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Old 09-04-2012, 10:25 AM   #1 
Greylady
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Gandalf not feeling well :(

Housing What size is your tank? 6.6 gallons (Hosp tank 1 Gallon)
What temperature is your tank? 80 (Hosp tank 79-80)
Does your tank have a filter? Yes ( Hosp tank no)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes ( hosp tank, no heater but I have the thermometer in there and it's staying at 79-80. I don't have a heater for a one gallon and afraid to use the one from his 6.6 gallon tank because I've read you shouldn't use heaters in small tanks. So I have his 1 gallon acrylic hosp tank sitting on the heating pad on the lowest setting and it seems to be keeping the tank right at 79-80) I am watching the temp religiously to make sure it doesn't get to hot, it also has a auto shut off so it's more likely it will get too cold before too hot, which is also why I check it every twenty mins. I only did this this morning, last night he did not have any heat source and this morning his hosp tank was at 77
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None until last week when I added an Otto and two ghost shrimp. (stupid I know but I didn't think to quarantine these before adding to his tank, I'm so mad at myself for not doing that! I know better...). We also added a moss ball. Yesterday, after finding out more about keeping Otto's, I took him back to the fish store because I didn't feel I could provide ideal conditions and besides, Gandalf really didn't like him. Gandalf ignores the shrimp, but would chase the otto. (Hosp tank, none)

Food What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food pellets / Tetra Freeze Dried Blood Worms / Omega One Natural Protein Formula Betta Buffet pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon: 2-3 pellets in am and pm. Blood worms: I've only given him these about three times in the 5 months I've had him because they seem to contribute to swim bladder issues even when I soak them first. After the first time I gave him them I didn't give him any until about a month ago at which time I gave him 2 and he seemed to handle them fine. Then 2 days ago I gave him (or rather put some, about 3-4) in his tank for the shrimp, I soaked them until they sank, but I fear Gandalf found them because he seemed a little bloated later that day. The Omega One I just picked up yesterday when I took the Otto back to the PETCO because I read they should have variety. I gave him 2 pellets last night instead of the Aqueon pellets. He is not bloated this morning.

Maintenance How often do you perform a water change? 2x week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 2 gallons, so with a 6.6 gallon tank, once you take into consideration everything that's in the tank it's probably closer to 5 gallons of water, so I think that's averaging out to be close to 40-45%? What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime

Water Parameters: Have you tested your water? Yes, using API Freshwater Master Test Kit
If so, what are the following parameters? Last test was Sept 1

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5.0ppm (due to this number I did a 40% water change right after testing)
pH: Did not test since it's always the same (7.6 and I know you shouldn't try to adjust it anyway so I didn't test this time)
Hardness: I don't have a test for this so I don't know
Alkalinity: Isn't this the same as PH? Sorry, new to all this...

Symptoms and Treatment How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Last night it seemed to me that he was getting quite pink all through his tail, however he seems to be a marble and is changing everyday, so I'm not sure what's normal anymore. This morning the pink seems to have gone away and he looks a little pale, I'm not sure, he's always been such a "non color" (see pics in album) and now with the marbling it's hard to say.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yesterday I noticed that when he stopped swimming his back end would want to sink, and he'd hang there pointing up. Then every once in a while he would dart around, then lay on the bottom. He's not breathing fast but does seem lethargic and not as active as usual. He does still come to the front when he sees me and wants to eat, he ate last night and I gave him 2 Aqueon pellets this morning that he also ate. Also I noticed this morning that his tail seems to be shredding / missing parts and his dorsal fin seems clamped when he's just laying on the bottom but does fan out when he swims.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Approx 2 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? Yes
If so, how? I put him in the 1 gallon tank with clean, treated with prime, warm water last night. This morning I changed 100% water and added aquarium salt. I only have about 4 inches of water in the tank so he doesn't have to struggle to get to the surface. (I treated a one gallon container with the aquarium salt first, then filled the tank 4 inches or so)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? When I first got him (April) he had a lot of issues with swim bladder. Changing his substrate from sand to gravel (I caught him eating the sand) fasting, and soaking his pellets first seemed to have cleared that up.
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea, he was the same size he is now when I got him in April. I assume he's an adult but don't now how many years old he is.

I don't know what else to ask, or tell you. I'm wondering if he got some sort of parasite from the Otto, shrimp or mass ball? I know from reading here that starting out treating with salt before any meds is best, but how long do I wait change treatments if I don't see any improvement? I hate to think of him not feeling well, he seems to have gone from swimming all over, investigating his tank, interacting with me, fins full and flowing to lethargic, clamped dorsal, shredded tail in 24 hours. :( I,m afraid I won't do what's needed in time to reverse whatever has made him sick. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Please let me know what you think may be wrong and if I should do anything else and when. Thank you. Sorry for such a long post but I figured the more info you had the better. I will tr to get a pic of him in his hosp tank and post in my albums. Thank you.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:24 PM   #2 
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Your doing the right thing so far. Just keep an eye on him. If he doesnt start to look up in a week then post again and we'll re examine for a different issue.

any new plant/fish your going to add to an already established tank should be qt for at least a week while being closely monitored for signs of disease.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #3 
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Ok I will, Thanks for responding Ivandert, at this point I don't know if I should be treating for fin rot, bacterial infection, fungus infection, parasites... I've been reading and researching and so many of the symptoms overlap it's hard to know what to do.

I now I should have qt first, so stupid of me! I just didn't think of it, blonde moment I guess. But since we're on the subject....I understand qt'ing a fish, because most, if not all, of the time you can tell if it's healthy by lookiing at it or the way it acts. But how do you monitor a shrimp or a plant for disease?
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #4 
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Aq salt helps with anything external so your actually covering more possibilities than you think lol.

the shrimp will get funky just like fish; lazy, lethargic and they die faster. For plants its more of a cleansing thing.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #5 
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OK, thank you... I'll post again if anything seems to get better or worse.

If you have the time could I ask you something else? I plan to remove everything from his 6.6 gallon and poor boiling water over the gravel, decorations, and rinse the live plants really well.... I just managed to get the tank cycled, or very close to it anyway. It always reads 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites and between 5 and 10 ppm nitrates. How do I clean the filter without losing the good bacteria and having to start the cycle again? Should I even clean the filter? If I DONT clean the filter won't whatever has made him sick still be in the filter and make him sick again?

The filter is a HOB that came with the tank and no documentation to tell me anything about it. The filter cartridge it came with is a small rectangle that is made of thin white fuzzy something wrapped around a plastic frame with what I assume is carbon inside.

For months I tried and couldn't seem to get the cycle started, so I bought a "sponge" from the pet store that said was specifically to trap, promote good bacteria growth. I put this in the filter with the cartridge. That was about 6 weeks ago and I haven't messed with it at all since... should I be cleaning this or take out the cartridge part? What about the sponge part?

Thanks again!
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #6 
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I wouldn't clean or rinse the filter/sponge. Generally when you treat with medication you have to replace the filter, loosing your cycle (which sucks, I'm have to do that with a 55 gallon) but you treating with aq salt. As long as there isn't anything else in the tank I would give that a dose of aq salt and treat it in the same way. You might loose your cycle but you might not.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:29 PM   #7 
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OK, thanks....I'm assuming I need to remove the 2 ghost shrimp before the salt treatment? Or will they be OK left in the tank? What about the moss ball? Leave in or take out?

Totally off subject.... I love your avatar, is that the Mini Rex Rabbit you speak of in your sig? Absolutely adorable! Is he / she full grown in the pic?

Last edited by Greylady; 09-04-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:35 PM   #8 
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the plant would be fine for sure. I wouldn't know about the shrimp. I presume they would be ok though. I know snails have adverse affects to salt
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:46 PM   #9 
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Ok, thanks for all your help!

Update... I just took a really good look at Gandalf with a flashlight to see if I could see any signs of Velvet. I didn't see anything shinny on his body, although the edges of his gills are silver but they might have always been like that.

What's weird about his tail is it almost looks stiff...it doesn't "flow" when he swims like it use to, it's more like a rudder. The ends look like someone split it all into individual hairs and then used too much hair gel, they seem to be "stuck" together at the ends? Has anyone seen this before?
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:06 PM   #10 
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sounds like it might be the start of fin melt. which would be a form of fungal, which is also treatable with clean water and aq salt.
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