Treating betta for ich

Geoff

Member
I've decided I'm going to treat Cicero for ich. I read a sticky in the Fish Diseases forum about treating ich naturally, so I'm going to do that.

It says to increase the temperature to 86F, which I'm in the process of doing. It also says to put in an airstone to provide extra oxygen because warmer water doesn't hold oxygen well. Is this an issue for a betta? One, bettas like warmer water so 86F water should be right up their alley, yes? Two, bettas get most of their oxygen from the top of the tank as opposed to directly from the water, right? Three, bettas don't like bubbles or highly agitated water, correct?

So, is it safe to say that I don't need an airstone to oxygenate my betta's warm water?

Thanks!!
 

Tsyklon

Member
I'd say it's safe to forgo the use of an air pump. If aeration is a concern, just drop the water level a tiny little bit to add some more surface disturbance from the filter. 86F won't bother a betta at all; were you gonna add some salt too?
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Tsyklon said:
I'd say it's safe to forgo the use of an air pump. If aeration is a concern, just drop the water level a tiny little bit to add some more surface disturbance from the filter. 86F won't bother a betta at all; were you gonna add some salt too?
I wasn't going to. I've seen some people recommend it and some discourage it. Seems that it's supposed to slightly irritate the fish's skin so as to promote growth of a thicker slime coat? I don't want to irritate him any more than he already is. I'd rather go directly after the parasites.
 

Tsyklon

Member
The salt does attack the parasite though; a slightly higher salinity will disrupt the biological process in the trophonts. It dries em out and kills them before they can attach to any fish, in addition to the heat. It's a double-whammy of death! Plus, most freshwater fish prefer a little aquarium salt, it assists will gill functionality and wards off diseases. The only ones that really don't like it are scaleless fish and inverts. I've never had to treat a betta for ich, but I can't imagine one teaspoon per gallon added gradually over a couple of day would bother him at all. In fact, it may be very beneficial if it isn't ich, since salt is a time-tested cure-all for a lot of other diseases.

*Edit* Oh yeah, one teaspoon per gallon should raise your SG to about 1.005 as measured via hydrometer, which is on the very low end of the scale for what can be considered 'brackish' water.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Sounds like it's definitely worth considering! Like you said, if it isn't ich, then hopefully the salt would go after whatever it really is.

I do have 4 MTS in there. Will the salt kill them?
 

Destroya

Member
I have cured cherry barbs with bad ich before, and I used ApI Ich medication. of course, you want to go naturally so I will say that adding salt should help, and if you have a filter, and he is well enough to swim to the surface, then the betta won't need the airstone.

Good luck!
 

Tsyklon

Member
I really don't know about the MTSs... after doing a quick Google, some say they can survive in brackish water, some say they can't. Hopefully someone with a better answer stops in
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Yeah I just saw on aquarium wikI that they are "remarkably tolerant of salt" so hopefully they'll be alright. I'm not gonna move them to another tank, that's for sure. I don't want any nasties hitching a ride.
 

Mamajin

Member
Pongo77 said:
I've decided I'm going to treat Cicero for ich. I read a sticky in the Fish Diseases forum about treating ich naturally, so I'm going to do that.

It says to increase the temperature to 86F, which I'm in the process of doing. It also says to put in an airstone to provide extra oxygen because warmer water doesn't hold oxygen well. Is this an issue for a betta? One, bettas like warmer water so 86F water should be right up their alley, yes? Two, bettas get most of their oxygen from the top of the tank as opposed to directly from the water, right? Three, bettas don't like bubbles or highly agitated water, correct?

So, is it safe to say that I don't need an airstone to oxygenate my betta's warm water?

Thanks!!
An air stone/bubble wand with an air pump is a great piece of equipment to keep in your hospital tank stocking closet. I have one in mine.
 

Terra

Member
Plus, most freshwater fish prefer a little aquarium salt
I dunno about freshwater fish liking salt but I can agree that Malaysian trumpet snails are remarkably tolerant of everything on earth I'm pretty sure them and roaches will be the sole survivors of nuclear war.
 

Tsyklon

Member
Terra said:
I dunno about freshwater fish liking salt but I can agree that Malaysian trumpet snails are remarkably tolerant of everything on earth I'm pretty sure them and roaches will be the sole survivors of nuclear war.
I can't back that claI'm with any credentials lol, it's just what internet research, friends, and personal experiences have taught me regarding small amounts of pure sodium chloride to help gills with oxygen uptake and assist in preventing disease. Now of course, fish that typically live in soft, acidic water probably won't appreciate massive amounts, but I've never heard of a few teaspoons per 5-10 gallons ever hurting scaled fish.

*Edit* Oh yeah, and of course it's never good for scaleless fish and some inverts!
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Mamajin - Yep, I have a spare airstone and airpump, just wasn't sure if it was necessary for my betta's treatment. In fact, the spare airstone came from one of the ornaments I have in his tank. I took it out so as not to disturb his water too much.

Tsyklon - Yeah I've seen in several places that bettas like a little salt in their water in general. Don't know how true or valid that is, but that's what I've seen. I think I'll pick up some aquarium salt today. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

Mamajin

Member
Pongo77 said:
@Mamajin - Yep, I have a spare airstone and airpump, just wasn't sure if it was necessary for my betta's treatment. In fact, the spare airstone came from one of the ornaments I have in his tank. I took it out so as not to disturb his water too much.

I'll always recommend them during any type of medicinal treatment. Even some fish medications that you buy lower the oxygen in the tank a little. It's probably pretty painful for fish to breath since ICH starts first in the gills, so anything that will improve the oxygenation in the water is going to help them feel better. I have asthma so I can definitely relate.

If it looks like the bubbles are too much for your aqua baby, you can gently tie a soft knot in the tube to lessen the air flow.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
I bought a thing of aquarium salt and need some advice on how to administer it. The directions say 1 rounded tbsp per every 5 gallons or 1 rounded tsp for every 1 gallon. I'm treating a 6 gallon tank, so do I put in 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp? Do I put it in all at once or over a few days? Also, I assume rounded means heaping?

Thanks!
 

Mamajin

Member
Pongo77 said:
1 rounded tsp for every 1 gallon. I'm treating a 6 gallon tank

Just 6 rounded (not heaping) teaspoons. ie; scoop the spoon in and get some out, tap the side of the spoon once or twice and you then have a rounded teaspoon. Use a real teaspoon and not a cereal spoon.

Some will say to dump it right into the tank and let it dissolve on its own. Others will say to dissolve it in a container of dechlorinated water first and gently add it over the period of 3 or 4 days. The latter is how I dosed my tank when the Tiger Barbs I had were infested with ICH (I added it to a 1 gallon container of hot water and then added 2 drops of Prime to dechlorinate, then poured a little bit in the tank over a period of 3 days until it was all gone. I did let the jug cool to room temp before adding the first dose!).

I think either way you do it will be fine. I just shared my personal preference.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Thanks! I'm going to be out of town from tomorrow morning through Friday night, possibly even until Saturday morning. Should I put all the salt in tonight? Or wait till I come home and start gradually putting it in then? Or put some in tonight and then pick up where I left off when I get home? Decisions, decisions!
 

Mamajin

Member
Hmmm, good question. Id say add a little now and the rest later. My reasoning is if you add it all now and then go out of town, you have no way of knowing if it's working or if your aqua baby is having a reaction. You'd have no way to do an emergency water change. Others may have a better idea, so maybe wait to see what else is suggested.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Ok I'll sit tight and see what anyone else might say. Appreciate your thoughts!! On top of all this, I came home to a bloated glofish in my QT so I have to run out for some peas!
 

Mamajin

Member
Pongo77 said:
Ok I'll sit tight and see what anyone else might say. Appreciate your thoughts!! On top of all this, I came home to a bloated glofish in my QT so I have to run out for some peas! 
Will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you! Let us know how things are going when you get back home.


If GloFish can eat Brine Shrimp and if you have the extra cash pick some up (some people have an allergic reaction to the dried version, but the frozen cubes are another option). Brine Shrimp is good roughage and will also help them go poo. I normally mix the Brine Shrimp with a few Peas because my Congos won't eat the Peas if served without it. Picky lil boogers lol.
 

Shine

Member
I've treated for ich with just heat alone a number of times. So if the amount of salt and when to add it is worrying for you, I say just don't bother with it till you can get home.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Thanks everyone! I know yesterday I said I THINK Cicero has ich; tonight I am positive. He is covered in white spots and is definitely flashing. I'm glad I went ahead and upped the temp to 86F yesterday.

Poor guy is so sad looking right now. I wish I could pet him and tell him everything's gonna be alright haha.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Here is a picture of Cicero from this morning.



See all that ich? Poor guy is always just sitting on the sand like that. Only time he moves is to get air and food or to scratch himself. I had raised the temperature in his tank to 86F on Tuesday and started putting salt in his tank last night.

I know I should continue with the heat treatment for at least 2 weeks, but does anyone know how soon I'll start seeing improvement in him?
 

Junne

Member
oh I hope he feels better soon!

My experience with ich ( although it was cardinal and neons and not a betta ) took about 10 days before the spot started to go away. Even after the 2 week heat treatment, it looked like a few had some traces or light spots. I actually started gradually reducing the heat at 2 weeks but left my fish in qt for about 3.5 weeks, just to be safe.

That's good that you started treatment when you did. You should have seen my fish, seems like every inch of their little bodies were covered.

Hope it all works itself out soon!
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Thanks jwebbe!

Did your cardinals and neons behave differently when they had ich or did they keep on swimming around as usual? I'm just wondering how soon he'll get out of his funk even while continuing treatment. He's so sad looking.
 

Junne

Member
They were swimming around but I think mostly because they were trying to find something to rub against. My QT tank was empty ( no décor )
Now I had I think 12-16 of them ALL having ICH at the same time!!! I originally had 6 neons in the tank who were ready to come out of QT in about a ( all were healthy )week. Stupidly, I put in Cardinals BEFORE the neons were done and the cardinals had ich and infected the entire tank!
 

Terra

Member
2 weeks wow That's a long time for your fish to be irritated by ich itching and bothering him. Do your fish a favor and just buy some ich medicine from the store. I got rid of all signs and symptoms in 2 days, but dosed the full week to be safe.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
I came home this morning after being out of town since Thursday morning and Cicero seems to be improving. It looks like the spots fell off and I haven't seen him do any flashing, but he still has clamped fins and isn't swimming around a whole lot yet. I hope he continues to get better; I miss seeing his fins!
 

Junne

Member
Glad to hear he is showing improvement. Don't cut the treatment short though, even though he may look fine.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
jwebbe said:
Glad to hear he is showing improvement. Don't cut the treatment short though, even though he may look fine.
Oh no, I won't! He'll be in his salty sauna for a while yet!
 

jileha

Member
I'm glad to hear that! I hope he will fully recover!
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Cicero is already showing improvement over yesterday. He is swimming around a lot more and I even saw him open up his fins a bit! I went to feed him earlier and he came right up to the top and gobbled up every pellet.

I need to do a water change and substrate vacuum. jwebbe - maybe you can answer this for me best since you have a Fluval Edge with sand. Due to the limited opening and the various plants/decor I have in the tank, it will be tricky vacuuming the sand. Should I remove all the plants/decor? Do I need to put them in a bucket with tank water or is it ok if they dry off a little? I'm almost afraid to do this because he's improved so much that I don't want to set him back by freaking him out too much; but at the same time, the treatment I'm following says to do this in order to get rid of the spores laying on the sand.
 

Junne

Member
What you can do is "stir" up the sand a bit with a turkey baster. While doing that, I usually use the gravel vac to pick up floating debris - I also hover about 1/4 - 1/2 inch off the sand to pick up anything floating. Its tricky with our edges but it can be done.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Thanks! Do you remove all the plants and decor first?
 

Mamajin

Member
Pongo77 said:
Seems that it's supposed to slightly irritate the fish's skin so as to promote growth of a thicker slime coat?
Not that I'm aware of. Salt can reduce stress, add electrolytes lost during stress which help improve gill functioning (remember ICH begins in the gills), treat for parasites, and even help temporarily protect fish from Nitrite poisoning. []

If all fish in the aquarium can handle salt, I highly recommend it's use if you choose to treat with the heat method.
 

Junne

Member
Pongo77 said:
Thanks! Do you remove all the plants and decor first?
Sometimes I do but most of the time, I just use the baster to "blast" the sand and the stuff goes flying about an I catch it with the vacuum.....

I would definitely give it a good stir though in your case with the ich but as I see it, the heat would most likely have killed off everything. Ich can't live in heat
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
jwebbe said:
Sometimes I do but most of the time, I just use the baster to "blast" the sand and the stuff goes flying about an I catch it with the vacuum.....

I would definitely give it a good stir though in your case with the ich but as I see it, the heat would most likely have killed off everything. Ich can't live in heat
What kind of vacuum do you use? I have an Aqueon water changer, but I feel like that would be a bit unwieldy for the little Edge.
 

Junne

Member
Pongo77 said:
What kind of vacuum do you use? I have an Aqueon water changer, but I feel like that would be a bit unwieldy for the little Edge.
I have the same one you do ( aqueon ) and it seems to fit tight, but I can maneuver it around better if I take out the main center ornament.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Mamajin said:
Not that I'm aware of. Salt can reduce stress, add electrolytes lost during stress which help improve gill functioning (remember ICH begins in the gills), treat for parasites, and even help temporarily protect fish from Nitrite poisoning. []

If all fish in the aquarium can handle salt, I highly recommend it's use if you choose to treat with the heat method.
I missed this post yesterday! Just read it now...thanks for the info, Mamajin!

Update on Cicero: He's been flaring at himself more and more! Started last night, and today every time he goes to the back of the tank and sees himself, he flares away! And he's been regularly swimming with his fins open. Also, he's hanging out in the open water now instead of sulking beneath his plants and up against his ruins. So glad he is getting better!
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
It just dawned on me...I did a 50% water change and sand vac yesterday...am I supposed to put more salt back in for the ich treatment? How much? I put in 6 tsps at the end of last week, so do I put in 3 since I did a 50% change? I just finished the first week of heat treatment at 86F.
 

Junne

Member
Hello Geoff,

Did you get your answer on this? Sorry but I am not familiar with the salt treatment to be able to give you advice. You might want to repost a separate thread to get your answer.

How's Cicero? And the other little fella? Hope they are all well
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
jwebbe said:
Hello Geoff,

Did you get your answer on this? Sorry but I am not familiar with the salt treatment to be able to give you advice. You might want to repost a separate thread to get your answer.

How's Cicero? And the other little fella? Hope they are all well
Cicero is doing great! And so is Bo. They're both active and attentive, and their fins and coloring couldn't be better. Today is the 2 week mark for Cicero, and tomorrow will be 2 weeks for Bo. A lot better than 2 days!

I didn't get an answer, but I'm thinking I might just let it go. I think another week or so of 86F water and a few more good water changes and sand vacs should do the job.

Thanks for checking in! Hope all is well on your side.
 

Jomolager

Member
We lost two Bettas to ich, but after reading a bit about Aq salt we started routinely adding one rounded teaspoon of salt melted in a bit of tank water to 5G, and now to 10G,replenishing it after appropriate number of WCs. As we have read - no ick. Knock on wood, just in case.
 

Junne

Member
Pongo77 said:
Cicero is doing great! And so is Bo. They're both active and attentive, and their fins and coloring couldn't be better. Today is the 2 week mark for Cicero, and tomorrow will be 2 weeks for Bo. A lot better than 2 days!

I didn't get an answer, but I'm thinking I might just let it go. I think another week or so of 86F water and a few more good water changes and sand vacs should do the job.

Thanks for checking in! Hope all is well on your side.

Good to know Geoff!!! Glad everything is going well - you are past the "worry" mark I'd say but we always worry about our "family"
 

jileha

Member
Pongo77 said:
Cicero is doing great! And so is Bo. They're both active and attentive, and their fins and coloring couldn't be better. Today is the 2 week mark for Cicero, and tomorrow will be 2 weeks for Bo. A lot better than 2 days!

I didn't get an answer, but I'm thinking I might just let it go. I think another week or so of 86F water and a few more good water changes and sand vacs should do the job.

Thanks for checking in! Hope all is well on your side.
Wonderful news!
They say that fishkeeping is good for your health and soooo relaxing. Sometimes I wonder because there's so much to worry about, particularly with new tanks and fish.
I hope you're getting closer to the relaxing part now!
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
jileha said:
Wonderful news!
They say that fishkeeping is good for your health and soooo relaxing. Sometimes I wonder because there's so much to worry about, particularly with new tanks and fish.
I hope you're getting closer to the relaxing part now!
Oh it's much better now. Everyone in all my tanks is doing well; no real issues going on at the moment. I'm enjoying it while I can!
 

Mamajin

Member
Pongo77 said:
It just dawned on me...I did a 50% water change and sand vac yesterday...am I supposed to put more salt back in for the ich treatment? How much? I put in 6 tsps at the end of last week, so do I put in 3 since I did a 50% change? I just finished the first week of heat treatment at 86F.
After I added the salt for the entire tank (10G), every day after that I did a 50% water change and treated the water in the bucket. 5 gallons of water in the bucket = 1 rounded tablespoon of AQ Salt.

Edit: Hrm, somehow I think I replied to an older post in the thread.. sorry bout that. I'll leave my post here anyways just in case.
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Mamajin - nope, you're good! Thanks for the help, that makes perfect sense!
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
Well the 2 week heat/salt treatment is over today. Cicero is and has been looking and acting really well. His fins are open, he's swimming around, and always comes to the glass when I'm near - waiting for food, no doubt.

I plan to do one last real good water change and sand vac, and then gradually lower the temp to 80-82F. I'll then resume normal weekly water testing and changing.

Anyone see any problems with my plan? Anything else I should do?

Thanks for helping me out through all this! You've been a tremendous help and I really do appreciate it. x
 

Junne

Member
wow has it been 2 weeks already? Glad to hear Cicero is back to his old self again!!!!

I think your plan is just fine! Now we need pics!!!
 
  • Thread Starter

Geoff

Member
jwebbe said:
wow has it been 2 weeks already? Glad to hear Cicero is back to his old self again!!!!

I think your plan is just fine! Now we need pics!!!
Right?! Time flies! And it's been 3 weeks that I've had him! And Bo is still going strong. Guess I just had bad luck with the first two.

Cicero is actually hard to get good pics of haha. He is such a dark blue that I have to make sure he is under the light. But when I'm near the tank, he is right at the glass by my face so the light isn't shining well enough on him for good pics. I'll see if I can get sneaky.
 

Most photos, videos and links are disabled if you are not logged in.

Log in or register to view

Top Bottom