So, I have this gorgeous, delta-tailed betta named Eli. Heís come down with ick. Iíve treated him for it using QuickCure by APPro, Jungle Lifeguard All-in-One, and some aquarium salt. Iíve done a 100% water change and used hot water to clean the tank. His filter works well and the heater works well too, but my house is a little cold right now so itís keeping the tank at about 78degrees.
He lives in a 10gal, divided in half for his tank mate, Bones.
Iím not so worried about the ick, since Iíve done all I can do (Right?? >.<). I am, however, worried about his behavior right now. Heís sort of lying at the bottom of his side of the tank with his nose pointed down. I've included a picture (though itís not very good) of what I mean. I read that it might be dropsy, but he has neither the pine-cone scales nor the bloating.
I know itís probably not a good sign, but is it a HORRIBLE sign? One in which I should probably prepare for the worst, maybe? =/
Thank you for any and all help regardless of the outcome.
My Mako got ich when he was very young, and it promotes very depressing behaviour.
I used a parasite / fungus guard (As recommended by the breeder), but it's best to use something specifically for ich / parasites. A combination of aquarium salt and higher temperatures of water (Up to 90F) will promote a better immune response and more positive behaviour from your fish. When I brought my tank temperature to 90F, Mako didn't show physical signs of improvement or worsening, but his attitude was much better, and he swam around more calmly. This also stopped his scratching.
Ich is persistant, so you need to keep up the temperature, medication, and clean water for at least a week. You may not see any changes or improvement until after a week has gone by. Some people, including a vet that I talked to, say that 90F is too high a temperature (This vet did not specialize in fish, but owns bettas herself.) Because I was able to keep my temperature constant, it worked for me. If you are unable to keep your temperature constant, or if your betta has a bad reaction to it, then I'd say don't attempt. Although I'm speaking from experience, always use your best judgement.
Also, the reason I used a parasite / fungus guard is because Mako was young, and I suspected that he would contract other illnesses while his immune system was impacted from the ich. If your betta is prone to illness, or is showing signs of other sicknesses, you may want to get a double-cure medication. It is up to your judgement.
Ick is an opportunistic infection that presents itself with the fish's immune system because weak from stress or chronically poor water conditions.
The best way to remove it is by boosting the fish's immune system - by removing potential stressers - make sure he has plenty of hiding places and warm clean water, good nutrition etc. Also boosting his immune system using vitachem or garlic guard is also good.
As for the ick itself, raise the tank temp slowly - a degree or two per hour and stop if you see signs of stress into the 86-88F range. If yo do this slowly enough over a few days he should have zero issues. Leave it there at least one week past the last sign of ick, and a minimum of 2 weeks. Adding aquarium salt at 1 tsp per gallon for up to 10 days might help too. You only redose salt along with a water change, and then only add back as much as water you actually replace.
How exactly have you been doing these water changes?
what filter are you using and how do you maintain it?
How have you been changing his water during cycling?
While Eli seems to do well with changes and the like, his tank mate, Bones, does not do so well and get stressed out easily. Bones currently has a bit of finrot and ick, so I decided the all in one would do best and just treat them both at the same time for anything and everything. Should I go ahead and separate them into different 1gals for now?
I went out to buy another heater for the tank today so I could maybe keep it warmer, but I'm not sure how that will work, lol. I can't turn the heater up in my room anymore though. I'll die xP
Thank you for the good wishes!
I do 100 % changes once a day, putting the fish in the cups I originally bought them in that I saved for tank cleanings (I usually clean the tank every two weeks). I wash the tank with hot water and use a Top Fin Cleaning Rag to wipe it down.
I have the Whisper In-Tank 10i. I change the filter monthly.
There's no point in changing 100% water in a 10g daily. Maybe 100% once a week would even be high. If you aren't using the in tank thermometer to match the temp of the new water exactly and include an acclimation period where you float for an hour and slowly add new tank water every 10 minutes then you're probably causing more stress than good.
Okay will wiping down the tank like that kills all your beneficial bacteria, and cycle.. if you replace all the media in the filter monthly that again kills it off.. So basically you are never going to be able to cycle your tank this way.
It would be better to separate them, but Callistra has a good point. If you don't have a thermometer, you might end up shocking or stressing out the fish. And heaters in 1 gals. require a lot of monitoring. Not saying it can't be done, I managed it in a half gal. tank, but you would definitely need a thermometer. You would also need a heater specifically for the 1 gal. tanks, and those can be unreliable. Again, I did it with my half gal. tank, so it's not impossible.
Heating the room works well for smaller tanks, it's what breeders do. However, it would still be hard to be sure you're achieving the desired temperature without a thermometer.
I don't know how well the fish can recover when they're both in the same tank. Mine was quarantined. However, since they are in the same tank, you may need to do daily, very small sweeps of the floor with a waste remover (Looks like a turkey baster) because the white cysts will fall off the fish as they get better, and unless they are picked up, they hatch into eggs and re-infest your tank. Not only have I seen this myself, but I have read it in various betta pet owner manuals. Even if it doesn't happen to you, it's worth it to do that small bit of cleanup every day while they're sick, or every other day depending on how much the waste remover stresses them out (Mako used to try to swim into it when I first used it, so I had to be careful). If you don't have a waste remover, I would suggest getting one, it makes water changes so much easier. It's $3 over here, so it shouldn't be too expensive where you are.
Keep up the good work, hopefully the fish get better soon!
Thank you, Callistra, for the cycling and filter guides.
My bad, I should have said that I do have a thermometer for the tank. However, the temperature stays between 76-78F. I'm not exactly sure how to raise the temperature without buying another (more expensive?) heater and/or adding another heater to my own bedroom.
I’ve gone ahead and quarantined the two into separate 1gals.
I’ll go ahead and pick up a waste remover though.
Thank you so much for all your help.
It's a good thing you have a thermometer! :)
Because the fish have ich, and it's very contagious, if you're gonna use the thermometer to check both tanks, you may want to rinse them in hot water and / or with salt before you check each tank (Unless you have two thermometers). Same thing with the waste remover if you are only going to buy one.
When i had Mako in the half gallon tank, I had a temperature log next to it so I could track the temperature. You definitely don't have to do this, but monitoring will probably be helpful because these tanks are so small. The log helped me better predict exactly how long the heater had to be on to reach the desired temperature, and how long it could be unplugged before the temperature dropped. I never had a temperature flux once. Thankfully, I was on summer vacation, so this worked for me because I had a lot of time to devote to it. Definitely use your own judgement, as you know best how your tanks and heaters work.
I'm sure the little guys will be better soon, good luck to them and you!