Betta - Is it ick?

gryzor
  • #1
Dearest friends,

Once more I turn to this community for help as both me and my girlfriend are really worried over our young betta...

Since yesterday he's rather slow and appears to sit just under the surface of the water, usually on a plant leaf. We didn't pay much attention yesterday, but today when I returned from work I saw that he has a single white spot between his eye and his mouth, as you can see from the photo (the fact that I managed to approach him with the camera so much says something by itself).

We introduced a couple of plants a few days ago and so I was thinking maybe they carried something with them? His appetite appears to be fine.

I'd say it's ick, but only because of the white spot, I really don't know about the other symptoms... He was pretty active and carefree as always the previous days, no previous illness. Water is fine, as measured by a home (ok...) kit, only slightly alkaline but not much. Temperature is (wow, it's been hot today!) at 91F, quite higher than even advised in the relevant page.

So... is it? And if so, must we wait till all **** breaks loose in the water before we treat it, as described here?

Thank you (once more...),
Themis + Maritina
 
jdhef
  • #2
This is not an area I am very well versed in, but I'm pretty sure that it is not Ick. Ick looks like grains of salt.

There is a Fish Disease Section on this site. You may be able to ID the problem from the info in there.

My only suggestion (but not cure) would be to try to lower your water temperature some, since as you said, it is higher then the recommended range. I wouldn't worry about the ph being a little high, but it should probably be below 8.

Good luck
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Hello jdhef,

Thanks for your prompt reply; I did read the disease section, and I arrived to my conclusion through it. If it's not ick, then really I can't find anything that will fit the bill: appearing tired, staying under the surface...

Thanks for your input, though, will try lowering the temperature. pH is about 7.8 tops, btw.

Anyone who can recognize what this might be?

Regards
T
 
ShaynaB
  • #4
It could be fungus, but it's for sure not Ick.

Read about fungus and see if that's it.
 
Martinismommy
  • #5
This does not appear to be ick..It looks like some type of fungus...I would try using rid fungus and make sure his water is ultra clean...I'd also offer him some peeled baby peas cut up into tiny peices the size of his eye...This will help if he is bloated.....

What type of tank is he in? Is he alone? Does he have a filter and heater?
 
ShaynaB
  • #6
Oh, and I'd really try go get that temp down to 80 ish.

Try floating ice in a zip loc baggy or a frozen water bottle or something. That's TOO high!
 
Martinismommy
  • #7
Oh yes! Get that temp down ASAP!
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks for your feedback, guys... I really don't know if it's fungus - it doesn't look like what I read... This looks more like an ulcer or sore to us, maybe even an open one (parasite sign?).

In any case, I've brought the temp down to 85F now. Although it's bed time right now he does appear more lively if we wake him up, although he sleeps at the bottom of the aquarium. Tomorrow morning we'll take him to the fish-crazy man at the ole shoppe and see if he can diagnose something to treat.

By the way, he's alone in a small, 12l aquarium. The normal filter broke down a few days ago and we have one of the small, simple ones working till we replace it.

Have a great afternoon (I guess it's afternoon for most of you!),
Themis

PS plants came with snails, could it have anything to do with it?
 
jdhef
  • #9
I'm hoping that switching filters isn't going to put you into a mini-cycle. Were you able to use the old filter media in the new filter? Keep an eye on your ammonia and nitites.

Good luck
 
0morrokh
  • #10
12L is about 3g...not ideal, 5-10g (19-38L) is better...but as long as it's filtered and heatered he should be ok in the 12L, though he might get bored if he feels like he doesn't have much room to move around.

What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? Was the new filter you put in cycled? If not you'll go thru at least a minI cycle and should do daily 50% changes as long as you get NH3/NO2 readings.

Look at him from above...does the white patch stick out like a cotton puff or is it flat? Whatever it is, it's likely bacterial, so you'll want to treat with antibiotics...

Have you gotten the temp down? Once the temp gets into the mid-high 80s it becomes stressful for the fish...higher can kill him. The stress from the high temp is probably why he got sick.
 
Shawnie
  • #11
I agree that's totally an ulcer or parasite..its not ich... and his temp is way to high ...even treating ich, which I don't believe it is, you only need to go up to 83f...antibiotics like omorrokh said should heal him up good..with daily water changes.. ..hope he gets better soon!
 
0morrokh
  • #12
I agree that's totally an ulcer or parasite..its not ich... and his temp is way to high ...even treating ich, which I don't believe it is, you only need to go up to 83f...antibiotics like omorrokh said should heal him up good..with daily water changes.. ..hope he gets better soon!

Ulcer generally refers to a hole/open sore in the fish. It looks more like slime or "fungus" growing on the surface of his betta. However both are generally bacterial so treatment would be similar.
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Hello guys...

Just an update before leaving for work; I woke up this morning finding him sitting still on an aquarium accessory just underneath the surface, again. He came out for me to feed, and I saw that the white spot is partially gone, leaving a hole in its place. I'm freaking out a bit here. He seems to have apetite, but he spat the food out after a bit - I'm guessing the wound may make it difficult for him to eat.

Poor, poor thing...

Since it's been asked, btw, as I said before water quality is ok, only temp was high, and I'm keeping it up to mid-80s as usual now.

Crossing fingers,
T
 
Shawnie
  • #14
Ulcer generally refers to a hole/open sore in the fish. It looks more like slime or "fungus" growing on the surface of his betta. However both are generally bacterial so treatment would be similar.

with an ucler, ive seen it start out like this and then the hole appears one day

I'm hoping rose or cbc see's this soon !!
 
luna
  • #15
Since it's been asked, btw, as I said before water quality is ok, only temp was high, and I'm keeping it up to mid-80s as usual now.
That's too high. You should be keeping the tank at, or just under, 80F. I know it can be hard to lower the tank temperature (I have to cool off my Kappa on hot days), but you don't want to stress out an already sick fishie. What EXACTLY do you keep your heater set at, and what is the temperature in the tank?
 
joy613
  • #16
I would look up columnaris I am not for sure if it is that or not. By the looks of it that would be my first thought. In case my spelling is whacked google flex fungus there is a couple of different kinds of it. It could have been brought in on the plants if that is what it is...very contagious easily spread so be sure to clean everything you use on this tank before going to another tank. Good luck!
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Hello guys (and gals!), just back from work.

Fish-crazy guy diagnosed fungus and was pretty sure about it. He prescribed a certain Waterlife Protozin (Whitespot & Fungus) treatment (). My girlfriend told me that after she started treatment (it's a 4-day course), just one hour later he started looking better. I highly doubter that, but he does look much better! The wound is still there, of course, but he's much more responsive and he has started swiming around, so I'm hopeful... One point for all those who suggested fungi!

A correction: the aquarium is not 12, but 18l. Still not big, I know, but better. We're waiting till we move to our new appartment to get a decent, big one. We do try and keep the water as 'correct' as it could be.

About themperature: I've heard all sorts of temp ranges, really, and I though that mid-80s is about correct... being in Greece, as we are, we don't ever use a heater, but I'll try and keep it constantly around 80 from now on through icecubes or those medical ice packs. I do know that 90+ was too much, it got out of hand while we were away and had to shut balcony doors...

I'll keep you posted. Thanks again, and again, and again...

Themis

PS When she sent me the SMS that he's doing better I was in a meeting. I felt so relieved... amazing, the attachment that can develop!
 
ShaynaB
  • #18
Yeah, between 78 and 80 degrees is where you should try to keep the temp. That works the best for the fish!

I'm glad you've gotten him started on a treatment and he's doing better!

 
chickadee
  • #19
18 L is almost 5 US gallons and that is a nice size for a betta. He will be fine but needs a water change every day if his tank is not cycled. Until the filter is cycled I would test for ammonia every day and change 40% of the water at least if the ammonia registers at more than 0.25 on the scale. Ammonia is a much more likely cause of death in a betta than most diseases. So watch his ammonia levels closely and continue to treat for the Columnaris fungus and watch the temperature and watch how much you feed him. No more than 3 blood worms or pellets two times a day or you are overfeeding him.

Rose
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Thanks for the further feedback... Trying desperately to keep the temp down (currently: low 80s) - really it came as a surprise to us, darn cods live in higher temperatures in the greek seas

The filter has been cycled before, sorry for forgetting to mention that, and also thanks for the feeding advice - I was wondering myself. At least it's encouraging that he has an apetite!
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Hello guys,

An update: three days in the treatment course. The wound on his face appears to be in a much better condition. He got a new small white spot on the top of his back, may be coincidental, but we're keeping an eye on it. We also removed the plants from the aquarium.

What is worrying us now is that, since yesterday, he appears quite subdued in a different way: he spents his time at the bottom, sometimes hidden in his little cave, without reacting to us tapping the aquarium wall or opening the cover (pavlovian food-related). He just sits at the bottom, motionless, not eating. Every now and then he will go up to the surface, and then he seems to be swimming pretty fast and stable as if he has no problem, but then he swiftly (meaning, he doesn't just drifts down) swims back to the bottom.

And the worry continues...

Themis
 
COBettaCouple
  • #22
Sometimes meds can have that effect on them, but he may be dealing with internal parasites and need treatment for that.
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Hello BettaCouple, a pleasure to talk with you again

Yes, I figured this might be a normal after-disease situation, like in other animals, but you'd never know... would you say I should treat him for parasites as well just in case?

He continues to just sit at the bottom, sometimes next to his cave (actually, like resting on its wall). A while ago he saw me looking at him, and he just rushed off behind the little cave where I can't see him! The little adorable fish.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #24
If it was our Betta, I would.
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Thank you, will do then...

New (?) symptom: as he sits down there, his gills appear to be struggling for air a bit more than usually. Not sure about it, though, and water is well oxygenated...
 
COBettaCouple
  • #26
That could also be a parasites symptom. It would seem to confirm the suspicion.
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Unfortunately, I think we'll lose him... Due to a miscommunication error (was at meetings all day long) my girlfriend did not realize we should start a parasite treatment and now stores are closed here... He's not looking good at all, sitting always in his little cave... :`(
 
0morrokh
  • #28
Just a thought, but warmer water doesn't hold as much oxygen, and meds can sometimes deplete the water of oxygen as well, so make sure the water has plenty of aeration (without creating too much of a current). Bettas are fighters...I hope he gets better.
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
He's hanging in there...

Last night I changed half the tank's water, after some advice I took (question: do I have to change half the water each day? And, if so, should I use bacterial solutions to speed up its cycling?). I think he's a little better. At least before I left for work this morning, he seemed more active...

His lower face appears somewhat puffy. It's frustrating, because symptoms that may be compatible with some condition or the other are a sub-set of that condition's symptoms...

He ate! He just ate! Lots, too!

Again, crossing fingers... Going to get some internal parasite meds, just in case...
 
jdhef
  • #30
It would probably be a good idea to keep up the water changes for a while. I'm glad to hear that his condition is improving!

Good luck!
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Thanks for the ecnouragement and tip, jdhef... Would that entail use of artificial cycling or is it fine by itself? And, every now and when should I change it?

Regards
Themis

PS Love you #3 aquarium
 
jdhef
  • #32
See chickadee's post above (post #19 in this thread) for info about cycling. Like she posted I would do water changes everyday until your tank is fully cycled. At a time like this, you Betta needs his water to be as clean as possible.

Good luck
 
COBettaCouple
  • #33
Glad to hear that he's eaten. That's a good sign.
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
He's steady... We suspect he may be trying to scratch his back (though not 100% sure). Parasites it would be, then.

An interesting development: the snails that came with the plants (that possibly carried whatever is attacking him) have spawned. Who would have known! I just hope they're not carriers themselves?

Let me ask you this - according to your experience, would it help if we hurriedly cycled water in another tank and moved him there altogether to completely disinfect his current habitat?

Have a great day, everyone,
T
 
COBettaCouple
  • #35
He could be acclimated to another tank when it's cycled. But the only real benefit that I see would be getting away from the snails and allowing you to sterilize that tank to eliminate the snails.
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Ah wait - then the snails are bad? Because I've read that they only help keep the tank clean.... Should I rush to remove them then?>?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #37
Some snails are good, but if they're the little pond snails you're looking at a population that will grow really fast.
 
gryzor
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
Ok, just an update:

He's still stable. Appetite down, I think. I attacha photo so you can see the two white spots he has grown, which are different from the first one. Apologies for the bad quality, couldn't quite focus...

Looks like parasites?

Keeping snails under close inspection, btw; they surely grow fast in size!!!

...and today's situation. The white spot on his back is almost gone. The one behind his eye appears to be doing better. Yet the original sore... there appears to be something coming out of it. Maybe it's dead flesh or something, but the word 'parasite' keeps coming back to my mind...

Minimal apetite, he still sits at the bottom or (more usually) in his little cave, occasionally coming up for air. Keeping up treatment and water changes.

[Edit] yesterday I changed half his water; today he ate again, three or four pellets. Maybe relevant?
 
Absinthia
  • #39
Hello everyone and thank you all for your kind help =). This is Gryzor's girlfriend and distressed betta mommy speaking...

Our fishie managed to eat three pellets today after two days of no eating at all, but with great effort...
I am beggining to think he is suffering from cotton-mouth after all.
We have completed a treatment cycle with Waterlife Protozin (for whitespot and fungus) as we originally thought it was fungus that affected him. Now we are mid-way in the anti-parasite treatment (day 4 of 10 day course).
We make every 3 days water changes and monitor the water parameters. We added oxygen tablets to help his breathing.

What treatment would you suggest for cotton mouth? I think it should be antibiotics as this is a bacterium, correct? Would you think that this extra treatment, if not indeed needed, would hurt him? Could I continue with the parasite treatment at the same time with cotton-mouth treatment?

Thank you so much again---and forgive me for the long post... I am so sad
 
COBettaCouple
  • #40
Welcome to Fishlore.

I hope your little guy will make a good recovery. It does look like he may be dealing with a bacterial infection. You may want to try Waterlife Myxazin or JBL Furanol for the infection.

I've not used those meds, since they're not available here, so I'm not sure on using the anti-bacterial meds with the anti-parasite meds. It should be ok.

Do you have frozen bloodworms? I would recommend thawed bloodworms over pellets as the protein will help his strength a bit.
 

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