One white spot in Betta 2/15/13
In the beginning when my tank was still new & I just got him his color faded & developed fin rot. I immediately got fungal medicine and after 3-4 weeks of monitoring I was able to get rid if it. I even bought a Malaysian driftwood to lower the ph in the water. It was over 7.8 at the time.
For the past 5months I have been doing 30- 40% water change very 7-10 days, I add salt
<I wouldn't. Please search WWM re. Not necessary; may be detrimental>
(but not the full amount each time always half less because of frequent change), & water conditioner. I change the sponge in media every 1mnth to 1.5mnth, & change his carbon/zeo crystals every 2-3wks. he has been growing, & his tail is almost back to his fullest. He has gotten so beautiful vivid red & he is getting some neon blue tint in his tail & body.
Very active & very interactive. He goes straight to top of tank waiting for his 7am feeding time.
But for the past couple of wks I noticed he had a white spot on the side of his body. I didn't think anything of it, but I wanted to monitor it. This mrng it appeared slightly larger. No bumps, no other spots, no discoloration, no velvet texture, & no change in behaviour.
<Not to worry re this one spot. Not likely parasitic; disease-related>
I have a water test kit, & all levels were exactly where they are suppose to be.
What could the white spot be from? am I not putting enough salt?
<Perhaps a physical injury, accumulation of body mucus at the spot. Again, I'd leave salts out.>
Sorry for the long description, but I wanted you to know everything first.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
re: One white spot in Betta 2/15/13
Hi thank you for your quick response!
You said to not add salt, do you mean to not add salt at every water change?
I thought I should add salt, but since I'm doing regular changes I should add half of what I'm suppose to ( 2tsp per 2.5 gallons).
How much should I add at every 30-40% water change for a 12 gallon tank?
<.... search WWM re... >
You mentioned it could be mucus build up? How could he get that?
<Fishes produce it... see WWM re this also>
so this will go away on it's own?
So its not a fungus, parasite, or disease?
<Keep reading. B>
New Betta Question 6/13/12
Siamese fighter. Hlth., fdg. rdg.
crown tail Betta... why not search, read ahead of writing us w/ no
in harder water 11/23/11
with my little Betta, Buddy
Really calm Betta or he is
I managed to give away all my female Platies due to not wanting them in with the males and keeping the large tank on the counter. At the store where I dropped them off, I found an actual rare black crowntail Betta and bought it. I never see these around and I was thinking of getting one for a long time. I have an old five gallon and he is now in warm soft water with a hiding place. The Betta moves really slow and is now hiding in a plant, really still, like he is meditating :) Could the Betta be sick?? Freaked out by a five gallon after being in a small cup?? or just really laid back?? Crowntails tend to be feisty, but this guy is the most Zen Betta I've met. Thank you!!!
<Hello Judy. Bettas aren't very active anyway, and a day or two after purchase, they may well be spooked. So give it time. Subdued lighting and gentle filtration (as opposed to bright light and turbulent water) will both help him feel at home. So long as he's feeding and breathing normally, I wouldn't worry too much just yet. After a couple days, bring a mirror close to the tank and see if he reacts. He should get interested. Don't tease him with the mirror, but as a way of checking a male Betta is healthy, it's as good a way as any. Cheers, Neale.>
My poor Betta... reading 5/26/2010
so I went and got him so fresher freeze dried blood worms. He still won't touch them. I do a 1/4 water change every week and have Stress Coat to take out the chlorine and other bad chemicals that are in the water. He now just sits on top of his cave or lays near the surface of the water. I was wondering if he's sick or possibly just an old man on his way out.
Thank you very much,
<... is this system filtered, heated? Read here:
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm
and the linked files above... do you now know what the issue/s are here?
Mac...my blue Betta fish... hlth.
Betta Illness: Unclear Origins 8/6/07 Dear Crew, <Hi Alison, Jorie here today.> I've sent in once before about my Bettas and you were very, very helpful. <Glad to hear this - we certainly try our best here!> I'm hoping you can help me with my most recent problem, as I've searched the archives and I couldn't find anything to the specific incident I had. <I will try!> Here goes: I have a two year old albino female Betta (with little pink eyes), and she's always been my pride and joy. <Ahhh, I'm jealous - these are beautiful fish! Quite expensive 'round these parts, too, which is why I don't have my own:-)> I had her in a smaller bowl for the past month in order to condition her for her first breeding so she had ready access to food. When I keep my Bettas in the conditioning bowls, I usually do a 75% water change every one or two days and remove any feces or left over food with a dropper. <It certainly sounds like you know what you are doing, but I'm a bit concerned about changing so much water at once. Hopefully the new water is "matched" as closely to the old water as possible (in terms of pH, temperature, etc.)? Otherwise, you run the risk of shocking the little girl's system. When I tried to keep a female Betta in a 1 gallon filtered/heated tank, that was the problem I ran into; in trying to keep the waste product under control...there's not much water to play with in such a situation. Also, I have found that the fancier stains of Bettas (i.e., more genetically manipulated) can result in the fish being even more sensitive to adverse conditions...something to keep in mind.> The problem is, I went out of town for a day, and when I got back, her bowl was unusually dirty (not a big deal, someone in the house had given her a treat (confirmed) and there was extra waste output). <It happens. Whenever I go out of town, I make little Ziploc baggies of food for each of my tanks, and emphasize that this is the only thing I want the fish to be fed in my absence.> I went to change her water, and she jumped into the dirty water bucket... <Wow - an active girl!> The water contained pieces of cucumber and tetracycline from the other fish's water. I netted her out and she jumped approximately 7 inches to the floor, where I picked her up and put her in her clean bowl. Immediately, I noticed her swimming erratically. <She may have injured herself, but hopefully it's just a result of shock, which will remedy itself given proper care.> The characteristic swim bladder problem of twirling came to mind. <It is possible the swim bladder was injured in the fall...> However, I also noticed she was able to maintain a chosen depth in the water, but was unable to stay upright. Then I read the Wet Web Media article on swim bladders and the part about their "ears", fluid-filled chambers that let them know they are upright. That seemed more feasible, as she had it happen literally within 10 seconds. <I'm not sure I exactly understand what you mean here.> I am unclear why this happened or what I can do to remedy it. I know she jumped out because I was home late and not careful with her when doing my animal husbandry chores. <I think this was just a fluke, honestly, and not something you should blame yourself for...> What I am unsure of is what it resulted from (shock, bacteria, etc.), and what on earth I can realistically do. She's still eating voraciously, but having a heck of a hard time doing it. She spins like a torpedo trying to get a bloodworm and although she doesn't look miserable, I can't imagine spinning forever to be an ideal sort of life. :( <Well, first things first. It sounds like she lives alone, so this is good - no one to pick on her, eat her food, otherwise stress her out. A Betta's swim bladder is quite sensitive, so I'm betting she did in fact injure hers in the fall/jump. It's good that she's able to swim up and down, so that she can easily make it to the top to take in air. If that weren't the case, I would recommend lowering the water level in the tank, and giving her some decorations to be able to "perch" on. The latter may actually be of use in your girl's situation; if she's constantly spinning, give her a couple of spots where she can "rest" in the tank, and just sit/lie. The good news is swim bladder injuries/disorders are not usually painful and are rarely fatal to the fish, and a fish so affected can live out the remainder of her live in comfort. The bad news is there really isn't a way to "treat" the injury, per se. The best you can do is keep the water clean, keep her comfortable, make sure she continues to eat, and allow her to rest (not that different that treating an ill child, is it?!)> The fish whose water had been treated was a goldfish with a great deal of finnage which had been damaged while struggling with improper tank decorations. He has no parasites or diseases I am aware of, nor does the female Betta in question. <That's good - no pathogens, diseases transmitted to your girl, then.> Most treatments I find usually only specify what to do for constipation or bacterial infection of the swim bladder. <Yes.> I am most hopeful for a suggestion. <Unfortunately, this is a case where only time where tell. Keep her clean, warm and comfortable and hope that the injury repairs itself internally. If not, make the necessary accommodations in her tank (see suggestion re: places to sit/perch above) and she'll likely live out her life comfortably. Do be careful about choosing whether to breed this fish; if her swim bladder is truly injured, the stress of breeding may well do her in. Unfortunately, she may be better suited as a true "pet", in a larger heated/filtered tank (3-5 gallons is ideal).> Thank you for your time. <You're welcome; sorry I don't have a "magic cure". Hopefully time and rest will be of use here. Best wishes, Jorie> Alison
Sick Betta... toxic system 11/12/06 Ok here I go. I had 3 tuxedo guppies, 5 neon tetras and a male Betta. The beta had white patches on him, was lethargic, had clamped fins and was losing color so I treated the tank with fungus cure. After that he patches were gone but even after some time the beta still was just coming up for air and food so I did a 70% water change. I even cleaned the gravel and plants (by boiling not with soap). After that the beta was much better. His fins were opening slightly, he was swimming and his color was coming back. After a few days one of the guppies died with a bent spine. <All of a sudden? All of them?> I then recheck all the water (ph, ammonia, nitrates...) and everything seemed to be in a normal range. I also noticed that one of the other guppies had red strings coming out of him and a bloody tail fin. I was so sad that even though I noticed this, it didn't quite register. The next day the other guppy died of what looked like internal bleeding since his abdomen looked to be filled with blood. I looked around and found out that this was due to worms so I treated the tank with an internal parasite killer. <Active ingredient/s?> After a bit I noticed that one of the tetra's was missing a tail. I tried to quarantine him (like I had all the other sick fish) but he got so lethargic, wasn't eating and was only trying to jump out of the water, <... bad signs> I figured it was best for him to stay with his school. He died soon after. After I finished the full treatment for the parasite, the guppy still has worms but the medication said not to use more then 3 treatments which I had already used. This is when I noticed the beta. He is staying near the top of the water, lying sideways most of the time. He is not eating, and I have tried freeze dried bloodworms which he used to love, flakes, and pellets. He also has scratches on his body which is paper thin almost everywhere except his stomach which is much rounder than usual. He also has a strange yellow sac hanging on to him near his fin. One of his eyes is clouded over and the other has one white speck on it that moves around pretty fast. If I were to treat each symptom separately I would have to use: antibacterial, fungicide, anti-parasite which would probably be overmedicating and I still wouldn't cover everything. I was hopping that the symptoms might match up with something that I could cure, and I have no camera so I can't send a picture. Basically, what should I do? <Well... something is definitely out of whack here... some type of poisoning... Do you have a geode? Sea shell from the seashore? There is a source of toxicity that you need to find, address... and soon. Bob Fenner>
Betta diagnosis/prognosis 3/4/06My little Roswell has experienced quite a series of unfortunate events lately. Although I have been successfully keeping another Betta fish, I fear I have made things worse for the new guy (he's about 6-12 months old). If at all possible, I would appreciate your advice as to what's fundamentally ailing him and if he might recover. (I apologize in advance for what will invariable be a long email...). <No worries, take your time> Roswell lives in a nice 3 gallon bowl with a soft plastic plant, a moss ball and one other small live plant. He has a junior heater that doesn't keep the water temperature steady per se, but keeps him at a more comfortable temperature between 75-80 depending on the time of day. I change 30-50% of his water every week with aged, treated water of the same temperature and I clean out his entire bowl every month. <Would be better to have a filter...> We don't have a PH or chloramine problem in the city's water and I never let any of his uneaten frozen blood worms stay in his bowl. And I definitely don't overfeed...once a day, 2 mouthfuls of blood worms that he would grab off my finger. <Needs more than this one food item...> 4 months ago, he lost the small purple splotches on his body and tail, which left him pink. After staring at him like a simpleton for weeks and weeks I could never see anything wrong with him other than his fins looked a bit unhealthy. So we treated him with Jungle Fungus cure. <... toxic> It never really worked, even after an extended treatment, so we stopped that and just observed him. His health seemed to deteriorate about 2 months ago. We thought that perhaps he had a parasite because his gills were getting a bit red and he seemed irritated, though he didn't show any classic signs of parasites. I put in 5 drops of Costapur and then another 2 drops 48 hours later and I saw what was, I know in retrospect, probably a dead anchor worm floating on the surface (at the time I thought it might have been just an old piece of food because I was amazed that something of that size could have gone unnoticed...perhaps it was in his gills). At this time, his breathing had become more laboured and his gill plates (cheeks?) became more reddened, so worrying that the medication was too strong, I quickly gave him a fresh bowl. This didn't really help his breathing. In fact, he started to "yawn" or "cough" a lot and he was having problems keeping the air he inhaled from the surface. He would gulp great bubbles and they would immediately escape through his gills or mouth. His vision also deteriorated and he was incapable of seeing my finger and jumping up for food. Because he was having problems breathing, I got an aerating stone (...which led to the escapade of swallowing bubbles and having to pass gas...). I tried tetracycline for his inflamed gills but that didn't really help. While changing his water (to make matters worse) the bottom of his hospital bowl fell out. <!?> I had the bowl about a foot over a plastic basin that I syphon water into and he fell with the water and the bottom into the basin. Nothing fell on top of him, and because he seemed to be just swimming about, I crossed my fingers that he would be okay. Nothing changed (or got better) until, about 3 weeks ago, I noticed a red mark near his anus and the very next day, there was a huge anchor worm attached to him. <Yowch!> I bought Jungle Parasite Clear which quickly killed the worm. The box recommended that I treat once a week for 3 weeks, but when it was time for the 3rd treatment, he just didn't look healthy enough to treat. His gill plates were red, he was gasping a lot and had developed an equilibrium problem. His scales looked like they were protruding a tiny bit, though he wasn't bloated at all. I thought it might be the beginnings of dropsy because of all the trauma so I did a couple Epsom baths and got a wide spectrum antibiotic called Kanaplex that said it could help treat dropsy (and gill disease), which I put in yesterday. <A good move this last> Right now he's still lying on his side and panting. I read a drop of hydrogen peroxide can help with the gills and to oxygenate the water, but it doesn't seem to help in a significant way. <Is only temporary> Perhaps instead of dropsy (his scales look better) he has a swim bladder disorder. Could the fall have brought that on, even if he didn't start displaying symptoms of SBD until a week and a half afterwards? <More likely the cumulative stress of treatments, the parasite...> Can a parasite infection cause SBD? <Yes, to a degree> I think his vision is improving and his appetite has always been okay, even if it's difficult for him to scoop up the worms, he manages to eat a few almost every day. He's in a small bowl right now for comfort sake and I'll certainly continue using Kanaplex in case there is an internal bacteria infection, but I'm not feeling very hopeful. I'm shocked that he's still alive... I hope this isn't his new normal. I would assume it was just SBD if he didn't still have red cheeks and was panting a lot. Your best guess about what caused what would be great. I can't imagine there's much more I can do, but if you have any suggestions I would be happy to try them. And...I hesitate to ask... at what point would euthanasia be recommended? Fish and fish keepers around the world thank-you for your fantastic site! Merci! <Mmm, welcome. I do encourage you to fit this fish's bowl/system with a small filter of some sort (inside power, air-driven sponge...) to facilitate biofiltration... Not to change out the water entirely... And to read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>
Betta's keep dying, frustrated!!! 7/27/05 Hi Bob and crew, <John> My partner was recently in our local pet store and bought one of those Betta bowls you guys donï¿½ï¿½t recommend (discovered later). The bowl was not filtered or heated and Frankie the Fish grew white stuff (like a fungus) all over him and died shortly after. <Try living in the refrigerator...> She then got a filter for her bowl, aquarium salt and bought another fish, which was named Frankie again, and the same thing happened, which really upset our four-year-old son, as it was his pet. <Was this system heated?> I started searching on the net after the second fish died, and came across many sites, but your one seemed the most helpful, so stayed up and read it all night. I then went out and purchased a bigger tank 20 Litres, donï¿½ï¿½t know what that is in gallons. <A liter/re is a little more than a quart, four quarts to a gallon> I also bought a heater and a new filter to clean the tank. <Yay! Now you're getting close...> We set the new tank up, added aquarium salt and made sure the temperature stayed on 26 degrees Celsius, which is 80 degrees F. After a week, we went out and purchased our 3rd Frankie, as well as a Ph kit for testing the water. We tested the water first, and all seemed fine. We then added Frankie, and after swimming around for a little while, he then would just stay at the bottom of the tank, only coming up for air. He would lie on his side sometimes below the heater, or on the opposite corner to the heater. Frankie refused to eat anything, and would sometimes swim around but mostly he would just lie on the bottom of the tank, only coming up for air. Sadly to report, 3 days later, our third Frankie is dead, which is sad for the fish, and also for our son. It is rather frustrating now, after reading up on everything for weeks and then doing everything right (as far as we understood), for the same thing to happen. The third one did not grow any white stuff on it, so at least the temperature seemed to solve that. Are there any suggestions you could give us at all? <Mmm, was this tank cycled? The principal cause of captive aquatic life loss is actually accumulation of their metabolic waste/s, or bottle-necking of chemical reactions therewith. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> We also added some Bettafix to the water, when it was lying on the bottom all the time. <Not necessary> Any suggestion would be most welcome, as my partner does not want to get another one, but our son loved his little Frankie and would always come to the tank to see how Frankie was. Thanks for any help you can provide, John <Please leave the water as is... perhaps add a bit of "old" water from the store to it ahead of Frankie IV... You're close to understanding, providing the basics. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta's keep dying, frustrated!!! 7/29/05 Hi Bob, <John> I had already emptied the tank, but had not read up on the cycled part of your website. I have read all of that now and bought all of the kits to test the water. The guy at the pet store said I did not need the nitrite kit, <Wrong> but I bought it anyway. I filled the tank again tonight, and added aquarium salt, added some Methylene blue as this has been recommended on different sites. Got a new filter again, as Frankie III did not seem to like the old one, when I turned it off, he swam more. I will try to get some of the stores water for the tank as well. The tank is sitting on 26 degrees Celsius. Hopefully everything goes well this time. Thank you for your advise again and prompt reply, it is greatly appreciated. Hopefully everything will go well this time. Thanks Bob, again. John <I wish you and Frankie well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta's keep dying, frustrated!!! 8/11/05 Hi again Bob, thanks for the advise so far, it is greatly appreciated. <Welcome> I bought Frankie the IV and the V at a different Pet store. So far both are living well, which is a great turn around from what happened before. So thank you very much for your advise. <Persistence pays! Congrats.> One lives in a 20 litre tank with 4 Cory's, 1 bronze, 2 panda's and an albino. There is also 4 algae eaters in this tank. <Do keep your eyes on these last... happens that Betta's are often "rode on" by CAEs> In the other tank at home, a 50 litre, it has with Frankie, two bronze Cory catfish, and two algae eaters, but my problem is, when I test with the ammonia test kit, it goes into the higher readings. I got rid of all of the live weed that we had planted in the tank as the local person at the petstore suggested this might be the problem. This morning I did a full water change to bring the ammonia level down, and it has for the moment. I'm feeding the fish, live black worm, Betta pellet's, and also frozen blackworms and also brine shrimp, of course different food for different days. I bought a product to bring ammonia down, but it didn't seem to work. <Look for BioSpira... Ammonia toxicity is the number one killer of captive aquatic life... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwammfaqs.htm and the linked files above> Sorry to disturb you again, but am I doing anything wrong? I can't understand why the ammonia got so high! When I did the complete water change today, I noticed a few live worms under the gravel. Does this have anything to do with it? <Do peruse the linked files... you want to discover why this system is not cycled, cycling and solve it pronto... in the meanwhile, keep testing, feeding sparingly, doing small water changes...> Thanks for all of your help so far..... Frankie is going really well, and I just love this fish, seems to have a mind, so much better then goldfish. Thanks mate, John <Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta's stopped dying, not frustrated!!! 8/13/05 Hi Bob, <John> Ammonia levels are down to zero, thanks for the advice. I went to the local aquarium shop and got a bag of their dirty filter water and added it to the tank. Despite the water being dirty for a day or so, ammonia is down to zero now. So now everything looks like it is going well. I did add a bag of their water originally as suggest in your link, before buying any fish. So all is going well now and the fish seem healthy and happy. Thanks for all the help. John <Ah, congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner>
Betta's frayed fins... from? 7/12/05 Hi again, <Hello> I changed my Betta's [Haru] water today, and after I put him back in, I noticed that his dorsal looked sort of frayed. Does fin rot usually start there? <At the tips of fins usually, yes... but, what is the cause?> Or could it just look like that because, his tail fin and dorsal have always been pretty transparent [he's a white Betta] Or, could I have accidentally torn it during transfer with the net? <Too likely the latter (I would use my hand, not a net), or just the change, new water> I'm not sure. I have always put aquarium salt and AquaSafe in his week-old water, and change it religiously every Monday. Or, maybe I'm just freaking out for no reason... <Best to be patient here> Anyway, a little help would be nice, even if it's just to say "you're paranoid." Concerned, Crystal Howlett <I would not panic... often fish treatments/cures... are worse than actual diseases. Bob Fenner>
Question about Betta fins Hello, <Hi there> I have a question about my Betta's fins. They look shredded. When I brought him home with me in a different tank, they healed, but when I brought him back and into his bigger tank, his fins get shredded again. His behavior is very normal and he is very active. I change the water frequently and add aquarium salt to his water as well. I've changed the decorations from a coral decoration to two plastic plants and his fins are still shredded. He does like to fight with I'm guessing his reflection. Do you know what it could be? Thanks. LST <I don't know... you've covered about all the usual suspects... the decor (coral) affecting water quality, adding the salt... I take it that the fish is in a tropical (heated), filtered setting? Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm It may be that your water quality is "that bad" either out of the tap... or is it just not cycled? Perhaps you have a Betta with genetic make-up that tends toward shredded fins... If it were me, my situation and I were curious, I'd try putting another individual in its setting... and see if the same thing happens to it... and then investigate your water quality more thoroughly... perhaps through analysis by a lab, college... There is "something" amiss here... like a geode, new copper plumbing... that is mal-affecting your fighter. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question about Betta fins I had a Betta in there before in the exact same settings and he didn't have the fin trouble. Actually, for the first Betta I didn't have the salt. LST <Thank you for this... well, am back to my "guess" that this is some inherent trait (the tatty fins gene?) of this particular Betta. Bob Fenner>
Sickly Betta with a white spot Hello. <Hi...this is Jorie> I just discovered your website today and wish I had known about it a lot earlier. <'Tis a great website...I'm very grateful to have found it a few years back myself!> I have one male Betta in a (probably) Â½ gallon "Betta keeper." It doesn't have a filtration system or anything like that. Luigi was really healthy and active till recently, but all of a sudden he's just lying at the bottom of the tank. He's breathing pretty heavily and has a decent-size white spot behind his gill (I don't think it's fuzzy or anything - almost looks more like a gouge, but he's by himself). I'm feeling like this is probably all my fault because I haven't been watching him that closely. I've had him for about 3 months. He was a really good eater (Wardley Circle of Care), but now he's not even interested. He does come up to the top to breathe every once in a while. <How often do you do water changes on this little tank? This is very important, especially since there isn't a filtration system. With a tank that size, I'd do maybe 2 75% changes per week. Also, be very careful not to overfeed your Betta...they only need about 4-5 pellets per feeding (whatever they can consume in about 2-3 minutes). If there is excess food lying around the tank, that will just contribute to poor water quality. When you are doing water changes, be sure to match the temperature and pH as closely as possible of the old to new water. Additionally, I assume you are using tap water - be sure to use a dechlorinator to remove chlorine from the water...there are many brands available at most pet stores. Follow the directions on the bottle for dosage. Also, might I suggest you "upgrade" his food to the Hikari brand pellets...Wardley is pretty much on the low-end of the scale. A small container of Hikari pellets won't cost you too much more, and it will be greatly appreciated by your friend. I think that with proper maintenance (i.e., more frequent water changes) your Betta will be just fine...sounds like a completely fixable situation!> I've learned a lot from reading over your site today, but I'm wondering if there's any chance to save Luigi now. <Water changes, water changes, water changes. Is he still swimming and eating? If so, it's definitely not a lost cause.> I keep him at work with me - the pet store said he would be really low-maintenance. <Sadly, my friend, you've learned the hard way that some fish stores can be less than reliable. Not that the Betta is "high maintenance", per se, but it does have specific requirements. The one additional thing I'd suggest is to get a small floating thermometer to keep an eye on the tank's temperature...ideally, it should be at between 80 and 82 degrees for the Betta, but more importantly, be sure to keep the temp. as constant as possible. You won't find a heater for a tank that small that won't fry the fish, so I certainly wouldn't suggest that, but I would suggest avoiding putting the tank in direct sunlight, etc.> I can't afford an expensive set-up, but is there anything I can do to help him? I haven't been working much this morning because I'm feeling so bad for him. <Since Xmas is just around the corner, perhaps you could put a 3 gal. Eclipse tank on your list for your friend. I've got two Bettas each in their own 3 gal tanks, and it's a Betta heaven, I tell you! The reason I suggest the Eclipse is that it comes with a 3 stage filtration unit. I don't remember the exact cost, but I do not believe I spent more than $35 for the entire set up (and maybe even less than that). You would then be able to fit a 5 watt heater in the tank to ensure constant temperature, and you'd be able to do less water changes (the more water in a tank, the more stable the environment). As for your Betta's present situation, just keep doing water changes religiously, as I'm guessing poor water condition is the culprit here. Hope I helped you and your fishy friend...good luck, and let me know if you have more questions! Jorie> Meghan
Is my Betta sick or not sick? Hi, my husband and I have been pulling our hair out over our little Betta, Zen. He has something and we cannot figure it out to save ours or his life. It started about 6-7 weeks ago when the edges of his caudal fin began to fade. Nothing other than the fading. It began to consume more of the caudal fin and the edges of the dorsal and anal fin begin to fade, as well. His behavior remained normal. Very active and alert with a very healthy appetite. We went over a week on his scheduled water change which we have never done and the surface of the water was a little scummy. He is in a ten gallon tank with 2 O'Cats and a Tetra Whisper filter 10i. There is a 6-8 inch ceramic air stone. The temperatures outside started dropping around late November and we could not maintain a consistent temp anymore so we added a heater, it's a 110 watt Guardian. <Good... much of the observed trouble could be directly related to cool and fluctuating temperature> There were some temp fluctuations while trying to adjust the heater. For about a week and a half the temps fluctuated around 5 degrees between morning and night. We were worried sick but kept trying until we got it set. The temp has been stable at 77.5 - 78.5 degrees for over a month now. So, we went over a week on the water change and noticed the scum starting to develop on top and had fluctuating temps. We did a water change immediately. It was right in this time period of a few days that we noticed the fading. We thought it might be fin and tail rot so we started him on some Kanamycin. That was from Dec 28-Jan 01.We removed the carbon from the filter and gave a 5 day treatment. No change. In fact, it was fading just a bit more. I called someone with much, much more knowledge than I and she said I should do one more treatment but a 25% water change should be done every other day. So we did another 5 day treatment with no filter and water changes from Jan 03 - Jan 07. Again, no change. Now his fins were not just faded but there were some small pieces missing from his caudal fin and his dorsal and anal fins had started to look "matted" on a small part of the edge. In frustration, we went to the local fish specialty store and talked to them. They suggested it might be his water. We were using distilled and tap at an 80% / 20% ratio. They said that with distilled water the fins can sometimes fade. So we did a 50% water change on Jan 09 and added Ozarka natural spring water. All the way up to this point our water quality was very good. <Is your tap/source water "that" bad? I would mix about half of this with one or the other of these bought waters> Tested by ourselves and the fish store employees. So we changed the water and left everything alone for about a week. After that week his fins were still faded and matted looking on some edges. By this point the small portions of fin he had lost were back. However, with the fading and the matted look we thought we should try one more Kanamycin treatment. We did this treatment from Jan 14 - Jan 18 with no carbon and we did not do 25% changes every other day. Jan 18 we were out for the evening and came in about 1am. Zen was not looking well at all. I dropped a couple of pellets in the water to see if he would eat and he looked right at them and swam right on by. Not like him at all. My husband and I watched him for a very short time and we saw him go to the bottom of the tank and fold himself in half and try to burrow into the sand with his head. I freaked out. I knew he was in serious trouble and I was sure he would die. My husband and I flew into action and did a 50% water change as fast as we could. I suspected the ammonia had reached toxic levels so we tested the old tank water and sure enough it tested at .015 ppm. <Yes... and I hope you understand the "why" here... the antibiotic killed off your nitrifying bacteria... and will do very little good for your Betta period> The pH was 7.0 and the temp was 77 degrees. As soon as fresh water went in the tank he began to look and act better. Within an hour he was eating and active and excited to see us looking in at him as usual. We left things alone for awhile and watched him but with no improvement in the coloring or the matted look we decided to try something new. On Jan 22-Jan 26 we treated him with Maracyn and Maracide. Unfortunately, we did not remove the carbon b/c we thought if it was 6 days or older it could stay in and with the ammonia scare we wanted to leave it, if at all possible. The only problem was we did not realize until after the treatment that the carbon was only 3 days old at the start of treatment. On Jan 26 the Toxic Ammonia was .006ppm / pH was 7.0 / Nitrite was 0.1 and temp was 77.7 degrees. On Jan 28 we did a 50% water change and added salt and Stress Coat. We, also, removed all decorations except two artificial plants and a very small "ancient ruins" figurine. Then on Jan 29 we removed the carbon and started treating with Maracyn 2 and one dose of Copper Safe. Tonight we will be giving him his fourth day treatment with the Maracyn 2 and we still have not seen any improvement. With the exception of the ammonia poisoning he has shown no other symptoms than what I have already stated. He has remained active and alert. He has been eating very well and we have not seen any sores, cottony white stuff, white spots, diseased looking gills or lifted scales. Nothing we can find in any of the disease books or online seem to apply to him. The Toxic Ammonia tonight (Feb01) was .0015ppm / pH = 7.0 / Temp = 78.4 degrees. I hope I have given you enough info. Do you have any suggestions for how to treat him or what might be wrong?. <I do... first, I fully suspect there was, is nothing "wrong" disease-wise with your fish... the chilling incident will account for your well-described behavior, fading changes... along with the mineral-deficient tank water... The medications, though well-intended, have been responsible for much anguish for you, and toxic to your fishes... Please do NOT add any more. I would raise the temperature of your water here to the low 80's F... and actually keep it there... much better for your Betta and catfish... and going forward, I would store and use a gallon or two of tapwater to use in your weekly water changes. Have you read over our archives on Betta splendens? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm and the linked files (in blue, above).> I sincerely appreciate your time spent on this. Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful day. Best Regards, Patricia and Daniel <Thank you for your intelligent, complete input here... and your obvious caring behavior toward/with the creatures in your care. Perhaps adding a bit (sprig) of live "grass" would aid you also in assuring good water quality... Bob Fenner>
Resting Betta 11/06/03 Hello Crew! You guys rock in so many ways! <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have a 12-gallon tank with two mollies, two platys, and one male Crowntail Betta, that I keep at 80 degrees. The Betta looks perfectly healthy and eats well (I feed him Hikari Betta bio-gold plus freeze-dried bloodworms, but he also eats the flakes I feed to the other fish) but he's started taking "breaks" to rest on the plants in my tank. He will stop for a minute and drape himself over a leaf and just rest for a few minutes. Is there anything I should be watching for? Is this a sign of some subtle ailment, not readily visible. <Sounds like a nice tank. I'm sure your Betta is happy not being kept in a tiny bowl! My Betta does the same thing. I wouldn't worry, he's fine.> Thanks a lot for your time! <You're welcome--Pufferpunk>