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Old 10-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #1 
Greylady's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Treating for Parasites?

Housing What size is your tank? 6.6 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? One Ghost Shrimp, One Zebra Snail, Malaysian Trumpet Snails (who knows how many...started with 10 but there are many teeny tiny ones so I know they are multiplying, which is fine) Also one Java Fern, 4 Cryptocoryne Wendtti Green, One dwarf Anubias, Java moss growing on a log, and some Water Wistaria, all have been in the tank for a couple of months except the Zebra snail which was actually added today (it had been on order)

Food What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets and Aqueon Betta Food Pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 pellets in am, 1-2 in pm, fast on Saturdays.

Maintenance How often do you perform a water change? At least 2 times a week, sometimes 3 but I'm trying to slow down with that to once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? I use two one gallon jugs so around 30%?
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, pretty much every other day to confirm cycle is complete (besides I'm paranoid and would rather do partial water changes every other day then have the water bad)
If so, what are the following parameters? As of this morning...

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: According to the chart, somewhere between 5.0 and 10.0ppm
pH: 7.4
Hardness: I'm not sure, don't know how to test this, I keep meaning to call water dept.Alkalinity: See "Hardiness"

Symptoms and Treatment How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No change until today, there may be a really small white line (vrs spot) near his gill.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? For the last couple weeks, every once in a while he goes ballistic and darts around, running up to things and scratching is body on his log, filter, whatever.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Approximately 7-10 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? Yes
If so how? Today I set up and moved him into his 3 gallon QT tank with two silk plants, and nothing else, used Prime and added 1 Tbs of aquarium salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, was very sick a few months back, I'm not 100% what was wrong, bacterial? Fungal? He had fin melt...Old Fish Lady helped me greatly and he made a complete recovery and all his fins returned to normal.

How old is your fish (approximately)? I'm not sure but I got him last April, I'm pretty sure he was already considered an adult, although he has grown some, he's quite big for a betta I think anyway.

I've tried to narrow down the issue with him darting and have found out that it could be any multitude of things... I've tried to rule out and narrow down and here's what I've determined based on my limited knowledge.

I don't think it's internal parasites because his poop is normal, he eats fine, he's not bloated.
I don't think it's Velvet because turning off the lights and using a flashlight I do not see anything resembling "gold dust" on him. I don't think it's Ich because I know what Ich looks like from having it in my tanks years ago. So by process of elimination I can only assume it is external parasites although I've been looking at him with a magnifying glass and until today when I saw that one white line (which may or may not be normal) I never saw anything. It's very difficult for me to identify what is normal with him because he started out a cellphone color (very hard to see anything on him) and for the last few months has been changing colors because I found out he's a marble.

So he's in his QT tank with prime, salt and his heater. I'm working on slowly increasing the temp of the water from 80 to 84 or so.

So a few questions.
1) Is this the steps I should be taking? Or should I be doing something else?
2) If it is parasites, how do I treat his tank when it has live plants, snails and shrimp? Everything I've read for treating parasites is toxic to plants and or shrimp and snails. I'm also afraid to use meds in the tank because I don't want to lose my cycle.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:06 PM   #2 
LeoTheLakerBetta's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: You tell me.
Ok first off your nitrates are pretty high. Try to do a bigger water change to take care of that. I would go for a 100% change. As for your tank it is pretty overstocked. Snails can, surprisingly, have pretty large bioloads and for a 6.6 gallon 10 snails is probably pushing it.

Keep your betta in quarantine so if it is fungal, it won't spread. I'm not exactly what kind of disease it could be, maybe someone else could pitch in there. If it happens to be external parasites, I would get Kordon Rid Ich Plus which in my experience is great in treatment for its purpose. I wouldn't start meds until someone smarter than me confrims what is wrong with him. The discoloration of gills makes it sound like ammonia burns, but I am no pro at that either.

Basically, keep your betta in QT for now.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:12 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Hi Leo thanks for the feedback. Actually I've been told that anything lower than 40ppm for NitrAtes is in the safe zone. Can anyone else confirm this for us? Thanks.

Also, his gills are not discolored or inflamed, I just think there may be a white spot NEAR his gill.

I've also searched and everything I've found regarding MTS say they have such a low bioload they aren't even considered when stocking a tank.

I guess we need confirmation on this too.

I don't mean to disagree, just trying to sort it out. Thanks for the input!

Last edited by Greylady; 10-24-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:29 PM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
IMO/E-your nitrates and stocking are both fine, however, IME with the zebra snails-awesome snails-but mine ate plants-they would chop them down like trees-especially the hygrophilia-like wisteria and the giant hygro. I hope you have a better experience with yours-I had to evict

The white line-is this sticking out or is it flush...If its sticking out it might be flukes-especially since he is flashing too. Sometimes you can't see them in the gills-Can you tell if he hits his head/gill area first or it more of his body when he flashes.

For flukes-I QT and use Aq-salt 2-3tsp/gal with tannins-premixed to use for the water changes and add fresh crushed garlic to the diet. If I can see the flukes I will manually remove them with tweezers-but you have to be careful especially in the gills-When you remove flukes they have a hook that will sometimes take a piece of flesh with it when you remove them and too much in the gill can kill the Betta.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:20 PM   #5 
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Hi OFL, thanks for responding! . Bummer about the Zebra snail! And I thought I'd remembered to cover all the bases before deciding to get one, totally forgot about the plants! Oh well, I will definitely keep my eye plants are doing so well too..
I got it because I'm having issues with the green spot algae and it's really hard to get off the glass, I end up using a paper towel wrapped around my fingernail and going at one spot at a time, takes forever. The MTS just go right over it, they're doing a great job with the brown stuff though!

Anyway...the spot/line I thought I saw on Gandalf doesn't seem to be there anymore and he hasn't flashed since I put him in the QT, although there really isn't anything to "bounce" off off, which is kinda what he does. The line I thought I saw was not sticking out, it may just be one of his scales that is exceptionally iridescent. He's so many colors now, and iridescent, white, light blue/grey, pale purple, peach,'s so hard to tell what's "normal" for him anymore. I think the reason this one kept catching my eye is it's in with a lot of the red that has started to creep down his body from his head.

When he does do it it's definitely his body I assume he's trying to scratch. He'll swim up to something really fast, like his log that sticks up to the surface, then just before he gets to it he curves his body so the his side will hit the log. It's sort of like he's trying to "bounce" off it.

It's frustrating because he keeps doing it, for a couple weeks now, yet there are no other signs of him being sick. He's active, he eats, his pop is normal.... it's almost like he's doing it for fun yet it looks so painful, it can't be good for him slamming his body like that. I'm at a loss.

So I did a 100% water chg in his QT this morning then added prime, aquarium salt and an IAL. There is nothing else in the tank but one silk plant to lay on and his heater. The temp is 83. He's acting normal if not a little bored, sort of just hanging out. Guess I'll just keep him him there for another couple days and see how it goes.

I took everything except the cryptocoryne out of his reg tank and stirred the sand really well, vacuumed all the water out, then added water back and did it again. Then put everything back so hopefully if there was something in there bothering him it is no longer there.

I just wish I could figure out why he is doing this???? Frustrating lol Do you know of any reason why he would be doing this, if it's not parasites? I mean it's not normal right?
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:30 AM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
If he is only flashing on might be normal itching...since they don't have fingers to scratch-they have to rub the itching spot on something.

Sometime high metals in the water can make them feel more itchy than normal-usually that will resolve once they adapt to the metal content and why you might want to limit any 100% water changes. Also, let the water run at the tap for a second or two to clear the pipes before you use it for the Betta-especially if you live in an older house/apt with older metal pipes.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:42 PM   #7 
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OK good to know that sometimes they will dart like that and may not necessarily have anything wrong. I will definitely run the water longer before filling the jugs for water changes as the building I'm in was built in '88. He seems fine now but I will probably keep him i his QT with the IAL for a cole more days just to be sure, also I want his reguar tank to settle after the 100% water change yesterday. I think I saw something mentioned about "removing heavy metals" on one of the water conditiner bottles but I'm not sure it was prime...I may check into that in case I do have hi metal content in my tap. Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:03 PM   #8 
Join Date: Apr 2012
just want to fine out if your betta recovered?
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