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Old 01-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Fighting Velvet, need some advice

New here, and new betta owner. I got him from Petsmart about a week and a half ago, and it turns out he had Velvet. I've read up quite a bit about it and a few other subjects since getting him, and he is on some medication to help him with the Velvet.

Currently, he's also in a 1.5 gallon tank with a heater and a filter. Yes, I realize this is a bit small and it will be upgraded soon. My fish is also seeming a bit perkier, swimming about quite a bit, and exploring his rocks/plants despite the Velvet. He was very lethargic for a few days and I was worried he was going to die, and I realize he might -still- die if the care is not maintained until Velvet is all gone.

However, I'm having a problem with him eating. He just is not interested -at all- in pellets or betta flakes. He has taken some bloodworms (freeze dried) but, as I understand it, these are just treats and not meant for an every day meal. I've tried two different types of betta pellets and he mouths them, spits them out...and lately has just been ignoring them all together. Given the fact he hasn't eaten much at all since I got him, largely due to him being sick I think, I really want to try to entice him into eating a little and not just "treat food".

Does anyone have any suggestions? I've tried half pellets (he is still quite small) but he just doesn't seem to like them one bit. Also, any further tips for overcoming velvet would be helpful too. As I mentioned, he's getting medicine for it, his water his treated at every change so it's safe, and he has a filter (though I'm not running it with a filter while he's on his medicine, just an air rock) and his tank is heated. I've also been keeping his tank out of the light, as I've read Velvet thrives in light.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:24 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Hi Amir,

The 1.5g will be fine for now, most hospital/treatment tanks are 1g to simplify dosing medication and monitoring of the betta.

Feeding can be finicky when they're healthy and picky, let alone sick and picky. First, make sure that he does have Velvet:

•Symptoms: Can be found by shining a flashlight on your betta. If it looks like it is covered in fine gold of rust coloured dust then it has velvet. Clamped Fins, no appetite, darting/rubbing, loss of colour, lethargic
•Treatment: It is very contagious so you should treat the entire tank. Treat as you would treat Ick. PP is also my favourite for treating Velvet.

One of my dudes, Slevin has a light gold dust across his scales, but this is not velvet, it is part of his colouring in certain light and almost betta dragonscale-like. So ensure that he does meet the other symptoms listed above. If confirmed, you will want to assist with the recommended treatment similar to ick:

•Treatment: You can treat Ick either conservatively or with medication. Ick is a parasite. Because ick is contagious, it is preferable to treat the whole tank when one fish is found to have it. Ick is temperature sensitive: Leave your betta in the community tank and raise temperature to 85 F. Then you can choose to treat with salt or medication. 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.
•Alternative Treatment: Personally, I have not found Ick medications very effective. I prefer to use PP to treat all external parasites. In the past, I have used 3 or 4 different ick medications unsuccessfully, and every time I resort to PP which works like a charm. Do lots of research before using PP as it is a more dangerous chemical than most

The most important thing here is medication (AQ salt), water changes and tank temperature. If you have a 1.5g you may not be able to fit an adjustable heater into the tank to maintain a stable and higher temperature. If you have a “betta pad/heater” this will suffice – however it may not have the strength to heat the tank sufficiently to the required temperature. Generally they are only able to heat a few degrees above room temperature, which in winter may still not reach the ideal ranges for a betta. My hospital tank better heater is only 5w, during spring when it was used I had a room temperature of around 24 degrees, this managed to heat the tank to 28-29, fluctuating down to 26 during early morning when it was cooler. At the worst case, it is better than no heater at all.

With treatment in place we can focus on food. Members have soaked pellets or other food in garlic juice and have enticed the betta to nom. Hit and miss affair, it could come down to the brand/ingredients that are contained within the food you are using do not entice betta. I personally use Hikari Bio Gold betta pellets and have never had a rejection, other members use this brand with success. There are other brands out, but I am recommending the one I use.

I would also suggest for a water conditioner that you use API Stress Coat+, I find this is a great conditioner and I believe because of clean water and the combination of health and slime coat benefits from Stress Coat, my Bettas are healthy and parasite-less.

For further specific treatment or assistance with Velvet I strongly recommend making a post in the Disease section specifically for Velvet. The disease section is monitored by experienced members who have dealth with velvet and other diseases – generally, questions are answered quickly and in-depth.

I hope this has given you something to start with. All the best for betta and a speedy recovery.

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