New betta sick, please help

annemun(z8NC)July 30, 2007

Our recently acquired male betta (Petco) has developed a white cottony substance around the tail area (parasites?) and has lost his tail fins and most of his fins underneath. He was in a 6-gal Eclipse tank, 80 degrees, some plants, no other fish. Was doing great for a week, but then I removed a lava rock I thought might damage his long fins and instead put in a little round ceramic pot for him to hide it. The pot had been used in an indoor water feature, I had wiped it with a damp cloth before using but I'm wondering now if I should have somehow sterilized it? He seemed to really like it, spent lots of time in there, but the next morning he had developed this fuzzy growth that I have read is possibly parasites?

I raised the temp to 82 degrees and gave him a 60-second salt bath, also did a 50% water change. Today he has lost more fins and has trouble swimming so I put him in a much shallower container with salt added and will give him another salt bath tonite.

Is there any hope for this little guy? Am I on the right track here? I've read their fins will grow back but I don't want him to suffer. Can anyone help me with this? We would greatly appreciate it. You have all given us good advice so far, so thanks in advance.

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woeisme(z7b NC)

Sounds like a big problem. Dont worry so much about salt baths, just follow directions for amount of salt per gallon and keep it in. get an ammonia test kit. API is a good one, also sold at Petco. At this point water quality is everything. Make sure you are using a water conditioner if you have "city" water (basically water company supply vs. private untreated with chlorine well). Since you describe the white stuff as cottony and not white specs (specs like salt grains would be ICH, a parasite)It is most likely the slime coat (slime coat is a protective coat on the fishes skin that helps prevent injury, disease etc.) that is disintergrating and allowing the fins to be unprotected. Just remove the pot, unless it is red clay it can buffer your waters pH very high (another possibility of water quality). High pH make any ammonia presence more toxic. I am new to NC (S. Charlotte) and am not sure wehat local Petcos carry as far as live plants. Go to a Petsmart (unless Petco has it or a LFS) and get some "Frill" from the live plant tank. Frill is a fast growing, not too demanding plant. It goes by a few other names, but Petsmart uses Frill. Live aquatic plants utilize ammonia as a source of nitrogen before it "cycles" into nitrogen. This will keep your water in check. Weather it is too late or not is not up to us, but it doesn't look very promising.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 7:50PM
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Thanks for your input. Sadly our little guy didn't make it and I feel terrible. The pictures of diseases I've seen on some of the websites make us think he had a fungus, it spread very, very quickly and had almost covered his back. So we are going to sterilize the tank and everything in it, replace the live plants and gravel, cycle the tank again and start over. We've put together a sort of betta first aid kit for future emergencies. We're into rescue so it just kills us to see those beautiful fish in their less-than-nothing little jars. We'll hopefully be able to give one a good home soon. Thanks again for your help.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:03AM
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sorry to hear about your betta - I'm hoping someone can help me with mine - my nephew dropped off a tank with two betta in it (divided tank) asking us to fish-sit while they are away. He said one fish wasn't doing too well and may die. Well, within 24 hours, my kittens managed to knock over the 'hidden' tank... I scooped the fish up and put them back in the tank, added some 'filtered' water, and panicked! - I went to the pet store and they suggested using tap water, warmer, and an additive to remove chlorine. We went home and did just that - and they livened up and didn't die! I was so happy - proud of my life saving skills. Well the next day,. the tank appeared cloudy, so I called the pet store again. Seems we were over feeding it. So, I changed the water again and put the lid back on the tank. Both fish seemed a little 'shocked' I guess, weren't as agile as the day before anyway. They would keep to the bottom of the tank mostly, but do a quick rush here and there and up to the top. As I'd cleaned out all leftover food, I thought maybe they were looking for food and dropped 2 pellets in each side. It almost looked like one was looking for it , he would dart up to the top, look like he was sucking at the lid and go back to the bottom. By the end of the day, he died :( - I am so sad. What did I do wrong? I feel so bad, he was doing so nicely after being rescued off the counter! Please help me so I don't repeat this with the remaining one. any assistance will be great.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:32PM
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It may have been too much too fast for already stressed out fish. It may also be "unseasoned" filter media, leading to toxic ammonia levels. The best thing to do if you are starting afresh is to set the tank up, filter, heater, etc... and add one fish after a few days. Let the fish metabolize waste and wait until the filter media has gone through the Nitrogen Cycle, monitored by a test kit. Once the filter has passed through Ammonia, Nitrite, and lastly Nitrate, add one more fish. It's best to go slowly when introducing fish to new setups, particularly new filter media.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 5:09PM
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tip from Dr. E

Use api test kit if you want but you really don't need it with what I'm doing...

i usually do this to injured fish or sick fish:
1) get a new container (10 gallon)
2) put water in there
3) add fungi clear and ick clear (See bottle for directions)
4) let water age for 1 day then your new container will be a fresh new clean container.
5) fish your betta from the tank with a aquarium fish net and put him in the new tank. (add penicillin and aloe vera droplets to heal its wounds or bio coat with a drop of penicillin) if the rot or fungi reach its spine, then ur betta will soon die... DO NOT BUY CHEAP FISH, they are usually covered with dangerous disease and contaminants.
6) tear down your old tank, because even if you change water or add other to the old one, white residues will stay and it will come to kill your fishes again...
7) clean your substrate, your tank, and rinse your plants throughly... put it in a glass container and if you see white mucus or white objects, rinse it somemore.
8) change your filter, add new water, add declor out, let it filter.

Personally I like the name eclipse and sleak design, although the arcylic glass is a cultivator/incubator for most diseases. slime and other contaminants easily attach itself to it. Stick with glass, since they aren't easily scratched.

Go with aquaclear filtration system it is much better and cleaning debris and capturing fungi floats (the lil flaky mucus balls debris) usually caused by additives

If you add them in your old tank you will definitely see those lil white balls.

eclipse is that water flow on filter, not highly proficient when caring for your fish.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 1:51PM
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