Betta Fish Help!
I have a problem with my Betta. I visited my cousins for four days, and my dad aparrantly 'forgot' that I had a fish. Azul, the name of the blue male Betta, had not been fed once, his tank was hideous, the water was extremely cold, his tail fins and side fins seemed a little frayed, he was letting off slime, and to top it all off, I found two pink spots on him, which I think are missing scales.
I first noticed something was wrong when I ran into my bedroom to feed him. I always, always pick up the can of betta food pellets and shake it around. He then always darts around in his bowl at the top, looking for food. I always feed him 3 pellets in the morning and two at night, and he always eats them all quickly.
Today, when I shook the can, I got no response. I became worried automatically and gently poked the bowl to make sure he was alive. He began swimming, so I decided to throw in four pellets, since he hadn't eaten in a while. Once again, no response.
I read once that cold water could make bettas lethargic and sluggish, so I dipped my finger in and found it freezing. I warmed up the water a little by placing the bowl in some hot water and leaving it, getting it about lukewarm. I then changed the water and warmed it some more. As I was waiting for the water to warm, I took a look at him. I noticed that he was shooting off strands of white slime while he swam and saw a missing scale on his left (back) and on his right (side). His tail was also less flowing and looked as though it was cut shorter with scissors. (But of course, it wasn't.)
I'm worried sick. I've just put his clean bowl back up on the shelf. He is no longer being motionless, but he is still shooting off slime. What's wrong?
ANY help is appriciated. I'm not an experienced Betta owner, Azul being my first. I've had him since February '06.
bettatalk.com has a list of betta diseases.I have PM two people on here that know alot about bettas
It sounds like it may be columnaris, true fungus, or slime disease. Here are the symptoms for each illness:
Columnaris: Fuzzy, cotton-like substance attached to body (looks like fuzz or lint), clear or white stringy material hanging from the body, erosion of the gills, heavy breathing, pinholes appearing in fins. Usually effects the mouth or head region. Also may appear as yellowish, white, or greyish areas on the skin, often surrounded by redness.
Treatment: Columnaris is a gram-negative rod bacterium, and should be treated with an antibiotic that is effective against gram-negative bacteria or a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Kanacyn (Kanamycin sulfate), Spectrogram (Kanamycin sulfate and Nitrofurazone), Maracyn, Tetracycline, or Furan 2 (Nitrofurazone) are all good choices.
(True) Fungus: Gray or white slimey looking material on the skin, may eventually turn into cottony-looking growth (distinct hair-like filaments).
Slime Disease Excessive slime coat mucus production, white stringy strands hang off of body. Slime disease symptoms can also include frayed fins
Treatment: Malachite green
I'm leaning towards slime disease but read up on each of these illnesses and figure out which one your betta has. The damaged fins could also be fin rot (caused by poor water conditions) in addition to something else.
Though sometimes harder to keep up with than we originally thought (I have 20+ bettas in dire need of water changes today.. :o), it's really important to keep up with water changes. The larger the tank your betta is in, the more time you can take in between water changes. If he got sick in four days, it makes me wonder how large his tank is. It's also a good idea to add a bit of aquarium salt and a drop of aquarisol as a disease preventative. None of my bettas have come down with any illnesses since I've started doing that.
Good luck!! :)
I agree with Ashley. I highly recommend using Maracyn, I easily cured Columnaris using it, with Columnaris being one of the most common afflictions of Bettas. It can be caused by a lot of factors, including poor water quality, and it can be hard to cure if not treated immediately.
It could also be a ph problem, but since this is a betta not a goldfish it probably is a fungus, bettas are more prone. Good luck with treatment. Don't blame your dad though, it was more likely bad timing. In four days the water shouldn't have gotton so bad as to develope a fungus, it was probably already in the process. Oh and you can go off for a week without feeding your fish, that's no problem, its better for keeping the water quality good and probably kept your fish from being worse off.
I am now treating him for Slime Disease, and he seems MUCH better. Ashley, his tank size is a normal goldfish bowl. Is this too small?
Thanks much to you all. I'm now putting in that aquarium salt and a drop of aquarisol, so I'm hoping all will remain well. :)
How's the little guy doing now?
Some goldfish bowls are decent sizes. I've seen some pretty tiny ones to some that are over a gallon. I have one betta I keep in a 1/2 gallon mainly due to lack of space on the shelf, and because this particular betta is a huge bubblenester and seems to enjoy it. As long as you keep up with WCs, a smaller tank will suffice. :)
I have used Melafix to help with frayed fins but I guess that I catch it early enough with my beautiful bettas since I am almost always looking at them. I am not that experienced with keeping bettas but a few years ago I managed to keep one alive for about 3 years. I guess always keeping fish medication on hand is a good thing since fish can get sick when you least expect it.