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Old 12-29-2012, 05:57 AM   #1 
Starfish1
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Help! White strings on crowntail's fins - fungus?

Hi, does anyone have any experience with white stringy looking things on betta's fins?

I'm having a tough time with my bettas lately, just lost a girl to what I think started as a bacterial infection during a power outage?? (different tank) and learned that even 75 degree room is a bit too cold for a betta, so I bought them all heaters last week. My crowntail looked just fine until I put his heater in, I have been watching them all VERY carefully the last 2 weeks. Put the heater between 78-80 degrees and a week later he has white strings hanging from his fins that weren't there before. His tail looks like it has gotten shorter but there are no dark areas or red areas anywhere. (his tail and fins are white). I did a search on here and found a thread that said it could be a fungus which thrives in warm water so I turned his heater down to 77 degrees, and there are larger white strings today. He doesn't seem to notice that anything is wrong.

I do have Tetra fungus guard here which on the label shows the same ingredients as Jungle fungus clear. But I wanted to check with other posters to see if this is definitely a fungus before I treat him.

Also, I should start daily water changes, right? And keep the water temp around 75-76?

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 76-77 degrees, was 78-80 before I turned it down yesterday
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No, but I have one I can use if I start medication.
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? flakes, pellets, freeze dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? every day w/ one day a week fast

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? every 5 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? about 80%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime, 1/2 tsp aquarium salt per gallon

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

Ammonia: I just did a water change when I noticed this, so I didn't check what the parameters were when this started happening!
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? white strings hanging from his fins, tail getting shorter but no dark or red areas, just strings
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? not at all, he doesn't notice
When did you start noticing the symptoms? last night
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? turned heat down to 77 after reading it could be a fungus that thrives in warm water.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? 6 mos



Last edited by Starfish1; 12-29-2012 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:26 AM   #2 
shellieca
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A pic would be helpful. Are they strings or are his fins shredded?
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:59 AM   #3 
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Finally figured out how to attach a picture! :) They're the whitish/gray looking strings attached on the end of his fins. The gray part is not his fins and any black you see is his coloring. The fins are white with a dusting of black throughout the fin.
Attached Images
  

Last edited by Starfish1; 12-29-2012 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:27 PM   #4 
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It looks like he's shedding his slime coat to me.. Water problem.

A 3 gallon without a filter needs 2 water changes a week - one 50% and one 100%. The 100% should include a thorough rinsing of the gravel and all other things in the tank.

Are you using a thermometer to monitor the temperature? Heaters are inaccurate and you must rely on an in tank thermometer to know the actual temp: http://www.amazon.com/Marina-Floatin...na+thermometer You also can't just pop it in and turn it up. The rapid temperature fluctuations are extremely hard on fish.. that alone could cause this. You should always give a new heater a 24 hour test run in a separate tank with thermometer to make sure it's not going to overheat and it's going to keep a steady temp. After that you must acclimate your bettas slowly.. no more than a degree or two per hour an no more than 5 degrees per day.

Your guy is skinny! What pellets are you feeding and how many is he getting per day ?I would stop feeding the flakes. I would feed the blood worms no more than once a week as a treat. Any freeze dried foods need a thorough soaking in a cup with some tank or otherwise dechlorinated water at least 10 minutes to avoid constipation. Good thing you're doing the fast day.

Do you usually put AQ in his tank or are you just doing that now? You can only use AQ up to 10 days or else you can harm your fish and even cause organ failure. If that's just habit I'd do a 100% water change now to get rid of it.

ETA:I see the thermometer now, that's good. The rest still applies. Let us know.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:00 PM   #5 
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yes, i tested all my heaters in a spare 3 gallon for a day each before putting any of them in with my bettas. they each have their own thermometer and i check them several times a day. the heaters have a BIG orange light when they're on so i can see if they are shutting off or not. i started them at the lowest setting and slowly turned them up over a day or two.
i feed them NLS pellets and they only get bloodworms once a week and then they fast the day after. what's wrong with flakes? i've had bettas who ate nothing but flakes and never had any problems before? i always look at their little bellies before feeding them to make sure they don't look like they need an extra fasting day.
this betta has kind of a weird shape, he's very long and thin shaped. i usually feed 2 or 3 pellets, i can try more but i get worried about overfeeding and swim bladder disorder. i've noticed some bettas can eat more than others without getting a full looking stomach.
i have always put aquarium salt in because i read on betta talk that it helps prevent diseases. what does everyone else do as far as aquarium salt goes?

what do you mean by shedding his slime coat? i've never heard of that before.. anyone else seen this on their betta?
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:12 PM   #6 
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Callistra, I Have a question on the kanaplex. I have only had one sick fish, which i think was due to the power outage/temp drop, but I want to order some meds to have on hand in case this ever happens again. I had been using tetracycline but as you said bettas tend not to like it very much, and my fish had a bad reaction. So i was thinking of ordering that kanaplex to have in case of emergency. Do they react better to this?

Also, update on my betta, i did his water change and it looks like just from the water moving around some of the nasty stuff came off and i lowered his temp to 78. I decided to do some salt for 10 days (or less if needed) After reading that you can treat mild fin rot with it. So far so good, gonna do another water change before bed and do them daily till he gets better. I did check his water quality after 3 days and ammonia nitrate and nitrite were all at 0 so that was good.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:43 PM   #7 
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NLS Betta requires a minimum of 5 pellets a day due to their small size. I feed 6-8 to my boys with one fast day a week. I split them up into at least 2 but sometimes even 3 smaller feedings. He looks malnourished to me and since I know your feeding habits now I'd say that's quite likely.

The flakes have a 3 fold problem in my eyes.. one you just plain can't keep all of it from falling to the bottom of the tank. Some of them dissolve. Some of them fall and get pinched in between the gravel. And all of this just leads to an increase in ammonia and makes the water quality harder to maintain. The other thing I don't like about them is their tendency to cause constipation issues. Some bettas can eat them fine and have no problems, but some even a small pinch and you've got a big problem. The third thing I don't like is all the fillers and artificial colors that are in them. None that I know of are made with 2 or more sources of whole fish, like the NLS and other good pellets are.

Little full/slightly round stomachs right after eating is normal. That's not swim bladder or constipation issues.

Aquarium salt use over long period of time can cause organ failure. It also means that when you get a real infection you can't use it as a treatment option because any bacteria present in the tank will already be resistant. Most fish keepers only use it to help with an actual current infection and only for 10 days at a time. I would do a 100% water change without the AQ.. he's already been on it too long. All that extra salt can also cause an increase in slime coat and he may just be shedding the excess.

How do you acclimate your fish after a water change? Do you use a thermometer to make sure the new water is the same temp as the old water? I've seen fish do this after a large water change when they weren't acclimated properly too.

My fish don't even bat an eye with the Kanaplex in their tanks. They don't stress at all.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:12 AM   #8 
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Actually he's been exactly the same size since I got him and when I first saw him I thought wow he has an odd shape! He's only been with me for two months I think? He has a very long body and i think that makes him look long and skinny but he's really a normal size. He is in no way malnourished!

6-8 pellets was what I fed to my giant betta and sometimes she even looked a little full. Any more than 3 and some of mine start to look not rounded but overly full. I think it's best to pay attention to how their belly looks and if it's too flat, feed them more and if its way too rounded, do an extra fast day. Not all bettas are the same body size, some have very long fins but are tiny, others are bigger. Not all bettas need the exact same number of flakes or pellets, they are all different. Some need more frequent smaller meals and some can do fine with a few bloodworms and not have a problem. I've had bettas for 7 years and i'm on number 14 in my lifetime so i can tell when they look full or when they look too flat in the belly. None of my bettas are malnourished, that's for sure!

Yes of course I put the same temp water in their tanks! And yes, thermometer. I would never put my bettas in freezing cold tap water!

I will do some more research on the aquarium salt. Some sites say add it every time and you'll never have a sick fish. Others say only use it when necessary. I personally have never had a problem with it and have used it with all my bettas for the past 7 years. there are times when they get a break from it if I forget to add it in.

When i feed flakes they eat them all right away so none fall to the floor. I feed them omega one betta buffet flakes which have 3 whole fish sources.


ETA: I think i know what you are talking about, the first picture cuts off so you can only see his tail, so if his whole body were the size of his tail, yes that would look skinny. When you're looking at him look at the second picture and you can see his size is normal he just has a small tail area.

Last edited by Starfish1; 12-31-2012 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:19 AM   #9 
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Feeding 3 normal sized pellets like Omega One, Aqueon, Hikari, etc is fine. But these NLS are half that size and if you're only feeding 2-3 you're under feeding for sure. That's like giving about 1 regular size pellet a day. Yeah, they can live on that but they'll be malnourished. It seems like you're mistaking a nice round full belly with stuffing your betta. You don't have to take my word for it.. lots of discussion across the internet in various fish forums about how much people feed.

Anyway, don't want to debate with you on stuff, just sharing info. Do with it what you wish. You ask for help but every time I share info you say you know better than I do soo.. I don't know what to say. :)

Last edited by callistra; 12-31-2012 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:27 AM   #10 
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I think my bettas are smaller bred than your bettas. Most of mine have mouths that are too small to even eat larger pellets like tetra min i would have to crush those. I've seen larger walmart or pet store bettas that could most definitively eat 5 pellets. My two crowntails came to me full grown from online and are a lot smaller, and will get constipated if they eat that amount.

There is no possible way you could tell me, without being in my house and feeding them and then see how each of their 6 bellies look after they eat. It would be impossible.
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