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Old 05-04-2013, 12:39 PM   #1 
DragonGirl
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I don't understand what's happening

Hi, I've never posted here before but I'm hoping I can get some help from betta experts. I'm just gonna fill out the info sticky.

Housing

What size is your tank? He is currently in a 10 gallon community. When these symptoms started he was housed in a heated, unfiltered 1 gallon bowl with regularly high ammonia. I initially believed his symptoms were ammonia burn or something but they've gotten worse since he's been moved to a cycled 10 gallon.
What temperature is your tank? 79 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes (bowl did not)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes (bowl was)
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Cardinal tetras, cory catfish, ghost shrimp

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food
How often do you feed your betta fish? Every day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 40-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? TetraAqua AquaSafe

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
pH: 7.6
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? I have had my betta Ghost since November. He is a cellophane double tail and when I got him his tail and fins were almost completely see through and nicely rounded. Over the last 3-4 months I have been noticing a very slow deterioration of my little guy's tail. It began by getting steadily darker (brown and black). The edges are getting ragged and the bottom of the bottom tail is black and wrinkled looking. The black/brown goes almost all the way to his body. The end of his body where his tail is has also been bloodshot on the top and just today I noticed that the area that is bloodshot has gotten much redder and spread to the bottom of his body as well. I attached a picture from about a month ago - the more recent ones are on my phone - but hopefully you can kind of see the brown on his tail and the black mess at the bottom. I'll try to get more pictures on here.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? I haven't noticed any change.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? Early February
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I tried a ten day salt treatment in his old bowl but it really just stressed him out and there wasn't any change.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? No

How old is your fish (approximately)? 6 months or more


Please help I don't know what to do for him this doesn't match anything I've found online.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #2 
Nicci Lu
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More current pictures would definitely help with a more accurate diagnosis. However, judging by your description I would say it's fin rot and septicemia caused by poor water quality. With the fin rot getting close to his body and the septicemia, I suggest starting him on meds ASAP. Kanaplex, Maracyn Plus, Furan-2 or Triple Sulfa, listed in order of preference. Unless you want to treat the whole tank (and I don't recommend this with your ghosties), he'll have to go back to the 1 gallon. I don't know why his ammonia was consistently high- I assume you know better now- but for the treatment to work, it's vitally important that his water quality be pristine. 100% water changes daily, or at least every other day. It would be a good idea to use Prime water conditioner- it detoxes ammonia for 48 hours. Also good to use for him: Indian almond leaves, or rooibos tea; StressCoat or StressGuard; a cave or plant cover so he feels secure.

I would act quickly on this.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:25 PM   #3 
DragonGirl
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Thank you so much for the reply!

Yeah he was in a 1 gallon bowl with a 100% water change every two weeks until January when I started researching and realized I was doing everything completely wrong. I tested the water just before the last water change on the bowl and it had 2 ppm ammonia. I think that's the highest it ever got but it was far too often.

Here's a picture of him from today he's been looking pretty bad this week. I'll go to the store tonight or tomorrow I can pick up a 2.5 gallon for quarantine should I still do 100% water changes every day on that? He gets really stressed out about water changes.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:26 PM   #4 
DragonGirl
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Sorry they're sideways I don't know how to change that...
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:03 PM   #5 
Nicci Lu
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He's a beautiful boy.

You could get away with a WC every other day. Many meds are dosed every other day, and it will make your life easier. Make sure and use Prime in case the ammonia does start to build up by the second day. Check his water params every day though just in case. What testing method do you use- strips or liquid? Liquid is much more accurate.

How do you do 100% changes? I've found the least stressful method is to scoop him up in a cup- the cup he came works great if you still have it, or a solo cup- leave him there until his new water is ready, and pour him back in adding as little of the old water as possible. Make sure the new water temp matches the old water temp.

When adding the meds, pre-dissolve them in a cup of tank water, and, when it's for the first time, add them slowly over a period of an hour.

I can see his septicemia is getting worse. Get the meds tonight. Septicemia is treatable, but not if it is too far gone.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:37 PM   #6 
DragonGirl
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Ok just went to petsmart and got the 2.5 gallon. I have a heater for it a home. Their medicine selection wasn't too good so I got triple sulfa. The directions say empty a packet for each 10 gallons then repeat after 24 hours then repeat twice more with 25% WCs for the last two. How do I tailor this to the 100% WCs I'll need to do?

I put him in the cup for WCs but he just thrashes around until he's back in the tank. I'll try an opaque cup maybe it'll calm him down.

Thank you so much I'd never even heard of septicemia I'm so glad I posted here.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:20 PM   #7 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Here is one way to treat the 2.5 gal tank:

Do you have a measuring cup and a 1 gal container?
  1. Run the tap until the water is the same temp as the tank water.
  2. Add 1 gal of water into the 1 gal container.
  3. Add enough TetraAqua AquaSafe to treat this one gal of water.
  4. Add the meds. Stir or shake until the meds are completely dissolved.
  5. Remove 32 ounces of water from the tank.
  6. Slowly add 32 ounces of medicated water.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:46 PM   #8 
DragonGirl
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So when I do a 100% WC do I add the dose for a 2.5 gallon or add to it? Because the directions say to basically compound the dosage every day but I need to do larger water changes because its not filtered
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:32 PM   #9 
Nicci Lu
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I have no direct experience with Triple Sulfa. However, I found a post on this by Tikibirds, a knowledgeable member of this forum.

Basically, dose according to LittleBlueFishlets' directions. 100% WC on day 1, then add the meds. Day 2, no WC, add the meds. On day 3, do a 100% WC, then add the meds. Day 4, no WC, add the meds. Day 5 the treatment is over, do a 100% WC. If he's still got the red streaks, do another round of Triple Sulfa.

His behavior is normal, so there's a good chance he'll recover. Keep us updated.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:31 AM   #10 
DragonGirl
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Ok today is day 2 of treatment. I just tested ammonia (with the api master liquid test kit) and it's zero so I'm not going to do a water change today. I put some anacharis in the 2.5 gallon with him will that be ok or should I remove it? Also, I've read a few places that aquarium salt helps should I add that too?

Thank you!
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