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FAQs on Betta Diseases/Health: Traumas; Physical Injuries

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Betta distress; trauma      7/11/17
Hello there!
<Howdy!>
My name is Saffron and I have an established community sorority tank. It's 29 gallons with 6 girls, 9 diamond tetra, 2 Otos and 5 bronze cories.
*Here is my issue*:
A few weeks ago now, one of my girls got sucked into the canister filter through my surface skimmer on my lily intake pipe which had fallen below the water line. I happened to be in the right place at the right time.
I quickly unplugged the filter, released the quick release and out she plopped. I immediately put her in a plastic container with an inch or so of water so she didn't have to support herself by swimming. She was obviously dazed and pale. I diluted some aquarium salt, added another inch of water and added some Seachem stress coat and left her floating in the tank over night.
<Good>
When I released her into the tank she had coloured up a bit, but was not her full vivid red (she is a koi). Lately she has been keeping to her corner and swimming alright, and while she still never coloured up she has been doing better.
Now when I got home yesterday from a weekend trip, I noticed she was pineconing slightly and keeping to herself more than usual. So I immediately took her out and gave her an aquarium salt bath and added some
stress coat. I kept her there for about 5 minutes and added her back into the tank. This morning she was resting in the bottom of the tank, and when I get home tonight I will be quarantining her in a 4 gallon tank. She is not as pale as she was when she first got sucked in, but more pale and slightly bloated, although she did come up for food.
I also noticed one of my cory's had a white spot on his fin, and preemptively dosed the tank with API fungus cure, as I do have Nerites and a mystery snail that I would like to keep around.
I will try and get pictures later, but the Cory is quite shy and runs every time I move near the tank, but my biggest concern is my little girl.
<I would not be concerned w/ "one spot" on a Corydoras... likely this is nothing... perhaps a minor wound site>
Is there anything you can recommend for me to try for Vivian? I'm just trying to be a good fish parent, and I'm at somewhat of a loss for what to do besides start dosing with medication, which isn't always the answer because it will suppress the rest of my fish as well.
<Understood; and at this point, given what you state, I would NOT treat the tank, life there... but just endeavor to keep good, stable conditions. Likely this fish will heal on its own>
*Here is the background:*
It's a heavily planted tank and I have just started experiencing some black beard algae which I have been addressing by minimizing the light exposure and dosing directly with excel. I have a co2 system ready to go, but given my last couple of weeks I have been holding off on setting it up because I don't want to imbalance the tank too much, or risk a crash.
I have been battling a bacterial bloom in the tank from my auto-feeder dumping too much food while I was away (which is my fault but I had little choice as I go away weekly during the summer). Which has led to a Ramshorn
explosion. I have since changed vacation food types when I'm away to small slow sinking pellets and will be getting a feeding circle. When I am home during the week, I have been doing 30% water changes every other day or so to manually manage the system in the tank.
Sorry for the novel and thank you for taking the time to read.
Cheers,
Saffron
<Steady on here; and please do send us a follow up with your further observations. Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta distress     7/12/17
Hi Bob,
<Saffron>
thank you for taking the time to read my mini novel. I had dedicated well over two months to planning and setting up the hardscape for my koi Betta sorority, with a few disasters in between, so I suppose this is just one more lesson for me to tuck into my book of learning.
<Good attitude>
I really appreciate the amount of time that you have dedicated to creating such a vast resource on the internet for like minded folks. I have been keeping a blog/journal so to speak, for other newbies (I only started serious fishkeeping in February) and documenting all of my resources. So thank you again!
<Thank you for your efforts>
I have attached a couple of pictures of Vivian in her 4 gallon quarantine tank and the 29 gallon tank during the bacterial bloom.
<Nada attached; oh, I see below linked>
Her injury first happened on June 3, so it took a little over a month for her symptoms to get worse. I also believe that the worsening was directly related to the small bloom that has been happening in my tank, which I finally have under control. It has taken about 3 weeks with 2-3 water changes a week of about 10-30% for the bloom to completely subside from one weekend of accidental overfeeding. In the picture there is white sand, and you can see the slight fuzz over the sand. Her little bit of claimed territory is the top left corner of the tank (incidentally why she got sucked into the intake in the first place).
I gave her a short Epsom salt bath last night and one of her eyes has reduced in size, and her pineconing (which was slight) has also reduced. So now she just has one swollen eye, and she floats tail up intermittently, but she is swimming and eating. When I get home tonight I will check in again. I too am not too worried about the Cory. He doesn't seem to be inhibited at all, and is just as skittish as ever.
<Good behaviors>
I tend to scour the internet before I ask for help because I know that I am not the first person who has run into problems, but the reassurance that you are offering just by taking the time to read this is very helpful.
Thank you :)
I hope you're having an awesome Tuesday.
Saffron​
<And you. BobF>

Betta PopEye question     1/8/17
Hi,
<Howdy!>
I have a juvenile Crowntail Betta in a 10 gallon aquarium, whom I "rescued" about a month ago from Wal-Mart where he sat in very dirty water for who knows how long. He's about 1.5 inches long and lives on his own. The aquarium has a heater, a filter stacked with a foam sponge and ceramic media, an air stone, and some silk plants. I change some of
the water once a week. The water temperature is 80 F, the pH is 7, and the nitrite level is 0. I feed him small pellets and occasionally a shrimp log. (He was not interested in live ghost shrimp, which I tried to give him for a protein boost.)
<Mmm; Ghost Shrimp? Likely much too large...>
He already had bilateral PopEye when I rescued him, though one side was (and still is) noticeably more swollen than the other, and for the past month I've tried various treatments to fix it.
<Just good conditions and nutrition... Your good care, will likely solve these issues in time>
At first I was hopeful clean water would suffice and that he would heal on his own, but after his first two weeks and there was no change, I then tried aquarium salt (following the advice of Dr Martin Brammah, author of The Betta Bible), which seemed to soften the edges of his swollen eyes a little but didn't do much else, and then put him in QT with a full course of tetracycline.
Nothing has solved his problem yet, and now his worse eye appears cloudy, so the condition seems to be worsening instead of improving.
<Mmm; I might try Epsom...>
After searching through your site's articles and FAQs, I am prepared to try a double-strength dose of Jungle's "Fungus Clear" and 2 TBSP Epsom salt three times in 5 days with small daily water changes. My questions are: (1) Do I need to replace the aquarium salt water with plain water before starting Epsom salts or can they be combined?
<I'd dilute the present salt content by half or so first... Through a water change or two>
(2) Should I do the double-strength dose of Fungus Clear three times in 5 days as well, or does the "three times in 5 days" only apply to the Epsom salts?
<IF you use the Fungus Clear, only dose three times, do NOT triple dose. If it were me/mine, I'd just the Epsom>
(3) Do I need to QT him for this combined treatment or can I keep him in his display tank?
<Best to leave, treat in the display tank>
and (4) When should I expect to see improvement, to know
if I then need to move on to something like Chloramphenicol or Oxytetracycline?
<I'd shy away from using these antibiotics. They rarely do much/any good in these circumstances, and can do real harm. >
Thank you so much!
-Elle J.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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

tumor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stumped! Betta fin rot: 50% of caudal fin missing practically overnight        8/20/15
Hello,
My name is Andrea and I've been a proud Betta fish owner since January 2015. Let's just cut to the chase:
*History*
- Male Betta fish- impulsive buy from Petco
- Mild case of fin rot (to the tip of the caudal fin) back in June 2015 treated with a 5 day course of API T.C. Tetracycline, since resolved until noticed today, massive fin rot (50% of caudal fin missing) occurred practically overnight.
- Fish still eating, not acting as lethargic like last time, but hiding a little more than usual, not greeting as enthusiastically
- Water parameters today: pH 6.8-7.0; NH3/NH4 0ppm; NO2 0ppm; NO3 0-5ppm
*Set up*
- Lone inhabitant
- 10 gallon tank
- Fluval A455 Nano Aquarium Filter with Seachem Matrix Biomedia
- Water heater set at 78 degrees F
- 2 Java Ferns, 1 Anubias Plant tied to Mopani wood
- River rock substrate
*Routine*
- Fed once a day New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula pellets
- 50% water change once a week beginning in July after last Fin Rot episode in June, previously had been 25% water changes once a week
- New water treated with Seachem Acid Regulator, Neutral Regulator, and Equilibrium corresponding to local water conditions
- Water parameters checked 1-2 times a month, has been stable I'm planning on restarting another 5 day course of the tetracycline but I was just so shocked to see so much of his tail missing so suddenly. I live in California, and I noticed today that the water heater was unplugged for some reason (possibly due to the earthquake we had recently) but even so, the water hadn't dipped below 74-76 degrees F. The tail was definitely intact two days ago (I was sort of in a rush when I fed him yesterday so I wasn't paying as much attention). Do I need to treat any differently if it's acting so quickly?
I briefly browsed some of your FAQ in regards to fin rot, but hadn't come across anything that happened this quickly.
Thanks for your time,
Andrea
<Hi Andrea. My immediate guess here is that he got his tail sucked into the filter. Otherwise the care you're providing all sounds good. I'd check that the filter is set to a very gentle "suck" (ideally, I'd use air-powered sponge filtration rather than an electric pump). Treating as per Finrot is a good idea, though make sure you remove carbon (if used) because that's a
common mistake and explanation for why medications don't seem to work. I'd up the temperature a trifle, to maybe 28 C/82 F, and see if he perks up. If he does, then with luck he'll grow his tail back without problems. I'm cc'ing our Betta expert, Bob Fenner, for other ideas. Cheers, Neale.><<Naught "jumps out" at me either Neale, Andrea... BobF>>

Lump on fighter fish      7/10/14
Hello, I'm hoping you can help me. My fighter fish has not been himself for a few days, he doesn't come over, and just stays at the back of the tank near the filter. Now a lump on his tail
<<Likely mean/t dorsal>>
has appeared! I have attached a photo of you are able to have a look it would be much appreciated or any advise would be great!
Thank you and kind regards,
Emily
<Umm, don't see much of a lump here... likely just a "repair area" from a bent fin spine... Unless there is something you've measured that's off with the environment, I would do nothing here. Do review what is archived on WWM re Betta Health. Bob Fenner>

Betta problem...possible parasite or perhaps broken bone..      6/20/14
Hey guys, first off I'd like to say i'm a big fan of your site. Tons
of information! I've been keeping aquariums for about 8 years now and your site (along with my book collection) is a perfect resource when
something goes wrong. I am writing you today as something about my new
Betta has me really stumped. I purchased a giant Betta from my LFS about 5 days ago and unfortunately he seems to have a bit of a
problem. I initially put him in a fully cycled live planted tank
(water parameters are ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate -.5) and noticed he seemed to be rather lethargic.
<Likely just "the change"; being moved>
I chalked it up to the stress of a new environment but two days later
he still seemed rather pale and listless. I took a flash light to him and noticed he seems to have a cut on his left side along with a
strange protrusion near his ventral fin. Both the cut and protrusion
had white stringy fungus starting on them, so I removed him to a one gallon hospital tank and began to treat with Jungle fungus clear
tablets carefully cut into one gallon doses. Within three days the
fungus on his body had completely receded and the cut had healed along with the return of his appetite and activity, but the weird white protrusion remained.
<I see this... and have looked for a link-able graphic of the osteology of Betta splendens... There is no bone there that I know of that could protrude... But this does look organic... is coated w/ decomposers...>
I've dealt with fungus and parasites on Bettas many times (my LFS has
a nonexistent water change schedule for their Bettas so more often than not they have problems) but this thing sticking out of my fish is unknown to me. It is stiff and unmoving and unlike any parasite I've ever seen if it is one. It almost looks like the bone of his left ventral fin has become exposed somehow? The ventral fin on that side is limp and unmoving as well which seems to support my exposed bone theory but i'm still unsure. Have you guys ever seen anything like this before?
<I have not; and have thousands of hours of experience, observing Bettas>
Should I just try a round of parasite clear on it see if
that helps?
<Mmm, no... see below>
You can see in the photos that it still has white stringy
fungus on it even with the fungus clear treatment. If it is a bone how would I go about treating that?
<I myself would gently lift (in a wet hand towel) the fish, sans anesthetic and clip off this protrusion... with a small curved scissor.
Perhaps daubing the area w/ Mercurochrome, Merthiolate... Bob Fenner>
Thank you for any help you can give me, it is truly appreciated!

Re: Betta problem...possible parasite or perhaps broken bone..      6/20/14
Thank you so much for the response!
<Welcome Ash>
I went ahead and did what you said to do and clipped it off. The fish is currently recovering in the hospital tank as we speak (type). I dabbed the cut with Mecuriclear, which is apparently the same thing as Mecuriclear according to Google.
<Ahh>
The protrusion was actually clear and quite sharp when viewed out of water and cutting it was very hard.
It made a snap sound when trimmed rather like a fingernail. I really didn't expect it to be of such a hard consistency! Very strange. I trimmed it as close to the body as I possibly could and hopefully it will heal better that way.
Once again thank you for helping me out!
<Thank you for this follow up; Dr. B. BobF>
Betta problem...possible parasite or perhaps broken bone..
    /Neale's go      6/21/14
Hey guys, first off I'd like to say I'm a big fan of your site. Tons of information!
<Thanks for the kind words.>
I've been keeping aquariums for about 8 years now and your site (along with my book collection) is a perfect resource when something goes wrong. I am writing you today as something about my new betta has me really stumped. I purchased a giant betta from my LFS about 5 days ago and unfortunately he
seems to have a bit of a problem. I initially put him in a fully cycled live planted tank (water parameters are ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate -.5) and noticed he seemed to be rather lethargic.
I chalked it up to the stress of a new environment but two days later he still seemed rather pale and listless. I took a flash light to him and noticed he seems to have a cut on his left side along with a strange
protrusion near his ventral fin. Both the cut and protrusion had white stringy fungus starting on them, so I removed him to a one gallon hospital tank and began to treat with Jungle fungus clear tablets carefully cut into one gallon doses. Within three days the fungus on his body had completely receded and the cut had healed along with the return of his appetite and activity, but the weird white protrusion remained.
<Yes, I can see this. The long, fluffy white object close to the pectoral fins. Very odd.>
I've dealt with fungus and parasites on Bettas many times (my LFS has a nonexistent water change schedule for their Bettas so more often than not they have problems) but this thing sticking out of my fish is unknown to me. It is stiff and unmoving and unlike any parasite I've ever seen if it is one. It almost looks like the bone of his left ventral fin has become exposed somehow?
<I agree, or at least separated from the fin membrane.>

The ventral fin on that side is limp and unmoving as well which seems to support my exposed bone theory but I'm still unsure. Have you guys ever seen anything like this before?
<No.>
Should I just try a round of parasite clear on it see if that helps? You can see in the photos that it still has white stringy fungus on it even with the fungus clear treatment. If it is a bone how would I go about
treating that?
<Generally, fish with damage to their fins recover well, all else being equal. In time the skin (the fin membrane) regrows around and between the bones. In this case though it does look rather severe, and my guess would be that this exposed fin ray and the rest of the fin will take a long time to grow back together, if they do at all. That said, skin should grow around the bone in time, so your main challenge is ensuring the fish stays healthy until then. Medicate as per Fungus and Finrot to clean up the exposed tissue as far as possible, and then simply optimise water quality and hope for the best. If infections sets in again (generally you'll see pink inflammation) medicate, but otherwise constantly using medications would likely cause more harm than good. At most, something relatively mild, like a half-dose of Methylene Blue, might be used in a hospital tank (long term, it's probably not great for plants or filter bacteria) in the same
way you'd use Methylene Blue in a breeding tank.>
Thank you for any help you can give me, it is truly appreciated!
<Good luck, Neale.>

Unusual Betta Eye Problem     12/16/13
Hi there,
<Becca>
One of my female Bettas has been having some unusual eye problems that I was hoping y'all could help me with. She's pretty young (Maybe 6 mo), kept in a filtered 5g heated to 80*F with another female Betta (The tank is divided), and a lucky bamboo plant (Only roots submerged), and is fed Omega One Betta flakes & frozen bloodworms as treats.
<Mmm, I'll mention that these Chironomid (sewer) fly larvae have fallen out of favor... implicated in disease issues>
 Late November white spots suddenly appeared on her eyes, they weren't cloudy or fuzzy but instead looked like some sort of layer or object had been placed on top of the cornea. The white spots would disappear and reappear a few times over the course of the day, so for example in the morning she had a spot on her left eye then by midday both might be clear, and by nightfall both would have a spot again. I thought it might have been parasites,
<Mmm; not likely; no. Something "environmental" at play here>
 since the spots "moved" like that, so I treated with CopperSafe (1tsp/4g) and AQ salt (~1tsp/g), as well as extra water changes. Her tankmate showed no symptoms, but I thought it was a good idea to treat the entire tank.
It didn't seem to have much of an effect after nearly a week, and on 12/1 her eye suddenly looked like it had ulcerated! There was what looked like pus or mucus coming out from under the cornea, as if it had been punctured (See photos #1 & 2). I isolated her in a heated (~85*F) 1/2g container for a week and stopped treating with CopperSafe and instead after research  used a combination of Triple Sulfa and Erythromycin. The eye was a little bit swollen so I added a pinch of Epsom salt, but it looked nothing like the pop-eye pictures I found. I wrote a thread on a Betta forum with some more details, here's the link: 
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=312346
After a few days of treatment her eye cleared up, and after a full week in solitary I added her back to the 5g.
All was well until tonight (12/15), when I saw that she once again had something on her eye! It's directly on her cornea (Picture #3, sorry for the quality). I have another Betta currently in the tub I used to isolate her so she has to stay in the 5g, but I don't want to treat the tank if it's going to affect the other Betta negatively. The other girl has shown no symptoms of anything at all, and besides the eye problems the effected one looks and acts completely normal. I had broken down the tank and completely cleaned everything the day she was placed back into it (thanks to what turned out to be a filter malfunction), so there wasn't any old water or gravel to harbor whatever this is. The only thing currently on her side of the tank is the heater, plastic divider and a few sprigs of silk plants, and I never use a net when I transport her, so I don't know what she could have bumped her eye on if it's an injury.
<This IS the most likely cause here; and no treatment will help... Only steady, optimized conditions and time going by>
Any help you can offer would be much appreciated!
Thanks,
Rana
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Betta: tail injury vs. crown tail? Info. needed       9/23/13
Hi WWM,
<J>
This may be a strange question, but thus far I have not been able to find enough info to answer it. I purchased a handsome male Betta (named Pirate) about a month ago who was priced as a veil tail, but looked more like a smaller tailed half moon. As I'm not picky about the type, I just picked the healthiest and most alert Betta I saw. He is darker in color, almost a navy blue with red beneath. The first thing I noticed was that his body started showing a subtle horizontal stripe pattern and he was definitely more high strung/aggressive than my previous Bettas. Then four days ago his lovely tail fin had some holes and splits in it. The day before I had found him with his tail against the filter intake making no attempt to move
<... Need to know re the environment... system, water quality. And nutrition>
 (although he easily could when I prodded him) and wondered if this was the cause.
<... a cause? No; an effect; Env., diet, genetics are some causes/sources for such an issue. Do know that sometimes what you hint at "does just happen".>
 I placed a rock near the intake to discourage this behavior and immediately began treating him for tail rot (just in case). After two days he appeared
almost completely healed with only one small split left. Then this morning his tail, top and bottom fins are shredded at the edges! I am continuing to treat him with antibiotics
<? For what?>
 and I placed a piece of netting over the filter intake. However, it really does not look like tail rot (I've been through that before). It actually looks more like one of the more ragged crown tails. That made me wonder about when the crown tail type of tail is apparent and I haven't been able to find any info on that. He is about three inches including tail, so I thought his "type" would be clear by now. Does this make any sense to you?
I should also say that he is in a five gallon, established tank with plants and three neon tetras who are quite healthy and all water parameters are fine
<... Of no use: WHAT are the values?>
 when tested with a liquid master kit. In every other way he appears to be healthy and he eats a varied diet of flakes, Betta pellets, different freeze dried foods and once a week or so he gets frozen shrimp. I've tried feeding him live fruit flies (a favorite of my other Betta), but he doesn't seem to know what to do with them. Any information you can provide will be appreciated.
<We need the same: information; not subjective input>
Thank you,
Jacquie
<And you. Do see here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlvstkind2.htm
the fifth "tray". Thousands of people have written us re their Betta splendens... Do see the articles, some example write-ins re the sorts of data we're looking for. Bob Fenner>

Betta with white patch     9/4/13   RMF's go
Hi guys,
<Don't slight the tender gender here Michael>
I was wondering if you could help with diagnosis and possible treatment.  I recently received a half-moon Betta delivered through 2 day shipping.  He arrived in fine condition and has resided in a 5 gallon, heated, planted
<Filtered?>
aquarium for the past 8 days or so.  The tank parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and I imagine
<I would test>
nitrates are low as he is the only resident and I do a 1 gallon water change weekly.
<... need purposeful biological filtration>
 Ph. is 8.0 (liquid rock out of the tap) but my other Bettas appear to be fine because it is stable. 
<Yes; a very good point>
Temp is kept at 78 degrees.  I sometimes add Indian Almond Leaves but am currently out of stock.  A white patch appeared near his eye about three days ago.  I couldn't tell if it was fungus, bacteria, or injury (?);
<Perhaps a bit of both/all>
 as a result I added two teaspoons of aquarium salt to water during a water change and raised the tank temp to 80 degrees. 
<Good; sensible>
Over the past three days the wound has not changed much in appearance.  His behavior has not changed at all, is very active, and is a voracious eater of new life spectrum Betta pellets and frozen brine.  I was wondering if you could help identify and if so, could you recommend treatment, medications, etc, or just stay the course.  Photos attached
Mike
<Well; in your excellent pix... this does look like some sort of (bacterial) infection following a physical trauma (whacked w/ a net, fell on the floor... sort)... But how to treat? I might well jump ahead (in suppositions; sans sampling, culture...), and treat as if this were actually a.... Mycobacterium infection? Maybe the safe, sound combo. of Maracyn I, II... Perhaps a Furan compound instead. Please look about re Myco.... on WWM. If/When in doubt though, I'd do nothing medicine wise here. Bob Fenner>

Betta with white patch     Neale's go     9/4/13
Hi guys,
I was wondering if you could help with diagnosis and possible treatment.  I recently received a half-moon Betta delivered through 2 day shipping.  He arrived in fine condition and has resided in a 5 gallon, heated, planted aquarium for the past 8 days or so.  The tank parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and I imagine nitrates are low as he is the only resident and I do a 1 gallon water change weekly.  Ph. is 8.0 (liquid rock out of the tap) but my other Bettas appear to be fine because it is stable.  Temp is kept at 78 degrees.  I sometimes add Indian Almond Leaves but am currently out of stock.  A white patch appeared near his eye about three days ago.  I couldn't tell if it was fungus, bacteria, or injury (?); as a result I added two teaspoons of aquarium salt to water during a water change and raised the tank temp to 80 degrees.  Over the past three days the wound has not changed much in appearance.  His behavior has not changed at all, is very active, and is a voracious eater of new life spectrum Betta pellets and frozen brine.  I was wondering if you could help identify and if so, could you recommend treatment, medications, etc, or just stay the course. 
Photos attached
<Does look like some sort of bacterial ulcer, incipient rather than advanced; would treat as per Finrot, using a reliable medication (not salt or Melafix). Ideally, an antibiotic combination like a Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 or else some equivalent product (Kanamycin, eSHa 2000, etc.).
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Betta with white patch   9/8/13
I think there is significant improvement since adding Maracyn 1 & 2.
<Excellent.>
The attached photos demonstrate the difference from pre-treatment to day 3 antibiotics.
<I agree; looks like the skin has healed over cleanly.>
I plan on continuing with the recommended 5 day course of treatment.
<Do so, almost always the best plan. Do also check water quality, just in case the antibiotic affects the filter bacteria. Doesn't always (different sort of bacteria, I guess) but sometimes does.>
Following that I will put carbon back in the filter, perform water change, and add bio-media from an established tank in case the antibiotics have harmed the beneficial bacteria in the tank.  Does that sound like a plan?
<Apart from the carbon, yes. Not a huge fan of carbon: doesn't really do much of use in freshwater tanks. Extra biological media almost always a better plan, and after a week, carbon is so covered with bacteria and organic much that it may as well be biological media anyway! Unless you replace carbon weekly, it doesn't really do anything.>
[photo.jpg]
Day 3
[Image 1.jpg]
Pre-treatment
<Good luck. Cheers, Neale.>

Betta with patch of pale/colorless scales 1/13/11
Hello! First off, thanks for all your work: this site has been an invaluable resource!
<Ah good>
I have a male Betta that I got about 10 months ago and keep in a 1 gallon planted tank. The tank is fully cycled, has plenty of light for the plants
(if anything, too much light), has a tiny TOM brand power filter, and is heated to 78 F. The plants are java fern, lace java fern, Ludwigia, and some hornwort (all of which seem to be growing very slowly) with Fluorite as the substrate.
<Is what I use as well>
Water changes are typically 50-70% percent, every 2 weeks or so (travel for work, so can't do them much more often) and when I test the water, it's typically 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 5-15ppm Nitrate, and 7.3 PH (my tap water is 5ppm Nitrate and 7.3 PH).
Food when I'm home is a mix of (mainly) Betta pellets, with dried bloodworms, Tetra Tropical Crisps, and some other brand (don't have it in front of me) of spirulina-enhanced flakes for variety. When I'm away, I leave him with small chunks of Tetra's gel-based travel feeders (which he typically doesn't seem to eat much of, but I don't know of any other travel feeders that would be appropriate for a 1gal (especially not the self-dissolving kind) and the tank is too small to mount an automatic feeder on it).
<Not likely needed. I would leave out... this fish is fine w/o food for several days>
Over the 10 months I've had him, he's been overall quite healthy (except for the occasional (every 3-4 months) fungus or bacterial sickness, which have been treated with Maracyn/Maracyn2/Fungus Cure/etc as appropriate and water changes and seems to go away in short order). Until recently, I've only had two points of concern about his health:
1) He seems to have a VERY slow fin rot or splitting of the tail (that I've thought might be because of it rubbing against the edges of the Ludwigia, which was only added a couple months ago and takes up a fair amount of water volume)
2) Sometimes the chunks of gel travel food will grow what appears to be a fungus or mold of some sort (like a white, hazy cloud around them), which I've treated, apparently successfully, with the above-mentioned medications out of fear that he might catch it from the food).
<At least a contributing factor... degrading water quality>
Finally, onto what I'm writing you about today:
I recently got home from a trip and discovered that a small patch of scales immediately behind his head on his left side have gotten strangely pale.
There's no sign of anything growing on that section (or anywhere else) like a fungus and I don't think it's any sort of slime on him. His fin rot also seems to have accelerated dramatically.
<I see this, these>
I couldn't figure out any diagnosis for these symptoms and had to leave again the next morning, so I did a water change and added some anti-fungal/anti-bacterial medications (like those listed above) as well as some aquarium salt and hoped for the best.
When I got home a week and a half later, the patch seemed to be the same size, but had possibly begun to spread under his "neck" (hard to tell with the lighting and him not wanting to sit still for too long) and his level of activity had gone down slightly.
Most recently when I was home, his symptoms seemed about the same, but his activity level had gone down dramatically, as had his appetite. Before leaving again a few days ago (I'm writing from my hotel room now), I decided to do a large water change and throw just about everything type of medication I had at him in hopes of finding something that would help (this was of course after much fruitless searching here on WWM).
I know putting a lot of different medications in the water at the same time adds a lot of variables and probably isn't all that great for him either, but at the same time I can't be there to give him daily water changes or try each medication individually and he does seem to be deteriorating, so I think it might be my best option given the circumstances. As best as I can
recall, the meds I used were:
Mardel Maracyn
Mardel Maracyn II
Mardel Maracide
API T.C. Tetracycline
API Fungus Cure
API Melafix
API Pimafix
<Mmm, a bit of comfort to you... I responded to Mardel's 1-800 calls for a while years back... all their medications are miscible. I would not use the "Fix"es however. Too likely to suspend nitrification>
Tetra Lifeguard (tablet chopped up for proper dosing)
(another fungus-liquid, the brand of which I don't remember)
Obviously, I'm stumped, mainly because I can't find anything describing his symptoms and thus don't know what to do to treat him. If I get back (hopefully tomorrow) and the situation hasn't improved, I'm thinking I might give up on the meds and focus on pure water quality
<Good>
(maybe moving him to a 5gal bucket with a heater and water that's been run through a UV sterilizer). My next trip should only be a couple days, so that would give him a much bigger volume of water and I'd be able to change it in a couple days.
I've included a few pictures I got before leaving a few days ago in hopes you might recognize his symptoms. The water is that greenish tint due to the meds (I think it was one of the API powders that provided the strong green color), which admittedly makes it harder to see him and his dark blue coloration, but you can still see the pale spot very well). You can also sorta see how the pale area has begun to spread under him in a couple of the pictures, but it was hard to get a good angle (the only reason the pictures are even this good is that his activity level was so low that he let me gently push him to the front of the tank with my finger and then just sat there for a minute).
Any ideas what's actually wrong with him? Thanks!
<The raised, color-less scales look to me to be resultant from a physical trauma... "jumping" out, against something hard (do keep your water level down a few inches or screen the top... and the fin rot... as you speculate, likely due to water quality issues.
I'd focus as you state, on improving this last. Bob Fenner>

Betta fish Lenny's cut tail -- 11/22/09
Hello!
<Hello,>
I scrolled through a lot of your question/answer links but I'm not sure if I saw what I'm looking for. Most of the injured tail/fin questions seemed to involve fin rot, and that's not Lenny's problem (phew!) The problem is, I think I might have injured him, and I'm devastated and need some advice.
I was cleaning his tank earlier today, and I used a small plastic cup to take him out of his bowl (I always just hold the cup in the bowl & wait until he inevitably swims into it, then scoop him right out - the nets
stress him out WAY too much.) Well, THIS time for the first time ever, he struggled a bit getting into the cup, and I fear I might have scraped his tail between the edge of the cup and the glass of the tank as I scooped it out - I'm not SURE I did this, but I thought at the time that I might have, and now there's a thin horizontal line on his tail that I don't think was there before. Nothing has actually been severed, but it does look like a tiny line has been cut into his tail.
<This will heal by itself, given good water quality in a spacious, heated, filtered aquarium... but read on for why this can't be guaranteed in your situation.>
I spend a lot of time talking to my fish & looking at them, so while I can't say for sure that line wasn't there before, I'm pretty sure it wasn't.
<Do remember fish couldn't care less about you talking to them or giving them names. What they do want (need) is proper environmental conditions.
It's always important to remember animals aren't people, and if you treat them like people, you'll often overlook what it is they actually need.>
And I feel HORRIBLE. Now, one of my other Betta fish, Carl, had an infection a few weeks ago (he seems to be doing much better, thank goodness!) and I treated him with Bettafix:
http://pet.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPETS-5250805t400.jpg
<A largely useless product in terms of curing established infections, but possibly of value here has to prevent an infection. I wouldn't personally spend actual, real money on a tea-tree oil product, but if you happen to
have this stuff already, it's worth a shot. If you're looking to buy something especially, sit on your hands for a day or two, and only if the damage looks like it's getting infected go buy a proper antibiotic or antifungal.>
I'm wondering if I should put some of this Bettafix in Lenny's bow, to help his tail heal? Or would I actually be doing him harm, ESPECIALLY if it turns out this cut in his tail is all in my imagination?
<Well... there are other things you could do to improve his chances of recovery.>
And if I SHOULD treat him, should I treat him with the same recommended dose for fish with infections or just put a few drops in his (1.5 gallon) bowl?
<Always follow the instructions. Unless you're a trained vet I wouldn't recommend second-guessing the guys who invented any medication.>
Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. I'm worried about my little guy, not to mention feeling guilty as all hell, especially since I try SO HARD to be so careful and I'm a huge worry wart anyway hehe.
<The main problem here is the bowl. I have no idea why people think they can keep Bettas in bowls. It's certainly not in any aquarium book! You need a heated, filtered aquarium at least 5 gallons in size. Most Bettas die prematurely because people can't be bothered to buy the stuff they need.
Perhaps it's the cost involved. Perhaps they're mislead by the retailers. I don't really know. God knows I try to be sympathetic, but if you look how many Betta queries I answer per week, you'll see a lot of them come down to the poor fish being kept in a bowl without heat, filtration, or even enough space. Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm
>
Thanks in advance! Jennifer
<Happy to help. Forgive me being cranky, but it's almost 11 PM here in England, and I was just checking in my mailbox before bedtime. When I'm tired, I'm less charitable than usual. But I figured a quick answer now
would be better than a more delicately worded answer tomorrow. Cheers, Neale.>

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Betta Success
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