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Old 09-11-2012, 12:05 AM   #1 
Ahua
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Can't figure it this out, arg!

I've been browsing the internet for about an hour and I just decided it'd just be best to post on a forum or something. It's a little late for me so I apologize if there is an answer to my situation already but I just don't want to go through more searching for now... @_@ And sorry, it's long!

The main problem: Crowntail has white "fluff"/"fuzz" on the tips of his the tail. Has been lethargic, floating near top corners of tank for about 5 days.

So some basics:

Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gal, looking to upgrade to 5 gallon asap, after his problems are solved...
What temperature is your tank? Currently 78 on the decline
Does your tank have a filter? Air "filter"
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? That's pretty much all my "filter" is, an air pump connected to an air stone
Is your tank heated? It has a heater but it warms my tank too much
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Currently two ghost shrimp, two others died today probably due to too high temperatures

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Haven't in the last 2 1/2 days save for 1/4 a pea, I think he ate a part of one dead ghost shrimp today though

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? I've done two 20% water changes so far about three days apart, only had the fish for 9 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Quick Start and Betta H2O conditioner

Water Parameters: Don't know unfortunately... took it to the pet store yesterday and they said I had high nitrate levels so I changed probably 25% of the water and then a little more today
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Currently has white "fuzzy" white stuff on the tips of his tail
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He has been lethargic for about 5 days now, floating in either of the back corners of his tank. He rests himself on top of the thermometer
When did you start noticing the symptoms? His lethargy started about 5 days ago, he would just float in the corners.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No...
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? I just bought him from a pet store about 9 days ago


His pictures are attached. The first should have three picture when I first got him and he was happy as can be to be out of the little cup the pet store had him in. The second picture is as he is now, the third being a close up of the fuzz, so far that's the only place it is.

So here's the story. I realize I did some things I shouldn't have, please bear with my story with cringes until the end ^__^;

I bought "Kang" (pronounced k-ah-ng) from PetSmart last Saturday and set up his one gallon tank with the Betta H2O that afternoon, with one live Amazon sword plant. I let him acclimate in his jar to the water for about half an hour before putting him in and he was a happy little fish active around the tank. After two days, still happy, I got him to eat some pellets and pea. He ate probably 5 and was still okay. The inside of his tank must be highly reflective because he was flaring a lot whether I had lights on or not, during the day or evening so I didn't know if he was stressing himself out by it or not but there was nothing I could really do to help that... I added a ghost shrimp on day 3. Active. Ate food. I think I fed him a little too much when I got home from work, about 6 pellets.

Day 4 added two more ghost shrimp and boat decor. Fed pea. Did a 20% water change that night. Still ok, flaring as usual. Ate 4 pellets. Had water tested at petstore: "cautious" level nitrites, added some "quick start" because the guy told me it would help.
Day 5 added one more ghost shrimp. Less activity. 3 Pellets. Outside weather did a sudden change, it was really hot and humid the night before but then night 6 it suddenly turned into gorgeous fall weather... but I think the change kept my tank below 76 degrees. 3 pellets. Belly got big.
Day 6 began floating in corner, actually more like wedges himself between the suction and the top of the thermometer, effectively "perching" there. Kinda like in picture two. No food.
Day 7 bought a heater (I know, it's a bad idea for such a small tank, but the tank got down to 70 degrees) and let it run to about 82. It got heated quick quickly, over the course of less than two hours. No food. Changed 15% water. At night apparently the temperature dropped the tank to 72 degrees.
Day 8. Again let heater run, for about an hour got tank from 76 to about 80. Fed pea and one pellet in morning. Had water tested at petstore: high nitrites. Did 20% water change. Still little to no activity.

Today, day 9: I put the heater on but had to leave for work so I texted my brother about a hour later asking him to turn off the heater, unfortunately the text never went through. When I got home this afternoon the temperature of the tank was 86 degrees. Holy freakin smokes, I turned it off ASAP. Two poor ghost shrimp died from what I'd think is the heat. He wouldn't have moved enough to attack them.. although after one died I think he may have eaten some of it because I sucked the dead shrimp out... and only found a tail-end to one of them. The temperature has made it's way back down to 76 but I noticed a couple hours ago the small bit of white "fuzz" on the tips of Kang's tail.

Currently there is nothing else aesthetically wrong with him from what I can observe. His colors are still relatively bright, he has no streaking, and he is actually keeping his tail and anal fin slightly open. He was freaking out when I was trying to get his picture though and that caused under his head the become white-ish (?).
His "front" belly isn't big, and it never really become too bad, but it was his "lower" belly that was big, like near his anus. He's ok now I think, but I still feel like his "lower" belly shouldn't be that size. I don't know if you can tell from the picture or not.

From the first day his started being lethargic I figured it was SBD because I fed him too much at one time. He has floated on his side on and off throughout the days but for the most part he floats upright, in either corners... preferring his thermometer perch.

I think that covers all the bases... all that is to ask what perhaps do you think I did that would cause the fuzz? From my research I'm thinking it's the combined weakened state of the fish (from SBD, nitrite level, and/or stress) and the roller-coaster of temperature changes.

Please help! I'm a first time betta owner, if you couldn't tell, and I just really wanna save the poor guy. He looks really pathetic! :(

I have no clue how we got our guppies to survive in their tanks when I was younger... from reading how to take care of fish, we did everything wrong hah but they still lived for years!
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Last edited by Ahua; 09-11-2012 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:20 AM   #2 
ao
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:) are you Chinese? his names means "healthy", like he should be.

First of all... there's nitrites in the water right? nothig will get rid of it, except a 100% water change
water is 76F right?
makesure the New water is also 76F.

Very gently take out your betta into a holding cup/ Jar whilst you do the Watee Change. cover the cup with somethig so he cant jump out.

Take out the decorations.

pour all of the water out. swirl around the gravel to loosen the gunk thats in there. wash everything (except for your sword plant, take that out too...) with hot water.

fill with new 76F - 78F water. you can adjust this from the tap. go a little warmer than 76 if you have to, but dont go cooler.

oh the ghost shrimps... forget them.. return them or put them in their own tank with plants... they'll never survive the water changes needed for a 1 gallon.

let me post this for you first. I'll type up more later.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:25 AM   #3 
ao
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Now back on the other stuff...
You have a 1 gallon tank. and lotss of gravel. take out half the gravel. too many will just be a breeding zone for some nasty bacteria. Plus with that much gravel in there, the tank probably only holds a bit more than 1/2 gallon..meaning that the toxins will build up faster.

WATER CHANGES
For such a small tank. it is imperative for the basic health of your fish, that you do two water changes a week. 1-50% half week and 1-100% at te end of the week.

seeing that the tank doesnt really have a gallon if water, I really recommend you do two 50%s each a day apart, and a 100% at the end of the week....

oh i forgot something... DONT FORGET THE WATER CONDITIONER!

So... continuing...

FEEDING
a bettas stomach is the size of its eye. depending on what brand of pellets you have, the general recommendation is to feed the fish 2-3 pellets/feeding. Two feedings a day. ie. 2 pellets in the morning and 3 at night...
peas are contraversial, best not to feed bettas peas...

He does need the occasional snack(sure, salad every day is healthy, but you do need some better yummier stuff once in a while, same idea)

You can feed him frozen foods or freeze dried. it is recomeneded to treat one day a week instead of his staple.

Many betta owners also fast their fish one day a week, to prevent constipation.

HEATERS

I highly recommend a 25w adjustable heater. these are ar more reliable than the other ones and can heat a 1 gallon quite safely (test it starting from the lowest setting)

FILTERS

you seem to have a corner aquarim with the air stone in the middle? that's an undergravel filter. however, in a 1 g there is no need for filters... you can simply switch it off. The crrent may afet your fish as well.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS
Prime - a water conditioner that neutralized tap water, heavy metals and ammonia. 2drops/gal!

Stress coat - useful for sick bettas

Aquarium salt - also useful for sick fish

Epsom salt - ditto (get the plain unscented ones)

New Life Spectrum betta formula, Omega one betta buffet, Hikari biogold , attison pro...
these are all names of good brands of betta food...

Last edited by ao; 09-11-2012 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #4 
Ahua
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Thanks aokashi... I will take the time to follow what you suggest this morning.

Yes, I am Chinese :) Haha... I wanted him to live healthy and peaceful as he is my first betta! So thank you for your tips on how to give him a general overall good life.. I have seen your guideline in most places.

As for the products for whatever he has.... I primarily want help "diagnosing" him you know? I don't know if this white stuff is fungal or bacterial, so I was hoping someone experienced may be able to give me a good suggestion based on the recent history of the tank. If I know what to treat then it'll be less stress for him (so he doesn't have to go through random medications).

Any help for that?
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:32 AM   #5 
KevinPham123
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Omega One Betta Buffet pellets are best.
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