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Old 06-12-2013, 08:58 AM   #1 
blackcat
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Question Help-Nursing sick betta with discoloration

I recently got this betta from someone who no longer wanted him and did not treat him very well, so he has fin rot and possibly other illnesses. He was given to me rather abruptly, so I did not any supplies but am currently getting them. I am getting a 5 gallon tank with a built in filter and a heater at the very least and hopefully soon (they are being shipped). I will unfortunately have to do a fish cycle in the new tank and will be away for a week during the cycle. He is currently in his old set up in a presumably 1.5 gal tank; he used to have weekly 100 pwc. It has been a very long time since I had a betta, so I am using the previous owner's supplies. I would be grateful for any advice regarding bettas.

Housing
What size is your tank? 1.5 gal (estimated)
What temperature is your tank? room temp so around 76-77 F
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no (getting one soon)
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? no

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? aqueon color enhancing betta food (pellets)
How often do you feed your betta fish? once day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% once a week, 10-20% daily
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? top fin water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? no test kit and probably not getting one

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? scales are slowly changing color from black to white/ bad fin rot
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? occasional jerky/spazzy movements
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)? previous owner had him for 9 months

The blurry one is current and the other was taken by the previous owner when they first got him. (sorry for the bad quality, he doesn't like to have his picture taken and won't flare for the camera, he has relatively bad fin rot (especially on his pectoral and anal fins) and you can see the discoloration on his face)
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Last edited by blackcat; 06-12-2013 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:36 AM   #2 
NeptunesMom
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We'll it looks like you are off to a good start getting him into a 5 g with a heater. And you're caring for the 1.5 g really well too. I don't see anything in your care routine that stands out to me (except the things you are fixing).

When you clean out the tank describe your process for me step by step. Also, is the white fuzzy?
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:44 AM   #3 
blackcat
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For the 10-20% I just take a cup fill it with tap water, add the conditioner, and then let it sit for awhile to be room temp like the bowl. I use another cup to remove water and then gently pour in the new water. For the 100% I remove the decoration and use the cup from walmart (where the previous owner got him) to contain him while I clean the bowl. I just dump out the old water and rinse with hot water (along with the decoration), and then add the conditioner. I let it sit to reach room temp and then slowly put him back in.

Here is a better pic and the white/light blue is not fuzzy.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:15 AM   #4 
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I guess, I would start by tackling the fin rot. I'd pick up Stress Coat +, and aquarium salt. Add 1 tsp aquarium salt per g of water, and double dose the Stress Coat +. You'll do 100% water changes daily during this time. Do this for 10 days, and see if you notice improvement (you should see the black edges fall off, and the beginnings of new growth). If you do not see improvement then you may want to try an antibiotic, but that's a last resort kind of thing.

I would think that the chin is related to stress (unless anyone else has another idea). It could be he is too cold, or the fluctuations without a heater are causing stress. It could be something in the room is scaring him, or upsetting him. Does he have places to hide if he gets nervous? Also, what is the brightly colored thing behind him in those pictures?
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:43 AM   #5 
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The brightly colored thing is a "house" i guess. He can hide in it for the most part.
It's coral-like shaped, hollow and has many holes.
I'm going to get a new one soon so he can hide in and I won't worry about his fins getting damaged. some of the holes are kind of small. I'm not sure if he's scared or stressed by anything but when I get home I should probably move him to quieter room with more privacy.
I will start the fin rot treatment asap.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:46 AM   #6 
lilnaugrim
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Yes the white scale from chin to belly is a sign of stress as well.

Also a tip, if you've got a thermometer (which he'll need for the 5 gallon with the heater because they don't always work well) then you can run it under the tap to get exactly at 78 degree's for him instead of having to wait a while. Conditioner also works instantly so you could theroretically put him right in after that but make sure to acclimate him to the new water always.

So to do that, keep him in his cup and float him in the tank if you can. Otherwise just keep him close and spoon in 2 tablespoons every 10-15 minutes until his cup is nearing full again or it's been about 45 minutes and then you can gently release him back to his tank.

For the salt here's the steps you need to take to help him. So you want to use 1 teaspoon of Aquarium salt per gallon (not just any salt!) so if he's in a 1.5 then you use 1.5 teaspoons for that ratio. And don't worry, if it happens it's actually a 1 gallon, the 1.5 won't hurt him.

• Take a small cup and put some tank water or conditioned water into it.
• Measure out 1.5 teaspoons of salt.
• Mix around in the cup until you see absolutely no more crystals (it can still burn your fish).
• Add a tablespoon of the dissolved salt into your tank every 15 minutes so your fish can adjust to it. (If he's already in the tank, if he's not in the tank then go ahead and put it all in and then acclimate him to the new water)
• Once a day do a 100% cleaning.
• Re-add in the salt you took out. Salt does not evaporate so if you took out half of your water, replace 1.5 teaspoons of salt with the above method.
• Continue this for 14 days or until all the black edging goes away.

Salt will not heal his fins, it will just get rid of the rot. So to heal the fins you can use Stress Coat conditioner (which is a conditioner in and of itself so you don't need to use the regular one) at double the dose to heal his fins.

And for the 5 gallon you can get a product called Tetra Safe Start, not always guaranteed to work but it's basically Bacteria in a bottle. You pour it all in with your fish in there, keep the lights out for the two week period and don't do any water changes for two weeks. After that period is up your tank is cycled. That's just one thing you could do for him.

If you wanted to, you could do a Silent Cycle but it involves buying more stuff. Silent Cycle is basically shoving a bunch of plants in there and you never have to worry about your cycle! Basically the plants soak everything up but it slows the cycle down and you'll never see it, hence its called the Silent Cycle. For a 5 gallon, about 10-15 fast growers would be great! Plants like Anacharis, Anubias, Java Fern, Water Sprite and water wisteria are all super easy plants that basically demand nothing and grow on their own
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:17 AM   #7 
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Can I use aquarium salt without stress coat?
The stressbcoat is coming with the tank but I can get the salt today.
Also for cycling, I dont have a lot of time because I have to travel for a week soon. If I were to get plants for a silent cycle, which kind and how many?
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:21 AM   #8 
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You can start with the aquarium salt today. I did forget to mention, as lilnaugrim mentioned, you need to dissolve it first. I put it into a water bottle and shake it. It will help to get rid of the black dead flesh. Stress Coat + will encourage the growth of new healthy fins. So you can start it once you get the Stress Coat +.

ETA: I treated fin rot without Stress Coat for a long time, just with aquarium salt. It just helps speed up the recovery period though, which is nice for the fish and they seem to like it.

Last edited by NeptunesMom; 06-12-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:31 AM   #9 
lilnaugrim
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Yup you can treat without Stress Coat. Stress Coat is just for the healing part so you can use it with or without the salt. But to heal up the fins after the salt treatment, you use Stress Coat because it has Aloe in it

Also do not use any salt for more than 14 days at these dosages. AQ salt especially can do liver or kidney damage which would then be fatal to your fish. So no long term use but perfectly fine for 14 day treatments! You may not even have to go that long His rot doesn't look bad at all which is good.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:59 AM   #10 
blackcat
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Thankyou so much for your advice
Also can you tell me about plants for silent cycling?
)like which kind and how many?
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