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syren

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Good Morning!
I think this is the right spot to post my concerns on my King Male betta (if I’m incorrect let me know, I’m new to these threads and am just looking for advice. Will repost accordingly :) )

I have a male King Betta (he is housed alone, too aggressive for tank friends.) that was a pet store rescue (he wasn’t doing too hot, picked him up due to fin rot and fixed him up with no issues till now. That was about 6-8 months ago.) He is kept in a planted 10 gallon, with air pump/stone, heater and a canister filter. His light is on a timer and is on for about 6 hours a day. His water parameters are good. Neutral Ph, no nitrates/nitrites/ammonia, water is soft and I do 25% water changes weekly (in addition to gravel vacuum since we’re struggling with keeping algae under control.)

I noticed about 2 weeks ago that he was worm burdened (I’m pretty sure its roundworm) and can only assume it was from plants that were shipped (I did a quarantine on them but didn’t have any antiparasitic meds to treat them with. Found a few worms but thought I had eradicated everything prior to putting them in his tank. Guess I was wrong!)

He presented like this:
4048C8CB-8D33-44F8-90B8-8EF8ACD772A6.jpeg

1C08EF56-9E68-47D6-A05E-F2791CF77F95.jpeg

All I had on hand was fenbendazole (from work, I work in the veterinary industry) and had our exotics doctor calculate out his dose. 100mg per 10 gallons, while I waited for medicated food to arrive in the mail. All we had was powder so we calculated how many grams it would be based off the amount of fenbendazole percentage (half gram for close to 100mg, percentage is 12.2% fenbendazole.) I finely crushed the meds and reconstituted in betta water and shook violently, then let it sit for a few hours to help dissolve the meds.) The medicated food is metronidazole/praziquantel.

I read that treating with fenbendazole in the water was essentially useless but I had mixed reviews so I went ahead and tried it. Dosed two days, did a 50% water change and left him be for a day, then dosed again, waited another day then did a 50% change and turned on filtration. Let him sit for a few days. During his medicated treatment I used Stress Coat and almond leaf extract for the boost in tannins.

At the three day point with filtration I did another 25% change and noted that his eyes were cloudy and fins were clamped. Food arrived but he was refusing to eat it (soaked with garlic guard and still a big fat no from him) and our local pet store finally got General Cure back in stock so I stopped filtration and dosed with General Cure according to package directions (including recommended water changes.)

Filtration was turned back on but eye cloudiness remained, so I let him sit for three days and it appeared that pop eye might have been starting to I went ahead and started him on Doxycycline and also followed package directions. (Same company that makes General Cure.)

During that time I did salt baths to help with gut motility and to replace any electrolytes since he started refusing all forms of food. (Pellets, flakes, crumbles, blood worms, peas, etc.) I did one bath a day, 1.5 gallons of warm and treated water (I only use UV sterilized betta water, no tap water) with a 1/4th teaspoon of dissolved aquarium salt in a heated/aired tank with stress coat added in, only letting him soak for 10 minutes total. Let him acclimate to temp for 30 mins by floating on water surface and then added him in with his tank water. (Did the same thing when returning him to the main tank, just didn’t add in the salt water to main tank when switching him back.) I did this maybe 5 days in a row (could have been less, but not more. I’m losing count.)

I fear that he is currently afflicted with blood poising (he has what appears to be hemorrhaging on his abdomen.) He is listless, rubbing on the substrate/rocks and is not active at all (he was very active before getting sick, and very responsive to voices/movement outside the tank.) I am unsure where to go from here. He is still refusing food (we’re heading into week three) and I am at a loss as to where to go next. Is it possible that the round worms have died inside his body and he is unable to pass them, causing internal bacterial infection? (I know they’re worms, they went back in him when I would come to the tank and he would start swimming around.)
I’ve tried to reduce his stress during the back and forth with the salt baths and medications but it’s hard (he’s very sensitive) and hence why I let him sit for days in between treatments and did not do multiple treatments at once.
Am I overdoing and overthinking this? Should I just let him sit in his main tank or should I risk the stress and move him into his hospital tank? Should I treat again, but this time with erythromycin? I’m at a loss, my fish keeping friends, and don’t wanna give up on the little guy but I have clove oil on hand (if it gets to that point, I really don’t want it to.)


side note: He is able to swim, he does take a cruise around his tank a few times a day and does not appear to be sinking (I don’t think swim bladder is affected.) and comes up every morning for food, but eats it and spits it right back out. (I am taking out uneaten food after he refuses and swims back to his dock spot.)

6E6A64AB-43BD-4755-9B40-2E705AAD26FD.jpeg

(^Before he got sick, poor lil mans :( , including his resin made mini tank I got for Christmas!)
 
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syren

syren

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Here are pictures of him currently (taken during feeding)
0CED8F3D-DDE9-4117-AF33-8EAFE3F1856E.jpeg

2C443B78-8B77-4139-B1AB-63A9ADCC2B4C.jpeg

0A1CE67D-1E6E-46AE-820F-3356EF663EF9.jpeg
 
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syren

syren

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Update: ate some defrosted blood worms this afternoon, which is a plus! Still listless and rubbing on substrate. Also docking in between lava rocks, which is unusual for him as he usually sits next to the heater on a bed of moss. Never was a leaf sleeper.
 

mbsqw1d

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I can't think of anything more I would do to be honest, sounds like you've done everything you can. Have you considered soaking his food in garlic (maybe seachem garlic guard if you dont fancy diy route). Nematodes do not like allicin in garlic. Also, do you have any plants that you could uproot and have floating to provide him some overhead cover if he wants to seek some shade and chill? Some water sprite or anacharis perhaps?
 

PheonixKingZ

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Update: ate some defrosted blood worms this afternoon, which is a plus! Still listless and rubbing on substrate. Also docking in between lava rocks, which is unusual for him as he usually sits next to the heater on a bed of moss. Never was a leaf sleeper.
That’s great he ate something!

Are the bloodworms dehydrated? (It should say on the bottle) If so, I would recommend you stop feeding him them. Dehydrated bloodworms tend to have loads of fat in them, which is bad for Bettas. Look for high quality food, such as Omega One, New Life Spectrum, etc.

I personally use Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets and Fluval Bug Bites for my Betta. They are packed with protein and made with fresh ingredients.

But it is good that he ate something.

——-

@Colin_T is good with this stuff, so maybe he can help you. Everything you are doing sounds thorough and well thought out. If he says you have a green light to keep up this treatment, by all means go for it.

Hope he recovers soon! (He reminds me of Ace, by Betta. *Profile picture*)
 
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syren

syren

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That's what I was thinking as well, unfortunately. Hours of research on forums and sites and I finally couldn't find any additional info, which is why I decided to start posting to see if there were any tricks I had missed. This is the first time I've taken this much length into treating a Betta and attempting rehabilitation.

I had anacharis about a month ago, he didn't seem to really care about it at all. He would occasionally bite it and drag it around the tank, which was always pretty funny. I swapped it out for some tall grass and he seems to enjoy that more. He will dock very often in it.
 
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syren

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Also, thank you both for the responses!

They are not dehydrated, fresh frozen. I'm afraid I might have made a spoiled brat out of him and now maybe he is refusing all food sources due to the bloodworms. Hopefully not, just glad he ate since its been three weeks. (yikes!) Not sure how he has pushed through all of this, to be honest. I will send Colin a message just as follow up since you tagged him. Thanks so much for the advice and referral. I want to keep Big Grosso happy for as long as possible. :)
 

PheonixKingZ

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That's what I was thinking as well, unfortunately. Hours of research on forums and sites and I finally couldn't find any additional info, which is why I decided to start posting to see if there were any tricks I had missed. This is the first time I've taken this much length into treating a Betta and attempting rehabilitation.

I had anacharis about a month ago, he didn't seem to really care about it at all. He would occasionally bite it and drag it around the tank, which was always pretty funny. I swapped it out for some tall grass and he seems to enjoy that more. He will dock very often in it.
What is broad leafed or narrow leafed Anacharis? In my experience, Bettas don’t really care for the narrow variety. But they love to rest of the thick, lush leaves of the broad leafed variety.

The difference can be seen here:
image.jpg

Everything at the top of the photo is the narrow leaf, and the big one in the center is the broad leafed.

We definitely have some members can that offer advice... I’m not to good with diseases though... :/
 

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Also, thank you both for the responses!

They are not dehydrated, fresh frozen. I'm afraid I might have made a spoiled brat out of him and now maybe he is refusing all food sources due to the bloodworms. Hopefully not, just glad he ate since its been three weeks. (yikes!) Not sure how he has pushed through all of this, to be honest. I will send Colin a message just as follow up since you tagged him. Thanks so much for the advice and referral. I want to keep Big Grosso happy for as long as possible. :)
Ah, ok. Fresh frozen bloodworms are a good source of protein.

@Colin_T doesn’t “do” PM’s, so he will most likely not respond. :lol:
 

Barry Tetra

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@Colin_T doesn’t “do” PM’s, so he will most likely not respond. :lol:
He does PM me but he doesn’t read what I wrote to him!


For your betta do a 75% daily water changes, substrate clean for the time being...at least until Colin come back.
 
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syren

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What is broad leafed or narrow leafed Anacharis? In my experience, Bettas don’t really care for the narrow variety. But they love to rest of the thick, lush leaves of the broad leafed variety.

The difference can be seen here:
View attachment 129025
Everything at the top of the photo is the narrow leaf, and the big one in the center is the broad leafed.

We definitely have some members can that offer advice... I’m not to good with diseases though... :/
I'm fairly limited on space, this is a 10 gallon long (a deeper 10 gallon would have been impossible to reach into due to height and where is tank is located.) Would these still do well despite not having depth? Never opposed to adding more plants, since changing over to a canister filter I did free up a corner (he had a box corner filter originally) so I think I could get away with one or two more. Do these also prefer to be tied down/free float, or should they be buried in substrate?

It's -4 Fahrenheit with a wind chill (real feel) of -26 Fahrenheit here today but I will be venturing out to a few of my LFS to see what foods they have in stock and to also potentially grab a broad leaf plant or two. The Anacharis I had was such a pain to clean up after but I'd go through it again if it meant making him a tad more comfortable.

Today is "tank maintenance" day so I will be fiddling around in there and making adjustments to the flow diverter and scrubbing plants/vacuuming sand (as best as I can without sucking half of it up ?). Will do a 50% change instead of a 75% as to not shock the little man and since water parameters are still very good. Hard to keep my supply of betta water room temp/close to tank temp with the outside being so cold (drafty house, yuck.) I usually have to let it float in a container in the sink with hot water until I can get it to temp.
 

PheonixKingZ

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It's -4 Fahrenheit with a wind chill (real feel) of -26 Fahrenheit here today but I will be venturing out to a few of my LFS to see what foods they have in stock and to also potentially grab a broad leaf plant or two. The Anacharis I had was such a pain to clean up after but I'd go through it again if it meant making him a tad more comfortable.
I defiantly wouldn't recommend going out in this weather, its crazy...

By "clean up after", what exactly do you mean? Did it 'melt'? Or did the Betta destroy it?

I'm fairly limited on space, this is a 10 gallon long (a deeper 10 gallon would have been impossible to reach into due to height and where is tank is located.) Would these still do well despite not having depth? Never opposed to adding more plants, since changing over to a canister filter I did free up a corner (he had a box corner filter originally) so I think I could get away with one or two more. Do these also prefer to be tied down/free float, or should they be buried in substrate?
A regular 10g tank is perfectly fine. Excuse the extremely overgrown tank, but here is my 10g Betta tank:
126490FF-18DC-4275-8487-8579F7045ACE.jpeg
8082C81B-C79A-4CF5-9C45-5673BF16B8AA.jpeg

Also here is my 20g long: (same height as the 10g - also excuse the low water level :lol: )
3FC49944-DFEB-4155-AA96-C045F7B6F900.jpeg

As you can see, they grow very well in short tanks. In fact, maybe even better. In my 29g tank (taller than the 20g) they are starting to die off. I think it may have something to do with my light, but nonetheless.

In my experience, they grow faster, healthier, and more bushy if they are planted in the substrate. I suggest getting a pair of aquascaping tweezers from your LFS or from Amazon. The straight ones of the best for planting plants like this: Amazon.com : aquascaping tweezers (Any of those kits will work well. Just make sure to dry them off well after each use. The scissors can be helpful for trimming.)

Hard to keep my supply of betta water room temp/close to tank temp with the outside being so cold (drafty house, yuck.) I usually have to let it float in a container in the sink with hot water until I can get it to temp.
Do you have a heater?
 
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syren

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I defiantly wouldn't recommend going out in this weather, its crazy...

By "clean up after", what exactly do you mean? Did it 'melt'? Or did the Betta destroy it?


A regular 10g tank is perfectly fine. Excuse the extremely overgrown tank, but here is my 10g Betta tank:
View attachment 129058View attachment 129057
Also here is my 20g long: (same height as the 10g - also excuse the low water level :lol: )
View attachment 129056
As you can see, they grow very well in short tanks. In fact, maybe even better. In my 29g tank (taller than the 20g) they are starting to die off. I think it may have something to do with my light, but nonetheless.

In my experience, they grow faster, healthier, and more bushy if they are planted in the substrate. I suggest getting a pair of aquascaping tweezers from your LFS or from Amazon. The straight ones of the best for planting plants like this: Amazon.com : aquascaping tweezers (Any of those kits will work well. Just make sure to dry them off well after each use. The scissors can be helpful for trimming.)


Do you have a heater?
It would shed like crazy, it was like a dried out Christmas tree. I took it out a month ago and I'm still finding pieces of it occasionally. It did grow like mad, I was trimming almost weekly. I had it tied down to a piece of lava rock and stuck the rock down into the substrate and it did well. Just got tired of cleaning up after it, and my betta wasn't helping by dragging it around the tank. (He would literally bite it, drag it around, leave it, then go back and drag it around again. I wish I had gotten a video.)

I do have a heater, and it stays fairly consistent. It is an under the substrate heater (hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I hadn't gone that route, hopefully it doesn't quit out on me otherwise I'm in for quite the headache of getting it out and replacing.) But it does the job well. Occasional fluctuations by 1-2 degrees depending on the weather outside. (He's about 8 feet away from the front door so I know there's a draft.) But the water always stays above 76. (usually sits at 77/78 Fahrenheit)
 
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syren

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Now that I'm thinking of it and researching, I think I purchased a hornwort that was incorrectly labeled as a Anacharis. :oops: (hence why I still say I'm a novice lol) Which would explain the shedding. Our LFS has Anacharis so I'm gonna venture out into the tundra and grab one, quarantine it (not doing this roundworm thing again lol...) and pop it in once its ready.
 

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Now that I'm thinking of it and researching, I think I purchased a hornwort that was incorrectly labeled as a Anacharis. :oops: (hence why I still say I'm a novice lol) Which would explain the shedding. Our LFS has Anacharis so I'm gonna venture out into the tundra and grab one, quarantine it (not doing this roundworm thing again lol...) and pop it in once its ready.
Ok, that makes more sense. Hornwort has a habit of shredding itself. Anacharis usually never shreds, it usually “melts” if cared for improperly.

Anacharis is much more hardy and easy to grow as well.
 

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