It's been about ten years since I owned a fish. I was at walmart and fell in love with two betta's who didn't seem very healthy. I had to buy them and get them out of that environment. So I bought a small tank with a divider, some rocks, and some fake plants. I put them into the tank together. For the first week they seemed fine. The clean water doing wonders. But then one of them fell ill suddenly. I bought Jungle Parasite Clear Fizz tabs after consulting some local pet stores and doing some online research. The fish died, that same day. It was devistating.
I took the remaining fish, Jupitor and placed him into a ten gallen tank which I filled half way with fresh water and placed half a fizz tab in. I washed all the rocks and plants and disinfected the original tank. After a week of treatment, following the dirrections on the box and pet store, I put Jupitor back in his little tank with the rocks and plants. He got sick again, external parasites, and I continued treatment.
I learned more about the parasites after I discovered three clear, worm-like creatures swimming in the tank. I only saw this because I happened to be shinning a flashlight into the tank and one of the worms had filled itself with blood from my fish and I could see the red. I wasn't able to find much online about this worm so took a guess and figured it was the one that drops off from the meds but will reproduce in two days. I realized there might be eggs in the rocks. Panicing, I put him back in the large tank and tossed the rocks and plants.
I've recently placed him back in his tank without anything but a temonitor. I've watched him closely for two weeks and he's been healthy, there are no abnormal behavors. Except that he only seems to use the bathroom once a week and it comes out as a brown mucus ball that seems way to large for a fish. Is this normal? I've only ever seen fish go in long thin strings. I'm extremly careful about how much I feed him, going off what I observe him to eat and past experance, but I have temperarily reduced his food just to be on the safe side. He's eating Betta fish flakes only. I don't have the money (unemployed presently) to get fancy worms or medications.
For Christmas I got Jupitor a new bag of rocks for his tank so he'd not be bord to death. I cleaned them by hand with warm water in a strainer. Then I boiled them for half-an-hour, rinsed and drained, then let them sit for a day in a half before rinsing again and putting in a freshly scrubbed tank. I rinsed a new fake plant and placed that in the tank as well. I'd let tap water sit for 30 hrs and poored it in, then added some fresh tap water to top off the tank, leaving two inches for air circulation. I added my water conditioner, about four drops. I change his water 75-100% every 2-4 days depending on how fast it starts to fog. I try to change it completly whenever possible. Unless medicating, then I follow instructions.
My fish has been in his new environment for two days, he didn't show any odd signs in behavor. Mild stress, but that's normal around this household. There's three cats who enjoy visiting his tank. I do my best to talk to him each day and play games and we've a ruiteen when changing his tank so it's not as upsetting for him. He normally remains calm through it all.
He seemed a bit bord yesterday, just floating in his tank. I went to feed him and he would eat the flakes then spit most of them out. He does that sometimes. About 6am he started rubbing himself against the plant and threamonitor. I thought it was him playing with his reflection at first but then noticed it was actual itching. He's been iching like mad for the last two hours, already started to rub and pull back his scales. I changed 95% of his water, conditioned it, and eventually broke down and treated him for parasites using Jungle again. I gave 1/3 a tablet (he's in a small tank).
I'm told that this should treat for ick as well since ick is a parasite. I have ick meds that I bought but would rather take back to the store. I don't see any white dots. How long do they take to appear?
Jupitor seems to be tiring himself out from the itching, which is what is making him seem mildly lethurgic. The meds seem to be helping to calm the itching (within 40mins of threatment). His fins are not clamped more then usual, and he's not darting about crazily. Just seems very itchy and spits his food out. He's rubbing the body near the head (but doesn't appear to be the gills) and along the base near the fin. With a flashlight I can sort of see specks on him near the back where he's been rubbing. I don't know if this is ick starting to form, or chaffing of the scales from all the rubbing. Or it could be velvet.
My fish is a dark blue-green, almost black near the head. He's got a natural goldish tint to his body and fins, red eyes, and red along the tips of his front fins beneath his face. I'm inexperanced with Ick, it's not something our fish have had very often...if ever. There's a warming on the meds for Ick not to overdose. I don't want to medicate the fish unless I know that's what it is for sure. So I'm just using the parasite clear, I only want to do one treatment and hope that helps.
Could it be that my fish is illurgic to the rocks or something? I can't keep him in an empty tank, he'll go nuts, but this is twice now that I've had this problem, both times when I've put rocks in the tank. While the first time could have been from the original infection, I just don't see how this one can be. My fish has been clean for three weeks nearly. This is a different tank from treatment and all new products. Please help. Is this going to kill him or just take some time to pass?
PS. sorry this post was so long. Figured you'd better understand what he's been through for a better assessment.
UPDATE: The itching seems to have decreased, figured the meds would help with that and prevent infection if it is his scales he's chaffing away and not spots from parasites. He's mostly just floating in the middle of the tank and his fins are limp, he's not moving more then he needs too. Is that what they call clamping? He swims to the surface for a gulp of air then floats back down. He will swim about calmly if I come up to his tank or shin the flashlight in. I'm just not seeing anything unusual on his skin but he's just so hard to see even with the flashlight cuz he's so dark and multicolored blues.