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Old 12-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #1 
ChibiShishou
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Exclamation Sick Betta keeps getting sicker HELP Needed!!!!

Alrightie I would be sincerely grateful if anyone had any idea WHAT was going on to my poor lil' fishy fellow. Long story shortened to easy reading.
Got him at pet store-> he did great!-> didnt realize he needed bigger tank and heater-> he got sick BECAUSE he didnt have a heater -> got heater cycled tank put fish in tank-> Fish got better thanks to tetrasafe(s?) life guard fungus killer aquarium salt and heater-> drove back to school set up new tank-> cycled tank-> floated fish et cetera-> continued with lifeguards fungus killer aquarium salt and heater stuff -> fish got finrot-> did 25 % change and waited 24 hours before starting maracyn II-> started maracyn II -> Fish got Ich and Velvet -> Continued with Maracyn II and Salt -> Fish got in addition; PARASITES (we didnt have enough problems?!)-> Added Coppersafe-> parasites died-> ich and velvet did NOT die-> fish is still eating and making bubble nests-> is currently very lethargic and sits on tail at bottom of tank going blahhhhhh.

Very long story somewhat short; Fish has been sick for over a month despite treatment. Any ideas?? I`m worried because of how he's using his tail he might have TB..... So its either my water or his immune system.

Housing

What size is your tank? 3 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80-85 degrees since he's sick
Does your tank have a filter? yes I believe its charcoal
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? Yes!
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 times a day 3 pellets

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Coppersafe, Betta Safe water conditioner, aquarium salt

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

Ammonia: not on strip test
Nitrite:0..5
Nitrate:20
pH:6.5-7.0
Hardness: 30
Alkalinity: not on strip test
KH: 40

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Yes; his color has deteriorated and after his bout with fin rot his fins are recovering

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes hes more sluggish but he still eats and makes bubble nests. He is however breathing more and isn't favoring swimming anymore Not as prone to dart or play

When did you start noticing the symptoms?over 3 weeks ago

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Yes once I noticed the first infection I did a full water change, used Maracyn 2 and then got him a heater and bigger tank. His pop eye and slime coat infection diminished. I then noticed that he was developing Ich and velvet so I continued Maracyn 2 and added aquarium salt and coppersafe.(He still has it! ><) A few days later I noticed he had fin tail rot AND some external parasites. After about a week and a half of treatment the parasites are gone, however he still has the ich velvet and tail rot. Now he is acting fatigued and doesn't want to move. Instead he lays at an odd angle at the bottom of the tank.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? Just got him so no idea
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea

Thank you for reading!

Last edited by ChibiShishou; 12-09-2011 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:32 PM   #2 
Myates
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Welcome.. and woah that's a lot!

Okay, lets get down to the nitty gritty of it all...

3 gals.. not cycled, as it's pretty much impossible to cycle a tank that size since not enough surface space... as well as you doing 100% weekly water changes will pretty much narrow down and remove beneficial bacteria.

Carbon filters will remove medicine placed in the tank- always remove the carbon out of the filters when doing medications.

Medications, always best to use a small QT container/tank instead of home tank as most times you will want to be doing daily water changes and in a filtered tank, it's unwise to do so.

Why did you put in fungus guard and AQ salt in when he was just sick from "lack of heater"? Lack of heater= lethargy.. nothing more.
You want to be careful when putting in AQ salt in at the same time as a lot of medications.. they don't always mix well.

Okay.. lets stop there and deal with the AQ issue.. how long has he been in AQ salt, how much have you been using?

AQ salt is good for certain types of exterior illnesses.. it should only be used for no more then 10 days, as if kept in longer you are putting your fish in a very high risk for liver and kidney damage/failure.. AQ salt is basically dehydrating the fish, why such a time limit on there. You should also do 100% daily water changes when using AQ salt, by not doing those, and adding in additional salt, you will well go over the salt tolerance limit of the betta, which is 3 teaspoons per gallon.

AQ salt should be discontinued immediately.

Fungus killer, unless you see actual fungus on the fin- white cottony patches with little hairs.. then you do not want to use it.

Fin rot happens when a fish tears/rips/bites their fins and the water is unfavorable- normally dirty water.. there are two types of fin rot- bacterial and fungal.. I doubt it would be fungal if you had him on fungus medication during it.. I doubt bacteria since the water was fresh. Now, did you see the black, crusty edges with chunks flaking off? Or white cottony puffs at the ends? Or are there just missing chunks/pieces and shredded?
He may be biting his own fins due to stress from the medication and move- which is known and common to happen.
The conditions did not favor rot forming, and if so, then that is some seriously strong rot.. I would have to make an educated guess that he was biting his fins.. they like to do it during the dark when no one is looking.. they are ashamed. Silly fish..

Maracyn II.. did you keep the tank dim/dark? Did you do the proper water changes? Going from fungus medication and salt, then adding in the Maracyn with only a 25% water change is very dangerous..

Did he have white grains of salt all over his body? I can see a fish stressed enough to get ick with all he had went through o.O.. and how sure are you of velvet?
Just shining a light on him won't tell you 100% that it's velvet- 99% of fish will have a natural gold coloration when under such a bright light/flash- you will see many more colors of them when doing so, then you do normally. So unless he was darting around, scratching, you could see the dusting of rust/gold on his body.. I wouldn't say he had velvet..

How did you come to the knowledge that he had parasites? What were the symptoms? Are they internal or external parasites?

Basically.. what you should do at this time is remove him, place him in a small QT container/tank with just water conditioner. He needs to clean out his system.. he should have his system cleaned out between medications as it is. Also large water changes should be done frequently, and most of those you would want to do daily 100% water changes.

He is in shock and should be placed in clean, untreated water (just water conditioner). If it's a small container, float it in his home tank to keep him warm.

Bubble nests aren't a sign of happiness/health, but territory, breeding and weather systems.

If you can, take a picture of him so we can verify/diagnose his problems and point you in the correct treatment, as the treatments you have been doing so far has been damaging him rather then helping, I'm sorry to say.. sometimes we can do too much when trying to help.. and sometimes we misdiagnose problems too easily.. why pictures will help to give you an ideal from experienced members on what exactly is going on other then over-medication.
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:22 PM   #3 
ChibiShishou
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When he didnt have a heater he was covered in an excessive slime coating and was starting to get the white fluffy patches on his skin.


Hopefully he is just stressed and chewing since all the rot that had been falling off is now gone and there is regrowth on his top fin.
I don't put salt in that often, only after full water changes and it's only 1/2 a teaspoon (definitely stopping that now!)

On maracyn I did a full water change and let him alone for about 24 hours, which is what I was told to do by another betta specialty site (actually most of this was from another betta site....o_0 Im not going there again!)


He definitely has Ich he has the salt speckles everywhere and that isn't his normal coloring.

Velvet diagnosis by the other site >_> (boy am I feeling kinda silly!)

Parasites; Only easiest thing to figure out; he had these little rounded things on him and theyd move around (ie: one day on fins another day on stomach) and then they'd get longer. He was scratching at the bottom of the tank and against the plants and heaters. However once I treated him with the coppersafe it got rid of the parasites within a week. Which was rather impressive.

I was actually relieved he was creating bubble nests and eating, because that meant he didnt have anything too serious.

If I do a full water change clean everything and let it sit over night will that make the water safe to put him in? or should I find a plastic container? (I dont have a hospital tank because Im loaning it out to another girl who's quarantining her new betta )
I just did a water change earlier today but with his current behavior I was a little suspicious as to why he kept getting sicker and not better.


Fish pictures:



Heres the best I could get of his possible ich-y ness
Its everywhereeeee!Even on his eye o.0

And here is how he is currently moping about.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:02 PM   #4 
Myates
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When he didnt have a heater he was covered in an excessive slime coating and was starting to get the white fluffy patches on his skin.
With low water temps, what you will see happening is lethargy, possible clamping of fins and not eating as much since their metabolism slows down. Excess slime coating is usually made when warding off an illness or toxin.. fluffy white patches could of been fungus or the slime coat itself. But since those are gone now, no need to worry for them. If in the future you have one that get excess slime coating, just do daily 50% water changes for a few days and that should be enough to clear it up, as it was most likely something in the water causing him to create it.

Hopefully he is just stressed and chewing since all the rot that had been falling off is now gone and there is regrowth on his top fin.
Regrowth is a good sign, as long as the weekly water changes are kept up, rot shouldn't form. Stress coat and a high protein diet will help the growth, frozen foods, or pellets/flakes with fish/meat meal as the main ingredient, and crude protein % in the high 40s is ideal. Freeze dried food, once or twice a week, soak it in water prior to feeding it to reduce the risk of bloating. But it's high in protein so it's good to have instead of a meal once or twice a week.

I don't put salt in that often, only after full water changes and it's only 1/2 a teaspoon (definitely stopping that now!)
It's more the long term use and exposure to it.. the bacteria can become resistant to the beneficial properties of it, reducing the effectiveness the salt has in treatments.. and some say the fish can become resistant as well. But the body will always continue to dehydrate for as long as the fish is exposed to it.

On maracyn I did a full water change and let him alone for about 24 hours, which is what I was told to do by another betta specialty site (actually most of this was from another betta site....o_0 Im not going there again!)
Not all places have wrong information, but it's best to make sure to double check everything and opinions.

He definitely has Ich he has the salt speckles everywhere and that isn't his normal coloring.
I can see some of the spreckles on him.. I would go ahead and place him in his home tank (if he is still able to swim up for air and not have trouble doing so- and if he is having trouble, then float his container taped to the inside of his tank).. go ahead and do that in his water with just conditioner, and raise the temp of his water to 86-88*F, that in itself should kill the ick as they can't tolerate that warm of water. It won't harm the betta, as they can tolerate into the 90s before any adverse affect. This way his system is being "cleaned out" and yet it is taking care of the ick problem- continue to do daily 100% water changes to remove any eggs that may drop. If after a week he is still showing signs of ick and darting in his cup, you can try an ich medication.. but they may have become resistant to some of the medicines and ingredients if after all of that they are still alive and on him.. why I think heat will be the best option at this time.

Velvet diagnosis by the other site >_> (boy am I feeling kinda silly!)
Don't feel silly, for all you know I could be 100% wrong :) He has some darker coloration to him, but I don't see the rust/gold dusting on him- velvet is treated the same as ich, conservatively.. with medicine it could vary. The warmer water would help out greatly if in fact he did have velvet, but I don't see any at this time.

Parasites; Only easiest thing to figure out; he had these little rounded things on him and theyd move around (ie: one day on fins another day on stomach) and then they'd get longer. He was scratching at the bottom of the tank and against the plants and heaters. However once I treated him with the coppersafe it got rid of the parasites within a week. Which was rather impressive.
Rather impressive he had gotten parasites while on all the medications to begin with.. lol
As long as you don't see them any more, then you should be fine- they need a host to live. While he is in the cup, just keep an eye on his waste, if you see some that are white, long and stringy, then he has them internally.. but only if you see that.. otherwise, I see no sign of bloating or wasting away on him.


I was actually relieved he was creating bubble nests and eating, because that meant he didnt have anything too serious.
Eating is always a good sign.. bubble nests can be too, I don't want to say they don't do it out of happiness, I would like to believe that too. But it's all still a good sign.

If I do a full water change clean everything and let it sit over night will that make the water safe to put him in? or should I find a plastic container? (I dont have a hospital tank because Im loaning it out to another girl who's quarantining her new betta )
Go ahead and clean out his tank, but keep him in his little cup for now.. allow the tank to raise to the higher temp of 86 slowly, and do daily 100% water changes in him until you see no more signs of ick- otherwise you will have to be doing daily 100%s in his tank if you return him. Just use a paper clip or somehow wedge it so the cup is upright in his tank. If you have seran wrap (veggie wrap) use that to cover the opening with a hole punched in to keep the humidity up there for him.
To clean his tank, empty it out, boil water and soak/rinse out his decorations and gravel in the water- can let it soak for a bit in the boiling hot water as well to kill off any eggs the ick may have left. Swish clean the filter media, but in just pure tank water you have already in the tank- you want to keep the bacteria alive in there for now. and put everything back together and allow him to float in his little "jacuzzi" and he should be looking better in a few days. But not going to guarantee it, as we can't tell for sure how bad his system is right now, all we can do is provide a clean, warm place for him and hope he is still strong enough to fight.


I just did a water change earlier today but with his current behavior I was a little suspicious as to why he kept getting sicker and not better.

Go ahead with the one I listed above, that way when you return him to his home, all the yucky stuff is out of there and it's nice and clean for him.

It should take a week or less to be rid of the ick- again, if it's not gone in a week then we can treat for that specifically and then go from there if there is anything else that is needing to be done.

For a 3 gallon filtered, you would want to be doing 1 50% water change per week, with regular siphoning of the gravel to keep the water/tank clean for him, with the appropriate bacteria.

Any more questions, just ask and keep us updated on how he is doing.. I may not be back around tonight after I post this.. but I'll check back in the morning sometime. Good luck to you.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:13 PM   #5 
RandiLynn
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I agree with Myates. Sometimes medication is the last thing your betta needs.

I remember once I had strep throat with the complication of glands that swelled my mouth shut. I took about four different medications to try and relieve my pain and discomfort. I thought "Hey, I have a strong stomach, even if only one of these works I'll be that much better off. Can't hurt." Guess what? I vomited all of those meds up. Thats considerably difficult to do when you can't open your mouth. Think about the side-effects of any treatment you administer to your betta also. Generally, the less invasive, the better.

Since you've had salt in the tank, I'd say instead of constant salt, do salt baths to get rid of the ich. Salt baths are higher concentration for short amounts of time. Some bettas do not tolerate any salt well- but can't communicate that to us. So it's up to owners to be observant in behaviour and reactions.

You say you bought him at a pet store. Think about the conditions bettas are kept in at most of these places. Very little, very cold, and very inapprpriately treated water; usually no- or poor quality food; huge stress from shipping, re-jarring, handling, and all the other bettas around them.

Also, pellets to Betta is like us having non-flavered and kinda dry oatmeal or grits EVERYDAY. They subsist on this- but do not thrive. A sick fish will have an easier time of it getting and staying better if given proper nutrition and environmental conditions.

I suggest you read, read, and read some more on betta care. Most illness is due to a fish being stressed enough to no longer be able to cope- not due to a newly introduced pathogen. Keep that in mind as you do your research.

Let us know any progress.

Good Luck!

MS
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:17 PM   #6 
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Listen to Myates' advice- much more thorough than myself!
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:00 PM   #7 
Myates
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Thanks Randi :)

Only two things that I differ- no salt baths, as treatment would need constant salt in the water to kill off the ick and the eggs and any free swimming. Right now, the baths would cause unneeded stress for him.

Pellets are actually the best staple food next to live food- but with winter coming for half the world, live food can be harder to get unless you are able to hatch and raise baby brine shrimp.. some smaller LFS may carry other live foods.. frozen are excellent too.. but overall for processed food, pellets tend to be the best to feed for a couple different reasons; the different nutritional needs that need to be met can be packaged in those tiny little round things, as well as it's a lot easier to feed the correct amount to the betta without any falling down and causing problems with the water.
BUT you are very correct in that a balanced, variety of food is needed and best for them.. between pellets, frozen, live (if possible) and even some flakes, with freeze dried as treats make a good variety and balanced diet.. some even use home made food, which there is a recipe from a member on here that could be shared if interested.

It's not always the conditions they are kept in at fish stores, in the little cups, it's a lot due to the genetics of the mass-bred fish you find in Walmarts and other fish stores. Nowadays, the life expectancy of these guys are far less then they were say 15, 20 years ago sadly. Sometimes we can't help whether or not they become ill, all we can do is give them the best and hope. It's funny how someone can keep one in a bad enviroment for years and it live.. yet another person does above and beyond in care and they still fall ill and pass too early. :(
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:14 PM   #8 
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I keep forgetting that the rest of the world doesn't have access to betta cuisine year-round!

I guess hadn't read all of that post- yes - The salt baths are more just my own method based on individual experience. Totally opinion there (can I put my disclaimer in now?)

I absolutely agree about an individual's breeding. My girl is a poster child for good genes, she's so robust it's ridiculous. Agressively healthy if that makes sense. I just wanted to illustrate on the stress some fish too often undergo and how very much that stress can affect their immune system in and of itself.

MS
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:47 PM   #9 
ChibiShishou
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I've been doing a lot of betta study but I think my mistake came from not having reliable other betta owners to ask!

Thank you so much for your help everyone I appreciate it bunches! And so does my fishy! Ill give him a pep talk with double the pep!

Although I have to say ; he is ONE picky eater he won't eat any of the other betta foods I've given him. Just his pellets. Otherwise he lets them float away. I even tried wiggling it around in the water to make him see its food. Nope no go. Poor guy.


I do have to say though if you guys dont have one already get a leaf hammock. My fish LOVES the thing to death he just floats on it and sleeps as much as he wants.

Out of curiosity; what is an LFS? I've been seeing it all the time in my betta researching and I cant figure it out is it Live Food Stock??
Sorry Im new to bettas I've had goldfish but no betta's before this little one.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:00 PM   #10 
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Location: Newfoundland
LFS is local fish store/shop
LPS is local pet store/shop
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