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· Registered
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

My betta Cassius is not currently well. About 3 days ago I did a 100% water change, cleaned the walls and gravel and changed the filter. Big mistake I know because I got rid of the entire cycle. He immediately started acting unlike himself, darting around the tank, not eating, etc. He had a shedding appearance, which I tested and found the ammonia is high in my tap water, therefore I switched to filtered water from the fridge that has no ammonia. He became better by the end of the night after adding some bacteria by using a filter from my other fish's very cycled tank, and using Ammoblock to reduce the harm. He started acting like himself again, swimming around and eating. He lasted like this for two days, testing his water and the levels were the same. Today he was normal, until this afternoon he began laying on the bottom of the tank, swollen gills again, and uninterested in interaction. I did a 30% water change and treated with Ammoblock again. He looks even worse after the water change. It appears his slime coat is not well. Please give me any guidance. I am convinced this is because there is no established cycle. I have other healthy tanks that have cycled water I have considered putting water into his. Please let me know what I can do to help him feel better.

How many gallons is your tank? 5 gal
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 78°
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? None

What food brand do you use? Bug Bites
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 3-4 pellets twice a day

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? Tap but recently refrigerator
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? Stability, StressCoat, and recently Ammoblock and pH down

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters?

Ammonia: ~0.5 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 6.0
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 3 days ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Gills and slime coat look shredded, some edges of fins were frayed but have fallen off since he got better
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Laying at the bottom, darting up for water
Is your Betta still eating? He was this morning and yesterday
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Ammoblock, stability to restore bacteria
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? None
How long have you owned your Betta? Almost 1 year
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No


· Administrator
24,578 Posts
The slime coat protects fish from disease and parasites and from "absorbing" too much water. One of the most important things is to keep the water as clean as possible until slime coat regenerates.Do daily 25% water changes and vacuum. Use SeaChem Prime and add daily at two drops per gallon.

I prefer SeaChem StressGuard to StressCoat. If you decide to use StressGuard you must dose daily as it dissipates in 24 hours.

Also, unless the pH is off the charts don't mess with it. From everything I've read, fluctuating parameters can cause the sloughing of the slime coat.

I'd suggest a SeaChem Ammonia Alert. I have had them on my tanks for the last eight or so years. If they don't register then your test kit is registering non-toxic Ammonium; not toxic "Free Ammonia."

· Registered
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have moved him into a hospital tank because he got much worse very quickly. His eyes got cloudy and his slime coat looked even worse than in the pictures. His hospital tank has Indian Almond Leaves and has been treated with Aquarium salt. I will continue to do the suggested water changes and treatment.

I forgot to mention the pH down is used because my tap water is astronomical in high pH.

· Administrator
24,578 Posts
How high is the pH? Also, keep in mind a pH of 6 isn't nitrifying bacteria-friendly. That's why many find it difficult to cycle tanks with 6.0 pH and lower. Can you adjust to 7.0?

I'll try to find the article on the effects of low pH. One was burns/lesions. Didn't mention slime coat that I can recall.
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