Help! What does ich look like? My poor Betta


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:'( I don't know what the heck is going on with my Betta. He has been acting sick for over a month. I had trouble with my heater & ordered another one because I couldn't keep the temp. stable. I tried giving him a pea (soaked in garlic) four times & I haven't seen him eat or swim for a very long time. He just lays around on the bottom.

Today I did a water changed & he was laying where I could really see him & I noticed the skin around his face is a strange color, almost looks flakey. It is some what spotty. It's hard to describe. I can't tell what the heck it is & I am not sure what to treat him for.

I treated him a few weeks ago with melafix for fin rot. Did my water changes & I think the fin rot is gone. It is hard to tell because he isn't swimming. I know he's sick, I just don't know what it is. I feel so bad for him. I'm going to the pet store right now to see what they have. I would appreciate any & all feed back. Thanks.

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Okay now I am even more confused than I was before I left for the fish store. I don't know if my betta has a fungus, a parasite, or ich!? ??? ??? After reading some of the medications, looking at pictures & symptoms I still don't know what the heck he has.

The parasite kind of med. describes his behavior. He will dart up to the top & he was acting constipated & he is till lying on his side. The fungus med. decribes how he looks, sort of like the body slime, which could easily be confused with ich (I think). With the temp. problems I have been having, I am thinking ich. (Is ich spelled with a h or k?)

My fish lives alone. Wouldn't he catch a parasite or fungus from another fish? Keeping the water chem. balanced hasn't been a problem (finally) just the heating.

I'm really frustrated! The only fish store we have in town (besides Wal-Mart) has one guy who works there & he told me that Bettas don't need to be kept in warm water!!! Needless to say, I wasn't really going to get any information from him that I could use. I asked him if he had ever heard of!! Uugghhh

I do know he is sick & he has been that way for some time. Melafix hasn't helped. If it is ich, I know that will kill him.

I did add 1 tablespoon of salt after reading in this section. I don't know what else to do.

:'( Gina

I am so sorry to hear about your betta. I can tell you to keep your chin up, when my betta had ick he laid at the bottom a lot too.

Ick looks like white dots, or like your fish has been sprinkled with salt. My betta did not show as many spots as my neons.
I am still new to this, but I can tell you that getting a new heater is very important. I got rid of the ick by adjusting my water temp up over a few days to 85-86 degrees. I then started adding salt (not table salt) to the water with the water changes. I did a lot of frequent water changes. Check out the article from this website in the fish disease section :

It took a while but the ick went away and my betta is back to swimming and happy as normal.
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After reading around on the site, I am not sure it is ich.??? It is on the side of his head & part of his gill. It is splotchy in color & transparent, it's almost like dry skin. When he moved today I could see it is on one side more than the other. I am guessing it might be bacterial after reading but i'm still not sure. I read that I should use a fungus eliminator & tetracycline.

I think I will wait & see if any one else has ever had anything like this before I treat him. :-\ I really don't know what I should use.

Do try those meds. As for the spelling, while people often spell it ick because it is pronounced that way, the correct spelling is ich.

The temperature needs to stay at 85 degrees for a minimum of 14 days to keep the parasite from returning to your fish when you lower the temperature. It takes that long to kill it off. Less time just won't do it.

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  • #9
Does it look like white cotton?

No. It was almost black & splotchy with white. It didn't look like ich. I found a site with different fish diseases & really didn't see anything like it. It looked similar to a bacterial picture I saw.

I treated him with melafix around the first of the month for fin rot. They looked a little frayed.

Then I had problems with my heater (I did get a good heater). That's why I thought it might be ich.

The same day I posted this, I treated him with fungus cure. I thought it might be body slime from the description on the medication. He had already been laying around for weeks & I just didn't know what else to do for him. It turned my tank green & I could barely see him. I looked at him with a flash light (I wished I had done that sooner) & some magnifying glasses. I knew his breathing was labored & around his gills they looked raw (like pieces of his scales had fallen off). There was also a spot on his cheek.

I did the required amount of days & then I did a 50% water change & the next day a 25% to try & get rid of the green. He just kept looking worse. So two days later (last night) I tried a penicillin & when I woke up this morning he was dead. :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

He was sick for a long time & I had really hoped he would pull through but after seeing his condition up close, I really didn't think he would. I am just glad he isn't still suffering. He survived my tank cycle & my ph ignorance (thank you Gunnie, for teaching me about that!). I had him for almost two years & I will miss that little fishy.

I am going to clean out the tank (I feel it is contaminated) & start all over. Next time I will do it right.

Thanks for all of your help. I've really learned a lot from all of you.

Good luck with your fishies Gina

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