Possible parasite on my betta, need i.d.

bugmankeith

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I posted this in a fish forum but nobody had been able to help.

My male betta has these round, whitish things on his pectoral fins, they appear to have a bubble in them and around them the fin is whitish and possibly a red streak from irritation. I have treated him with Maracyn because he had grayish slime on him and was flicking against the tank and loss of appetite, and Coppersafe which is for external parasites. Everything has cleared up, and he is looking better, but he still has these things on his fins. They are too small to i.d. even with a magnifying glass, and they dont appear to move, but he has more of them then he started with.
I have heard they could be fish herpes, fish lice, or something else, but I am not sure so I need your help.

The things are circled in red.

close up of the spot

full body shot, he looks healthy otherwise.
 

RoachGirlRen

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Nice to know that UB gets plenty of acclaim on the web :)

have treated him with Maracyn because he had grayish slime on him and was flicking against the tank and loss of appetite, and Coppersafe which is for external parasites. Everything has cleared up, and he is looking better, but he still has these things on his fins. They are too small to i.d. even with a magnifying glass, and they dont appear to move, but he has more of them then he started with.
Maracyn is actually an anti-bacterial medication, so it is best not to use unless an actual infection is present. An overall gray slime covering the body is often shedding slime coat due to skin irritation, or a severe protozoal infestation. Just for future info :)

It would help to have more info on your fish's husbandry to narrow down what he may have. Most parasitic infections occur opportunistically; they tend to "kick 'em while they're down" and we often see them occur in association with water quality issues, temperature issues, or other concurrent health problems. What temperature do you keep your betta at? What are your water parameters? How about husbandry - what size aquarium and how do you maintain it?

It is hard to tell from your photos, but it is possible that he has some manner of "fish lice" or a related ectoparasite. I would consider treating with Jungle Parasite Clear, which is effective for a wide variety of internal and external parasites. It would help to bump the temp up to 82 and add 1/2tsp aquarium salt per gallon as well. Not only with this speed along the parasite's life cycle, but (arguably; it is somewhat debated) the salt may tamper with the parasite's osmotic balance enough to make it stressed and thus more susceptible to your course of treatment.

Without an actual aquatics vet taking a look at it, of course, it would be hard to confirm what it DEFINITELY is. But this is at least a starting place to rule things out. Flashing is generally associated more with parasites than infection, but remember that all flashing is really indicating is some level of discomfort. Itching is common, but I've seen fish flash from the discomfort of ammonia poisoning, skin ulcers, and even digestive upset. If treatment with a stronger antiparasitic than coppersafe does not eliminate the symptom, you may need to investigate other possibilities.

Good luck and if you haven't already, do considering joining UB. We're good folk for betta info ;)
 

bugmankeith

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I'll answer some of your question if it might help.

Nice to know that UB gets plenty of acclaim on the web :)

What temperature do you keep your betta at? 78 F
What are your water parameters? PH is 6.8

How about husbandry - what size aquarium and how do you maintain it?
I have a covered, unfiltered 3 gallon with just live plants, and I do weekly full water changes with conditioned water (I use Jungle brand to rid of chlorine and wait a day before using this water) No other animals with the betta. I add 3 drops of Aquarisol and half a teaspoon of epson salt after each water change. I then wait for the temp to go back to 78 before re-adding the betta.

It is hard to tell from your photos, but it is possible that he has some manner of "fish lice" or a related ectoparasite. I would consider treating with Jungle Parasite Clear, which is effective for a wide variety of internal and external parasites.

I bought Jungle food for treatment of internal parasites, it's medicated food, but the fish doesnt like to eat the medicated food, it must taste bad.

I feed him hikari betta pellets, and frozen (bloodworms,brine shrimp, and daphnia) If he gets constipated which is rare, I give him part of a de-shelled pea.



Good luck and if you haven't already, do considering joining UB. We're good folk for betta info ;)
 

RoachGirlRen

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I honestly wouldn't bother add epsom salt or aquarisol with your water changes; good water conditions are more than enough to keep fish healthy regardless of the various remedies and preventives on the market. Epsom salt is generally only added when the fish is having some kind of a fluid balance problem, so adding it regularly is both un-needed and potentially stressful (at higher doses it can badly dehydrate freshwater fish). Likewise, adding aquarisol is basically keeping your fish in perpetually medicated water regardless of it claims to be a "preventive." Not only can this produce stress, but it can result in resistant organisms. The best disease prevention available is good husbandry, not persistent low doses of meds. Low doses of either aren't enough to kill nasties, anyways ;)

That being said, aside from the epsom/aquarisol, your husbandry sounds fantastic to me. Good temps, good water changes, nice sized environment, etc. I would say use Jungle Parasite Clear - not the medicated food (it is good in principle and lousy in practice; fish HATE the stuff), but the dissolving tablets placed in the water. Internal dosing is good in conjunction with external dosing even when dealing with stubborn ectoparasites, don't get me wrong, but you are expect better results if you pre-dissolve the dose in some tank water and soak their normal pellets in the concentrate before feeding it out than you will trying to get them to eat the antiparasitic food.

Best of luck!
 

bugmankeith

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Thanks for your help! if I have any more questions/concerns i'll let you know.
 

bugmankeith

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How much of the Jungle Parasite Clear do I use if my tank is only 3 gallons? The instructions say 1 tab per 10 gallons. Or do they have a liquid version? And is it safe on plants?
 

RoachGirlRen

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I would break the tab into quarters; your average 3g aquarium is holding more like 2.5g of water anyways. The packaging should indicate if it is safe for plants; I THINK it is, but I only recently started keeping any planted tanks, so I can't verify that from experience.
 

Arachnopal

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fish health

One of the biggest items neglected by most fish keepers is salt. All fish require salt some more than others. Fresh water requirements are small but still needed. If I remember it is 1 tablespoon per 5 or 10 gallons. You can find the salt at any fish store. DO NOT USE TABLE SALT
If you can also use filtered water. Reverse Osmosis is best but you can use any bottled drinking water if needed.
 

myrmecophile

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Parasite clear is fine in planted tanks. Don't be surprised if your tank goes cloudy a few days after using it though. This is not uncommon, but nothing to worry about. Personally though I dont think what you are seeing on your Betta is an issue. DO NOT waste your money buying salt at an aquarium store. Any type of rock/ice cream salt will be fine and much much cheaper.
 

bugmankeith

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I added the parasite clear so i'll see how it goes. I did not like however that on the package is says in California it had been known to cause Cancer, I dont know if they mean for the fish for people.
 

RoachGirlRen

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California has much more stringent labeling standards than other states, and the fact that an ingredient in it can cause cancer does not mean that the concentration in the medication nor the exposure time of treatment is sufficient for lasting health problems. I wouldn't be overly concerned.
 

bugmankeith

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Is it normal for the betta to be lethargic on the medicine. He moves a little and swims fine and eats, but his energy level is very low. Everything else looks fine, and I am seeing less of the things on his fins now, but should I do the treatment twice more like on the instructions, or should I stop now?
 

RoachGirlRen

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All medications have some degree of side effects, so they do often cause fish some degree of stress. What's more, the component ingredients of many antiparasitics bind to oxygen (or at least this is how it was explained to me), reducing the oxygen content of the water. Bettas, though they are labrynth breathers, still use their gills, so even they can be a bit stressed by the sudden drop in the water's oxygen content. If you get terribly worried you can try to create some water movement to better oxygenate things, but it isn't a huge priority. And yes, like all meds, I would fully complete the course of treatment as reccomended.
 

VickyChaiTea

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Hah! Looks like Ren already has it covered. :D I like how UB was the first place reccomended.

Also, Ren rocks and knows her stuff so you're in good hands.
 
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