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FAQs on Betta Medicines: Antibiotics, Antibacterials, Anti-Fungals

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Related FAQsBetta Disease 1, Betta Disease 2, Betta 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 25, Betta Health 26,
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, Anti-Protozoals Metronidazole, eSHa...), Copper, Formalin, Malachite Green, Anthelminthics, Organophosphates, Salts, All Other Betta Med.s


DO read here:

Freshwater Infectious and Parasitic Diseaseby Bob Fenner, Understanding Bacterial Disease in Aquarium Fish; With a gallery of bacterial infections, a discussion of Fish TB, and a listing of major antimicrobial medications with examples available to fishkeepersBy Myron Roth, Ph.D., 
 FAQs on: Infectious (bacterial, fungal, viral) Diseases, Infectious FW Diseases 2, Infectious FW Disease 3, Infectious FW Disease 4, Infectious FW Disease 5
FAQs on:
Infectious Disease: Identification/Diagnosis, Causes/Etiology/Prevention, Cures/Medications, Case Histories: Bacterial, True Fungal,
FAQs on:
Infectious Disease by Type/Organisms: Fin & Mouth Rot, Columnaris, Mycobacteria/Tuberculosis, Whirling Disease,

Anti-biotics, -microbials, -fungals are ONLY useful IF all other aspects of the environment are in order... Clean, cycled, filtered, heated... IF yours isn't, don't waste your time.

Kanamycin, Furacyn compounds, Erythromycin, Jungle Fungus Eliminator,

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Salt for fungus?    11/19/12
Does aquarium salt effectively treat fungus?
<Not reliably, no.
Brackish water fish get fungus if they're kept in freshwater, and adding salt helps them recover, so to some degree, that gives the impression salt treats fungus. But in and of itself, no, salt isn't a reliable antifungal. Methylene blue is much more effective and normally harmless, even to fish eggs and fry.>
Is a dosing of 1 tbsp per gallon enough?
The pet store fish geek said he uses it all the time and that it's not as harsh. When I used an antifungal on the periwinkles (that I'll never purchase again)
<Periwinkles? Like the little marine snails? Or the plants?>
it made me feel dizzy to be around them.
I've never had to use it on a fish. Maybe it's not as awful as the plant kind? Really, if salt will probably work, it's preferable.
<The only thing salt has in its favour is that it is cheap, which is why many people desperately want it to be a cure-all. But it isn't. Salt basically treats just two things, Whitespot and Velvet; for virtually everything else, you need to choose another treatment. As Bob would say, Hmm… do read:
Hope this clears things up for you, Neale.>
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 see.>
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!
<Indeed. Neale.>
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 mystery.>
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!
<Welcome, Neale.>

Lapis a tail biter? 06/08/09
I've had Lapis about two weeks, and he's been fine until yesterday. When I left my place Sunday morning he was fine, but when I got back at 4:30 in the evening, about six hours later, his tail was tattered and there was what appeared to be clotted blood stuck to some of the shredded parts.
<Usually such "shredding" is either physical damage, e.g., from another fish, or else Finrot. However, Finrot takes some time to develop, and if it really did go from perfect finnage to shreds in size hours, Finrot is
unlikely to be the issue. That said, it's always worth checking water quality.>
He's in a 5 gallon tank with a heater and a Marineland Duetto Mini filtration unit, and completely by himself.
<Do check the filter isn't over strong for the aquarium; it is possible for a Betta to get stuck to the inlet, and in trying to work itself free, shred its fins. That would be consistent with seeing just a single fin damaged,
as would happen if one fin was stuck to the filter. It goes without saying that air-powered filtration systems, such as box filters and sponge filters, are the correct choices for Betta aquaria.>
The only changes I have made to his environment was to add a couple of decorations to what was already there. There was already a lace rock and four soft plastic plants in the tank. I only added three small pieces that look like coral. I removed them immediately when I saw his fin was damaged, thinking one of them might have been the culprit, because there was no sign of damage beforehand.
<It's improbable that a fish could do this kind of damage merely by swimming past an abrasive rock; this is much more like ripping rather than scratching.>
This is not the first Betta I have had, and the last one died of fin rot; and I don't remember it coming on this fast. Could he be biting his tail??
Could he have gotten his tail stuck in the filtration unit somehow??
Included is a before and an after photo.
<Quite a difference!>
I've changed his water, removed the other decorations except what was originally in his tank, and added a water conditioner after the water change, Bettafix, and aquarium salt. Is there anything else I should do??
<Well, you could stop with the salt and the BettaFix (it's a Betta by the way, pronounced like "better", not "beater"). Treat with a reliable, vet-tested medication appropriate for Finrot, such as Maracyn, to prevent
secondary infection. Tea-tree oil is pretty unreliable, so while cheap, it's also useless.>
Is there anything else I CAN do??
<Review water quality, filtration and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Lapis a tail biter?
One more quick question. I just did the water change yesterday... do I need to do another before I start using Maracyn, or is it okay to use it even though the BettaFix and salt are in the water?
<Personally, I'd do the water change. Replacing 25% of what's in the tank will certainly do no harm. There really shouldn't be any interaction between the Maracyn and salt, since you can use Maracyn safely in fresh and saltwater aquaria. Bettafix is more of an unknown quantity, but I'd expect it to have little effect either way.>
(sorry about the spelling error) Also, I read on a forum site through searching about Bettas and Fin Rot that when using medication there should be some aeration of the water in the tank, and suggested an airstone.
<Indeed. Most medications are irritants or poisons; that's as true for human medications as those used for animals. While I wouldn't expect a Betta to be too fussed about oxygen -- it is, after all, able to breathe
air -- making sure the tank had good circulation would do no harm. Adding an airstone would probably be overkill if the tank already has a filter; but it could be a make-or-break addition of the sick Betta was in an
unfiltered bowl.>
Would that be a good idea, or would it stress the fish out too much to add something to the tank when he may already be stressed and sick.
<I don't think you need to add an airstone, but if you did, I can't see it would do any harm. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Lapis a tail biter? (RMF, opinions on Melafix vs. Maracyn) <The one is a sham, the other a real antibiotic>   06/08/09
Thank you so much for your advice! I went out to a local fish store today and they tested the water for me, they said conditions were perfect, so the water quality was not to blame (which is funny because I had not really been testing for ammonia, etc.) I took the same pictures in to the girl they had on staff that has had Bettas frequently.
<Well, while this is good news, and not something I doubt, be open minded:
water quality can fluctuate, particularly immediately after feeding.>
She said that it did not look like fin rot to her, and she hesitated to recommend starting with Maracyn since my tank was still becoming established as far as good bacteria is concerned. She recommended I try Melafix for now, at half the dose due to tank size, and keep an eye on him.
<Melafix is not reliable. I have no idea why people sell it. Maracyn in erythromycin, an antibiotic widely used and trusted by vets and doctors; Melafix is tea-tree oil, and simply isn't used by vets and doctors.>
I also purchased a new filtration system, a sponge filter. I just put it in his tank and already he seems to have relaxed a little. I think the current on the other filter was far too strong for him. He also seems fascinated by the bubbles it makes (the one I bought can be attached to an air stone to aerate the tank while filtering). He doesn't seem sluggish and he's still eating, so he might be over the worst of it (if there even was one, since he was swimming around with his tail like that as if nothing had happened).
I will keep an eye on him, and if I don't see improvement I'll most likely get the Maracyn, but I think he's going to be okay, since there hasn't been any change (for the worse) to his condition since I found him last night. I really appreciate all your help. You have no idea how great it is to have someone to ask questions who actually KNOWS what they're talking about.
<Happy to help.>
His poor tail though... I can't wait until it heals... lesson learned though... don't trust someone who doesn't know the first thing about caring for Bettas. That's how I ended up with the filtration system I did in the first place. *sigh*
<The outlook is good; fish can repair their tails very well, and the Melafix won't prevent that. Probably won't do much to help either, but we'll let that pass for now. Good luck. Neale.>

Re: Lapis a tail biter?   6/11/09
I just wanted to say again - THANK YOU!
<You're welcome.>
He's already on the mend, and the tail is looking much better!!
I was so worried about him I could barely sleep until I started to see the clear membranes that were indicators of his fin healing. His tail has already been partially restored. I had no idea they heal so fast.
<With the right medications and good water quality, yes, fish are astonishingly resilient.>
Thank you so much for your help!
Picture was taken yesterday. ^_^ He looks so much better!
<Indeed he does! I like the sponge filter you're using; ideal for Bettas.>
I bought a water testing kit so that I can keep track of his water conditions too, so hopefully all will be fine from now on.
<I hope so too. Good luck, Neale.>
>Hi Bob,
> You might want to add to the title "Re: Lapis a tail biter?" something like "Look what happens when you switch from Melafix to a *real* medication!"
> Cheers, Neale
<Ah yes. Will do. BobF>

Re: Betta now better...   6/26/09
Mr. Fenner,
Thank you so much for responding. I will hold off on the medicine and just keep an eye on the spots just to be on the safe side. Lapis seems to be doing okay, but I'm an ever-worried Betta mommy. Someone should tell PetSmart that malachite green isn't very good for the fish... they dose the water that the little Bettas live in (in those little cups).
<Lesser of two evils... while this protocol surely increases the rate at which their Bettas die before sale, they'd lose even more if they didn't because water quality is so bad.>
They say it's to "keep them from getting sick" but I agree with the mom and pop fish store I use when they said it's probably more because they don't want to clean the water (laziness).
<Quite possibly the case.>
The mom and pop place doesn't use it on the Bettas, just conditioned tap water, and their Bettas live quite well (my first Betta was from them and lived for 3 years). They did recommend the QuICK Cure to me, but she also stressed I might want to use it at half strength or something because the medicines are often stressful on the fish's system. That's the reason I contacted you, I felt it was better to seek a second opinion. Thank you so much for your help.
BTW, tell Neale (who helped me when Lapis got his caudal fin stuck in the old filter I had) that Lapis tail is almost completely healed and I really appreciate the help on that too.
<I'm glad everything worked out well.>
I'm amazed at how quickly he healed.
<Under the right conditions, fish are remarkably healthy and resilient animals. Cheers, Neale.>

My Betta's poor tail!   5/2/07 Hello, <Hi there Franca (my mum in-law's name BTW)> I love your site and find it very knowledgeable.  I have a question concerning my little guy Henrique.  He's probably about 3 years old right now. <Quite an advanced age for this species...>   Several months back he developed tail rot and part of his back tail turned black.  I put him in Jungle Fungus Eliminator and he eventually got better and the black portion fell off.  However, since then, his tail has never seemed to recover fully.  It has not grown back but instead now the edge looks puffed out like a blister and the colour is grayish.  I've included a pic for you. <I see this> It has been like this for many months, not getting better, but not getting worse either.  Once again, I have put him in Jungle Fungus Eliminator, but it has been 2 1/2 weeks now and I don't really see a big improvement. <I don't think there is anything to really fix this...> I followed the directions and did a 25% water change every 4 days and repeated with medication.  Should I try something stronger? <I would not> Since it doesn't seem to be getting worse, should I just leave him alone? <Yes, this is what I would do> Everything else about him is fine.  He is active for his age, he loves to eat and flare <I see the bubbles!> at his sisters (separate tank) and I take great care in cleaning his tank every week.  I would love your input as my fishies are my babies and mean a lot to me!! Thanks, Franca   <I would be happy to have this fish as it is in your good care. Bob Fenner>

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>
Re: Help! Please! Betta Health  7/14/06 I recently wrote about my little Betta that acquired a fungus.   <I think I remember this...> Another is going in the same direction, and I really need to understand all this information on medications.  I have one that has been laying on the bottom  of his tank for over a week now with no eating.  I finally managed to get  him to gulp two small shrimp brine whilst I held it with tweezers.  He just  twitches and lays there.  He cannot swim, and to tell you the truth, I  don't know how he has managed to stay alive this long.  I have four Bettas  that are in 2.5 gallons tanks with heaters and filters.  While I was gone  my neighbors overfed and did not clean the tanks--even after I left specific  instructions. <Yikes! ... "the best laid plans"...> I was gone 3 weeks.  Now the very sick guy has a white  fungus around his gills.  I started treatment on Maracyn and Maracyn 2, but  it didn't seem to be doing anything.  So the person at the pet store told  me to use tablets that are 200 mg of erythromycin. <Mmm, this antibiotic is the same as Maracyn...> He claimed  that it was stronger than the Maracyn products.   <Nope> Of course I only gave them  1/4 of a tablet because of the tank size (1 tab for 10 gal).  I also added  Epsom Salt but to what amount is also questionable.   I have read from 1  tsp. per gallon to 1 tablespoon per gallon is effective.   What should it  be? <This is fine> They didn't have KanaPlex when I went in, but have since gotten it  in.  I have read on your site that this a highly effective medication, but  what do I use it to treat? <My fave here: "BettaFix"> I assume it would take the place of   erythromycin, but should I be using Nitrofurazone along with it, and what  does that treat? <... see WWM re>    I just noticed that his white fungus has  turned gray which leads me to believe that he is getting better, but I  cannot get him to swim or eat. <Patience here> Please help me to understand all these  medications and their uses. I have searched out each of these meds,  but I am still at a complete loss in treating this little  guy.  I also purchased tetracycline tablets, but did not use them  as the directions said to use either/or Maracyn.   I need to  wrap my brain around these medications before the other one gets too  sick. He has a what looks to be slime and small deposits of white in  crevices around his head.  He also has a very bad case of fin rot.   I get so heartbroken just looking at the other very sick little one.   He just twitches around and stays at the bottom.  I don't know how he  breathes, as I have watched him for hours and he never surfaces.   Any  insight would be so appreciated.  Water quality is good nitrate, ph, and  ammonia levels are what they should be.  Before they got sick, their  regiment was a 70% water change once a week, and they were happy as pigs in  mud.  With medication, how often and how much of their water is changed?  They all ate 5 pellets 2x a day and all were purchased around  they same time--maybe going on two years.  Please help!  Many,  many thanks. <Take your time... clean these containers (but not the filters, to preserve nitrification), and try the BettaFix by itself. Ten deep breaths, a brisk walk... More coffee for me! 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 ½ 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. -Magnus>
Re: Betta issue with eye fungus
Thank you so much.  I have Maracyn two I will try that. <Treat the fungus with Maroxy, it's a different product that Maracyn.  I only suggest the Maracyn as a secondary treatment incase the fish has bacterial infections that come about from the primary fungal infection.  Sorry for the confusion on that.-Magnus>

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 overfeed.-Chuck>
More Betta 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 overfeed.-Chuck> WHAT IS FURNANCE?????? <<Hi there, What chuck was referring to was a medicine, that I think is rather hard to find.  Since the fish has Grayish-white stringy material covering much of the body; white or grey patches. (Not furry!) This is not a true fungus but a  bacterial infection known as Columnaris or Body Fungus.  Rather than looking for Furanace you can usually  Treat with Maracyn which I believe is much easier to find.  It's from the Mardel Medicine company, it can be found at any pet shop.  Good luck and I hope the Betta gets better. Signed -Magnus.>>

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>
Betta Fins
Hi Don. Thanks for your very fast response. We went out and bought a heater, test kit and aquarium salt. The only thing we couldn't get was Kanacyn. Should we try something else? <Many good meds for tail rot. Furan will work.> The test results are as follows:  PH 7.2. Ammonia 0 -0.25 (it was difficult to determine which.  Nitrite 0.  Nitrate 10ppm. High Water Range 7.8. <Two tests for pH. High and low range. One should be off the chart, the other a "readable" reading. The second is the correct pH> I treated with 1 Tbs aquarium salt (by reading the instructions on the box - we have a 6 gallon tank.)<Thought it was a 10?> Rereading your note, it looks as though I should up the aquarium salt to a higher level. Should I? <Yes, for treatments you can go as high as one tbls per gallon. Add it slowly, over a day or so. As the fish heals reduce the salt by doing water changes.> The thing we did find was that the temp was around 64! Poor thing, I'm surprised he wasn't covered in icicles! The heater is warming up the tank and it is currently at around 72. Before I got your reply, I put about 80% of water from his big tank and added new water, treatment and used filtered water to his old small bowl. Within about an hour he was a little more chirpy and was defending his territory when I came too close (much more like his old self). I tested the water temp in his small bowl and its at 72. <I would put him back in the larger tank if the temps are still the same. If not, put him and his current water in a plastic bag and float it in the tank. Twenty minutes or so should do it. Do not clean your filter. Watch for ammonia or nitrite spikes. Do a water change if you see either, or when nitrates climb to 20ppm or so. Replace salt in new water. If he continues to regain his strength with fresh water and salt alone, hold off on meds. Watch the fins. If they start to regrow, your golden.> My last question.  I had plastic plants in his tank - which I have since removed as it seems that this could be causing the initial tears on his tail and fins? <Unlikely> We bought some real plants, should we add them? <Sure. You will need a light in the hood> I really want to tell you how much I appreciate your help and guidance.  I know cats but I don't know fish and having you help me out may be the saving grace for Smooch. <Made me look twice. I have a parrot named Skooch> OK I didn't give him that name, my daughter did! <I'm the guilty party here. Don> Thanks Janice   

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