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Old 03-31-2009, 03:48 PM   #1 
Virus
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Exclamation I have a very ill Betta on my hands.. )':

He has a bad case of the following; velvet, ich, bloating/constipation, finrot, a fungal infection, pop-eye and I think his scales are about to all fall off.. they got all raised and he looks like a pinecone from the top.. idk what this is.. I'm treating him with aquarium salt, and some betta meds from the store. I don't know what else I can do for him.. His scales are shedding and it looks like he's going to explode. My poor fish.. I feel horrible.. There are also some bug-looking things swiming about his tank and a few on him. idk what this is either..




what did I do to this fish??
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:21 PM   #2 
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Pictures please so that we may further help you identify what all your fish truly has. A list of precisely which 'meds' he is being dosed with would also be very helpful.

The 'pinecone' like habit of raised scales is known as dropsy, it is more a symptom of another problem than a disease itself. Popeye is also generally a symptom of another disease, not one itself.

I'll not post more until I have a bit more information to go, as I can't really recommend anything more safely until I know what else is going on.
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:31 PM   #3 
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Isn't dropsy deadly?? I just googled it and it says he's going to die.. )',:
He's getting Pimafix and Melafix as well as the aquarium salt.
My camera got dropped in my Oscar's tank(brothers) and my cell phone doesn't have a camera.
I could find pictures of everything he has on the internet, though, if you'd like..
There's a piece of his tail Ijust removed from the bottom of the tank that's apparently fallen off. I also remove scales constantly.
I can't tell if it's velvet, ich, or a fungal infection, but around the mid-back half of his body, it's sunken in noticeably. the middle is gold with white tint and the edges are white.
His gills are now translucent although it looks like they used to be black. They don't close all the way either.
The temp in the tank is 80 degrees farenheit and water parameters are normal.
What did I do to this poor fish..? I feel horrible..
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:24 PM   #4 
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If a fish exhibits dropsy it does have an extremely high mortality rate, yes.
Are there any particular lumps or bumps anywhere on this fish (not counting raised scales)? Unfortunately usually when fish start exhibiting this many different parasites and dropsy it often also means that they are having organ failure, often multiple organ failure. Liver tumors unfortunately do occur fairly frequently in bettas, and I'm afraid this is totally incurable, and absolutely fatal.

The unfortunate problems with both Melafix and Pimafix are that they are simply extracts from various trees native to a betta's wild habitat which help neutralize many of the bacteria there. However, these meds are best as preventative measures I've found, and in my personal experience, once the fish is ill, these are pretty much useless. Maybe someone else who has had better luck with them can help.

So let us go down the list, although I will go ahead and say right now, it is not looking good for your fishy that he is displaying this many issues. His odds of making it through this are not great.

Velvet - best recommendations are to keep up the salt dosing, keep the water warm (you could even bump it up to 84 to help kill this stuff faster) and keep the tank on the darker side. If there is a tank light, turn it off. The parasite that causes velvet is kind of funky in that it also has chlorophyll (stuff in trees and plants) and it needs some form of light in addition to the nutrients it is sucking out of your betta to survive. Keeping the tank in low light helps kill off the velvet. And keep up on the water changes! Clear clean water is essential to finally remove all of the velvet parasites from the tank.

Ich - so contagious. I rarely have had to deal with this because keeping aquarium salt in a tank is a great preventative of this. Alas, that doesn't work so hot when you bring a fish home who already has ich. Raise the temp to 85 (the little buggers don't like that temp and let go of the betta then) and then add 1 drop of Aquarisol per gallon, per day until it's all gone. Aquarisol is a great anti-parasitic and kills off the ich. Oh, and clean water!

Bloating/Constipation - fast you fish for a day and then try feeding them daphnia, or a single, boiled, de-shelled pea. Beware! It may not just be constipation. Because of the amount of conditions this betta is suffering from, it is highly likely that it may have developed a swim bladder disorder, and is now unable to regulate it's balance. Is he laying on the bottom of the tank a lot? This may have even progressed to a point in which the swim bladder has shut down, in which case it is now becoming necrotic, and by that point your betta is already beyond saving and will die within a day or two.

Finrot - Many people often say that fin rot is the result of dirty water, and I'm inclined to believe them. Likewise, the most often recomended and simplest cure is simply frequent water changes and clean water. However, in severe cases, or when the fish is already suffering from something else, it is also generally recomended that you treat it more aggressively. Ampicillin or tetracycline are the most effective known medicines for dealing with fin rot (and its more severe cousin body rot - what happens when the fin rot eats the fins all the way back to the body and begins eating the body). I recommend Ampicillin generally because it's more easily available in my area, and because in your particular listing, Ampicillin is also handy for some of your betta's other issues.

Fungal infection - I've found that Fungus Eliminator by a brand called Jungle is pretty good stuff and will knock most of it out in a week. Be careful though, in he crystal form, when you put it in the water. Some betta apparently think this is a food and try to eat the crystals 0__x This is not good and will kill them (learned that one from experience).

Popeye and dropsy - as I mentioned earlier, neither are a disease themselves, so much as a symptom of something else being wrong. Popeye is likely a result of the Velvet and fungal infection. Again, it is only a symptom, not a disease itself, and it's best treatment is simply clean water and a dose of Ampicillin. Although I have seen cases of popeye which have recovered simply from religious tank cleaning. Dropsy is generally a sign of organ failure, generally the kidneys or liver of a betta, and this is also why it is considered to be so fatal. Just like in humans, you loose kidneys or a liver, and you're gone (and sorry, there's no betta organ transplant surgery).

Those things swimming around in the water and attacked to your fish? Those are external parasites. Enough salt in the tank and they will generally release their grip on the betta and go die. Thorough water cleaning is required though to make sure you remove all of the parasites and their eggs. The unfortunate sign here is that if your betta is exhibiting external parasites, he most likely also has internal parasites (well I'll be frank and say I'm rather sure he has them considering the dropsy) and these are much more difficult to treat.

Scales and body parts falling off? This is bad, to say the least. While I've never observed this in a fish personally, my best correlation I can make is to humans and necrotic tissue decay, in which the body is simply losing its ability to properly maintain its entire body, and as such is sacrificing 'less vital' areas in an attempt to maintain proper circulation to other parts of the body. In your fish, this may well be causing the loss of scales and ... tail bits? Honestly I've no real cure for this in a fish, if this is even how.why it is happening.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:07 AM   #5 
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Last night before I turned out my lights in my other tanks I took my small flashlight I used to look through fish at the store and shone it in. He was using his entire body to swim like a shark, but in a rather harsher motion. I awoke this morn to him lying on his side in the bottom, motionless. Bill slipped away through the night and considering everything he was going through.. I think it was best.. I'm going to scrub his bowl very thouroughly and put some glass marbles in rather than the tiny bit of gravel in there and fill it with fresh, clean treated water. I'll do a 25-50% water change every day until I get the fish and once I get the fish, and he is treated for any illnesses he may have, I will slow down on the water changes and eventually graduate to about once a week changing half of the water and scrubbing his tank once a month. Will that be okay? Also, would a bit of aquarium salt(dosage, please?) be good to have for the next fish? If so, how long should I keep with using the salt in his water? I'm going to make sure I do everything right so this doesn't happen again. I feel bad for doing that to my poor Bill. My fish are my life. I get so attached to them. I'm actually looking into two convicts and a fancy goldfish. My fish are my frinds and my family. My family and I aren't close and I haven't friends so I rely on my fish. I talk to them, play with them(lead them around the tank with my finger) spoil them uncontrolably.. It's amazing.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:31 AM   #6 
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Clean the tank well (give it a good scrub) and then allow it to dry fully. Leave it dry for several days, do not immediately refill it with water. Parasites can sometimes be extremely hardy and sometimes even a scrubbing doesn't get them all off. Adding more water immediately afterwards just lets them go on about their normaly business. A good drying and maybe even sun-baking will do the tank good in making sure that nothing is going to survive to infect a new fish. After bieng dry for at least two days, it's good to go and you can refill it.

If this is only a 1 gallon I would recommend water changes more frequently than only once a week (it's only a gallon, it's not like it takes long anyhow). 50% water changes twice a week are what I would personally recommend, but speak with DramaQueen and Chicklet about how they work with tanks of this size, as they have more experience in little tanks than I do.

I keep salt in my tanks at all times, have for quite some time now. The salt is a great preventative, and with it in my tanks (and frequent water changes of course) I have only seen a single case of ich and fin rot (they were not on the same fish, nor at the same time) in any of my tanks from a fish that didn't already have it when they came from the store (and those fish always go into quarantine first anyhow, to be cured beore they get a chance to go into their permanent home). Being as how you have only one tank though and it is only a 1 gallon, I suppose it will be serving as both quarantine and permanent home. If you want to do a quarantine period on your fish (I recomend it even if it is the only occupant of the tank) don't both with putting any substrate in. You want a bare bottom so you can observe the fish poo, it's color, size and how much of it the fish is making. It's also handy to have a bare bottom to observe for any parasites, as the eggs will often settle to the bottom, or the parasties themselves will sometimes detach and can be found on the bottom of the tank. This is something you would miss in a tank with substrate. That can always be added in later after the quarantine period is over and you ahve a healthy fish anyhow. Besides, it's really easy to clean out the bottom of thee tank and all the waste matter with a bare bottom tank.
During quarantine periods on my fish, I only stick a single, sterilized section of white PVC pipe in their tank for a cave, and no other decorations. It's simply a matter of allowing no place for bacteria, fungus and parasites to fester and grow. It's easy to spot anything on the PVC pipe due to it's color and simple, non porous shape, and it can be easily removed for scrubbing at and time.

On the matter of how much salt, I go by 1 teaspoon per gallon. Sometimes I've also done salt baths, in which I generally only use a 1 gallon jar, and up the salt to 2-3 teaspoons per gallon. Never leave your fish in a salt bath longer than half an hour though. Too much salt for too long will kill them. However I have found in the past that the temporary immersion in salty water will knock off some of the more persistent parasites rather nicely, as they cannot handle the change.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:46 AM   #7 
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I'm afraid of bare-bottom because the tank isn't smooth on the bottom. There are two large mounds of plastic and sharp seams on them. I had the gravel arranged atop the mounds as to not injure my fish. I don't know what to do about that.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:00 AM   #8 
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...do you have any pictures of this tank you can show us? This sounds very strange, I've never heard of a tank with sharp plastic 'mounds' on the bottom.
If it is not a safe tank for your fish, perhaps it is not a good tank to use at all and should just be thrown out.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:03 AM   #9 
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No, I don't.. My camera got dropped into my Oscar's tank(brothers) and my phone doesn't have a camera.. If I put in just enough glass stones will everything fall through them to the bottom wher I can see?
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:38 AM   #10 
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Glass stones will always distort what you do and don't see at the bottom, even clear ones. They will also always make it more difficult to siphon debris out of the bottom of the tank.

As I recomended on another board, since this is only a 1 gallon tank to begin with, you can't really go any smaller. But you can go to a place like Home Depot that has clear plastic storage bins and pick some up there for a 1.99 with lid that are about 6.5 quarts (1 1/2 gallon) in size. They are perfect for temporary quarantine tanks because the bottoms are flat and smooth, there's really not much of anything they can catch themselves on in there that is sharp and pointy. And if it needs to be thrown out for some reason, who cares, it only cost two bucks. But they are good, solid little containers, and work fine as quarantine tanks.
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