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Old 12-12-2012, 04:21 PM   #1 
kirbomatic
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Unhappy DESPERATELY Need help! Constant problems since October - Betta won't get better

Okay. I got my fish in September, and for a while he was okay, but then he started exhibiting signs of fin rot. No matter what I did, it wouldn't go away. His fins just keep getting more raggedy.

Symptoms:
1. Dulled colors, a weird grey patch on dorsal fin (not fuzzy or raised, just like, colored that way.
2. (2 months ago) A rip down his tail fin caused by a decoration that has since been removed, then two, as well as a couple on his lower fin.
3. (Since 3 months ago) VERY Slow, U-shaped receding that starts with greying of the edges and then just falls off.
4. (Since 2 months ago) Reddening of the lower fin (but no hemorrhaging)
5. (Since 2 months ago) Greying of the stomach.
6. (Since a month or two ago) Yellowing of the head, stomach, BASE ONLY of pectoral fins, and all of ventral fins, but not body, even under a flashlight.
7. Swim bladder a couple times a month ago but seemed to clear, but now he has a bit of a bloat.
8. WITHIN THE LAST WEEK: Long, white poop (looks more mucous-y (fuzzy) than just white). I know that is usually internal parasites, but I have no plants and I've been feeding him dry pellets and sometimes freeze dried bloodworms, and I don't have live plants.
9. He's always darted around the front of the tank back and forth, but I thought it was just his reflection, especially since I've never seen him try to scratch himself on anything.

I'm just at a loss because I feel like no matter what I do, he gets worse, and I can't figure out what's wrong with him. I suspect a bacterial (perhaps aeromonas, particularly stubborn strain) infection, rather than a parasite, though a parasite could have happened before I got him. It would explain why anything would have progressed so slowly. I got him from PetSmart and I wouldn't think they'd have given him food with parasites in it either.

Any help would be appreciated, particulary diagnosis and a suggestion of treatment, but bear in mind that I've done just about everything to no avail.

TREATMENTS DONE (in chronological order NOT AT ONCE):
Aquarium Salt a few times in the past
Maracyn 2 1x
Triple Sulfa 1x
CopperSafe 2x (since stopped because I don't think he has velvet and because it's too harsh)
Maracyn 1 & 2 - 2x
Darkened tank, Coppersafe (once again, since stopped), and raised temp to 82* from 80*
I understand I may have overmedicated, but now I know something is wrong and am at a loss for what to do.

Quote:
Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 82* Fahrenheit
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? I use the spray bar from the filter to move water
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets and the occasional freeze dried blood worm and VitaChem once daily
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets soaked in vitachem in the morning and 2 in the evening, 1 fasting day per week.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 33%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Amquel, NovAqua, and VitaChem

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: <.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
pH: 7
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment ALL ANSWERED ABOVE
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him in September perhaps a little less than fully grown, so 3 months with me
Picture progression:
9/17/2012:


10/8/2012:


11/1/2012:


11/13/2012:


11/21/2012:


11/26/2012:


12/1/2012:


12/12/12: (Today)

Bloat




Bloat and poop in tank


Yellowing of head and fins


Yellowing/Whitening of belly and fins but not body


White poop in a blue cup once removed with a turkey baster

Thank you for any help!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:02 PM   #2 
MSG
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Good pictures.

You should be careful with the medication unless you're SURE your betta is sick.

In some of your photos, your water looks murky/cloudy. None of my tanks ever look cloudy.

Also if his face gets a bit lighter, that's sometimes normal. They can change colors due to genetic factors. Nothing bad. I wish my darker bettas would lighten up like that. They're so dark I can't see their little faces.
  • How often do you change out your filter media?
  • What are you using for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate tests?
  • What brand pellets are you feeding?
  • I see your heater, but do you have a thermometer in your tank?
  • How long did you do this for? Darkened tank, Coppersafe (once again, since stopped), and raised temp to 82* from 80*


Not sure why you think it has aeromonas, I would suspect velvet based on your last photo.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #3 
kirbomatic
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I've always been sure he was sick, just not sure with what. I keep being sure he has this or sure he has that, and it just never seems to be the case.
The water is cloudy from medication.
Maybe, but what about the yellowing? And I've read that their stomachs becoming white is a bad thing..

I don't really change my filter media, just swish it in a cup of removed tank water for a couple seconds. My filter isn't sold anymore (tom mini internal filter). It uses a sponge. I've been told you shouldn't change the media because it will remove most of the beneficial bacteria.

The pellets are Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bits

I do have a thermometer in the back that I check multiple times per day.

I did all the velvet things for 2 weeks.

I thought maybe aeromonas because of the fin rot, bloat, and white poop. But I thought not because it'd be more aggressive than that, and I don't think he has hemorrhagic septicemia, but I thought maybe he had just septicemia with the red streaking. I thought parasites because of the same things, plus the fact that whatever he has is so slow.

He's had the yellow on him for over a month though, wouldn't it kill him if it was velvet? Plus it doesn't seem to cover his entire body, and it's not granules-looking, just sparkly.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:27 PM   #4 
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The last photo you posted shows something wrong, but I can't tell what is going on.

When I feed TF Color Enhancing BB's it doesn't look like the last photo at all.

The filter question was sort of a trick. Rinsing out in siphoned tank water is RIGHT, however the physical size of your filter media in the TOM is very TINY.
  • You may want to get an extra sponge filter so you can grow more beneficial bacteria to consume the ammonia.
I don't see any yellow from your pictures, and I find all my fish glisten somewhat when I shine a flashlight on them.

Your velvet treatment should have worked. Not sure what else to tell you. 2 weeks is more than enough time.
  • Remove your betta & completely ELIMINATE all sources of light to the tank for 2-3 days to KILL off velvet.
  • Absolutely no light whatsoever & raise the tank temperature to 86 degrees & higher.
Other than the last photo & the fin rot, your betta looks healthy.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:37 PM   #5 
kirbomatic
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Yeah, his poo used to be orange or green, just like the pellets, but now...white, and i have no clue why.

Even though it's rated for up to 5 gallons?

I don't know, his head gets yellowish. More rusty than anything, especially his lower fin. That's why I stopped with the treatment; because I didn't think it was velvet anymore. :/

Yeah, the last photo is most recent. He's just bloating up and his belly's getting whiter as is his poo. I don't really know either, but I appreciate your help.

Also I meant to mention that the kit I use for testing the water is API's Master Test Kit.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:52 PM   #6 
SuperNoob
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i just bought a Tom mini filiter from amazon and they have refills.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...ni%2Caps%2C139

But your right you dont really have to change it if it isnt messed up.

Maybe you should try a diet change like frozen brine shrimp. Maybe the color enhancing food is changing his colors adversely.

But I agree that your betta doesnt look sick from the pictures. You should see my betta......I have a post called white patches, puffy eyes on here and have been getting much needed help from the experts here.

Last edited by SuperNoob; 12-12-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:06 PM   #7 
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Sounds like you're doing everything right.

  • Make sure before you do the water tests to shake up your API test solution BOTTLES really well for a good 30-60 seconds before dispensing into the test tubes.
Having more spaces to grow BB is only going to help stabilize the water in your tank. Personally I use 10x the amount of filtration media for my 5G tank.

Send a quick message to Sakura to see what she thinks. I'm curious to find out what's the real deal with your betta.

Your food isn't the greatest, but based on the amount you're feeding it shouldn't cause your betta to bloat.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:42 PM   #8 
Sakura8
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Hi kirbomatic, I have received your message. Your betta is a very handsome fellow but I can see the deterioration in his fins.

Although you have no live plants, it is still possible for a betta to have internal parasites. Fish naturally have some parasites always present in and on their bodies and on a daily basis they do no harm but when a fish becomes stressed or for any reason the immune system crashes, the parasites are able to take over and become a problem.

Based on the bloating and the stringy poo, I suspect your fellow does indeed have tapeworms and possibly some external parasites as well such as skin flukes (which are invisible to the naked eye). I recommend putting your guy in 3 tsps of epsom salt, which you can get at any drug store or pharmacy. Just make sure it has no added dyes or scents. The medication you will want to try is API General Cure.

The yellowing of his head and fins is most likely a natural change in color. While velvet is often described as "gold dusting" on the fish, it always presents as distinct little spots that are easy to distinguish from one another instead of the gold your guy has, which looks more like it was spray painted on.

Vita-Chem is a good product and will definitely help boost his immune system. If you can find it, Seachem Garlic Guard will also help as garlic has a few properties in it that might be antiparasitic (tests are inconclusive but garlic is still good for the fish).
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:56 PM   #9 
kirbomatic
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Yikes! I just want him to be better. Poor little guy, he's been through so much...

Ok, for the epsom salt, do you mean 3 tsp per gallon or just 3 tsp? Also should that just go in his regular tank or in a hospital tank and for how long? And definitely General Cure over Parasite Guard? It's so difficult knowing the right thing to do. Believe me, I'd love nothing more than to stop medicating him; it's stressful on both of us, not to mention my wallet haha. He's my first fish and I just want to do right by him. I feel like I've been doing an uphill battle since I got him! I hope this works, because I'm pretty sure I've treated for anything else that it could possibly be, I just couldn't wrap my head around a parasite for some reason, but you telling me it can still happen despite dry food and fake plants both stresses me and puts me at ease, because I feel like I could maybe finally be onto something here, thanks to you guys.

Alright, it's settled then. I have to unfortunately wait until tomorrow for the medication since the pet store effectively closes in 4 minutes, but I will keep everyone posted. Fingers crossed!

Thank you everyone for all your help :)
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:02 PM   #10 
Sakura8
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3 tsps per gallon. I know it sounds like a lot but since epsom salt isn't really a salt but magnesium sulfate, it won't have adverse affects. It's mild and will act as both a laxative to help him expell the worms and to leach out the excess fluid that may be building up in his system. It should go in his hospital tank.

Depending on the size of your hospital tank, you may find General Cure easier to dose than Parasite Guard. PG is a fizzy tab that can be hard to divide if your tank is less than the 10gals the tab is dosed for. With General Cure, you fill a jug or something with 5 cups of dechlorinated water and add the packet of powder. Mix well then add 1/2 cup of the medicated water for every 1 gallon of his hospital tank. So if his tank is 2 gallons, you'd add 1 cup of medicated water. 2.5 gallons, you'd add 1 1/4 cup.

Yeah, it can be very frustrating (and expensive) when a fish is sick and you can't quite figure out why. In the future, if you're ever in doubt as to what may be causing your fish to be ill, start with either epsom salt if the fish is bloated or has stringy poo OR AQ salt if the fish has open sores or appears itchy. That will help keep things in check until you can get someone's opinion on what the illness might be.

Good luck with your guy, keep us updated, and welcome to the forum. :)
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