So I guess Fabio's temperature was way too high, his gills were moving very quickly. So I dropped his tank's temp overnight, His water is down to 81*F and he still looks as if he is 'panting'.
It scares me. He was also swimming around pretty erratically. Instead of smooth long paths, he was jerkily changing paths with quick bursts of movement. Did I hurt him? Is he stressed? What should I do to help him?
Technically, you CAN raise the temp to 90, even though it seems too high to me as well. David Boruchowitz, editor-in-chief of Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine actually recommends this temp plus salt for the treatment of ich. But obviously if the fish isn't comfortable, it won't work. If he started panting, it means that there was very little oxygen in the water. The higher the temp, the less oxygen. Right now, what he's doing with the swimming is called "darting" and it's a sign of stress and illness. Are Fabio's gills protruding a lot? Those dang ich parasites can cause that.
The best way to treat ich is to do 100% water changes every day. If you don't, the parasites that fall off will just reattach themselves. Depending on the size of your tank, you may want to put him in a small QT container for salt treatment. Easier to change 100% that way. Just be sure that when you change the water, you rinse the container or tank with warm water before refilling.
Fabio's gills don't seem to be protruding to much, more than normal, but that might be because he is panting. Nothing extreme. And The white dots are no long on his dorsal(?) fin. Im going to do a 100% change on his water tonight, and continue with the salt to be safe.
Does water, after its been heated, then cooled, still have little oxygen in it?
Good question. I suck at chemistry so I don't know about the oxygen thing. :/ The good news is because bettas have the labyrinth organ which allows them to breathe surface air, Fabio was able to survive when a normal fish like a tetra would have suffocated. I'm glad the spots aren't there any more. The dorsal is the fin on the back.
Did 100% water changes on both Fabio's 5 gallon tank, and Cross's 1/2 gallon tank. I decided to switch their places, since i need to provide Fabio with a 100% water change each day. Cross love the new amount of space he has and seems to really be calming down. Fabio is still freaking out and breathing fast.
I have the desk lamp beaming on him for warmth, i think that might be adding to his stress. We are thinking about taking that off him. his water temp is between 78 and 79*F, and he got a 1/2 tsp of Aquarium salt to help with the ich and rot. But since he is still breathing fast and darting we are very concerned.
As long as the temp in his tank doesn't drop super fast or drop below 70* you can probably remove the lamp. Beyond watching him, I don't know what else can be done. :( I guess if you had an airstone or a bubbler, you could try that, see if you can get more oxygen in the water for him.
Are you going to move Cross back to his 1/2g when Fabio gets well? He'll be disappointed. I think you'll be getting a new tank soon.
Did he only have just the two white dots? It is possible he never had ich, just some dust stuck to him. Usually ich makes the fish look like he's been rolled in sea salt. Or it's possible he had ich but only had two parasites. That would be highly unusual but it could happen.
You can clean the filter in warm tank water (so you don't kill the bacteria) and then keep an eye on Cross (eye cross . . cross eye, hehehe, sorry, getting carried away). He's so brilliantly red that if he does develop ich, you'll know without a doubt. But you said the parasites could affect the filter so there is always a chance, probably a good chance, that they didn't. Make sure both guys get good food and their slime coats stay healthy. That way, even if there are ich parasites in the filter and/or tank, if they are healthy enough, they may not be affected. It's actually been theorized that ich parasites are almost always present in a tank but dormant and that it's only when a fish gets stressed and their immune system is compromised that they are affected by them. This is from people who have a tank full of fish that go for years without getting ill and without anything new ever being introduced into the tank that could carry the ich. Then one of the fish gets stressed, immune system crashes and suddenly the fish has ich and no one has a clue where he got it from.