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Old 02-09-2010, 11:29 PM   #1 
ThirdPotato
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Exclamation Possible Gill Parasite & Possible Septicemia?

Hello, I have two fish with two different problems and would really like help. I have a male, Giles, and a female, Nelly, in separate tanks. I'll start with Giles....


1. 1 gallon tank (yes, I know everyone recommends 5-10 gallon tank which I am going to get when I graduate from college in May)
2. I'm not sure; the $8 kit from Walmart
3. Fresh (I use tap, with API brand water conditioner
4. Aquarium has been set up for 2 weeks
5. 1 betta, 2.5" including tail, Since Jan 19th
6. I dont think so
7. Room temp, no official thermometer
8. yes 4 plants, 2 species
9. None
10. no
11.Dorm-room lighting, lights out around 2AM, lights on around 10AM
12. Last change was Saturday Feb 6th; weekly full water change
13. A variety: HBG Brand Betta Color Bright Flakes, Wardley Betta pellets, Top Fin Freeze-Dried Bloodworms, and another brand of pellets. Twice a day
14-15. When i first got my fish he was slamming himself against the rocks, sitting at the bottom of the tank vertically sometimes (about once a day for 15-30 seconds or more before going up for air). He used to do it a lot, I changed the water, gave him a bigger tank than what I originally had him in, and introduced live plants, as well as upping the water conditioner. This helped a bit, he still does it from time to time, but doesn't sit vertically as often. I looked into it, and figured it to be a gill parasite, and though they recommend aquarium salt, it was not avaliable to me, so instead I went with Jungle Brand Parasite Clear; the recommended dose is one tablet for 10 gal tank, so I cut the tablet and used only a small portion of it since I have a smaller tank. No noticeable changes in behavior except now his gills look like this http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...n/IMG_4420.jpg two streaks on both sides of his head; when I first got him he didn't have these, and they've been slowly emerging. He still hovers at a 70 degree angle from time to time. Otherwise though, he seems perfectly healthy. He's very active, flares up when he should, eats well, and makes a fine bubble nest. Biggest change from when I first got him till now is that he used to ram up against he rocks and he doesn't do that as much, which I believe is good. Any suggestions or help?

AND PLEASE NOTE THIS: Yes, I realize I need a heater and filter, and am aware of the nitrate/trite conditioning of the tanks, and will invest in them this coming May when I return home from college, as well as investing in a 5-10 gallon tank. He seems content where is he for the time being. I do take my animals very seriously, talk to them, as well as have taught them tricks, and again, I do hope to improve their tank size and equipment soon.


Now onto Nelly, my female fish.

1. 2L tank
2. same as above
3. Same as above
4. Since Jan 29th or 30th
5. 1 female, 1.5" since Jan 29th or 30th
6. I dont think so
7. Room temp, with a lamp over her water for heat
8. 4 plants, 2 species
9. none
10. none
11. same as above, with a 25 watt lamp over her tank about 6"
12. same as above
13. same as above
14-15. Since I got her she hasn't eaten YET! Not a single flake, pellet, or bloodworm. When I first got her she was VERY listless, though now she swims around from time to time, and seems in a much better mood, just not nearly as active temperment-wise as Giles. She drifts around, and stays in one spot for a long long time. She's so still and chill that I can touch her fins with a stick and she doesn't freak out. I don't know if that's a health issue or temperment, please help! I'm very concerned about her, as I wanted to rescue her from the petstore because no one was buying her, but I'm afraid I'm not much of a help to her, and she means very much to me. She does poop though, but I don't know what she could be eating. She may be eating the roots of the live plants I've provided when I'm not looking. She occassionally "coughs" but nothing comes out. Very rarely but I've seen her do this at least several times. For the past 2 days I have been using API brand BettaFix, as recommended by the people who work at Petsmart, though no noticeable change in her eating, she does seem a bit more lively!

Now the reason I say she may have septicemia is simply because of her symptoms; the not eating, and listlessness, now the "redness in the fins" is what I really don't know about. I have NO idea if it's her coloration or septicemia. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...colorfull2.jpg Does she look healthy?

Thank you all for your help!
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:31 PM   #2 
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Hmm okay where to start.

Giles' stripes look totally normal, it is not uncommon for bettas to develop a sheen on their gills. As for the parasites, do his gills look red, distended, have anything hanging off of them? With gill flukes you will see them right away. But if he has not visible signs of parasites (white dots, gold dust, etc) then I would think his 'flicking' is a water quality issue, as chemicals like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate will irritate and burn the skin, making the fish feel itchy.

Nelly... first of all Bettafix is an antiseptic and nothing more. The main ingredient, in fact the only ingredient besides water is tea-tree oil, which does very little of what the makers claim Bettafix does. So unless she has a cut that you want to prevent from getting infected, etc it does nothing. Any improvement you are seeing is likely to be from living in something other than a cup.

Keep the lamp off; the water temp will crash when you turn it off at night which really throws the betta off. I think this is your main problem. No heat at all is better than hot and cold all the time. The pic doesn't look like septicemia at all; many bettas undergo drastic changes in color and vibrancy when their living situation is improved. It is also normal for bettas to be picky when you first get them but I encourage you to try crushing her pellets as many females' mouths are too small to fit a whole pellet.

I hope that helps; you should be fine with the 1g bowls in the short term as long as you change the water every 2-3 days. That is the most important thing.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:56 PM   #3 
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Thank you kindly for the advice. I really appreciate the feedback. The thing about Nelly is that she doesn't even try for the food. I've tried giving her the tiniest crumbs from the flake food, and she has so far, never made an attempt to eat it. She doesn't react when I put hte food right over her head, and even on some occassions the food has sunk and rolled off her head, an she didn't react. What could that be about? I mean, I've seen her poop, so she must be eating something. Possibly nibbling the roots of the live plants?
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:48 PM   #4 
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More Pics

Here are some more pics: Nelly has very shiny scales around her gills x.x Am I just paranoid? Giles' lungs are reddish
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...colorfull2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v242/C_San/gills.jpg
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:37 AM   #5 
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Ahh flake food you say? Few bettas will go for that stuff. You should have better luck with a specialty betta pellet if you haven't tried one already.

The gills look good. My boy is also very 'glittery' around the face. It is also normal for the gill tissue underneath the gill cover to be a different color than the body.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:32 AM   #6 
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Wardleys pellets and Hikari betta bio gold are 2 pellet foods that I recommend. There are lots of others out there, though.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:16 AM   #7 
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One of my males has that 'glittery' coloring around his gills also. I use Wardley's pellets, but sometimes the pellets are clumped so you have to break them apart. When I finish with that food, I'll probably switch to Hikari. I've heard the pellets aren't as big.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:42 PM   #8 
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... Nelly died today D8

I so sad..... I changed her water today; I monitored everything, the ammonia levels were normal too, and everything. I added a couple grain or two, and I bloody KNEW it wasn't good for her. As soon as I put her in the new water, she was going up for air every few seconds. So I immediately threw out the old water, and filled the tank again, conditioned it, etc, though I didn't do a full cleaning. There must still have been salt left, or something, but why didn't I listen to my intuition!?

Was it the salt that really did it? Is that possible? 2L tank, I literally added 3 small "rocks" of the aquarium salt. I feel so horrible, like letting a child die D8
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:32 PM   #9 
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I'm so sorry about your fish. :(
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:58 PM   #10 
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Sorry about your fish. I know undissolved grains of salt can burn aquatic creatures should they come in contact with their skin but I'm not sure if this killed her.
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