Ich+Fin Rot+Possible Fungal Infection

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by DalmatianBetta, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. DalmatianBettaNew MemberMember

    Ugh...I guess I should start with the basic info about the tank setup.
    -10 Gallon (US) tank
    -Whisper 10 Filter
    -12" Air Stone w/10-15 Gallon Air Pump
    -Lighting: Flourescent, on for ten hours a day with natural light the rest of the time.
    -Gravel Substrate
    -1 Male Dalmatian Veil Tail Betta
    -1 Pleco
    -1 African Dwarf Frog
    -4 Ghost Shrimp
    -Mondo Grass
    -Up and running for two and a half months
    -pH: 7.2
    -Ammonia: 0.0ppm
    -Nitrites: 0ppm
    -Nitrates: 5ppm
    -Temperature: Adjustable heater, normally 78 deg. F, currently 84-86 deg F due to illness(es)
    -Water Hardness: No idea, but hard.
    -Additives: Nutrafin Aqua Plus conditioner, Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food, API Aquarium Salt (3 rounded tablespoons for the entire 10 US Gallon Tank since the ich started).
    -Diet: Rotation every couple of days between Omega One Freshwater Flakes and Betta Min Tropical Medley. The betta completey stopped eating pellets after introduction of the Tropical Medley, but whatever makes him happy. Twice a week, I feed the betta and frog some freeze dried bloodworms. Once a week, I fast for a day, followed by one blanched and smashed pea for the betta to avoid constipation.

    Here's a breakdown of what I've been dealing with:

    Idiot me has been out of the swing of aquariums for a few years and made a n00b mistake. I brought home a beautiful Blue Ram Cichlid from LFS and did not quarantine him. (Lesson learned, purchasing quarantine aquarium soon.) Of course, he sparked an outbreak of ich. Flashing, white spots, the works. The normally hyperactive, happy, and hungry betta was not eating, hiding almost all the time, or hanging out on the bottom. His color began to fade as well (He was very, very pale when I brought him home, then turned a deep red after a few days). The pleco seemed completely unaffected, the ghost shrimp had ich but were still behaving normally, and the poor frog had no spots but seemed very stressed. The tetras, covered with ich spots, were still eating and schooling, but began dying off one by one. The catfish showed no signs of ich.

    Before the first round of Nox-Ich was complete (3 days of .5 drops per gallon given the ghost shrimp, African Dwarf Frog, and the 5, now 0 neon tetras, carbon filter removed of course), the Blue Ram, neon tetras, and catfish were dead. During this time, the betta developed the appearance of fin rot, most likely from flashing and hanging out on the bottom/hiding. And his fins were so long, flowing, and beautiful! I have seriously never seen a veil tail with fins like that in person before :(

    After 24 hours, I did a 50% water change with an overall gravel vacuum and resumed treatment the next day with the ich still present. Another three days of treatment and another water change, and ye olde ich was still there. The aquarium guru friend of mine suggested five days of .5 drops per US gallon followed by 24 hours of no treatment, then a 50% water change. So, that's what I did. The betta's fins started looking ragged... really ragged.

    After the third round of Nox-Ich, the ich was completely gone. The spots disappeared two days in, so I'm assuming that the free floaters were most likely killed off by the end of the five day treatment. The betta's fins stopped deteriorating. He began eating during the second treatment, was swimming around a little more, and was no longer hiding or flashing. However... yesterday, I noticed some algae like growth on the top of his head, his tail fin, and one pectoral fin. It was a greenish-gray color and looked like algae. Currently, I cannot see any on him at all. He does have a spot (not ich-like), approximately 1mm in diameter on his side. It just looked slightly pale compared to the rest of him. It is located on his left side, just superior and posterior to his pectoral fin. I have pictures, but it doesn't show up very well.

    Today was post-treatment water change day. Just prior to the water change, I saw the betta flash again. He also swims up against the mondo grass, but just grazes it as he swims by without flashing. F.M.L. There are no white spots on anything in the tank, but I'm assuming I should do at least a three day Nox-Ich treatment as a precautionary measure.

    1. Is it normal for ich to be this persistent?
    2. Could today's flashing be the result of something other than ich?
    3. Any clues on what the algae like growth and pale spot could be (bacterial, fungal, etc)?
    4. If the algae like growth and pale spot on the betta are fungal, is there a way I can get rid of it without annihilating my beloved nitrogen cycle?
    5. Will the betta's fins grow back?

    I have attached a few pictures of the betta, but there is no algae like growth currently present and the pale spot isn't terribly apparent in the photos. My apologies for the picture quality... he was swimming around a lot and I was using a Droid X 2. I apologize for the novel as well, but I wanted to include as much information as possible.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  2. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to FishLore!!

    Do me a favor and check the ammonia and nitrite levels again. These "ich" treatments have a way of making the beneficial bacteria very unhappy and even though you previously didn't have any ammonia or nitrite problems, you very well could now, so just check to be sure.

    If when you test you have a reading for ammonia or nitrite, this could be the reason your beta isn't looking all that well right now. It can also cause fish to flash because the ammonia burns and irritates their skin. It can also cause fin rot and secondary fungal or bacterial infections to damaged tissue. If this is the case, perform large (50%) daily water changes to keep levels low until the tank can re-establish it's cycle. The use of Seachem Prime as a water conditioner will further help protect the fish from any remaining low levels of ammonia or nitrite while still allowing the beneficial bacteria to use them. Clean water itself can treat the fin rot and may even be all you need to do for the other symptoms as well.

    If you aren't experiencing any issues with your biofilter, I'd still recommend not continuing the ich treatment. Most times ich can be cured naturally with a heat treatment and it is usually easier on the fish than the use of ich meds. Some bacterial infections can get worse with a heat treatment though, so don't increase the heat until you are more sure of what you are dealing with now.

  3. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore. Sorry under these conditions.

    Plecos produce too much waste for such a small tank. Frogs are very sensitive to waste buildup. Not a good combination.

    What are you using to test your parameters? It sounds as if your tank is not fully cycled based on fish symptoms yet your parameters don't. Having a pleco in a 10G should have much higher nitrate unless you've been doing very large daily water changes. Make sure your test kit is still good too.

    Snails are a great indicator of tank health. When there is uneaten food or other debris the population increases very quickly. When was the last time a deep gravel vac was completed, not just a surface scan?

    I would stop the salt. It actually does more harm than good with your mix; and it builds up quickly. Not that it matters, but salt kills plants as well. I say not that it matters because mondo grass is not aquatic and will pollute your tank. The grass needs to be removed.

    I recommend daily water changes with gravel vacs with a detoxing conditioner, such as Seachem Prime or Kordon AmQuel with NovAqua. Cut back on foods offered and remove as many of those pond snails as possible.

    Once you can determine if no bacterial infection exists, raise the heat to at least 86F. Anything lower will not kill the parasites.

    Good luck.
  4. DalmatianBettaNew MemberMember

    Well, the pleco is a baby at one inch. I added him to keep algae in check, and he's doing a marvelous job :) We're getting a second, larger tank soon to which the pleco is going to be moved. Aquarium salt improves gill function and provides electrolytes not present in tapwater, so they need a little of it. Additionally, it helps stave off the ich. Sodium is a main ingredient in most ich medications as the change in salinity sort of shocks the parasite. I feel like removing the salt now would invite the ich to reoccur as it has only recently stopped colonizing on the betta.

    The has the algae-like growth again. Does anyone know of a good treatment for this without killing the nitrogen cycle?
  5. DalmatianBettaNew MemberMember

    Additionally... does anyone know what infection the algae like growth could be?
  6. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Responses in red.
  7. DalmatianBettaNew MemberMember

    Wow... Of the original five questions I asked, only one has been answered. I even posed two of the questions in the same thread again hoping that someone would actually pay attention to them. These, of course, went unanswered as well. The rest of the replies, with the exception of toosie's, have been aimed at criticizing me and my opinions, insulting my intelligence, and providing misguided advice that refutes scientific data.

    -"You can either allow very experienced fishkeepers to give you advice, and then you follow it to the betterment of your tank and fish...... or you can choose not to." Really? If these very experienced fishkeepers would provide the advice for which I asked, that would be fine. Instead, the replies have been filled only with the advice you think I need, which would be fine if you had addressed my questions at some point.

    -"Always stock your tank as if the species are already adults." While usually true, this information is subjective. As I planned on acquiring larger tanks and I like plecos, it made sense to me. Again, this is subjective.

    -"If this is a common pleco, he can get 12-18 inches in length." *gobsmacked* You don't say!

    - "It sounds as if your tank is not fully cycled based on fish symptoms yet your parameters don't." Of course the bloody tank is cycled. I think I can at least figure that out.

    Seriously, I'm leaving this website since I'm obviously not going to find any help here.
  8. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    First I want to expound on what was answered above about salt. Pleco's (and other scaleless fish) can not tolerate salt. It burns their skin. And believe it or not, all those fish live in the wild in water that does not contain aquarium salt. Having a properly cycled and properly stocked tank will go a long way toward insuring there is not an ich outbreak. Additionally, you can cure ich by slowly (over the course of a couple of days) raising the tank temperature to 86 degrees for 14 days (and doing daily gravel vacuuming to pick up the ich spores that fall into the gravel).

    You really have a poorly stocked tank. The pleco is a hugh waste producer making it difficult to keep water parameters in line, plus they grow far to large for a 10 gallon tank. I don't know what size tank you plan to upgrade with, but for a common pleco I think you will need at least 75 gallons (many more). Additionally the betta will no doubt out compete the frog for food and he may attack the snail (and possibly the pleco and frog).

    The growth on your betta sounds like it may be velvet disease. This usually occurs (as well as ich) due to poor water conditions.
  9. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    Well, I was waiting for the answers to my questions before I dove face first into giving you incorrect info, but I admit I could have addressed a few more of your questions in my initial post.

    1. Is it normal for ich to be this persistent?
    2. Could today's flashing be the result of something other than ich?
    3. Any clues on what the algae like growth and pale spot could be (bacterial, fungal, etc)?
    4. If the algae like growth and pale spot on the betta are fungal, is there a way I can get rid of it without annihilating my beloved nitrogen cycle?
    5. Will the betta's fins grow back?

    Answers given to the best of my ability at this moment in time.

    1. Some strains of ich can be quite persistent and not all chemical treatments are as effective as others. Heat treatment is the safest for the fish and should be the first course of action unless the ich is too far advanced in which case sometimes it is best to use an effective chemical but with extreme caution because it can lead to adverse effects for the fish and the bio filter.

    2. Yes, as I said before ammonia can be a cause as well as any other irritant including other parasites.

    3. Not a clue at this point.

    4. Again, because I don't know the cause of question 3, I can't at this point in time answer question 4.

    5. Yes, with clean water and good water quality the fins will grow back and most times the only treatment for finrot or nipping that is necessary is ulta good water quality which usually means extra water changes for at least the recovery period. Great water quality can usually prevent fin rot as well as treat it.

    I understand your frustration, but the girls and I were actually doing our best to help you with the information we had available to us. They were addressing what they felt may be contributing causes to your problems. Usually people provide us with a little more patience because they know we are working with very little to go on, and not every one of us knows all of the answers to any one case. Sometimes it takes time for the "right" people to sign on to the forum and find your problem before all of your issues can be addressed. This does take a little patience on your part.

    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy our forum and expected immediate solutions to your problems with the information you provided us. I'm also sorry we couldn't fulfill your high expectations of a forum. I truly hope the next forum you choose, will be able to live up to your high expectations of all of the individuals involved in the site.

    I wish you the absolute best of luck with your fish, and I truly do mean it.
  10. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the forum

    1. Yes, if it's not properly treated it will keep coming back, or if it reintroduced into the tank it can come back. It's important to follow the directions exactly as stated. for the heat treatment, 86 works almost every time. It's rare, but there are heat resistant strains - 90 did the trick for me when 86 failed.

    2. Yes, flashing can be from a number of irritants. Flashing concerns me when it's constant or when multiple fish are doing it.

    5. Yes, the bettas fins will likely grow back, though maybe not back to what it was.
  11. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!
    Please do not be rude to the members.
    They really did not answer maliciously.
    Only to try and help your situation.

    Here are the OP's original questions.
    Any further comments not addressing these questions will be deleted.

    Thank you.


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