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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 5.5
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Does it have a filter? Yes
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Does it have a heater? Yes
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What temperature is your tank? 74 I have a preset 25w heater. It never gets to 78 though. I have a 2nd heater just like it but scared if I use it the water will be too warm?
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Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Powerhead filter only
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Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? 1 snail. Have recently noticed tiny white "worms" in the water I think came from the moss ball? I have seen him eating them.
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Food:
What food brand do you use? Hikari Betta Bio Gold and Fluval Bug Bites Tropical
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Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
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Freeze-dried? Very rarely blood worms
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How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Typically 2-3 pellets in morning and evening. He is not fond of the Bug bites but I offer him maybe 5-6 little pieces occasionally. He swims through them though like he wants to knock them down and they sink. The pellets he readily eats without knocking them down.
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Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Weekly
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What percentage of water did you change? 25
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What is the source of your water? Softenend and filtered well water
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Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
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What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Seachem Prime & Stability
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Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water *before* the regular water change; not after one.
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Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: I
pH: unknown
Hardness (GH): unknown
Alkalinity (KH): unknown
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Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 3 days ago


How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He has never been super active since his SBD last year. But these new symptoms started by him eating less. I noticed the white worms in his tank a week ago. I freaked out and Googled and consensus is they are harmless, likely came in on his Petsmart moss ball. I saw him eat one. He has been eating less the past week, hiding a lot. At one point I found him laying in the plastic bottle I have rigged up to divert water from power filter. Last night took turn for the worse laying head down under heater breathing hard. Now he is at bottom of tank in front of moss ball still head down, breathing hard, body sort of curled. I wonder if those worms are parasitic and hurting him??
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Is your Betta still eating? I haven't offered him anything since yesterday morning. I gave him 2 pellets, he ate 1.
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Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No, not sure what to do!
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Does your Betta have any history of being ill? He was sick with SBD last fall. I was newbie and overfeeding. I treated him by fasting. Offered pea but he didn't eat. I put him is Epsom bath 15 min 2x per day for 2 weeks. He recovered but it took about 6 months before he was able to dive again. This was in his 3.5 gal tank. I bought him the 5.5 gal this spring, planted with 4 live plants, a moss ball and silk plants. He loved it, but has never been super active since his 1st bout of SBD.
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How long have you owned your Betta? Almost 1 year
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Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No
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PLEASE PROVIDE CLEAR PHOTOS
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NOTE: EMBED YOUR PHOTOS. PLEASE DO NOT LINK. Click on "Go Advanced" and then on the paper clip in the
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When I try to upload photos, I get the following error message

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Photos won't upload, error message came up . Sorry if this is duplicate post, could not find my original post!
 

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Hi there, if you can get the pH, GH and KH numbers, that would be helpful as you have a water softener attached to your supply.
Do you know what type of water softener it is, Sodium or Potassium?
Also, do you have a bypass valve for the water softener?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Veloran, I will have to buy the testing supplies for the parameters you mentioned. I have been out all day. Just returned and the poor fish is just like I left him, laying curled at the bottom of tank breathing hard. He wiggles when he sees me. But doesn't get up. The 2nd heater has raised the water temp to a perfect 78.

Out softener is salt. I will check for a bypass valve. However, my mother has been keeping several huge freshwater tanks with Discus, Angel Fish, Barbs, Plecos etc with well water softened with salt system like we have successfully for years.

I am tempted to put him back in Epsom salt dips like I did when he had SBD. I don't see any thing noticeable on his body that would explain his distress. I hope he pulls through!!
 

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What can you get an idea of the shape of the worms, round or flat, arrow shaped head or round head?

Most worms are generally harmless, planaria, while harmless to an adult betta can indicate a sign of poor water quality. You're water maintenance looks fine so I'm just curious.

Are you able to get a smaller hospital tank for him to separate him from his regular tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
White ones are arrow head. I just noticed ugly black ones too! I can put him in separate tank. But he seems happier in the setup I have now. He is in plastic container at top of his tank with filtered tank water dripping in. Look at pics and if you think I should get him completely out of that tank I will. Now that he's not eating though I don't think he is long for this world 😥 I pray that I'm wrong and he can pull through. 🙏🙏🙏

It seems as though he is paralyzed. He only flutters his little pec fins. When I pour most of the water out he raises his head to get a breath of air but body remains on his side. I fed him bug bites yesterday, but today he won't eat. I even offered him his favorite junk food (pellets). Attached pic of ugly black/brown worm I caught into a white cup. 2nd pic is 1 I just took of Raven laying in container 3rd is side view of his current setup. 4th is white worm above moss ball. 5th is Raven in happier times Aug 1.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, poor Raven crossed over the Rainbow Bridge early this morning. Poor little boy was paralyzed for a week. I am so sad, we have been through a lot together after successfully battling SBD. Maybe all the stress of that ordeal just shortened his natural lifespan, IDK. I am going to take water sample with the creepy looking black worm thing down to the Betta guy at Petco to see if he can identify unless anyone here chimes in. 😞 RIP RAVEN
 

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Sorry for your loss.
Cant tell for sure what the black ones might be, but the flat white ones with the pointed head are planaria. They're usually harmless but more than that, they're usually an indicator of water quality. They are frequently present in an aquarium, but when you start seeing them crawling up the tank especially in numbers, you have a water quality issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you. There are not a lot of white planaria. Def not crawling up the glass!! I have identified the dark creatures as mosquito larva. My water testing indicates perfect water, but I am taking a sample to Petco today just to be sure. I want to change the substrate before getting a new fish. Would sand be a good alternative to gravel or does it get sucked up when vacuuming?
 

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Your substrate is personal preference, each requires a little different type of care.
With larger gravel, you're likely to get debris stuck between the stones, but you can use a gravel vac to lift the stones partially and suck out the debris from between.
With sand, you don't get debris penetrating too deeply under the sand, it usually sits at the surface, you can wave your hand over the sand (or stir the top layer) to lift the debris and then use a siphon to suck it up.

I love the look of white sand, but I find it too compact for plants to spread their roots effectively and was never able to get it really clean. I use Eco-complete which is a larger grain size and while fairly easy to clean, was difficult to keep new plants down until they can root.
 
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