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Fungus? HELP Betta won’t eat and just hides all day

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Benson87, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Benson87

    Benson87 New Member

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    Hi, this is my first post.

    I have a newish 125l tank which was cycled at the back end of last year. We added a new Betta to the tank last week (also in tank 10 Espe’s Rasboras and live plants). At first he appeared very happy and explored the tank all day. Over the last day or two we have noticed him beginning to hide a lot. After a closer inspection we noticed a grey patch on his back fin (see attached photo).

    We have endlessly searched the web to try and identify the illness and believe it could be a fungus, maybe Cotton fin? Does anyone have any ideas?

    We have been to our local aquatics (Wharf Aquatics, Pixton) and they suggested treating the tank with eSHa 2000. Has anyone used this before and had positive results? Or have any better suggestions?

    With the Betta being a new addition to the tank we have been regularly testing the water. Due to high Nitrates (as a result of tap water at 40ppm) we have been undertaking 25% water changes using a mix of tap and RO water every other day.
    Water test results over the last few days since adding the Betta are as follows:

    Pre Betta 0.00 / 0.00 / 40
    1 day 0.25 / 0.25 / 60
    2 day 0.25 / 1.00 / 60 wc
    3 day 0.25 / 0.50 / 40
    4 day 0.25 / 0.50 / 40 wc
    5 day. (No measurements taken)
    6 day 0.25 / 1.00 / 60 wc
    7 day 0.25 / 0.50 / 60 wc

    (wc) denotes 25% water change 24l (40ppm nitrate) & 6l RO water

    Any help or advice would be greatefully received!

    Thanks

     

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  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I assume the test results for the 7 days is ammonia/ nitrite/ nitrate?
    If yes, how did you cycle the new tank?

    If an aquarium and filter was cycled, you should not be getting any ammonia or nitrite readings above 0.

    If the filter was not cycled properly then reduce feeding to 2-3 times per week and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate 4-8 hours after feeding. And do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate any day you have an ammonia or nitrite reading above 0.

    ------------------------
    Small 25% water changes don't do anything to dilute nutrients. You are better off doing a 75% water change.

    If you have high nitrates in the tap water you should either prefilter the tap water with something like a Pozzani filter, or put the tap water in a holding container and add a heap of floating plants. The plants will use the nitrates and when the water has 0 nitrates you can use it to do water changes on the tank.

    The following link has information about high nitrates. There are a couple of them around here somewhere.
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/nitrates-and-water-changes.447661/#post-3784448

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    The fish in the picture either has a protozoan infection or fungus. It also has clamped fins, which can be caused by bacteria, protozoa or poor water quality (ammonia, nitrite or high nitrate levels).

    I would move the fish into a separate container and treat it with a broad spectrum fish medication that treats bacteria, fungus and protozoans. Keep it separated for at least 1 week. Wipe the inside of the container and change all the water in its container each day and refill it with water from the main tank. Then retreat the container.

    To work out the volume of water in the tank:
    measure length x width x height in cm.
    divide by 1000.
    = volume in litres.

    When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

    There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

    Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will absorb the medication and stop it working.

    Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.
     
  3. essjay

    essjay Member

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    eSHa 2000, as the shop recommended, treats fungal, bacterial and protozoan infections.



    However, bettas are not community fish, they are much better kept alone. The best thing you can do for your betta is to get him his own tank, something around 25 litres, and treat him in there. You would most likely need to change the filter because most of those supplied with small tanks are too strong for bettas - I use an air pump powered sponge filter in my betta's tank. If you do decide to do this you would obviously have to do a fish-in cycle which involves doing a water change every time ammonia or nitrite show above zero, but water changes are not difficult with a small tank.
     
  4. Benson87

    Benson87 New Member

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    Hi Colin, thanks for the response. To answer your questions:

    Yes they are ammonia/ nitrite/ nitrate.
    To cycle the tank I did the following:
    1. set up the tank with live plants, gravel, filter, heater etc
    2. undertook a fish less cycle adding fish food to the tank to create ammonia
    3. testing the tank using API testing kit i monitored the tank as ammonia rose and then nitrites
      towards the end of the first week there was a bacteria bloom which lasted around 24hrs
      as mentioned in my post due to tap water nitrate levels starting 40ppm from the tap and remained at 40 until the they began to rise after about 2-3 weeks
    4. once the ammonia and nitrite levels dropped to 0 and remained at 0 for a couple of days I started to add some fish.
    Fish added:
    • 5no. Espe's Rasbora
      the caused the ammonia and nitrite to both climb to 0.25 before dropping to 0 after about 1 week nitrites climbed to circa 60-80ppm
    • After a few 25% water changes to get the nitrites back to 40ppm (tap water level) with ammonia and nitrites at 0 a added another 5no. Espe's Rasboras.
      again ammonia and nitrite levels rose to around 0.25 and 0.75 respectively. nitrate as previous.
    • 2 weeks later after more water changes when ammonia and nitrite had leveled out at 0 for several days I added a Betta. At the time of buying the Betta I spoke to the people at the Aquatic Shop (Wharf Aquatics) about the high tap nitrate levels. The tested a sample of my tap water and confirmed that the water was hard, they suggested during a water change using 25% RO and 75% tap water.
    • After adding the betta things took a turn for the worse and ammonia and nitrites began to rise as per my initial post figures
    Note: during water changes I use a siphon and clean the gravel during the water change. filter has been cleaned / cartridges replaced as per the manufacturers instructions

    I did look into filter solutions and following a discussion with the chaps at my local aquatics, including water hardness testing, they advised that they are generally a waste of money and I would be better of mixing tap water with RO water. I will look into filter further following your comments

    I have today moved the Betta into a fresh small 25l tank with conditioned tap water water readings 0; 0; 40 and am dosing the tank with eSHa 2000 as per the instructions. I plan to monitor the water condition in both tanks daily and will undertake water changes as necessary.

    All 10 Espe's in the main tank appear happy and are lively and playful, however due to the water conditions I am monitoring them closely
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If you are getting an ammonia or nitrite reading after adding fish to the tank, there is something wrong with your filter. A healthy established biological filter should be able to remove any ammonia produced by a few new fish, within 30 minutes of them being added to the tank.

    What sort of filter is on the tank?
    How long has it been running for?
    How do you normally clean the filter?

    If you have a filter that needs the cartridges replaced on a regular basis, you should add some other types of filter media (sponges) to the filter so there is still some bacteria left to keep the water clean when you replace the filter materials. In a biological filter you get colonies of beneficial bacteria that live on and in the filter media. If you replace the media with new stuff, you get rid of the bacteria and the tank cycles again. This is probably why you had ammonia and nitrite problems.

    You can add sponges to most filters and these will hold the beneficial bacteria if and when you decide to replace the cartirdges. You can get square or rectangular sponges from various brands of external power filter and cut them to fit into your current filter. I prefer "Aquaclear" brand sponges but any power filter sponge can be used.

    You can also get round/ cylindrical sponges for internal power filters and these sponges can go over the intake strainer of most external power filters.

    The sponges get squeezed out in a bucket of tank water at least once a month and will last 10+ years.

    If you cut a small hole/ slit in the filter cartridge/s you can empty out the granules that are in them and throw the granules away. Then squeeze out the remaining cartridge in a bucket of tank water every 2-4 weeks and re-use it.

    If there are black granules in the cartridge it is carbon and is used to absorb chemicals from water. This is not normally needed in an aquarium unless you have heavy metals or poisons in the water.

    If there are white granules in the cartridge it is an ammonia absorbing agent and is not wanted in a filter because it stops the filter bacteria from developing properly and causes ammonia levels to build up when the granules are full.

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    If you are using reverse osmosis (R/O) water you may as well use a 50/50 mix or even 75% R/O and 25% tap water. You want the nitrates as low as possible and preferably under 20ppm.

    Long term exposure to high levels of nitrates will harm the fish.

    A number of people on this forum use the pozzani filter and find it helps a great deal. I am pretty sure you can recharge the media in them so it isn't that expensive to use.

    If you still don't want to use one then get a large plastic storage container and fill it with tap water, add dechlorinator and put a heap of floating plants (like Duckweed or Water Sprite) in it. Leave the plants in the water until the nitrates are on 0 and then use that water for water changing the tank. If you live in a nice climate you can have containers of water outside and grow plants in them and use that water for water changing the tank.
     
  6. Benson87

    Benson87 New Member

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    The filter is a Fluval U3 which came with the tank (Fluval Roma 125)


    The filter has been running now for approx 7-8 weeks now


    I clean the filter as per the filter manual (photo attached) undertaking the following steps:


    Weekly:
    • Remove foam pads, and poly cartridges and squeeze / rub down within old tank water (removed just prior to filter clean)
    • Wash Biomax and clean and clear cartridges in the same water

    Monthly:
    • As weekly plus,
    • Replace one poly cartridge and the clean and clear cartridges
    • Rinse filter body in old tank water
    • Rinse impeller under the tap



    I do have some filter sponges over the filter outlet to baffle the flows as they were too strong for the Betta, would this help hold bacteria or hinder the filter process?



    There are no black granular but there are white biomax pellets
     

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  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    It will help.
     

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