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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I've been trying to treat my betta for quite a while now but nothing seems to help. My betta has usually been hanging out near the top of the tank recently and has red spots on the top of his head. This all started when I noticed his fins weren't fully growing out. They always seemed okay but would occasionally get a tear in them. First I moved him to a quarantine tank and dosed him with quarantine trio(Maracyn,Ich-X,Paracleanse) from aquarium co op since I didn't know the what was causing the issues. That didn't seem to help that much, so I did more research and someone suggested it could be columnaris so after around a month I tried dosing Kanaplex and Furan-2, again he seemed to be okay but the symptoms didn't improve. I moved him back down to my main tank and noticed he was breathing heavier than up in the quarantine tank. So after doing more research, I'm starting to think it could be flukes? I'll provide pictures but his gills seem to be red and I've read that flukes could cause red spots as well. Also that flukes reproduce which is maybe why he would be breathing harder in my main tank. Could I get someone's opinion on if they think it's gill flukes or what they think it is? And if it is flukes what should I dose? Should I move him back to the quarantine tank and dose there or I've read I should just dose the entire main tank. All that are in my main tank are ramshorn snails, nerites, and my betta. My main tank is a 20 gallon and my quarantine tank is a 10 gallon. Here are my water parameters:
Temp: 80*
pH: 7.2-7.4
Ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 5-10
KH: ~7

Filled out form below as well

And here are some pictures:
1026986

1026988

1026990
1026989

1026991


I have paraguard on hand which I heard might help with flukes but I've also heard praziquantel is the way to go. Any help would really be appreciated. Thank you!

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 20
Does it have a filter? Yes - 2
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 79-80
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? 2 Corner filters and an air stone
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Snails - Nerites/Ramshorn

Food:
What food brand do you use? Hikari
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? BloodWorms/Daphnia/BrineShrimp
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Usually 4-5 pellets twice a day

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 30%
What is the source of your water? Tap water
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? Seachem Prime

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.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5-10
pH: 7.2-7.4
Hardness (GH): ~20
Alkalinity (KH): ~7

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Around 2 months ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Yes
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Yes
Is your Betta still eating? Yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Yes, shown above
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
How long have you owned your Betta? ~6 Months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Not sure :( My main tank used to be a divided betta tank and they started dying off and I can't find out why :(
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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I have difficulty reading walls of text so I might ask something you've already answered. Thanks you for understanding.

How has his behavior changed?
How long was he in the quarantine tank? It is my understanding an infected tank should be fishless for 14 or so days.
Does he have other Gill Fluke symptoms: Scraping, hiding, resting on bottom, etc?
When did you last treat him?
How long between treatments?
I don't see redness in his gills.

Gill hyperplasia can also be the result of tumors and injury. The red could be several things; including patches of new color. I've see that happen with my white/platinum Betta.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have difficulty reading walls of text so I might ask something you've already answered. Thanks you for understanding.

How has his behavior changed?
How long was he in the quarantine tank? It is my understanding an infected tank should be fishless for 14 or so days.
Does he have other Gill Fluke symptoms: Scraping, hiding, resting on bottom, etc?
When did you last treat him?
How long between treatments?
I don't see redness in his gills.

Gill hyperplasia can also be the result of tumors and injury. The red could be several things; including patches of new color. I've see that happen with my white/platinum Betta.
How has his behavior changed? He's been less active and has been sitting near the top of the tank on top of the heater, I tried getting him to flare at a mirror today and he didn't when he usually flares at everything, doesn't get excited when anyone walks near the tank anymore, he still is eating a lot though

How long was he in the quarantine tank? It is my understanding an infected tank should be fishless for 14 or so days. Around 14 days, it was a week-long treatment and I put him back in the main tank a week and a day later after a water change the day prior

Does he have other Gill Fluke symptoms: Scraping, hiding, resting on the bottom, etc? He doesn't seem to be scraping but it's hard to tell since he's been a lot less active. I've noticed him hiding behind the tree in his tank but again I can't tell if he's necessarily hiding or just swimming around. He goes to the bottom occasionally but usually swims in the middle or rests at the top.

When did you last treat him? I put him back in last Monday the 15th and started the treatment around 2 weeks prior

How long between treatments? I don't remember but I think roughly a month between treatments

I don't see redness in his gills. And in that first picture, those aren't more red than usual? Either way, he seems to be breathing heavier and his gills are sticking out more than usual as seen in the pic.

Any help would really be appreciated - I have some prazipro on the way just in case
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have difficulty reading walls of text so I might ask something you've already answered. Thanks you for understanding.

How has his behavior changed?
How long was he in the quarantine tank? It is my understanding an infected tank should be fishless for 14 or so days.
Does he have other Gill Fluke symptoms: Scraping, hiding, resting on bottom, etc?
When did you last treat him?
How long between treatments?
I don't see redness in his gills.

Gill hyperplasia can also be the result of tumors and injury. The red could be several things; including patches of new color. I've see that happen with my white/platinum Betta.
Also here's a better idea of what my tank looks like, where he's been resting(he's usually on the heater to the right), and he also has some black parts forming on his lip not sure if that can help diagnose the issue. Thanks!
1026998


1026997

1026996
 

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2 chihuahuas, a chameleon, 4 betta splendens and 1 betta mahachai.
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Hi there. From the pics, it almost appears that there are pinhead holes all over him? Do you see this too or is it just the camera? Do the gills have a yellowish tint at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi there. From the pics, it almost appears that there are pinhead holes all over him? Do you see this too or is it just the camera? Do the gills have a yellowish tint at all?
Yeah those are :/ I dosed paracleanse to try and help, do you know if they go away or do they just stop appearing? And the gills don't have a yellowish tint.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you mean the pinholes on his head? If so, they are part of the olfactory system. I'll try to find the name. What looks to be holes further back are color, right? Or are they actual holes?
It's hard to tell, I thought they were holes and thought paracleanse would help. And if you're talking about the black spots past his head, yeah those are just color.
 

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2 chihuahuas, a chameleon, 4 betta splendens and 1 betta mahachai.
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Ah, okay its hard to tell from the pic. Sensory pits on the head are fine, but holes further back can be an issue. The red dots could just be natural coloration-my fish has red coloration all over his head that look like "sores" but are just his normal coloration. As for the gills, it's really hard to tell. Ich X would of probably taken care of that.

You can try Paracleanse and Paraguard baths but I'm not sure how much good it would do.

You said that the fish in your divided tank started dying off? Any symptoms on them?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ah, okay its hard to tell from the pic. Sensory pits on the head are fine, but holes further back can be an issue. The red dots could just be natural coloration-my fish has red coloration all over his head that look like "sores" but are just his normal coloration. As for the gills, it's really hard to tell. Ich X would of probably taken care of that.

You can try Paracleanse and Paraguard baths but I'm not sure how much good it would do.

You said that the fish in your divided tank started dying off? Any symptoms on them?
I currently have him in a quarantine tank with aquarium salt and prazipro. And as for the others, I had 2 others :( The first one had developed dropsy but I hadn't noticed any other signs of stress or issues before dropsy occurred. I tried epsom salt baths and kanaplex but it was too late. As for the second, after the first died I noticed he was clamping his fins and staying near the top of the tank and gasping for air sometimes. I was getting the quarantine tank setup, but I was too late again and he died later that day, he had like a mini seizure before he died.. He started swimming around rapidly and the passed away.. not sure if that's any indication.. I checked all the parameters like 100 times and I still can't figure out what went wrong and what caused the stress/disease to begin with.. I've been trying to look into diseases that could've spread through the whole tank, but nothing seems to have really helped so far
 

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So just like when we use dr google on ourselves, when we do googling of symptoms for fish it can come up with a number of issues, many of them full of doom and gloom. I think we need to take a quick step back and clarify what we are treating. He is breathing hard and has some redness on his head and gills?
the redness on his head I believe is natural colouring and I’m sorry but I don’t see any on his gills.
This fish has had a ton of meds thrown at him for symptoms that don’t really match the treatment (culmanaris, flukes etc). Is it possible that at this point the treatments are doing more harm than good?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So just like when we use dr google on ourselves, when we do googling of symptoms for fish it can come up with a number of issues, many of them full of doom and gloom. I think we need to take a quick step back and clarify what we are treating. He is breathing hard and has some redness on his head and gills?
the redness on his head I believe is natural colouring and I’m sorry but I don’t see any on his gills.
This fish has had a ton of meds thrown at him for symptoms that don’t really match the treatment (culmanaris, flukes etc). Is it possible that at this point the treatments are doing more harm than good?
That is a possibility.. We can take a step back, after the other 2 died he had started clamping his fins as well, the water parameters were good so I wasn't sure what it could be. This is why I tried aquarium coops quarantine trio which was (Maracyn,Ich-X,Paracleanse). Around a week later he developed this big sore on the side of his body which I was told was columnaris, so after some research I thought it was that too as that's when the red spots on his head started appearing. So I dosed kananplex/furan-2 and his sores eventually healed. It was last Monday he was put back in the main tank, he was still clamping his fins and was breathing heavily which is when I noticed his gill was inflamed and bulging out a bit. So He is now currently back in the quarantine tank with aquarium salt and prazipro. Any suggestions on what you would do or what you think has would really be appreciated. I was thinking maybe there were gill/body flukes which may have led to stress which caused the other symptoms.
 

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That is a possibility.. We can take a step back, after the other 2 died he had started clamping his fins as well, the water parameters were good so I wasn't sure what it could be. This is why I tried aquarium coops quarantine trio which was (Maracyn,Ich-X,Paracleanse). Around a week later he developed this big sore on the side of his body which I was told was columnaris, so after some research I thought it was that too as that's when the red spots on his head started appearing. So I dosed kananplex/furan-2 and his sores eventually healed. It was last Monday he was put back in the main tank, he was still clamping his fins and was breathing heavily which is when I noticed his gill was inflamed and bulging out a bit. So He is now currently back in the quarantine tank with aquarium salt and prazipro. Any suggestions on what you would do or what you think has would really be appreciated. I was thinking maybe there were gill/body flukes which may have led to stress which caused the other symptoms.
Ok thanks! That explanation is a lot more clear! I'm not really much of a med gal so I'm going to ask our pro @Veloran what he thinks should be done. Has he had a break between any of these meds?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok thanks! That explanation is a lot more clear! I'm not really much of a med gal so I'm going to ask our pro @Veloran what he thinks should be done. Has he had a break between any of these meds?
He has, It was 2-3 weeks.. probably 3 before the next treatment. It's been a very hectic last few months so I don't remember 100% but he did get a break.
 

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Ok thanks! That explanation is a lot more clear! I'm not really much of a med gal so I'm going to ask our pro @Veloran what he thinks should be done. Has he had a break between any of these meds?
Since all of them were sick I was also looking into other issues that could've been wrong with my water. I had been putting in wonder shells for my mystery snails, which also died recently.. :( I'm not sure if it was old age as I had had them for around a year. But anyways.. my GH was up to ~30 drops with the API test kit and KH was ~3, I never noticed any pH swings I was just worried about the GH so the shells were removed and the GH has gone down and KH back up.
 

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Also another update if anyone has an answer. I ended up calling my water provider today, they said that the chloramine from my tap ranges from 0.3-3.0 and can go up to 4.0. When I first started my fish keeping journey it was 4.0. What would you suggest to dose for prime? Should I always check my ammonia before a water change to get the dosage or should I just do a x3 or x4 dose? What happens if you don't dose enough prime for the ppm of chloramine? I assume the chlorine will gas out eventually but could it harm the fish?
 

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Also another update if anyone has an answer. I ended up calling my water provider today, they said that the chloramine from my tap ranges from 0.3-3.0 and can go up to 4.0. When I first started my fish keeping journey it was 4.0. What would you suggest to dose for prime? Should I always check my ammonia before a water change to get the dosage or should I just do a x3 or x4 dose? What happens if you don't dose enough prime for the ppm of chloramine? I assume the chlorine will gas out eventually but could it harm the fish?
So my city also has high chloramine in snow melt seasons. Seachem states that you can safely use 5x the dose of prime but some fish keepers in my area say you can dose higher. I do an extra dose of prime (2 drops per gallon) for every .25ppm but I try not to exceed 5x the regular dose. If your tank is cycled, you only need to add the extra dose at water change time. I always test the following day when it's super high in my tap water and make sure the cycle has taken care of it.
There are ammo alert stickers that you can get that distinguish between harmful ammonia and ammonium which is not harmful but I don't know too much about them. @RussellTheShihTzu could tell you more about that.
 

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Hey there. I think at this point all we can do is guess symptoms and in order to get an actual diagnosis I would see if you could get them into an exotic vet. I understand that can be expensive, so you can also see if a local biology or veterinary college student will do it for practice. So based on everything I have read, the symptoms are: dropsy, clamping of the fins, gasping, seizures, staying near top of tank, and sores. I am going to guess something internally is going on and something that can be spread. Again, at this point all I can do is guess. If you would like, I could make a list of POSSABILITIES, but to be honest without testing it could be anything from a bacterial infection to parasites to internal fungus. Here are a few tips regardless what it is:

-Keep Indian Almond Leaves or Roobios Tea in the water to help with stress and to keep any wounds clean.
-Feed nutritious foods 2-3 times a day
-Keep fish separate from all other fish and wash hands before and after touching fish tanks. Sanitize all supplies shared between tanks.
 

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Hey there. I think at this point all we can do is guess symptoms and in order to get an actual diagnosis I would see if you could get them into an exotic vet. I understand that can be expensive, so you can also see if a local biology or veterinary college student will do it for practice. So based on everything I have read, the symptoms are: dropsy, clamping of the fins, gasping, seizures, staying near top of tank, and sores. I am going to guess something internally is going on and something that can be spread. Again, at this point all I can do is guess. If you would like, I could make a list of POSSABILITIES, but to be honest without testing it could be anything from a bacterial infection to parasites to internal fungus. Here are a few tips regardless what it is:

-Keep Indian Almond Leaves or Roobios Tea in the water to help with stress and to keep any wounds clean.
-Feed nutritious foods 2-3 times a day
-Keep fish separate from all other fish and wash hands before and after touching fish tanks. Sanitize all supplies shared between tanks.
Thank you! And as for the symptoms of just my current betta that's alive, it's just: clamping, staying near the top of tank, sores(all healed), red spots on head and inflamed gill. But I do have indian almond leaves in there and have gotten some new food to try so I'll keep it up and keep an eye on him. Thank you!
 
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