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Old 09-06-2013, 01:00 AM   #1 
Aalistair
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Exclamation Betta has Ich really bad!

I saw a couple of white dots this morning on my Betta and was asking around, but after doing a water change tonight and turning on his light, I found his tummy covered in Ich. There's also some on his body and fins. I don't know what to do and I'm freaking out.

Tomorrow I'll go buy some salts as soon as I can, but for now I was thinking of moving him to a smaller tank so I can clean out his main one. I'm so worried right now, he just finished getting over his constipation, and now he has this. Someone help me out, please.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:17 AM   #2 
LittleBlueFishlets
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I think I saw another thread from you about this same issue?

The easiest way to treat ich is to raise the water temperature to 86F.

Ich can't reproduce in warm water. So the elevated temperature disrupts their reproduction.

It can take about 5-6 days to see results using this method. (The white spots are from parasites that have burrowed into the fish, and are protected. They'll eventually fall off, but it takes a few days.)

If this doesn't work, there are some strains of heat-resistant ich. This means raising the temperature another degree or so.

Some additional info might help....

There are 3 parts to the life cycle of Ich:

Stage 1) trophont - this is the stage where you see the white spots. The parasite has burrowed into the fish, where it's protected from treatment (which includes medications, salt and heat). So treatment isn't effective here. This stage lasts several days.

Stage 2) tomont - the trophont finishes feeding, and falls off. It's now called a tomont. Since it's in the water column, treatments (medications/salt/heat) are effective now - BUT only for several hours. It then forms a protective cyst around itself, so treatment isn't effective. Unfortunately, the organism is reproducing during this time.

Stage 3) thermonts - Several days later, the cyst bursts, and lots of new organisms go in search of a host fish. They have several days to find a new host, or they will die. Treatment is effective during this time.

So basically, you have to treat while the parasite is either in the early part of stage 2, or during stage 3....

Raising the temperature speeds up the life cycle of the fish. This reduces the total amount of time you'll need to use salt/medications.

Most strains of Ich can't reproduce at temperatures of 86F or higher. (However, some strains are now heat resistant, and require higher temps.) So raising the temperature to at least 86F is often the only thing required to treat ich.

Some people also use aquarium salt or medications (especially ones that contain both malachite/Victoria green and formalin) in addition to heat. But obviously, heat alone is less toxic than adding salt/medication, so it may be something you want to try first.

Because the parasites go through three stages, you'll need to continue treating for at least THREE DAYS after you see the last of the white spots go away. This is because the parasite is only visible during stage one. There are other parasites in the tank going through stages two and three, so you need to continue treatment until it's gone through the entire sequence.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:20 AM   #3 
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Yeah, in that thread I wasn't sure, but I am 100% sure now. It just happened so suddenly, and now he's covered in it. I don't know why, but it happened right when I did a water change. His tank is always between 80 and 86 so I wonder if the heat will do anything at all...
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:23 AM   #4 
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It has to be a consistent 86F.

If it drops below 86F, the parasite will reproduce again...
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:26 AM   #5 
Aalistair
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Understood. I just got my heater in today. I'm kind of scared to use it since it's so big, but I guess I have no choice.

I'll rinse out his tank, clean his plants/toys, heat it up, and put him back in. I'll grab some salts or whatever is needed as soon as possible tomorrow.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:59 AM   #6 
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Updating: My Betta seems to be doing fine as far as eating and attitude. He's swimming around as usual and still hungry. Fins aren't clamped and I have my heater set to 86.

Hopefully in a couple of hours, I'll be able to head to the pet store and by an air pump/air stone, and some Aquarium Salts to put in there. I have a 6.5 gallon, so is there any advice on how much I should add to his tank? I'm reading like, I tablespoon per 5 gallons or 1 teaspoon per gallon. I just don't want to put in too much.

Finally, even with the light on, I can't seem to see the Ich on him during the day. This may have been why I didn't catch it earlier, but is this normal or should I be able to see it all the time no matter what? Thanks again for the help.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #7 
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I don't think anyone's here anymore, but I have another update in case anyone has any information to share and help.

I went to the pet store this afternoon to pick some medicine up for my Betta. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a proper air pump for my 6.5 gallon tank (all the ones there were for 9-100 gal tanks). Regardless, before I left, I noticed my Betta's left eye was really swollen. When he turned it, I could see the white part underneath and when he swam around, it kind of shined in the water. So at the store I bought some API Aquarium Salt and some API Melafix, as well as a couple of really tall silk plants for him to lounge in.

When I got home, I moved him to a temporary 3 gallon tank, completely cleaned my tank (and took out the carbon in my filter), poured in the appropriate amounts of medicine, and placed him back in it. That was around four hours ago. He seems really happy, he's swimming around enjoying his new plants, and still has a big appetite. His fins aren't clamped, and from what I can tell, nearly all of the salty parasites seem to be gone except a few here and there in certain light. When it gets darker, I should have a better view of them if they're there, but...I find myself a little optimistic. If the salt bothered him, I would have seen irregular behavior, right? I have a bookshelf aquarium and the temp is between 86 and 88. I placed my filter a bit high so it splashes around and creates bubbles, and there seems to be billions of tiny air bubbles, so I hope he can breathe easily. My next plan is to repeat these steps tomorrow afternoon, but is there anything I can do now or should be looking for?
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:48 PM   #8 
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Why did you decide to add AQ salt? If his eye is swollen that means he could have popeye which is made worse by AQ salt. You would need to add pure epsom salt to reduce swelling in the eye.
I wouldn't have recommended melafix, since there is some controversy surrounding it and your betta only has a simple case of ich and perhaps popeye. If raising the temperature was not enough you could also add Ich-attack, which is an all natural herbal remedy for ich and works very well. As for possible popeye, I would just add epsom salt like recommended above and maybe maracyn/maracyn II if the problem does not resolve itself.
In addition, bettas breathe atmospheric air and don't need aeration in their tank, and most bettas prefer to not have very much water agitation.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:51 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10asartin View Post
Why did you decide to add AQ salt? If his eye is swollen that means he could have popeye which is made worse by AQ salt. You would need to add pure epsom salt to reduce swelling in the eye.
I wouldn't have recommended melafix, since there is some controversy surrounding it and your betta only has a simple case of ich and perhaps popeye. If raising the temperature was not enough you could also add Ich-attack, which is an all natural herbal remedy for ich and works very well. As for possible popeye, I would just add epsom salt like recommended above and maybe maracyn/maracyn II if the problem does not resolve itself.
In addition, bettas breathe atmospheric air and don't need aeration in their tank, and most bettas prefer to not have very much water agitation.
Understood, I won't add anymore salt. I had no idea it would make it worse. Should I water change right now or wait until tomorrow?

I'll look for some Epsom salts tomorrow. Is the AniMed Epsom Salt what I should be grabbing.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:09 PM   #10 
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Definitely do a water change to get the salt out.
Nah, just buy some cheap standard epsom salt from a pharmacy or walmart. It should be pure magnesium sulfate and non-scented.
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