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Old 12-24-2012, 12:32 AM   #1 
Prettyprada
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constipation and possible ich? help help help!

Hello everyone!
I know I've been constantly asking for advice on Prada, but I just want to learn as much as possible to ensure that he has the best care possible!

So I have now made it home (6 hr drive) and have purchased a small heater for his 1.5 gl tank, along with a thermometer. However, I think I got one with too low a wattage... it is only 7.5 watts. His tank temperature is barely reaching 70 degrees now... (it has been on for over an hour). I think he needs a stronger heater. What is the best wattage for 1.5 gl tank?

My main question is about constipation and ich.

He's been constipated. He hasn't eaten at all today. He attacked a freeze dried bloodworm, but kept spitting it out every time... :( he's been trying to eat his pellets, but always spits them out for the pas few days.
I read that 3 teaspoons of epsom salt per gallon, with a steady temp of 78-82 degrees and daily water change is a good treatment. Is this true?

Also, I think he got ich... :( I made the mistake of borrowing my roommates fish net to scoop him out if his tank and place him in his carrying container, and her fish is terribly sick.
But ever since I scooped him out, he's had this foggy looking white stuff under his head and it looks like its spreading to his belly. Is it possible he caught it from my roommate's fish? I read that one teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water with temperature of 85-88 degrees F for a week is good treatment. Is this true?

And if you all think it is indeed ich, which do I treat first? Constipation or itch? Or can they be treated simultaneously?

What size is your tank? 1.5 gl
What temperature is your tank? barely 70... need new heater.
Does your tank have a filter? not anymore.
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? none.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? omega one with topfin freeze dried bloodworms as treat
How often do you feed your betta fish? try to 2-3 pellets 2x per day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? every week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra BettaSafe Water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I don't have a water testing kit yet... :/

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? That little white hazey stuff under his head
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not eating as he used to. has not eaten at all today. Tried to attack blood worm, but kept spitting it out.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? few days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Pet store gave us "Tetra Ick Guard" to dissolve in his water. HOWEVER they did not tell us one tablet was for 10 gl. So we broke it up as best we could for 1 gl Don't think I'll continue this treatment.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None that I know of. Only had him for 3 weeks.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure. Full grown, though.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:16 AM   #2 
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The preset heaters work OK, I use one in a 1g QT tank when I need to but they don't let the temp go above 78 & if the water was really cool when you put it in it'll take quite a while to get there. What i do is a water change with warm water that way the heater doesn't have to work to get the temp up. Put laid on the tank if there isn't one but those heaters have difficulty maintaining the proper temp when the room temp gets cold.some of them say they only keep the water a couple degrees warmer than room temp. If you can get an adjustable heater that's best. As for Ich, does the white stuff look like speckles, like he has salt granules? If so that is Ich, if not he has something else. Ich can be treated with a temp of 86-88, but you'll need that adjustable heater & Aq salt. It could take longer than a week it just depends. I bought a female a week ago who had ich, i raised the temp in her 2.5 QT to 86, added 1 tsp aq salt & within a few days no more spots but I'll keep the temp for at least another week to be on the safe side. As for constipation, if that is what he has, fast him for 2-3 days & see if that works. He may not like the pellets you're feeding, they can be finicky eaters, don't feed the blood worms as his main diet, they don't have all the nutrition he needs. You can crush the pellets & see if that helps, you can soak them for a few minutes 1st & if feeding freeze dried always soak 1st. Plus his lack of appetite & activity is probably due to the cool water. Hopefully I covered your questions & didn't confuse you. Ask more if need be.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:36 AM   #3 
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Ok thanks! I think that covered it! My only questions would be what do I do if he still is constipated after the 3 day fast? (I know he is constipated because he hasn't pooed in a couple days and then finally made a strange ball looking poo)

The ich, however, I'm not sure. It's not really like grains of salt. It looks more like the color that lizards get when they shed in certain areas. (I don't know if that makes any sense)
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:54 PM   #4 
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If he pooed a ball then he shouldn't be constipated any longer but fast him for a couple days which may entice him to eat the pellets because he's hungry. The epsom salt treat is a laxative & should unplug him if you think he's still plugged up. He could be losing his slime coat, are you using a water conditioner? Does it say anything about promoting slime coat? Can you possibly get a pic?
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:34 PM   #5 
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Well he has pooed 2 balls withing the past 4 or 5 days. During which he has only eaten about 4 pellets total.
Yes, I use betta safe water conditioner. I don't see anywhere where it says that it promotes a slime coat. What other conditioner should I get him?
Yes, I will get a picture later on tonight (not home right now). He's been hiding in his cave all day today :(
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #6 
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Ich is a sprinkling of salt-like stuff on the body. It does not appear from your description this is ick.. If he's grey under his belly this is a sign of stress. It could also be a sign of gut infection if the constipation has gotten too bad or too chronic

Balls are constipation, but not necessarily infection. Being so cold will lead itself to this. Also if you're feeding freeze dried foods you need to presoak them very well or they'll lead to constipation too. Blood worms should only be fed as a treat no more than once a week and then only one or two a time. Otherwise he needs a good quality pellet and one fast day a week. Sounds like you've got a good quality pellet and the blood worms are already being used as just treats. What color is the poop?

I like Prime in smaller containers because it will render ammonia harmless in ways your conditioner won't but your conditioner is okay for the basic job it does. You don't need to switch if you don't want to, but imho Prime is a better choice.

He really needs to be warmed up to 76-82 (78-79 is a sweet spot for most) and he needs a minimum of a 2 gallon.. additionally two water changes are really needed.. one 50% and one 100%.

I agree epsoms, increased heat and increased water changes are what he needs at this point. If the balls are white or clear and not pellet colored then he may have an internal infection and medication may be necessary, but I'd start with the former.

Last edited by callistra; 12-24-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #7 
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Yeah the only way for us to be sure it's ick is a picture and I dont know but 88 degrees sounds to hot to me. 82 epsom salt and ick guard for a week is all I needed to do to treat ick. Without medicine ick is usually fatal.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:13 PM   #8 
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Ahh!! I had a whole comment typed up replying to everything... My phone deleted it. Here goes try #2
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:19 PM   #9 
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Yes, I agree it is not ick. I checked him today and his color is back to normal. I'll post pictures when I figure out how to post them in comments, and when I'm on the computer.

Yep, bloodworms are strictly for treats with him!

His heater only heated up to 75/76 :( I will have to wait until after Christmas to exchange it I suppose... Is there a certain kind I can get from petsmart? (This is makeshift until I can buy one that a betta keeper recommended online)

As for his poo, I have a picture that I will also post later (it is on an older thread of mine from when he first started doing it). But it looks white/clear. Sort of mucousy. Callistra, you said this may be infection?

And yes, he will be getting a 2 gl soon with sponge filter. I'm just doing what I can right now with tight budget during the holidays, etc.
The traveling is probably what got him stressed out :(
(disclaimer* it was not my intention to have to bring him with me over the holidays. The people who were suppose to take care of him flaked out on me. I had no choice).
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:26 PM   #10 
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Yes, the constipation has definitely led to an internal infection. Due to the nature of the infection (starting with constipation) it is most likely bacterial in nature and not parasidic. To treat you want epsoms and a good internal antibiotic like Kanaplex or Maracyn Plus.

I honestly haven't had much experience with putting a heater in something that small. I've always been afraid to due to the risk of them overheating the bowl or failing all together and frying the fish. Definitely make sure you get one of those internal glass tank thermometers to monitor temps. I know Marina makes some little ones that are supposed to heat to 78 and shut off.

If you want to filter it then get a 5 gallon. There's not much point in filtering a 2 gallons because it's too small to maintain a good bb supply and the added water movement might stress him out. You can get a 5g tank with a sponge filter if you want though, and then you can get a good adjustable 50w heater. Cycling will take 3-8 weeks and require very careful monitoring with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate drops test kit and frequent water changes if you're doing the fish in cycle or you can use a fishless cycle: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838 2 gallons is just minimum, and even if you add a sponge filter it will still need the weekly 100% change. You can get a 25w adjustable for that size though so it will be easier to heat up. They have little standard rectangular 2.5g tanks at petco (and probably other places) that have better/wider swimming are are easier to decorate than a 2 gallon bowl shape would be.

Last edited by callistra; 12-24-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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