Help What is going on here? *Pics included*

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dmeyer07

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Hi everyone,

I started a 20 Gallon aquarium on March 10th and have

1 Betta fish
1 Molly fish
5 platies

I just had my water tested today at the pet store and was told nitrates and nitrites are good, while ammonia is a bit high but nothing serious.

Anyways i've had my Betta for about 9 months now and have moved him from a 2 gallon bowl to this 20 gallon tank (bought for him, added other fish later). I've noticed he has a sort of rusty gold color on his body and is looking more dull and gray overall. he also has a white color on his head and face (which seems to be getting bigger) which looks like it coudl be an external fungus??

I've noticed a sort of scaby rough look to his gills and face area, not so much a fuzzy white but more of a scaley white (last pic shows this best).

The other fish in the tank act and look normal, however they all do have poop that hangs off them in long strings (internal parasite perhapes? hasn't bothered them much)

What meds would you recommend or what steps should i take to fix the problem, whatever it may be?

What could this be?

He is getting more lathargic and lays around on the bottom or hides in his ship?


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Thanks!!!

-Dave
 
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bass master

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Welcome to fishlore! Im sorry your betta isnt doing well

To me it sounds like there are quite a few problems with him, mostly caused by various stress factors. You will see in many places on the message board, people generally suggest that you not believe the advice given to you at the pet shop whole heartedly. Really, the suggested "good" ranges on most test kits are way off where they need to be, any amount of ammonia or nitrite is considered harmful, and most people believe that it is best to keep nitrates under 20. Ammonia would definitely be enough to cause problems with your better, they will often get kinda mopey and hang around the bottom with clamped fins when they have poor water conditions, this can lead to various diseases and such. Also, bettas do prefer being kept in a tank all by themselves, I have kept bettas in community tanks, but it really isnt a good idea for a number of reasons. For one, you will always run the risk of having the betta kill everything in the tank, even if he seems happy with his tank mates, often times he will suddenly change his mind. Secondly, too much movement by other fish can stress bettas out. Platys are great fish, very perky and active, your betta, however, will not appreciate this.

As for treatment, the #1 thing you should be doing is daily water changes with either amquel + or prime water conditioners, these will detox the ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours in between water changes. Giving your fish good water changes will be extremely helpful, and your betta may be able to recover without any harsh medications. On top of daily water changes, soaking your fish's food in garlic juice is good for boosting the immune system, and vita chem is great if you can find it. For now, those are the only additives I would use in the tank. You may want to think about putting a tank separator into your tank to make two sections, one for your betta and one for your other fish, there are instructions on how to do this in the betta section of the forum. This will help make sure the other fish arent stressing him out. Once you have things under control in the main tank, you might want to think about picking up a 5 gallon tank to keep just the betta in.

hopefully this will be helpful to you and your betta will start a smooth recovery
 

blkdeath75

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Welcome to Fishlore!

Any ammonia above zero is not good. While not being a lethal amount it could hurt your fish in the future. I would do a partial water change just to be safe. Are you using Prime for your water changes(neutralizes ammonia and chlorine) or any other dechlorinator?What are the temps for your tank? Next time you go to the pet shop ask if they can give you actual numbers instead of telling you "it's alright" or if you have a couple extra bucks API's Master Liquid Test Kit is a MUST have to test your own water.

As far as the scaly white I am unsure, but I'm sure another member will be along soon to tell you for sure what it may be.

EDIT: Sheesh I must be a sloooow typist lol there were no responses yet when I started.
 

Lucy

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Welcome to FishLore!!
Great info above.
Do you know exactly what your readings are for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
Any ammonia is too much ammonia.
For the rusty gold color, you might was to do some research about Velvet.

Good luck, I hope your fish feels better.

Edit:
EDIT: Sheesh I must be a sloooow typist lol there were no responses yet when I started.
and yours wasn't there when I started. lol
 
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dmeyer07

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thanks for the quick replies!

To answer your questions:

He is 10-12 months old and yes he does still eat.

Water temps are a little high (summer) 82-86 range.

I'm using tetra aqua safe water conditioner, and i have been doing every other day 25% water changes.

In addition i add 1 tablespoon / 5 gallons of freshwater aquarium salt to the water.
As far as actual numbers go i agree i would have liked to get a more accurate idea, and i would love to get the test kit, money just doesn't allow currently .

ammonia was at slightly stressful on their scale, 2 marks above ideal.

I have looked into velvet, fungus and other diseases i'm just not sure what he all has and i don't want to add any meds until i know for sure what is wrong.

Thanks for the replies so far
 
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bass master

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as stated, the only "ideal" range for ammonia is an absolute 0, I was looking at my test kit, and it doesnt show "stress" until 1.0 ppm, even .25 ppm is considered toxic to fish, in most cases you will notice problems with any amount of ammonia. Ive kept bettas in bowls before (something I can assure you I no longer do) and as soon as ammonia shows up, they start acting lethargic, clamp their fins, and look a bit dull. Its just the general reaction they have to toxins in the water. If you notice a rusty gold slime on your fish, it does sound like velvet, and we can give further advice on treating that, if his coloring just seems to have turned more rusty gold, it sounds like the washed out appearance of a betta stressed by ammonia
 

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welcome to fishlore i bet your tank is not cycled due to the ammonia. it needs to be otherwise stuff like this happens. which is what several ppl above have said.

and salt usually isn't recommended anymore. you have a molly, which some people say like salt, some say they don't need it. but bettas really don't need it, or like it.

i agree to use prime water cond. especially right now for you, since you're not cycled. that's usually the reason for ammonia in the water. or you're feeding too much, not doing enough gravel vacs.
 
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dmeyer07

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Would it be ok to continue using the water conditioner i have currently and just purchase an ammonia remover, or should i just go ahead and replace the conditioner i have now with prime water conditioner?

Also what have i been doing wrong thus far that would cause the tank to not have cycled by now 3 months later?

so i should just change water daily at 25% with prime water conditioner or some other chemical to remove ammonia and hope for the best?

They have seemed happy up until i went a little overboard cleaning the algae off of the plants and sides because it was so brown and getting ugly. After the fact i realized that may have done some harm?


Thanks,

-Dave
 

bass master

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I just noticed that you added salt, as jers said, its not a good idea with bettas

Most ammonia/nitrite removers are also water conditioners, so you should just go ahead and buy the prime, it doesnt cost too much and goes a long way.

A few things can cause a tank not to cycle, or to go into a mini cycle after it has cycled. Adding too many fish at once, over feeding, washing filter media in tap water, etc.

Changing the water with prime will keep the fish safe until the tank cycles properly, just do not add any fish and watch how much you are feeding the fish, I would change more like 30-50% rather than just 25%

Im not sure cleaning algae would cause ammonia buildup, unless you rinsed things with tap water, then you could have killed off some of the bacteria.
 
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dmeyer07

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I did use tap water to rinse the plants when i was scrubbing off the algae and its since then that i noticed him acting weird. So my guess is i caused a mini cycle .

I'll take your advice and buy the conditioner and begin exchanging more water.

I just took a very close look at the betta and i am positive now that he has an external fungus or something of the sort. There are two small patches of white areas with hair like things growing out of it. This may also be whats on his face but just not hairy?

Also his body from half way down (exactly, like a straight perfect line) is gold or gray not sure.

In addition to the prime water conditioner would it be a good idea to add a medication such as melafix or primafix (i believe, just going off memory here) that states it helps cure fungus and external parasites?

or any recommendations on specific medicines that are good?

Thanks!

-Dave
 

Lucy

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It's hard recommend meds when we're not sure exactly what's wrong.
Does it look like this:
 

jerilovesfrogs

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dave, if you want to treat a betta, do not use melafix, pimafix or bettafix. this damages labarinyth organs bettas have. it can be deadly. you can use a maracyn....i forget which one though. have to look.

actually i thought of something, what kind of filter do you have? how often are you changing the media...if you are. if you have one of those pad thing with carbon in it, and replace it every month, you'd be throwing away your good bacteria. let me know and i'll say more after......
 

bass master

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http:///Columnaris.html

I really like that article when it comes to white fluffy patches on fish, it gives some great info IMO, if you caught it early enough, it may start going away once you get your water conditions a little better, if not, you can start treatment as instructed by the article. Surprisingly, bettas and other labyrinth fish are very sensitive to bettafix, melafix, and I think even pimafix. In correct dosings, it typically isnt a problem, but imo its not a strong enough product to be much more effective than just good water conditions, so I wouldnt bother with it.
 
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dmeyer07

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Hi

i have a hang on back filter with the white pads and carbon in the middle. When i change these out i leave the old one in for about a week in addition to the new one and then toss the old one after that week.


This morning he did not look good AT ALL. I mean he was nose diving into stuff, more or less floating around and looking awfuly dead. You can tell whatever it is took over almost 60% of his body!

I purchased rid-fungus which i heard and read was good, and have him in a hospital tank currently.

What temp should the water be kept at in this hospital tank?

should i put in an airstone or none at all (he seems to prefer to just sit at the top right now, any air bubbles makes current which he cant handle at this point, it just tosses him around)

any other tips to help this guy recover? i fear it may be to late he is very weak, but im going to try anyway.

And finally should i treat the entire community tank as well with rid-fungus since he was in that tank or will the other fish be ok once i start using the new conditioner and more frequent water changes?



Thanks,
-Dave
 
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dmeyer07

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I would like to just follow up and let you know that my Betta has died unfortunately. He is laying at the bottom of the hospital tank, looks like about 70% of his body is covered in white fuzzy/ gold. I can't believe how quick (2 days) it went from barely noticeable to fatal...

So now my question is to you guys how do i prevent this from happening again? what should i do to the rest of my fish? Medicate them with the rid fungus or just monitor them and hope they are ok?

Also is the internal parasite they have going to cause problems or will it just go away on its own?

Thanks,
-Dave
 

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I'm so sorry you lost your betta.
Sounds like whatever it was moved so quickly. Did you read the link about columnaris?
I don't think fungus spreads as quickly as that. I could be wrong though.

If you're sure the other fish have parasites, there are medicated foods you can buy. Jungle has one. I can't recall the name at the moment.
They probably won't like it but you can soak it in garlic juice to try and get them to eat it.
 

bass master

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sorry for your loss
I lost a betta in the same manner, barely noticeable in the morning, starting treating that night, by the next morning he was gone.... I agree with lucy, sounds like columnaris, terrible disease...

For the other fish, I would just keep an eye out, if you can get the ammonia under control, the rest of the fish should be strong enough to heal on their own. Soaking the food in garlic will help as lucy said, although my fish do seem to love the garlic but theyre always eager for food anyways
 

jerilovesfrogs

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i just read the article....very interesting. i'm going through something sort of similar with one of my corys. i lost another to this cottony looking fungus a few weeks ago. it was very fast as well. within a couple days. this time after noticing another cory having a little white looking "puff ball", for lack of better words, on his outer fin, i pulled all 3 out. they are in qt, getting pimafix. and i hope it does fix it. the one with the puff ball is just sitting...like the one who died. another is sort of sitting, though i don't see anything. and the third is acting kind of normally. sigh. until now, i've not had any bad luck

i'm sorry about your betta. betta's are so people oriented, it makes it even harder.
 
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