Betta fish disease help

  1. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    I unfortunately do not have a photo now of my Betta, but he has had a large open-looking fungal infection(?) on his mid-back. It is currently about 1/4 the size of your average thumb nail. There have been pink lines/spots (I think it's his tissue) that have come and gone, but it mostly looks like white fuzz.

    • He has been in a hospital tank that is about 1.5 gal on and off for a few months. This is his third round in the hospital tank. I was treating him daily with Pimafix which cleared it up quickly the first two times. I've since added Melafix for about a week now- he seems more active, but he infection doesn't look any better. This time he has been in the hospital tank for about two and half weeks with little improvement.
    • I went to one of the local aquarium stores (the mom and pop kind, not the commercial kind where the advice is always a bit "ify")- they told me to change all of the gravel out, which I did (in both the original tank and in his hospital tank.
    • I also added in the appropriate amount of salt for each tank (both are odd shapes, the original one which is currently uninhabited until I figure out what is going on...
    • Preceding all of this I had everything but my Betta die in the original tank. I found out later that our county was flushing out and treating all of the water lines in the area, so although I treated all of the water and let it sit, I probably should have let it sit for an extra day or two with the added chemicals.
    • For my regular water change schedule, I usually do about a 10% change once a week unless there is a reason to do more.
    • For the water change schedule in my hospital tank I've been following the directions for the anti fungal/bacterial treatments and doing a 25% water change every week.
    • My main tank has two small short sword plants in it- it used to be more heavily planted, but some of the plants did not appreciate the salt I put in it (the label did warn that may happen for some...it's another reason I have left the tank empty for now)
    • My hospital tank has two small live plants in it (I don't remember what they are called) they are rather hardy and don't mind any of the salt or the treatments used so far. All of the directions told me to take the carbon filter out, so my filter is just running with a foam block for now...I added the plants in to help with the oxygen level...and my betta loves to sleep on them like a hammock, he was pretty lethargic until I put some back in.
    • I also have a small heater to keep the tank warm.
    • I've looked into getting antibiotics, but I don't know which ones to use, the ones I found were very expensive, and I am very allergic to them (amoxicillin)- if I get a tiny bit on myself I break out in hives...and the directions on using them are very mixed. I am willing to use them (I'll just put a full smock on or something)...but what I don't want to do is spend just shy of $50 on a medicine that Dr. Google said would do the trick, to find out that I didn't do the proper research and should have purchased something else instead.
     
  2. Aster Well Known Member Member

    It sounds like saddleback columnaris. Symptoms are white fuzzy patches and streaks of red decaying tissue.

    Are you using aquarium salt and not table salt? Also, you should really be doing more water changes while he is sick, better water quality will help him improve. 25% every other day is more like it. Do you know your water parameters and temperature?

    First, lower the temperature to around 75 degrees and give him a salt bath (1% solution of aquarium salt and water). Then, follow up with a treatment of kanamycin and Furan 2 together. Make sure not to overdose because they are pretty harsh treatments, and remove plants because it may kill them.
     

  3. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    I will start that today! Thank you!
    And I am using aquarium salt!
     

  4. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    OK, so we did the Kanamycin and Furan treatments as directed. He seems much more active and vibrant, but his spot still looks the exact same...the directions for the Kanamycin say specifically to not do more than 3 doses, which we have done...can we wait a period of time and repeat?? The Furan says we can repeat if needed...
     

  5. Aster Well Known Member Member

    You used them together, correct?
    Are you able to get a picture of the betta now?
     
  6. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    Hannibal1.JPG Hannibal2.JPG these are from this morning. Earlier he was dripping blood which is the first time I've seen him do that. I panicked and added extra Stress Coat because I didn't know what else to do. It stopped almost instantly (not sure if that was just a coincidence, or if the Stress Coat helped). I just checked his water and the Ammonia was a little high (but not terrible) and the water was slightly acidic, but he was due for a water change (which I have done now). All the other levels were normal. I have been using both treatments together. I did another full gravel change in case that was an issue. I am completely out of ideas...
     
  7. Aster Well Known Member Member

    You say there's ammonia? That means your tank isn't cycled. What are the exact parameters of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? No amount of ammonia is good, and poor water quality could be the cause of his problems.

    Is the white fuzz on his back or his dorsal fin? From the picture it looks like dorsal fin.
     
  8. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    The tank is cycled properly- it's been established for a couple months now (I just use it as a hospital tank, our primary one has been going for a couple of years) and I tested it recently to make sure it had enough of the right kind of bacteria in it...I found what I think is the problem...a co-worker who adores the fish has been feeding him too much. I think I finally fixed that problem. I've mentioned before that it can spike the ammonia levels, but she didn't realize that is what is probably keeping him from getting better. She had good intentions.

    The white fuzz is on his dorsal fin. When I first inquired it was much smaller...It's only been a few days since I found out about the overfeeding, but I think it's getting a little better. It is not getting any smaller yet, but it completely stopped bleeding by Saturday. I'm hoping it will start to shrink and heal up in the next week or two...

    I honestly didn't write the nitrite and nitrate levels down, but they were within normal parameters. I don't have a test kit (in my defense, it's technically not my fish...I'm just the one that took care of it when other co-workers thought it would be a great idea and told me that they knew exactly what they were doing...and now I have done about 95% of the work, and the person that bought the fish is no longer working here...I do work within an easy walking distance of a pet store that will do that water testing for you, so I go there about once a week because I've already spent a lot on this fish and it's all been out of my own pocket...)

     
  9. Aster Well Known Member Member

    Overfeeding alone should not have caused that fungus-looking growth. The ammonia caused by the overfeeding might have weakened him and made him vulnerable, but now that he's caught a disease, simply feeding less will not do much.

    Are you still treating with meds? Is he still in QT? How large is the main tank and are there any other inhabitants?
     
  10. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    He is still in QT, and I am still treating him with meds (I re-started the Furan and Kanoplex). The main tank is roughly 5gal and currently only has plants in it. It used to have a couple of nerite snails in it, but everything died- I found out afterwards that our county was flushing the water system with a lot of extra chemicals...that is when our fish started this too. I had treated the water and let it sit, but now I'm treating the water and then letting the water sit for 3 days before using it for a water change.
     
  11. Aster Well Known Member Member

    Hmm, do you know exactly what chemicals are in the water? What water conditioner are you using?
     
  12. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    I've been using Stress Coat to condition the water. I have no idea what chemicals were used to flush the local system. I just went on their website and can't find any specific information. He really isn't looking good anymore...his right eye is swollen and he is lethargic again...we're considering euthanasia. I'm not one to throw the towel in quickly, but I'm also not one to let something suffer. My guess is something that I can't figure out has knocked his immune system out and he's just deteriorating...you wouldn't happen to have any other ideas first by any chance???
     
  13. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    I didn't mention before, our fish is 3 years old...ish. We got him 3 years ago, but have no idea how old he was when we got him.
     
  14. Aster Well Known Member Member

    It may be old age, 3 years is around average for a betta. The swollen eye is popeye, which is a secondary infection. Things aren't looking too good for him.

    Only you are able to make the decision about euthanasia. If the meds aren't doing much, he's getting worse, and he seems to be suffering, then by all means put him out of his misery. But if there seems to be hope, wait and see if he'll pull through.

    It's all up to you.
     
  15. rshtrbug Initiate Member

    Thank you for all of the help. We decided to euthanize him last night. He got progressively worse and was just sitting on the bottom of the tank gulping for air. It wasn't fair to him, and it's not like we didn't try really hard. Something else must have been going on to weaken his immune system. I consulted you and a few other fish friends that have had tanks for decades, and everyone gave me similar advice which I followed, so I don't think there was much more we could do. When he wasn't lethargic we were willing to keep trying, but when he didn't have the energy to move off the bottom of the tank it was definitely time. A newer co-worker of mine keeps a couple of tanks at home and had everything for the euthanasia, so she did it last night.

    Thank you for all of the help!

    I think we're going to keep the tank with just plants for a bit. Our boss is trying to sell the business...if the buyer doesn't want a tank here, I can't take it to where I live...so unless maybe my newer co-worker will volunteer as a "plan B" home, we're going to be fish free for now.
     
  16. Aster Well Known Member Member

    Aww, sorry about the betta. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

    Without fish in the tank giving off nitrates, the plants may need ferts.

    I hope you consider getting a tank of your own! Sometimes when things like this happen, it's easy to get frustrated, but when things go smoothly fishkeeping is a very fun hobby.