What Is This On My Betta's Face?

  1. TerryH Initiate Member

    IMG_0344.JPG IMG_0343.JPG IMG_0342.JPG Hi. I got Sonny and Fredo from Petsmart about 6 weeks ago. I have two identical 5 gallon aquariums: heated 80-82, filtered, live plants and sand substrate. They each have the tank to themselves. About 10 days ago Sonny stopped eating the pellets. I changed to flakes which he ate at first, then stopped. Same thing with his favorite, frozen bloodworms. 5 days ago he became lethargic and either hides behind the plants or lays on the sand. He barely swims around anymore. I also just noticed these bumps on his face. Does any one know what this is? PS......1. I do regular cleaning and water changes 2. Fredo is doing just fine 3. Sonny's tank is more heavily planted (could this be from a plant??).
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Are you talking about the black area behind his gill plate? It looks like gill tissue to me.

    Can you list water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates

    How often do you do water changes, and how much do you change?

  3. TerryH Initiate Member

    I'm getting ready to test the water after I cleaned the tank yesterday and did a 30% water change. I've been doing 30% once a week and I'm using distilled water. I was concerned about the scabby looking dark and white bumps/marks on his face in front of his gills. I'll post the water conditions shortly. Thank you for your response.
  4. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Is there a reason you're using distilled water? It doesn't have the minerals fish and plants need.

  5. TerryH Initiate Member

    Hello again! I thought distilled water was better for some reason. I'll start using dechlorinated tap water.

    Ugh....my water readings are terrible. I don't know what I did to poor Sonny's tank. Yet, Fredo's readings are perfect. PH is 7.6, ammonia and nitrites color matching on test kit is between 0-.25. Nitrates are only 5.

    I have an empty cycled 10 gallon tank with matching temps to Betta tanks. I just tested that water yesterday and the readings are ideal. I'm going to put Sonny over there and overhaul his tank.

    When I vacuum how much water should I remove? Also, should I refill it with the water from the 10 gallon tank that has great water readings? Thanks again!
  6. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    How did you cycle the other 10 gal tank? How are you maintaining that cycle?

    I would do 50% water changes at the least.

    And no, use fresh, dechlorinated water to refill the tank.

    Can you list the exact readings for Sonny's tank? (I'm assuming the readings you gave are for Fredo's tank?)?
  7. TerryH Initiate Member

    I did a fishless cycle 4 months ago and have maintained it because I'm not sure what I want to do with it. I have a HOB filter that includes a biosponge given to me by a friend from his 5 yr old established 75 gallon tank and biomax cylinders as well. I drop some food in there every couple of days. I test the water once a week.

    I'm so sorry . I thought I put both their water readings. I guess I'm just nervous and anxious to help Sonny. His readings are PH 7.6, Ammonia .50, Nitrites .25-.50, Nitrates 0

  8. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I would do some large water changes to get the ammonia and nitrites down. I don't think you need to move him over if you keep up with water changes.

    I'm not sure what the marks on his face are. Maybe a bacterial infection? @CindiL
  9. TerryH Initiate Member

    Thank you so much. I'll leave him in his tank and do a 50% water change today. Should I do this daily? 50% change, then test.....until ammonia and nitrites are 0? Also, they have so many products that say to add to your tank after water changes to help with balance/fish stress, etc. What do you recommend, if anything?

    I'm hoping those marks disappear when I get that horrible water straightened out. Maybe the marks and his behavior is all because of that. However, if anyone recognizes it as a problem let me know. If it gets worse or spreads I'll post pictures. Now I'm off to clean and change his tank.
  10. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I only use dechlorinator, Seachem Prime specifically. This particular one detoxifies ammonia and nitrites for 24-48 hours to protect the fish. Most everything else is unnecessary, and many are useless additives.

  11. TerryH Initiate Member

    I just wanted to update. My poor Sonny only this morning showed some big cottony stuff between his gill and face. Geez! I wasted so much time. He's been lethargic and not eating for almost 2 weeks. I managed to get him to eat a few blood worms, but that's it. He's still hanging in there. I'm treating his tank for fungas and bacterial infection. I don't think he's going to make it. He's in his cocoanut, but managed to come out this morning and swim on the bottom just a few inches. I'm so upset.

    I'm hoping so much that he'll pull thru, but at this point I would like to know what I can do, in the future, when a fish shows signs like not eating and lethargy, yet no outward identifiable signs......is there any help like preventative maintenance or something I can do (after testing water and doing changes, etc)? A salt bath? Some kind of all around meds or antibiotics? Anything until I can tell what is wrong? If so, suggestions?

    Wish me luck! I'll let you know if he makes it. He's a strong virile male! He's trying his best.
  12. California L33 Well Known Member Member

    Poor guy. Cottony stuff is likely fungus, possibly secondary to what's ailing him. Your water reading weren't bad enough to stop a healthy Betta from eating. I suspect he may have been sick when you got him, possibly with parasites. A lot of
    Bettas are bred in less than ideal conditions, then treated before they're put on the market, but those treatments don't always work. I think you're doing all you can. I hope he pulls through. The reality of fish keeping, though, is that fish, while resistant to disease, are difficult to treat once they get so sick that they show symptoms. But there's always a chance, and like I said, you're doing all you can, and don't feel guilty about waiting, going in guns blazing with cures the first instant a fish shows illness can do as much harm as good.
  13. TerryH Initiate Member

    Thank you for helping my guilty feelings. You are probably right since little Fredo, whom I got at the same time, put in the same type of tank, and treated the same way is frolicking and so healthy. I've even taught him to eat from my hand. Honestly I can't believe Sonny is still breathing since he hasn't eaten for so long, but I have faith he'll make it. He was so much stronger and acceptable to his new home. Fredo was upset and hid and barely ate when I got them. It took him a week to get used to things and now he's so happy. Well, I'm hoping to post a good update within the next few days!
  14. California L33 Well Known Member Member

    If his gills are clogged with fungus and he's so weak that he can't get to the surface to use his labyrinth organ, an air pump and stone might make him a little more comfortable.
  15. TerryH Initiate Member

    Since I have their filter outputs on minimum (used sponge to slow it down), I put an air pump and stone shortly after I set the tank up. He loved it. Sonny swam slowly to the side of the bubbles, then threw himself into it Letting the bubbles blow him away. Just checked him. He's still in his coconut, but still breathing. Fingers crossed!
  16. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Preventative treatment isn't usually a good idea - throwing meds at an unknown problem can make it worse, and it can also help to create resistant infections. Large and frequent water changes are the best preventative treatment, in my opinion.

    Hope he pulls through! What are you treating him with?
  17. TerryH Initiate Member

    Hi. Honestly I thought he'd be gone this morning, but he's still hanging on. All that white stuff is gone. He's come out of the coconut several times today. He's still only swimming a few inches and only into the plants. He stays there for a little while and goes back into the coconut. He's more active today than yesterday. I dropped one sinking food pellet right in front of him. He let it sit there for about 20 minutes, then inched over and ate it. That's the first thing he's eaten in days.

    After doing several water changes his condition just kept getting worse. When I finally saw that white cottony stuff and looked it up, it seemed to be fungus or bacteria related. I bought Marineland's All In One Remedy. The reviews showed people who swore by it and others that didn't like it. I had slim pickings at Petsmart so that's what I'm using. I'm definitely seeing a difference just after yesterday's first treatment.

    The directions say to put one tablet a day in the tank (after removing carbon) for 5 days, then do a 25% water change and replace carbon. I can't stand the cloud in his tank. I know it's the dissolved medicine, but its driving me nuts. OH!!!! He just swam up to the bottom third of his tank He let himself slowly sink into the plant and has his face in the corner, but still. YAY
  18. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Glad he's still hanging on!
  19. TerryH Initiate Member

    First I want to apologize for accidentally posting nonsense again like above. My Ipad wasn't working for me. Now for updates.

    Yesterday morning I was shocked to see a long white thing coming out of his body right behind his gill. It was the length of his body!!! How is it possible for something like that to happen overnight? It had no movement. It was like a dead worm or something. Did the medicine make it come out? His behavior was still better than a few days ago. He even swam to the top of the tank ONCE to get a gulp of air. Though he's widened his swim area to about 4 inches beyond his cave, aka coconut, he still won't eat.

    This morning: I turned on the light and surprisingly for the first time, he came out of his cave like he used to when I turned his light on. The worm thing was gone. I got my flashlight and magnifying glass and I don't see any pieces of it on his skin. He widened his swim area from 2-3 inches from his cave to 4-5 inches. He still won't eat, but unlike before, he's breathing easier. His mouth and gills moved laboriously and today they are moving much better. This morning is his last treatment. The treatment I gave him covers fungus, bacteria and external parasites. However, after seeing that worm thing I'm afraid I wasted even more time because it could be an internal parasite. I almost forgot to mention that I was so happy to see him take interest in me looking at him this morning. He actually flared for the first time in almost a week.

    PICTURE: I found that disgusting thing inside his cave. Sorry about the quality. It's hard to use the flashlight and get my phone camera to focus at the same time. I hope it's good enough to tell me what this nasty thing is. The stuff that looks like worms on the right is just the roots of the plant.

    1. The med instructions say after the treatment to do a 25% water change and put the carbon filter back in. I feel like I should do a much bigger water change. What is your opinion? Should I get rid of the plants?
    2. He's definitely not at 100%. Should I do this same treatment again after the water change?
    3. If I have to treat for internal parasites.......should I do a full water change? Remove plants? What immediate available product should I use? Sonny doesn't have time for me to make an online order.
    4. How does stuff like this happen? Other than having different plants......Sonny and Fredo's tanks are identical. Set up at the same time, same sand, water temps, filter media food....everything. He was healthy for a month before I noticed changes. Could he have had this when I got him? I used the Top Fin prepackaged plants, could that have done it? I give them the frozen bloodworms occasionally, could that be it???
    5. FINALLY.......how do I give ratings for all the help y'all have given me? Is it by clicking one of the little icons on the right side of a reply? Those didn't even appear on my ipad.

    Again.....THANK YOU

  20. BReefer97 Well Known Member Member

    I'm not caught up on this thread, but what are you currently using to treat him? And what is he being treated for?

    The worm you found coming out of his gill sounds a lot like a gill fluke, and now considering the damage that was on his gill plate, it kind of leads me to believe that is your problem. But I could be wrong so I would wait for someone else to chime in. If it is gill flukes, I had success with using Prazipro. It's safe on plants and your nitrogen cycle!