Betta Diseases: Treatments
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Betta Disease Causes/Etiologies: Determining/Diagnosing, Environmental (By far the largest cat.),
Nutritional, Viral/Cancer, Infectious (Bacterial, Fungal) , Parasitic: Ich/White Spot, Velvet; Senescence/Old Age,
Betta Medicines period, Antibiotics/Antibacterials,
Anti-Protozoals (Metronidazole, eSHa...),
Copper, Formalin, Malachite Green, Anthelminthics, Organophosphates, All Other Betta Med.s (Mela-non-fix,
FAQs on Betta Medicines:
Salt for Treating Bloat,
You'll need to pay particular attention to
water quality and be ready to change out water... Using
medications often kills off beneficial microbes; including
biological filtration. Beware of leaf extracts/"Fixes"
trying to pass as medicines
eBook on Amazon
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Betta velvet with possible copper poisoning
Hello, I'm afraid I need to trouble you for help with my sick Betta
10 days ago I noticed he was acting oddly, clamped fins, resting on the
bottom, labored breathing (but still had his appetite). I grabbed a
flashlight and saw what I felt pretty confident was velvet on him. I put
him into a hospital tank (1 gallon) with some malachite green (all I had
<Almost never a good idea to medicate with whatever's handy. Better to
delay treatment, but choose the right drug for a clearly identified
The next day I switched to using SeaChem's Cupramine because I was told
that would be more effective for velvet.
He has a bubbler in the tank to help keep the oxygen levels up, and one
small fake plant from his main tank so he has somewhere to hide and can
rest on top of it to be near the surface. We have been doing full water
changes every 3 days to try and keep the ammonia under control since we
can't fit a filter in his hospital tank. His tank temperature has been
maintained between 23-24C since he was placed in the hospital tank.
<Possibly a little warmer would be better, I'd say 25C/77F is about
optimal for farmed Bettas.>
So he has now been in the Cupramine maintaining levels between 0.15-0.25
for 9 days (we started at 0.15 to try and get him use to it while still
being effective). On day 2 of the copper treatment he took a turn for
the worst. In a last ditch effort I added API general fungus cure that
has malachite green and Acriflavine. This helped a lot. He showed steady
improvement for 5 days.
Then yesterday he seemed mildly sluggish when I went to feed him in the
morning and by last night he had gone down hill again. He was laying on
his side struggling to eat, seemed disoriented and was hiding from me.
We did a full tank change and re-dosed just the copper thinking maybe
having too many medications was causing stress to him.
This morning he would not eat, still on his side (although swimming
around a little bit), when he comes to the surface he seems disoriented.
His breathing is not labored at least. I don't see any more signs of
velvet on him but it's hard to tell because he is hiding too much for me
to get a good look. I am worried his symptoms are the effect of the
copper exposure and not the velvet. I want to remove him from the copper
but everything I have read says I need to treat for velvet for 14 days
or it can come back with a vengeance. Do you have any advice on what I
should do for the little
guy? I feel like we got so close in curing him and now are watching him
slip away again.
<Understood. It's tricky this, because Velvet can cause problems for
fish, and untreated can kill them. It's also more resistant to the old
salt/heat method that works so well with Whitespot. Not that salt/heat
doesn't work, it often does; but sometimes it fails, particularly if the
infection is severe or the fish is, for some reason, so weak its immune
system can't be
relied upon. There are good anti-Velvet medications out there. Cupramine
is one of them, but like all copper-based medication it's important not
to overdose. For example, you need to be cautious about estimating how
big the volume of water is you're treating. A 10 gallon tank for example
rarely contains 10 gallons, and by the time you include rocks, sand,
etc., it's more like 8 gallons, if that. It's a really good idea to
count the buckets of water added to your tank when you first set it up,
so in the future you know exactly how much water it contains. On top of
that, some materials will absorb copper (such as corals and limestone
rocks) and these need to be removed from the tank during medication so
they don't release that copper back into the water later on. Using a
copper test kit is a really good idea, as is the use of copper-removing
chemical media when the medication has run its course. Personally, I
prefer medications without copper, such as eSHa EXIT. Given where you
are, I'd be doing large (25-50%) daily water changes before adding the
daily dose of Cupramine, and when the course of medications is done, I'd
wait at least a week before starting the medication over, should the
Velvet come back. Make sense?>
Sorry for the long story.
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Betta velvet with possible copper poisoning
Thank you I very much appreciate the reply.
In my haste I forgot to mention some information I'm afraid. I have been
measuring out the volume of what goes into the tank, not relying on what
the tank says it is. I also have been doing daily tests for the copper
I panicked after emailing you and I did a partial water change that
diluted his copper levels back to 0.15ppm. A few hours after, I checked
on him and he actually came to see me without coaxing and ate some
pellet food. I could tell he wanted to eat more but he seemed to become
disoriented and tired rather quickly. He is still resting on his side,
although seems able to right himself more easily now. He moves resting
spots every 5-10 minutes.
He has some minor discolouration (light brown spots on a blue Betta) on
his head in two spots that appeared a week ago but doesn't seem to have
I thought it might be from the velvet but now I wonder if it's from the
<Possibly. Really hard to say.>
So I have two questions now. In your opinion should I remove him from
the copper medication completely given that I saw improvement after
reducing the levels? Or is this a bad idea given that we are only on day
9 of treatment?
<Very tricky this. My gut reaction is to finish the course of
Seachem maintain that Cupramine -- used as directed -- is safe with
Bettas, and I can't think of any particular reason they should be more
sensitive than other 'bread and butter' tropical fish. For sure loaches
and some catfish are more sensitive to copper, but labyrinth fish are
generally regarded as being no more sensitive than the usual community
fish. So, I'd just be very careful about dosing, I'd do water changes
each day before adding more, and I'd use a copper-absorbing chemical
media afterward the full course if at all practical (failing that, a
series of 25-50% water changes each day across a few days should dilute
any remaining copper substantially). Some aquarists get adequate results
from Cupramine at half the stated dose, but the problem here is that
Velvet is very resistant to copper, and my feeling is that this would be
less successful than treating Whitespot with half doses. With all of
this said, if the Velvet seems gone by now, and there's no evidence of
further "flashing" or gill irritation, stopping now might be okay. The
problem is that it's hard to be 100% sure the Velvet has gone, even if
there's no flashing, and you might have to run a whole other course of
medications a few days or weeks from now. >
If so I would place him in a salt and heat bath tank for the next few
weeks to observe.
<Salt/heat isn't entirely reliable with Velvet, so approach with
caution, and do keep a close eye on the fish.>
My other question is. Assuming he makes it, is there anything
preventative that I can do in my aquarium (5 gallon with heater and
filter) to prevent velvet from coming back again? I don't even know how
it started in the first place. All my readings were good. No ammonia, no
nitrite, 5 nitrate, and stable temperature of 24c (I am trying to get it
up but my apartment is very cold and the heater claims it is for a 10
gallon tank so I don't understand why I can't get to 25c at least).
<Once Velvet is eliminated, using salt/heat or copper, that's it. Gone.
Forever. It'll only get back in via new fish, or else via some other wet
object carried from an infected tank, such as net, ornament or even
So quarantining is the name of the game here!>
I really do appreciate your response and your help. I thought I was
doing everything right for my fish and I feel very guilty that he is
sick. So the reassurance that I am at least getting some things right is
good to hear.
Best regards, Kathryn.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Update on Betta Fish with velvet
Hello Neal/ wwm crew,
I wrote you last week about my Betta fish who was suffering from velvet
and possible copper poisoning. I just wanted to give you an update and
ask another question.
To quickly recap we were treating the Betta with Seachem's Cupramine.
The directions said to maintain a does between 0.15-0.2 ppm for 10-14
However, my Betta seemed to be struggling with the copper, as the velvet
seemed to disappear the fish appeared to get sicker. In the end we
managed to keep him in the treatment for 12 days before we removed him
from the copper completely due to worsening condition. We placed him in
a tank with API Fungus Cure which has Acriflavine and Malachite Green.
Removal from the Copper had a positive effect, he started eating again
and appeared to be in less distress. After two days though he still
wasn't acting "cured". His fins are no longer clamped, his normal
coloring has returned and he is not flashing at all. However, he had
labored breathing after he swam around for longer than 15 seconds at a
time. Once he rested for a good few minutes his breathing would be
normal again and he would be happy to swim some more.
<Bettas don't rely on their gills for oxygen, and will suffocate if they
can't breathe air. If 'forced' to use their gills more than normal,
Bettas will appear stressed, more so if their gills are damaged.>
Given that he had velvet and it attacks the gills, I really felt that
his tired state may have been due to oxygenation problems.
<Possibly. In any event, gill tissue does grow back eventually.>
He already had a bubbler going in his tank but we upgraded it to a much
better one. While I was worried about dosing too many medications I
still decided to add Methylene blue to his water since I know it can
help oxygenate the blood.
<I don't know about this at all! By definition, adding anything soluble
to water displaces oxygen, even salt, and on top of that, medications
all have some 'killing' ability or they wouldn't be used. If you're
killing pathogens (germs) then decay will absorb oxygen from the water.
But in any event, Methylene Blue is a dye that happens to fill fungi and
microbes, including Whitespot and Velvet, though neither of these
particularly reliably. It has been used in blood transfusions to ensure
the haemoglobin stays in its normal oxygen-carrying state, though
toxicity worries have led to its phasing out, at least in the UK. It may
have some medical uses along the same lines. A medic will certainly be
able to tell you more about this than me! But for maximising the
oxygen-carrying capacity of fish blood? Seems unlikely.>
The difference has been excellent. He is doing much better at getting
his food on the first try, and seems to have a fair bit more energy. He
is interested in what is going on outside his tank and comes out to
greet me every time I go by. However, the labored breathing after
swimming is still present, he can now swim for about a minute at a time
but then he needs to rest for 30 seconds.
All this being said I am guessing that his gills are still damaged and
without the Methylene blue he would return to a state of not having
<Not convinced, but glad the results are positive. "Post hoc, ergo
propter hoc" is not always reliable; indeed, it almost never is! I'd
explain the situation as this: the copper largely killed off the mobile,
infective stages of the Velvet from the tank. The generation of Velvet
parasites on your fish finished their life cycle and died. Without
mobile phases to
re-infect your fish, the infection ended. But the gill tissue remains
damaged (this is, fundamentally, why Whitespot and Velvet kill fish) and
your Betta is having to manage with less oxygen from the water. It can
breathe air of course, so isn't in imminent danger, but under such
conditions will be more lethargic than normal. It will take some days,
perhaps weeks for the gill filaments to re-grow. The Methylene blue will
be working as an anti-fungal agent, inhibiting further damage to the
gills by keeping the lesions clean. It's a mild medication, used even
with fish eggs and fry, with only very rare toxic effects on fish, so
you should be fine continuing with it for some days yet. I wouldn't
bother after a week
though. The gills should have stopped bleeding or decaying by then, and
any infection is unlikely by this point.>
I've searched as best I could but I haven't found any information about
if Betta's are able to regenerate gill tissue once it has been damaged.
Do you know if it is possible that he could still make a full (of close
to full) recovery?
<He should do.>
My other question is about velvet itself, we will add the last does of
API general fungus cure tomorrow and then allow the level of medication
to decrease through our daily water changes. At that point we will be on
day 16 of treating the fish for velvet in either Copper or the API
general fungus cure. Given the continued improvement of the fish and the
lack of any velvet symptoms, is this likely long enough to have
eradicated velvet on the fish?
<It may be. Velvet, like Whitespot, doesn't 'stay' on a fish. There are
multiple cycles of infection and re-infection before the host fish dies
(in the wild, they may even have low infections for years at a time). So
some mobile phases get into the fish, burrow into the gills, form cysts,
and within a few days reach the end of their life cycle, burst, spread
another generation of mobile phases into the water, then die. Some of
those mobile cells get into the fish, form new cysts, mature, burst, and
die. And so on, many many times. What medication does is kill all the
produced by the current generation living in your fish, so when they
die, nothing replaces them. Individual cysts might only live a couple
days, but we treat for a week or so because there may be cysts of
different ages, so what we want to do is kill of all the mobile phases
produced by all the cysts across a week. That means there'll be no
reproducing cysts in your fish, and no mobile cells to re-infect your
fish, and the cycle is broken.
Note that you can't actually kill the cysts in your fish. They're
impossible to get at.>
Are there any problems to then continue treating him in Methylene blue
for the next week to help keep him oxygenated while he regrows any lost
<I would do precisely this; see above.>
I need to keep him in his hospital tank for a few more weeks anyways as
I need to get a fishless cycle going in his main-tank before sending him
I apologize for the length of this, my questions always seem to require
more explanation than I originally thought. I do very much appreciate
the help though!
<And a Merry Christmas to you and your Betta! Cheers, Neale.>
Betta Bloated, Epsom Salt Not Working HELP
You continue to be the best resource for me over the years regarding everything
fish! I searched the archives on Betta Swim Bladder and Constipation and read
and read but cannot find anything that says what to do after Epsom Salt
I rescued a Betta from a local Pet Co. about 4 months ago. "Charlie" is
housed in a 2gallon tank at work with a heater and filtration and has
been a happy boy, making weekly bubble nests, active, and eating like a pig!
Went on vacation and came home to a bloated Betta (looked to me like swim
bladder due to constipation?)
Parameters of water at that time were bizarre (PH was in low 6 range, there was
Ammonia and Nitrates were high).
I did a 50% water change and fasted him 4 days and tried a blanched frozen pea.
He did not bite.
I took Charlie home to watch him. Put him in a gallon bowl with a heater and
fasted him again and tried pea, and no bite.
Began Epsom Salt baths once a day 1 TBS in gallon of water for 15-20 minutes and
Fed him a blood worm - nothing.
Have fasted him again 3 days but this little guy will not "go". He is as happy
as can be, swimming properly just BLOATED.
<Try either live or frozen/defrosted Daphnia or Artemia (Brine Shrimp). Good
Water is 0 nitrates, PH 7.4, 0 Nitrites 0 Ammonia and the temp is 78. I am doing
water changes every other day because this bowl is tiny (1 gallon).
Attached are two photos I took today.
<Really; just time going by at this point. This fish has been "challenged" by
poor water quality... a few weeks going by should see it improving. Bob Fenner>
Fwd: Betta Bloated, Epsom Salt Not Working HELP
Photos were duplicate, my apologies. Attached are correct photos
<Same resp. BobF>
Sick Betta 9/18/15
First of all, I would just love to thank you for your wonderful site, which has
more than once saved the lives of my fish. Your work is amazing. I can only hope
to one day know enough about fish to be able to spread the love.
<Ahh; I hope for this as well>
I am writing to you because I am fortunate enough to work in a pet store, and I
recently exchanged a Betta I'd owned for several months for a beautiful
white-and-purple delta tail. My Betta had grown large and healthy with me after
I healed him of fin rot (thank you, salt dips), he was enormous compared to the
other Bettas and was in tip top shape, always eating and not easily rattled.
This new fish, however, has something the matter with him. He seems active
enough, but red spots have begun to appear on his head and the top of
his body, and he won't touch food (he'll follow my hand when I drop it in, but
won't eat it). He will sometimes bend his tail sideways and swim in a circle,
and small round holes have appeared near the edges of his fins which become
ragged as the holes spread. Salt dips do not appear to have helped
much. He seems alert and active, but I'm concerned--I don't want to lose him,
and he is so gorgeous, I don't want him to lose any more fin!
<Mmm; the "red spots" worry me.... What could this be? Parasitic perhaps;
He is in a 2.5 gallon tank which I clean daily, in the company of two small
Cryptocorynes and some white silica sand. He has no heater, but since I live in
Cancun, he sure doesn't need one.
<I would add for the duration of treatment here>
Other than at the holes, his fins appear intact, his colors are bright and when
he isn't doing his weird spinning act, he swims normally, exploring the tank. I
am going to add more plants soon.
<I would leave off w/ live plants here for the while>
What can I do? I only have salt, malachite green, Methylene blue, and Furan-2
capsules, all of which were already tried in combination when the red spots
first appeared (for every liter I added 1 drop of malachite green, 4 drops of
Methylene blue and half a teaspoon of aquarium salt; then I took a Furan-2
capsule, broke it open and made a paste with the powder which I then rubbed on
the red spots. I put a drop of the paste into his water and mixed that in too.
It didn't appear to do anything for him.) Since then, I've given him a daily
5-minute salt dip in a liter of water with a teaspoon of aquarium or non-iodized
table salt dissolved in it; even though it doesn't appear to be doing anything,
at least the fin rot seems to be progressing very slowly.
What can I do? Please, I don't want to lose him :( I've been told to try Sulfast
3, but can I use it in conjunction with Furan-2? Should I give that to him
again? Why won't he eat? (I just brought him home two days ago; he was at the
pet store where I work.) Our water here is quite hard, but I keep it clean, and
my other Betta lived without a problem.
<I would treat w/ a dose (single) of BOTH Metronidazole and Praziquantel
(administered to the water as the fish is not eating; while raising the
temperature of the water to the mid-80's F>
Thank you in advance for your reply! :)
<Welcome; thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Sick Betta 9/18/15
Thanks so much Mr. Fenner!
I just have a couple more questions your answer raised in my mind... Those
medicines you mentioned... The vet here has them in injectable form for dogs and
cats, or in suspension. There's also General Cure which has Metronidazole,
should I use that?
<Yes to the powder form/s; not injectable>
Or how much is a dose?
<Please search, read on WWM Re.... need to dilute if treating in small volume/s>
My tank is 10L, but to treat him I'd move him back to the LFS where I work. How
I keep him at eighty degrees?
<Mid-80's... for the duration... likely a week or two>
Thank you once more! You guys are awesome!!!
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Re: Sick Betta 9/18/15
Hello again, Mr. Fenner! :)
I was only able to find Metronidazole, in 500mg tablets (for people), or in
General Cure; but Praziquantel remains elusive. Can I use the tablets?
<Yes; crush up with two spoons; to hasten dissolving>
Will it work without Praziquantel?
<The Prazi is for worm diseases of many types.... works independently of the
Metro (which is for Protozoans, some bacteria). Really need both>
Only the vet seems to have that, and she has it in injectable form or in
<Not the same>
The Betta's eyes now look swollen and strange. I don't wanna lose him :(
<See WWM re adding a bit of Epsom Salt>
Sorry for the bunch of questions. I've never treated a fish before with anything
not meant for fish, and I'm scared to kill him :(
Thank you again!
Suspected Betta Constipation
I suspect that our Betta is suffering from constipation. He stopped eating
Thursday evening and we noticed Friday morning that he was bloated. He also has
a string of poop hanging from him. We fasted him for 2 days and tried to
feed him daphnia
today which he didn't eat. I figured that I would try to fast him a couple more
days and try to feed him daphnia again. He also isn't as active as he normally
is. The water parameters are ammonia 0, nitrites 0 and nitrates 10. The
temperature is at 81.
I know that you recommend putting Epsom salt directly into the tank but
at what point should you do this?
<I would do this now>
Also, will the Epsom salt hurt any of the other inhabitants in the tank?
<Too much can harm snails, plants...>
He lives in a filtered, heated 15 gallon tank with ember tetras, red
cherry shrimp and Malaysian trumpet snails. I am concerned about the
Epsom salt harming the cherry shrimp who are breeding well and I don't want to
do anything to harm them.
<I'd treat minimally for now (1 level tsp. for five gallons); or move
the Betta to treat separately elsewhere, or use the Epsom in a submerged bath
for five minutes>
If I can add the Epsom salt directly to the tank, how long do I keep the Epsom
salt in the tank before I do a water change and how large of a water change do I
need to do to remove the Epsom salt from the tank once treatment is over?
<Regular water changing... a quarter or so per week, will serially dilute over
time... at low concentration, this will be fine>
If I can't add the Epsom salt directly to the tank, do you recommend an Epsom
salt bath for the Betta?
I have some pictures attached of our Betta.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Suspected Betta Constipation 6/2/15
I hope it is okay if I ask another question.
Last night, our Betta took a turn for the worst. He started to lay at the bottom
of his tank, only coming up for air and was breathing heavy. We slowly started
to put some Epsom salt in the tank to watch to see how it may effect the
So far, we have put in a teaspoon and according to you should put in more.
<Yes; see WWM, our prev. corr.>
My question is, am I still looking at a case of constipation or something else?
<Can't tell... could be bacterial; other...>
He doesn't seem to be getting any bigger but him becoming lethargic is
concerning to me. Any suggestions on what we should do?
<As you are doing really. I would NOT "try" adding medicines in a Hodge podge
fashion. Much more likely to do harm than good. I urge patience. Oh, and may be
trying a bit of live (or barring this frozen/defrosted) brine shrimp. Bob
Re: Suspected Betta Constipation 6/6/2015
Good morning. I was hoping I can ask a follow up on our Betta and his suspected
We finished putting in a total of 3 teaspoons of Epsom salt in his 15 gallon
tank by Monday evening.
When we got up on
Tuesday morning, our Betta was in his floating log (where he usually sleeps)
instead of laying on the bottom of the tank and then started to make a bubble
nest on Tuesday in his log.
(I know this doesn't mean happiness but it is the first nest he has made so it
made us feel better.)
I even got him to eat some daphnia on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday morning he
would still be in his log but would go back down to the bottom of the tank after
the tank's light goes on. Since he seems to have bad eyesight, he needs to be in
a position were he needs to see any food to eat it. Since he was in his log
yesterday morning, I tried to feed him some more daphnia but he wasn't
interested and went back to the bottom of the tank. Since he doesn't seem to be
improving since Tuesday, we added another teaspoon of Epsom salt to his tank
Wednesday evening.. He is still bloated but doesn't seem to be getting any
bigger. But I also can't tell if he is getting any smaller. On Tuesday, I saw
another string of poop from him but nothing since then. How long can a Betta be
Does this seem normal?
<Mmm; no; not w/in my def.>
Should we just continue doing what we are doing?
<Yes; but I'd add a 50% water change every week (w/ MgSO4 replacement) to this
routine... vacuuming the gravel in the process>
He still doesn't seem as bad as he did Sunday evening but he also doesn't seem
as good as he did on Tuesday.
<Thank you for this report. Patience! Bob Fenner>
one bulging eye for almost 2 months now... too many med.s, not enough
rdg. on WWM 1/10/15
I pray this finds you well and in good spirits J First, I would like to
say thank you for what you are doing for desperate animal/fish lovers
like myself. Your time, energy, effort, feedback, and consideration is
I have a male Betta named "Felix". I have owned him for approximately 6
months now. He is a blue" long" finned Betta, called a Veil Tail (VT).
He seemed pretty healthy up until about 2 months ago. Something
apparently went wrong in my 5 gallon Hex tank. He was housed with 3
peppered Corydoras catfish. Felix is totally non-aggressive and
everybody got along quite well!! Unfortunately, something came upon all
the fish and the "Mama" Corydoras ended up dying. Probably because I did
the "worst thing to do" from what I've been told by pet stores,
which was changing 100% of the water (because
I panicked that something in the water was really bad).
<Yikes; best to have some pre-made, stored water on hand... to make such
in anticipation of partial, weekly change outs>
So, after much research and numerous trips to the LFS, testing water
again and again and again, only for them to tell me the only thing they
noticed about my water quality is that my PH was a little low, but not
enough to harm (kill) any fish!! Anyways, after that episode, Felix and
my 2 remaining catfish seemed to be just fine! Then a few days
later, Felix had one bulging eye.
He also seemed to start fading in color around his head
and gills (almost a brown head & greenish gill color. I
think at that time I even noticed a few red
patches on his head. So, now we are a few more trips to the LFS
many hours on the internet, I ended up treating the whole tank with
Mardel's Maracyn (Ethromyacin) for the recommended time frame, actually
2 days beyond that. without any symptoms subsiding. So I stopped that
treatment. Let me tell you, in every other manor..Felix and my 2
remaining catfish "Moe & Minnie" seemed to be just fine and healthy!
Then about 2 weeks later, I ended up getting a 16 gallon tank and
transferring all fish to new tank. Everything seemed to be carrying on
the same way..and of course I truly do believe the fish were so much
happier with all the extra room and plants, etc...even a new piece of
Malaysian Driftwood. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that upon
recommendation, I started adding Aquarium Salt shortly after the "low
<.... won't change the pH>
diagnosis & bulging eye.
<Mmm; well; not (NaCl) necessary. I would have you read (on WWM) re the
one time use of Epsom (MgSO4)>
Then about 2 more weeks into this, Felix's external symptoms seemed to
remain the same, with a bulging right eye, faded head color, greenish
gill area, and red patches on head. Yet, the catfish seemed to be just
So, I then decided to treat the tank with "Tetracycline", based upon a
<Stop.... all this random medicating doesn't help>
I did the full treatment cycle, actually I think I lengthened the
treatment by a day or so, and yet still no improvement,
although.. nor regressing!
Then about a week or so went by and I actually come to find out that
Aquarium Salt isn't really good for my scaleless fish (Corydoras), so I
stopped adding the aquarium salt when doing my partial water changes.
Also, let me remind you..since the "initial episode", I bought a Master
Test Kit to constantly check my water parameters. So I have been
constantly aware of same, along with water temps, etc. Anyways, a couple
days after I stopped adding Aquarium Salt to my water..Felix's eye got a
little more swollen.
This made me think that the AS was just keeping whatever
bacterial/fungal/parasitic infection at "bay"! Although, I am totally
far from an expert. So who knows??
<I do; the Epsom Salt>
Now, he did get spooked once sometime before this secondary swelling..so
maybe this was an eye injury from the spooked
darting across the tank, or perhaps...this has ALWAYS been an eye injury
from the get go????
So, once again, I reacted with transferring Felix to a hospital tank and
treating him with Epsom Salts for a couple days to reduce the swelling,
being afraid of his eye popping!
<Won't; and don't need to move the fish; treat all in place>
After the 2nd day, it seemed to go down perhaps a tiny tiny amount
(although my husband didn't think so), but certainly not enough to
convince me this was the treatment to keep pursuing.
With that being said, I finally decided to treat with an all inclusive
treatment called Jungle "Lifeguard"
concurrently with ES, based upon internet recommendations. However,
after 3 days of treating and following
the directions with water changes, etc...nothing seemed to be getting
better, let alone, his swollen eye changed in shape, and it seemed his
"red patches" became more severe, almost believing they are like
"burns"!! So, I stopped this treatment immediately, especially since
they use Chlorine!
Now, Felix is still in his hospital tank just being treated with AS, as
I read not to mix ES with AS. It has been 2 days since we removed
medications and his eye is still bulging, gills still look kinda light
greenish, head still has red patches, but more now (even one right under
his swollen eye).
As I said before, otherwise, I believe Felix acts completely healthy!!
BTW, my other fish (2 Corydoras) are in the main tank not being treated
also still seem completely healthy! So what is the deal???
<As you've stated; the initial chemical insult, consequent mis-additions
of med.s, salt>
PLEASE HELP!!! I don't know what else to do???
<... just the Epsom, and possibly elevated temp... into the low 80's F>
Most importantly, how can I get the swelling to dissipate from his eye??
I don't want him to lose an
eye!!! Also, how can I get those red patches to disappear??- Is this
possibly from ammonia burn???
<... poss. The antibiotics may well have depressed nitrification>
As far as I know the highest level the ammonia was ever at, was .50..is
this enough to cause burns??
How can I get his gills to come back to color (not that greenish
<Just good care... water quality, nutrition... and time going by>
I'm honestly just at wits end, cause I don't know what else to do for my
friendly Felix?? I was thinking of returning him to an ES treatment for
a few days, to hopefully reduce the swelling. It was also recommended to
me to use this "Betta Revive",
<Stop... you're poisoning this fish; the system>
but because I have already treated him with 3 other types of
medicines/chemicals, I am hesitant on giving him another, especially if
I don't have too, because this stuff has that Methylene Blue & Malachite
Green, which I read was harmful to my Felix, but then again, most
treatments are probably! Any information or suggestions you have on
<You can simply read our input on WWM re Betta splendens; sans
EMO; or download or buy my small Betta Success book on Amazon>
I appreciate whatever direction you can provide me with. I really don't
know what else to do..if anything?? I want to return him to his 16
gallon tank with his buddy catfish J Thank you so much for your time and
I greatly appreciate it!!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Strange gunk on Betta
I came home from school for Thanksgiving break. I went in to see my
Betta male that I left home. I noticed he wasn't looking very well. He
was sitting on the ground and his color looked faded. I checked his
water temperature and the thermometer said it was 68 degrees and I also
checked the under-gravel filter and it was filthy.
<Aquarium much too cold. Turn the heater up (or heaven forbid, "on" if
someone has switched it off in your absence). As you hopefully know,
Bettas are tropical fish, any anyone who tells you they can survive at
room temperature is either (a) misinforming you or (b) living in the
tropics where room temperature is tropical! Anything below 25 C/77 F is
bad for Bettas, and below, say, 22 C/72 F quickly becomes lethal. I'm
only stressing this point for the benefit of others reading this...
you'd be surprised (saddened) how many people believe they don't need to
provide their Betta with a heater, instead spouting out such nonsense as
"this angle poise light over the top warms it up" or "it's bred to live
in an unheated tank" or some such rubbish. Your Betta is almost
certainly getting sick because of lack of heat. Fish are ectotherms,
meaning the heat energy they need for normal metabolic processes comes
from their environment (not internally, as it is with mammals and
birds). If they're too cold, chemical reactions slow down below the
necessary (safe) rate, and things like digestion and immune response
stop working properly. Bacteria in the water that would normally be
fended off by their immune system can run amok if the immune system is
running at half speed, and the result is, of course, a sick fish. Finrot
and Fungus are two classic responses to tropical fish being kept too
cold, as are Whitespot infections.>
I did a 75% water change and cleaned the filter. I let him float in the
new water for 20 minutes and then let him back in it. I then noticed he
has some "gunk" on his left fin. I don't want to go out and buy a lot of
chemicals if it isn't very serious and that could harm him even more.
<Indeed, that's a concern, but at the same time, medicines shouldn't be
seen as an expense that can be avoided. In this situation though
increasing water temperature and ensuring good water quality (as always,
zero ammonia and zero nitrite) should do the trick, and if the fin
damage/infection doesn't get worse, it should heal up in time. Using a
reliable Finrot medication (Melafix wouldn't be my first choice here,
despite its low cost and wide sale, but a proper antibiotic instead) is
definitely worthwhile though. As ever, remove carbon from the filter
during use otherwise the medicine probably won't work.>
I've had him for a year. I'm wondering if this is normal for older Betta
fish or of it could be something serious.
<In an aquarium a Betta should live 2-3 years after purchase without too
much trouble if given decent care. If the aquarium heater was turned
down low, it may well be that over summer his water temperature was
adequate, if not ideal, but now it's colder, he's really feeling the
chill. Review, and act accordingly.>
I have a picture of it. I also noticed some black spots on his fin that
i never noticed before. Are they normal or should i be concerned.
<Any dramatic changes in a fish are cause for concern, especially when
linked to obviously bad environmental stress (such as lack of heat). Let
me also direct you to Bob Fenner's book on keeping Bettas, here:
For under $10 (or $6 on Kindle!) you get pretty much everything you need
to know about Bettas in one place. Since Bettas are so widely kept, we
know everything that's needed to keep them healthy. Heat, filtration, a
decent sized aquarium (I'd argue at least 4-5 gallons, anything less
being pretty pointless) and an appropriate diet. Read, understand, learn
Re: Strange gunk on Betta
Thanks Neal. I got him a heater and he does seem happier. i plan on changing
up his diet to more then pellets for a more happier Betta
<Most welcome and glad he's a better Betta (which is alliterative in British
English!). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Strange gunk on Betta 11/28/14
Hi Neal. I'm happy to report that Ash (my Betta) is doing much better. He is
happy in his 80 degree water and is eating and swimming around. I did buy
the Melafix and put it in the tank and it is helping with the gunk on his
fin (still not sure what it is).
<Do be careful with Melafix. It promises a lot, but as I've said
many times on WWM, it doesn't always deliver. Because it's cheap,
it's popular, but it isn't much beyond a half-decent preventative. Once fish
actually get sick, I'm not convinced it cures anything with any certainty.
Do remember fish, like humans, heal by themselves in many cases, where
infection is only slight. So adding Melafix and seeing your fish get better
doesn't mean Melafix cured the fish. In fact I'd place money on the heat
being the helpful factor here.>
The spots I realized have been there the whole time (looked back at old
photos and they were on his dorsal fin then to). I also got him some
bloodworms as a treat and he loves them. Thanks for all your help.
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Betta w/ worm? 6/6/13
Hello, I'm Donetta and I'm having an issue with my Betta Ruby. He
has a short white stringy looking thing hanging from his Pelvic fin.
I thought it was something insignificant and it's been there for a
while. However it appears to be getting longer. I was
reading around on your site and others and it appears it may be
an anchor worm.
<Might be; can't make it out in your pic>
He's behaving normally with good appetite. However he's currently
being treated for Finrot with Kanaplex. Previously, I
treated him in a QT tank with salt and his fins healed 90% and I put him
back in the 10 gal and he got sick again. I should have left him
longer, but he was getting very depressed in the small 1.5 gal.
Tomorrow is his last dose of Kanaplex. It appears the rot has
stopped, but the fins are not looking better. I emailed previously
and Neale helped me out.
Ruby is currently in his 10 gallon planted tank. Not sure what I
should do about this.
<Treat for it. Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta w/ worm?
Thanks for replying! I read the article regarding the worms on your
It was a lot of different information. On my fish now I believe I see
two potential worms.
<I do too>
When I do my water change on Sunday I'm going to net him and inspect closely
to make sure it is in fact worms. Should these worms wiggle?
What I see on him is still looking. I want to prepare my self to
treat him if I need to.
From what I gather people usually take the worms out with tweezers.
<The adult forms, embedded in their fish hosts, yes... IF the hosts are
large enough; can sustain the damage, trauma. I don't think this is the case
here. Put another way, I would NOT tweezer this fish>
Is this a must?
<It is NOT a must>
If I do this do I still need to put medicine in the tank?
<Yes; you need foremost to kill the intermediate forms (non-adults) NOT on
We have API general cure and Parasite Clear here. Is it best to
take him out of his planted tank?
<Not likely; No. I would treat the system, the fish in place>>
I read that Parasite clear won't hurt your biological cycle. If I
remove him to QT tank do I still need to treat the main tank?
Also it says follow with bacterial meds. Is this just to prevent
If so can I just dab with Neosporin or one dose of Betta fix?
Or if he's in QT put in salt water for a certain number of days?
<Better to utilize water soluble antibiotics... Maracyn I and II are good
Like I mentioned he just finished Kanaplex tx for fin rot, I'd rather be
least intrusive as possible. Also can parasites cause fin rot?
<Yes; can easily be related>
I've been trying to figure out that for a while. I know they say
dirty water, but I believe I fixed that problem, but fins still not better.
Thanks so much!
Re: Betta w/ worm? 6/9/13
Thanks again for taking the time to help me out! I'm nervous about
the process. We do have Maracyn 1&2 here. I'm nervous
because I read it can harm your beneficial bacteria,
<Mmm, usually not nitrifiers if this is your concern>
but sounds like I got to get the other worms out the system. Do you
mean to treat Maracyn 1&2 at the same time or one after the other?
<Use them after treating for the crustaceans, worms>
These meds won't kill my plants?
<... read on the Net re the active ingredients in what you intend to
employ. The Mardel products will not>
If my cycle crashes what should I do?
<See WWM re...>
Should I be checking ammonia levels daily too?
<If so concerned>
Usually what we do is add Prime daily when we're concerned about Ammonia,
<Not a good idea...>
but I know that Prime will detox my tank of heavy metals i.e.. the micro
nutrients in my tank. Have any suggestion on this? I read
about some type of ammonia absorber chips as well, not exactly sure how
they work though.
So at the end of this treatment the worms on his body should fall off?
<Likely they will cycle off. B>
Re: Betta w/ worm? 6/9/13
Hello again I want to be sure I'm understanding correctly. From
the prior response I thought it was suggested to treat the worms with
Is this correct?
Maracyn 1 is for the parasites and Maracyn 2 is to prevent a
Re: Betta w/ worm? 6/9/13
<Search WWM re the original email/link below<<At top here>>
It was suggested here to not uses tweezers on the fish and to use
medications instead. I mentioned that we have API general cure and
Jungle Fungus Cure however Maracyn 1&2 was recommended. If that is
not a good choice, do you know of an alternate? Or have another
Re: Betta w/ worm? Lernaea, other possibilities
Hi again, ok I looked at the link and saw the meds under choose your
weapon. I'm hesitant to treat with the meds because I just don't
feel 100% it's anchor worms
<Ahh! Good that you are cautious. I want to make known to you that I
have seen Lernaea on Betta splendens... it's very hard to make out until
the adults are "sporting" egg cases and are quite large. Ouch! And the
host quite debilitated. This situation is one where treating on
suspicion is warranted in my opinion>
even though he has this stiff thing hanging off him along with another
white thing underneath his body. Is it possible to have anchor
worms without significant behavior changes?
<Initially, yes... As the numbers and size of parasites increases, the
hosts become more lethargic, hanging out at the bottom>
He does have the fin rot, but he is swimming around normally. He's
not scratching himself or lethargic. He's eating normally etc.
<Please do a bit more, larger searching, reading... I would treat for
both crustacean and worm parasites if this were a commercial setting.
Re: Betta w/ worm? Lernaea and real worm med.s
Hi Bob, I so appreciate your help on this! It turns out I looked
into Planaria treatment for my tank a while back and I purchased
Fenbendazole under the brand name Panacur. I still have the meds.
Maybe you know of this one, this is a general de-wormer and I know that
it also treats Camallanus worms.
<Ah yes; am very familiar>
Now that you mention it, my fish has that white thing under his body
behind his ventral fins. Maybe it's a worm sticking out his vent.
Is this the type of worm treatment you were thinking of?
<Indeed it is; yes>
Also, now that I will treat with the anti-parasite meds and dewormer how
do you dose?
<There are a few approaches... but these compounds can be used at the
Do you complete one treatment and wait a while to do the next or just
right after each other? Maybe a water change in between?
Which meds should I treat first? I wouldn't think at the same time
right? After the crustacean treatment would I still need to do a
<Possibly; but doubtful. Most bacterial (and fungal) issues w/ aquatic
life we keep are due to issues w/ the environment, and curable by fixing
For this treatment can you just do something mild like MelaFix?
<No; not worthy>
I know Betta People usually don't like that med, but I can do 20% dosing.
I just busted my cycle with the Kanaplex when I was treating the
fin rot or maybe add 1 tsp salt or just skip the bacterial?
<I'd skip. B>
Re: Betta w/ worm? Now... suspected Ich overtreatment
Hi Bob, unfortunately I have another development. I got the meds
for the anchor worms(API general cure) and the de-wormer and was
preparing to dose today when I could be home and observe my fish.
Unfortunately yesterday I observed white looking patches under and
around his mouth. I thought it could be Ick, but it's not just
tiny dots, but patches as well. Then I read that Ick are cyst so I
thought it could be Ick.
To me it looks like herpie patches. Anyway, I had Quick
cure( formalin/ malachite green)
<Not a good idea. Too toxic>
on hand, so I added that on the way out the door. When I got home
the water looked normal and the blue was all gone. I added another
dose this morning and when I got home the water was the normal color
again. I don't have carbon in the filter only regular filter
sponges. I read your article on Ick and it suggested to remove all
filters including plants. Maybe the plants are absorbing
<Yes; and it's poisoning them>
My tank is moderately planted and I can't take them out. Any
This situation is getting more complicated. Maybe I need to
transfer him to a hospital tank and treat the Ick, anchor crustaceans
and worms there.
If I did that I would have to treat the anchor crustaceans, worms
in the main tank too right? Treat Ick in the main tank?
<Just treat for the worms, Lernaea in place>
This all seems a bit much. Thanks for the help!
<Don't panic. BobF>
Re: Betta w/ worm?
So I treated the tank with API general Cure and Panacur/ Fenbendazole.
Soon after I saw a white worm inching down the glass. Next morning
he had a giant poop, probably worms.
He still has white spots on the bottom of his chin. Last night I
raised the temp from 82 to 86, probably shouldn't have raised so much at
<Yes; and don't fret otherwise>
I didn't add more meds, but was scared about potential ICK. Now this
morning he has while lips. He's a little bit less active too, so I
turned up the bubbles.
The tank is an absolute mess. I have to wait until tomorrow night
to do a water change as I have to wait 48 hrs after the API general
cure. Any suggestions?
Re: Betta w/ worm?... Hypochondria...
Hi Bob, not sure what I should do now. As you know I treated with
Panacur<e> last Saturday. I soaked his food with Panacure
and added the meds to the tank. I treated one round of API General
cure per directions and completed the water change on Wednesday.
Well the white worm that was protruding from him is back.
<... I don't think this is a worm... but instead is body mucus,
accumulating at this area... need to pull a bit off and look at under a
'scope to be sure>
In addition he is hanging at the bottom of the tank and going up for a
quick breath and down again. There were several methods on
the Internet in dosing Panacure, so I decided to put more in his food
today and planned to do another dose tomorrow and again on the 6th and
<... not a good idea. You're poisoning, have been poisoning this fish;
Maybe the one dose wasn't good enough. This time I plan not to treat
the water. The Panacure in the tank made a complete mess and was
heavily at the bottom of the tank for a while. I've already done
two water changes and had to replace some gravel to get it out. I
have to do another water change in the morning too.
I also mentioned about white spots on the bottom of his face
<Again; this is almost assuredly due to the medication>
and I increased the temp to 86 degrees. He is missing scales above
his lips now. I'm thinking that may be a result of him forging
around with all the Panacure in the bottom of the tank. His eyes
are also a little cloudy now.
After the meds he had a big poop. Not sure if it came from General
cure or Panacure. Should I do another round of General
<I would add nothing further... period. B>
I'm starting to worry that he won't make it. Thanks again.
Update....Re: How long do you safely treat a Betta fish with
gill flukes with the amazing Quick Cure? 12/4/12
He's no longer at the bottom.... he's swimming around with
true interest and life today, and he's eaten a second time and more
eagerly. I'm doing a full water change with one drop dose again.
I read so much about what the medicines are and what they treat over the
last week, and I found at least 5 different opinions on how to use the
or recommendations for using it with malachite, and two versions on dosing
Quick Cure along with suggestions to wear gloves and goggles when using
any of the above mentioned! With that in mind, I guess I probably
shouldn't add an additional drop today.....but maybe I'll keep him in
the jug another couple days with daily full water change and one drop
medicine as the swelling in the gills appears to be receding.
(This is something I'd read would NOT happen.)
I've never had a Betta come down with flukes before. I feel
terrible he suffered, but at least there was a treatment and it wasn't
fatal. I'm amazed that so many sites recommend Prazi but don't
mention as Bob did that it needs to be in the food for freshwater.
It had no effect on my fish when used in his tank. And if your
fish isn't eating, as mine had totally completely stopped eating or
caring.... the Quick Cure (and it's formalin I guess) is worth it's
weight in gold! And it only cost 3.00!
Baths for freshwater fish? 9/18/06 Hi Bob, Once again
fighting tail rot in Betta Terrence. Doing my best to keep the water
quality good with frequent small water changes, gravel vacuuming, the
tedious process of wicking the dissolved solids off the surface of the
water with paper towels, light feeding, etc... He's in a 2.5 gallon
heated, filtered tank with 10 watts of fluorescent lighting. As the
tail rot has been persistent, I'm thinking of treating him with an
antibacterial. <Yes, this is what I would do. Likely... Oh, I see
this below> I was wondering if, instead of treating the whole tank,
I could give Terrence a bath in the
Nitrofurazone/Furazolidone/potassium dichromate medication that
I've used before. Same dosage/concentration as for a full tank
treatment? <Yes> (I read up on dips/baths on WWM, but only found
info about dips/baths for marine livestock. <Are more useful for
marines... as they "drink" their environment, but can be used
with good purpose on external complaints of freshwater aquatics> I
have heard from other sites of saltwater baths for FW fish... would
that be more gentle/any more effective than an antibacterial? <Mmm,
not as much here> He has Doc Wellfish's salt in his tank all the
time, 1 Tbs/5gal.) If this would be ineffective or a bad idea, I can
certainly treat the tank. I have an extra sponge in there that I can
pull out and maintain in a Tupperware container to keep some good
bacteria going. Just wasn't looking forward to dying the tank green
and wiping out my filtration, <Yes... I would use the immersion bath
instead here as you state> plus I anticipate the gravel will absorb
some of the medication. <You are correct> Thanks for any insight
you can give! Rachel in NC, where it's finally cooling down a
little <BobF in sunny S. Cal., with a persistent cough/cold!>
Re: Baths for freshwater fish? 9/18/06 Bob, I just did
what I realized was the obvious thing to do... put Terrence in the 3/4
gallon Tupperware with a heater and a proportionate amount of
medicine. Planning on doing large, possibly complete, water
changes every day or every other day. So never mind about
the bath! Sorry to bother you. It seemed like
such a brilliant idea at the time! <Is a good idea. BobF>
Betta With Fin Rot? - 05/27/2006 Hi,
I'm a reasonably new Betta owner who is slightly addicted to your
site. I first wanted to briefly thank you for all the advice I've
gleaned off of your logs over the months that I've been reading
them. <Thank you very much for your kind words, and for reading the
site!> I wrote to ask about other things (besides the terrifying fin
rot) that could cause ends of fins to sort of disappear and be left
with just a "fringe" on the end. I have been under the
suspicion that my Betta has had tail rot every once in a while since I
had him, because his tail had parts of it that were thinner than
others. But I read around online and it said that that could also be
fins "growing back" and I had just moved him (about two/three
months ago) from an itty bitty bowl to a cycled three-gallon tank with
the environmental specifications that are recommended by various
sources I've consulted (ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate <20,
77 degrees, PH ok but haven't checked it in a while). Last night I
noticed that while he was sleeping, my Betta had sort of gotten
"stuck" to the filter in his tank for a while. <Hmm, maybe
bad news.... I'd suggest that you consider getting a
small filter sponge and cutting a slit in it so you can put it over the
filter intake; this will make it less likely for him to get
"stuck" again.> I went to bed before he got unstuck, but I
know that he sometimes has gotten stuck before and has had no problem
swimming away. When I woke up this morning, I went to feed him (I
always feed him 4-5 Betta bits and sometimes pieces of pea) about 1/2
of an inch of his tailfin had disintegrated, leaving just a
"fringe." <Yikes.> I wondered whether my fish really
has fin rot, or whether the filter or some other environmental thing
could have hurt him. <If you do see a whitish, maybe fuzzy edge to
the damaged parts of the fin, I would suspect bacterial fin
rot. If you do not see this, it may just be from damage from
the filter. Keep your water quality pristine, and get a
sponge or something over that filter intake.> My plans for treatment
are, as Mr. Fenner tends to recommend, to add salt, raise the
temperature, and change the water about 35%. <An ideal plan, I
believe.> Would you recommend medication in my case, or do you think
that it would be better to leave well enough alone? <Do as you plan
to do; I wouldn't medicate just yet. If after a couple
of days the fin is still deteriorating or you see that whitish edge to
it still, you might consider medicating with a good broad-spectrum
antibiotic. Hopefully you will not need to do this,
though. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Betta With Fin Rot? - II - 05/28/2006
Hi, thank you so much for your speedy reply earlier. <Glad to be of
service.> The situation with Napoleon has worsened somewhat, but
I'm still not sure it's fin rot. He now has a split up the
middle of his tail, all the way (nearly) to his body. But there's
still no whitish edge and no fuzziness. I think his swimming might just
be causing his already damaged tail to split?
<Possibly. Hopefully the sponge over the filter intake
will also reduce the flow of the filter some, so he doesn't have to
"work" so much to swim.> Anyway, I was wondering whether
you would recommend medication now that his tailfin has worsened, or
would you still recommend that I wait a few days? <A day or two,
perhaps, and watch it very closely.> I got the sponge for my filter
that you suggested earlier and added sea salt, but sometime during the
day yesterday my heater broke so I'm returning it and picking up
another as soon as someone comes home with a car. If I were
to medicate, I looked around on WWM and I came up with two medications
that seemed to be most commonly discussed with regards to fin rot:
BettaMax and Maracyn II. Do those sound good? <BettaMax
is a good, easy option to use for small tanks, but unfortunately is not
easy to find anymore. I personally would suggest to look for
something containing Kanamycin or Nitrofurazone, if you do decide to
medicate.> Thank you so much for your time and help. I really want
to try to help Napoleon as much as I can. <Me
too! I'm glad we can help in our little way.>
Sincerely, -Katherine <All the best to you and
Possible Betta Medication Blunder -
05/22/2006 Hi! My fish and I are in trouble
again. Thank you for being here! I have a ten
gallon tank, AquaClear HOB filter with sponges, BioMax and carbon,
Stealth heater maintaining the temperature consistently at 78 degrees,
7 java plants, 1 java moss plant housing 1 male Betta, 10 mo.s
old. Water param.s are: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0,
Nitrate 10, PH 7. I change the water 20% every week and
swish the sponge, etc. in the siphoned water and vacuum the 1/4 inch of
gravel. About a week ago, my Betta developed a strange red
spot on his fin (like blood) I thought it was an injury and the fin is
ripped a bit and has a black edge to it, until I notice he had a white
patch on his body going toward his tail. He also had a white line that
appear to be drawn with eyeliner right under his dorsal
fin. I treated him with KanaPlex (2 measures 2 times) and
looked better... I stopped the treatment. He became pale and
also developed a whitish area under his chin which became fuzzy looking
when you looked at him with the tank unlit. I treated the
tank with KanaPlex (2 measures) and NeoPlex (5 measures) after doing a
20% water change. He sits in his bush at the top of the
water and barely moves now, he will come to eat, he has eaten so far;
however, this morning he wanted to eat and it seemed he couldn't
find the floating pellet, he did finally find it with my help and ate
it. I feed him Addison's Betta Pro in the a.m. and
Hikari frozen bloodworms and Mysis shrimp in p.m. by hand. <Mmm,
your system and treatments thus far sound fine... I suspect there is
something else at play here... a source of environmental trouble,
poisoning> I have treated him with this combo before successfully
when he was sick after I brought him here. I am wondering if
I should be treating him with something else. I know that I
should not have stopped the treatment the first time when he looked
better and that I should have finished the complete treatment...my
bad. My concern is that I stopped and then started again and
maybe now this combination will not work? <If it was going to, it
would very likely have> Seachem indicated that I should
buy Sulfathiazole, which I did go and buy but have not used yet. <Is
very safe, can be effective against certain types of microbes>
Seachem indicated that I should continue treatment with the KanaPlex
and NeoPlex and if that does not clear the problem, I should move on to
the Sulfathiazole; however, the local aquarium store says that this is
not as strong as the KanaPlex and NeoPlex. <Mmm, but treat different
things (gram staining characteristic mostly)... and are largely
miscible> I am so confused as to what I should do next. I
hate dumping meds in a tank, to me sometimes it makes the problem worse
when I am really unsure of what I am treating and I have already made a
mistake with stopping the first treatment short I believe. I
have always trusted your advice, can you please give me a few
suggestions? Thank you. Sue <Is there
something else that has been added to this tank recently? A possibility
that a glass cleaner, other aerosol has made its way into the water? I
would add a few ounces of activated carbon to your outside filter (in a
Dacron bag) and possibly a bit of Epsom salt (covered on WWM), and
leave off with the antibiotics and sulfa drug. Bob Fenner>
A Thanks and Success Stories 6/23/06 Greetings
from humid Chicago! <Nice day today, and a nice weekend coming
up. Hello from Aurora.> I just wanted to say Thank you
for all the time and effort you (everyone) put into the site. <We
try.> My Betta, and work buddy, of almost two years came
down with a nasty infection which led to him having Popeye in both eyes
and severely swollen lips. He had also stopped eating. <An unhappy
Betta for sure.> I immediately rushed him home that
night and treated with new water with Epsom salt added to the water
every day. After only 4 days he was looking normal, and after 6 days he
was eating ravenously and after two weeks of treatment with just the
Epsom salts and water changes he is happy and healthy again. <Nice
work and congratulations.> A year ago all of you also helped me get
through my first case of ich in my marine tank. Only having the tank
for a year up until that point had caused me to panic from lack of
experience. But after treating the effected fish with the proper doses
of copper in his own tank and running the main tank fallow except for
the inverts for 35 days we where parasite free!! <It's really
not that bad is it. Wish others would follow your
actions.> (By the way, the effected fish had been in my main tank
for 8 months following a 3 week stay in quarantine. <Not quite long
enough, 4 to 6 weeks is better.> He came down with ich after a water
change I had performed. I had never seen ich in my tank until then.) I
know if it weren't for you guys/gals I probably would have been
dumping Mela-Broken, QuickCure, Stop Parasites, (aka Tabasco sauce!!)
and lord only knows into my main tanks and probably would have killed
everything off! Thank you guys/gals again for all the years and wisdom
of the HANDS ON experience you all posses!! <Thank you
for taking the time to learn how to properly take care of your fish and
not just reaching for the quick and easy "solution".>
Sincerely, Heather <Good to hear of your success and please pass on
your knowledge and experiences to others.> <Chris>
Very Ill Bettas--Kato, Groucho, Angelo and Curious George
7/10/06 Hello all, <Hi there - you've got Jorie
this evening.> I am very sad to say that my 3 out of 4 Bettas are
very ill. <Uh-oh.> I had to go out of town
for two weeks and the person who cared for the Bettas overfed them and
neglected to take care of their water (same story). <I
have found that preparing individual sandwich baggies containing the
exact amount of food for each fishtank is the best way to go when you
are dealing with inexperienced, albeit good-intentioned fish
sitters. It looks a bit silly to have a baggie with 3-4 tiny
pellets for one Betta for one day, but it saves a lot of headaches and
heartaches in the end. Just something to consider for next
time.> Of course, when I returned I immediately changed
their water. <Excellent.> The next morning, however,
one of them was lying on the bottom of the tank and refused to
eat. He has not eaten since then--which was 5 days ago.
<Bettas can go even a week or more without food and be
OK. But to try and stimulate his appetite, try using a bit
of garlic oil (I use Kent's Garlic Xtreme)...one or two drops
either on his dry or frozen-then-thawed food, or a drop directly in the
tank. This is potent stuff...a very little bit goes a long
way. What do you usually feed your Bettas? If
he's not used to it, he might get super-excited about a Mysid
shrimp and go for that...> He did have pop
eye which I managed to treat successfully with salt.
<Excellent!> I read all the fish disease charts and came to the
conclusion that he may have a fungus, as he had a little
white film near his gills, so I started him on Maracyn
and Maracyn 2. He is now hardly breathing and
lying on the bottom. Is there anything more I can
do for him? <I would have made the same diagnosis. How
long has he been on this treatment and how many more doses does he
have? I'd suggest finishing the current course of
medication, then changing the water completely, and
re-assessing. I'd suggest Malachite Green as a last
resort, as it is very harsh, but it is effective at treating
fungus. One of those situations where the cure may actually
kill, though; hopefully with good husbandry and his current treatment
he'll make a full recovery.> Another, Curious George, was
also starting to lay on his side on the bottom of the tank
but would manage to prop himself up on the suction cup that holds his
heater. I also put him on Maracyn and Maracyn 2, and he
seems to be responding to that treatment. He is swimming
more often and still eating. Should this treatment correct his
ailment--he has white around his gills, but I can't tell if it is a
fungus since he has always had white in that area. <It's always
best to finish a course of medication whenever
possible. Unless things take a drastic turn for the worse,
keep doing what you are doing. The resting instead of
swimming behavior could be constipation, especially since his temporary
caretaker seems to have grossly overfed him. I'd suggest
fasting him for a day or two, then gradually reintroducing
food. You could also try thawing a frozen pea, shelling it
and cutting it into tiny bits...this could help clear out his
system. Many Bettas won't touch the pea, though, so
that's not always a feasible solution.> The third,
Kato, has an extreme case of fin rot, and I just noticed that he has a
small white spot above one eye and his color is graying and not shiny
and healthy-looking. Is this ich, although I haven't
noticed him scratching against gravel. Does this
call for Maracide with tetracycline added? I did start
him out on Maracyn and Maracyn 2 thinking that this small white spot
may be the start of a fungus. How do you tell the difference
between fungus or ich? <Fungus is more of a blanket-like
covering, whereas ich typically looks a sprinkling of
salt. It's very rare to have just one ich spot - based
on everything else going on and what's going on with Kato's
friends, I'd bet it is the start of fungus. Again,
continue treating as you are, keep the water clean, and all should be
well. Of course keep a close eye on his condition and
re-assess as necessary. You could even bump up his heat to
81 or 82 degrees F (same for his friends); this will generally help
recovery, but in the event it is ich (I don't think so), that's
always a good treatment option.> I have been searching
out your FAQ's, but I am so confused as to what
medications are best. Of course, I cannot find
Kanacyn which I have read about, but if I have to I will
order online. <I'm lucky - I live in a large suburb
of Chicago, and we have many LFSs with a good selection of fish
meds. I believe you can order many medications from
www.drsfostersmith.com, but if not, do a Google search and you'll
find what you need. Do keep in mind that there really
isn't always a perfect medication, especially when you are dealing
with antibiotics. I have personally had success in treating
sick Bettas with the "Maracyn" family of medications.> For
reference, I have each of them in a 2.5 gallon tank with a filter and a
heater. <Yay! This is like Betta-heaven! Why can't there be more
Betta owners like you!!! Your fish are very lucky to have you, my
dear.> I am also confused as to how much salt is needed
for this size tank. The directions on the box say 1 T. for a
5 gallon tank, which would be 1.5 tsp. for a 2.5 tank. But I
just read in your FAQs that 1.5 of a T. is good for a 1
gallon tank. What is the correct amount? <When
in doubt, go with the more conservative approach toward any treatment
or medication. Remember, you can always add more, but
it's much more difficult to do the opposite. Try the
smaller amount, give it some time to work, and gradually increase up to
the max. limit if need be.> I am so sad about my little one curled
up on the bottom, and I just don't know what else to do.
<You are doing all that you can - rest assured! Bettas are
remarkably resilient little creatures...don't give up hope!> Is
there a super duper medication I can give him? <I wish there were a
"miracle cure", but sadly, if there is, I haven't found
it yet (sorry, Marc Weiss, No Sick Fish, etc. - marketing isn't
everything!) The fourth, Angelo, seems to be okay, but I am
keeping a close watch on him. <Very wise.> No, (slaps
face) I have not been testing the water, as they have been
so happy for a year now, but I will now start the
regimen, although it may be moot for Groucho. <Shhhh,
don't tell anyone, but I'm in the same boat in this
regard. In all honesty, once you've established the tank
and provided that you religiously do your water changes, don't
overfeed, etc., the test kits aren't going to tell you what you
don't already know. In this situation, though, I would
recommend double-checking, just to be safe...it can't
hurt. Do be sure the kit hasn't expired prior to using
it, though.> I also do a 70% change of water every 4
days. <Excellent - keep it up, of course minding the medications
directions regarding when to (and not to) change the water.>
Any info would be most appreciated. <Valerie, you are a
wonderful fish mom, and any Betta is lucky to have you! Keep doing what
you are doing, watching everyone closely, and re-assess as
needed. Hopefully with your careful attention they will all pull
through and be just fine. I'm crossing my fingers for you!>
Valerie--confused moi! <You aren't so
confused, my friend...you're doing a great job! Jorie>
Re: Treating A Betta With Metronidazole - 5/7/2006 Dear
Chuck, I just e mailed you back to ask you how
much Metronidazole to give to Sammy. He is in a tank with 2
liters of water not 1 to 2 gallons as I told you
before. Thank you again. Audrey < When you buy the
medication it has directions of usually one tablet per 10 gallons. You
could cut it in half and treat a 5 gallon bucket of aged water and use
that water to put your Betta in.-Chuck>
Re: Treating Fish with Metronidazole - 5/7/2006 Thank
you so much for your fast response Chuck. How much of the Metronidazole
should I give him? We have some 250 mg tablets
that we used on our dog. Is it the same thing? If you help
me save him it will be a miracle. Thank you so
much AUDREY < It should be the same stuff. Do
a 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. Use one
tablet per 10 gallons of water. Treat every other day and do a 50%
water change in between treatments. When the fish starts to eat he is
Sick Betta Finally Getting Better 1/11/06 Hooray!
He ate today for the first time in nearly a week and he's showing
signs of his old spunk. The grey blobs of fungus or bacterial rot or
whatever it was are all gone (although so are large portions of his
formerly gorgeous Crowntail). There are no more ich spots and the few
cloudy areas on his body are clearing. It's so good to know one CAN
save a fish. Usually it's so difficult. Basically, here's the
treatment I used that was successful: I put him in a 2.5 gallon
hospital tank with water that was treated as directed on the packages
of Maracide and Maracyn. The room I keep my fish tanks in (there are
several) is heated to a constant 78 but while this Crowntail was ill I
pumped it up to 80. I moved him to a new 2.5 gallon hospital tank daily
to help control the Ick faster. The water in each tank contained the
same amount of meds and had been seasoned and left to come to ambient
room temperature for 24 hours before the transfer. (BTW- I don't
net my Bettas. I herd them into a specimen container to avoid damaging
fins and tails. They are used to it and don't seem to mind after a
while.) And I learned a huge lesson. I'll never never do a water
change, clean the tank and clean the filter on the same day ever again.
I really thought that the untouched bio-wheel alone could manage and
was trying to save myself time. Instead I lost my beautiful Betta's
tail and nearly his life. Oh yes, and I ended up spending a fortune on
meds not to mention hours on care. < Congrats on a successful
treatment. Welcome to the club.-Chuck>
Pouring chemicals on Bettas won't cure them if the root
problem is environmental - 2/4/2006 Hello... our Betta has
been sick for 3 weeks. At first it looked like he had
possible internal parasites, so we gave him "Parasite
Clear". That didn't seem to improve his
condition. Then he seemed to have velvet. So we
gave him "Fungus Clear". He seemed to improve
somewhat, but then started not eating and just laying on the
bottom. Sometimes he comes to the top for air and dives
headfirst to the bottom and either lays on the bottom on his side or
"sits" on his tail with his head up, the eventually lays on
his side on the bottom. I just cleaned his tank AGAIN and
added "BettaFix". Now he really isn't doing
well at all. His breathing is getting worse, and he lays on
the bottom most of the time. He doesn't respond when I
gently move his tank to get him to move. We got him about 2
years ago. Do you think this is just old age taking over?
Thanks, Donna <... is this fish in a heated, filtered system? Read
here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and
the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
What's wrong with my Betta? 8/9/05 Hi, I have a Betta
fish who recently developed Ich. I saw tiny white spots on
his fins and noticed that he had like a thick white line under his body
below his bottom fin. I treated with Quick Cure <Toxic...
Formalin and Copper> and a salt tonic from the fish
store. When I came back from the weekend my fish looked
worse. He doesn't have the spots on his fins anymore;
but still has the thick white line and now his fins look like they are
coming apart at the ends. He is laying at the bottom a lot
today. Any ideas? Thank you! Allison <Yes. You need to
study... start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm then the
linked files above, then re Bettas... Bob Fenner>
Sick Betta, cut the copper Hello all, <Hi there>
I'd like to pick your brains if possible, because I'm out of
ideas at the moment. I purchased a Betta in January from a
private breeder. This Betta had eaten his tail (I know that he ate it
rather than infection because I watched him chase it while I was
standing in the store, and the owner had kept his water clean -- there
was no tail rot when I got him, he just had a rough trip from
Thailand) Anyway, he was about 5 months old upon purchase,
and made leaps and bounds in recovery since I've had him in his own
private 1 gallon tank. His water is completely changed
weekly, along with my other Bettas who sit on a table right next to
him. The water temp is kept pretty constant at about 76, the
pH hovers between 7.4 and 7.6. I do use a dechlorinator as
directed, and a pinch of aquarium salt on all of them, and none of the
others are showing ill effects as if there was something wrong with the
water. <Okay> Up till now the sick one had been very
active. I'd noticed in the last week or so that he'd
become progressively more sluggish, however, that's pretty much the
only symptom. He is pale, fins are a little clamped but healthy, and he
is clearly not wanting to move and not eating as of Friday, (normally
he's a voracious eater of FD bloodworms and Betta
Bio-Gold). I have done complete water changes on him the
last two days, and I put a big chunk of almond leaf, and a drop of
Aquarisol in with him in addition. He shows no signs of
fungus, parasites, strange spots, gill inflammation, raised scales,
swelling, bloating, actual problems swimming. . . he's just
extremely weak and I've lowered the water level in his tank so he
can get to the surface easier to breathe. <Mmm, may well be
"just" the Aquarisol... I would discontinue the use of this
copper product period, maybe add a bit of salt as a cathartic>
He is laying on the plant leaves just below the surface and
taking breaths from the air occasionally, but his gills are not moving
hard and he doesn't seem to be struggling to breathe.
If anything, I'd say his gills are flapping a little on the slow
side. He has not freely swum since Thursday; when he does
move, it is to try to wiggle further onto a leaf to stabilize himself,
and he's been this way for coming on 24 hours. I have on
hand Tri-sulfa, but I don't have reason to suspect this is
bacterial, and don't want to be harder on him than necessary. I
bought him out of pity because he was absolutely in tatters and I
wanted to give him another chance when he'd been surrounded by
walls full of gorgeous healthy fish, and now I'm heartbroken at the
idea of losing him without even being able to identify
why. I've read and reread just about every page Google
can find on Betta illnesses, and even fish illnesses in general and
nothing matches. If you guys have any ideas what might be going on, or
suggestions of other things I could try, that would be absolutely
appreciated. Thank you, Brianna <Am not a big fan of copper... many
places around the world also avoid its use, using Malachite Green
solution instead if there are discernible parasite problems with their
Bettas. Bob Fenner>
Bad reaction to Melafix? Hi, I just recently
bought a male Betta fish, Odysseus, from a local store; I've only
had him for a little more than a week. He lives in a very clean,
one-gallon bowl (with a constant temperature of around 70 degrees, due
to a stuck college dorm radiator that turns our room tropical).
<Actually... would be better if it were stuck a bit higher... the
upper seventies are better for your Betta> I know that it's
better for a Betta to have a bigger tank, (and he will once I save up
for one) but I figured that anything would be better than the dirty
little cup he was living in at the store. When I first brought him
home, he was blowing bubble nests and exploring his bowl, but then I
notice that his fins were getting raggy and that he was clamping and
spending more time just floating around. I realized that Odysseus had
fin rot, <But, from what cause?> ...so I did some research and
bought MelaFix and Maracyn II. The Maracyn II seems to have worked. The
rot has disappeared and my fish is looking a lot better. Then I added
the Melafix to the bowl so that the fins and tail would mend faster.
But Odysseus seems to clamp up when I add the Melafix. Is it possible
that he's having a bad reaction to it? <Yes... know that I am
NOT a fan of this and other "herbal" "remedies">
I've discontinued its use, but I hate to see him looking so ragged
and unhealthy. Is there anything else that I can give my little fishy
to help fix him up? Is there anything I should feed him to encourage
fin re-growth? Thank you for your time. <You might add a bit of
salt... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betdisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Betta with fin rot Hi. You've already answered a few
questions about my new Betta. To refresh your memory, he's in a 2
Â½ gallon tank with box filter and heater. I've been
struggling with high ammonia and then high nitrites since Christmas
time. I've been doing 50 % water changes for several weeks now, but
ammonia is still at .25 and nitrites are anywhere from 2.0 to 1.0 after
a water change. Nitrates were at 10 a few days ago. I actually just
bought a 5 gallon tank that I want to switch him to. <Ah, a
very good move> I thought I might be able to give him more space as
well as cycle that tank faster without him in it using 'CYCLE'.
<You are correct here> I just set that one up 3 days ago with
sponge filter and have been putting food in it like I'm feeding a
fish, along with the Cycle. Question: Not surprisingly my Betta has
developed fin rot. His tail is separating has some tiny pin holes and
looks frayed at edges. Pet store guy sold me BettaFix which I've
used for the last three days but I'm worried my box filter will
eliminate the meds if the carbon is still active. <Yes, also
so> Also, how will this affect the cycling process? <Will
forestall it> I also just read that such products are not a cure for
fin rot but might stop the deterioration of the fins. Please help! What
should I do until new tank is fully cycled? <Mmm, keep changing
water if ammonia, nitrite approach 1.0 ppm., add salt to the water...
this last will likely effect a cure> Any meds for the fin rot? Keep
doing daily water changes of 40-50%? When new tank is ready, do I just
float him in it to acclimate? <Along with adding, mixing new and old
water in with the fish and the new tank> Thanks for any advice you
can offer. Kim <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betdisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Betta laying on it's side In August I
purchased a beautiful blue Betta named Krispie. Krispie had the
opportunity to be a guest at the head table on my wedding day!
<Quite an honor for Krispie.> Unfortunately Krispie has not been
doing to well this past week in January...I went to the Pet Shop today
and the man was not too helpful with me. <Sadly that seems to happen
far too often in today's pet shops for my taste.> I told him
that Krispie has been lying on his side and constantly stays at the
bottom of the 1.84 Litre or 1/2 U.S. Gal. Aquarium. He gave me BettaFix
Remedy and I added 1.2 ml of it today. My water is also treated with
Betta Plus Bowl Conditioner...Water temperature is at 79 F. Is there
anything I could do? <I have friends that have used the BettaFix and
said that it had worked on curing their Betta with illness, though I
haven't used it personally on any of my Bettas. The
Water Conditioner is fine, and is needed if you water has high medals
or chlorine additives. If there isn't any physical signs
of sickness, (i.e., white cottony fungus, swelling, eyes cloudy) then
it's hard to diagnose what could be the problem. One of
the best things you can do is to make sure the fish has clean water,
and perhaps use an additive that is designed to help with the fishes
slime coating (which prevents bacterial infections).> I heard about
Epsom Salt...Is it the same thing that you would find in a
Pharmacy....Should I use this in the bowl....Please
Help...Krispie's Family <I wouldn't add salt to his tank,
keep using the BettaFix per the package's
instructions. If the fishes health doesn't improve I
suggest you do a large water change, and then try treating the fish
with something a little more potent. I would try Maracide,
which has worked many times on my Bettas. Also the other
medicines offered by the Mardel company work, though you have to cut
them up to use in such a small container. Good luck with
Krispie, hope he gets better. -Magnus>
Betta Fungus Thanks for the info - yes, we change the water
weekly. I took a really good look at him last night -
I'm thinking it may be a fungus - it looks like white
"fluff" on his fins and there's even some floating in the
water (which I changed). We do tend to keep our house cooler
at night so the temperature changes may be affecting him - still the
other one seems fine. >>Fungus can be difficult to cure. Usually
a broad-spectrum antibiotic is required, but you must realize that it
is expensive to use, and there are no guarantees. Do your water changes
twice a week, and make sure not to contaminate your other Betta. You
can try your Local Fish Store and see what meds they carry to combat
fungus. Also, try to keep your Bettas a bit warmer, say, between
74-78F, and stable. A small tank with a heater might be best for him,
in wintertime. -Gwen
eBook on Amazon
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner