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FAQs on Betta Diseases/Health 31

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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,
FAQs on Betta Medicines
: Betta Medicines period, Antibiotics/Antibacterials, Anti-Protozoals (Metronidazole, eSHa...), Copper, Formalin, Malachite Green, Anthelminthics, Organophosphates, Salts, All Other Betta Med.s,

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Help with Betta; hlth.     5/20/16
I'm not sure if you'll be able to help me, but it's worth a shot.. I rescued a Betta from my local grocery store a little over a year ago. He was in a tiny cup on display and I seen him there for at least a couple weeks before I decided to rescue him from that tiny cup :( he has been in perfect health since I brought him home. He lives in a 5.5 gallon tank with a filter & heater. His water stays at 80‹ and gets weekly water changes..
<Very good conditions>
A couple days ago I noticed he wasn't acting like his normal chipper self. A day or two later I noticed a little hole (possibly a wound) on the side of his gill cover that seemed to have something white growing out of it. There was only one white spot, it wasn't fuzzy and it was larger than a grain of salt. I started treating his tank with jungle lifeguard as soon as I noticed it.
<Where would this fish have picked up a pathogen, parasite? Have you added any livestock in this whole time, feed live foods?>
He stopped eating for a couple days and was very lethargic. I also noticed he seemed to be trying to itch the spot by rubbing against the tank decor/gravel... After a day or two or treatment, the white spot fell off and looked almost like the "wound" was turning a grayish color.. Today I noticed the spot looked more red/orange and it almost looks like something is trying to get out from under his skin/scales... I've been researching this non stop for days with no prevail.. Although he has been acting like he feels MUCH better I am still worried about the spot.. He has started eating again & has been swimming around like normal for the last two days, unlike the prior days that he would not eat, laid motionless at the bottom of the tank, or stayed at the top breathing regular air at the surface.. I will attach pictures that I just took of the spot on him. I'm almost wondering if it could be fish lice, although I would have no idea how he could have contracted it. He has no tank mates and has never been fed live food.. Any opinions on what this could be or ideas for treatment would be VERY appreciated!
Thank you so much,
<What do you feed this fish? Are there live plants present? Bob Fenner>


Re: Help with Betta      5/21/16
It seems to be protruding out more and more. Could this be some type of parasite breaking out from inside him?
<... your files are too large.... And you should just read.... Start here:
and the linked files above. My guess is on this being a tumorous growth of some sort. BobF>

Re: Help with Betta      5/21/16
No live plants. He eats a variety of tetra Betta pellets, flakes & freeze dried brine shrimp. Although the today the growth turned white?
<Perhaps a bit of healing tissue>
It resembles Columnaris slightly, but the white looks like more of a hard white matter clumped together rather than a fuzzy cotton like texture. I'll attack another photo.
<Please re-size to a few hundred Kbytes max. B>
Re: Help with Betta      5/21/16

Sorry about that, hopefully these pictures will be smaller.
<Thank you. B>

Re: Help with Betta       5/21/16
Now the white piece fell off once again.. I've been reading the link you sent me. I haven't found anything that resembles his issue quite yet. I've actually been researching this non stop for days now & haven't seen one case quite like his. Thank you for all your help, I sure do appreciate it!
<Strange.... do you have a fish store nearby... that has, uses a microscope? A liaison w/ a school or institution that might render you assistance in sampling and looking at tissue from this are at 400 plus power? B>
Re: Help with Betta      5/21/16

I do have a fish store about 30 minutes away from me. I'll definitely give them a call in the morning to see if they could help out! I actually have a microscope that goes up to 400.
<Good to both>
I don't think I would know what to look for or at, but I'll be sure to ask the associates at my LFS if they would know what to do if I bring it in for them. Again, thank you so much!
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: Help with Betta     5/25/16
Sorry to bother you again!
<Not a bother>
Unfortunately I've had no luck with any of the fish stores within 50 miles of me being able to help identify my Berta's issue. I am become more and more convinced that this is somehow a parasite.
<I am not... in these further pix this appears to be a wound site. Perhaps this fish dashed itself against something sharp?>
I have no idea how it would have got into his tank unless they have been inside him the whole time & are just now starting to cause a problem.
<Highly unlikely; as alluded to before>
I have some new pictures that really look like some sort of worm with antennae. Since it's much more visible now,
<Can't make this out in your pix>
I figured I would ask one more time if you've ever seen anything like this or if you could possibly identify this mysterious thing growing out of his body. Thanks again! I'll attach the photos below.
<I would not treat this system, fish... with medications, but continue to provide good care/environment and nutrition alone. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help with Betta       5/26/16
Okay, perfect! Hearing that makes me feel much better! Thanks again for all of your help, it's very appreciated! Have a nice day!
<And you, B>

Ill Betta with potential worm       5/12/16
<.... 14 megs... we ask that folks limit to a few hundred Kbytes....>
Hello! I have a 2 year old Betta that has been ill for around two months now. I will try to condense this extensive journey as much as I can. When healthy my Betta was in a planted ten gallon with 6 pygmy cories, one Nerite snail, one blue and one yellow cherry shrimp.
<Good companions, bio-indicators>
Almost two months ago I noticed him excessively scratching against the plants, tank walls, and driftwood. He would go so far as to dig himself under the driftwood for a full body scratch. Soon he became extremely bloated and very skinny, even though he was eating fine, and one eye began to pop out and cloud. With the help of a forum I frequent, I decided to try
treating the tank with API General Cure and Epsom Salt because the scratching pointed to parasites.
<Mmm; not necessarily, no. Some aspects of water quality, environment, genetics will result in this behavior>
This proved to have no result besides killing the shrimp and one of the cories.
<Oh yes>
I was not present for the entire treatment, so I didn't see the body of the Cory, I was just unable to find him anywhere in the tank even if I removed everything and pulled out the other cories. I assume he was eaten.
About a week after the first round of General Cure I decided to give it another go, this time with the Betta in a half gallon hospital tank floating in the main tank. Again, there was no results. I should note that there was not any signs of parasites in his poop. They were perfectly clean.
At this point the symptoms looked much more like dropsy than anything. His abdomen had swelled to an enormous size and he struggled to lift it off the bottom of the tank. His one eye became fully clouded over to the point where seems to be nearly blind on that side, and it was popping out horridly. I've tried a variety of treatments since then. The first was
Epsom salt and Kanaplex, following the directions on the medication. That proved useless, so I tried the baths as directed by americanaquariumproducts.com. He got baths with Kanaplex, Furan 2, Epsom salt, and Methylene Blue daily for half an hour. I briefly tried keeping the Kanaplex in the hospital tank in addition to the baths, but it proved to hard on him. These baths did help a tiny bit, but not enough. The website said the medication could be safely double dosed for the bath, so that's what I tried, twice daily. It provided the most results. His bloat went down fairly well and he regained most swimming ability. Although he had maintained a voracious appetite and good energy throughout, he was still extremely skinny. Also, when viewed from above, the bloat was significantly worse on one side than the other. Because he had been going through over a month of treatment at this point and improvements had been made I decided to give him a week break and see what happened.
His condition quickly reversed. The bloat returned full force, making his stomach so heavy he would slowly sink to the bottom of the tank until it was pressed up against the bottom. His eye popped out even further to the point that I feared it would come out of his head. After his 5 day break, I continued the baths with a slight adjustment. Instead of Methylene Blue I used ParaGuard, which actually made his bloat even worse.
Today is when things got really weird. I've noticed a slight discoloration under his right pectoral, but I assumed it was simply a result of the extreme bloating on that side. He's always made it difficult to view or photograph that side of his body for some reason. After his bath tonight I was determined to get a good view of that side, and was very confused at
what I saw. It looks like a perfect spiral, much like a worm. It is a white circle with a dark spiral in it. I cannot for the life of me figure out what kind of organ displacement by the bloat could cause this impression on his side. It looks like a worm curled up just under his skin.
<Might be... I would see/read on WWM re Anthelminthics>
The pictures I got are poor because of the angle of the spiral and the bloat, but they're enough to get the general idea. Is this a worm?
I will post the pictures from oldest two newest and try to show the worst of his symptoms the best I can.
Thank you for your potential help!-Sabrina
<Mmmm; what to you feed this fish? Have you read here?:
Do so. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ill Betta with potential worm     5/13/16
I am so sorry it was so big! I could have swore I shrunk the picture size way down.
<Heeee! Like my bank account?>
Would links to the pictures be better in the future?
<Ah yes; if need be huge, or a big video>
I have read both of those, but nothing seems to quite fit him.
<Mmm; on just reading your input from the one message, seeing the images; my strong guess is that this is a tumorous growth... not directly treatable. Search, read directly on WWM re this supposition>
I feed him Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets, New Life Spectrum pellets, and Hikari frozen foods (bloodworms, daphnia, and Spirulina brine shrimp). He's fed twice a day, 2-3 pellets each time or a roughly equivalent amount in the frozen foods.
<I see>
I did get a better picture that shows the entire portion of the spiral that can be seen without having to flip the Betta over. As the email size is already so large (so sorry, once again!) I'm assuming a link would be better?
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Ill Betta with potential worm     5/13/16

If I attach more than one picture again I'll shrink it down to the size of my college student bank account. You may not be able to see the picture much at all, but it'll be small!
A tumor or cyst is what I have begun to think, but I can't figure out why a tumor would produce a spiral pattern. I did entertain the idea of trichinosis but it's unlikely.
<Perhaps another nematode>
If it is concluded that this is probably a tumor, would it be best to euthanize him or let him live out the remainder of his life?
<Up to you... IF the fish doesn't appear to be suffering.... There are spontaneous remissions.>
The mass/bloating/whatever this is does cause him some swimming difficulty and occasionally make it difficult to get off the floor of the aquarium.
Could he ever return to the main tank, or is he destined to float in it in his pitiful half gallon for the rest of his life?
<I'd return the fish to the main tank>
Thank you again for your time,
<W. B>

Re: Ill Betta with potential worm     5/14/16
Would you recommend attempting another method of deworming, just to be on the safe side?
<Yes; worthwhile. I alluded to this earlier.... Prazi.... B>
Re: Ill Betta with potential worm     5/14/16

I'll be ordering PraziPro today then! I really hope this does the trick!
Thanks for all your help!
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Betta is sick     4/24/16
I feel a little silly writing through email but I'm desperate. Desperate time calls for desperate measures.
At first I believed my fish had dropsy but his scales weren't protruding.
His belly has slowly expanded and has become white on the bottom. He has been sick since February 12th which is why I ruled out dropsy. I think it's a bacterial infection so I use Betta fix
<Of no use>

this week and have been using aquarium salt. PetSmart tells me my water is always clean
<What does this mean?>

when I take him to get help. I have no test kit and my aquarium is too small for a heater.
<Ah my friend; no. Bettas need continuously warm water. There ARE small heaters>
A one gallon tank with a filter.

I thought he might get better on his own but now he just sits at the top behind the filter, I put him in his cup to change his water and noticed that he would roll onto his side like he didn't have the energy to hold himself up. I've cried so much over my Betta. I don't think I have the right to own him. Their genetics are for color not survival and it's
hurting him and me.
Please help me.
Thank you
<I would add Epsom Salt here, and have you read:
1. What does my Betta have?
2. How do I treat it?
3. What am I doing wrong?
<Likely environmental issue/s; fix its world. Bob Fenner>

Betta- eaten away body area near anal fin and lump on tail        4/4/16
<K, C>
I hope you can help me with my Betta. I have researched and tried to find an answer to what is wrong with him.
<Me too>
5g heated aquarium 79 degrees
Tank mates are some shrimp and a Nerite snail
50% water changes weekly
He is probably 3 years old, in July 2016 I will have had him 3 years.
<Ahh; likely an important factor here.... senescense... old age. Please read here Re
: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BettaGeneticDisF.htm>
He eats well and does not act sickly though he either sits on the sand or up in the leaves. Does not or cannot swim for any period of time really.
His first symptom I noticed was this eaten away area near his anal fin. I am attaching a picture. He also has a large lump on his tail fin that is the same color as his fin but is raised with little black dots around it.
Its somewhere between 1/4-1/2inch in length. I don't have a picture of it but in looking through the FAQ I have seen pics of others with the same thing.
Hope you can help. I have been treating him for a month to no avail and am
on my last week of a different treatment.
Here is what I have used so far:
Week one: Kanaplex and Nitrofurazone
Week 2-3: Paraguard and .1% salt
Week 4: Maracyn 2 (Minocycline)
Week 5: this week, last ditch effort trying Kanaplex, Metroplex and Paraguard, trying to find a broad enough spectrum antibiotic that will work.
<Well; you've exposed this fish to most every thing that might cure an external bacterial, Protozoan issue.... I don't think the situation here involves these however. Unfortunately the problems here are likely due to "cumulative genetic defects"... getting olde. You may want to consider euthanizing this fish. Please see Neale's piece re here:
Bob Fenner >
Cindi L.

Re: Betta- eaten away body area near anal fin and lump on tail         4/5/16
Thank you so much for your response. I have tried figuring this out for the last month. You're the first one who said it was most likely old age/genetics!
Really appreciated. I ordered your kindle book :)
<Ahh; please do post a review on Amazon re. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta- eaten away body area near anal fin and lump on tail         4/5/16

I sure will.
Do you recommend I finish dosing this last weeks medicine? I think I have one more dose of Kanaplex and another weeks worth of MetroPlex.
<Yes; always worthwhile (as with human medicine) to complete treatment regimens. Bob Fenner>

Sick Betta       4/2/16
Hi there, I have a Siamese fighting fish, Sebastian, I've had him since January this year. Have just noticed this one bubble thing just under his jaw line near his under fins. I've attached some photos to show you. This has never occurred before. Is he ill, what do I need to do?
Thank you,
<Hello Julie. It's hard to say for sure. It looks like a pocket of skin tissue filled with fluid. Usually these are environmental, or more specifically, the fish has had its immune system weakened because of the way it's being kept and/or fed, and an opportunistic infection has set in.
Now, this is where I have to get a bit school-teachery on you. We do ask specifically people send images that are reduced in size, 500 KB for example is ideal, so it doesn't clog up the email system. When our email allowance is filled, other folks have their messages rejected. You sent four images, each over 1.5 MB in size! Next up, we also ask for the particulars of the environment. A photo and a message about your fish being
unwell isn't informative without context. This is doubly important with Bettas because the biggest cause of sickness and mortality for them is poor care. There are still people out there who think they don't need heaters,
don't need filters, and don't need more than a jar of water to live in.
Sad, but true. So please, help US to help YOU by providing some data. How big is the aquarium? Does it have a heater? Does it have a filter? Grab your nitrite or ammonia test kit, and send us the result. (On the other hand, if you want to do something aggravating and completely pointless, tell us "the lady in the fish shop said my water is fine" because that'll really send us into a tailspin!) If you have water chemistry tests, do those: the pH at minimum, but hardness is helpful too. I've cc'ed Bob Fenner, our Betta guru, and author of a useful Kindle book I think you'd want to read... at $6, cheaper than most of treatments and potions out there, so definitely going to save you some money in the long run...
Meantime, review the environment, check the heater and filter are working, and keep up with your regular water changes (using water conditioner, of course). The law of big numbers says "if your Betta is sick, it's probably the environment" so making sure the environment is right is ALWAYS the first step with these fish. Cheers, Neale.>

re: Sick Betta       4/3/16
Thanks for email, much appreciated.
<Glad to help.>
I decided to go and c proper aquarium place and showed them, they were unsure to. However they fixed me up some anti fugal stuff and a few other things.
<He didn't have a fungal infection. Fungus looks like a patch of cotton wool threads. Very distinctive! Don't add random medications.>

Plus one lady does up a special mix for Bettas, it has worms in it and i tell ya my sebie he just loved it.
<May well enjoy them. A good variety of foods is important.>
His good now. I always make sure his tank temp is good and clean it out once a week.
<I see you avoided answering my question about temperature. So no heater then? This Betta will be dead soon. Guaranteed. Bettas need tropical conditions, and unless you live somewhere tropical, your room temperature is too cold. Minimum 24 C/75 F! Please, get a heater. It isn't an optional upgrade. It's essential. Like taking a dog for a walk. Not something you can choose not to do.>
Its tank that has a plastic divider so you can have two fish.
<Bettas will go berserk if they can see each other. DO NOT add a second Betta!!!>

But i took that out as sebie is on his own. Its a three litre tank, but thinking of getting something of a 5 litre and also a real life plant, he has plastic in his tank currently.
<Three litres or five litres... both worthless; at least 15, 20 litres please for Bettas.>
I've found a good aquarium that knows about Bettas.
<Possibly. But if they told you it is happy in three litres of water without a heater -- they are misleading you. Yes, breeders keep them in jars. But in VERY HOT rooms where they keep water temperature around 28 C/82 F, and they also change ALL the water in the jars every day. This simply isn't practical for a home hobbyist. Hence, the kind, humane way to keep Bettas -- in a filtered, heated aquarium around 4-5 gallons/15-20 litres in size.>
So sebie is happy and that makes me happy.
<Good. But please, PLEASE understand this animal is a fish, not a Pokémon. It doesn't have a psychic link with you and it certainly doesn't want to be loved. What it wants is warm, clean water and a mix of foods. The same as
any animal really. Care for them right, and the reward is seeing your pet animal thrive over a long lifespan.>
The white bubble thingy has disappeared, so god only knows what it was about but it made me realise his not just any fish....we have formed a bond sebie and i so i needed to do my research and get expert advice.
<Expert advice right here. Your choice whether to ignore it. Choose wisely, my young friend.>
Thank you for your assistance, much appreciated. Kind regards,
<And likewise, Neale.>
RE: Sick Betta       4/3/16

Thank you Neale. B
<<Most welcome, Bob; though I fear this Betta will be receiving more "love" than "care". Cheers, Neale.>>
I do sense the same.... oh for learning, experiences that aid people in discerning sense/emotion from rationality/thought. B
re: Sick Betta       4/3/16

Wow Neale,
I can c your a really polite person. NOT!!
<Oh boy, it's going to be one of those messages I see...>
Thank you for your so called expert advice. If this is how you treat all your clients with such a lack of compassion then i am not recommending you to any of my friends.
<You weren't a client. I'm a volunteer, and I gave you precise and accurate advice for no cost. Let me state that again. I do not get paid, and you did not pay me anything. So you aren't a client. We deal with hundreds of
queries a week, and spend hours going through them, helping people. Mostly we're able to help people to save their pet animals. But sometimes people don't want to be helped. They don't want to spend the money necessary, or
don't want to change their habits. Not much we can do about that. But we certainly will state clearly that such people are putting the lives of their animals at risk. The reason I'm here, volunteering, is for the sake of the pet animals. End of story.>
Your lucky I'm an adult n not a child, i would b in tears by now n telling my parents that you said my fish will die.
<We all die. The question is when and why. In the case of a Betta, a healthy specimen should live 2-3 years in captivity, sometimes a little longer. But to do that they need space, heat, filtration and a varied diet.
Not love, not empathy, and not a cutesy name.>
If i was you get some people skills because obviously you spend to much time with something/someone that's so detached from compassion n mercy its rubbed upon to you.
<Actually, I have very good people skills. The fact I've got you all riled up demonstrates this. I managed to get you agitated and worked up. That was my intention, to knock you out of your complacency and make you question
yourself. What you do next is up to you. You can get angry at me, the messenger. Or you can deal with the message, that Bettas need certain things to thrive. Your move.>
My fish is perfectly safe n the aquarium you are assisting me are trained in this field so don't think I'm being another stupid person, I've also done my research, how do you think i came across your website.
<Problem is I bet 100% of your research is on websites. These can be written by anyone. Some of those people are good at keeping Bettas. Some are not. I'm demonstrably an expert. I write for fish magazines and commercial websites, and if you Google my name (Neale Monks) you'll see me all over the place. Pick up a copy of Practical Fishkeeping magazine and you'll see my happy little facing smiling at you from the fish health section. I'm not saying this as an ego thing. Don't need to impress you to make myself feel good. But I'm saying it to point our I *do* know what I'm talking about and I'm *not* trying to get you to spend money for no reason.
Compare and contrast your pet shop staff, who have a financial incentive to sell you stuff, including a new fish weeks or months own the line. If you can't critically evaluate the difference in motives, then that's too bad.
But doesn't make me a bad person.>
Plus i don't live in a house, n trust me my room that i rent is hotter than room temp.
<Your house is 28C/82F! That's very, VERY hot. I'd melt! And no, I don't trust you without some supporting evidence, like a temperature reading. I'm speaking for the animal here, who depends entirely on you. They can't go
shopping for a heater or a filter or whatever. Some folks are able to ignore animal suffering. Some folks prefer to be ignorant about the needs of animals. I can do neither.>
Also You totally missed the part whereby i said i would get him a bigger tank, but unlike you who gets $1000 a week as a pay chq, I'm on the pension.
<I understand. But I did read the bit about upgrading from 3 to 5 litres, and I commented that doing this is not going to magically improve things.
As one fishkeeper has put it, 5 litres isn't an aquarium, it's a vase -- put flowers in it, not a fish.>
Man i pity you, because from your response to my last email, you clearly have some serious issues with people.
<So serious I volunteer my time helping people and animals? Yeah, that's a terrible psychological burden.>
Furthermore this is not my first time owning a Betta, its been years since my first one n yes i admit i was uneducated back then n so he died, though i did live in cairns at the time which is the most tropical city in Australia, so it wasn't a lack of heat that killed him.
<For sure a tropical city should be fine, provided his aquarium is in ambient tropical heat and not a room with air conditioning.>
Instead of giving advice to people about their pets you might wanna consider taking lessons in people skills, because clearly you come across as a unkind, incompassionate and total people hater.
<I'm sorry you feel that way. Actually, no, I don't. There's none so blind as those who don't want to see... You clearly want me to tell you your Betta is going to be fine in an unheated, unfiltered jar of water. I'm not going to do that. And nor does your Betta. But I've done all I can do to help you from my remote island in the other hemisphere. The rest is up to you and your conscience.>
I will not be recommending you to my friends or to anyone. Thank you so much for your wonderful advice, i will c to it that the aquarium who is now looking after my sebie will c what you have written. I'm sure they will be tickled pink to know you think some higherly of them!!!!
<Tickled indeed.>
Good bye and i hope you get better peolpe [sic] skills soon before you make some little boy or girl cry.
Jules Screen
<Well this has been fun. We should do it again some time soon. Cheers,

re: Sick Betta        4/4/16
Dear mr monk,
Thank you for your advice and I'll do my best to take all you have suggested under consideration.
I wish you all the best in your work, life and family.
Kind regards,
<Glad to help, and best of luck with the Betta. Cheers, Neale.>

Betta; dis. diag.     3/14/16
I have had my Betta since just after May last year. I came home this afternoon to see what looks like a greenish/ greyish under his chin.
<Mmm; likely not pathogenic in nature then... unless you've been feeding live freshwater food/s, added live plants, other livestock...>
He seems to be swimming ok and eating fine, but I have also noticed he seems to be handing more than normal, he is in a tank with angelfish who seem to keep themselves to themselves.
His tail also looks like it has shredded.
<Mmm; the Angels>
It colouring under his chin I have only notice today.
Last week we cleaned his big tank out and put him in a tank on his own which in he seemed to be a bit sad and seemed lonely so we put him back in the tank with his angelfish friends.
Please can you advise what could be wrong with him, could he be sick or just getting old.
<Possibly either; or both>
If sick could you also please advise what treatment I could use.
<In case this is an infectious agent at work, let's have you read here:
Bob Fenner>
Thank you very much in advance for you help in making my boy better
From Yvonne
Betta; health; Neale's turn     3/15/16

<Hello Yvonne,>
I have had my Betta since just after May last year. I came home this afternoon to see what looks like a greenish/ greyish under his chin. He seems to be swimming ok and eating fine, but I have also noticed he seems to be handing more than normal, he is in a tank with angelfish who seem to keep themselves to themselves.
<Sometimes do. But as usual, the standard caveat: Bettas don't mix well with other fish, not because of aggression, but because they're ill-suited to community tanks.>
His tail also looks like it has shredded.
<Could be physical damage from the Angels (which can/do peck at fins, despite being long-finned themselves, the hypocrites!) or from an over powerful filter, or simple stress of some sort.>
It colouring under his chin I have only notice today. Last week we cleaned his big tank out and put him in a tank on his own which in he seemed to be a bit sad and seemed lonely so we put him back in the tank with his angelfish friends. Please can you advise what could be wrong with him, could he be sick or just getting old.
<Depends on his age. Assuming you got your Betta "from new" he was something like six months old when you bought him, and you've had him another ten months. So let's say he's a little under a year and a half in
age. That's not old-old by Betta standards, but certainly well into middle age. They can live 3-4 years in captivity, though in the wild they're more like annuals than anything else. A lot depends on his mood. If he's
swimming normally and feeding happily, I'd treat as per Finrot, review his living conditions and tankmates, and see what happens.>
If sick could you also please advise what treatment I could use.
<Do avoid the cure-alls (some would say cure-nothings) like Melafix and instead use a decent antibiotic or antibacterial that doesn't rely on tea tree oil or some other nonsense like that. Here in the UK, I'd be using
eSHa 2000, but in your part of the world other options may be available. As always, remember to remove carbon during usage.>
Thank you very much in advance for you help in making my boy better
From Yvonne
<Cheers, Neale.>

Betta Illness     2/27/16
Dear Crew,
I need your help as my Betta has white "stuff" on him and a grayish patch over his nose that was never white. This pic shows the grayish patch over his nose and the white "stuff" on his pectoral fin, which is also in other places on his body but not many at all (weird). I am at a complete loss at how to treat Tiki next.
<Could be extra mucous caused by irritation/stress, could be dead skin, could be a bacterial infection. Hard to say from the photo. Luckily, treatment more or less the same for each.>
Long story short, he got live plants for Christmas that ended up having 2 small slugs that disappeared.
The plants did not flourish like his brother's Neptune and the death of an Africa Dwarf frog, Athena, led me to Tiki's plight. I thought it was a fungus but it probably is not.
<Fungus is usually very distinctive. Think cotton wool fibres.>
I went the natural treatment method in his 2.5 gallon tank of just water.
<This is, in my opinion, too small. I know about Bettas being kept in jars by breeders, but that's not really practical for aquarists. How do you filter and heat the water? If you don't have a filter then water quality won't be good enough without daily 100% water changes (which is what breeders do) and without a heater the Betta will become too cold and become sick (breeders keep their jars in heated rooms maintained at 28 C/ 82 F rather than room temperature).>
I threw out the live plants, substrate and seashells.
<What sort of plants were you using? What sort of lighting did you provide?>
We are on Day 8 of 100% water changes daily with 2 tsp of aquarium salt and almost 1 tsp of Epsom salt and 1.5 mL of API StressCoat Plus.
<None of these will treat the above list of possibilities. To recap: salt is cheap but treats only a very limited range of parasites; Epsom salt is also cheap but basically works against bloating and constipation only; and StressCoat is used during transportation of fish to minimise some types of stress (hence the name) but otherwise has no particular value to aquarists.>
He is active and eating like a pig, but he is also a very strong spirit too. There is so much "controversial" research I have no idea what to do next as our 10 days are up soon.
<Here's the thing. The controversies exist mostly on forums and conflicts between some web pages, basically arguments between people who've kept a couple of Bettas and now think themselves experts. Pick up an aquarium fish health book though and you'll see the basic ideas about how to maintain tropical fish are very well understood. Have been for decades, with one or two outstanding areas of uncertainty. Bettas crystallize these problems
beautifully. Pretty much every aquarium book written will tell you to keep them like any tropical fish of similar size. But a few Betta people online insist they can be kept in some magical way counter to the laws of physics!
Unheated tanks with little water, no filtration, minimal variety of food. I don't know how this applies to your situation because you haven't said anything about heating and filtering, but I'm putting all this food for thought out there. While 2.5 gallons might work with a bit of effort, you will need filtration and heating, and for plants, some type of overhead
lighting (though be warned, Bettas jump out of open-topped tanks, and furthermore, without humid air trapped under the cover or hood, cold air can cause health problems to these air-breathing fish adapted to humid, warm air.>
It maybe Ich but he wasn't scratching up against anything. He has been plighted by this for 1 month before I caught it with Athena's ill-health.
Plus the grey patch on his nose makes me think it is not Ich but a bacterial infection. Will you identify what is wrong with him? If you don't mind can you clarify a myth from reality on aquarium salt. I know Bettas are freshwater fish but since I have used it with Tikster I think it maybe a good idea to incorporate it into every water change for Tiki and Neptune. How much aquarium salt would you add to weekly water changes for Bettas in a 2.5 gallon tank? Or would you not recommend doing that?
<See above; I'd be treating as per Finrot, using some trustworthy medication (not Melafix, Bettafix, etc.) but more like the old Maracyn 1 + 2 combination, or Maracyn Plus, or Kanaplex, or in the UK, I'd recommend eSHa 2000 as economical and effective.>
Thank you for your time. I stumbled on your website in my research and ended up reading the compassionate post on posting the right picture size.
So, for sure I thank you for any and all Betta care information you can give me as I appreciate you do this because you are passionate about it. I believe you when you say you are experts.
<Perhaps better to say: we have a lot (many decades) of experience of keeping fish, and that includes having made LOTS of mistakes, which we try to help others avoid.>
My next step is to bring Tikster to my Vet but it is winter here and I don't want to put him through that stress.
<If he's eating, a trip to the vet is probably not necessary. He's still in good shape. Medicate as per Finrot and he should recover, assuming the rest of his environment is good (warm, zero ammonia and nitrite, pH and hardness
within the range needed for Betta splendens).>
Another solution is Bettafix that an uninformed PetSmart employee recommended but anything from a company scares the shit out of me because I have a Betta and do not want to harm him. There are not that many places
to turn to help my Tiki-baby or if Neptune-baby needs a professional.
<You're wise to be cautious. Some PetSmart employees are genuine fishkeepers and have their own experience to draw upon. But most are minimum wage sales clerks that will have received a trivial amount of animal health training beyond basic shop floor display tank maintenance. If you've got $6 to spend, you could do a lot worse than download Bob F's "Success with Bettas" book that summarises everything you need to know about the species in a Kindle/eBook-friendly format...
Otherwise, there are all sorts of aquarium healthcare books on Amazon, and even secondhand copies of things like "Interpet Manual of Fish Health" are well worth the couple of bucks they'll set you back.>
Thanks again,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Betta Bloated, Epsom Salt Not Working HELP       2/18/16
You continue to be the best resource for me over the years regarding everything fish! I searched the archives on Betta Swim Bladder and Constipation and read and read but cannot find anything that says what to do after Epsom Salt baths....
I rescued a Betta from a local Pet Co. about 4 months ago. "Charlie" is housed in a 2gallon tank at work with a heater and filtration and has been a happy boy, making weekly bubble nests, active, and eating like a pig!
Went on vacation and came home to a bloated Betta (looked to me like swim bladder due to constipation?)
<Mmm; no....>
Parameters of water at that time were bizarre (PH was in low 6 range, there was Ammonia and Nitrates were high).
<.... toxic>

I did a 50% water change and fasted him 4 days and tried a blanched frozen pea. He did not bite.
I took Charlie home to watch him. Put him in a gallon bowl with a heater and fasted him again and tried pea, and no bite.
Began Epsom Salt baths once a day 1 TBS in gallon of water for 15-20 minutes and no relief.
Fed him a blood worm - nothing.
Have fasted him again 3 days but this little guy will not "go". He is as happy as can be, swimming properly just BLOATED.
<Try either live or frozen/defrosted Daphnia or Artemia (Brine Shrimp). Good laxatives>
Water is 0 nitrates, PH 7.4, 0 Nitrites 0 Ammonia and the temp is 78. I am doing water changes every other day because this bowl is tiny (1 gallon).
Attached are two photos I took today.
Cori Durkee
<Really; just time going by at this point. This fish has been "challenged" by poor water quality... a few weeks going by should see it improving. Bob Fenner>
Fwd: Betta Bloated, Epsom Salt Not Working HELP       2/18/16

Photos were duplicate, my apologies. Attached are correct photos
<Same resp. BobF>

Monty the Betta      2/1/16
This is Monty. He's a 3 year old veil tail that I bought as a baby. He is in a community 29 gallon. I know there's people who strongly advocate against community Bettas, but Monty was introduced as soon as I brought him home to other fish. His tank mates are 2 Otos, some ghost shrimp, cherry shrimp, 4 cherry barbs, and 12 guppies.
The tank temperature is kept at 80*F with a heater, there's a Rena FilStar canister rated for 75 gallons.
The tank is pretty well planted with 1 piece of driftwood. So onto the problem.
About 2 months ago, I noticed what LOOKED like a lumpy area on his side.
<I see this on your too large images>

I couldn't tell if my eyes were playing tricks on me. After it started getting bigger, I realized it wasn't just a phantom lump. It got about the size of an eraser on the end of a pencil and stayed like that for a long time.
I posted an image on a forum hoping they could help identify this thing. I was told it was a tumor.
<May be>
This afternoon when I got home from work, I noticed the lump had gotten bigger. It looks like a fluid filled abscess, to be honest. I've seen tumors and abscesses in other animals and Monty's problem presents like the latter to me. I can also see light that kind of shines through the stretched skin.
But I'm not a fish doctor, so I can't diagnose. But what is it really? And should I lance it like I've been wanting too or leave it alone?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/BetDisViralF.htm
Bob Fenner>

PLEASE HELP; Betta env. dis.       1/20/16
What's wrong with my beta fish ? He struggles to swim to the top of the bowl
<There. Right there is the problem. Bettas can't be kept in bowls
; get a 4-5-gallon aquarium, a heater, and a very gentle filter (an air-powered sponge, for example) and he'll perk right up with any luck.>
it's like he's straining to get to the top, his colors have faded from blue to gray, his tail has diminished, it's a lot shorter than it used to be and he is having a hard time swimming he just lays in the bottom of his bowl as if to be sleeping, and he is straining to breathe and he isn't eating.
<The thing is that Bettas are tropical fish. But unless you happen to live in Thailand where they come from, your climate is all wrong. Some people get tricked into thinking they can survive at room temperature. I say "tricked" but it's a trick that plays on lack of reading, because EVERY aquarium book states they need to be kept between 24-28 C/75-82 F. Anyway,
we get A LOT of messages just like yours, so don't feel too bad. You're not the first person to keep a Betta in a bowl, and sadly for this species, unlikely to be the last. But in any event, you know what's wrong, so it's an easy fix.>
Sent from my iPhone
<Ironically, the cost of the right set up for a Betta is probably about a month's worth of cell phone service, or less than one-sixth what a new iPhone would cost! So luckily for you and your fish, buying the right equipment shouldn't be too cost prohibitive! Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: PLEASE HELP      1/20/16
So would this be good for him ?
<So long as there's at least, shall we say, 3 US gallons of water in there, and ideally a little bit more, then yes, that's a good starting point. You will still need a heater of some sort (but a very small one for 3-5 gallons, 25 Watt probably ample unless the room is very cold) and a small filter of some type (I'd recommend a simple air powered sponge or box filter filled with filter wool as cheap and gentle enough not to upset him). Cheers, Neale.>

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