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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Basic question: What are some recommended medications for internal parasites?

Yesterday, he was making bubble nests, today he has stringy poop. See attachment for picture.

I read Old Fish Lady's recommended natural treatment and I am concerned about using a laxative since he hasn't eaten much in about 3 weeks since I've been on vacation. When I returned at week 2, he had lost a lot of color, though his behaviour was normal and his color returned the next day. He was fed once a week while I was on vacation (I tried one of those 10-day pellets, but he didn't eat it). I fed him again and left for 4 days. I had a live java fern, but it rotted while I was away and I threw it out. I wonder if the plant, which I got a week before I left, gave him the parasite. I also wonder if my tap water has parasites. :-?

Habitat: ~78 degrees, 100% water change in 2.5 gallon tank this morning (tap water with 5mL conditioner and 1/2 tsps aquarium salt per gallon). My tank does contain a filter and heater. I rinse everything with warm tap water so I can rinse it really well and again with water too hot to touch.

I didn't get the parameters since I had just changed the water this past weekend. The reason I changed it again completely so soon was that I dumped a bunch of food in it.

He is currently in the cup I bought him in and he ate like a pig this morning. I put him there to change his water, which is when I noticed the string between his ventral fins. Since this little guy has been though A LOT, I had already read this means parasites. I didn't know if the poop might contain eggs or larvae or something and wanted it to fall off him before I put him in the clean tank, which wasn't fully heated again anyway.

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78 F
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? his filter has tube that bubbles, does that count?
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? once daily, fasting on Saturday


How often do you perform a water change? 100% q 2 weeks, 50% q 1 week as needed
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? see above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? 0.5 tsps salt and 5mL conditioner per gallon

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Sorry, I JUST changed it, which is when I noticed the string.. If it helps, his parameters have always checked out before, which it might not.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Well, he WAS looking much better, but now he has a pale spot under his belly
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It's actually improved, if making bubble nests counts
When did you start noticing the symptoms? this morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? not yet
Does your fish have any history of being ill? absolutely; he's a walmart fish
How old is your fish (approximately)? year and a half? this is based on his appearing to be a year old when my sister "rescued" him


1,577 Posts
I would use a dissolving tablet deworming product that contains the ingredients metronidazole and praziquantel. I have had some success with Jungle's Parasite Clear. Tablet dewormers are very effective and generally clear the fish out within a week--you will quickly see large bowel movements, usually very round ones. These are the dead worms your fish is passing.

I have used these products a few times in the past and I have yet to see any negative side effects--so you shouldn't worry about using them as much as you would an antibiotic or malachite green based treatment. In addition, I think you should either increase your water changes as a precaution, or test more frequently to rule out poor water quality as a potential cause.

You should also change his diet. Get him off those nasty flakes and get him some good quality pellets and some frozen food to supplement his diet. Good pellet brands are OmegaOne betta buffet pellets, Atison's Betta Pellets, Ken's Betta Crumbles, and New Life Spectrum. Poor diet will continue to give your fish constipation and parasite issues. Giving him more variety and more fiber in the form of frozen brine shrimp and/or daphnia should prevent this problem in the future.

76 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I gave him some dissolving tablets and it's good to know the dose isn't as strict as other meds because I could only find tablets for 10 gallon tanks and I had to cut it very roughly into quarters. The diet makes sense, since better food=better health=better immune system=better defense against infection and infestation.
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