Progress on Mr. red

nmwierman1977

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HI all. I just wanted to give an update on how Mr. Red is doing. I was observing him last night. He is swimming around a lot more, but I notice that he is still very unsteady at times. I'm beginning to think that he is getting ICK now too., though I'm not sure why. He is still eating well. so, I guess now I have to either buy some aquarium salt to clear it up or some kind of ICK Med. I think it's ick. He only has like 4 spots on him. 3 on his head and 1 on his body. Well that's all for now. Natalie
 

chickadee

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No you do not need to buy any meds for him and he doesn't need to be given any more chemicals now.  The very best treatment for ICH is heat.  The thing about ICH is that it is a cool water disease.  The only way to get rid of it is to get the water warm enough to get the parasite OFF him and for long enough to kill it before it settles back on to him.  He needs to go to 85 degrees slowly (a degree every couple hours or so) and stay there steady for a good 14 days.  The 14 days is not negotiable.  That is the lifecycle of the parasite and if you give up and cool the water before that, they just go back to Mr. Red and it starts all over again.  You will need to run an airstone to increase the oxygen content of the water as the increased temperature will decrease the ability of the water to hold oxygen.  (just enough to keep the surface ruffled a bit ~ not full tilt)  This way works.  It is easier on them than medications that a lot of the time do not work and are expensive and he has just been through a drug overdose.  He cannot take more meds now and salt is not going to cure ICH at any temperature.  All it does is make the fish build up a deeper slime coat and that will just give the parasite a nice warm "blanket" to sleep under while it feasts on your fishie.  It needs to stay on the fish to live and you need to raise the temperature to that level to make it turn loose and then at the end of the lifecycle it will die.

Since he has had a lot of water changes he should be able to get by with only small changes until the 14 days are over and please make sure to test the temperature of the water you are adding to the tank as you do not want the temperature to drop too much. It should stay as constant as possible so the parasite doesn't have a breather. Also not a good idea to shock the fish with a big change in temperature.

I hope this helps.  It may be inconvenient but somehow this is what is going to work.  I promise.

Rose
 
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nmwierman1977

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Rose- I received your email. I tried responding back to you through the forum, but it wouldn't allow me too. You did not sound harsh at all. You and I are both under some stress trying to get our babies back to health. I really appreciate your help. It was not your fault about the melafix either. You thought were helping me. You knew nothing about the melafix hurting Betta's, so therefore it's not your fault. Please don't be so hard on yourself. You have a lot of knowledge about Betta obviously and I'm just a beginner with them. It seems like everyone on this site trust you, so I trust you. I will continue to seek advice from you anytime that I need it. How is Marty doing? I took your advice and did exactly what you told me to do. Hopefully everything will be cleared up soon and I can have my beautiful Red Betta back to the way he was before when I first bought him. I have faith that I will and I have faith that Marty will get through his trying time also. Natalie
 

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I am happy that Mr. Red is doing better. I'm sure he will come through this trial as my Barney did, and as Marty seems to be. You're right about all the help Rose has given all of us. Thank you Rose.

CherryRose
 

AesSedai

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(((Natalie)))

Your faith in Mr. Red will go far.  Some believe that we create what we focus on. 

The ICK information/treatment that Rose gave you is just such fantastic advice.  I'm going to write it all down in my new Betta book as soon as I'm done here.  It really makes a lot of sense to me (and I just began raising Zen's temp too...no cool water/ICK please...he stays 78-80 but he's going up to 82).

Maybe Mr. Red is just getting all the illnesses out of the way in one fell swoop, cept, two will do ya...and him   

Namaste
Karyn

He'll stay in my thoughts until he's fully well
 

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Good luck, I hope Red gets better. I've seen scaled fish recover quite nicely from Ich as well.
 

chickadee

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I agree that 82 is a fine temperature for making sure that the chance of contracting ICH is lessened.  The only thing is that all fish in higher temperatures need to have an airstone running slowly in their tanks just enough to slightly ruffle the surface not to bubble it.  They need the extra oxygen even though they have the ability (and the NEED) to breathe air at the surface.*


Rose

* a betta can drown if it does not have a clean surface to breathe at.  This is why they need to have room with nothing floating and dust free.  Also do not spray air fresheners, or cleaning agents, Pledge or dusting agents of any kind around your tank.  Anything floating on the surface of the tank whether you can see it or not can interfere with their breathing.  (they have an organ on the top of their heads that serves as a "lung" for them so when you see them butt the surface with the top of their head they are taking a breath.)
 
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nmwierman1977

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Well, the white spots on Mr. Red have vanished. I'm relieved about that. I will keep the water temp at 85 for another week and half and hope that whatever was on him, most likely ICK, is gone. I'm still puzzled as to why he and how he got it. I know ICK is usually cause by stress, so that is the only thing I could think of. His water temp has been 82 degrees for awhile for his finrot to heal, until I increased to 85 for the ICK. Another question I have is what causes unsteadiness besides swim bladder? I thought it was from being on the melafix, but now I'm not so sure because he's still unsteady at times when he's swimming around. I hope to god he doesn't have swim bladder. He doesn't have any other symptoms of it besides that. I just want my poor fish to get better already. I know it takes time, but it's so sad to see him this way. He was so happy to be moved into his 5 gallon and he can't even enjoy it fully because he's so sick.
Natalie
 

chickadee

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Natalie -

Do you still have him on Pimafix? If you do, please stop giving it to him. That may be another reason for the unsteadiness. I have been communicating with the woman who wrote the Melafix article and she and I got to talking about Pimafix and we got to discussing the fact that Pimafix contains Clove Oil which is what we use to euthanize fish. If he is getting Pimafix he could be very dopey.

He is going to be a bit more unsteady while the temp is up. Does he have an airstone running full time? If not then he may be a little low on oxygen. Just throwing out possibilities. If the tank is deep, stick the airstone clear down to within an inch of the floor of the tank to put more oxygen in the water. As long as he is not being THROWN around by it. The ICH is going to have him a bit weak too.

Is he eating his food? How much and what?

You got to the spots very early and so there should be not residual effect from them. He is going to need some time to heal though. He was a sick little guy and it does take time to get over fin rot. Are you using any meds at all? It really would be better if you didn't use anything until he comes out of the fog.

I will say that the book I just checked says that shimmying can be caused by nitrites in the water. Now I know the tank is still cycling so you may be getting some readings that may be higher than desirable for ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. Do you have a Master Test Kit or the individual test kits for those parameters? If not you need to get your water tested. If it is too high on any of them you will need to do a bit of a change. Do you have a thermometer? A cheap one will do, just to make sure the water is the same temp as the tank water and then change 25% or so and see if that helps him.

Rose
 

AesSedai

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Hey Natalie

You were wondering how he got ICK. 

I was wondering whether temp causes that or maybe it's that their immune system is running on low due to low temp and he's more susceptible to any lil germ?

Do you use a net?  If you clean it, what do you use?  I use salt to clean mine.  I'm paranoid about introducing yuckies to the tank from rotted whatevers in the net. 

I know there's a net disinfectant but I've been using just salt and rinsing VERY well, over and over and I do this every time I take it out of the water, right away so I won't forget.

The hand washing thing too.  I don't know if I'm being too fastidious (probably) but I rinse my hands (no soap at all) vigorously before they go near Zen.  My boyfriend just tried to feed the Ghost Shrimp and then Zen off the same finger and from different tanks.  I pitched a lil fit and did it myself.  I don't think things entering one tank should then enter another without being thoroughly rinsed and/or cleansed (with salt or whatever but no soap, ever). 

While Mr. Red's immune system is doing double time now that he's warm enough, I might be ultra careful to be really clean with whatever goes into his tank so his immune system isn't diverted to tackle another problem.

Mr. Red is still in my thoughts.  Once I know a Betta is ailing, I can't get them off my mind.

Karyn

Edited to say that I rewrote this post.  I didn't like how it sounded.

P.S. This is kinda gross but interesting. Did you know that if you have toenail fungus your immune system is constantly active trying to combat it? Every lil thing going on in our bodies that isn't kosher, our immune system punches the time clock and doesn't punch out until it's healed. If it gets so busy split in so many ways, when something really big hits...we're left wanting for a stronger immune system. I wonder how much Betta are similiar.
 

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The parasites that cause ICH are constantly present in most aquatic environments after a fish has been there for long.  When they are combined with cool water temperatures and a fish that is compromised with any type of weakness, it is almost a guarantee that they will attack a fish.  They are also known to attack a thorougly healthy fish who has had too many temperature fluctuations in the tank lately.  Any time you see the fish flashing or rubbing against the decorations of the tank or plants like he is itching, be cautious and watch for the white spots like salt to appear on them.  Beging to raise the temperature slowly immediately and it should take care of it without any medications or chemicals of any kind.  Where we run into problems and need the extra meds and things (although I never recommend salt as it makes a heavier slime coat and just locks the parasite deeper into the fish's skin) is when we do not watch our fish closely and catch it until it is advanced.  Natalie did the correct thing and caught it in the very early stages.

I pour boiling water over my nets unless the fish I use them on is sick and then everything I use on them goes into Net Soak which is Potassium Permanganate (very weak solution) and then rinsed in boiling water before it is used again. The Net Soak is a sterilizer and does a constant job of keeping the bacteria down. The boiling water is plenty good enough if all you need to do is CLEAN them. Just be careful when dosing the Net Soak to have a newspaper under everthing as it is PURPLE and will stain anything it touches. I use a spring water jug that I have cut a hole out of the top of and change the Soak every 3 or 4 weeks.

Rose
 
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nmwierman1977

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I took him off Pimafix when I took him off Melafix. I figured that since they were used together that neither one were safe for him. He does have an aerator in there. I don't have him on anything. I did have him on Bettafix for a little while, but decided to stop that too. I just wasn't sure it was a good idea to put in there since it does still have the tea tree oil in it even though it's a much less dosage. I just don't trust it. So, right now he isn't on anything. I cleaned his tank yesterday and the only thing that was and is still a little off is the Ammonia. Everything else is at 0. The ammonia is at .25. As far as food I have him on a different variety which I alternate every other day or every 2 days to give him a variety. He gets bored eating the same thing everyday too fast. When I feed him baby shrimp I feed him 2. When I feed him bloodworms I usually only feed him 4. When I feed him flakes I feed him one at a time until I see his little tummy is just a little fat. I've been breaking them real fine so he can eat them better. I definitely hasn't lost his appetite. he's still eating quite well. I feed him twice a day. As long as his unsteadiness is just caused by the raised temp. I feel a little bit better. I just feel so awful for him. Natalie
 

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I think you may still be overfeeding on the flakes. Keep in mind that the swimbladder is right next to the tummy and when his tummy is fattened it is pressing on the swimbladder. If he is having an unsteadiness, that may not be the best idea. Fish can get by on a very small amount of food. In fact, not long ago, I read an article about how obesity in freshwater tropical fish is becoming a problem because most people overfeed their fish. So I am not sure that the problem is ONLY the heat but the heat may be a good part of it.

At least you know it is not because he is getting more chemicals.

The ammonia is showing because the cycle is starting, the next stage will be the nitrites, then the nitrates. Just test every day so they are not getting out of hand. Sorry, if I sound a little bossy here, but this part is important since he is getting over a skin problem.

Rose
 
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nmwierman1977

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I'm only really feeding him 5 big flakes which I break and that pretty much fills him up, but if that's too much I'll cut back. I usually count how many flakes I give before I start noticing that his belly is starting to bulge out. He hasn't had a problem pooping, so I figured it was OK. Natalie
 

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Don't forget to give him some green pea about twice a week (frozen peas, not canned, thawed or microwaved and shelled)
All my Bettas LOVE peas! Phlox had some mild constipation a few weeks ago. He's been stealing the snail's food and overeating (This is always a problem when the Betta has tankmates. They think everything that goes in the tank is theirs!) I noticed his belly was quite round and he seemed slower than usual at dinnertime. I fed him nothing but little bits of pea for 1 day and fasted him the second day and that fixed him right up.

Have you tried feeding him pellets instead of flakes? It's much easier to control the portion and easier for them to eat, though it may take several days for him to get used to it. HikarI Betta Bio-Gold are an excellent quality brand and the pellets are small and bite sized (as opposed to Wardleys Betta pellets which IMO are far too big)
 

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I do agree about the Wardley's. My bettas cannot even get them INTO their mouths.

The reason that I did not mention the peas is that most flakes do have vegetable material in them but they can still be overdone. I am now wondering if you should not do as Phloxface has suggested and at least try him on the pea routine. It is a good insurance policy for little bettas who love their food. I know that it is a hassle, but believe me, when you have a constipated betta it is not something that you will like. It will usually happen all of a sudden and can be very bad. If her fish can become constipated and I know that she DOES feed them peas, then it can happen to anyone. Once a fish has become constipated they will do so again and some of them never get the opportunity to do so unfortunately. I hate to be the trumpet of doom but overfeeding is probably responsible for more bettas dying than disease. I am aware of how easy it is to fall into the trap of looking into their little pleading eyes and thinking another piece wouldn't hurt, but it can and has. A betta that is constipated dies a horrible and painful death and does not understand why. If they were injured or had been fighting I believe they would understand their deaths, but to die because we have been "too kind" to them is not only hard on them but makes our grief over their deaths much worse.

I do realize that I may have been a bit melodramatic there, but constipation is VERY serious and they may look like they are doing fine, even like they are pooing but some can poo and still be constipated. The bowel is filling and letting very little waste through. This is something that you cannot tell by looking at them. This is why I think the peas will help.

Rose
 
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nmwierman1977

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I've tried the HikarI Pellets. I tried them for 2 weeks and the whole 2 weeks he refused to eat them. He'd take them in his mouth and then spit it out. He is a very picky eater. So I just stick with the flakes and the blood worms and shrimp and he's happy. I don't have any peas, so I'll have to go out buy some. I did try a pea with him once and he out right refused to eat it, but I will get some more and try again. So only get the frozen kind? I don't usually buy peas because my husband doesn't like them, I do, but I find it to be a waist of money to buy them if I'm the only one eating them. I guess Mr. Red and I will be eating them now. Natalie
 

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I do not eat them either but the bettas all do so I keep them. No one else here. Yeah the frozen ones are the only ones that hold together well enough.

I will give you a hint although most folks do not like doing it but it is working. Do Not Feed anything for a couple of meals then give ONLY pea. He will be hungry so he will probably eat it. Then of all the ones that I have heard of that have tried it, I never heard of one that hated it. Usually I give mine as "treats" not in place of meals and they think they are getting something really GREAT. Alex does the "pea dance" and is so darn cute I laugh to my self all afternoon.

Rose
 
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nmwierman1977

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OK, thanks Rose. I will try that. I'll fast him for a couple days and then try giving him a pea. Do you keep it whole or should I break it up? Do they just pick at if it's left whole ? Natalie
 

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