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Old 03-27-2020, 08:47 PM   #1
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Betta imbellis with HITH?? Please help!

Hello, everyone. Thanks for giving this a look.

A bit of background information: This is my second fish. My first was a veiltail betta that I had for over a year before he succumbed to a treatment resistant illness (and likely old age which made it harder to fight). My first betta was in a 3.5gal. After I decided medication was doing more bad than good, I moved him to a 10gal, medication free with lots of healthy plants. That was just about a year ago that I got that tank running. That is what my imbellis is living in now. I ordered him online in August, when the seller said he was three months old. He’s still young, so I’m hoping he’ll get better quickly!

Some more necessary information: The tank has three pieces of driftwood, a rock, three individual anubias plants, one vallisneria, a moss ball, a bit of greater duckweed, as well as some catappa leaves on the surface. There is a zebra nerite (pushing two years old!) and one ghost shrimp. The heater is at 78 degrees. I use a sponge filter with low flow (can be adjusted). I JUST ran all of the parameter tests: pH is 7.4 (as my tank has always been, no matter how much I’ve spent on IAL), ammonia is 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0. Also used my GH test kit for the first time. That seems to be the only unusual thing here - the water tested in the highest band, with 200-400ppm.

On my fish’s illness: Only other problem he’s recently had is a bit of one ventral fin was lost. It doesn’t look like fin rot at all, so I think he must’ve gotten caught on something, or the shrimp was being defensive. I only noticed the hole in his head this evening. Not to be over dramatic, but my fish is my life! I’m always checking on him, so I don’t know how I didn’t notice until now. He’s eating eagerly, and I was just watching him working on his bubble nest all day! Seems like a happy guy to me, so I don’t know what’s wrong. I would like to think this is just another little injury (and maybe I’d need to reconsider tank decor), but I’m pretty sure it’s gotta be HITH.

I’ve attached some pictures of my fish, as well as a zoomed out picture of my tank setup. As a wild betta, he’s always changing colors, so the pale coloration in the pictures isn’t of concern. Thanks to all of you who have read this - I know I tend to ramble when it comes to my fish. All help wanted!!
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Old 03-29-2020, 01:50 AM   #2
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Try testing the GH on the tap water and see what it is.

Do you have kH?

I would recommend doing 2 - 50% water changes back to back asap. Then, give it a bit of time ~6, 8, 12 hours and do another pwc maybe 40-50%. That will get you in a better spot in changing a majority of the tank water.

If you have a vac, then try giving the substrate a vac in the 40-50% pwc. 2 things in one . Focus on the areas where you feed most, low flow areas and corners which might get less flow.

The objective here is to get a good fresh start with as good of water quality as possible. Then after that above 40-50% (and vac). Try doing another 30-50% water change the next day and again the next.

You will be doing everything possible to make sure no bad stuff is just sitting around stewing in the water. Vac some more and every little while until you aren't getting any muck out of the substrate.

The hith can be fought off sometimes by the fish just having really fresh water and moving out all the possible pathogens. Keep up the water changes daily for at least a week/10 days.

You can see after a few days if the spot on his head looks better or at least not worse (like increasing of holes) not fuzzy or raw or bigger, keep on water changing until he looks healed.

After the 10 days you can try every other day if he looks better.

Feed slowly, like a couple pellets at a time, make sure he eats them and give more a couple at a time so that there isn't excess food laying on the bottom.

What kind of food are you feeding?

You can also adjust the flow up a tiny bit and see if it helps in the circulation in the tank.
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Old 03-29-2020, 03:51 PM   #3
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Thank you so very much for taking time to respond. I am feeling pretty hopeful! When I woke up after posting this on Friday, he already seemed much better, and today, he seems almost entirely healed! I would like a second opinion on that, though. To me, it seems like the white HITH spot has slowly been replaced with what looks like a scab. The original hole at this point is no bigger than a sensory pit.

To answer your questions, KH right now is 72ppm or 4 dKH. I tested the GH of my tap water and it is unsurprisingly high, though slightly less so than the tank water.

All of your advice is sound and very appreciated! I happened to do a 25% pwc the day before I posted here and another 25% pwc the day after. I always use my gravel vac, and since he is my only fish, I always feed him carefully to see that nothing goes uneaten. Iím usually just vacuuming up snail poop. Heís been eating Vibra Bites (split in half). I have lots of options, but that seems to be the favorite.

Iíll post a picture and Iím hoping you will tell me that it looks like itís scabbing over to you, too! Otherwise Iíll start with the regime you recommended.
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Old 03-29-2020, 04:28 PM   #4
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It sounds like other than the possibly high GH mostly things are good for little fish.

It does seem positive that the spot is growing back.

Just keep up the water changing then. GH can increase when doing more tank water top off's than water changes. The solids just keep piling up, but the daily water changes will fix that.

Gh can be increased by adding chemicals (like water conditioner and additives like Melafix, or of course salt) to the aquarium as well, that is why having a kH test is helpful.

My other thought is to offer a different food a few times a week, as to help make sure a varied diet in case he is missing any nutrients to help keep up his immune system.

It does seem to be a patch there on his head.

Of course, I know you will, lol, but watch for any other signs of infection just in case!

Nice to hear good news!
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Old 03-31-2020, 09:27 AM   #5
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Thank you again for all the help. As of this morning, my fish is completely healed. I’ll try to take your advice of varying up his diet, though it’s a little tricky to get out of the house right now, but I certainly want him getting all he needs! It definitely feels like a lot of these threads don’t end well, so I’m glad to have good news to share!
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:22 PM   #6
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Wonderful to hear some happy news. As for the varied diet, as soon as you can. Pet stores are usually an "essential" and open though usually shorter hours. Do as best you can. Also online ordering might work too.
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