Alright so Beau has had this white cotton looking growth come and go for three weeks now, and we're beginning the fourth. He's been on BettaFix for two weeks, stopped for one, it came back, but since I'm running out I went to a different pet store today and they sold me PimaFix. How effective is this for my Betta? Better or worse than BettaFix? Here's a picture in which you can see the growth. Previously it was only on the bottom front fin there that's red, and as you can see from the picture, it's now on the front of his blue fins.
Another question I have, and I asked last night and didn't get much response, is he got new tank decor yesterday, and has made a bit of a cave in the blue glass pebbles. I thought he was stuck at first and got him out, but when he went back in less than 5 mins later, I left him for a few mins and he got out just fine. It seems to be a new favorite hiding place, however, I'm just wondering if it's safe? Can he get stuck? He was able to push a few of the pebbles around, so I don't think they would trap him but I'm unsure :/
Here's a picture of him "stuck" so you can see what I mean.
Btw it's a 2L tank he's in, 50% change mid each week and a 100% change on weekends. The tank is temporary until May (hopefully not August) until I move into my new place (because I currently live in residence). He's less than a year old, and I've had him since January. He's been sick most of the time I've had him :/
Some bettas do burrow and some have been known to do so to the point they totally bury themselves and suffocate so be careful with him.. Does he appear to be darting/flashing/scratching on things?
That is a 1/4 gallon tank.. you need to be doing 100% daily water changes. Also bettas need to be kept in constant 76-82F tanks, and I'm sure you don't have a heater for something that small. That is really not an appropriate tank or setup for your betta and it is not surprising he is sick.
You really need to move him into something bigger.. at least 2.5g along with a heater and an intank thermometer. I suggest something like a Marineland Visitherm or a Hydor Theo adjustable heater. You also need to increase your water changes. Until you get these things fixed your guy can't get better.
I really can't see the cottony growth.. but Primafix isn't going to help you. Cottony growths can be fungus or columnaris which is actually bacterial. First thing, get him into a proper home. As far as medications, something like Kanaplex or Furan-2 would be good choices. Furan-2 is an API med and should be easily found if you can't get the Kanaplex which is hard to find. All of these will need to be diluted according to the tank size you are using.
It's half a gallon, and it's temporary until I move in May, there's nothing I can do about that at the moment, much as I'd love to. I already have a 5 gallon tank picked out for when I move (or a 10 gallon if I can afford it), but for now this is the best set up I have.
However, he is heated, to about 78 - 79*F, because he resides atop a heater in my residence room (the heater is inside a counter, so there's the counter top then him... does this make sense?) and I monitor it, he remains at a stable temp. I really do the best I can for him for the time being until I'm able to do more.
The bottle says it treats bacterial and fungal infections... the active ingredient is Pimenta Racemosa. The BettaFix's active ingredient is Melaleuca.
I'll definitely look into finding Furan-2 though if I can! (Being in Canada, it can be difficult to find common American brands in our stores.. I'll see what I can do though, or ask if there's something comparable on our shelves though!)
To answer your first question, which I forgot to though, he isn't darting or scratching or anything. He doesn't even have a stress stripe. He's very happy and social, and the only time he's ever been lethargic was a two day period where his colours went dull about two weeks ago. Another 100% change and he perked up quite quickly. I'll circle the white stuff in the picture though so people can see it better, thanks for letting me know you couldn't!
Also, thank you for your help!
Do you know how effective PimaFix will be in permanently solving the problem by any chance? :/
Note: I'd added the proper amount to his cube around the same time I wrote this initial post - since then, the white has almost completely disappeared. However, I've had it completely go away before, and it always seems to come back... also, I'm a little worried as to how quickly this appears to have worked? D: That doesn't seem safe to me... ideas on this please?
I can't figure out how to edit the top post. Here's the edited pic.
The bottom circle it's easier to see the white stuff... it grows around his fin, and in that part, it's extended off the ray, but on the red fin, in the circle above, it doesn't have very much, but it has some, appearing "fuzzy" (note, the very tip of that red fin is naturally white, it's the "fuzziness" on it I'm concerned about)
If you can't increase his size to May then just be really really diligent about changing his water 100% daily. You also need to make sure the new water is the same temp as the old water when you change him.
Any of the "fix" stuff are not recommended. They are not actual treatments but herbal stuff that is kinda like putting neosporin on a cut.. and some of them, like the ingredients in Bettafix can harm the labrynth organ and kill the fish. Some people still use them as they can be effective -sometimes- for -somethings- but really, imho, the risk isn't worth the gain as there are other products you can use that are both more effective and pose less risk to your fish.
I think in his case I would start with daily water changes along with adding 1/4 tsp aquarium salt to his 1/4 gallon tank (at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon) (predissolved) and give him a week on this and see how he fairs. If he looks to be getting better continue for an additional week (1 week total) then discontinue the salts and just do daily changes.
If he's not getting better I'd go for Furan -2.. How to dissolve for 1/4 gallon.. well those packets don't do well in teaspoons so I guess I'd do 10 cups of treated water and mix in one packet of Furan-2. Then take 1/4 cup of the mix and put it in his tank. Do this daily along with the 100% change and you need to mix it up with a new packet and fresh water daily too (don't reuse the mixture day after day) because the meds lose effectiveness after a day or two and won't work. Treat for a week and reevaluate.
Thank you Callistra! :) When I do the water changes daily, should they all be 100% changes? I'm worried this may stress him too much... and when he's stressed, he refuses to eat (I forgot to previously mention this). :/ Maybe 50% and 100% on alternating days?
And I always make sure his water is the same temperature, no worries! :)
Edit: I double checked, because I was pretty sure 2L was a half gallon but you said it was a quarter, and I wasn't entirely sure anymore... just to correct, one litre = 0.26 of a gallon, so two is just over half of one. He lives in a half gallon tank. I guess, since everyone talks about gallons on here, I should know this, rather than making people do the conversions themselves! :)
The stress during water changes is really due to water parameter changes.. things like temperature and ph swings. As long as these things are held constant there should be no stress during water changes.
The 50% followed by 100% is how I change my 1 gallons so for 1/4 gallon prob have some ammonia build up.
I would invest in a drops test kit if you plan to not change 100% daily and check the water ever 24 hours. See how much is there after 24 hours and if 50% change is enough to remove it to a 0 showing. If you use a turkey baster to suck his poop off the bottom every time you notice it the ammonia will build up less fast. It might be enough depending on how much he poops and how fast and thoroughly you can get the waste out.
Alright, thanks :) I already use a turkey baster Lol... every day, and I instantly remove food that he doesn't eat.
Do you think it's possible part of what caused this was a change in pH? I bought him at a pet store an hour and a half north of where I go to school, where the pH is relatively close to 7, but where I go to school the pH is naturally 7.9 - 8.0... about a week or two after bringing him back to school is when it all started... :/
You've been very helpful by the way, I really appreciate it Callistra. :)
How much and what are you feeding a day? He should be eating everything you feed and if you're feeding standard sized pellets (like Hikari, Omega One etc) He should be getting 3-5 a day split up twice with one day a week fast.
Well temperature and ph swings can stress the fish and weaken the immune system but they can adapt to any number of phs so long as they are acclimated properly and then the new ph is constant.. not swinging all over. A lot of times ph changes once it has set out a while. Like mine will go from almost 9 to under 7 in 2-4 days span so that can be stressful (I fix it by aging water) but otherwise he should be ok.