I woke up this morning and noticed a few thread like strings attached to four of his lower fins. It's only visible under sunlight. He isn't swimming as much as yesterday. There's nothing on his body or mouth though. Is that cotton wool disease?
Nope, he's shedding his slime coat. It often happens when you use salt in the water on the freshwater fish. What it's doing is aggitating the slime coat so that your fish is now overproducing his slime coat so in order to get rid of the old slime coat, he sheds it. That's what you're seeing now. Perfectly normal and he'll be fine Now if you start seeing slimy patches on his body, then that would be more something like a Body Slime Infection but I'm certain he doesn't have that
Cottonmouth or Columnaris would appear as cottony balls or tufts on him and his fins. Some strains are easier to treat than others, often I find if the columnaris is on the fins, it's easy to treat with AQ salt and after a few days they're good to go again. but anyway it doesn't appear stringy so that's not what he's got ^_^
it was his slime coat, the strings disappeared when I came to take photos of it. I'm slightly going paranoid because of the cyst! I took some more photos of him today, the bulge is still there. I'm going to do his second water change now.
Hmm his fins are lookin a bit ragged as well, poor dear. You can use some Stress Coat to help heal those tears up, it contains Aloe Vera in it which helps heal the fin membrane very well It takes time but it will heal quicker with Stress Coat if you can find it.
You're right, his fins aren't in the best condition. I've started using API stress coat since Monday. How long does it usually take for his fins to become healthy again?
He does have a submersible eheim heater in his aquarium and a water filter. I don't know if that's the best heater to use because I feel like the water temperature fluctuates a little more than it should.
Right now he's in a 5 Gallon tank, but I'm planning to move him into a bigger tank so he has more space to swim in. I just hope he pulls through this :(
Is it an adjustable one? Eheim is usually a really great company to get things from, and 5 gallons is totally awesome for one fish! But if you feel he needs more room, I'm sure he won't complain ^_^
As for fin growth, it depends on the fish and their age. A younger fish will regenerate their fins quicker than an older fish. Also their diet, a good diet which what you've been doing looks great, will stimulate fin growth as well as clean, warm water and Stress Coat.
Generally I find that most tears will heal within about 2 weeks because it just needs to stitch back together basically. But when it comes to tears and chunks that have been taken out, it takes a lot longer to heal because it needs to regrow the whole fin. So my boy in my avatar, Rembrandt, actually had bitten a chunk from his tail fin in frustrate a while ago and it took him just about two months to fully heal, one month it looked pretty good but still was missing a little at the end to complete his full halfmoon form. He's about 11 months old at this point so he's almost a year old! (wow crazy how time flies!)
So since he does look just a tad older I speculate that it will take about 2-3 weeks for that first tear to heal but that second one looks like a whole ray was taken out so that will take a little while longer. But as I said, good, clean, warm water is key as well as their diet and keeping them comfortable and he'll be right as rain soon!
Yes it's an adjustable one. My aquarium tank is circular so I feel something which is wider would allow him more room to swim. I got Papadoupolos in August, 2012, when he was little, so I'm sure he's a year old now.
Yikes! I had no idea betta's can bite their own fins off!! Right now I'm using Hikari betta pellets - I think I should perhaps add more variety to his diet.
Thank you so much for all your help! This is my first betta and I really want him to be happy. I hope he gets better soon :)
Yeah they can! They're very talented little suckers lol, it's unfortunate though when they do because they usually have gorgeous finnage and then they ruin it!
But anyway, yes a varied diet will certainly be a good step forward. You wouldn't like to eat broccoli your whole life right? So your Betta would like variety as well As far as food goes you want things that don't have many fillers in it like wheat, corns and soybean products. You look at the first three ingredients to see the most important ingredients. Like Omega One is super good because their first three ingredients are: Whole Salmon, Halibut, and Shrimp so you see no fillers in the first three, that's what you look for. Even if it has one filler in the first three, it's better than most food. Like New Life Spectrum which is: Whole Antarctic krill meal, whole herring meal, whole wheat flour. So only one filler which isn't too bad, most NLS also contains garlic to help ward off internal parasites as well so that's good.
I'm sure he'll be getting better soon! I know the lump isn't going to be fun for him but it shouldn't be fatal at the moment, let me know if it changes; get's bigger/smaller.
I've ordered the food you mentioned for him! I wanted to update you about his condition. His swelling hasn't become bigger or smaller as far as I can tell. I've cut back on his food as well and he's become a lot more hyper! He literally jumps out of the water when I feed him to catch his pellets even before it lands into the water. He does summersaults in the water when it's feeding time - I've really never seen him so active - I don't know if he's doing this out of hunger. He swims around a lot more and his fins are already mending! I'm still doing 100 percent water changes daily and this thursday will be the 7th day. Should I still be worried about the bulge on his right side since there hasn't been any changes yet?
No he's just really happy! Being overfed all the time can make him feel lethargic and not active, same as it does in humans. So now that he's getting the right amount and with good water changes, he's so much happier!
If there hasn't been changes to the bulge then keep the AQ treatment up until 14 days, if you see his bulge getting bigger than immediately stop. AQ salt actually makes them retain fluid so I was worried about him swelling or anything to the AQ salt but if you haven't seen any effect then he's sure to be fine. But if there was a reaction to it then you just stop the AQ salt, give a full days rest of all salts and then switch to Epsom salt which is used as a laxative so that he can release his fluids, you see?
It might be worth a try to do an Epsom treatment after all the AQ treatment and his fins are all settled. If the Epsom doesn't help then there's really nothing you can do for the bulge, it doesn't look tumor in nature to me so if it is a cyst then you just have to watch out for it popping is all. But he should be okay