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FAQs on Betta Diseases/Health 37

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Betta Success

Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Unidentified "bug" on Betta Fish - Ich/velvet/???        9/21/18
Hello gang. Friend of Bob F here
<Hey Ad!>
Long time SW keeper, first time FW fish lol. Well the second Betta I've owned.
I will start off with the shock factor: My Betta “Ting” has had this bug for FOUR MONTHS.
He is VERY active, eating like a horse, chases a laser pointer, loves hand fed swatted mosquitoes and overall acts like a perfectly healthy Betta. No scratching or scraping.
4gal planted bowl. Heater but no filter. Has been set up for 3.5 years with a 4 month break after I lost my three year old Betta last December.
Ammonia - 0 (always)
NO2/3 = 0
PH 7.6 using high range test - although I have added Indian almond leaves so it may be lower. Will have it re-tested tomorrow.
Gets 5 stage RO water from the 5 gallon refill station at grocery store. I have never add water conditioned until two weeks ago thinking maybe the filters in the unit aren’t being maintained and
<Interesting... that these plants are growing in... straight RO? They and the Betta do need mineral content... is this coming simply from the substrate, foods...?>
I went on a vacation in May for three weeks and had a house sitter. The heater in his bowl stopped working and when I got back he was lethargic and had a loss of color. I added a new heater and after a couple days, he perked right up.
I noticed at this time that he had what looked like very tiny ich. I started feeding him a little more - cheap pellets all we have here - and got some freeze dried bloodworms which I soak in water + minced garlic. I saw very little results so I upped the temperature of the tank to 86-87 for a week.
<Good. This IS the very treatment that I would suggest...>
This did nothing. I avoided adding salt to the tank but I did give him a salt bath 1tsp per gallon and then a second half saline second bath. He was visually stressed during this, breathing at the surface mostly so I only did one of these baths.
About three weeks ago I was able to get some good photos and post them on a Betta group. Several people have said this looks like velvet not ich based on size. It’s nearly impossible to see with your naked eye unless you have very good vision and only when the fish is head on can you see it on the sides of him - pic below. You can see it behind the eyes mostly, if you look VERY closely. The size said velvet BUT its NOT gold. At all.
<Don't think this is Velvet... small/er size than Ich, but usually very virulent; killing fish hosts w/in days>
Next I added Indian almond leaves. They grow where I live so I added a couple after cleaning and soaking. Temp still at 84
My LFS is VERY limited in supplies. I live in St. Thomas USVI
<Yes; have visited w/ you and Hakko there>
I was able to find Betta revive locally.
Ingredients. Water, neomycin sulfate (<10%), Methylene blue (<0.5%), proprietary polymer mixture, buffers, EDTA, malachite green chloride (<0.01%), cyanocobalamin and electrolytes.
<Worth the risk... if it were me, I would treat w/ this product, though... your plants are likely to show it>
I was able to order Ich-X
I added a full dose about two weeks ago. I didn’t realize there was carbon running in a tiny Betta filter that I had added (and since removed), so I had to do a large 90% WC (down to the sand) and re-dose. I do a 30%-50% WC every day re-dosing the new water appropriately. This is on the bottle of instructions. While I am doing the water change he is getting a 15-20 min bath in two drops of Betta revive in a 12oz solo cup floated for temp stability.
<I want to be reincarnated as your Betta>
My thoughts is too small for ich and too hardy for ich. So many people have said he would be dead if it was velvet.
<Yes; there are other protozoan external parasites; and this could "still" be Ichthyophthirius... the spots (white dots) are reaction to the actual ciliates... can be small depending on the nature... of the disease, conditions. As we e-chatted on FB, really need to sample, look at under a low power 'scope. Procedure is posted on WWM>
So maybe its an unknown. I don't really have the ability to use a microscope. I probably could but I do not feel comfortable doing a scraping.
<Ahh, I see>
He is not a calm Betta, always moving and as he gets better he is even more active, rocketing to the front as soon as he sees movement.
<Good signs. Does appear healthy otherwise to me>
I am attaching as many images as I can, and hopefully you have some advice. I would rather not QT him and I would rather not lose all my plants as they're very expensive here. My course of treatment IS working but its very slow and I worry about more stress and chemicals counteracting the treatment. I have ordered some better foods, bug bites and tomorrow I plan on leaving out some pitchers of water for mosquito larva.
<Mmm; well my choice in treatment is either Metronidazole/Flagyl and/or a Quinine compound... Either or both should knock this out if it's a Protozoan. Will likely have to be ordered/shipped to you.
Please keep me/us informed as to your actions, observations. Bob Fenner>


Re: Unidentified "bug" on Betta Fish - Ich/velvet/???       9/25/18
<Ah good>
Looking MUCH better today! I can only see a couple VERY tiny spots with the naked eye. Unfortunately a new problem is that he is biting his tail! Major damage done to it today. Likely stress.
I am looking at using my cistern water. I have PRIME to treat it however I can not have it tested for minerals unless I send it off island. 2-4 weeks and $120 per sample.
<If you drink it; it is very likely fine to use>
They test basically for coliform on island and send everything else off. The cistern is rain water filtered off of the roof (very clean and coated a year ago with plasticize). I also have access to SPRING water - the only spring on STT. The problem with that is that we are told not to drink it because sometimes septic tanks can leak and we are down stream of the spring, I also am concerned about pesticides. I am at a loss on what to do.
<Use whatever you utilize as potable; plus the Prime>
I can not buy individual gallon jugs of spring water, that's not financially possible. So I am struggling - cistern water or spring water treated with PRIME and doing 5% Was over the course of a few weeks and see how things go. He is totally stressed out already but I do think the water is the problem.
I did take a photo of the water machine that states:
Sediment Filtration
Carbon Filtration
Multi Media post carbon filtration
<Should be fine. BobF>

Re: Unidentified "bug" on Betta Fish - Ich/velvet/???       9/26/18
We only drink the RO. Never have drank the cistern.
<Yikes; well, don't use the RO on the Betta and aquatic plants. Would one gallon every few weeks be too much money to spend on the bottled (non-RO, DI) there? BobF>

Re: Unidentified "bug" on Betta Fish - Ich/velvet/???      10/11/18
Wanted to send an update:
<Thank you for this>
After testing ALL my available island water sources, I am back original the RO. The spring water stressed him out so much he bit parts of his tail off even with only 10% WC and a drip over 5 hours.
<Yikes; my usual admonitions re using "bottled/spring... water"... A highly variable product around the world, w/in a country at times>
It’s been a week back on old RO and he is doing better. Most of the ich s now gone too. I ordered Equilibrium and will be adding that to his RO from now on.
<Tres bien!>
Right now all the water tests great - adding Indian almond leaves from our tree sporadically also. So far other than the hiccup when I changed the water he’s doing great. Still eats like a horse.
<Great as well>
I’ve been doing 30-50% WCs re-dosing Ich-X in new water
20 min baths in Betta revive while I do the WC
Temp at 82-84
<All sounds/reads as good Ad. BobF>

Problems with "dragon scale" Bettas       9/21/18
We have Dragon Scale Bettas at the LFS here. They tend to have thick scales that tend to be shiny although I am seeing this less and less. Also the scales apparently can grow over one eye or both eyes blinding the fish completely.
<Indeed, just what the hobby needs -- another fish that's crippled by the mutant genes we've bred into it.>
The one I saw today had one good eye and one seemed clouded or maybe it was a thin scale over the eye. Does anyone know about these Bettas?
<The International Betta Congress are probably the best people for information about new Betta breeds.>
As in it maybe being a case of trying to breed for characteristics that backfires when it leaves the fish blind?
<Yes; so far as I can ascertain, all dragon scale Bettas are handicapped to some degree. Some fry die very early on, others survive for months or a year or two, but they don't seem to have the same 3-4 year lifespan of typical fancy Bettas. Even those that live some years will usually end up blind.>
Also it seems that when Bettas are inbred for interesting characteristics they seem to lose their feisty nature and tend to be slower and timid, not the usual "natural" Betta wanting a fight with another Betta. Thank you
<Cheers, Neale.>

Betta; investigation re hlth., beh.       9/11/18
My male Betta is about a year old with long flowing fins. At least he did, he keeps eating them. So I started him in a bowl about 9 months ago, and noticed he was sad.
<Yes; Bettas need a heated, filtered world of a few gallons volume>
I put him in a 10 gallon tank by himself at first after 3 months. Then, I added 3 ADFs. All was well until 2 of them died in June, one from malnutrition I think and the other because the tank water got dirty as the other decomposed (I was on vacation for 3 days). The last frog survived and once I cleaned the tank and water I put them together in the tank. The frog started chasing my Betta around, nipping his tail. Then I noticed the Betta biting his own tail. I was told by a friend to put more frogs in the tank, so the remaining frog would leave my Betta alone.
Well his tail bites got so severe from his own stressful biting I decided to get a tank separator. The frog is on one third side, the Betta has two thirds to himself. It's been about a week and a half and I'm noticing more bite rips in his tail. The water parameters are safe for both of them, no ammonia.
<Nor nitrite... how much nitrate? Water hardness, pH? Temperature... steady, high? What foods are you using?>
The two are separated. There are plenty of plants and huts for my Betta to hide in.
<Ah, good>
I cant understand why he'd still be stressed! All of these events happened over months, not all in one week. There are no back to back factors of stress to cause this. I just really don't want my Betta to eat his tail away. Please help me if you can!
Sincerely, Savannah
<Please respond to my questions above, and send along a cropped pic of all.
Bob Fenner>

Re Betta <39 megs!>     9/13/18
<You've crashed our ISP server... PLEASE see our file size requirements... hundreds of Kbytes... B>
Re: Betta     9/13/18
Are these okay? Does the whole email have to be less than 500kb or just each picture? I'm sorry for the inconvenience, I wasn't clear on the instructions.
<Ah, yes; these are fine; thank you>
I'm responding with all the answers to your questions. The temperature stays steady usually, give or take one or two degrees.
Their tank is heated
and filtered.
<Very good>
The nitrate is up, but it is time to do my weekly water change which I am about to do. The nitrate is usually steady, but I admit I haven't seen it like before.
<Do strive to keep below 20 ppm>
The pH is 7.6, ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, and nitrate is 20. The picture makes it look darker. I have attached pictures of the food, the water tests as of now, the tank, my Betta, and the temp.
The tank looks more roomy than it actually is.
Thank you, Savannah
<I would add a bit of fresh, or frozen food to the diet; perhaps just frozen/defrosted brine shrimp every other day. Otherwise, time going by should find improvement here Sav. BobF>

My Betta; /Sav     9/19/18
I emailed a few days ago about my Betta and followed it up with pictures after asked to. I haven't received any word back yet and I was wondering if you found any answers. My Betta ripped his tail yet again. I'm really worried about his safety. The rips are getting close to his body.
Thank you, Savannah
<Yes Savannah; I did respond... Our corr. is archived here:
Scroll down... Bob Fenner>

Sick Betta      8/4/18
<Hello Danielle,>
I can't seem to diagnose my Betta with what I have read/seen.
<Indeed. But can you please also tell us about its environment. Just to be clear, a Betta needs a decent size tank (I'd say at least 5 gallons, and certainly not less than 3 gallons) together with a heater and a filter. If you aren't supplying those, then that's why the Betta is sick. Water quality must be excellent, with zero ammonia and nitrite, and again, if these aren't the case, then that's why your Betta is sick. Unfortunately there's still this myth that Bettas can live in cups of water, without heaters and filters, and you'd be depressed by the number of "sick Betta" messages we get from aquarists who've tried to keep their Betta that way.>
Can you please take a look at these pictures?
<We do ask people keep emailed images down to less than 1 MB; yours was 7 MB, and attachments that size do fill up our email allowance pretty quickly, causing other people's messages do be returned. Furthermore, if you're going to send an image, please make sure the important bit is in focus! I can see something is terribly wrong with the head of your Betta, but beyond that, it's hard to say. It's too blurry. Could be a bacterial infection, something called Columnaris or 'Mouth Fungus' (not a fungus though) is perhaps a good bet. A reliable antibiotic (as opposed to Bettafix, Melafix, tonic salts, and other -- largely useless -- cure-alls) would be your best option here. Might be viral, in which case there's no treatment, and it could even be cancerous, such being quite common among farmed Bettas for one reason or another.>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Neale.>

Re: Sick Betta     8/5/18
Unfortunately he passed.
<Too bad.>
He was at least 3 years old.

<That's an incredible age for a Betta, so well done there.>
They are selling a three tiered tank with each compartment less than 1 gallon specifically for Betta fish at PetSmart. That sucks that they are misleading people and hurting fish.
<Agreed, that sucks. Breeders certainly do keep the males in jam jars, but they're replacing the water daily, and keeping them in a heated fish room.
If you're a breeder, it's really the only viable way to keep hundreds of Bettas alive at once. But aquarists aren't going to heat a room or change all the water daily, so yes, we really do need an aquarium. Anything less than 3 gallons is a bucket, and honestly, does anyone think a fish would be happy spending its life in less than a bucket of water? Pet stores really should make an effort to tell shoppers what's required before selling the fish. A 4-5 gallon tank doesn't cost a lot, and heaters and filters are very inexpensive nowadays. Compared with a pet dog or cat, a small fish tank is a trivial expense once you factor in the cost of food, vet bills, and so on that you'd be forking out for a cat or dog. And yes, there's
still an impression out there that Bettas and Goldfish can live in bowls and cups!>
Thanks for the advice.
Thank you,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Advice on Betta with swollen lip/nose      7/28/18
Hi guys!
I‘ve been looking for an answer to my problem for a few months now.
My Bettas upper lip/nose has been slowly swelling up since the end of March. This is sometimes accompanied by a small white pimple on his nose. This comes and goes.
In the last week however we now have white flat spots on his head and raised white pimples above one of his eyes. I immediately thought he had Hole in the Head but the white spots haven’t erupted or changed in the last week. His lip & nose are now quite swollen.
Otherwise he is perfectly fine, he is eating and acting normal.
Treatment wise I have treated with eSHa Hexamita in the last week but otherwise I have been monitoring and doing 10% water changed every other day, also adding Indian Almond Leaves.
<Good choices to try>
He is kept in a 22ltr heated & filtered planted tank (sponge filter), the temp sits between 27-28oC.
The tanks is cycled and has been for almost two years, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, PH sits around 7-7.5. I use Seachem Prime as a conditioner..
Diet is Dennerle Betta Booster, frozen Bloodworms, Brine Shrimp, Daphnia, Mysis Shrimp and Cyclops. He is fed twice a day and fasted once a week.
<Mmm, I'd delete the Bloodworms... a possible negative influence here>
I have attached some pictures, one shows him with a normal nose and now. The others are an attempt to show the white dots and pimple. Apologies for the quality.
Thanks for your help
<Am asking Neale for his independent resp. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Advice on Betta with swollen lip/nose /Neale      7/30/18
Hi guys!
I‘ve been looking for an answer to my problem for a few months now.
My Bettas upper lip/nose has been slowly swelling up since the end of March. This is sometimes accompanied by a small white pimple on his nose. This comes and goes.
In the last week however we now have white flat spots on his head and raised white pimples above one of his eyes. I immediately thought he had Hole in the Head but the white spots haven’t erupted or changed in the last week. His lip & nose are now quite swollen.
Otherwise he is perfectly fine, he is eating and acting normal.
Treatment wise I have treated with eSHa Hexamita in the last week but otherwise I have been monitoring and doing 10% water changed every other day, also adding Indian Almond Leaves.
He is kept in a 22ltr heated & filtered planted tank (sponge filter), the temp sits between 27-28oC.
The tanks is cycled and has been for almost two years, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, PH sits around 7-7.5. I use Seachem Prime as a conditioner..
Diet is Dennerle Betta Booster, frozen Bloodworms, Brine Shrimp, Daphnia, Mysis Shrimp and Cyclops. He is fed twice a day and fasted once a week.
I have attached some pictures, one shows him with a normal nose and now. The others are an attempt to show the white dots and pimple. Apologies for the quality.
Thanks for your help
<Have seen these white pimples on Bettas before. I don't think diet or environment is the issue here. In fact I have no idea what causes them! They might be caused by a parasite, but seemingly not one that can reproduce in aquaria, as they don't seem to spread to other fish or even across the host fish more generally. They might be viral, but viral diseases don't spread much, if at all, under aquarium conditions, and there's no real treatments for them either. While they might be bacterial, they don't seem to be associated with infection or damage in the same way as, say, Finrot. None of this is very helpful, I know. But my point is primarily that there's no certain treatment for these white pimples, but at the same time, they don't seem immediately dangerous either. Otherwise healthy Bettas with a single white pimple should be observed, but not, in my opinion, medicated blindly. Best to wait and see what happens. On the other hand, patches of off-white mucous can mean a variety of things including Costia, and such do need to be treated. You might go with something general purpose, like eSHa EXIT, which handles a fair variety of external parasites, alongside eSHa 2000, a pretty decent antibacterial. The two are safe to use together, and seem to be tolerated by fishes of most sorts rather well. Alternatively, you might prefer to run a course of EXIT first (against potential Costia or some other protozoan) and then use 2000 only if the fish failed to improve or was showing signs of bacterial infection (such as weight loss or fin damage). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Advice on Betta with swollen lip/nose     7/30/18

Thank you for taking time to reply.
<Most welcome.>
The pimple/s are very intermittent. I shall keep up with monitoring him. I have the meds that you have mentioned to hand if needed.
<Sounds like a plan. Good luck, Neale.>

Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta    7/11/18
I have had a male Betta for about a year now. Yesterday I noticed he had a decent-sized bump/growth between his mouth/nose and right eye.
I did a 100% water change last night, and this morning I noticed some white stringy stuff on his head, and the bump on his face seemed a little larger.
<... environmental>
I took some photos this morning (attached) trying to get a good shot of his head.
I just mail-ordered him a 3-gallon filtered tank over the weekend that should come next week, but he has been in a .7 gallon heated tank this whole time (no filter/pump). I hope he isn't too sick to make the move to a better environment!
<Me too. 0.7 gallon is too little and unfiltered? Won't work.>
Tank temperature is kept at a fairly consistent 80-82 degrees F. I have been doing daily 50% water cycles and 100% water changes every 2-3 weeks to try and keep the water from getting too gross. I use Imaginarium Betta water treatment in warm tap water. His tank also has a Marimo ball in it.
He is fed a small pinch of Betta flakes with shrimp and about 3-4 dried bloodworms per day.
His behavior still seems normal so far. He is active, comes to the tank to greet me, and vigorously eats his food. He flares and swims around rapidly when I put his mirror toy in the water.
<Ah, good signs>
I'm guessing he has some kind of fungus or bacterial infection going on (white stuff), but I have no idea what's up with that facial growth. I am hoping it's not a tumor! I have never had a sick fish before, so any and all advice is appreciated. I have a Petco very close to my house so I can go pick up medication or whatever is needed fairly easily. Thanks in advance for your help!
<Well, I'd have you read here:
and where you lead yourself with the links at top. This fish REALLY just needs a viable environment. You might consider it expedient to treat the system... Bob Fenner>

Re: Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta    7/11/18
Thanks for the quick response, Bob! I have been browsing through the links on the page you recommended.
<Ah, good Deja>
Little Buddy was a juvenile when we purchased him for my 10 year old daughter--she also picked the tank. She soon tired of the constant maintenance, so I inherited him. The tank seemed to work okay when he was smaller, but he definitely needs more room now that he's grown. I was hoping that Petco carried the tank I wanted in stock, but I had to order it.
<I see. Do move the water, gravel et al. from the old to the new system>
Since the new tank won't be here for a week or so, I was planning on picking up an antifungal from Petco on my way home tonight (someone on your site mentioned Mardel's Maracyn tablets for fungus but it looks like Petco carries Kordon Rid Fungus instead) to treat the tank/fish with in the meantime to hopefully get rid of the white stuff or at least keep it at bay. I have been researching online and the white stuff appears to be fungal rather than ich (stringy, no spots). I know my photos aren't that great, but do you also think the white stuff is fungal?
<Likely bacterial... most "fungal" infections of fishes are actually bacterially mediated>
I am concerned that the bump on his face is Lymphocystis--I've been doing some research and read that since this is a virus it basically has to run its course and all I can do is keep the tank water as clean as possible and not stress him. I wish I had been able to get better photos of the bump, but he kept turning the side with the bump away from me when I tried to photograph it.
Is there anything else I can do to make him more comfortable until his new home arrives?
<I'd add a modicum (like half a tsp.) of non-iodized salt here. Dissolve in some water and pour in.>
I already do 50% water cycles but I can do more than that if it would help.
I can also do a full water change again over the weekend. I just don't want him to stress any more than he already is by upsetting his habitat. Thanks again for your help! Deja Lee
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta      7/12/18
Good morning Bob! I wanted to give you an update. I got some freshwater aquarium salt, 5x1 testing strips, and antibacterial drops from Petco last night.
I tested the water before I started and it seemed pretty good overall: pH 7.2, nitrate/nitrite/chlorine all 0, hardness 75 (which is a bit high I think?).
<What units of measure?>
I wasn't too surprised since the tank had been cleaned less than 24 hours prior.
When I did the 50% water cycle, I added 1/2 tsp. salt to the new water and put the drops in at the end. I noticed when I got home from Petco that the white stuff was gone, so maybe his slime coat was just reacting to the 100% water change?
<Likely so>
He is still frisky and got excited when I checked on him this morning. The bump seems unchanged so far but I am assuming it takes time for the medicine to start working. Have a great day!
<And you, BobF>
Re: Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta       7/12/18

Hi Bob! Sorry, here you go: pH 7.2ppm (mg/L), nitrate/nitrite/chlorine all 0ppm (mg/L),
<? Zero Nitrate? I'd check this again. IF the system is cycled, cycling there should be appreciable NO3>
hardness (GH) 75ppm, and alkalinity (KH) 40ppm.
<All the rest of the values are fine>
I tested again and got very similar results, so I'm just going to replace what evaporated and call it good for tonight. The bump seems a bit larger today, and appears to be white in the center. Thank you, Deja
<Improved environment will yield perceptibly enhanced health in time. Bob Fenner>

Re: Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta    7/17/18
Hi Bob,
<Hey Deja>
I have attached a photo of the test strip guide so you can see what I mean when I say '0' for Nitrate. Basically, that bit of the test strip wasn't turning colors at all. It was staying white.
<Mmm; yeah. These colorimetric assay strips can be inaccurate and imprecise. I encourage you to "check the checker"... Likely a tropical fish store will check your water with other gear; ascertain NO3 differently here. Established systems almost always have increasing Nitrate presence>
It turned light pink yesterday. Most of the other tests were pretty similar to how they have been this whole time, though Alkalinity was around 80-120, which the test strip guide says is 'ideal'.
<Is fine>
This morning when I looked at Buddy, I noticed two white spots on his tail that weren't there last night. I have attached some photos of that as well.
It also looks like that bump on his face is still growing. It's the same color as his scales except the top is white. His behavior still seems normal for the most part.
The Bacterial Infection remedy I got (Imagitarium Bacterial Infection Remedy)
<Umm; am not a fan of "alternative, natural remedies".... They're not effective by and large. PLEASE see WWM re Betta health, treatments. Too much for me to go over here. I would NOT be medicating this fish, system period.>
instructs to use it every other day for 3 treatments. I did the last treatment yesterday, so I'm not sure what the next step should be. I appreciate any advice!
The new tank is supposed to be delivered today, so barring any damage from shipping hopefully I'll be able to get Buddy moved into it by the end of the week (I still need to get a heater, more gravel, and some live aquarium plants).
Thanks, Deja
<Am sure all will be fine w/ the move to the better world. Bob Fenner>

Betta has Bubble (Bob, please do review/expand as needed)<<Will do>>    6/16/18
<Hello Shannon,>
I am writing about my Crown tail Betta "Mr. Spock" He has a reoccurring bubble that keeps appearing on his left side. He doesn't seem affected by it. It just appears. Then it pops. Then it usually takes a month or so for it to reappear. However this last time the bubble popped 3 days ago and now its already starting back up.
<Curious. Given that the abdomen is obviously stretched, and the skin and scales consequently distorted, I think we can rule out gas embolism. If you recall, gas embolism tends to occur in tanks with very high aeration levels, resulting in supersaturation of the water with oxygen. The gas eventually bubbles out of solution, potentially inside the fish, where it forms more or less transparent bubbles just below the skin. Such bubbles are very unlikely to form in a tank with minimal aeration and/or filtration, as is usually the case with Bettas. So this means that some type of bacterial disease is much more probable, causing the accumulation of fluids inside the tissues.>
I live in phoenix Arizona so I have very hard water.
<Not ideal for Bettas; do aim for soft to medium hardness water, 2-15 degrees dH, pH 6.5-7.5 is about right. Do try mixing the tap water with a certain amount of RO or rainwater; even replacing 25% of each bucket of water with RO/rainwater will make a huge difference.>
Mr. Spock lives in a 1 gallon (I tried having him in a 5 gallon and he almost died from stress)
<Honestly think your interpretation of events here makes no scientific sense at all. One gallon of water is much too small for 'easy' Betta maintenance. Do remember that breeders keeping them in jam jars are changing the water completely every day, and in the wild Bettas are living in sluggish streams, ponds, paddy fields, and so on. Contrary to myth, they aren't living hoof-prints of rainwater! Fish aren't afraid of being 'out of their depth' and even a 50 gallon tank is minuscule compared to what a wild Betta would be living in. So if your Betta looked stressed, the problem wasn't really the volume of water, but the other aspects of the environment. Bettas need to be able to access the surface easily, and strong water currents will prevent that, so ensure filtration is gentle.
Air-powered filters are the ideal. They also appreciate shelter and cover, floating vegetation being the ideal, because they don't really want to make use of caves or plants at the bottom of the tank.>
with a heater (80 degrees) and a filter.
<Do review water quality. As always with fish, nine times out of ten problems come down to water quality and chemistry problems, particularly the former. 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite are essential, even for Bettas, again, despite the myth that they live in fetid swaps and can therefore survive without filters.>
He has black aquarium sand, a live plant, and a log. I do half tank water changes every other day.
Since this last bubble that popped I have given him an Epsom salt bath each day.
<Epsom salt will help with swelling, but I do think the underlying cause needs to be address. Environment the most likely cause; bacteria the most likely mechanism.>
Thank you so much for you valuable time!
<Glad to help. Good luck, Neale.>

Odd spot on Betta, now fin rot?     6/4/18
I sent the message below last night. Later in the evening, I gave his tank a good cleaning (removed him to holding tank to get all algae out of tank, and all waste out of gravel on bottom), and I did a 50% water change. At least now I can see him better and he did not seem stressed by the process. Below is the best picture of him I was able to get. The white spot is raised, but I could not get a decent picture showing that. I have been thinking it was just scar tissue, but now I’m not so sure.. Also, his tail clearly looks ragged compared to the perfect half-moon it was in February. What do you suggest to treat my little guy?
<Maybe a regimen (three doses) of Kanamycin...>
He is still acting healthy and happy, but definitely has a problem. Thank you so much for any help you can give me.
<Please use the search tool on WWM (on every page) with the words "Betta, Finrot, Kanamycin". Bob Fenner>

Re: Odd spot on Betta, now fin rot?     6/4/18
Thanks. I’ve successfully treated fin rot on another Betta and I’ll check your web site.
<Good and good>
I was just worried WHY he got it with good water chemistry, weekly tank vacuuming and 20-25% water change I was afraid that white spot is something serious affecting his immune system. I’ll treat the fin rot.
<Mmm; perhaps genetic factors are at work here. Betta splendens are not what they used to be. Bob Fenner>

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