My Blue is all diseased but still kickin'. Please help!
I'm totally new to this site and new to Bettas. I used to have a fish tank years ago with alligator turtles and kept fish for them to eat but never run into problems with any infections. Now I decided to buy a betta (without doing research first) and have all kinds of problems. I originally bought a small vase for one betta because friends told me that's all they needed. Spur of the moment thing. I asked the sales clerk what I needed for it like food and all and just got some rocks, vase, dried blood worms and betta water conditioner. Came home, set it up, did some research and wow.... ! Did I find out that I was lacking a LOT of stuff. I wanted something that would need minimal assistance and was told bettas were the way to go. Well... Then I read that I needed all kinds of stuff. So I go out the next day, buy a 2.5 gallon plastic betta tank with a plastic separator for 2 bettas and found another really pretty betta and bought it too. I also bought a heater, betta flake food and pellets, just for the variety and a thermometer. Also bought a real plant and a few little cute items for the bettas to hide behind that they wouldn't scratch themselves on. Well, the separator ended up being crap. The plastic stretched out when full of water and they could see each other and would totally start getting stressed and going crazy so I took Blue, my first one out and put him back in the vase until I could figure something out. He actually appeared to like it there. Well, I came home after work about 3 days later and the one that I left in the bigger tanks fin was gone. Don't have a clue what happened and HOW it happened so quick. I fed him before I left for work and he was fine. Needless to say, he didn't make it through the next day. I felt bad because I had't changed the water in 4 days. I felt maybe that caused it but wow, it happened sooooo quick. I cleaned out the tank with antibacterial soap, cleaned all the items and the lids really well and then decided that Blue was going to have a new home now. He was, or at least seemed to be completely healthy when I put him in there. Now, he is soooo sick. It started out looking like he had developed a black head with white and goldish looking spots on it... Fins were clumped looking but still there... He's eating and acting fine but you can totally tell he wasn't right... So, I looked up and read that I should get jungle fungus stuff. Bought that, went by directions with full water changes every other day and only filling it to about 1.5 or so gallons of water to try and keep it more concentrated. Well, that did nothing at all. The fins are not necessarily rotting off but they are clumping worse and split in some places and just looking all around bad. The gills are staying kinda stuck out. You can see the black lining poking out. His scales aren't raised but the fins and his gills look horrible. SO, I went to the biggest pet store we have here and bought Mardel Maracy-2. I've been using that for 4 days now and have done 2 water changes. Oh, and I put him back in the vase to keep it more concentrated and easier to change out the water. No rocks or anything in there with him. He doesn't look any better but he still seems to have personality and eating well. Although he does seem a little schitzo sometimes, but not at all like the other one before he died. I'm hoping I can save this one but I don't know what to do. I'll order some antibiotics but I don't really know what to get. I assume I need to order something anyway cause even if something happens to him I want to have something here on hand so this doesn't happen again. Also right after I cleaned the vase and put him in yesterday something was in the bottom. Probably within 20 min after I changed the water. He either pooped this or... I have NO idea. It kinda looked like a snail without a shell. Maybe kinda like intestines rolled up? It really seemed to big for him to poop out though. Sorry for all this to be so wordy but I assume from reading other posts that these are some of the questions that I would get asked before anyone can point me in the right direction. I appreciate any advise.
Last edited by lildreamy; 08-01-2011 at 04:19 PM.
Reason: left out a detail
I'm sorry you're having so much trouble, can you post a picture of him for us so we can help figure out whats wrong with him? Also, NEVER clean a fish tank with soap. ever. Its toxic to fish, and that may be part of his problem. But don't feel bad, you didn't know and I did the same thing with my fish a few times when I was just starting out. It sounds like you're doing all you can for him, and that's the main thing. Also, can you fill out the sticky (one of the threads posted at the very top of the disease section) so we can help you more??
Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having so much trouble......
I agree with Indyfishy in that the soap used to clean the tank may be part of your problems....no worries..its an easy fix.....
If you still have the cup the Betta came in-place him in this filled half way with some of his tank water
Premix some treatment water using a clean water rinsed 1gal jug (I use 1gal milk or OJ jug) add the proper amount of dechlorinator-Add aquarium salt 1tsp/gal (kosher salt, pickling salt will work if you don't have aquarium salt) and top off his cup-then every 15min-pour half the water out and fill using the like temp dechlorinated water...do this every 15min for 1 hour
If you have tannins to add to the premixed 1gal jug of treatment water this will help a lot...
Tannins-IAL (Indian almond leaf) usually found online or if you have any Oak tree near by that are pesticide free...gather naturally dried and fallen from the tree leaves...use 10-12 crushed/gallon of water
The tanks you used soap to clean-empty and use vinegar to cut the soap residue...rinse well....you may need to toss any gravel, fake plants....
If you are on city water supply you need a dechlorinater like Prime by Seachem...dose this for the full volume of the tank
Dechlorinator needs to be used with any water used for the fish....
When making water changes try to keep the water temp within a couple of degree between new and old water to prevent temp shock problems
You may or may not need a heater-but its a good idea to have one on hand.....your goal is to maintain a somewhat stable temp 76-80F
Good that you have a thermometer to monitor the tank water temp and the water temp of the replacement water for water changes.....
It was hard for me to read you post-so you may have posted this information already...to help us(me) out....if you could post his information again-
Tank size, how much and how often are the water changes, water temp, filter, live plants, additives used, appetite, how long you had the fish, list of signs/symptoms....
I think I uploaded these pics correctly. Every site's different on how they appear. These were the best pics I could get. I think I took about 40 pics and these were the only ones that came out right.
Also, Could it be possible that our city water is full of bacteria and harming the fish? Reason being is because about a year ago we received a letter from our quality control stating that the fecal matter in our water is under the limit allowed. Now, I assume where there is fecal matter there is LOTS of bacteria. Just didn't know if that could be part of the problem.
I did a full water change and cleaned the vase out with vinegar and rinsed well. I used a half tsp of epsom salts and the recommended amount of maracyn-2. He still seems to be eating really well. He's laying on the bottom a lot but as soon as I move in the room, he moves. I'm trying to keep him in the same room with me most of the time since I read they like to be around you or at least the company. Plus my DH works from home and he's here in the same room with him. He said he doesn't always move when he moves but he does notice him moving throughout the day.
I know it's hard to see in the pics but his belly/under his chin and around his mouth is turning goldish looking.
water temp is about 80 degrees give or take a degree. I have a thermometer but it only keeps it around 77. I read when bettas are sick they need higher temps. I've been keeping the water at around 80 when I do water changes cause I'm doing them so often the heater doesn't even have time to kick on. While he is in this vase, I've been doing them everyday/other day. When he was in the 2.5 gallon tank where he got sick, I was doing them every 3 days. Full water changes. I had rocks, little and big ones and a plant (have no idea what kind but it was real and expensive too, at least for a plant that small) had a couple of cutesy decorations for him to hide behind or in. I decided to take out the small rocks and toss them when he first was getting sick which was about 2 weeks ago. They were the cheap ones anyway. I left the big ones and always cleaned the rocks and the stuff in the tank before purring it back but I was using soap/clorox and water type thing to disinfect. I would rinse well and put back. Then when he was showing no progress, I took out the rocks and decorations completely but left the plant. I was medicating with the jungle fungus stuff then in about 1.5 to 2 gallons of water. After that wasn't helping I decided it might be the plant for whatever reason so I took it and him out and decided to put him in the vase with nothing in there to concentrate to meds. That wasn't making it worse but not helping so I bought the maracyn-2. I've been using it with a half tsp of epsom salt (the salt every other full change) since Thurs and nothing seems to have changed. Slight change in behavior but he not totally spazzing out and he's eating so I at least have some hope.
Oh and I don't have a filter. My tank was small enough and I read that it really doesn't save that much on water changes so I didn't opt to get one. I do have dip sticks to check Ph but it's only the ones that just show you a color not numbers and everytime I've checked it, even before when it had been 3 days since I changed the water it was still in the right color. And this vase is not even a gallon. I'd say more like a half gallon. Could the big tank I have that's 2.5 gallons be bad cause it's plastic? Didn't know if that would make a difference.
Thanks for all your help everyone!
tbh his coloring looks fine to me, his fins are a bit clamped but not as badly as I thought they'd be. I don't think you need to treat him at all. Just rinse out the 2.5 gallon really really really really (like, 20 x or more lol) well and use the vinegar like OFL said to.
After rinsing out the plastic tank well enough, I think it will be safe to put him back in. As for maintanence, 50% water changes every 2nd day should be fine.
As far as him spazzing out - that could just be his personality or he's getting used to his new place. If you notice him trying to rub on things as if he's trying to scratch himself, then I'd treat him with salts or a broad spectrum med
I agree with cajunamy, I think he's fine! I think the gold under his belly is just natural coloring come through. As long as he's still eating and responding to you then he's probably not ill. His fins are a little ratty but that's nothing that clean water can't fix! I'd get his 2.5 ready to go and let him get settled in his new home with no meds and no soap. Make sure you have a good water conditioner, and keep up on the water changes! I wouldn't ever divide that tank again, its really too small for two bettas, but I'm sure you know that now =) good luck, and keep us posted!
Well, I went ahead and cleaned out the 2.5 gallon tank with vinegar and rinsed at least a dozen or more times. I cleaned the old big rocks I had and the new ones, thermometer, heater and decorative items with vinegar and rinsed well. Filled the tank, added almost 2 tsp's of espom salt, water conditioner and a small amount of melafix (to help with the clamped fins) and put him in. He appears to be really happy. He hasn't sat still since I put him in. He keeps swimming around checking everything out. He appears to be acting and swimming normal.
Do fish just start changing color sometimes? I know you couldn't tell in the picture but even since this evening since I got home his face is really getting some gold places on it. It almost looks like it's painted on there. I'm going to post another pic... maybe tonight or by tomorrow. It's easy to get better pics when he's in the bigger tank but unfortunately I took so many earlier the camera's dead, lol.
Thanks for all the help!