Ask the WWM Crew
|Please visit our Sponsors|
Salt for fungus? 11/19/12
Re: Salt for fungus? & Betta dis., trtmt. – 11/19/12
Periwinkles are flowers.
<Ah yes, as in Vinca minor. Have that in my garden.>
They developed a tendency to a fungus and prior had been hardy annuals.
I was young and attempted to save my garden, but I think the fungal treatment was very strong stuff... I just recall feeling dizzy around it. Don't know why, but wouldn't use it again on annuals!!!!!
That's why I felt a little nervous about the treatment of the tank! I come in contact with the water when I clean it. I think the Methylene is different than what's used in the garden though. I need to check... But I might want to wear gloves with it anyway.
<Methylene blue is safe, at least if used as directed by the manufacturers.>
I like organic natural stuff, so when the guy said salt worked for him and I'd read it several places as well I was hoping....but knew I ought to ask you in case the "naturalists" were wrong.
<I'm as much of a naturalistic as the next guy… my garden is mostly organic save occasional use of slug pellets… but there are situations where you do need the real McCoy. Put another way, there are "natural" anti-fungals like Melafix but these are not necessarily safer to use (either for the fish or the filter bacteria) and their unreliability means that they aren't always good choices. By all means use Melafix as a preventative, after fish are damaged, but once you see symptoms, I'd go for the real stuff, Methylene Blue or whatever.>
I didn't want to jeopardize the fish. I'd also heard the medicine could be hard on the fish and I wanted to be cautious.
<Methylene blue is very gentle on fish.>
I looked at my Betta closer... He actually has a little spot of white coloration on his back that when he was acting sick, I mistook for fungus. So it isn't fungus after all. Which makes sense, as I clean regularly. I think there have been times in the past that white spot worried me, but it's not that noticeable...so I forgot it's a fleck of natural colouring. He's older...I had him a number of years now, I think 3 or 4. He doesn't look like he'll make it.... And I can't see an obvious symptom other than lying at the bottom looking listless like he's on the way out.
<Perhaps… 4 years is a fair age for Betta splendens.>
I worried it was water hardness, something I could have helped by adding a little neutral water. My other tank tested so high recently! However the Betta's water tested much lower than the large tank... (weird)....so it's probably his old age. I guess because he's in a smaller volume tank, and there's java fern and moss, it helped lower the hardness for him.
Betta tank is ph 7.2, alkalinity 180, hardness 125.
That was tested at PetSmart with little strips. A fish store seasoned fishkeeping employee tested my big tank like a chemist with little bottles that she shook and they changed colours. 29 gallon was ph 8.4, alkalinity 180, hardness 300.
<Rock hard water! Not ideal for Southeast Asian fish like Bettas, but I dare say livable.>
Is there something I can treat him with, an antibiotic, in case it's related to the gills?
<Randomly medicating rarely helps.>
If he dies anyway can I treat the java plants with an antibiotic so that they'd be safe if I bought another fish?
<Unnecessary; the bacteria that cause most fish deaths are opportunistic ones… they live in all tanks, all the time. They only cause problems when something else is amiss… the fish is stressed, the water quality is poor, the fish is old.>
I'd change out the gravel for new gravel if that's necessary, and totally wash the tank and rinse it thoroughly and completely. I really hate to throw out the plants and I always like to keep a Betta. I think someone once told me to use tetracycline to sterilize plants from disease...though if I treat him I guess I could keep dosing whatever antibiotic I give him. But he's not looming like he has much longer to go.
Thanks again. I'm sad to be losing this little fish!
Re: Salt for fungus? Betta dis., trtmt. – 11/20/12
Thanks Neil. That's good to know about the plants.
Yeah, my home is kept much warmer than most. I was afraid to use small tank heaters before, but I invested $13 for one that works to 5 gallon when I noticed he was ill. I guess as he was older maybe needed his water even warmer. I'm too embarrassed to say how warm my home is sometimes kept, but it tends to favor Bettas' preferred climate! But now with a heater the future fish (if he doesn't pull through) will at least have a heater kick on on the coldest days of Texas, which are rare days..... It's been in the 80s most of Oct. Today is cooler…70s.
<Real good. Cheers, Neale.>
Better!!....re: Salt for fungus? – 11/20/12
The little Betta guy seemed 1/8 less close to his death bed this afternoon, which I hadn't expected. Due to his mild response to salt and heat, I changed 25% water(someone said change 100% but he is obviously liking the heater so I didn't want to chill him). I added a little stress coat and the new water also contains salt. Then I decided his gills are probably stressed and gave some tetracycline. .... It just felt right....he was just at the bottom looking stressed with labored breathing and no other observable symptoms.
Good news: A little later he actually ate, then he ate again just now. Now he's swimming around.
This room is probably getting draftier as the home ages and the fish is older. and much less flexible. I was afraid of small thermometers due to reading awful reviews, but this one is a little mat I can stick under the gravel as opposed to glass that can explode.
<Honestly, the glass ones don't explode unless someone does something silly with them, like use them to stir up the gravel. Even then, they snap rather than explode, and the red alcohol inside them isn't especially toxic.>
I'm going to buy more plants too...I think they increase the health benefits adding oxygen and natural filter as well as reducing the water hardness in an amazing way.
<Which is…? Almost all the "reduce hardness quickly, easily and cheaply" tricks don't work.>
I think he's going to make it. I hope so anyway! Well....I hope things are normal for a while now. I wish I'd get the hang of it like gardening. Jill
<Good luck with both fish and plants, Neale.>
Re: better!!....re: Salt for fungus? 11/21/12
The plants and stock really seem to reduce water hardness...I can't think of what else it would be that would cause the difference between my 2 tanks using the exact same water source.
<There is a process called Biogenic Decalcification which some aquatic plants do. They use bicarbonate ions as the source of carbon for photosynthesis. It's a clever trick. Two popular aquarium plants that can do this very effectively are Vallisneria and Egeria, but for this to happen, they need to be exposed to bright light. That's because Biogenic Decalcification is a way of getting extra carbon for photosynthesis when the dissolved carbon dioxide in the water isn't enough. None of the slow-growing plants (like ferns and mosses) are known to do Biogenic Decalcification; they probably don't need to because they grow very slowly, and therefore the amount of carbon dioxide in the water is sufficient to their needs. If you suspect Biogenic Decalcification is going on, ask yourself whether your aquarium is under strong lighting, i.e., at least three or four fluorescent lights running the length of the hood. If it's not, then Biogenic Decalcification isn't likely the issue, because if it is happening at all, it'll be happening so slowly there won't be much effect on water chemistry, specifically, carbonate hardness (as should be obvious, if you remove bicarbonate, which is a type of carbonate hardness, then that won't change general hardness).>
My large tank, the 29 has 2 small fish at 1/2" and some sparse, snail chopped plants and the hardness rose quite high in the recent months. But the smaller Betta tank is much less hard. When the plants were healthier and there were more fish in the 29 gallon, it was not testing quite so hard either!
A pet store geek said if I ever want to keep other species like Corys or loaches or barbs...all I need to do is remove 1/3 water and replace it with distilled (which I know you should never use for a whole tank filling as there aren't any minerals!)
<I would concur; I have liquid rock water here, but mix 50/50 with rainwater, and that allows me to keep all sorts of Amazonian fish without problems.>
She said the neutral water brings hardness down some,
<It dilutes it. If you have tap water hardness of 21 degrees dH, but mix 2 parts tap water with 1 part deionised water, then the result will be 14 degrees dH overall. As it happens, pH will likely stay around the 7.5 mark, but that's fine.>
and then having a good stocked tank and lots of plants adds acidity and help keeps it from climbing quite so high, so other types of fish can also thrive.
<Sort of. During photosynthesis plants remove CO2 faster that they "breathe" it out because of respiration, so the pH actually goes up. But by night they are only respiring, so they add to the CO2 in the water, albeit not that much compared to animals. As noted above, Biogenic Decalcification only happens under specific conditions and with certain plant species.>
The Betta tank affirms what she's saying as it contrasts with the 29 gallon in both stock ratio and plant ratio. They keep tons of barbs and loaches and catfish alive, so I guess there are natural ways to get there. The plants most likely contribute to my Bettas longevity, as well as having a filter and more space to swim in. I've always loved biology far more than chemistry....I probably need to spend a little more time trying to learn the basics. It's great that pet stores all test water for free and explain it. But I'd understand it better if I reviewed basic high school chemistry!
Have a nice week.
<You too, Neale.>
Re: better!!....re: Salt for fungus? 11/21/12
That's cool, thanks!
Betta Popeye with huge puss ball under eye 2/19/07 Hello, My Betta has had Popeye for about 10 days. <A long time> I tried Epsom salts for a few days. <Good> Then marycyn2, with no results. <Mmmm> For the last 6 days I used KanaPlex, and his eye has gone down greatly, but still Popeye. <Sometimes these cases can prove quite persistent... You did raise the water temp.? I would... to the mid 80's F.> Last night he had a tiny white protrusion under the Popeye, which was never there before. This morning, it was a huge puss ball. It opened, and now he has a hole there. I did a half tank water change, and resumed carbon filtration, along with 3/4 t. of Epsom salt, hoping it will help heal the hole. His tank is 3 gal. Was the puss drawn out from an infection behind his eye? <Mmm, maybe> Should I retreat with KanaPlex, and how soon? Thank you from us both, Ann B. <I would raise the temperature as stated, and try adding Maracyn I (Erythromycin) here... is miscible with the other Mardel product. Bob Fenner>
Betta health 7/14/06 Hi, <Hello there> I read
your article about Betta diseases ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm)
and found it helpful. I'm sure you must get lots of
questions, and may or may not be able to reply to all of them, however
I thought it was worth a try. <We respond to all> We've had a
beautiful Betta for about 3 months. He was in some pretty
nasty water and pretty lethargic when we got him but his overall
behavior seemed to change dramatically within about 2
weeks. Recently I noticed 2 spots on his head that, to my
untrained eye, look like fungus (looks like the picture of a fungal
infection on this website: http://www.bettatalk.com/betta_diseases.htm). Mr.
Fish otherwise seems very healthy and happy - his color is very bright,
his fins aren't clumped, he makes huge bubble nests, gets really
excited by swimming spastically and puffing up whenever we approach the
bowl and aggressively attacks his food. <I would not worry re these
spots/blemishes in this case> When he thinks no one is watching he
lazily swims around his bowl and very rarely do we see him just sitting
on his plant or on the bottom of the bowl. Mr. Fish's home is a 1
gallon fish bowl, we change the water about once a week and add sea
salt every change. What would be the best way to treat him?
<Not to do so> I saw on your website that fungus is typically a
secondary disease of stressed fish. <Yes... even tertiary,
quaternary... not a direct cause/effect problem> Could this be a
residual from when we got him or are we doing something that might be
stressing him? <Likely "it" is nothing...> Also, you
mentioned that adding salt and changing the water was the best way to
treat fungus, since we have been using salt all along, should we try
something else? <I would not> In terms of raising the water temp,
I have read other places that heaters should not be used in 1 gallon
bowls, if this is true, how should we raise the water temp? <There
are small heaters... You want a low wattage, in case somehow it should
"go awry" or be turned way up... The best ways to improve
your Betta's health are to improve its environment, then next,
nutrition. Please re-read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm
and the linked files above... Perhaps a small "Eclipse"
system for someone's upcoming birthday....> Thanks for your
help, Amy <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Persistent Fin Rot On Betta, Sabrina's Take - 04/01/2005 Hi. <Hello. Sabrina with you, today.> My Betta (Flash) has been having a problem with fin rot ever since we got him at Christmas. I followed all the advice you gave but he is still having trouble. <I'm sorry to hear this; I hope we can help.> He is in a 5 gallon cycled tank with heater and sponge filter. I just put him back in his tank after having removed him for a second time to treat in a 2 Â½ gallon tank with Spectrogram. I can't leave him in the hospital tank very long because the ammonia levels rise so quickly even with daily water changes. <Daily water changes should easily handle ammonia and nitrite - also, when you did these water changes, did you compensate by adding back in the amount of medication removed from the water change?> He completed 6 days of treatment. There was no more visible tears and the ones he had seemed to be growing back. Yesterday I put him back in his tank and tonight there are more tears and pieces of fins missing!!! I'm so frustrated. <I can imagine. For this to have happened so very suddenly (fin rot, bacterial or otherwise, usually takes a long time to damage fins that dramatically), either you've got a particularly virulent case of bacterial fin rot, or there's something else at play.> This was the first time his behavior seemed unusual. He didn't come to the top to eat. In fact he looked dead at the bottom. If it wasn't for a slight movement of his gills I would have thought he was dead. Even when I moved my hand next to the tank, he didn't budge. Finally he started to move a round a bit and got some air. Would you treat again with antibiotics? I already have used Betta Remedy, TriSulfa, Tetracycline, and two rounds of Spectrogram. <Quite a battalion of drugs.... how much time was spent with each medication? And again, when you changed water, did you compensate by adding back in the amount of medication removed?> Is he incurable??? <Gosh, I hope not.> The box of Spectrogram says it won't kill the biological filter but I thought all antibiotics killed off the good bacteria as well. <Mm, no, not all of them. In fact, the actual dosages of Kanamycin sulfate and Nitrofurazone in Spectrogram are so low, that's probably why they don't affect the nitrifying bacteria. I have had very good luck using Spectrogram against many bacterial complaints, and never really saw an appreciable effect on the nitrogen cycle.> Should I add another round to his cycled tank? <If there are no other fish in with him, and if you are prepared to do some water changes if you see an increase in ammonia, then in this case, yes, that is what I would do. Otherwise, it might actually be better if you tried feeding with antibacterial food. More on that in a bit....> Please help!! Ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, nitrate is 10-15, and Ph is at 7.4. The pH of my tap water is 7.0 so I don\u2019t know what keeps making this rise in his tank. <This is a clue. Might possibly have something to do with his problems. Are there any shells, limestone rock, or other calcareous substances in the tank? What kind of substrate are you using? Substrates like aragonite sand and crushed coral (or "Puka" shells) will also increase the pH.> I thought I read something about foods with antibiotics in them. Could that be necessary? <It may indeed be easier, and more effective, to treat with antibacterial foods. I would try to find flakes with Oxytetracycline (might look at http://www.flguppiesplus ), but I know you can find medicated pellet foods at PetSmart stores (and, I'm sure, other stores) - made by Jungle Labs, called "Anti-Bacteria Medicated Fish Food". This contains Sodium Sulfathiazole and Nitrofurazone.... I don't feel that this would be as effective as Oxytetracycline flake, but all the same, it might do the trick. If you use the Jungle food, I would go ahead with another round of Spectrogram, as well, as it sounds like you haven't much to lose at this point. I would NOT do the Spectrogram if you are able to get a hold of Oxytetracycline medicated flakes.> I am just stumped and completely exhausted from one little Betta fish. We haven't been able to enjoy him at all, it's just been work, work and more work, with no payoff. <Fish are certainly work, but should not be this much work - not by far. This is not the first time I've heard of a Betta with a terribly virulent case of fin rot. I fear that this may be due, in part, to the decreasing genetic quality of the fish from extensive selective breeding.... Sure wish I knew with a certainty, and I sure wish I had a 100% certain fix for you, but I don't. I will definitely cross my fingers and hope that your fellah pulls through and regains his health. I know it is not fun at all to have an animal that is suffering.> Kim L. <Wishing you and your Betta the best, -Sabrina> Hi again, Kim. Through some difficulty in sending my last email to you, I found that Bob had responded, as well. I do agree with him. The BettaMax may indeed be a great shot, as it is so easy to dose in smaller tanks. This might clear up any confusion or inaccurate dosing with the Spectrogram or other drugs you've tried; inaccurate dosing might be part of the problem, especially when dealing with daily water changes.... Just some thoughts. -Sabrina
Fungus Among us! - 08/19/2004 Hello and thanks for your time today, <Hello, and thanks for writing in.> I have a 5G planted, cycled tank with Eco-Complete substrate. I had an aquarium shop statue in there and noticed a white furry fungus like thing growing on the back of it near the substrate. I took it out and cleaned it off. I haven't put it back in but now I can see the white stuff growing around the suction cup of the thermometer. There are also patches of it on the gravel. <My first best guess here is that this is bacterial or fungal growth, most likely from uneaten food that hasn't been removed.> I have one male Betta in the tank and he has fin rot. I am treating with Maracyn-2 (4th day of treatment) for the bacteria, and Maracide for potential parasites because he was rubbing along the bottom of the tank a lot even though I can't see any Ich or other spots. <I would not treat with an anti-parasitic med unless you are quite confidant that you have parasites, then determine what type of parasite you're dealing with. Also try to eliminate other possibilities that may have caused irritation to the fish - do ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels check out okay? Any big changes in pH? There are a lot of things that can make a fish scratch/rub aside from parasitic infestation.> He doesn't seem to be getting much better though. <Keep going with the Minocycline/Maracyn II for the full treatment, now that you've started it. If it has absolutely no effect at the end of treatment, I would switch to Kanamycin sulfate ("Kanacyn", "Kanaplex", or "Spectrogram" which includes Nitrofurazone, as well), Oxytetracycline ("Oxytetracycline", "Oxymanna"), or tetracycline. Other options as well, for sure, but these are my favorites.> What is this fungus stuff? <Again, likely a fungus/bacteria/mold from uneaten food.> Is it dangerous? <Mm, potentially, but very, very unlikely.> Is it harming my fish? <I seriously doubt it.> Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are zero, <Ahhh, that's good to hear.> pH is 8.2 which is a bit high I know, but that's my tap water unfortunately. <High, indeed. Is it constantly/consistently that high? One breeder I know had horrible fin and disease issues with her fish when her tap was above 8.0 - I really think this fish would benefit from a bit lower pH, if you can establish AND MAINTAIN a lower pH - a pH rollercoaster is the last thing you want, though; constant is better than precise.> I have seen this white fungusy stuff before on a piece of wood that I have in another tank and when I introduced Amano shrimp they cleaned it off which makes me think it can't be toxic. <Agreed.> I just wondered if I need an anti-fungal in there as well. <Certainly not. Just manually remove it, and be sure to remove uneaten food and siphon out feces.> I don't want to over-load the poor guy with too many meds. <Indeed.> He is eating just fine and is active. <Certainly good news.> I've only had him since last Thursday, he came to me with tears in his fins, (bought him from a breeder) which is where the fin-rot started I guess. <Eh, this could also explain the irritation, if he came from a lower pH. And again, I've heard of Bettas having fin issues above a pH of 8.0 - not really sure if this is 100% accurate or reliable, but food for thought, at least.> I really hope someone knows what this white stuff is and how to help my poor Betta-boy! <Have you considered putting a small piece of driftwood in with him to help drop the pH a bit? If you do so, you'll want to be very cautious and slow about it. You would also have to make water for him ahead of time, to bring it to the correct pH (perhaps also with driftwood or peat).> I just want his fins to stop shrinking! <Me, too.> Thanks again for any help, <You bet.> Maggie Masters <Wishing you and your bettahead well, -Sabrina>
A tale of two Bettas and black fuzz Hi Crew, My 1+-yr-old Betta ("Rue") died y'day. I have one more ("Miles"), appx same age, still alive. :) They each have/had a 3-gal tank, with glass marble/rocks from pet store and bottled water. They used to have smaller tanks, but Miles jumped out ... 4 feet down to the floor (!) so they both got new big tanks that day. And while I was at it, I got plants and a few guppies for Rue's tank. The plant introduced a hidden snail. (I recently read that guppies shouldn't be kept w/ Bettas, so I'll definitely not return to that bloody pet store.) Two of the guppies died within a week of purchase. Then after Rue seemed to have fun chasing the remaining guppy around for awhile, that guppy died. And funky clear globby jelly-like dots began growing on the tank walls and floor. I scrubbed the heck out of it (dish soap and water) and rinsed thoroughly. Got rid of the plant. Back to Rue, water, and glass rocks. Rue was happy for awhile. Then one day I noticed that his tail looked discolored. Upon closer inspection, the last half-inch+ of his tail was covered with black fuzz, completely, all-around. Like the ash of a cigarette. Looked like it was spreading to his other fins as well. I put tetracycline in the water. The black part of the tail fell off later that day and seemed to have stopped spreading. 2-3 weeks later, we moved. Black fuzz returned. Tetracycline went back into the water. Black fuzz didn't seem as brutally overtaking as previous time. Slowly moved up the fins and the affected areas looked black & shredded (as opposed to falling off completely like before). This time, though less "brutal", it was lethal. Rue died within a week of the move. Any idea what that was that killed him? < A bacterial infection from the guppies probably killed your Betta. A quarantine tank for the guppies might have helped. Tetracycline is an old time medication and has many resistant strains of bacteria. I think it may have helped the first time but the bacteria may have built up an immunity and it didn't work the second time,-Chuck> Many thanks, Juliana
Male Betta tail fin seems to be dissolving Hi Chuck and friends, I am noticing or maybe it has been this way that my male Betta tail fin is dissolving or maybe it has been this way when I bought him. It has been three to four weeks since I bought him. Is it normal? Is it stress? He ill? Is it the water? He seems to be eating well, I feed he a mix of dried worms and pro-gold pellets. Thanks Again, Mario D. < Watch him carefully and see if in fact the tail has a blackened border. It is "dissolving" then it is probably a bacterial infection commonly called tail rot. Make sure the water is clean and treat with Nitrofuranace as per the directions on the package. Clean the filter too as organics in the water affect the medication.-Chuck>
My Betta has a blue film over her eyes and they seem to be
swollen, can you help? <Will try to help as much as
I can. Your Betta sounds as if he has eye fungus, and
luckily it is treatable. Make sure to keep up with water
changes, Betta fish are notorious at become sick with fungus issues and
it spreads quickly. The best way to be sure of the fishes health is to
keep up on water changes and not overfeeding it.> I've been
adding fungus eliminator to her water but it doesn't seem to be
helping. <I used Fungus Eliminator on my school of Iridescent Sharks
and at first I thought it worked, but I found that it required multiple
treatments but still I didn't like the results. So, I
began searching for other products to deal with these fungus infection.
I found that if I treat with MarOxy, which is offered by the Mardel
company and is found in most pet shops that it worked quite well. Also,
you can use Maracyn-Two, Maracyn, Tetracycline or TriSulfa to prevent
secondary infections on your Betta.> Is she going to be blind or
worse will she die?? <She shouldn't go blind, if the treatment
works. Just be sure to move quickly and treat, like I stated
before Bettas get sick quick and especially dealing with fungus spreads
fast on these little fish.> I really really miss the forums...
posting questions and such. Please lend me some advice.
Angie <Good luck with your Betta, hope it returns to health.
Betta has Body Slime I think my Betta has body slime how do I
treat it! he is a beautiful Betta but I have noticed white stringy
stuff coming off of his body and I want to know what I can do to treat
it I do not want to lose my Betta for he is so very beautiful? What are
my options? < Do a water change and treat with Furanace. Try and
keep him in a warm spot (80 degrees). Don't
Burned Betta Dear Mr. Fenner, <Crewmember Sabrina with you today, I am deeply sorry for any delay.> My blue Male Fighter seems to have burnt himself on the heater. Basically, he was in a large tank with lots and lots of other fish, quite happily, but I decided to put him in his own 2 gallon tank complete with filter and heater. I don't believe in a suffering Betta so I wanted to make sure he was okay. He's been in this tank setup for quite awhile now, but this morning he decided to sit on the heater or something. <I've seen this happen commonly with Plecostomus, especially when they don't have somewhere else in the tank to hide, they like to cling to the heater. If they hang there while it's off, they don't notice as it comes back on, and can get some severe burns as a result. Yeowch.> His top fin is now burnt at the top, not a lot, but enough to make me worry. <If it's just his fin, I would imagine he'll recover.> Will this heal up on it's own or should I add something to his water to help him out? <For now, I'd treat it as a "wait-and-see"; he might be fine, or it might become infected. If you see signs of bacterial infection, most notably fin rot, I would treat with a good antibiotic (Kanamycin is my drug of choice, I've had great results from it).> He's by far my favourite Betta, I've had him since November, and he was the first fighter I ever purchased. I want to make sure he's healthy and happy. <You obviously care about your fish; that's great. It should be no effort to watch him closely for a while, then, to see if he develops any complications while he heals.> He's currently on the last couple of days of a treatment of salts for a constipation problem which has now cleared up. <Ahh, delightful. Glad to hear he's doing well from that.> I'd like to think I know a bit about fish, I'm quite good with them, but this one problem has totally baffled me. <Since I don't have first-hand opportunity to see him, you are in a better position to see if he needs any treatment. I don't think I'd treat for the burn alone, but if it is really quite bad, you might consider treating prophylactically with a mild antibiotic (Nitrofurazone comes to mind). I prefer not to treat unless necessary.> Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks so much! Ellie (and Stealth the Betta) <Wishing Stealth a swift recovery, -Sabrina>
Question about Betta behavior and velvet Hi, I just bought my Betta about two weeks ago. He is very colorful and active. Lately, however, I've spotted several small areas on him that look a little discolored. There wouldn't be a whole spot, just like two scales. I did shine a flashlight on him and thought that perhaps he had velvet, so I treated him with Maracyn-Two (given to me by the pet store). <Mmm, Minocycline? Antibiotics are useful here only for secondary effects http://groups.msn.com/TheBettaObsession/bettaillnessandtreatment.msnw > I followed the instructions as well as given him a salt bath. The spots disappeared, but he sometimes starts swimming up and down in the corner of the tank and kind of jerks about and I don't see him scratching against the decorations. I change the water very often, so I don't think it's the water or poisoning. He doesn't stay on the bottom neither nor is there a lack of appetite and he acts pretty normal. Sometimes he does open his mouth wide, but that is rare. Is this behavior normal? or is he sick? Thanks for the help! LST <Hard to say... is the fish's tank/container heated? Lethargy is pretty much a normal state with Bettas... more so at lower temperatures. Bob Fenner>
Pin Holes in Betta Tail Just curious as to whether you can explain the recent occurrence of what appears to be pin holes in the fin and tail of my Beta. I've never noticed them before and I've had him for 2 years now. It doesn't appear that he is unhealthy, he's fairly energetic. Thank you very much for your time! Joanna <Hi Joanna, Don here. Most fin problems start with poor water quality. You might want to increase the number of water changes you are doing. Adding a little salt, 1 tbls per 2 or 3 gallons, will help prevent fungus from attacking the damaged tissue while he heals>
Intense body fungus on Betta?! Hello and how are you? I hope you can offer some much-needed insight on my male Betta. I bought him in early spring, and somewhere around June he developed a weird white lump on his side. We were advised by the pet store to change the water and treat him with Betta Fix, which we did for the recommended time frame. He seemed to get a little better, then...the weird lump came back, along with white patches on the skin. Since June we've treated him with Erythromycin tablets, which didn't seem to work. Now we've been treating him with aquarium salt, Pimafix, and Melafix, along with a partial water change every week. We suspect that it's a combination of body fungus and fin/tail rot, but it's getting even worse now. The white patches are spreading and his bottom fin is being eaten away. All along, the little guy has hung in there. He eats (beta flakes every other day) and is very active; he flares at me when I come into the room. He likes the temp to be warm, town 80-85 degrees. I'm not sure what else to do for him! Thanks for your thoughts. < Try treating with Metronidazole for the internal infection and Nitrofuranace for the body slime and tail rot. Unfortunately these medications are usually in tablets that treat 10 gallons at a time. Clean the tank before medicating.-Chuck> ~Jamie
Betta recovering? Looks terrible! Hi Everyone, I hope you're all doing well, and let me say thank you for all your great advice and information on this website. I had written to you all about a month ago about my male Betta, Hawk, who has been battling some sort of weird disease since June. It started off as a white lump, then turned into a white patch, then massive fin and tail rot (all at his back end and bottom fin--also, he's in about a 5 gallon tank with a charcoal filter). I went through BettaFix, Melafix, PimaFix, tetracycline tablets, and when he took a turn for the worse, I contacted you all. A very nice gentleman suggested I try treating him with Metronidazole for any internal infection and Nitrofuranace for his slime coat. Unfortunately, none of the pet stores in my area carried these medications, and the situation was desperate, so I bought Maracyn Plus. Then I did a complete water change and tossed all his old gravel, little castle, and nasty plastic plant and since replaced it with fresh gravel, a silk plant, and a little hidey-hole cave. Thankfully, Hawk seemed to improve. He's a lot livelier and swimming around, always eager to eat (switched his food, too, from flakes to Hikari Betta Bio Gold pellets--he loves em!) The thing that worries me now is, his flesh seems to be regenerating, but it's still all white and it looks as if he's been chewed on. Is this normal? < Strange as it looks, this is the flesh regenerating. A white fuzzy look is fungus and needs to be treated. What you are seeing is a very good sign that your fish is recovering from the bacterial infection.> Does it take a very long time for flesh and fins to heal after something this bad? < Depends on the water temp, water quality and type of food. Be patient.> Lo and behold I found the previous recommended medications on the Drs. Foster & Smith website (plain Metronidazole crystals and a product called Furan-2, which contains the Nitrofuranace, Furazolidone, and Methylene blue Trihydrate). So my real question to you is, should I change the medications again? < No the Maracyn seems to be working so stay with it as per the directions on the package.-Chuck> Or should I continue with the Maracyn Plus and maybe find a compatible product that will also treat his slime coat? This little fish is amazing, he deserves all the help I can give him! I'll try anything. And again thanks for your time! ~Sincerely, Jamie
Betta Fins Hi, I am the keeper of my
daughter's beta fish. She left him when she went back to college. I
have been away for 3 weeks and my pet sitter has been looking after
him. I have two problems with him. We feed him once a day - 3 to 4 beta
fish food pellets and wait for him to eat each one before we feed him
the next (in order to minimize food sitting around in his
tank.)<Very good> He is alone in a 10 gallon tank and we put in
plastic plants and gravel. <Very roomy> Normally I do a 25% water
change every two weeks, clean the plants, the filters, change the
charcoal filter, etc. I did that as soon as we returned. I
use filtered water, ensure its at room temperature before I introduce
it, etc. <Do you have a heater? Bettas are tropical fish and will
not thrive at normal room temperatures. Keep them in the high
70's.> He was doing fine before we left, although his fins were
starting to split. When we came back I have found that he has not eaten
for two days - he did on a couple of occasions take food but then spit
it out. His fins look as though they have been
ravaged. He's very lethargic and seems to want to hide
behind one of the plants. Please could you tell me if you think this is
ammonia poisoning that is causing the issues <May have started as a
water quality issue. You would need to test the water. Most pet stores
can do this for you, but a test kit if preferred. If you have the store
do the test, get numbers. Do not accept "Everything's
fine" as an answer. Post numbers here> and if so, what the heck
I can do about it. <Water changes until tank is cycled> I feel
really sorry for him as we have become quite attached to the little
fellow. <Understood> I'd really appreciate any insight or
help that you can provide. Thanks Janice <Hi Janice, Don here.
Usually I recommend water changes and salt for most fin problems. Most
of the time lightly salted pristine water is all the fish needs to
recover. In your case the fish has been in decline for a few weeks and
sounds pretty bad. He may need some help to recover. First, we need to
get the temp right and test that water. I suggest a trip to the local
fish/pet shop. Pick up a heater and a master test kit. You need to test
for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Some kits do not include the
nitrate test. Purchase separately. Pick up a med for fin/tail rot.
Kanacyn is good if the have it in stock. Get the temp up to 76 to 78,
not over 80. Test the water. If you see any ammonia or nitrite or if
nitrate is over 20ppm, do a large water change (50%) before adding
meds. Test daily as some meds will destroy the bacteria needed to keep
your water from fouling. Do water changes if you see any spikes,
replacing the med in the new water. Adding some aquarium salt will help
prevent fungus from attacking the fins before they have time to heal.
Two or three tbls spoons will do if you do not see any cottony growth.
If you do, increase slowly to eight to ten. If he shows signs of
stress, do a small water change without salt to lower it. Don't
forget to dechlorinate your water first. Good luck. Don>