Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 03-29-2020, 09:07 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: East Coast US
Posts: 7
Parasites? Bacterial infection? Both?

Hi All,

Iím new to the hobby and love it but getting a little heartbroken. I may be losing a *second* tank worth of fish right now and desperately hoping to save. Hoping for some guidance and clues as to what went wrong this go-round. I thought Iíd done everything right this time!

Details:

-Five gallon tank (prob my first problem, Iím learning)

-Let it run for a while and added alive plant but didnít plant it yet (still in little black pot I got it in from PetSmart).

-Added my beloved mystery snail that survived the first tank.

-So, new five gallon tank, new unplanted plant, my awesome and hearty mystery snail in tank at this point.

-Got water tested and okayed by LFS before adding a male Betta and two Harlequin Rasboras.

-Betta and Rasboras quickly and somewhat nicely sorted out dominance and everyone seemed happy.

-Did a 20% water change after the first week. All is well.

-Four days later, I got fancy and put some raw broccoli in the tank for my snail. My snail didnít really care but Betta nipped at it a bit. I left the broccoli in the tank (for two days!) to give the snail a chance to eat it. In retrospect, this seems unwise. I think it may have changed the waterís pH?

-Bettaówhoís a normally pretty active guyówas laying at the bottom of the tank. He did eat that night but not much. Learned broccoli is bad for Bettas. Thought maybe it made his tummy hurt. This is when I took the broccoli out of the tank.

-Betta laying down again the next day, hiding in various places in the tank. I turned off the light so heíd feel less vulnerable. Rasboras are fine, snail seems unhappy.

-I do a 50% water change (and gravel vacuumed) bc I worried about the broccoli messing the pH, add a little extra Seachem Prime and add salt to the tank.

-Betta revives with a vengeance and swims like crazy around the tank. I think heís trying to reestablish dominance but is a JERK about it. He picked on my sweet snail most of all. He ate dinner.

-I felt very proud of saving my fish. Then I woke up yesterday to him laying down and struggling more than ever. The bottom of his face looked lighter in color.

-My LFS says it sounds like he has a bacterial infection and suggested Mycin(??, I think a brand name for Erythromycin?).

-I knew the broccoli was well out of the tank, the water was changed and so I started to give the side eye to my unplanted plant. My daughter and I planted it in a little pot with only gravel bc my LFS said my tank was too small for plant substrate even in a little pot. (My LFS knows Iím a newbie.)

-Before I can get the mycin medicine, I notice my still-laying-down Betta has tiny white spots on his tail. Ich, Iím guessing. ******! Is this the beginning of the end? Was he so vulnerable from a bacterial infection that the ich parasites picked their moment to pounce?

-I moved my unhappy snail to our original five gallon tank (where neon tetras all died). Itís been cycled for a while but no fish added yet. My snail is LOVING it! No mean Betta and apparently the water is much better. My little buddy will stay in this tank for good.

-So what happened to make my Betta so sick?? How do I fix it?? Thanks to PetSmartís curbside pick up, I bought only about a million medicines.But need guidance on which to use and when, please.

-I already put in the ich medicine and will finish that treatment, but then do I still need to treat for something bacterial?

Sorry this is ABSURDLY long, but Iím really need advice. Please help!!
__________________

__________________
momfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 09:54 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 168
I suspect that the tank isnt cycled. Letting a tank run for a while isnt the same as cycling it. You need to do either a fish in or fishless cycle.

If you know what your water parameters are let us know. To be cycled you should be seeing 0 ammonia and nitrites and some nitrates. I wouldnt just be taking the word of the fish store unless they have also given you the test results.

Assuming that the tank isnt cycled and you have a fish in the tank, it looks like you are doing a fish in cycle. That means checking water parameters every day. Get a test kit, preferably a liquid test kit, not strips. If you have detectable ammonia or nitrite do 25% water change. Keep doing that daily until you are no longer seeing ammonia or nitrite and you are getting nitrate. That is when the tank is cycled and you can reduce water changes to just remove the nitrates as it wont be needed to get ammonia and nitrites down.
__________________

__________________
Aiken Drum
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 10:00 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: East Coast US
Posts: 7
Thanks, Aiken Drum! The LFS did test my water but didn’t give me the numbers. I just bought an API Master Test Kit yesterday and will do some recon. The ich medicine may mess up the results, though? And was a 50% water change too much? Really appreciate the help!!
__________________
momfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 10:07 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 168
First off do the tests and let us know. Make sure you thoroughly read the instructions and shake the heck out of bottle #2 on the nitrate test. The medication shouldnt affect the results. If in doubt about anything test the water first then do a water change. Im not an expert on medication, so hopefully someone else will get back to you on that matter, but i strongly suspect the tank isnt cycled.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 10:14 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: East Coast US
Posts: 7
You got it. Will test and get back to you. Thx!!
__________________
momfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 01:48 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: East Coast US
Posts: 7
I have numbers!

So, just treated. Here are the results:

3.29.20 Betta tank

pH b/t 7.2 and 7.6
High pH 7.6?/7.8?
Ammonia b/t 0 and 0.25
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0

So, maybe itís close to fully cycled? Also, ich medicine may be skewing results *and* the filter is currently NOT in the tank. (Filter has to be removed before putting in ich medicine.)

I have pH Up and pH Down and can add if needed for Bettaís preference. I believe Rasboras are okay with current level.

About to do water change and re-add ich med for the day.

Any other advice welcome. Thanks!
__________________
momfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 02:03 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 168
Hi.

Sorry to say the tank isnt cycled at all. That will be the cause of the ich. There is a lot going on here so i hope you get some other advise as i may miss something.

Ich is something that is generally always present and it attacks fish that have a low immune system. Its likely that the cause is an uncycled tank and ammonia poisoning. With regards to treating ich, im not the best person to get advice from, but i wouldnt turn off or take out the filter just remove the carbon from it.

You need to cycle the tank. With a fish in there you should be testing the water everyday and only lightly feeding. If the ammonia gets to 0.5ppm do a 25% water change with prime as this will lock the ammonia in a safe state for 24 to 48 hours. After a week or 2 you will start to grow a biological colony in the tank, mostly in the filter (this is why you have to leave the filter on) and you should then start to see nitrite and less ammonia. When nitrite starts showing if you see any nitrite or ammonia, again 25% water change. Slowly the biological colony will grow and consume the ammonia and nitrite and you will see nitrate. Thats when your tank will be nearly cycled. You can try to speed this up with bacteria in a bottle like dr tims one and only or fluval cycle. Eventually you wont see any ammonia or nitrite, and the nitrates will steadily rise, this will take several weeks.

You are trying to deal with 2 issues at once, getting the tank cycled wont cure the ick, but should speed up the process of the fishes healing.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 02:15 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 168
Not sure if i can post links, but this video explains the nitrogen cycle. Please remove if its not allowed.

https://youtu.be/qMk_SfR0CuU
__________________
Aiken Drum
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 04:06 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 12
Hello! This guy has got you completely covered on tank cycling. That is the most important thing right now by far. Now for my part: PLEASE, NO MEDICINE!!

I’ll try not to ramble too much, but I’m a second time betta dad...and here goes my story...I currently have a young Betta imbellis, a bit I’ll but fighting it off beautifully. I promise you, having good water does wonders!! But before that, I had a Betta splendens (in case you don’t keep track of species names, that’s the common Betta you have). Poor guy was really old I think. I’ll detail his journey as a cautionary tale.

His first problem was velvet. I dosed the tank with Rid Ich, all plants died off. The medecine also killed off beneficial bacteria (PLEASE pay attention here - this is crucial for cycling), leaving him susceptible to more issues. In his case, cloudy eye. I dosed some API general stuff, that solved the problem pretty quickly. Rid Ich wasn’t helping, so I used Methylene blue. Same thing. Nothing was cured, only my tank was sterile of all bacteria and plant life.

I could go on and on about his story (I tried so many medicines!), but I think I’ve said the important stuff. Pay attention to what the other guy said about cycling, because here’s another thing about medication: it might get rid of the Ich, but it won’t get rid of the root of the problem that made your fish susceptible to it.

I felt very urgent and rambly in replying to this, so please tell me if you have any questions! I love to be able to help and share my experiences. TL;DR: Medications will mess up your tank’s equilibrium by killing off the beneficial bacteria that carry out the nitrogen cycle and it won’t solve all of your problems anyway, so it’s best to hold off until the root issue (your uncycled tank) is solve. Best of luck!
__________________
weez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 05:53 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 168
I just rewatched the posted video link, and Thomas points out that medication can kill the cycle. I had forgotten about that. Good job someone came along and cleared that up.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2020, 09:13 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: East Coast US
Posts: 7
Stumped.

Hi Aiken and Weez,

SAD FACE. Thank you for the advice! I hadnít responded yet bc I want to test my snail tank in case I could put my fish there, too. Well, not too likely:

SNAIL TANK

pH prob 7.6 based on both tests
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrites 0.5
Nitrates 5.0

So *this* is further along at least, right? But, still, I think a move would kill the Betta in his weakened state and this water doesnít seem so great, after all. My snail hid most of the dayóand not always with a perfectly sealed operculum (?, thing that closes over the opening to the shell).

Anyway, looks like water changes and testing each day, plus adding Seacham Stability to get some bacteria growing.

I did remove the filter from the Betta tank before adding the ich meds, but think putting the filter back in too soon will kill any bacteria that may be there. Though maybe the bacteria on the filter are dead already from being out of the water?

Such an emotional roller coaster with this hobby! I hope it gets easier.

Anyway, any thoughts on how to proceedóesp about when to replace the Bettaís filterówould be VERY appreciated!

Good luck with your Betta, weez, and thanks for the link, Aiken.

Take care.
__________________
momfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2020, 04:14 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 168
Yes, your other tank is further along with cycling as you are seeing nitrates. It might be best to do water change, put some stability in there and move the fish into there, and continue the fish in cycle from that tank.

If you keep things as they are, you really need to get the filter in the tank as im assuming that the filter is the only thing aerating the water (unless you have a bubbler). Water change to remove some of the meds as weez has recommended not to medicate. Get the filter on and running, the carbon in the filter will remove the meds quite quickly, maybe another water change after a few hours, then add stability and progress with the cycling.

I was wondering if it might be best to do a fishless cycle in one tank and medicate in the other so we are dealing with both issues. Can someone else advise on this please? What is your plan for the other tank?
__________________
Aiken Drum
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2020, 07:53 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: East Coast US
Posts: 7
Some possibilities

Morning, Aiken,

Thanks. Good ideas. I should clarify that my Betta tank is an all-in-one (Top Fin Engage), so I only took out the filter *cartridge* containing the media. The water is flowing through an empty filter. I should have been more clear. So, itís not as bad as it sounds.

My plan for the other tank was originally to be for some sweet White Cloud Mountain minnows or other danios, but I added the heater to it to add my snail from the Betta tank. As soon as I added him and saw how happy he was, I vowed to keep him there and maybe not even add fish. There were some hitchhiker snails (bladders) on the live plant I added a month ago so itís a pleasant little invertebrate tank. Iím a little gun shy about buying more fish until I know I can keep them safe.

I canít add the ich meds to the snail tank bc the copper in it is toxic to snails. I also have a one gallon tank I thought I could set up as a hospital for the Betta and only medicate that? The Rasboras might have ich too (seems impossible to tell by looking, though oneís black triangle looked lighter in color), so maybe they could go to the snail tank and improve on their own in the better conditions?

In any case, I did a 25% water change on the snail tank and added Stability to it. Iíll do that and test the water for both tanks for the next several days as the tests indicate.

Iíll keep you posted. Def open to suggestions.

Thanks!
__________________
momfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2020, 09:21 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 12
Sorry for my absence! I forget how the notifications work on here.

It’s definitely a good idea to be gun-shy as you said. Some people will cycle tanks using fish (as in adding fish BEFORE the tank is stable in the process of making it become stable), but you will find that this is a very dangerous process for the fish, thus why many disapprove of it.

Not sure how much you’ve been reading up on Ich, so I’ll just add what hasn’t been covered. You’re correct that the copper in the medication will kill the invertebrates. As for your filter, my first fish was in a very similar tank, so I have a picture of it. The filter medium will remove the medication (that’s why you took it out in the first place, of course). Personally, I wouldn’t put it back in yet, and here’s why: by letting the medication slowly evaporate out of the water on its own, you’re sort of allowing the tank to slowly readjust, as opposed to “quitting cold turkey,” as we would say. Of course, I’m no expert on this, so I can’t see any problem with you putting the medium back in already, too!

On what to do with your tanks, as Aiken was saying...I would work hard on doing a fishless cycle with your snail tank - I think that would be the safest way to get one of your two tanks cycled - so that you can move your betta into that tank after. Then, if you want to medicate, move the snails into the tank that the betta had been in. That way, you can (more) safely medicate the cycled tank with just the betta in it. Meanwhile, you can work on cycling the now snail-only tank, assuming at this point that the medication has filtered out and it’s safe for them. I’ve used snails while cycling - in my experience, they’re safe during the process.

It’s a very sticky situation. It’s hard working with limited tanks with unstable water. But I promise, the hobby does get easier, and I’ve found the pay off to be more than worth it! As another note, Betta are subject to LOTS of inbreeding, so their genetics often don’t hold up to the test of illnesses and bad water. But I would not lose hope!

Best of luck!
__________________
weez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2020, 11:40 AM   #15
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: East Coast US
Posts: 7
Ugh

Thanks, Weez, for the encouragement and advice!

My delayed plan is to get a bigger tank the second this quarantine is over. I hope to be a cycling pro by that time.

I like your suggestion re switching the Betta and snail in the tanks, but thereís a wrinkle in the system.

The snail tank numbers as of this morning:

Ammonia b/t 0 and 0.25? Maybe 0
Nitrites decidedly 0
Nitrates decidedly 0

What the heck? B/t my first tank reading (which showed definitely 5 ppm Nitrates) two days ago and this one I did one water change and added Stability. Did that somehow restart the cycle?

ALSO: The snail tank water also looks like it has little white flecks in it. They *donít* look like little worms. They are visible in the vials before I add the test kit chemicals. Maybe detritus from the bladder snails, driftwood, mystery snail or plant? Also a moss ball in the tank which I think can only be helping things. Could the white things be affecting the nitrates?

So, seems like an unsafe environment for the fish.

I did another 25% water change on the fish tank and did add the filter cartridge last night as well as some Prime and Stability. Will test numbers today.

Some good news: Betta no longer has visible signs of ich! Heís swimming a bit more but still laying down plenty. Rasboras seem alright but none of them ate that well last night. (I only feed them once a dayóis that enough? Donít want to starve them!)

Thanks!
__________________
momfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2020, 01:48 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 168
Hi there.

- great news on the improving health of your betta.
- If you get another tank, it might be an idea to do a fishless cycle so that you aren't putting your fish through the stress of another cycle. In basic terms you put ammonia into the tank to replicate the fish waste and beneficial bacteria can grow to support the fish before you put in any fish.
- i would expect the nitrates to go down if you did a water change on the snail tank. I would still treat it as a fish in cycle until you start to see 0 ammonia and nitrites and you start to see nitrates.
- im not sure what the white flecks are. Maybe planaria which is a sign of over feeding, but are generally harmless.
- keep up with the testing and water changes. Don't overdo the water changes though. There needs to be some ammonia in there to feed the beneficial bacteria. 25% water change when you see 0.5ppm ammonia or nitrite.
- you should be feeding fish the amount of food they eat in 3 minutes if fed once a day or 2 minutes if fed twice a day. While cycling you feed half this amount or every other day. Your fish wont starve, a slightly hungry fish is a healthy fish. I think bettas are generally fed twice daily rather than once though. Are you feeding betta pellets? I think 3 pellets per feed is usual.
__________________

__________________
Aiken Drum
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bacteria, bacterial, bacterial infection, betta, infection, parasite, parasites

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bacterial Infection???? TXFish Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 6 01-09-2006 07:54 PM
Pimafix for internal bacterial infection, anyone had success Bubble_B0y Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 2 09-17-2005 08:48 AM
What can I use to treat an internal bacterial infection? mayreee Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 4 01-24-2005 11:53 PM
systemic bacterial infection VS the tiger barbs Max Action Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 3 10-05-2004 10:37 PM
possible bacterial infection on Bicolor angel pufferman Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 2 04-16-2004 11:26 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.