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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I’m struggling to diagnose what is wrong with my veil tail Betta who is getting on for a couple of years old so any help you can provide would be really appreciated.

Symptoms as follows...

Small white spot above gill (circled in the picture) been there for a week or so but no other white spots
Darker scales in some places on body (circled in the picture)
Colour fading and not as vibrant
Fins a bit ragged
Sometimes coming to surface to breath
Some lethargy

The water conditions are good and tank is 30 litres. Its def not ammonia related and temp is fine. I did have to clean the tank out a couple of weeks ago to remove a build up on furry white stuff from the gravel so wonder if this was some kind of fungus?

Anyway, I’ve read a few sites to try and diagnose what this may be...but the combination of symptoms seems to suggest maybe more than one issue somewhere between...

Columnaris
Fin Rot
Gill Flukes
White Spot

What would you recommend I treat for first? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks in advance for any help...the fish is not doing well at all...

Housing:

How many gallons is your tank? 30 litres or 6.6 gallons or 7.9 US gallons

Does it have a filter? Yes

Does it have a heater? Yes

What temperature is your tank? 79-81 degrees Fahrenheit

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes

Does your Betta have tank mates? No

Food:

What food brand do you use? Betta Bio Gold

Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets

Freeze-dried? No, I don’t think so

How often do you feed your Betta? Twice a day

How much? 4-5 pellets (eats these in one minute)

Maintenance:

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a fortnight on average

What percentage of water did you change? 30-50%

What is the source of your water? Tap

Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Tried to vacuum substrate

What additives do you use? API Aquarium Salt

What brand of conditioner? Tetra Aquasafe

Water Parameters:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: No test kit
Hardness (GH): No test kit
Alkalinity (KH): No test kit

Symptoms and Treatment:

When did you first notice the symptoms?
About a week ago

How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Very clamped fins, less vibrant colour, one small white marking near head

How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
No longer active at all, constantly lying on bottom of tank and hiding all day - only active at feeding time before settling down to bottom again.

Is your Betta still eating? Yes, normally twice a day.

Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Added pimafix and melafix to tank in desperation 2 days ago - no change in symptoms. I live in UK and can’t easily access proper fish antibiotics.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not really, mild fin rot a few months ago

How long have you owned your Betta? 18 months

Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No
 

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I'm honestly not sure what that might be, but if I was in the U.K. I'd try this medicine https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/aquacare-general-tonic-100ml?recommend=category-most-popular From what I can tell it treats some fungal infections, and some bacterial infections. It'll also treat protozoan infections. The other thing you can try, and the one I'm more familiar with is Seachem ParaGuard, but I'm not positive it's still available in the U.K., as I cannot find it on Amazon.UK, but I can find the General Tonic.

While he's sick it would be best to do at least 50% water changes bi-weekly, once he's well you can switch to one 25% water change once a week. The more frequent water changes will lower the amount of pathogens in the water and help him heal himself. Sort of like airing out the room of a person who's sick.

I wish that I could definitively say what's wrong with him and give you more then better advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you, I really appreciate your help.

The tonic you’ve suggested looks good but it takes a few days to deliver and I’m worried time may be running out.

Do you think any of these might work instead as they are on next day delivery on Amazon...

Interpet Anti Fungus and Finrot Aquarium Fish Treatment, 100 ml https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FH2K6LS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_wBfsEb15SENN1

Interpet Anti Bacteria Aquarium Fish Treatment, 100 ml https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FH2K2GM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_iEfsEbMY8JVXM

I’ll also increase water changes to twice a week at 50% but how does that work when you add medications to the water as well - will it dilute the meds?
 

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Thank you, I really appreciate your help.

The tonic you’ve suggested looks good but it takes a few days to deliver and I’m worried time may be running out.

Do you think any of these might work instead as they are on next day delivery on Amazon...

Interpet Anti Fungus and Finrot Aquarium Fish Treatment, 100 ml https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FH2K6LS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_wBfsEb15SENN1

Interpet Anti Bacteria Aquarium Fish Treatment, 100 ml https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FH2K2GM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_iEfsEbMY8JVXM

I’ll also increase water changes to twice a week at 50% but how does that work when you add medications to the water as well - will it dilute the meds?
I can't find the ingredients in the Interpet so I can't say if it's any good or not. What I do know is that if the ingredient has even mildly anti fungal, or anti bacterial properties the company can claim they treat that even if it's a long shot the medicine is going to help. It's why MelaFix and PimaFix can make the claims that they do.

Interpet seems to be well known, and the reviews are decent so it'd be worth trying if you are not willing to wait for the other stuff to arrive. I'm not sure which Interpet to get though, I'd likely get both try the fungus and fin rot one first, and if it didn't work wait a couple weeks before trying the bacteria one. My logic would be that the fungus & finrot one treats a broader range of problems.

What I've been reading is that you should make sure your tank is very well oxygenated, as in add an airstone, before using the medicine. It seems that some keepers have had a problem with the meds dropping the oxygen level in the tank and knocking out the fish.

Do the more frequent water changes until you get the medicine, once you get that follow the directions on the medicine and don't do water changes during treatment unless it instructs you to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Ok thanks again for your help, appreciated.

Do you think the Melafix / Pimafix combination is worth trying to finish off (I’ve only done 2 days) or should I stop it, do a big water change and try the new stuff?

I should add I have a Biorb (I know, not the greatest) which has a built in air stone. I’m hoping that will do the job?
 

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Ok thanks again for your help, appreciated.

Do you think the Melafix / Pimafix combination is worth trying to finish off (I’ve only done 2 days) or should I stop it, do a big water change and try the new stuff?

I should add I have a Biorb (I know, not the greatest) which has a built in air stone. I’m hoping that will do the job?
I file MelaFix and PimaFix under it's highly unlikely to help, but if being dosed correctly shouldn't hurt either. About all that I've found them good for is mild problems. Be aware though that they are controversial and a lot of people will warn you that they should not be used with betta as it will kill them.

I'd do a big water change, and run carbon in your filter for at least a day, before using the new medicine I don't know how it'll interact with the MelaFix and PimaFix and I don't think it's worth taking a chance with.

Hopefully it'll be alright with just that air source, if you can do so you might want to turn up the airflow a little bit, just make sure it does not overwhelm your boy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Rainbo.

I’ll order the tonic on express delivery now, but think it will take 2/3 days to arrive.

I’ll do a big water change tomorrow and add carbon back to the filter in the process.

Then hopefully by the time the tonic arrives the filter would have removed any remnants of Melafix/Pimafix from the water and I can dose with the new tonic.

Hopefully fish will hold out for that long but I must admit I’m not hopeful as he seems in a bad way - at least he is still eating which I guess is a good sign.

Will let you know how I get over the next few days.
 

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Hopefully he'll make it, and get better. That he's eating is a good sign.

I had to put one of mine down recently due to unknown illness and nothing I tried worked. I kept thinking he'd pass on his own, he barely swam around, was rail thin despite eating, and spent most of his days draped over his plants, but he kept hanging on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I’ve done a big water change this morning (Sunday) to get rid of the Melafix and Pimafix (about 60-70%) and added carbon back to the filter. Fish looking pretty horrendous now... ☹

The Interpret Anti Fungus and Finrot has arrived today. It’s composition is phenoxyethanol 40000mg / 100ml - this actually sounds like a medicine as opposed to oil.

The Aquacare General Tonic that you recommended Rainbo is on order but will not arrive until Tuesday at the earliest, possibly Wednesday.

I feel I should go ahead and try the Interpret from tomorrow (Monday) morning, 24hrs after the carbon filter was added back to the filter, because the fish looks so ill now.

Would you agree Rainbo or should I hold off for another 48 hours or so for the Aquacare Tonic? I guess I don’t really know how much difference there is between the active ingredients in each medicine...
 

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I’ve taken these pictures these evening - not sure if they help in any way - appears to have gold and white areas around the head and gills and he is really breathing heavy now. Still ate as normal tonight.

The white areas don’t obviously look cotton like to the naked eye and I know some Bettas get a beard as they get older...but it’s so hard to get a close up look because of the light here, I honestly can’t tell if it’s natural colouration or not.

He does not have gold or rusty dust all over his body either which would imply velvet (he is not scratching on anything either).

It looks like he has one or two small white spots on his tail fin and under his body but again he is not scratching at all so I don’t think it’s ich...
 

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Well no wonder that medicine was knocking out people's fish! It's most commonly used as an anesthetic or sedative for fish... They do say it does have some anti-fungal and antibacterial properties so it may help. If you want to try it be sure to follow the instructions on it exactly and if anything underdose a little, rather then overdosing.

The gold is likely just his coloration, I've had mine do that and I nearly panicked till common sense kicked in and told me he did not have "gold dust" coloring his body and he wasn't exhibiting any other symptoms of velvet. I'm not sure what the white dots or not why he's so clamped with faded color.

If you can, get some extra oxygen in the water, it won't hurt him and will probably help since he's breathing heavy.
 

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Yeah, I agree re the velvet - you end up doubting yourself as you don’t want to miss anything obvious but the package of symptoms does not add up to velvet or ich. Thanks for the reassurance on that.

Based on what you’ve said about the Interpret (which I could start today) I’ve decided to wait until the General Tonic arrives (which I’ve had confirmation will be tomorrow).

This is based on the fact it treats a broader range of illness. I know once you start a treatment you have to wait a week or so before trying another - I’d be surprised if fish has a week left if the treatment doesn’t work. So for the sake of 1 more day (he’s been getting slowly worse over about 7-8 days now) I’d rather try holding out and use something where the chances of it working are higher.

He still fed normally again this morning so I’m hoping he will hold out for a while yet. His fins are so clamped though, it looks like he is in pain while swimming and his swimming movements are a little jerky ☹

In terms of oxygenating the water, I will increase the surface area of the tank (by reducing the water level a little to the widest part of the bowl), reduce the temp a little to 79 (from 81) and will give the air stone a clean so it’s as powerful as it can be. I’ll also do another 50% water change before dosing with the Tonic when it arrives tomorrow.

If the Tonic does not do the job then I might have to think about other humane options.

Thanks again for your help Rainbo 👍🏻
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The tonic arrived today and has been added to the tank - it’s turned the water a bright green colour. I’ve increased the oxygen as described above and the fish fed as normal again today. Aside from that though he is still hiding at the bottom of the tank all of the time. To be honest I thought the end was imminent this morning but somehow he keeps going.

How long would you expect to wait before seeing any signs of improvement to suggest the treatment might be working?

If it doesn’t work what would you suggest as next steps? Would it be worth trying another medication and if so any suggestions?

Thanks again for any help or advice you can offer.
 

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It's the Malachite Green that turns the water green, so that's normal.

When I'm dealing with an unknown illness I try to give at least to the end of the treatment, and usually a good 3 days to a week beyond. How quick you'd see improvement would depend on what's going on. I've treated fungus and it took till around 1/2 way through treatment for him to start acting better, but with fin rot I've had them start bouncing back the day after treatment started. Then sadly I've had more then one not respond to treatment at all, no matter what treatment I tried, although with 1 it seemed he'd feel a bit better but never recovered.

If he doesn't improve with this medicine you could try a different medicine, but I honestly don't know what to tell you to try. Compared to us in the U.S. y'all don't have many good options available. You could try Esha 2000, it looks like it has different ingredients then the medicine you are currently using and it has a lot of decent reviews on Amazon. Here's the ingredient list "ESHA 2000 (UK) - INGRED: 6.3 mg ethacridine lactate, (AKA: Rivanol, an antibacterial acridine, sometimes used to treat shigella.) 1 mg proflavin, an acridine closely related to acriflavin and used for protozoans (velvet), gram positive bacteria, and fungus. 3.2 mg Copper ++ - Treats: protozoans (ich and velvet). Note: Effective against parasites, but often toxic to fish, especially in soft water. 0.26 mg methyl orange - a multi functional product."

He should be fine with the Copper in it, BUT if you have any snails in the tank it will kill them so you would have to move him to a hospital tank before treating him. Also you might have to go to the Esha website and get the instructions from there, I read more then one review saying the instructions were in Dutch on the box that the person received.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Esha-Fungus-Finrot-Bacteria-Treatment/dp/B000YCFSVA
 

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Thanks Rainbo.

He is still alive but has now stopped feeding in the last 24-36 hours.

The medicine has been in the tank for almost 5 days now but, despite him being ever so slightly more active for the first 24 hours after the meds were added, he’s deteriorated further and has now lost interest in food so there is nothing to suggest it’s working or he has a secondary infection of some sort.

It’s now been two weeks where he really has barely moved from the bottom of the tank apart from coming up to eat food and given the lack of accessible meds I feel like I need to use clove oil now to end his suffering.

I know you can’t decide for me but does that feel like a reasonable option or am I throwing in the towel too early? I still have the Interpret medicine so I could do a big water change and try one last throw of the dice?
 

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The poor guy is no longer with us but I’m relieved in a way as he’s no longer suffering. I think giving up on food was the final signal.

Thanks for all your help Rainbo - I really appreciate it.
 
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