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Old 12-23-2011, 02:44 PM   #1 
mardi
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Could this be parasites

So, some time ago I made a post about my Bowie rubbing against some of the decor I had in his tank. I observed him for signs of parasites, but finding nothing, I decided he just might have been bored, or not like the new cave I had put in there (which is the main thing he had been rubbing on).

That original thread is here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=87575

Fast Forward to this past Sunday.

I had been noticing that parts of his anal fin had little pin point holes in them for the past few weeks. They would be there for a couple of days and then go away. With this past Sunday's water change, I noticed his dorsal fin looking ragged. Buy Wednesday's water change, it looked like it was deteriorating. By the time I got home from work yesterday, I felt like I had to QT him.

He had also been rubbing against the bottom of his heater (which has rubber buffers on the top and bottom of it.). It wasn't like he was trying to scratch, it was more like a cat rubbing on a couch, or something. He hasn't been darting or twitching.

I know I might seem like a paranoid mama. Maybe it's just fin rot, but I have been concerned about him rubbing against things. There appear to be little salt like things on the bottom of his QT tank. I thought that I had fully dissolved the AQ salt I've been using, but maybe not? (I couldn't find any clear pictures online of what parasites look like in a tank setting)

I've attached photos of him and the particles at the bottom and will fill out the questionaire in another reply.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and i'm sorry if it's really nothing. I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:55 PM   #2 
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Housing
What size is your tank? 5.5 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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? Himself

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum Betta pellets (4-6 pellets 2x's a day) Hikari Freeze Dried bloodworms Twice a week, in place of a meal (soaked in tank water for 6 minutes before feeding, they reconstitute really well).
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? one 50% and one 20%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime conditioner

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

Took it to a pet store once a week until last week, when I bought strips to do testing myself. The following test was done on the water still in his tank from the WC on Wednesday. I used Mardel 5-in-one test strips to measure everything except the ammonia, which I measured with Jungle "Quick Dip" Ammonia Test kit.

Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0
pH: 7.5
Hardness: doesn't even register. The lightest color on the strip was orange, and the pad for this turned yellow.
Alkalinity: 300

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Ragged fins with black tips
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lightly rubbing on heater
When did you start noticing the symptoms? a few weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? He's currently in a QT tank with 1 tsp AQ salt and stress coat
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Could be anywhere between eight months to a year

Last edited by mardi; 12-23-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:38 PM   #3 
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I just noticed Bowie is giving me serious stink eye in the second to last photo. Neither one of us are too happy to have him in QT this close to Christmas. Blah
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:56 PM   #4 
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Did Bowie's WC. His gills seem to be flaring out more than normal when he breathes. I noticed him bashing himself against the bottom of his QT tank earlier. I'm going to turn his heater up tonight, I figure it can't hurt, and will see what I can see in the morning.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:06 AM   #5 
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Curious about the little salt sprinkles. Do they just randomly appear? Could be external parasites falling off. Do the sprinkles look like they might be (ugh) tapeworm segments coming out of him?

Bowie may have skin and/or gill flukes. These are external parasites like ich and velvet but they are only visible with a microscope. They'll cause the rubbing and other symptoms you're seeing. Like fleas on a fish.

Conservative treatment: 3 tsps of AQ salt, heat at about 84-86 F
Aggressive treatment: General Cure or Seachem ParaGuard or praziquantel, normal heat

Change as much of the water (all if you can) every day for at least a week while treating. Also, continue with the Stress Coat. Slime coat is definitely wanted in this case.

I hope this helps. Keep us updated.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:37 AM   #6 
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Hey Sakura!

They did seem to appear overnight, the first night I put him in his QT tank. This morning, there aren't as many, but there appear to be a few little mold looking white dots in the bottom of the QT tank.

I didn't bump up his heat last night, but i'm going to right after posting this. I'm going to have to brave the crowds today, because I'm really thinking I should get out and buy one of the more agressive treatment options, to have on hand. Don't want to be caught without medicine on Christmas Day.

There were a lot of slime coat particles in his tank when I took him out Thursday evening. He's still eating and is still vivacious enough to give me the stink eye. lol

Do you have any recommendations as to which of the aggressive treatments I should buy? I'm going to try the conservative tonight, and see how much stuff there is in his tank tomorrow before deciding to try something else.

Thanks for the reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
Curious about the little salt sprinkles. Do they just randomly appear? Could be external parasites falling off. Do the sprinkles look like they might be (ugh) tapeworm segments coming out of him?

Bowie may have skin and/or gill flukes. These are external parasites like ich and velvet but they are only visible with a microscope. They'll cause the rubbing and other symptoms you're seeing. Like fleas on a fish.

Conservative treatment: 3 tsps of AQ salt, heat at about 84-86 F
Aggressive treatment: General Cure or Seachem ParaGuard or praziquantel, normal heat

Change as much of the water (all if you can) every day for at least a week while treating. Also, continue with the Stress Coat. Slime coat is definitely wanted in this case.

I hope this helps. Keep us updated.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:28 AM   #7 
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General Cure is the easiest to find, since Petsmart carries it. I've heard really good things about ParaGuard but you'll probably have to go to a fish store to find it. I think General Cure should do the trick though. Hopefully the pet stores won't be too crazy because I think I need to make a trip too.

I'm glad he's eating, that's always a very good sign.

Best of luck with the little guy and keep us updated. :)
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:48 PM   #8 
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Yeah, two of the more "independent" pet stores by me didn't carry the Paraguard. I wound up going to Petsmart and getting some general cure.

The stores actually weren't too bad. I even braved the Wal-Mart by me and it wasn't as crazy as I was expecting.

There's slime on the outside of his Hospital tank, (which I have floating in his 5.5), I haven't changed the water in his 5.5 since all of this went down. I cranked the heat up and he doesn't like it very much at all. He ate all of his breakfast, but there are now several little small pellet like poops in his tank.

This is so frustrating.

I'm assuming I should give him a 2 day break from the salt treatments before switching to the general cure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
General Cure is the easiest to find, since Petsmart carries it. I've heard really good things about ParaGuard but you'll probably have to go to a fish store to find it. I think General Cure should do the trick though. Hopefully the pet stores won't be too crazy because I think I need to make a trip too.

I'm glad he's eating, that's always a very good sign.

Best of luck with the little guy and keep us updated. :)
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:20 PM   #9 
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It would be best to give him a bit of time but if you're careful, it also shouldn't hurt him too much to jump straight into the General Cure.

Well, pooping is good. Disgusting but good. It means we don't have to worry about constipation, too. And the poops sound normal so it doesn't seem as if he has an internal parasite problem so yay for that.

Hang in there, you two, you're doing great. :)
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:11 AM   #10 
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You are so sweet! Thanks so much for the kind words.

I'm wishing I had taken action before his immune system was down enough for him to get fin rot, but the way I see it, I at least noticed before he was clamped and seriously sick. He's not liking his new home, but he's eating and occupying himself by working on a bubble nest today.

There was a ton of goop in his tank yesterday afternoon, so much that I actually did his WC a bit early because I felt bad. One of the goops even looked like it was moving! (gross!). I added the larger does of AQ salt that you recommended, and kept the heat up. Is tank is much cleaner than I was expecting this morning, based on what I saw yesterday. Just normal, slime coat in there. I'm going to do some research on the lifespan of flukes. I'm not sure how common it is to see evidence of it one day and then not the next.

I think I'm going to continue using the salt for now, and just treat his 5.5 with the General cure while he's in his QT tank, so make sure I have a handle on that.

Bowie and I thank you so much for being supportive. it helps to know we have a cheerleader, so to speak.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
It would be best to give him a bit of time but if you're careful, it also shouldn't hurt him too much to jump straight into the General Cure.

Well, pooping is good. Disgusting but good. It means we don't have to worry about constipation, too. And the poops sound normal so it doesn't seem as if he has an internal parasite problem so yay for that.

Hang in there, you two, you're doing great. :)
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