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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago I noticed my betta Aries was not his normal active self. He was just floating along the top braced up against the divider.

I removed him from the tank to examine him and I noticed tiny hairlike strings near his mouth and face. I put him in the hospital tank and started to research parasites and worms but they really don't look like anything I've seen or read about online. The strings are so tiny and short I can barely see them unless I put him in a glass and hold it up to a light.

I tried to capture the strings in a pic so you guys can help me identify what it might be. Sorry I don't have a good camera and the strings are so very tiny but you can sort of see them on the blue of his body the contrast of his red fins helps to show them a bit.

I am thinking of trying API general cure but at the moment I've just been
using a bit of aq salt and keeping the hospital tank at 80 degrees and clean. I'm thinking that it is a worm or external parasite of some sort. :-?

I would really appreciate any advice on what it could be and treatment options!

Thank you!
 

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It looks almost like his slime coat shedding off. What kind of additives do you use in the main tank? ie. water conditioner, any salts, vitamins, anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It looks almost like his slime coat shedding off. What kind of additives do you use in the main tank? ie. water conditioner, any salts, vitamins, anything.
Thank you! Hmmm, I was only using Seachem Prime in the main tank and since putting him in the hospital tank I added a tiny amount of aq salt.
In the hospital tank I also used API stress coat.
 

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Okay, for now can you fill out this form for his regular tank while I research some stuff?

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This morning when I went to look at him he was sleeping on his side like completely flat under the indian alomond leaf I gave him. I just moved the leaf a bit to see if he was ok and he started darting about everywhere.... He's a halfmoon doubletail so I figured it was normal for them to lay on their sides like that...
He's always hiding under the leaf since I noticed these strings. Not sure what to try.
 

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lol sounds like you woke him from a nice sleep! They'll do that if you startle them good enough, that part is normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, for now can you fill out this form for his regular tank while I research some stuff?

Housing
What size is your tank? He was in a 10 gallon section of a 30 gallon divided.
What temperature is your tank? It was about 77.
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? There were two other male bettas in the other two sections of my divided 30 gallon.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets, frozen and freeze dried.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25% sometimes more.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Seachem Prime

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Haven't tested the water since moving him and I did a huge water change after moving him so I don't know.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He seems a bit paler and has these tiny white strings on his body.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes he's mostly hiding under the indian almond leaf and not as active.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last Thursday.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I added aq salt since last Friday in his hospital tank.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He had a mild case of swim bladder.
How old is your fish (approximately)?
I brought him in May and he was already about 4 months old so maybe ~8 months old?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh okay lol thanks. I never really bugged him this much before. I hope I'm not stressing him out I'm just scared I'm going to find him dead every time I go to check up on him. He's so not himself...
 

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Okay, when was the tank set up? Has it fully cycled yet or do you know of the Nitrogen Cycle? Does his gills seem more red or irritated at all? Does he breathe heavier or faster when he's not scared?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
It was set up in may. Yes I think it has cycled. It's a 30 gallon divided with 3 bettas, I never really got high reading of ammonia or nitrites... I thought it maybe went through a silent cycle, I have a lot of live plants in there as well.
His gills don't seem red or irritated but his breathing does seem more laboured and when he swims it looks like he's struggling...
When he stops to rest his body goes upright vertically as if he's standing up on his fins.
 

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Okay, and have you recently changed anything like the filter cartridge or as the old one dried out at all? I was just wondering if it was going through a mini cycle or anything lately because that could cause slime coat irritation and make it flake off like that.

My other possible diagnosis would be skin flukes or some sort of parasite, but I'm doing more research on that at the moment. If he has it then it's also very possible that the other two may have them as well, just not quite showing them yet.

Does he flash (itch) at all on objects? Is he clamping his fins any? What about him is different, just that he's become more lethargic or something more?

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to piece it all together since I'm not there, it's hard to judge these things sometimes :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ah yes I did change the filter media recently and the other two weren't in the 30 gallon with Aries when he came down with this illness. I took them out because I thought the other 2 had fin rot but only one of them did but other than that my other 2 halfmoon boys are perfectly fine. I was worried about it being parasites so none of them are in the same tank atm. Everyone is in their temp./hospital tanks until I get to the bottom of this.

Aries is lethargic and seems to be laying on the bottom of the tank under a Indian Almond leaf most of the time.

No thank you for all the questions and for the help. I appreciate it.
 

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Okay! Is it possible you can test your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate? You can take it to a pet store and generally they have free services to test your water, just ask for exact results otherwise they'll just say "it's fine" and leave you at that. Because, if he's not clamping and hasn't dulled drastically, isn't flashing or anything like that then it's more likely NOT to be parasites (which is always a big relief I know! lol) and just to be an ammonia or nitrite spike that you might have missed at some point after the filter media was changed. Unless you let the new media seed with the old one, that would be stuffing the new media in with the old one for at least two weeks so the bacteria can move over to the new stuff and THEN taking out the old media.

There is still a possibility of parasites here just because bacteria doesn't just grow in the filter, it adheres everywhere and with only three fish, you really shouldn't see a huge ammonia spike. However, if the other two have been out for a while, a week or more then you could have also had a bacteria die off when they didn't have enough food to eat and that can cause an ammonia spike as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay! Is it possible you can test your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate? You can take it to a pet store and generally they have free services to test your water, just ask for exact results otherwise they'll just say "it's fine" and leave you at that. Because, if he's not clamping and hasn't dulled drastically, isn't flashing or anything like that then it's more likely NOT to be parasites (which is always a big relief I know! lol) and just to be an ammonia or nitrite spike that you might have missed at some point after the filter media was changed. Unless you let the new media seed with the old one, that would be stuffing the new media in with the old one for at least two weeks so the bacteria can move over to the new stuff and THEN taking out the old media.

There is still a possibility of parasites here just because bacteria doesn't just grow in the filter, it adheres everywhere and with only three fish, you really shouldn't see a huge ammonia spike. However, if the other two have been out for a while, a week or more then you could have also had a bacteria die off when they didn't have enough food to eat and that can cause an ammonia spike as well.
He's in a 2 gallon right now being treated with aq salt I did a 100% water change last night. I noticed that he is mostly lying on things in the qt tank but when he does swim he is darting around/flashing against things. Therefore maybe I should try the api general cure.

I'm worried he won't make it though... I've never seen him like this, he seems to be having a hard time staying straight horizontally...:cry:
 
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