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Old 12-15-2011, 11:55 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Does My Fish Have Parasites?

Hi everyone,

I'm a brand new betta owner. I bought my fish on Sunday, and I noticed that for the last two days he's been swimming around frantically and thrashing around every now and then. Most of the time he's totally fine, but when he gets under the little plant I put in there he starts acting really crazy. He turns around really quickly, thrashes around, stuff like that.

I read that these could be signs that he has parasites, but I don't see any white spots on his body, and I don't see any threads hanging from his gills. If anyone could please help me I don't know what to do but I really want this poor fish to be okay!

What size is your tank?
1 gal

What temperature is your tank?
room temperature

Does your tank have a filter?

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?

Is your tank heated?

What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Aqueon betta food

How often do you feed your betta fish?
3-4 pellets every morning

How often do you perform a water change?
new filtered tank, I haven't performed any water changes yet I just set it up on Sunday.

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
I was going to do 50% in a week

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I have an ammonia tester that says the water is safe


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
It hasn't changed

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
He's swimming really crazy

When did you start noticing the symptoms?
2 days ago

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?

Does your fish have any history of being ill?

How old is your fish (approximately)?
I'm not sure. I just got him from the store and I know he's an adult

If anyone could help me help my fish I would appreciate it so much!

Thank you!
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:35 PM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China

Take a flashlight and shine it on his body. Do you see anything that looks like gold or rust coloring?

•Symptoms: Can be found by shining a flashlight on your betta. If it looks like it is covered in fine gold of rust colored dust then it has velvet. Clamped Fins, no appetite, darting/rubbing, loss of color, lethargic
•Treatment: It is very contagious so you should treat the entire tank. Treat as you would treat Ick. PP is also my favorite for treating Velvet
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:27 PM   #3 
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thank you so much for helping me!

I looked at him and I thought he looks a little gold and shiny just under his chin and maybe under his fins.

If he has velvet, what should I do? He's all by himself, so I don't have to worry about other fish.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:48 AM   #4 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
well, first up...what color is he? Some bettas naturally have a goldish tone to them. can you post a picture?
Does he have any other symptoms like color loss or lethargic? There may be something in the water that's irritating him.

If it is velvet, supposedly its treated the same as ick. I have never had a run in with velvet, but here is how it's treated:

Conservative: Add 1 tsp/gal Aquarium Salt 3 times, 12 hours apart so that you end up with 3 times the normal concentration. Perform daily 100% water changes to remove fallen parasites before they can reproduce. Replace the water with the right amount of salt. Do not continue this treatment for more than 14 days. If it fails or you do not want to use salt, treat with Jungle’s Parasite Clear, API Super Ick Cure, or Kordon Rid Ich Plus. If your betta lives in a jar/bowl, then it can be difficult to heat the water. There are heaters for smaller containers, but you can also float the quarantine container in a larger heated tank during treatment. Do a full water change every day and add an appropriate amount of medication to the water.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 12-16-2011 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:25 AM   #5 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Actually, I think he is reacting to the ammonia in the tank-

I noticed that you don't use water conditioner- unless you are using a well for your water supply, I would suggest using water conditioner to remove the chlorine and other harmful chemicals found in tap water.

I would suggest getting a water dechlorinator/conditioner that works on chlorine/ammonia/nitrates, doing a 100% water change adding that in- make sure the temp is the same by using a thermometer. You should notice a difference pretty quickly. Almost a week in water that hasn't been changed and with no conditioner is most likely the cause of what is going on with him.

In a 1 gallon, unfiltered you would be wanting to do 1 50% and 1 100% per week- 50% per week is not nearly enough to keep the water safe. The most deadly of water conditions are invisible.. so even if the water looks clean, it may not be safe.

Bettas are tropical fish- they require warmth, 76-82* is what you are wanting.. cold water may result in lethargy, slower metabolism and lowered immunity. Bettas are like other tropical fish- the only difference really is that they don't need a filter, and they do good alone.

4 pellets at once is quite a lot, their stomachs are about the size of their eye. I would recommend 2-3 pellets, twice a day for a healthy diet.

I would not use any salts or treatments at this time.

Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:17 PM   #6 
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I'm not sure that its an ammonia problem. I did use water conditioner when I set up the tank, and it is filtered. I also have an ammonia reader in the tank, and it hasn't been registering a problem.

Secondly, I just did a 100% water change this morning, and I added stress coat+, aquarium salt, and I bought a heater. I didn't add aquarium salt when I set up the tank, and I've read that it's really useful in keeping fish healthy! I also boiled the decorations in case anything was living on them.

Unfortunately, after all of that I'm not sure that he's really looking any better. I think he's looking greyer than when I first got him, and it looks like he has two spots on each side of his head; on the gills and right in front of it. The spots aren't white, and they shine kinda gold-ish or red when I use the flashlight to look at it. Sometimes I watch him swim around and he seems calmer though. Every once in a while he'll start thrashing around.

How long would it take to see a difference in him, if he did have velvet? Is the poor thing a goner?

Thank you for your help though! I really appreciate every reply. I will feed him differently from now on!

Finally, My fish is a blue delta tail, and my camera can't get a clear picture of him, but for what it's worth here are a couple pictures. The first two I took two days ago, and the third I just took tonight.

Thanks again for all of your help!!
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:34 PM   #7 
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As an update, I am keeping his tank dark because I read that light affects the parasites. I've noticed that my fish has stopped thrashing and darting as often. He's pretty active and swimming around his tank but it's been awhile since he's hit himself on anything. Is this a good sign?
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