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Old 10-16-2013, 01:36 PM   #1 
sugarunicorn
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Planaria in tank?, betta acting lethargic/little interest in food

My betta hasn't been himself the past few days -- he's had little interest in food and just sits near the surface of the tank on his leaf, only occasionally coming out to chase a pygmy cory. He is still eating some, but nothing like his usual piggy self. Yesterday after his water change I saw him dart after and eat what appeared to be a tiny white worm swimming around. I honestly didnt think much of it at the time.

This morning I noticed something.. unpleasant in my gravel, wriggling around. Little tiny pink worms that I can only assume are planaria. Now I'm wondering if this is part of his change in behavior - the darting, the lethargic behavior, decreased interest in food, and what may be rubbing against decor.

He was already recovering from a split in his dorsal fin that was healing up, so I'm concerned by this change in behavior. The behavior seems to point to an external parasite, but I'm unsure if this is related to the planaria.

If it is the case, I'd prefer to treat all the inhabitants, so something safe for corys and shrimp would be helpful since I assume that they're at risk as well. I plan to move everyone to my spare 10g and disinfect the entire tank, put in new gravel and dip plants before I put any of my fish or shrimp back in.

Housing

What size is your tank? 10g
What temperature is your tank? 80 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, TOM mini internal filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? apart from the filter, no.
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 8 pygmy corys, 3 cherry shrimp

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS Pellets, occasional frozen bloodworm. Corys get NLS sinking wafers -- I'm thinking that this may be to blame for the sudden explosion of planaria since its tough to fully remove uneaten bits once its become waterlogged.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets, twice a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Seachem Prime, Excel & Flourish for plants.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: between 10-20, hard to tell exactly on the API kit.
pH: 7.4
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Besides the existing split in the dorsal fin, none
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic, less interest in food, darting/rubbing on decor
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Monday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet, only a deep gravel vac
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, just a fin split recently from a flarefest he had at me when I moved some plants around.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 5 months

Last edited by sugarunicorn; 10-16-2013 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:12 PM   #2 
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Just to add, he WILL eat bloodworms pretty eagerly. He refused his pellets the past few days but was willing to eat a few bloodworms off a toothpick.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:02 PM   #3 
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I think your tank a little overcrowded and need more than 50% weekly , its probobly needs 2-3 50% weekly . And you need to rinse the filter medica weekly in the tank water ,it can gather all that gunk on it.
Those worms in the tank might be not the reason that he is acting this way. But the fact that he is darting is the symptoms of the external parisitis. Is he also trying to scratch the body on objects? Symptoms for ich : darting,scratching, white spots like a salt grain on the body.
The best way to treat ich is to raise the temperature to 88* . But do it very slowly. I don't know if your other fish will tolerate the heat though. But betta will be fine. If you can put your betta in the hospital tank , it would be better but i don't know if you can maintain the temp in the hospital tank. Try very slowly to raise the temp. May be about 1-2 degree in an hour. And do daily water changes.
You can also use medications. But differently do a few 50 % water changes, clean the gravel.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:17 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANHEL123 View Post
I think your tank a little overcrowded and need more than 50% weekly , its probobly needs 2-3 50% weekly . And you need to rinse the filter medica weekly in the tank water ,it can gather all that gunk on it.
Those worms in the tank might be not the reason that he is acting this way. But the fact that he is darting is the symptoms of the external parisitis. Is he also trying to scratch the body on objects? Symptoms for ich : darting,scratching, white spots like a salt grain on the body.
The best way to treat ich is to raise the temperature to 88* . But do it very slowly. I don't know if your other fish will tolerate the heat though. But betta will be fine. If you can put your betta in the hospital tank , it would be better but i don't know if you can maintain the temp in the hospital tank. Try very slowly to raise the temp. May be about 1-2 degree in an hour. And do daily water changes.
You can also use medications. But differently do a few 50 % water changes, clean the gravel.
Filter media is rinsed weekly, during the gravel vac and 50% water change.

I honestly don't think overcrowding is the issue -- I've checked on aqadvisor and its only at 75% stocking level and has more than sufficient filtration. The corys are pygmies, not the full size guys, which require quite a bit less space. They only grow to about an inch (though these guys aren't anywhere near that yet) and don't make a lot of waste.

It is a heavily planted tank, not sure if I mentioned that -- hence the once weekly 50% water changes as per the guide in the planted tank subforum.

I did suspect ich, but I don't see any of the telltale white specks. He ate today like normal so I'm not sure if he was maybe temporarily perturbed from the Monday water change and deep gravel vac I did? I'm just going to keep an eye on him I think... I'd rather not medicate if I can't pinpoint the issue and he doesnt seem to be worsening.

Either way, I'm going to more than likely end up moving everybody to a temporary tank tomorrow and doing a disinfect of the 10 gal, and dipping all the plants and rescaping. Not a fan of the unwelcome critters, and I'm thinking some of the hard to reach areas underneath the driftwood caves set up in there might have contributed to the planaria finding a welcome place to set up camp. Will have to re-cycle, but I'll deal.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:48 PM   #5 
ANHEL123
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Yes i think its good plan. Just acclimate them very slowly when you put them back. None of my tanks are cycled so i have no idea about how cycle go, just know about water changes and filter media cleaning. But i read and i think , extra water changes always a good idea with the gravel vacuum to get rid all of the waste from the bottom.
Keep eye on them. If any of them scratching and darting i would suspect ich, even if you don't see any salt grains on them. Also scratching , darting and gasping for air could be gill flukes which is very nasty and its better to treat right away before they lay eggs in the gills. Usually difficult to treat but possible with medications.
So i would say if there any symptoms you need to be concern about all of them since it contagious and if one have - every one will gave it.
Also similar symptoms for velvet. Check the symptoms for velvet in the link i posted
http://www.bettatalk.com/betta_diseases.htm
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #6 
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if they are planaria do not worry.they will not hurt your fish and will eventually disappear.whenever i get them,usually from adding new plants,i stop feeding my fish and they eat them.free live food.planaria is white to light pink and very small.maybe google and look at pics to be sure.turn off your lights and use a flashlight and look for a gold dust covering on your fish.could be velvet.

Last edited by sandybottom; 10-17-2013 at 11:09 PM.
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