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FAQs on Betta Diseases: Ich/White Spot

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Betta Disease Causes/Etiologies: Determining/Diagnosing, Environmental (By far the largest cat.), Nutritional, Viral/Cancer, Infectious (Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic: Ich/White Spot, Velvet; Senescence/Old Age, Cures/Curatives/Treatments,

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This This fish has white-spot, Ich... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm  and the linked files above till you understand... I would be raising the temperature... at least... Read, understand, act... and soon. Bob Fenner

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Need answer! Betta, Ich?    8/8/11
Hi. I had my beta fish about for 5 months. Every since I had her she been great. Except this week. she been having white bubbles spots on her body
<Perhaps "Ich"; Whitespot disease>
and when I feed her she jumps up out of the water to catch the food. I Know she's happy fish she makes bubbles. She's a lonely fish . I feed her every time she sees me and stares at my hand going up. The only problem that I need your help why does my fish have white bubbles growing on her body.
Thank you very much.
Your friend ,
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/BetDisIchF.htm
and the embedded linked files. Likely a cure can be effected by raising temperature. Bob Fenner>

Help! Betta hlth.  10/11/09
I searched your website and couldn't find anything that sounded much like my Betta's situation... so my last resort is writing you guys!
<Fire away.>
I have a crimson-colored male Betta fish that is about 4 years old. I have had Bettas live up to 8 years before, so unless that is just really unusual, I don't think it's old age.
<It is indeed very, very unusual for Bettas to live this long. A good average for a properly cared for Betta is some 2-3 years after purchase (male Bettas being about 6 months old before they're sent to pet shops).>
Amazingly, I've never had a fish that's gotten Ich, however I think my Betta has just a touch of it right now.
<Have you added anything to its tank? Adding new fish is the classic thing, since Ick/Whitespot is very common at tropical fish shops. But even if you don't add a new fish to this particular aquarium, there's the potential for the parasite to "hitchhike" between tanks on wet objects, e.g., plants, filter media, nets, etc.>
I am planning to get him some meds for that tomorrow. I don't think that's the problem, though. I've always kept my Bettas in small Betta bowls, and NEVER had a problem.
<Hmm... not a big fan of Betta bowls, to be honest.>
I change the water and feed them regularly.
<How often do you change the water? The best way to keep a Betta is in a heated, filtered aquarium. Anything without a filter or without a heater will be inferior to a proper aquarium.>
Also use water treatments for tap water. I don't use heaters or filters, but my house is usually kept at about 75 degrees..
<Actually a bit on the cool side. As you'd expect for a tropical fish, unless your house is in the tropics (without air conditioning, of course)
air temperature isn't likely to be optimal. One reason your Betta lives longer than usual may be that it is cooler than it would be in the wild.
Now, before you get too excited, this is generally a bad thing, underlined, capital letters. Why? Because when animals are cooler than they should be, their immune system can't work properly, and their digestive system can't work at the right speed, causing problems with nutrient absorption and even food rotting in the gut. So, bottom line, while you might be "lucky", and in theory at least, wild Bettas are just fine at 24 C/ 75 F, domesticated Bettas, e.g., Fancy Bettas, should be kept between 25 and 30 C (77 to 86 F).>
and as I said, I've never had a problem.
<You can play Russian Roulette a few times and not kill yourself, doesn't make it safe. Expert opinion overwhelmingly agrees that Bettas are better (if you'll pardon the pun) kept in filtered, heated aquaria. There's no serious debate on this issue, even though lots of Betta keepers keep their Bettas in bowls. The problem is that the vast majority of Bettas kept that way die prematurely, often very quickly. There are no advantages to keeping Bettas in bowls, except that it's a cheaper way to keep them. They are always, repeat ALWAYS, better in filtered, heated tanks.>
Well, a couple weeks ago, my Betta got sort of a sore on his head. I thought maybe it was from getting a little too rambunctious and banging around in the bowl, as he used to do sometimes... but the sore has gotten bigger, and he looks AWFUL now.
<Secondary infection. As I said above, when fish are too cold, their immune systems can't work. In unfiltered aquaria you also have higher levels of ammonia and nitrite than in correctly filtered tanks. Feel free to check the ammonia level of your bowl; if it isn't zero, then that's likely why the wound got infected.>
I've tried changing his water.. then I moved him to a bigger environment... about 2 gallons.
<Still too small. Bettas need tanks around 5 gallons upwards for proper conditions. If you think about this idiotic "they live in puddles" idea Bettas keepers seem attached to, it's obviously rubbish. Bettas live in streams and lakes, and they need just as much swimming space as any other fish. Fancy Bettas admittedly can't swim well because we've bred them to have cripplingly long fins, so a 5 gallon tank with a gentle air-powered sponge filter is adequate.>
He looks a little bloated and floats on top of the water. When I tap the glass, he will swim, but then he goes right back and floats on his side.
His sore is literally open.
<Secondary infection; use an antibiotic (i.e., not some silly tea-tree oil thing). Maracyn is the "drug of choice" in the US for secondary infections of this type. Elsewhere you may need to get antibiotics from a vet, or else try an antibacterial formalin and/or copper medication, e.g., eSHa 2000.>
It goes all the way from his eye to his mouth and the dead center of his head. It has a couple tiny whitish spots in it... I'm not sure if they're bone or Ich.
<Likely rotting flesh, dead skin. Basically gangrene.>
I tried putting him in salt water and he did swim around more, but his sore started to bleed! After a few minutes it stopped and I put him back in his normal water. He won't eat, either. I'm just trying to give you all the background I can on the situation... but my question to you guys is: What could this huge sore be, and how can I fix it?! Thank you SO much. -Amanda
<Cheers, Neale.>

Betta Sorority with Ich: FW disease, reading 4/6/2009
Hi there!
<Hi Anitra>
I looked around the site and couldn't find anything specific to what I was looking for since I have some parameters that leave me looking for options besides the standard...
<Fire away.>
I have a 10 gallon heavily planted tank with a sorority of Bettas who have come down with Ich.. I also have about 7 ghost shrimp in there as well.
What is the best treatment option- since I have shrimp that are almost, if not, impossible to catch and remove. Also, if you recommend aquarium salt, what is the best dosage for curing, and how do I measure salinity accurately during this?
<All answered on this page and the linked pages at the top:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwich.htm Though with a planted  tank, treatment is best done in a separate tank >
Plants include Elodea, Anubias and various large leaf swords, along with a plant that I can never remember the name to.
Temperature is currently at 80F and held stable. I can see the fish are not comfortable- I have a feeling the Ich came in with my new batch of ghost shrimp. I now see the reasoning behind quarantining- I just never realized that ghost shrimp can be carriers, even if they can't be hosts.
<Cysts can be transmitted by any wet object, thus the value of quarantine.>
Any help is appreciated! Thank You!
<My Pleasure>

I have a female Betta fish. Ich & More... no reading   3/6/08 I have had her for about 3 months. She was a healthy fish when I bought her.? She has a bulging belly. I haven't changed anything in her diet and I change the water regularly. She lives in a ten-gallon aquarium with 2 other female Bettas and an algae eater. There? are live bamboo and lily plants? in the tank. It has an internal filter. None of the other fish are having any problems. There are pictures from different angles attached. The bulge is only on one side. I have moved the fish to a? bowl so that the other fish wouldn't mess with it. It has low energy and is not eating well.? Can you help me? <... This fish has white-spot, Ich... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above till you understand... I would be raising the temperature... at least... Read, understand, act... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: I have a female Betta fish. Ich  03/11/2008 Thank-you for the help. The Ich has mostly fallen off of the fish and she is no longer bloated, but now she has a hole in her side. I have attached a picture showing the hole. Is there something I can do about this? Is it caused by anything? Please get back to me ASAP. <... just keep reading where you were referred to. BobF>

Ich Vash!  Betta is Ich-y  11/30/05 I bought this Betta a week and a half ago. His name is Vash. He has white spots on his body. He was acting healthy yesterday and I saw no signs of anything wrong. Today I noticed the Ick and went to the store and bought Ick Away. I clean his water very regularly, but I'm afraid I feed him too much. Could that have caused it? <You should feed very, very sparingly in this small tank.> I'm so confused. He is in a 2.5 gallon tank and seemed extremely healthy (flared fins and playful movements). <Yup, Bettas are great.> Why did he get this disease? I just lost another beta exactly a week ago. <He may have already been carrying it at the store (the life cycle of Ick is around 4 weeks).> This one is my favorite and I really don't want him to die. I'm sorry, I didn't have time to read through all the sites on WetWebMedia. Is there anything else I can do? I'm afraid I will lose him very soon. Please respond as soon as possible. <I would gradually raise the temperature in the tank (you'll need a small submersible heater) to over 85 degrees. This will speed up the life cycle of the Ick. Add aquarium salt according to the directions on the package to kill parasites. Replace part of the water frequently with dechlorinated water of the same temperature, salted enough to keep the salt concentration at the correct levels. When removing water from the tank, try to suck it from the bottom. Continue this treatment (heat and salt) for a couple of weeks after all symptoms have disappeared. After this, do read up on nitrogenous wastes (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate), and how to keep them in check.> Thank you. -Katie- <Welcome. Best of luck to you and your Anabantoid friend. John> 
Ich! Vash!  Getting Better  12/1/05
Thank you so much, John, for the quick reply. <You're welcome> You probably saved my fish. Vash is clearing up. He only has a few spots now. <Good to hear. Remember, Ich has a 4-week lifecycle... and is only visible on the fish for one week of this, so be sure to follow the recommended course on the bottle through to completion. Vacuuming off the bottom will also help to get rid of parasites which have dropped off the fish.> I wasn't able to go purchase a heater last night, but I turned up the heat in the dorm. <Stability is key here> The Ick Away seems to have done the job for now, but I am still concerned. Should I continue the treatment? I'm afraid I have become rather paranoid about Vash after Wolfwood (my other Betta) died last week. Wolfwood's bowl sat next to my "super loud" alarm clock. Could that have been a factor in his death? <It's always important to limit stress factors in fish, especially in such small quarters> I don't know what was wrong with him. He wouldn't eat and he laid vertically at the bottom of the bowl with his tail straight up. He swam on his side and had to do complex acrobatics just to get up for air. It became increasingly harder for him to do so. He eventually gave up and dove down into the rocks as fast as he could and didn't attempt to get air any more. I don't know if it was the lack of air or the force of the impact that killed him. Could he have had a swim-bladder problem? <I'd suspect water quality issues.> As for Vash, do I have to look online for a heater for so small a tank (2.5 gallons) or can I get one at Wal-Mart or PetSmart? <I can't say (don't have such stores locally). It may even be cheaper to just buy a cheap 5g tank and a 50W heater. Then, with a small hang-on filter, you have the perfect tank for a Betta.>  Also, should I purchase rock salt and pH test strips? <Nitrite and ammonia test kits will be of more use here.> Another question I have concerns my friend's Bettas. She keeps her room fairly cold (probably around 60 degrees), and she keeps them in rather small bowls. Her fish have been doing fine for months now. Is this a fluke? <It can be done -- these fish are very hardy. Unfortunately, they all-too-often suffer for this.> I gave her Vash's old bowl after I bought the tank for him, but it still doesn't seem big enough. Her fish often change to a grayish color when the water gets dirty but become vibrant again once their bowls are cleaned. She changes the water once a week, but that doesn't seem enough for such a small bowl. Sorry for writing so much.  <You're very welcome. Good luck with Vash.> Thanks again, Katie. <Best regards, John> 

Betta With Ich  12/7/05 My Betta is suffering from Ich. I have noticed that his tail is becoming increasingly ragged and I am finding pieces of it on the bottom of his tank. Could this be from fin rot, or could the holes left by the parasite be making it more susceptible to tearing? The pieces of tail are scattered within close proximity to his decorative Roman columns. Could he be tearing his tail on that when he goes to scratch himself? I need to know whether or not to treat him for fin rot. Is it bad to mix medication for fin rot and Ich? What is the best medicine (in your opinion) that works for each disease? Some websites say that Ich medication should be coupled with bacterial medication to fight secondary infection. Is this necessary? If so, is it safe to combine medicines for Ich, bacteria, and fin rot or would it unduly stress out my Betta? <Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and change the filter. Heat the water up to 82 F. Treat with Rid-Ich+ by Kordon and treat with Nitrofuranace at the same time. follow the directions on the bottles.-Chuck> 

I Thought He Had Ich...  12/5/05 I thought that my Betta had Ick because he had white spots, but they went away after a day. He is still scratching though. He likes to but his face in the smooth rocks on the bottom of the tank. He didn't do that before. I looked more closely and found that there is a red break in the pearly scales that cover most of his head. It is right in front of his gills. His body is red so I wonder if it was always like that and I failed to notice, or if its a symptom of something. Is there a disease that has scratching, quick-fading white spots, sluggish then erratic movements, and red slashes by the gills? Is it Ick or something else? The red marks are really throwing me off. Please help. Thank you, Concerned Betta Owner. <Lindsay, your Betta likely still has Ick. The white spots are only visible on the fish for one out of the four-week lifecycle of the parasite. I would treat by slowly raising the temperature to 85 degrees, and salt the water with aquarium salt, according to the directions. During this time, perform regular water changes, being sure to salt the replacement water the requisite amount. Please also read up on "cycling" a tank and how to test for water quality. Best regards, John> 

Betta With Ich  - 01/03/2006 My Betta has Ich. The instructions on the medication say to give the   recommended dosage every day until cured. I was wondering if my tank  doesn't have a filter, should I still give the dosage every day? Will the medicine build up inside the tank and poison my fish? The bottle also says  to remove the carbon filter (which I don't have). Is this because it will suck  up all the medication? Please help... I am very confused. I don't want to  over-help the little guy. < You Betta got Ich from the water being too cold and by being exposed to the parasite. Treat as prescribed on the bottle. Try to get the water temp up to 80 F. Do 50% water changes every day before medicating. In three to four days you should see some improvement.-Chuck>

Betta with Ich?  9/25/05 Hi Again, so sorry to bother you all again. I have a 3 gallon Eclipse tank with a bio filter that has been set up for approximately 8 months.  I have a heater that keeps the water at a very consistent 80 degrees, I have several live plants, java ferns mostly and a Bolbitis, I have 1 male Betta who I have had for 7 months.  He has never shown any signs of illness including lack of appetite.  I check the water regularly for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, they are all within the proper levels...0, 0, 5-10 respectively.  I have an airstone in the back corner that is low bubbling to circulate the water in the corner.  I change 25 percent of the water every week faithfully and vacuum the gravel.  I add Aqua Nova each time.  I change the carbon filter cartridge every 30 days and clean the pump.  He eats a variety of food changing around each day a combination of two of either Hikari pellets, Hikari freeze dried shrimp, bloodworms and daphnia.  He has a wonderful appetite...but, this Betta developed fin rot and I asked for and followed your advice and treated him with a compound antibiotic.  After I finished with treatment, I did a 70% water change and added 1 tsp of aquarium salt.  Well, his fins appear to be coming back now but 2 nights ago when I looked at one of his pectoral fins on the side it has a white spot!  It looks like an Ich spot but there is only one.  I began upping the water changes to 20% each night instead of one 25% each week.  The spot has not gotten any bigger, but now I am worried I need to treat him for something else because it's there but I am not sure what.  Is it possible for a fish to have one Ich spot?  Could this be more fungus or a weird bacteria? Just cannot imagine what on earth the problem is at this point.  I have KanaPlex, I have Tetracycline, I have Maracide, I have Jungle Fungus Eliminator, and I have BettaMax on hand. ..could you please advise me as to what I should do or try, truly, I am lost.   I really do not want to medicate him more and with the wrong thing if I should not. Thank you, I do not know what my fish and I would do without you guys!  Sue < You Bettas fins may have initially got caught in the filter intake and tore his fins. Then the fin rot may have gotten a hold. When fish are stressed they are prone to come down with almost anything. You fish indeed may have Ich. Keep up on the maintenance and watch him closely for the next few days. If more spots appear then treat with Rid-Ich by Kordon.-Chuck>

Just a Few Basic Questions Hi, I just have a few questions about my Betta. First off, is a 2.5 gallon tank big enough or should I get a bigger one? I'm contemplating on a new filter, right now I have a sponge filter, is it adequate enough or should I really consider buying a power filter? And what recommendations do you have? Also, is it okay for me to put marbles on the bottom of my tank or should I include some gravel too? And one more! ;-) My fish has Ick, but he only has two spots so far, the one on his face left after I added some aquarium salt, and my friend has some "Ick away" by Wardley, is that brand okay or should I buy a different one, I want to stop the Ick before it gets worse. My Betta has been acting sort of weird, ever since I put him in his new tank he sometimes goes spastic and swims up and down and in circles really fast, is that normal? Or is there something wrong? The water is at the right temp. and I put water conditioner in it (TetraAqua "AquaSafe"), so is he just being himself or is there something I should do? And just a curious question I guess, whenever I turn the lights off in my room, but he charges at the glass with his gills flared and his fins open wide, I assume that he can see his reflection better, does he think there is another fish in the tank or is there some other purpose for it? Thank you for your time!! Chelsey W. <Great set up for a Betta. First problem to deal with is the Ick. All you need is salt. Read here for it's proper use. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showquestion.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32 I would not use the Ick Away, salt will do the trick. Leave the bottom bare until treatment is finished. Do water changes with a siphon from the bottom. That's where the Ick reproduces. Always mix the same concentration of salt in to the new water before adding it to the tank. Turn the temp up to 84 and increase the air going to the sponge if possible. Continue treatment for at least two weeks after the last spot drops. After that you can add marbles if you like. I like gravel, but it's up to you. I think you're right about why he's charging the glass. As long as he doesn't bang his head too hard it's not a problem. When you get the Ick cleared out you will need to re establish the beneficial bacteria in the sponge. Read here.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm Never wash the sponge. Tap water will kill the bacterial colony. If it gets clogged rinse it out in water removed from the tank. Sponges are great for removing ammonia and nitrite from the water after that bacteria gets established. Until then you should be testing and doing water changes to correct any spikes. Don>

A Betta With "Salty" Spots (1/4/2004) I really hope you can help me with my question. <I'll try. Steve Allen tonight.> We have had our Betta "Angel" for at least three months now and just recently I have noticed salty looking spots on her. <Uh Oh> She still seems pretty active <good>, but these spots do have me worried. She is my daughters fish, and my daughter and her are a great team, whenever my daughter comes to the tank Angel starts swimming as fast as she can back and forth, like she is showing off for my daughter. These spots have started to worry me though. They are small and grayish in color, like I said above, a salty look to them. Please help me out ASAP. Thanks, Melissa <Well Melissa, it sounds to me like you might be dealing with a case of freshwater Ich. Start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm Read the article and all the FAQ & linked articles. If it does look like Ich, the articles explain how to treat. You might also wan to look for the book "Manual of Fish Health" by Dr. Chris Andrews and associates. Hope this info helps.>

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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