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FAQs on: Betta Diseases: Infectious (Bacterial, Fungal...); Bloating, Dropsy, Pop-Eye, Fin Rot... 4

Series FAQs: Infectious 1, Infectious 2, Infectious 3,

Related Articles: Betta Diseases, Betta Systems, Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting FishImproved (Better?) Products for Bettas!,

Related FAQs: Betta Disease 1, Betta Disease 2Betta Disease 3, Betta Disease 4, Betta Disease 5, Betta Disease 6, Betta Disease 7, Betta Disease 8, Betta Disease 9, Betta Disease 10, Betta Disease 11, Betta Disease 12, Betta Disease 13, Betta Disease 14, Betta Disease 15, Betta Disease 16, Betta Disease 17, Betta Disease 18, Betta Disease 19, Betta Disease 20, Betta Disease 21 Betta Health 22, Betta Health 23, Betta Health 24,

Betta Health 28, Betta Health 29, Betta Health 30, Betta Health 31,
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,

 

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: bloated Betta    9/26/17
Hi there me again sorry! My boy is doing ok, still a tad bloated so continuing with non pellet diet for now with Epsom salts in the tank.
<Ok>
His fins are now deteriorating however.
<Yes! Very>
A couple of the rays have snapped off his dorsal and overall they look thin. Does this look like fin rot to you?
<Mmm; no. More like environmental stress. How much Epsom is in this water?
You don't have ammonia or nitrite present?>
I'm now wondering if his bloat was bacterial after all and I should treat him for that? His eating and energy levels are fine. TIA!
<I would change most all the water out here. Bob Fenner>

Re: bloated Betta    9/26/17
Thanks for your reply! Ammonia & nitrite 0 and nitrate around 10. Ph is 8.2 but it's always been that. I used about a tsp of Epsom salts in my 19l tank - maybe I've left it in too long?
<No... all the above should be fine>
I'll do a couple of big water changes tomorrow. His rays have been getting thinner gradually. Aside from regular water changes and high protein diet is there anything else I can do to build them up again?
<Am given to suggest 25 mg. of Kanamycin, Kanaplex per gallon... changing the water every three days, three courses.>
Thank you so much for your help :)
<Welcome Karan. BobF>
Re: bloated Betta    9/26/17

Thanks for your quick response Bob! I'm in the UK and cannot get hold of Kanaplex. What else would you recommend?
<To go see your Vet re; or a sympathetic MD>
Would Seachem Paraguard do it?
<... no>
Am assuming you're thinking it's fin rot?
<Yes. B>

Re: bloated Betta       10/25/27
Hi wwm! Am after some more advice please as I'm unsure what to do next. I couldn't get hold of Kanaplex as advised by Bob for fin rot but had Furan 2 so have treated him in a hospital tank with that. I think the fin rot/melt has halted but his top fin looks stiff now. He also has done a couple of clear poos and appears a bit more lethargic. The poo yesterday was clear and very long and stringy and took ages to come off. Would you think this indicates internal bacteria or internal Parasites?
<Might be or no. The only way to tell for sure is to look at a sample under a microscope>
He has had brine shrimp which may account for clear poo. My problem is I have Kanaplex arriving in the next few days but not sure to use it or worm him or leave him with daily water changes for a bit?
<I'd stick w/ just the water changes>
Here's a pic of him now after the Furan 2
Pic of him before Furan 2
<Bob Fenner>

 

Re: bloated Betta      11/6/17
Hi Bob
Thank you for all your help! Sadly my Betta continues to not do well. I have been doing daily water changes but he continues to get thinner although his appetite is fine and he is now becoming lethargic. I decided to worm him with ESHa Ndx Levamisole and have continued with daily water changes, varied his diet and added Indian almond leaves but he's declining.
I wonder if I used the wrong type of wormer?
<Mmm; possibly. Am a bigger fan of Praziquantel products; but... what makes you think this fish has a worm problem? Exposing organisms to treatments w/o cause is deleterious to their health>
I've attached a picture of him. Anything else you can recommend?
<If memory serves, you've tried purposeful antibiotics. This issue, IF it is internal, bacterial, may prove almost intractable.... I would only continue to provide stable, optimized conditions and good nutrition here>
Water parameters are 80 deg, Am 0 Nit 0 Nitrates 20 ph 8.2
Thank you
Karan
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: bloated Betta      11/6/17

Thanks for your reply Bob. I wormed him after much deliberation as he was getting thinner whilst eating fine and was doing long thin poos. Is there really nothing else I can do for him?
<Take a read on WWM re Metronidazole and Bettas>
Maybe do water changes every other day instead of daily?
<Once a week s/b fine. Please, READ on WWM re Betta care. B>
Thanks for all your help!

Bettas and Malawi Bloat      9/30/17
Hey all! A few years ago, I had a couple of Bettas succumb to "bloat", unspecified. All advice in other forums start off with "feed it a pea", "he's constipated". I have found that never to be the case in my situation.
<Mmm; most cases of "bloat" are bacterial infection derived>
When the last bloat sufferer had to be euthanized, I did some researching and came across an article and a few other sources that suggested Malawi bloat in Betta fish. One particular instance, the owner had the swelling of his Betta aspirated and they found acid-fast bacilli (Mycobacterium perhaps??).
<Could be>
The disease appears similar in Betta and cichlids, save for one thing: Bettas seem to do pretty well and stay relatively active much longer than the cichlids. They do not succumb quickly. A quote from the article (I am sorry but I cannot remember where I found this or I would cite the author):
“Malawi bloat may be caused by the same pathogen, (acid fast bacillus) but I think it’s important to differentiate the symptoms in a Betta...
*Here are the symptoms in a cichlid:*
*QUOTE “The first symptom is usually a loss of appetite. Other characteristics follow if treatment if not begun at this point. These secondary characteristics include abnormal swelling of the abdomen (hence the name-bloat), an increased respiratory rate, reclusiveness, white streaky feces, and sitting on the bottom of the tank or lingering at the
surface. Red marks around your fish’s ***** or skin ulcerations might also be apparent. Symptoms only appear in the latter stages of the disease; therefore, it is important to begin treatment as soon as symptoms are noticed, otherwise you will lose your fish.”*
*Here are the symptoms in a Betta:*
Acts normal in every way except for ever expanding abdomen: doesn’t lose appetite, continues to swim and flare and no visible sores anywhere else on the body. A long, stringy discharge is often noted.
​Since so many people treat their Bettas for bloat by starving, giving them incompatible food (peas) etc., I wonder if more could be done in the way of finding a better way to treat this?
<... have you searched, read on WWM re? Useful antibiotic use and ameliorative use of Epsom Salt are standard approaches>
If only I still had my scope ( former microbiologist and micro teacher ) I would love to have a look at aspirates
to see if AFB were to show up in more cases.
<Me too>
What say you, I would love some insight. I think this is a very interesting concept.
​Once again, thanks for all you do!
Kimberley Mitchel​
<The search tool... on all WWM pages. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bettas and Malawi Bloat      9/30/17

Well, all I seem to find re: Malawi bloat has to do with cichlids and not Bettas; but, I will keep searching!
Thanks again Bob!!
<Sorry for not being more explicit, please use the two words "Betta bloat" in the WWM search tool, and look for the highlighted FAQs. BobF>
Bettas and Malawi Bloat /Neale chimes in

Hey all! A few years ago, I had a couple of Bettas succumb to "bloat", unspecified. All advice in other forums start off with "feed it a pea", "he's constipated". I have found that never to be the case in my situation.
<Indeed. The key issue is that bloating (Dropsy) is a symptom rather than a disease. Superficially similar to constipation, which can indeed be fixed by providing extra fibre in the diet. But Dropsy is an issue with fluid retention within the body, and that can be associated with bacterial infections, environmental stress, and likely other factors as well. There really isn't a 'one size fits all' treatment.>
When the last bloat sufferer had to be euthanized, I did some researching and came across an article and a few other sources that suggested Malawi bloat in Betta fish. One particular instance, the owner had the swelling of his Betta aspirated and they found acid-fast bacilli (Mycobacterium perhaps??). The disease appears similar in Betta and cichlids, save for one thing: Bettas seem to do pretty well and stay relatively active much longer than the cichlids. They do not succumb quickly. A quote from the article (I am sorry but I cannot remember where I found this or I would cite the author):
“Malawi bloat may be caused by the same pathogen, (acid fast bacillus) but I think it’s important to differentiate the symptoms in a Betta...
*Here are the symptoms in a cichlid:*
*QUOTE “The first symptom is usually a loss of appetite. Other characteristics follow if treatment if not begun at this point. These secondary characteristics include abnormal swelling of the abdomen (hence the name-bloat), an increased respiratory rate, reclusiveness, white streaky feces, and sitting on the bottom of the tank or lingering at the surface. Red marks around your fish’s *****
<I have no idea what part of a fish is its five asterisks.>
or skin ulcerations might also be apparent. Symptoms only appear in the latter stages of the disease; therefore, it is important to begin treatment as soon as symptoms are noticed, otherwise you will lose your fish.”*
*Here are the symptoms in a Betta:*
Acts normal in every way except for ever expanding abdomen: doesn’t lose appetite, continues to swim and flare and no visible sores anywhere else on the body. A long, stringy discharge is often noted.
<Here's the thing. Those 'symptoms' are completely generic. They simply imply the fish is sick and stressed. Swelling can be a variety of things as we've mentioned. Loss of appetite and reclusiveness simply mean the animal feels bad; white stringy faeces indicate mucous rather than uneaten food are being passed out of the gut; red streaks on the body or fins are indicative of bacterial infections causing inflammation or necrosis. Absolutely nothing in that list that is specifically one disease, let alone Mycobacteriosis. The only way you'd know if Mycobacteria are to blame is by doing microscope work on a sample of tissue. Anything else based on external observation of fish behaviour and generic symptoms is wishful thinking on the part of the aquarist.>
​Since so many people treat their Bettas for bloat by starving, giving them incompatible food (peas) etc., I wonder if more could be done in the way of finding a better way to treat this?
<I'm sure. The vast majority of Betta deaths are surely down to poor environment. The fact they're widely sold as "dorm room" pets to be dumped in tanks holding half a gallon of water pretty much sums are the state of play. Any Betta kept in an unheated, unfiltered bowl is already facing an early death, and couple that with their perceived 'disposability' you can see that the biggest issue we have to deal with here is simply convincing people their Bettas need heat, good water quality, and a suitable amount of living space.>
If only I still had my scope ( former microbiologist and micro teacher ) I would love to have a look at aspirates to see if AFB were to show up in more cases.
<Precisely so. It's done, of course, but with relatively low-value pets like Bettas very few people do the necessary microbiology work.>
What say you, I would love some insight. I think this is a very interesting concept.
​Once again, thanks for all you do!
Kimberley​
​<I will direct you to some reading, here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_2/mycobactera.htm
I think you'll find this very useful. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bettas and Malawi Bloat      9/30/17

Thanks Neale, for your reply. I suppose I should've kept it short and sweet and asked: since there have been instances of acid fast bacilli pulled from the swelling of Bettas with bloat, (forget the other symptoms in the quote,
comparing cichlids symptoms), would there be a better way to treat IF AFB was shown to be the cause in a Betta that is well taken care of?
<I'm not knowledgeable enough to answer this, I'm afraid. There are, certainly, medications explicitly sold for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. But otherwise your best approach here is to research the medicines on salt, identify the contents (Minocycline, erythromycin, etc.) and use them accordingly.>
My Bettas were well cared for and lived a long while, even with the bloat.
And it's true, the cheaper and more expendable the animal, the less anyone would take the time to find out.
I'm surely not trying to frustrate anyone...this is my curiosity.
<Laudable.>
Anyway, thanks again for all of your great advice and replies. No need to add to my musing here. Just thinking out loud with people who understand what the heck I'm talking about!
Kim
<Glad to be a sounding board! Neale.>

Re my Betta girls. (RMF, other ideas?)      2/1/17
<<I'd bleach/nuke all and start over... These situations are untenable... not easily "solved" to my satisfaction. B>
>
Hi a friend recommended I write to u to ask for a diagnosis for what's ailing my girls lost one yesterday morning and these two this morning.
<Sure; fire away!>
The night before the first death no obvious sign of illness next morning found the first one barley breathing looking like the two in the picture.
<Yikes! This sort of damage looks like a very dramatic bacterial infection or something equally systemic, in the sense it isn't a single wound or parasite, but something more like septicaemia that has affected the entire fish. Various reasons for these types of problems, but they rarely come out of nowhere. There's usually some type of stress, coupled with a gradual running down of the fish over days or weeks. But they can be caused by highly contagious viral or bacterial infections, though again, rarely does it go from a healthy fish to a dead fish in the space of 24 hours. Not
impossible, but highly unusual.>
Water parameters
Ammonia 0-0.25
Nitrite 0-0.25
<These two readings are a worry. Ammonia and nitrite need to be zero.
Not almost zero, but zero. Both these chemicals are highly toxic, and even "low" levels, across days or weeks, can kill a fish. What non-zero levels tend to show is that filtration isn't adequate to the "loading" of fish in the tank. Filter too small, flow rate too low, not enough filter medium, or not enough time for the filter media to become colonised with bacteria. A combination of these factors is not impossible. Bear in mind that if you aggressively wash filter media (e.g., by running under a hot tap) this will re-set the biological filter with every tank clean, resulting in New Tank Syndrome.>
Nitrate 10
Tank brand new running @ 4 weeks with filter and media from their previous tank.
<Assuming you carried across enough live media to jump-start the new filter, i.e., more or less half-filled the filter with mature medium, the tank shouldn't be cycling. But still, reflect on this, because something doesn't seem right with your water quality parameters.>
7 females from one supplier by post added on the 25th Jan.
<While something like septicaemia or Mycobacteriosis isn't impossible, my gut feeling is that water quality has somehow exacerbated the problem. Do also consider water temperature: must be around 25 C/77 F all day long, and exposure to lower temperatures is one very good way to weaken the immune system of Betta species and drive them to a premature death. Exposure to airborne pollutants, or even cold air, is another stress factor, though with those I wouldn't expect to see the sorts of symptoms you've got here.>
Thank you for any help.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re Betta deaths      2/1/17
Thank you for your reply. The previous tank was only 68l the new tank 160l
I've been doing 30l water changes every other day using stability and prime. Unfortunately the filter in the tank had to be changed ( not the one with the seeded media in ) but the filter that came with the tank as it trapped and killed 2 fish.
Tank temp is at 28 it has an AquaEL 2 and a brand new Oase filter in there I know the water isn't ideal re previous response but the ammonia and nitrite readings are nearer 0 than 0.25.
I'm treating the tank with Methylene blue as instructed by my supplier.
Whatever this is it's very fast acting they are active and feeding then the red patches slowly appear and then they die I want to try and save them.
It's frustrating not knowing. Anyway thank you for your help appreciate it.
<Methylene Blue isn't what you want. It's an antifungal medication. Your fish are definitely dealing with a bacterial infection (fungal infections commonly have white threads associated with them, so sick fish look furry or fluffy). In the US, you have a choice of antibiotics available, such as Kanaplex. Outside of the US, antibiotics are normally prescription-only from a vet, in which case alternatives may work; here in the UK, I recommend a product called eSHa 2000 for bacterial infections. As a rule, general purpose medications are rubbish, so avoid them; instead focus on medications specifically for internal bacterial infections. Cheers, Neale.>

Re my Betta girls (RMF, other ideas?)      2/2/17
Thank you very much for your advice.
<Welcome.>
The remaining girls are in the tank in Methylene blue since yesterday tested water earlier ammonia negligible nitrite 0 nitrate 5-10 previous results from 3 days ago no further fatalities and they seem much more active antibiotics arrive tomorrow Oxytetracycline ( sry don't know how to spell it )
<Close enough!>
in case needed. No more symptoms it's been a very odd situation I know I'm probably not out of the woods yet will monitor tank for at least 4 weeks before considering adding any more fish and if further fatalities will gut the tank and start from scratch.
<Wise.>

This whole thing has me stumped I must admit I'm not a novice I have 7 Betta boys and the new tank was an upgrade for the girls. Anyway enough rambling thank you for all ur help appreciate it.
<Glad to have been helpful and good luck! Neale.>

Afraid I have a beta with fin rot      9/12/16
<.... seven megs of uncropped....>
We got a male beta,
<Betta>
Elwood, just over 2 weeks ago. He has seemed very healthy and active - comes to the glass when he sees us, even chases my hand and swims into it if I put it in the tank to arrange his landscape. He is alone in a 5-gallon, heated, filtered, tank which was fully cycled before we got him.
<Good>
The cycle was just complete a couple of days before, so I’ve been checking readings every other day. Consistently 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and nitrate running about 20 ppm. The pH of our water is high
<How high? If under 8.0, I'd leave it where it is>
and we have been trying to lower it using distilled water when we do water changes, but no violent pH changes since he went in. It is currently about 7.4, maybe 7.6. I do a 50% water change weekly.
<All good>
Wednesday, I thought his fins looked a little frayed - but he’s so active it is tough to get a good look. (This was just after adding the potted plant in the background which, I realize now, might have a bit of rough edges on the pot.) I took these pictures as close-ups of his tail, as best I could get it, and decided he was OK:
<Mmm; not okay>
The next day, Thursday, I added a new, broad-leafed plant. Elwood loved it and began constantly swimming figure 8s around it and and broad-leafed silk plant next to it which are in the background of the pictures below. I did not notice that the coconut base of the new plant was very rough and that I had uncovered the slightly rough base of the silk plant when I added it. Saturday I did a 50% water change and all chemicals were fine. I didn’t check Elwood out, but I didn’t notice any problems with him either. Tonight, I saw that his tail was very torn. I took these pictures (he looks darker because of lighting problems; there has been no change in his bright blue color or visible change in the color of his fins, even at the tips):
<I see this>
It looks like fin rot to me,
<Me too>
but everything I read says that fin rot is caused by environmental factors, so that makes fin rot seem unlikely to me.
<Actually... something many new/er folks to the hobby aren't aware of; aquatic life often "shows" the effects of such stress days, weeks later. The root cause/s of the issue here likely occurred BEFORE you purchased this animal>

His tank has been kept very clean and he has not been stressed - unless adding the 2 new plants he seems to like stressed him. The coincidence of the new plants makes me wonder if he is tearing up his tail on the very rough plant base and/or pot.
<Mmm; not likely. Such tears look different>
My current plan is to buy more small gravel (like what I originally used) in the morning, wash it well, then make sure I have all the rough plant bases covered so he can’t rub against them. If that does not stop the progress of the fin problem, I think I have to treat for fin rot - correct?
<Yes>
Or should I start treatment now?
<I would treat now>
How should I treat?
<A few approaches. Please read here Re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FWFinRot.htm
I read conflicting things about salt treatment or chemical treatment. I am leaning toward removing him to a 1-gallon-tank (I have 2),
<I'd treat in place... easier to control temp., water quality... >
slowly bringing it up to 1 tsp per gallon salt, then switching him from that tank into the other - clean water with same salt per cent - tank every day so he gets 100% water change daily for about 10 days. I read that is a valid treatment; do you agree?
<The reading please. There's too much to relate to you expediently/otherwise>
Thank you for your help. Sorry about the long email, but I wanted to give you all relevant information.
<Cheers Elaine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Afraid I have a beta with fin rot      9/13/16
Thank you for your prompt response. I did read the entire site you linked, although I admit I’m a bit cross-eyed from all the input.
<There's a bunch>
I definitely want to treat Elwood in his current tank as you suggest. I have a biological filter (foam with water pump) and don’t want to kill the useful bacteria. I am in the states, so it sounds like my best bet is Maracyn, then Maracyn 2 if the Maracyn is ineffective - correct?
<Yes; in fact, these two antibiotics can be used simultaneously>

If I can find tetracycline, will that also work with my biological filter in my planted aquarium (I saw that recommended as first choice in one response)?
<Either is good>
We are in a relatively small town and I’m probably looking at a 100-mile round trip to get medications, or a delay of 2 more days in treatment to get them shipped (and I’m afraid to delay treatment). I want to be sure before I start my trek that I know what medications are viable options so I don’t make additional trips. My husband found and bought a medicine with active ingredient 1-CHLORO-2,2,5,5-TETRAMETHYL-4-IMIDAZOLIDINONE. It goes by several brand names: Marineland All-in-One Remedy, Jungle Lifeguard, and Lifeguard All-in-One that I know of. Would it work to save me the drive?
<Worth trying here; yes>
If not, I’ll just return it. Thanks again for all the help.
Elaine
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Afraid I have a beta with fin rot      9/13/16

I know I sent an earlier reply to you and realize we have a time difference and I couldn’t expect a response during the day today - your initial response was amazingly fast. But Elwood’s tail has visibly deteriorated since last night and I thought I had to act.
<DO change a good part of the water for now... gravel vacuuming if possible>

So I’m sending this update. I went back to the local aquarium store where my husband bought the all in one treatment and discovered they had E.M. Erythromycin (Erythromycin being the active ingredient in Maracyn),
<Yes; this is so>
as well as Tetracycline and Sulpha drugs. I started Elwood on the Erythromycin today. At this rate, if it doesn’t act quickly, he will have no tail in another 2 or 3 days and I thought speed of treatment was vital to save not just his tail, but his life. (He is the sweetest, friendliest fish I have ever known and we are very attached to him after only 2 weeks.) Please advise if you think I should have him on another treatment or have any other suggestions. Thank you.
Elaine
<Change about half the water every three days... or re-treatment interval. B>
Re: Afraid I have a beta with fin rot      9/13/16

Package advises retreatment - same amount - every 24 hours, with 25% water change every other day. Suggests total of 4 total treatments, but second round if needed. Does that sound reasonable?
<Yep>
Or would you do partial water change with each daily treatment? (Elwood never seems to mind a water change - the problem is keeping him from chasing the syphon around the tank.) Also, how long should I wait to see the fin rot at least slowing before I consider a different treatment?
<A week or so>
Elwood is still his usual happy, active self - no change in behavior or appetite which seems to be a good sign. Again, thank you for your quick response. You do such a good thing for all of us worried fish owners.
Elaine
<Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Re: Afraid I have a beta with fin rot       9/15/16
A progress report, ONE question, and another thank you. After 2 doses, less than 48 hours, with erythromycin (identical ingredients and dosage to Maracyn - I checked), the progression of the fin rot has stopped.
>Ah, good<
The edges of the tail and fins look clean and normal. (I adjusted lights to get a clearer view.) Of course, nothing is growing back yet, except I do see what looks like a bit of new growth on the forward-most littlest fins beneath his body. (Sorry about my lack of anatomy terms.) After I finish the next 2 doses and 24 hours for the last dose to work, should I just do the major water change and stop all medication if his fins and tail still look clean and normal, even though there is no re-growth yet?
<I would continue for at least one more dose/cycle>
I assume it is best not to over-medicate if the problem is fixed, but I am amazed that the medicine acted so fast.
<Mmm; how to put this: Reaction times, series often go much faster than terrestrial (experience)>
I had found some Maracyn Two and ordered it so I could start treatment with it if the Maracyn alone was not working, but at this point I see no point in adding it.
<I'd also just use the one/1 at this time>
Again, thank you!!
Elaine
<Thank you for your (upbeat, positive) report. Bob Fenner>

Re: Afraid I have a beta with fin rot      9/19/16
Hate to bother you again after all your help, but . . . I first wrote a week ago because our new beta <Betta> had developed fin rot. (messages below) Thanks to your help we started treatment with the equivalent of Maracyn on Monday and the progress of the rot stopped.
<Fish does look better>
He’d looked awful on Sunday and big chunks of his tail and lowest fin fell off on Monday. No more chunks fell off after Monday. Looking at him, the color of the tail and fins appear normal, except a bit of transparent/white which I think is new growth, and the 2 deep splits going half-way up the tail toward the body on Monday have disappeared. I’m planning to finish out this course of treatment with the last dose tomorrow, then water change and back to normal on Tuesday. Does this look like a beta on the mend that I don’t have to worry about unless the rot reoccurs?
<I would not worry; this fish appears to be in total remission.>
Again, thank you so much for your help and if you are too busy helping others to respond, that’s OK.
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Afraid I have a beta with fin rot        10/7/16
Not sure if I should include everything in earlier emails, but it lays out our original problem with a new Betta with fin rot. I gave him 2 rounds of Erythromycin and he looked fine, as you said below, so ended 2nd Erythromycin cycle on 9/20. 1st shot is what he looked like 9/19. I check chemicals every few days and they stay 0 ammonia. 0 nitrite, and 20 to 30 ppm nitrate. He looked great for a few days, then I began to worry again. 2nd picture is 6 days after 1st one. But, after that the tail smoothed out and showed what looked like new growth. I checked daily. Today, bad news. It looks shorter - although camera angles may be different - and tattered, although still not black. 3rd picture. That looks dramatically different from how he looked at the end of treatment and I’m pretty sure that’s fin rot again. Correct? If so, should I put him back on the Erythromycin which seemed to cure it last time and is it safe to do so after he got 2 full doses ending just 2 weeks ago? Since it came back so quickly, should I try Maracyn 2 instead? Could this be something in my tank causing the relapse? Fully cycled, 5-gallon, planted tank, with heater and foam filter and air pump. He is a wonderfully active and friendly little guy with a huge appetite which we have to control. He begins wiggling happily if we just talk to him, much less come up to his tank! Thank you in advance for all your wonderful help.
<Does indeed look like Finrot, which unfortunately can be very difficult to shift. There's two things to consider, perhaps three (this third: be sure to remove carbon from the filter if used). The first of the two main things is water quality and/or reasons for physical damage. Finrot will reoccur if the conditions are right, and usually this is either non-zero ammonia and nitrite. Nipping tankmates, scratchy rocks/plastic plants, over-strong filters are three things to consider. The second is the antibiotic. Finrot is more a symptom than a single bacterium. Aeromonas and Pseudomonas species are usually implicated, but it's a lucky dip whether the first antibiotic works (to some extent, antibacterial medications, like my favourite, eSHa 2000, are less likely to be resisted, but conversely, less likely to work on severe cases). So yes, switching to an alternate antibiotic than Erythromycin isn't a bad idea at all, and a lot of Betta keepers recommend using two antibiotics together, such as Maracyn 1 and 2, to maximise your odds of success first time round. Hope this helps, Neale.>



Re: Afraid I have a beta with fin rot        10/7/16
Thanks. Your expertise is always appreciated since I really have no experience. No carbon filter - I’m using a foam filter and I checked it when I got it with panty hose for scratchiness. No tank mates. No plastic plants or ornaments, only natural plants and 1 silk plant. Base of silk plant and some of natural plants seemed overly rough so I buried them under the gravel in the tank. Current from filter not discernible in tank - pump which is choked down to small flow going down to foam filter then bubbles up through rigid tube to almost surface. Roughest thing in tank is the top of that tube and Elwood avoids it because of the bubbles - and he’d have to be halfway above water to get there. My thinking is that the Erythromycin kills gram negative bacteria and has limited effectiveness against gram positive. If Elwood has a problem caused by gram positive bacteria, the Erythromycin could have put it in temporary remission, but let it come back almost immediately. Maracyn 2 is aimed at gram positive bacteria with limited effectiveness against gram negative bacteria, so it should kill any gram positive bacteria. I hope I’m right. If not, I may have to go to the local pet store and get the cure all Marineland All-in-One/Lifeguard All-in-One/Jungle Lifeguard (different brand names for same chemical) which they claim does everything but clean your tank for you. Their claims seem too broad to be believable, but I don’t know what else to try after this. Elaine
<Understood. I think you are doing the right things, especially with regard to antibiotics. I'm pretty skeptical about all-in-one treatments: if they kill everything, they'll kill filter bacteria (which is bad) but if they don't kill filter bacteria then they might not kill pathogenic bacteria either (which is also bad). So if people want to deep clean tanks, I'm a bigger fan of hot soapy water, hydrogen peroxide, multiple rinses, air-drying, and chucking away anything inexpensively replaced (like gravel). Good luck, Neale.>

Afraid I have a beta with fin rot      10/10/16
I emailed 10/5 about our Betta, Elwood, with a relapse of fin rot. I tried to include only the 1st explanatory email below and attached to it only picture of what he looked like 10/5. I started treatment with Maracyn Two on 10/6. He actually looked progressively worse 10/6 and 10/7. I wasn’t sure yesterday and I think he is getting better today. Picture below was taken today after 4 doses of Maracyn Two - last one due tomorrow then 24 hours, partial water change, and that round is finished. I never saw fin rot until Elwood got it August/September and I’m lousy at seeing if he’s better. Am I correct that he seems better? If not, I’ll switch him to Maracyn Plus on Tuesday (another gram positive antibiotic and he responded 1st time to gram positive Maracyn). If you agree he’s looking better, should I stop treatment after I finish this dose or give him a second dose? I’m inclined to give him another round of it. Thanks in advance. Elaine
<You should ALWAYS finish off the prescribed series of doses. No debate. Not doing so is a leading cause of antibiotic resistance. So with that said, yes, I agree, your chap looks a little better, and with any luck finishing the course should do the trick. It's often not a bad idea to do a second course of doses a few days later. Do a decent (say, 50%) water change in between, at least 24 hours after the last dose of the first treatment. After that, you should be able to do a second set of doses without any real problems. Often with Finrot the first clue things are better is the disappearance of the off-white or pinkish patches (where tissue is infected). The lost fin or skin material will take some time, perhaps weeks, to grow back. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Betta with Dropsy... Now; worse, new fish w/ infection       9/10/16
Hello,
I am so sorry to have to message again but I really need some advice.
Firstly Shine, my Betta fish with dropsy is still with us but sadly no better.
<Mmm; looks a bit better to me>
The rest of the fish from her tank appear well and we have had no problems.
I did something very stupid and I am absolutely gutted about what has happened. I have another 90 litre female Betta tank. It had 9 fish in the tank. The Ph is 7.4, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrate between 30 and 40. My local fish shop had some female crowntails. I noticed one of them had a white patch on it's nose area. I asked what it was and they told me it was a scrape or bite.
<Mmm; or bacterial>
I went against my instincts and purchased six. I usually quarantine fish but have never had any problems with this fish store previously. Also if I am honest I had no spare tanks as they all had fish in. I have three community tanks, one that Shine is in and six 15 to twenty litre tanks that I house my male Bettas in. I know it is no excuse and irresponsible but I
put them straight in with my girls. I know I am 100% to blame. They all looked well. I got up the next morning (today) and they all seemed fine. At lunchtime I noticed one of the new fishes on it's side with it's fins melted away. I noticed another dying, had gone from bright red to white and had no fins left. In an hour 5 had died of various symptoms from bloated stomach, melted fins and greyish patches on their bodies. My original fish were dying too. I added ESHa 2000 to the tank. Every Betta looks sick. They are nearly all gone. Strangely the Otos in the tank appear okay. I don't think I can save any. I have enclosed a photo of two fish that are barely still alive. Yesterday they were vibrant with solid colour. These two appear to have the same markings on their body that the fish in the shop had.
My husband went back to the shop and told them what was happening. They say they have had no dead fish. I am highly doubtful as they only had 3 left and yesterday afternoon there was many. He asked what he should do with the tank to clear it of whatever is killing the fish. He was told to do nothing as once the last fish dies the virus or parasite will be dead. Is that right?
<Right? Not what I'd do; no>
I would have thought that it would still have been in the gravel or water.
I trust your opinion more. Whatever is killing them is so aggressive and acts fast. I tried to research what it might be but I cannot find any information that covers how they are dying. It seems to be eating away at them. Months ago I had a Platy with fin rot and it was nothing like this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this
Sammie
<... For accurate diagnosis would need to at least sample/scrape the live fish outside, possibly some dead ones in organs of the body internally ... maybe then culture... look at under a microscope. But if these were mine... I'd treat for infectious disease. Please read through here Re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/BetDisInfeF.htm
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_2/mycobactera.htm
Bob Fenner>

Columnaris?

Re: Betta with Dropsy         9/14/16
Hi,
I thought I would give you a quick update. I did follow your advice in regards to my female Betta Shine who had dropsy. Sadly the bloating did not go away. She hung on for nearly two weeks but passed away this morning.
Thanks for your help
Sammie
<Thank you for this follow up Sammie. BobF>

Betta with Dropsy
Hi,
I wonder if you have any suggestions. My Betta tank has just got over having white spot. I have 10 female Bettas and two Oto catfish in a 90 litre tank. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20 and the PH lately has been higher than usual at 8. I went away for a couple of days. My son has been feeding the fish. I have got back and noticed Shine, one of my girls is massive. Very swollen belly and all her scales are sticking out. I had a quick look on the internet and it seemed to confirm my suspicion of dropsy.
<Maybe; or egg-laden perhaps>

I haven't had a fish with dropsy before. I have moved her into a little tank on her own and added ESHa 2000 as it says to use for dropsy.
Everything I have read says that it is not usually treatable. Do you have any suggestions as to anything that might improve her chances?
Thank you.
Sammie
<I do. I'd feed foods that have laxative effect, like Daphnia, Artemia (frozen/defrosted is fine); and administer Epsom Salt per your reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/dropsyfaqs.htm
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta with Dropsy       9/5/16

Thank you so much for your advice. The help you all give is invaluable.
<Ahh>
She looks more bloated than egg laden and absolutely huge. Going to get some Epsom Salt from the shops now before they close and hopefully it will make my Shine better. Sammie
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Betta with Dropsy    9/6/16

Hi again,
I have been treating my Betta with ESHa 2000 and Epsom Salts in a little tank on her own because of the suspected dropsy. She is still as bloated but swimming about as best she can. Tonight I noticed another female Betta was really bloated, was swimming upside down and died.
<Yikes>
A couple of hours earlier she was swimming round the tank looking normal.
Ph is 8.0, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 10. Is there something in particular that might be causing this.
<Did I refer you to our section on Dropsy, Dropsical conditions archived on WWM? Yes; I see this below... please re-read the links. These issues are principally "caused" (resultant from) environmental and nutritional issues... some insults resulting in fluid leaving cells, raising the pressure in intercellular space forcing the body to bloat, scales stick out. CAN be traced to various microbial infections, high populations, but this is a secondary effect... again the env. and nutr. as primary>
I have 8 other Bettas in the tank and would hate for them to get sick too.
I feed them a combination of foods. Mainly pellets 3 each and once a week blood worms
<Mmm; I'd be careful with these last... Sewer Worm, Chironomid (fly) larvae are known to be involved in such troubles. IF you feed, ONLY use a proven, highly processed brand (e.g. Hikari), and sparingly at that>
or Artemia. None of them will touch daphnia. Once a week I put a couple of cooked, shelled peas in the tank. I have had them in this tank together for about four months (90 litres). I do a 50% water change once a week and use Fluval water conditioner and Fluval biological enhancer in my tank. It also has lots of plants. I occasionally put almond leaves in their tank as well.
Am I doing something wrong that has suddenly made the fish sick?
<Nothing that "jumps out" as being problematical; no>
My fish got visibly sick and died so fast that I couldn't help her.
Thanks Sammie
<Frightening... IF you can easily add it to your filter flow path, I'd add a modicum of activated carbon to your filter flow path... in the hope of removing toxin/s, reducing overall B.O.D., microbe levels.... Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta with Dropsy   8/7/16

Thank you,
I did read the links and I am following the recommendations. I think it frightened me how quickly my fish got sick and died.
<Me too.>
I am keeping a close eye on my girls and will add some carbon to the filter.
<Good>
My Father in law uses water straight from the tap, only uses a sponge in his filter, cleans and water changes once to twice a month, never uses biological enhancers, uses cheap flake food and gets his plants straight from the ponds. He has hardly ever lost a fish. I tested his water and the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite were all high. I do partial water changes weekly, use water conditioners etc and my fish get sick. It doesn't make sense to me. I thought fish keeping was supposed to be relaxing. I do love them so I will have to put up with the stress.
Thanks again.
<Do please keep us informed. Bob Fenner>

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