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Fink - Female Veiltale with Red Markings (I think?)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New betta owner here (2 weeks in from my daughters being “gifted” a “goldfish”). On Friday, I noticed a mostly clear, really thin, almost lint/hair like strand coming from one Fink’s gill. No other symptoms. It came off and I was able to scoop it out. Hoping that I don’t see it happen again and that it’s not parasites… but trying to be prepared.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank?

3 Gallons
Does it have a filter?
Yes
Does it have a heater?
Yes—Preset
What temperature is your tank?
85°
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Waterfall from filter
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
No—N/A

Food:
What food brand do you use?

Whatever came with the “goldfish gift package”, but planning on purchasing NLS, Northfin, Fluval or Aquatic Foods California Blackworms Co
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
Pellets
Freeze-dried?
Treats—Bloodworms, mysis and daphnia
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
3-4 Pellets/2x day, starting to sub the second feed with the treats every several days and adding a Saturday fast

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?

1x/Week
What percentage of water did you change?
20-30%
What is the source of your water?
Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
Vacuum— pump
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner?
Currently Top Fin Conditioner and Bacteria Starter, but will restock with Seachem Prime and Stability

Water Parameters:
Waiting on API Freshwater Master Kit to be delivered—last water test was via strips

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.8
Hardness (GH): 300
Alkalinity (KH): 120

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?

Friday, 7/29/22
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
There was was just this extremely thin, hairlike mucus string/thread hanging off what looked like her gill. It’s since came off, so I’m keeping an eye to see if I see a recurrence. But I want to make sure that it’s not gill flukes or something else, and that I’m not missing something. After eating, she has a nice full belly that goes back down, but no bloating (I don’t think). She hasn’t gotten more pale or pineconed.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
It hasn’t—Not that I’m aware of, but I’m new to this so I don’t know what’s normal. She’s active. She mostly swims and does her rounds around her tank, but sometimes will swim along the bottom on the gravel.
Is your Betta still eating?
Yes—Normal appetite
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
Nothing yet—unsure if necessary
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
Not that I’m aware of
How long have you owned your Betta?
2 Weeks
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
Not that I’m aware of, she was just small and seems young

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Fink - Female Veiltale with Red Markings (I think?)
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Alas, I just found more coming from her other gill.
Still no other symptoms—still feisty and voracious with no cotton spots anywhere
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Fink - Female Veiltale with Red Markings (I think?)
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don’t know what it is but I hope you can get some answers. She’s a sweet little girl.
Thanks. We already lost our other girl due to bad LFS advice, so my daughters are really hoping Mom can keep this one alive. #nopressure

This morning I saw a tiny, white clumps on her ventrals. So now I’m wondering fungal infection? Is it best practice to just treat for suspected illness even if we’re not sure..?

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Thanks. We already lost our other girl due to bad LFS advice, so my daughters are really hoping Mom can keep this one alive. #nopressure

This morning I saw a tiny, white clumps on her ventrals. So now I’m wondering fungal infection? Is it best practice to just treat for suspected illness even if we’re not sure..?

View attachment 1044881
I would be hesitant to begin any sort of medical treatment without more information. But you can certainly do supportive care such as adding tannins to her tank in the form of either Indian Almond Leaves or plain rooibos tea. Both have antibacterial and antifungal properties that may help her fight off any infection. @RussellTheShihTzu has a good picture of the color you would want to achieve with the tannins.

Additionally, extra water changes are rarely a bad thing. Clean water is the foundation for healthy fish. Has your liquid test kit arrived yet? If so, you might want to include those numbers if you have them.

I hope someone with more information can chime in to offer help.
 

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Fink - Female Veiltale with Red Markings (I think?)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would be hesitant to begin any sort of medical treatment without more information. But you can certainly do supportive care such as adding tannins to her tank in the form of either Indian Almond Leaves or plain rooibos tea. Both have antibacterial and antifungal properties that may help her fight off any infection. @RussellTheShihTzu has a good picture of the color you would want to achieve with the tannins.

Additionally, extra water changes are rarely a bad thing. Clean water is the foundation for healthy fish. Has your liquid test kit arrived yet? If so, you might want to include those numbers if you have them.

I hope someone with more information can chime in to offer help.
Delivery is today for the testing kit! (Finally—I’ve never been so excited for a delivery.) And I already picked up Seachem Prime and Stability to replace the Top Fin brand ones I had. I also just watched a very informative video on how to vacuum gravel with my siphon properly, because apparently I wasn’t doing very well. 🤦🏻‍♀️

I’m ordering the IAL, and just got a some AQ salt (Just in case—I’m not set on using it, though. I know it seems to be controversial as to if it’s helpful or harmful).

But I think you were on the nose about starting conservatively because I think I figured out that it’s her slime coat. I’ve seen it slough off a couple times now, and I still don’t see any cotton attachments, worms, lesions, open sores, salt-like specks, fin rot, bloat, pineconing, lethargy, lack of appetite, loss of color, flashing, excessive rubbing, etc.

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I know that excitement!! It’s odd to be so excited about an aquarium water test kit, but I was still thrilled when mine arrived!

Interesting thought on the slime coat. I’m not sure what would cause that to happen.
 

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I've never had any of my bettas produce extra slime coat, but when I've heard of it happening to others, it is usually caused by something irritating the fish. Can I ask how you cycled the tank? I would also be interested in knowing what the parameters are once you get the master kit. Make sure you follow the directions exactly, especially for the nitrate test. If the solutions aren't shaken sufficiently, they can give false negatives. Can you post a picture of the full tank? If you post it as a thumbnail, it is easier for us to open it and zoom in.
 

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Fink - Female Veiltale with Red Markings (I think?)
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've never had any of my bettas produce extra slime coat, but when I've heard of it happening to others, it is usually caused by something irritating the fish. Can I ask how you cycled the tank? I would also be interested in knowing what the parameters are once you get the master kit. Make sure you follow the directions exactly, especially for the nitrate test. If the solutions aren't shaken sufficiently, they can give false negatives. Can you post a picture of the full tank? If you post it as a thumbnail, it is easier for us to open it and zoom in.
There was no cycling prior to… 🥲
My daughters were “gifted” Fink in a critter keeper with a ziploc baggie of food (with prior no heads up to allow us parents to even prep and get a tank and supplies) and we became first-time fish parents. I’m playing catch up and trying to fish-in cycle now.

Here’s what I have set up. I do know that I don’t actually need to replace the carbon filter cartridge it came with. I want to stick a sponge in there and eventually take out take out the disposable filter cartridge. I just have to figure out how to remove the carbon part, because I want to put some IAL.
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There was no cycling prior to… 🥲
My daughters were “gifted” Fink in a critter keeper with a ziploc baggie of food (with prior no heads up to allow us parents to even prep and get a tank and supplies) and we became first-time fish parents. I’m playing catch up and trying to fish-in cycle now.

Here’s what I have set up. I do know that I don’t actually need to replace the carbon filter cartridge it came with. I want to stick a sponge in there and eventually take out take out the disposable filter cartridge. I just have to figure out how to remove the carbon part, because I want to put some IAL.
View attachment 1044973
Yikes! That sounds stressful! A fish-in cycle is perfectly fine! Lots of our members only do fish-in cycles. I just want to make sure you know what the cycle is and have found the instructions for it. I am just wondering if maybe there is enough ammonia in the tank to be an irritant and that is what is causing the excess mucus. I have no idea if that is the case, though. If this was my tank, I would start by doing a water change. I am going to tag @RussellTheShihTzu and @BettaloverSara, though. They may have some more ideas of what is going on.
 

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Fink - Female Veiltale with Red Markings (I think?)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yikes! That sounds stressful! A fish-in cycle is perfectly fine! Lots of our members only do fish-in cycles. I just want to make sure you know what the cycle is and have found the instructions for it. I am just wondering if maybe there is enough ammonia in the tank to be an irritant and that is what is causing the excess mucus. I have no idea if that is the case, though. If this was my tank, I would start by doing a water change. I am going to tag @RussellTheShihTzu and @BettaloverSara, though. They may have some more ideas of what is going on.
Okay, so I just tested her water and compared it to the cheat sheet that @RussellTheShihTzu posted in the CYCLYING sticky.


Water Parameters:
Ammonia: .25-1ppm? (I can’t tell, so I’m assuming err on the side of caution and change the water. Just not sure how much. Help?)
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 7.6

So not cycled… or even in progress… sigh
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I always have trouble telling the ammonia colors with pictures, but it looks like .25 to me. I would go ahead and do a 25% water change. Does the TopFin water conditioner say that it also neutralizes ammonia? If so, I would add two drops per gallon every 24 hours. If not, I would recommend getting Seachem Prime and adding the 2 drops per day. Let us know if you have any questions about cycling. It can be a long process, but your fish will thank you for it!

Hopefully someone else will be along soon with some other thoughts on what could be causing the excess mucus: it doesn't look like there is enough of any of these toxins to cause that.
 

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Fink - Female Veiltale with Red Markings (I think?)
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I always have trouble telling the ammonia colors with pictures, but it looks like .25 to me. I would go ahead and do a 25% water change. Does the TopFin water conditioner say that it also neutralizes ammonia? If so, I would add two drops per gallon every 24 hours. If not, I would recommend getting Seachem Prime and adding the 2 drops per day. Let us know if you have any questions about cycling. It can be a long process, but your fish will thank you for it!

Hopefully someone else will be along soon with some other thoughts on what could be causing the excess mucus: it doesn't look like there is enough of any of these toxins to cause that.
I had just bought Prime and Stability the other day, so I went ahead and used those when I did the 25% WC today. I threw away the Top Fin stuff—I didn’t see anything on the label regarding helping with ammonia, nitrates or nitrites.

Do you happen to recommend a certain type of sponge (type of density/porosity) to replace a filter cartridge with? And how long I’d need to keep my current one in to avoid a crash? If I rip mine open to remove the carbon, I think I lose whatever other media is in there as well that helps house the BB.
 

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I had just bought Prime and Stability the other day, so I went ahead and used those when I did the 25% WC today. I threw away the Top Fin stuff—I didn’t see anything on the label regarding helping with ammonia, nitrates or nitrites.

Do you happen to recommend a certain type of sponge (type of density/porosity) to replace a filter cartridge with? And how long I’d need to keep my current one in to avoid a crash? If I rip mine open to remove the carbon, I think I lose whatever other media is in there as well that helps house the BB.
If I’m recognizing it correctly your tank is the 3 gallon Top Fin All in One Betta Essentials kit? If so it should have come with a small net bag of ceramic bio media. Basically looks like little white rocks. If that’s the case then those would contain a portion of any beneficial bacteria that has started to grow.

I have that tank and I’ve cut the filter cartridge open and removed the pieces of carbon in it. And later I purchased a box of AquaClear 30 replacement sponges and cut one down to fit in the space where filter cartridge usually sits. You can get any sort of aquarium sponge or filter floss and do the same thing.

I’ll let an expert give the final call, but if I’m interpreting your test results correctly you look to be at the very beginning of the cycle. If so, you could modify or swap out the filter cartridge without setting you back too much. Especially if you have had the ceramic media in the filter the whole time the tank has been running.
I don’t believe there’s really enough room in the filter cartridge space to put both the stock filter cartridge and a new piece of filter sponge. When I swapped mine out I cut the floss pieces out of the plastic frame of the stock filter cartridge, shook the carbon pieces off, and tucked the little squares of the old filter floss into the filter wherever there was room. They fit in the area around the new sponge and in the space where the ceramic biomedia sits near the water outflow.

Like I said, I’ll let an expert give the final word, but that’s what I did and it didn’t crash my fully established cycle.

Beneficial bacteria grows on all of the surfaces inside the aquarium, but a good majority of it is in the filter and the gravel bed. Just be sure that you don’t make changes in the filter media and do an extensive/deep cleaning of the gravel at the same time.
 

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Sorry for the delayed response on the filter media. Pretty much any sponge will work; I personally use Imagitarium (Petco brand) filter floss, I think that was what they called it. Honestly, I bought it so long ago, I can't even remember). It just comes in a sheet and you cut off what you want. I keep a course and a fine in my filter along with a bag of bioballs. I don't know how your particular filter is set up, but it sounds like @sparkyjoe has a better idea of your actual filter. There are lots of different options, as I'm sure you've discovered. Next time, I have to buy filter media, I'm probably going to use quilt batting or pillow filling; I've heard they work just as well and are significantly cheaper.

Honestly, though, you probably don't have to change out your media very often (unless you want active carbon, which it sounds like you don't). I only change mine when it is completely falling apart. Then I take out the smallest amount possible and replace it and I never change more than one kind of media at a time. For instance, I might find that my fine filter media has completely shredded, I change out that, and leave the course filter stuff in. As far as I know, you don't have to change bioballs. Someone who has been doing this longer, may have had to, though. I haven't been keeping fish that long, so it's possible they eventually break down and have to be replaced and I just have not experienced that yet.
 

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Fink - Female Veiltale with Red Markings (I think?)
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry for the delayed response on the filter media. Pretty much any sponge will work; I personally use Imagitarium (Petco brand) filter floss, I think that was what they called it. Honestly, I bought it so long ago, I can't even remember). It just comes in a sheet and you cut off what you want. I keep a course and a fine in my filter along with a bag of bioballs. I don't know how your particular filter is set up, but it sounds like @sparkyjoe has a better idea of your actual filter. There are lots of different options, as I'm sure you've discovered. Next time, I have to buy filter media, I'm probably going to use quilt batting or pillow filling; I've heard they work just as well and are significantly cheaper.

Honestly, though, you probably don't have to change out your media very often (unless you want active carbon, which it sounds like you don't). I only change mine when it is completely falling apart. Then I take out the smallest amount possible and replace it and I never change more than one kind of media at a time. For instance, I might find that my fine filter media has completely shredded, I change out that, and leave the course filter stuff in. As far as I know, you don't have to change bioballs. Someone who has been doing this longer, may have had to, though. I haven't been keeping fish that long, so it's possible they eventually break down and have to be replaced and I just have not experienced that yet.
Not at all! Thanks for circling back at all. @sparkyjoe was on the nose with my tank and the integrated filter, so I took his advice—made a slit to shake out the carbon and bought some Aquaclear foam to fill the empty spaces.

Fink hasn’t really had any issues since, either. So I guess it really was just stress/decompression. In fact, she’s filled in a little and more color is coming in I think. She’s really feisty, too! ☺
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She’s looks like a feisty girl!!

And it looks like you used the cardboard with the rock scene as your tank background? I did the same!

Not sure how daring you are, but I cut a couple of bamboo kebab skewers as props to hold the tank lid up for water changes. The lip of the top rim is just deep enough to hold the lid on if the angle isn’t too steep.

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