made a few changes yesterday, which I will describe below. I also installed a heater earlier this week. "Zebra" has been lethargic and didn't eat for more than a week. Today, to my surprise, he ate two pellets, but looks much worse. The new symptom is that he has white, fuzzy, star-like projections at the ends of his fins and tail. I don't have enough experience to know what this is, but I was able to take a pretty good photo, which I am attaching here.

Each betta is in his own tank, appx. 1 gallon size, no filters, no other equipment, except for the new heater, which was inexpensive and is supposed to be betta-specific. It doesn't display the exact temperature.

Because I am not their original ownrer, I don't know how old Zebra and his buddies are, but they are definitely at least 6 months old. One is older than the other two and is at least 14 months old, but I am not sure which one. The oldest one survived amazingly harsh conditions last summer.

I feed the fish BioGold, a few pellets apiece several times a day as recommended on the package, but I was away for a few days and put a "vacation feeder" pellet in each tank. The problems started for Zebra after I returned home, which was about two weeks ago.

The general maintenance routine I have been following is to change 1/3 of the water once a week, but when I noticed Zebra was not being active I started more frequent changes. Yesterday I did a complete water change for him. I didn't know what I was doing and cracked the glass in the tank, so I had to run out and buy a new one. Fortunately, Zebra was waiting in a plastic bucket and wasn't harmed. The water had a few drops of conditioner in it, and the bucket has never had soap in it.

Besides making more frequent 1/3-water changes, the first treatment I tried was buying the heater and a silk plant. Zebra seemed to like both of them. He stayed cozied up to the heater for hours and hours. He also stayed in the silk plant for a long time.

Yesterday, in addition to the new tank and gravel, I bought aquarium salt and a medicine called "Bettafix" which contains Melaleuca 0.2 percent. I added 1/2 teaspoon of each. Today I gave another 1/2 teaspoon of the medicine.

I'll appreciate any guidance you can give me. I get the sense that Zebra is trying hard to survive (he has blown one or two bubbles), so I really want to help him if I can!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:47 PM   #2 
lelei
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Hello and Welcome, first thing I can tell you is water changes should be 2-3x a week50% and a full 100% weekly in a gallon size tank..also are you using water conditioner, that is very important..and you need a thermometer, so you can see what the temp is..even with heater, could be too much..also if you are using some medicine with "Fix' in it, it could be causing the problems, or making existing probs worse..what you will need to do is stop using the med..and clean the tank full water change..and using only clean water, tommorow, you will need some epsom salt, he may be having some parasite problems, do those projections look like worms? also with a vacation feeder, they can overfeed fish..and he could be bloated, have you seen his poop?
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:52 PM   #3 
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Bless you for taking them in & trying to do the right thing & sorry for your loss. 1st you need to do 100% water changes weekly on all 3 because the tanks are so small & there is no filtration. 2nd I would invest in a stick on thermometer, they're not perfect but better than nothing. 3rd I think you're over feeding which is probably leading to the water issues. I feed my Bettas 4 pellets a day with every Friday a fasting day. You could feed 2 pellets in the morning & 2 in the evening. CLEAN CLEAN WATER will be your Bettas best friend. Most people will say don't use anything with the word fix in the name on a Betta. Bettas LOVE plants with leaves they can lay on so the silk plants are a great add. I suggest doing daily water changes for the sick Betta for the next week, 50% at least with one 100% water change. If you don't see improvement in a day or two or if he seems worse then there's something more serious happening. Keep us posted.

Last edited by shellieca; 08-11-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:52 PM   #4 
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There is a disease called Ich..and it's parasites..and is usually caused by cold, or dirty water, and since where you are taking him in..he could of already had them..
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:58 PM   #5 
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I think he has a "Body Slime Infection". That is certainly NOT Ich. There are supposed to be little white dots all over the fish and there isn't in my view. Start an Aquarium Salt treatment for 10 days and do daily 100% water changes. 10 is the maximum as anymore can damage his organs/labyrinth. Do this if it sounds like this:
Body Slime Infection
•Symptoms: Your betta is covered in a white film. It may just be in a few areas and may rise of the skin a bit. Lethargy, clamped, loss of apetite, may have cloudy eyes.
•Treatment: Body Slime infections or Slime Coat Sloughing are due to bacterial infections. Perform daily 100% water changes. Use 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt for up to 10 days. If that does not work then use API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR Jungle’s Lifeguard.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:09 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LebronTheBetta View Post
I think he has a "Body Slime Infection". That is certainly NOT Ich. There are supposed to be little white dots all over the fish and there isn't in my view. Start an Aquarium Salt treatment for 10 days and do daily 100% water changes. 10 is the maximum as anymore can damage his organs/labyrinth. Do this if it sounds like this:
Body Slime Infection
•Symptoms: Your betta is covered in a white film. It may just be in a few areas and may rise of the skin a bit. Lethargy, clamped, loss of apetite, may have cloudy eyes.
•Treatment: Body Slime infections or Slime Coat Sloughing are due to bacterial infections. Perform daily 100% water changes. Use 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt for up to 10 days. If that does not work then use API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR Jungle’s Lifeguard.
Thanks Lebron..didn't even know about this one..
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:27 PM   #7 
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Lelei, Shellieca and Lebron: Thank you! I will stop the medicine, get thermometers and change all the water for all 3 tanks tomorrow. I will also try the aquarium salt treatment. Re. epsom salt, I have some from a regular drug store in the house. Can I use that, and if so, what would I do? (As to poop, I haven't recognized any, ever, which is my own lack of knowledge of course.) Another thing I am wondering is whether I should treat the fish in other two tanks as a preventative measure. They seem very happy--they always swim over to see me and show off their flowing fins.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:28 PM   #8 
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Yeah, I found about it when Lebron shed his slime coat. :P
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:58 AM   #9 
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Is that body slime? I have never seen a pic of it before. I was gonna suggest fungus..

What salt are you using? Epsom is not the same as Aquarium salt. Although epsom is good to have as well since it will help with things like internal parasites and constipation. Aquarium salt is good for things on the outside of the body.

As for their poop - it should look like small brown cinammon buns. If its white or stringy that is usually a sign of internal parasites. I have yet too see a betta poop but I know they are since I find their "cinnamon buns" when I change their water.

For salt treatments - use 1 teaspoon per gallon. Mix it up in a milk jug if you have one, then add it to the tank. Make sure the salt is disolved and then slowly add acclimate the fish. you can use aquarium salt for 10-14 days MAX, otherwise it can start to damage their internal organs but epsom can be used for months if need be.

Also, once this guy is healthy - if you have space, it would be much easier to keep them in a divided 10 gallon tank. Once you add a filter, and after the nitrogen cycle is complete (please read up on it if you don't already know about it), you would only have to change a small portion of the water every week and do some light gravel vacumming. It is much less work and time consuming then to deal with 3 small tanks. (I know, I have 6 small tanks that are between 1-5 gallons in addition to the divided 10G and the all girls 20 gallon.) I understand if you can't do a 10G but if you have the space, it is totally worth it.

EDIT:

be careful with bettafix. Many people claim its a miracle drug but just as many claim it killed their betta - the tree oil can damage their breathing organ and sufficate them. Not sure if I fully buy that and I think alot of the "deaths" were because the fish was already very sick OR the owner OD'd the betta on it. I am not sure I would want to add 7 days worth of bettafix into a 1 gallon without a water change...and I think that's what the instructions say..maybe it is 5 days....

Last edited by Tikibirds; 08-12-2012 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:01 AM   #10 
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That was my 1st guess. Aren't the fungal infections supposed to be in patches? Or is that a bacterial one? :/
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