New with a sick Betta!

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cherryrose

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Please help me with my sick betta.  Barney has been sick for a few days even though I have been treating him with BettaFix.  I had him in a ten gallon tank with 5 danios, 4 platies, and a cory cat fish.  I was told the danios would get along with the Betta, but they turned out to be fin nippers.  By the time I discovered it my poor betta's fins were ragged and had some kind of fungus on them.  I put BettaFix and Betta Complete Water Conditioner in a gallon jar with 3 quarts of water in it and put poor Barney in it hoping that he would get well.  He no longer has fungus on his fins, (the parts with fungus on them fell off), but he has what looks like fungus around his mouth and on his head. The spots are white but don't look like they're as fuzzy as the fungus on his fins was.  Barney is not eating and is lethargically hanging out at the top of his jar.  I know this is a holiday, but if there is anyone out there reading this, please give me some advice as soon as possible.  I bought some Melafix, but have not put any of it in his jar as the directions are for a ten gallon tank.  What should I do to heal poor Barney Betta?  The ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are all at 0 in his jar.  The PH is a little low at 6.0.

CherryRose, A newbie in trouble
 

Stradius011

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How long was the jar set up? It could be that the jar hasn't even cycled yet. A 1 gallon jar is too small for a betta. Use Melafix and Pinafix for your betta because the betta's tail could get a infection and get finrot. I used Melafix and it only took 4 days to heal my guppy's tail.
 

Richard

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Sounds like Barney has Mouth-Fungus, which is completely different from normal Fungus in that Fungus medicine won't neccessarily treat it.. medication that contains Phenoxyethanol has proven effective, so if any of your anti-fungal medications has that antibiotic, you can try it.. if you have to go to your LFS for medication, specify that it's to treat Mouth-Fungus.. and you may want to get a 5 gallon tank for Barney at the same time, which can serve as both his treatment tank and his home after he recovers.. shouldn't be too expensive.. good luck.
 
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cherryrose

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Thanks people! I will put some of my Melafix in his jar. It says to use 5 ml for a 10 gallon tank. I have a dropper that holds 3 ml all together. It is marked off in 1/10 of a ml amounts. I will try adding 3/10 of a ml and see if that helps. The jar says it treats open sores, fin & tail rot, eye cloud, pop eye,body slime, mouth fungus, and open wounds. The active ingredient is melaleuca. The bottle also says to repeated the dose every day for 7 days and not to change the water until the 8th day. Since I only have him in the one gallon hospital jar, I am hoping that I can wait that long. What do you think? I hope it works as I can't get to the pet store until tomorrow at the very earliest!
 
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cherryrose

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I read in an article on treating sick fish that adding salt to the water would help the meds be more effective.  How much salt would I put in Barney's 1 gal hospital jar?  I can't find the article again.  Does anyone know? ???
 

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That is not true. Salt helps the fish resist diseases though. You should only put in Aquarium Salt from the pet store.
 

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Please do not use salt for this particular affliction. It is okay for skin lesions and such as it increases the slime coat but is not going to help much with fungal infection and fin rot. I am afraid having your little friend in an unheated environment with no filter and not much water is going to be much help. He will not need much water but he does need to have at least 2.5 gallons as he needs at least a 25 watt heater to keep him warm. The meds work best at a temp of 82 degrees F or 28 degrees C. He should also be getting Pimafix for the finrot as it kills the bacterial infection and Melafix is what helps the fins regenerate. For the mouth fungus you are going to need something a little stronger, like Jungle Tank Buddies Fungus Clear. They are fizzy tablets and are a tablet that you use for 4 days and then do a partial water change then if necessary do another dose. Your betta is VERY ill and needs immediate care so if you can get him the meds I would do so as soon as possible.

He probably will not eat until he feels a little better so I would hold his food for 24 hours until he has been on medication as if he has mouth fungus his mouth is sore and will not allow him to eat properly. Then only feed a piece or two of food and if he still shows no sign of trying to eat do not push it. You do not want to have left over food fouling his water, as the cleanliness of the water is going to be of major concern. Just try a little a couple of times a day until he can eat on his own and remove any that he won't eat immediately.

Welcome to Fishlore.com. Please do not hesitate to post any questions you may have or comments you may need to make and please let us know how things are going. I worry about the little ones we deal with here. Also if he has a name would you please introduce him to us.

Rose
 

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You have gotten good advise about the Betta...however, the 10 gallon is WAY overstocked, with or without Barney in it. The danios, platys, and cory should be ok together, however they need much more room than a 10 gallon. Also, Cories need to be kept in small groups. What kind of Cory is he? For the sake of the cory I would recommend getting at least two more, however certainly do not add any more fish to the 10 gallon. Also do you know what kind of danio you have?
I would advise getting a bigger tank for the Platys and Danios, and then you could keep the Betta and Cories in the 10 gallon. You could probably keep the Platys and danios in a 20 gallon. One last question, how many of the Platys are male and how many are female? If you don't know how to sex them there is a stickied post in the Breeding section of the forum called Sexing Livebearers.

Oh also, you said the pH is 6.0...is this the natural pH of your tap water, or did you add any chemicals to alter it?
 
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cherryrose

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions/advice.  I have Barney's jar sitting on a heating pad for the time being.  It keeps the temperature at a constant 74 degrees when on low. I put the heating pad on medium for a few hours until the water heated up to 80 degrees, but have turned it back on low for the night as I really don't want to cook him.   I won't put any salt in his water as per the advice given here.  I will try to get him the meds he needs tomorrow, but we only have a small pet store where I live.  Maybe I can talk my husband into going to Petsmart or Petco with me tomorrow.  The pet store here does have a few used tanks for sale.  The only one they kept fish in is a 20 gallon tank and it costs $25.  Would it be okay to buy it and disinfect it or should I find a new one?  After reading the information here I realize that my 10 gal tank is way overstocked. I wish someone in the pet store had let me know that I was overstocking it.
    My water has a natural ph of 6.0.  I have 3 female platies and one male. I have two zebra danios and 3 pearl danios.  I don't know what kind of cory I have, but, if the store is open I will find out tomorrow.  Thanks for all your help! I am so worried about my poor Barney.
 

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The used 20 gallon aquarium should be okay, and yes, you should disinfect the aquarium using the vinegar or salt solution.
 
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cherryrose

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Good news this morning! Barney is much better today. He is actually swimming around! He is also now in a two gallon critter keeper and the temperature is 78 degrees. The temperature in his jar was 76 degrees this morning. I turned the heating pad temperature up to medium and will watch it carefully as I try to get the temp. up to 82 degrees. I know 2 gallons isn't big enough for him once he gets well. I am going to get him a 5 gallon later. Or maybe I will put him back in the 10 gallon when I move the danios out to the twenty gallon.
 

Stradius011

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Glad to hear that! ;D
 
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cherryrose

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Hello again,

I now have Pimafix in Barney's tank. He is looking good and seemed to be curious about what I was doing when I put the med in. I am a little worried about the PH being only 6.0. Do I need to put PH up in the tank or is it fine the way it is? Are my other fish okay with the PH being low?

CherryRose, a new fish mommy
 

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I am so glad that you are having better luck with Barney today.  It makes me feel better that he is curious.  That is always a good sign.   

Now, it does sound like he is okay where he is for the time being until you can get everyone else settled; but please for the sake of ALL your fish do not ever try to change the pH of the water.  They are much more capable of adapting to the pH the way it is than to having to deal with the chemicals used to try to adjust the pH.  It is much too dangerous to try to change pH at any time and I am surprised that the chemicals used for this purpose are even sold.  Fish are much better off being allowed to adjust to nature than us trying to adjust nature artificially to them.  What happens is the chemicals are unstable and will not hold a steady pH and then it starts to fluctuate.  It can go up and down wildly on its own and kill the fish.  It is also very difficult to get just the same exact mixture all the time and cause fluctuations that way.  It is dangerous for the pH to fluctuate more than 0.2 in any 24 hour period for the fish so let Mother Nature take care of the water pH and your fish will acclimate when you bring him home from the store and get him slowly used to the water by slowly adding water to his bag.  Then just allow him to live in the water as it flows naturally.  (with only dechlorinator and whatever medications they need)

Just as a side note. Are you quite certain that the heating pad method is safe to heat the Critter Keeper. I would hate for the surface to get wet or the surface under to overheat and cause a fire. I know it is necessary to have him warm but I would rather have you be safe and him wait a couple of days for the tank with the heater to open up. Please do not put yourselves at risk. People are important, and as much as I love them, Bettas come next.

Rose
 
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Thank you for your concern Rose, as well as your helpful information.  I will not change the PH in any of my fish tanks due to what you said. 

I also thought about the safety issue.  I have made the heating pad heater as safe as I know how to.  I have a towel on top of the stand, followed by a short cooling rack, about 1/2 inches high.  I then have an acrylic cutting board, the heating pad and another towel.  I am using a dry or moist heat heating pad, so a little moisture shouldn't be a problem.  If I splash a little water I will make sure that the towel is changed if necessary.  Does that sound safe enough to you?

It has taken all day for the temperature in his container to warm up to 80 degrees.  I will again turn the heat down to low when I go to bed.

CherryRose the new fish mommy
 

0morrokh

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How come you are turning the heat down? As with pH, a fluctuating temp can be a lot more harmful than aone that is not quite ideal. With a constant temp fish can adapt, while a changing temp is very stressful. And anyway, 80 degrees is the optimal temp for Bettas. It should never go below 78. You should be much more worried about underheating than overheating a Betta. Cold water leaves them susceptible to disease, whilt they can go up into the mid 80s withought harm (not that you should try it or anything, generally 83-5 is max and that is reserved only for treating disease. I'm not sure exactly how the heater you have works, but will it continue to raise the temp overnight? Or will it stay aroung 80?

Ok, as to the other fish. They are hardy and will be just fine in your pH. Definately get a bigger tank, if the used one is all that you can afford than that's fine, although new is always preferrable. Clean it in a solution of 20 parts water to 20 parts bleach. Be sure to bleach everything, but you can NOT bleach gravel so idk if it is included but if it is you will have to throw it away.

Pearl Danios are the same size as Zebras right? If so, you could put the danios and the Platys in the 20 gallon and the Betta in the 10 gallon with the Cory plus 2 more, unless the species you have is a larger kind. Or you could give the Betta his own tank and figure out how you want to sort out the other fish. But definately get 2 more Cories at least. Stores (as you have learned) are not the greatest sources for correct info, especially as I have found out with distinguishing between the many species of Cory, so I would try to find your cory on . Or even easier perhaps you could post a pic or even a description and we could help figure out what he is.

And finally, do you know about the nitrogen cycle and how to cycle fishless? Just making sure.
 
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cherryrose

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Hello,

Thank you so very much, Rose, for moving my post to the betta area.  It has really been helpful in taking care of my Barney.  He is looking so much happier now that he is warm and has meds.  I'm sure that he is also happier in the two gallon container than he was in the one gallon jar.  He was such a beautiful fish when I got him.  He is still beautiful but his fins are so much shorter than they were before the danios amputated them.  Three quarters of his fins were red, next to his body they are blue.  His body itself is a pinkish purple and his head is red.

0morrokh, thank you for your concern.  First of all, yes I have cycled my 10 gallon tank.  I did read up about cycling before I got my tank.  I know that this is a major concern with any new tank.

The reason I turn the heat down at night is because I'm afraid that if I don't my heating pad may cook my betta, although from what I have experienced with it so far, that is seeming less likely.  I don't turn it off at night, only put it on low so, hopefully, the heat will remain stable without dropping down too far.  Last night I turned it on low before I went to bed and it only fell from 80 to 76.  I turned it back up today and it is now 82 degrees.  The temperature change seems to be minor and very gradual.

I am still uncertain about how I am going to set up my fish, but I was unable to figure out where to put a 20 gallon tank, so did not get it.  I called the pet store and the owner allowed me store credit for returning the danios.  I felt bad about taking them back, but know that it is in their best interest, and the best interest of my other fish, to remove them.  I used the store credit, plus a little extra to get the Pimafix for my betta.  I am still planning on getting a 5 gallon tank for Barney, as soon as I am able.
I will check out the website you gave me and try to find my cory.

CherryRose
 

0morrokh

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Sorry you couldn't get the tank and had to take back the danios. :'(

Hopefully Barney will recover, keep us updated on how he is doing. Also let us know if you figure out what kind of Cory you have. Would it be at all possible to get Barney a 10 gallon? Then you could keep the Cories with him and the Platys in the 10 gallon. A 5 gallon would be too small for a Betta plus 3 Cories, and the 4 Platys don't leave any room for 3 Cories in that tank.
 
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Hi,
Barney is doing okay, but is still not as active as he was.  When he was fed this morning, he only ate one bite. I removed the rest of his food after 5 minutes.  He is still curious and swimming around some, but I am worried about the amount he is eating.  I think I will feed him again right now and see how he does.

I just crumbled up a small piece of shrimp for him and he did eat a very little bit.  I will take the excess out in a few minutes.  His water is pretty cloudy.  All the medications say not to change the water for seven days, but I'm not sure if that is a good idea.  It seems to me he has enough problems without having to worry about high ammonia and nitrites.  He has only been in the water he is in now for a couple of days, but I feel like I should give him a partial water change.  What do you think?  I have some Java Moss in my ten gallon tank.  Should I put some of it into his two gallon Critter Keeper?

From the pictures of corydoras on the website I was given, I would say that my cory is a corydoras garbei.  If I had a digital camera I would post a picture on here but I don't have one.  I am calling him Freckles because that is what his spots look like.  There doesn't appear to be a pattern, just scattered freckles of different sizes. When I get more cories, do I need to get the same kind or could I get a few different kinds so that I can tell them apart?

CherryRose
 

0morrokh

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Do you have a test kit for ammonia an nitrites? If so if the levels start to get high you need to do a water change no matter what because these chemicals will kill fish faster than a disease. I assume that means the tank he is in is not cycled yet? Normally you would never do a water change in the middle of medicating, however an exception must be made if the tank is uncycled.
Live plants are always great. The only problem with java moss is that I've heard of it getting tangled up in a Betta's fins and getting dragged everywhere and making a mess. But I think that is only if it was left floating--you would probably be ok if it was anchored onto something.
I am not familiar with Corydoras garbei...do they have a common name? To answer your question, you do need to get at least two more C. garbeis because Cories need the company of their same species. that's not to say you couldn't also get some of another species though, although it doesn't sound like you'll have room.
Well, hopefully Barney will get better, remember you can't force him to eat and he will eat when he wants to...but it is good that he is eating some. Keep us updated.
 
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