Advice Needed! Sick Betta (parasite?)

Skipperix
  • #1
Hello all,
I am a relatively new fish owner, and have a sick betta. At first, I thought ick due to small white dots on his fins and gills and he was scratching up against the decorations in his tank. I began an herbal treatment as it was the only thing my small, unstocked LFS had, and placed an online order for ick meds (jungle clear with acriflavin and malachite green), copper treatment (in case it was too severe), and aquarium salt. I already added the aquarium salt per the directions, and turned up the heat to 82. I've been scaring myself with reading online posts and thought for a while it could be velvet. Does velvet present with white dots like ich as well? He does have some gold color, but his coloring was also blue-gold so I'm wondering if I jumped the gun with the velvet diagnosis. Herbal treatment and heat began 5 days ago, and aquarium salt was added 2 days ago. This morning, almost all of the white dots had fallen off but he is still acting abnormally (scratching, rather lethargic, etc). However, a small part of his lower tail has sort of disintegrated. Like it faded in color and look frayed. Could it be a result from him scratching against his decorations, or should I be prepared to deal with fin rot or something now?

I do see some improvement, so I am wondering if I could continue the current treatment of salt and heat, or if I should add the ick meds or copper meds? They both arrive tomorrow morning, so I thought I would ask before starting either.

My set up is a 5 gallon tank, with filter and heater. I have had him for about 5 weeks, and stupid me last week got 2 guppies for him. People at the pet store told me they would get along fine, and that I didn't need to do a quarantine (I now know not to trust the advice of pet stores and feel terrible I let this happen to begin with). Obviously ended up not getting along so I returned them the following day. I am fairly certain they gave him whatever he has or at least caused enough stress to let him get sick. I've been doing 25% water changes every other day, and water levels (nitrate, nitrite, etc) are all within ideal ranges (with PH slightly low, but acceptable).

To summarize: Itstarted with white dots, and I thought he developed a golden velvet color (though perhaps was wrong). Aquarium salt, heat, and a natural cure marketed for velvet and ick got rid of the white dots, but not the gold color. Now loosing parts of tail and still scratching and acting lethargic.

He was uncooperative for photos, but I hope they help somewhat. His name is Deja Blue, and I got him after moving to college and missing the heck out of my animals at home.
 
Gypsy13
  • #2
Hello! I may be late but Welcome to fishlore!

Hubby isn’t seeing velvet. Make sure you do a good vac of your substrate. Get as many of the cysts out before they open up.

When you say your ammonia/nitrite levels are “acceptable” do you know the numbers?
I would continue the heat method you’ve started for the ich. Make sure you gravel vac thoroughly when you do your water changes. Make sure you don’t add any more salt. You’ll want to let the water changes take that out for you.
Btw, it sounds like a spectacular betta! I’m going to call a couple of peeps to look as well. Mary765 AquaBaby Betta'sAnonymous david1978 y’all want to check this little beauty out? Please?
 
Skipperix
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thank you for your help! I'm looking at my water test now; Nitrate and nitrate both show up as 0 ppm. It doesn't appear my test kit has an ammonia level reading. It has hardness, PH, and Akalinity as well. How do I test for ammonia? Do I need a different test kit?
I'll keep my current course of treatment then for now. Any idea how long I should wait to see behavioral improvement? Also, do you have any idea what is wrong with his tail?

I just checked on him this morning, and his tail loss is progressing. Its sort of becoming stringy and loosing its color, not just falling off like I would think if its tail rot. I am sorry for the spam of messages; I am just concerned about my boy. Thank you again.
 
aced it
  • #4
If he's scratching on the blue decoration the first pic, his tail could be ripped up from that. it doesn't look like when my boys had fin rot, though I could be wrong. Thankfully, bettas fins heal fast and clean water is usually the best treatment. I don't know very much about ich though, sorry. Also, are you using the test strips or the liquid test?
 
Skipperix
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
He has stopped itching now and rather prefers to just chill unless disturbed, so I am tempted to think its fin rot over damage as it is still getting worse. But it basically looks like the webbing between the spines is disintegrating but the spines are still there. I use test strips... I honestly didn't know a liquid test existed.

Which should I be treating for? Ich or fin rot? I am assuming its not wise to treat for both....
 
Iverg1
  • #6
Could you get a clearer pic of him please? It doesn't look like he has ich. Because ich looks like you sprinkled salt on him
 
Repolie
  • #7
I don't see velvet. He could also have fin rot from the stress of Ich which weakens the immune system. There are many ways to go about treating Ich, but I recommend Paraguard which treats for external parasites and fin rot. It's a very gentle medication that's safe for plants and a well established tank. It's also the closest thing to a cure all.
 
Skipperix
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Could you get a clearer pic of him please? It doesn't look like he has ich. Because ich looks like you sprinkled salt on him
It was certainly ich about 5 days ago; I had no doubts until the treatment didn't appear to be working in a timely manner. He has been treated since the first sign of ich, and all the salt like granules fell off by a the time I took photos for this post. I regrettably did not take any while he had the white crystals. I will get more pictures tomorrow when I have proper light.
I don't see velvet. He could also have fin rot from the stress of Ich which weakens the immune system. There are many ways to go about treating Ich, but I recommend Paraguard which treats for external parasites and fin rot. It's a very gentle medication that's safe for plants and a well established tank. It's also the closest thing to a cure all.
Thank you for the recommendation! Unfortunately, I checked and its not something my LFS carries . I'll place an online order and in the meantime continue treating for ich with what I have. Fingers crossed!

Again, I am so sorry for being such a paranoid fish mother. I think I keep jumping the gun and assuming the worst. I think progress has been made with the ich as the white dots are gone, and he is no longer scratching. I'll update if anything changes, but I am hopeful that I must be doing something partially right if he is improving slightly lol!
 
BigManAquatics
  • #9
Once the ich is gone, any fin rot should be fairly easy to take care of
 
CanadianFishFan
  • #10
Just wanted to say, he looks like Jupiter my male! ( This was on his teenage years though )

zwNNub1sZHDF2-3ZzRtIjzs6GiG7MATjchsy7p6AkKL8LtN0Wf9XHi6MZnsBSmOPTMlD0Ul6l0T1FRAdrsE=w462-h618-no.jpg
 
Skipperix
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Thank you all so much for your help! Unfortunately he passed away this morning. He just gradually declined over the night and I knew he wasn't doing well when I headed to my early morning class today. Got back not an hour later and he was gone. I will miss him greatly... He was my study buddy and he and I spent hours a day side by side while I studied for exams.

Any recommendations for what I can do better in the future to prevent stuff like this would be greatly appreciated.This has been a great learning experience so far, and I while I probably will never be an aquarium expert with 10s and 100s of fish like you guys, I want to be able to take care of my singular fish to the best of my ability. What is the best way to sterilize the tank?

Here are so more photos of my baby boy. He was gorgeous!
 
BigManAquatics
  • #13
Thank you all so much for your help! Unfortunately he passed away this morning. He just gradually declined over the night and I knew he wasn't doing well when I headed to my early morning class today. Got back not an hour later and he was gone. I will miss him greatly... He was my study buddy and he and I spent hours a day side by side while I studied for exams.

Any recommendations for what I can do better in the future to prevent stuff like this would be greatly appreciated.This has been a great learning experience so far, and I while I probably will never be an aquarium expert with 10s and 100s of fish like you guys, I want to be able to take care of my singular fish to the best of my ability. What is the best way to sterilize the tank?

Here are so more photos of my baby boy. He was gorgeous!
Well, that is a sad day

I think you can use bleach, but I don't remember the proper ratio offhand, so might hold off on that until someone who does can inform you proper.
 
Iverg1
  • #14
Sorry for your loss
 
Repolie
  • #15
SIP. Sad you lost him. You at least have a great home for him before he passed. Next time I recommend you have Paraguard on hand because it's the closest thing to a cure-all in emergencies.
 
Gypsy13
  • #16
Thank you all so much for your help! Unfortunately he passed away this morning. He just gradually declined over the night and I knew he wasn't doing well when I headed to my early morning class today. Got back not an hour later and he was gone. I will miss him greatly... He was my study buddy and he and I spent hours a day side by side while I studied for exams.

Any recommendations for what I can do better in the future to prevent stuff like this would be greatly appreciated.This has been a great learning experience so far, and I while I probably will never be an aquarium expert with 10s and 100s of fish like you guys, I want to be able to take care of my singular fish to the best of my ability. What is the best way to sterilize the tank?

Here are so more photos of my baby boy. He was gorgeous!

I’m so sorry! Sounds so pretty. You did your best. Thank you for trying so hard.
 

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