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Old 08-20-2013, 02:42 AM   #1 
Skygryph
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Unhappy What caused the parasites?

Long story short, my betta died a month ago from a long fight with parasites. I'm unsure what the exact kind was, but they were white, thin, a few millimeters long, and attached onto the floating log/plant in the tank.

Now, I'm very confused as to how he was infected with parasites in the first place, so I'm hoping someone here can help me. I bought him at Walmart, and two months later he started showing signs of a parasite infection (before that, he seemed and acted perfectly healthy). He never had any tankmates, and the only other live thing in the tank was an Anubias plant I bought when I adopted him.
Part of me wonders if he was already infected when I bought him (after all, Walmart is probably the worst place to buy fish), but I'm not sure how that would work.

Here was his information:

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 79 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, three pellets.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20 percent
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
-Ammonia was always at zero
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:21 AM   #2 
LittleBettaFish
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That doesn't sound like parasites. I think nearly all parasites that infect fish live either on the body of the fish or internally in the intestines and places like that. Worms that you see in the water column or on the glass are generally something like detritus worms or planaria.

When you say he was infected with parasites, what were the visible symptoms that you noticed?

External parasites will cause obvious signs of discomfort such as flashing, erratic swimming, heavy breathing, lethargy and clamped fins. Usually the infection itself is visible to the naked eye with common parasites such as ich and velvet.

Internal parasites can cause symptoms such as bloating, emaciation, lack of appetite and stringy feces.

What were you using to test your water with? Test kits are not infallible. I have had the API liquid test kit (most recommended brand on this forum) give me false negatives before. The fish in the tank were obviously distressed and when I did another test with a different brand I got a visible reading for ammonia.

Ever tested your nitrite? This is perfectly capable of killing fish and may have been present if your tank was cycling.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:42 PM   #3 
Skygryph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
Internal parasites can cause symptoms such as bloating, emaciation, lack of appetite and stringy feces.
*nods* He had all of those symptoms. To be honest, I thought it was swim bladder disorder from overfeeding at first (not that I ever came close to overfeeding him, but that was the only thing I could think of). Fasting him for a week and then feeding him peas and daphnia didn't work, so I began to wonder. Then I noticed the stringy white worms just in the area where he sat non-stop for days on end (he hardly moved during this time). I tried some fish medicine that kills parasites and aquarium salt, along with more frequent water changes, but nothing worked. I think it was too late by then.

You know, I don't think I ever checked my nitrite levels. I believe it was just ammonia. Do you think that was what killed him? I admit the tank was not cycled when I got him. I'd never seriously kept fish before, and I didn't know at the time cycling was so important. I found out a few days afterwards while researching betta care. *sighs* I was always worrying if the lack of cycling would end up killing him over time.

Last edited by Skygryph; 08-23-2013 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:02 PM   #4 
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A 2.5 g is really hard to cycle. I would doubt that was what killed him. Although in a 2.5 g you should be doing at least 50% changes not 20%.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:06 PM   #5 
Skygryph
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Originally Posted by NeptunesMom View Post
A 2.5 g is really hard to cycle. I would doubt that was what killed him. Although in a 2.5 g you should be doing at least 50% changes not 20%.
Really? Shoot, I didn't know that. I read 15-20% on most sites, but I wonder if they were assuming it was for a decent sized (10 gallon or more) tank. Guess I know better for the future. :(
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