Words cannot express how grateful I am to have your guys help! You all have great advice! I'm definitely learning more about these kinds of problems.
Could this be velvet? See pictures and video below. I have no experience with this disease, but I'm definitely seeing a dusting of what looks like gold dust. I don't see it when the flashlight isn't on him. Sounds like he has all the symptoms for it as well.
He had a bowel movement while in the cup, it has a normal color.
Sorry for the double post, but... I went ahead and turned off his light because I heard that can help. The heater I have in his tank isn't adjustable, so that is a bit of problem since it sounds like raising the temp to 82 is helpful.
All I have on hand is Aquarium Salt, API Super Ick Cure, and Methylene Blue.
Should I wait and buy coppersafe tomorrow? Any other treatment recommendations?
If you've never seen iridescent gold dusting on him before, it certainly does seem like it could be velvet. Here's a suggestion: shine the flashlight on his face. Does he have gold specks on his eyeballs? Does it look like has any on his body, though? Or just his fins? Velvet attacks EVERYTHING, even the eyes (which is why I asked). If it's not on his body, he may have flukes or another similar parasite that is invisible to the naked eye.
Coppersafe is potent stuff and generally I prefer not to use it. Once you get copper in your tanks, you practically have to buy a copper testing kit to make sure you get it out. Rather, if it IS velvet or even another external parasite, the better course would be:
3 tsps of aquarium salt per gallon, high heat to 86 F, darken the tank as much as possible. It's no exaggeration to say some people even stuff the tank into a dark closet when it's velvet. The little suckers are light-responsive so depriving them of light shortens their lifespan or something like that.
As with ich, you'll want to do daily water changes to remove any parasites that fall off. If he seems like he is having a hard time breathing in the warm water, put an airstone in.
Hmm, just checked. Looks like you may need an adjustable heater? Good adjustable 25w heaters include Hagen Elite, Penn Plax Cascade, and possibly AquaClear. Local fish stores usually have these harder to find names. I know the Pet Club in Elk Grove has them all but that's quite a drive . . .
I hope this helps. He's such a strikingly handsome betta.
I figured out the heating problem. I put him in a 3 gallon critter keeper with the heater that came with my 10 gallon kit. It's adjustable so I can slowly bring the heat up to 86 F. I wrapped a blanket around the tank to keep him in darkness and put 3 teaspoons of aquarium salt in.
I'm a bit confused, getting conflicting info on a few things from another forum. I was told 1 tsp per gallon, 82 F, that it looks like velvet, and to get coppersafe.
Coppersafe is used for external parasites, which I beleive is what velvet is.
I have never had to deal with Velvet, so I can't offer any advice. Just be careful with some of these meds. Some are pretty potent and some, like bettafix and melefix can be more harmful then useful.
*Stabilized copper effectively treats external parasites - Ich, velvet, flukes, and more*Maintains a therapeutic level of copper safe for fish but effective against parasites*Anti-parasitic treatment for aquarium fish - one dose treats for one month Safely treat external parasites such as Ich, flukes, anchor worms, and velvet/protozoan diseases in saltwater and freshwater aquariums. CopperSafe, a unique stabilized form of chelated copper, is designed to maintain a therapeutic level of copper that is safe for fish but effective against parasites. Convenient Acu-measure bottle lets you quickly, easily, accurately measure the correct dosage - with no mess. One dose lasts for one month. 4 oz doses 100 gallons. For freshwater or saltwater fish-only aquariums.
Directions for Use:
Use 5 ml for 4 gallons of water. Loosen measuring chamber cap and squeeze bottle to fill to desired level. One application treats water for one month. DO NOT overdose. Active Ingredients: Chelated Copper Sulfate. Precautions: CopperSafe may be harmful to plants and some snails. If possible, remove plants and invertebrates without an exoskeleton from the aquarium. Otherwise, treat fish in a separate quarantine tank. Keep out of reach of children. For aquarium use only.
CopperSafe is intended for the exclusive use with ornamental fish and/or ornamental organisms and is not intended for use with humans or fish for human consumption. Benefit: CopperSafe is a chelated copper compound that is used for the treatment of infections of Ick, Flukes (Gyrodactylus), Anchor Worms, Velvet/Protozoan diseases and other external parasites.
CopperSafe, when used as directed, maintains a total copper level of 1.5 ppm to 2.0 ppm in the water. CopperSafe remains active for over one month in the aquarium. Levels of 0.3 ppm free copper are recommended in the literature for therapeutic use, but with Coppersafe, the levels of free copper will be measured at 1.5 ppm to 2.0 ppm. This level of copper can be used in the treatment of fish due to Coppersafe's unique chelating agent. The chelating agent binds with the copper making it nontoxic to fish but effective against parasites. CopperSafe does not discolor the water and will not interfere with the biological filter Use: CopperSafe should be used when a diagnosis of the fish's illness indicates the presence of Ick, Flukes (Gyrodactylus), Anchor Worms, Velvet/ Protozoan Diseases and other external freshwater parasites. NOTE: CopperSafe may cause an adverse reaction with some sensitive invertebrates. Invertebrates without an exoskeleton such as jellyfish and anemones should be removed before treatment. CopperSafe may be harmful to plants, amphibians, and snails.
A chelated or total copper test kit is required to measure CopperSafe. Coppersafe may cause inaccurate free copper readings when using certain test kits. All readings should be based on the total copper or chelated copper results and not the free copper results.
Coppersafe is safe to use with UV Sterilizers, Protein Skimmers, Wet/Dry and Diatomaceous earth filters. After treatment, Coppersafe can be removed from the aquarium by water changes, fresh activated carbon or other chemical filtration resins/pads.
Yeah, now that I have seen photos, this certainly sounds like Velvet to me. Regardless of the treatment or illness, you are taught to be careful. I've treated Bettas with good intentions and all, thinking I knew enough about the medication and procedure and then I'd discover a dead fish due to my personal error or misinformation, it's best to take preventive measures of course, anti-parasitic food, Green Tea to boost the immune system, strengthen scales, Dechlor...
but sometimes, you just run into something like this that just startles you a bit. I had one Betta that literally decayed in front of me and there was nothing I could do. Just be careful with the medication dosage and form your own opinion based on medication reviews/experience that others have had. Copper is hard to remove from your water, but if you're accustomed to checking your tank's balance, it shouldn't be hard to keep it in check.
Just start one treatment that you think is best and if you see improvements? Awesome! If there is improvement but not at the speed you feel would be best for your fish, try something else, but allow each treatment to take its course.
When a case of velvet gets as bad as Gershwin had it (bought him like this from Petco), it can go internal and really cause some damage. Glad you caught it early, Lion.
The instructions I got for treating velvet, with 3 tsps AQ salt and high heat at 86 F I got from DarkMoon17. In my case, she definitely didn't recommend Coppersafe because Gershwin was so weak but your handsome boy is much stronger and healthier so he should be able to handle it.