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Very sick betta :(

536 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  beautiful Betta
Hello everyone,

About two weeks ago I bought a beautiful crowntail from Walmart. His name is Jelly. But now he seems to be very ill already I am worried that he is not going to make it…

I noticed that he had a bit of fuzz growing on him after about one week. Research led me to conclude that this is fungus so I went to a pet store and the lady in the fish department recommended Pimafix and said to give him a good water change the next day after beginning treatment. We talked about treating with aquarium salt, but she said Pimafix would be better because if you don’t really know what you are doing the salt could hurt a betta.

The directions say how much to add per day, and then to do a 25% water change after 7 days. But he is in a one gallon tank. I can’t go 7 days without a water change, he would die from the ammonia.

Besides, the lady at the pet store recommended giving a good water change the next day anyway. And many threads here recommend doing daily 100% water changes for this size of tank if the fish is sick. So that is what I have been doing for about 3 days now, and adding the medicine with each water change.

On some days it seemed like there was less fuzz. Other days it seemed like the fuzz was growing in spite of the medicine. Today I noticed he has a whitish coloring under his mouth, on his ‘chin’ for lack of a better word. Last night he had less appetite, but today he is not eating at all.

Am I changing the water too much too often? Is Pimafix not the right medicine? This is the only thing that pet store really had for fungus but I can try other pet stores. There wouldn’t be enough time to order something online. By the time it arrived in the mail he’d probably be a goner.

I could get a larger tank up to maybe 2.5 gallons. We live in a small apartment so I don’t really have space for a much larger tank.

What size is your tank?- One gallon
What temperature is your tank? – around 78 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? - no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? - no
Is your tank heated? - yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? – he lives alone

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - BettaMin Tropical Medley
What BRAND of food do you feed it? – Tetra
How often do you feed your betta fish? – twice a day
How MUCH do you give at each feeding? – just a pinch of flakes?

How often do you perform a water change? Once a day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% (since he has been ill)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? – Tetra brand BettaSafe, then switched to Nutrafin Betta plus. And Mars brand Pimafix for treating the fungus

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? – no testing

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? – He has white fuzz that recedes on some days but then grows the next. Now a whitish color under his ‘chin’ for lack of a better word
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? This morning he has stopped eating and is less active, spends more time resting at the bottom of the tank.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 5 days ago I noticed the fuzz and started treatment with Pimafix
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? – I’ve been treating him with Pimafix and daily 100% water changes
Does your fish have any history of being ill? –
How old is your fish - OR - How long have you owned it? - I have owned this fish for about two weeks, and noticed the fuzz after about one week.
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In my opinion pimafix won't help fungus, also ask anyone on this site you really shouldn't use any medications with the ending fix because its not safe for bettas. Use a specific fungal medication, I know there's a good brand, I don't remember the exact name but it has jungle in it, and it's at walmart for like 5 bucks
Maracyn 1 and 2 mixed together could help loads. But if you are like me, your pet store doesn't always have it, so I recommend tetracycline. Follow the directions.
Also during those water changes(100%) add 1 cup of decaf green tea per gallon of water, this will make him stronger.
Also mince garlic and melt It in the microwave, then place his food in it, let it soak for 2 min. Feed that to him everyday until he heals
I am currently treating a sick fish, and am doing about 2 100% water changes a day, due to his circumstances. And he seems to be coping with it fine, although I do try and do it gradually doing about 3 50% changes about 30 minutes apart.

I actually went and bought Seachems Prime water conditioner as that is said to bind the Ammonia to a less toxic form. It does give me some piece of mind but I still don't believe it totally Although loads here recommend Seachems Prime, so it must work. Hope that helps.
Thank you for the replies :).

Some updates: I went out to a different pet store and, of the options they had for medicine the API Fungus Cure seemed the best option. They didn't mention maracyn. So they probably didn't have it. He seemed to think it should have helped, but he may be misinformed. If that stuff wasn't bound to work in the first place it can kind of help me feel better. I was worried that maybe this is a particularly stubborn fungus.

While there I also bought a 2.5 gallon tank, freeze dried bloodworms, and API Stress coat water conditioner. I think the main difference is that this has aloe along with the usual conditioners. I drove out to get this stuff before I saw the replies, so I was just asking for something that has a stress coat, since I'm already running out of the Nutrafin that I bought for the Indian almond it contains (that stuff is expensive and you have to use a lot of it per gallon).

I'm thinking I should try giving him at least a day to be in non-medicated water before switching to the Fungus Cure. I'll move him to the new tank in the morning when he is due for his daily water change.

He was eating a bit later in the day, still with lower appetite than normal. And he pecked at the bloodworms but only ate the really small pieces. So maybe I need to cut them up into more bite sized bits. I'll try soaking them in some melted garlic too for his dinner.

I played some meditation music and chanted some sutras for him too, lol. It's a bit silly but this trick seemed to work wonders years ago for a goldfish who jumped out of his bowl and was nearly dried out by the time I got back and found him on the desk. Jelly stayed close to the side of the tank were I was sitting while doing this, so maybe it was at least interesting for him.

I wasn't expecting to get so attached to this guy when I bought him on impulse... It's the pretty colors. I'm a sucker for prettiness. I have a picture for you all now, too. Although it doesn't show his colors very well. He has a beautiful metallic turquoise color when the light shines just right... Anyway, you can see the fuzz and the whitish color on his belly area:

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Looking at that I think it looks a bit like Saprolegnia, which is a form of fungus, but usually treated with Malachite Green if I remember correctly. They don't have a disease thread for that here.
I have attached a link here, if you click on the Saprolegnia heading in blue it will take you to that section, you can have look see what you think.
+1 to the person who suggested not using anything ending in -fix.

Ive seen more complaints about those medications killing their bettas than actually helping because they seem to have a chemical that damages the labyrinth organ. Salt does help, but from what i can tell Methylene blue is better. Works faster and besides its an antibacterial thats very effective against things like fungus and fin rot

Jelly seems to be quite happy in his larger tank. I transfered him there this morning and watched him energetically exploring the new environment. He loves his new mug cave too, now that I can fit a larger mug in there.

When I came home from work at night it kind of looked like the fuzz had receded. If this is Saprolegnia, it could be a secondary symptom of fin rot, and maybe having a larger tank of fresh water has fought that back a bit.

The API Fungus Cure has the Malachite green in it. I'll use this stuff if the fuzz seems to grow again. But after all that Primafix I want to give him as long of a break from meds as I can afford to, unless the fuzz starts to grow too fast.

I appreciate the link to info about Saprolegnia, beautiful Betta. From reading it I think part of the problem is that this guy has some quirks with his eating habits. I just put a small amount of flakes in there during a feeding, but he had a habit of only eating the flakes still floating at the top. The ones that fall down he would mostly ignore and I'd have to vacuum them out through siphoning during the next water change. Leftover food encourages this kind of fungus growth...

I tried to come up with a way to feed this guy without ending up with so much leftover food in the bottom of the tank. So I took a 1 liter plastic soda bottle and cut a hole in the side of the middle of it large enough for Jelly to easily swim through without touching the sides, lined the sides with masking tape so there would be no sharp edges, washed it well, then put the bottle in the tank as a sort of feeding area and dropped the flakes into the top of the bottle.

I'll post pics at some point. The aim was that the majority of uneaten flakes would still be in the bottle after feeding and I could easily remove most of them when taking the bottle back out of the tank. I was wondering if he would figure out how to swim into it to get to the food, but he didn't figure it out so I lifted the bottle up enough that the opening on the side was at the surface and let it back down once he was in there.

Once he was done eating I lifted the bottle up again so he could get out, since he wasn't figuring out that he just had to swim down a bit to get to the opening. A few uneaten flakes got into the tank, but over 90% of the leftovers were still in the bottle and could be removed by removing the bottle. Maybe in time he will learn where the opening is and swim in there for feeding time and out when he's done. There are much less leftover flakes in the tank this way.

I have some bags of decaffeinated green tea. I am guessing that if one bag is enough for a mug of tea it would not be too much for 2.5 gallons. But still feeling nervous about just putting that in the tank. Is it the right way to go to just put a decaf green tea bag in the tank?
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Some people here use a turkey baster to suck up any left over food daily, kind of like a giant pipette.
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