Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Betta Diseases 10

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting FishBetta Systems, Betta Diseases, Improved (Better?) Products for Bettas!,

Related FAQs: Betta Disease 1, Betta Disease 2, Betta Disease 3, Betta Disease 4, Betta Disease 5, Betta Disease 6, Betta Disease 7, Betta Disease 8, Betta Disease 9, Betta Disease 11, Betta Disease 12, Betta Disease 13, Betta Disease 14, Betta Disease 15, Betta Disease 16, Betta Disease 17, Betta Disease 18, Betta Disease 19, Betta Disease 20, Betta Disease 21 Betta Health 22, Betta Health 23, Betta Health 24, Betta Health 25, Betta Health 26, Betta Health 28, Betta Health 29, Betta Health 30, Betta Health 31,
Betta Disease Causes/Etiologies: Determining/Diagnosing, Environmental (By far the largest cat.), Nutritional, Viral/Cancer, Infectious (Bacterial, Fungal) , Parasitic: Ich/White Spot, Velvet; Senescence/Old Age, Cures/Curatives/Treatments,

FAQs on Betta Medicines
: Betta Medicines period, Antibiotics/Antibacterials, Anti-Protozoals (Metronidazole, eSHa...), Copper, Formalin, Malachite Green, Anthelminthics, Organophosphates, Salts, All Other Betta Med.s,

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Betta With Problems - 05/09/2006 Hello again, <Hi, Rohani!> Thank you for your advice Sabrina! I'm trying all the methods, and I'll visit an Aquarium for a test kit for ammonia nitrate nitrite (maybe this was the problem!). <Could be, yes.  These three chemicals must be tested to know if your water is "okay" or not.  Poor water quality alone can cause disease.> I have been doing 75% water changes once a week - I just read that this is too much :( Again, the pet shop gave me the wrong advice. <Mm, this amount is perhaps okay, as long as you don't clean out his entire substrate or filter at the same time.> I'm glad to hear that it is possible for this kind of swelling to occur from constipation, and I bought some anti-bacterial medication that a (different!) Aquarium place recommended for him in case it's something more serious... <Great.  Remember not to medicate unless you're quite sure it's necessary.> I'll just cross my fingers and hope his swelling hasn't hurt him too much internally already. <Me too!> Cheers, Rohani <Wishing you and Pascal well,  -Sabrina>

Re: Sudden death after changing brand of water conditioner  - 05/10/2006 Hi Crew, <<Hi, Helen. Tom with you once again.>> Well, I wrote too soon about being pleased with our lovely new Betta. Poor Franz Ferdinand was found belly-up on Monday morning, having only been with us for three days... <<Not happy to hear this, Helen. I'm very sorry.>> What's more disturbing (though the Betta's death was distressing enough) is that an Otocinclus was also found dead in the other tank on the same morning. Water tests Monday morning showed 0ppm ammonia, 0.4ppm nitrites, 10ppm nitrates, pH 7 in both tanks (the main tank is 15-gallons, heavily planted, two filters, heated to 27C, contained 2 silvertip tetras, two blue tetras, 3 black neon tetras, 3 Danios and until recently the unfortunate Mr. Otocinclus ; the Betta tank is 8-gallons, heated and lightly planted but unfiltered). So I reckon that both the Betta and the Oto succumbed to nitrite poisoning... but what caused two separate spikes in two tanks? <<I suspect you're right about the nitrites here, Helen. Two somewhat delicate species. Let's continue...>> On Sunday afternoon I did my usual 20% water changes for both tanks. No contact of water between tanks, nothing moved from one to the other, no possibility of cross-contamination. Just before the water change, the readings on the main tank were 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10ppm nitrates; the Betta tank was 0 ammonia, <0.3 nitrites (test kit showed not completely clear, but not as dark as the first level of reading), 5ppm nitrates. I did the water change as usual - heat water to same temperature as tanks, add dechlorinator - the only thing different was that instead of InterPet Fresh Start conditioner, I used Nutrafin AquaPlus (measured out correct dosage according to bottle). This was Sunday afternoon... and, as I said, Monday morning revealed two dead fish and a nitrite spike. <<Both contain natural additives that contribute to toxic waste however, the additives in the AquaPlus product most undoubtedly contribute far more. This is not a condemnation of either product but your circumstances point out an anomaly when using two different conditioners.>> Now, on Tuesday evening, without me having done any water changes (I would have done, but I couldn't get to the fish store on Monday, and I wasn't going to use the same dechlorinator, just in case!), the nitrite level in the main tank is back to 0ppm - looks like the filters cleared up the spike within 24 hours, so I guess the bacteria beds haven't crashed. The unfiltered, now empty Betta tank is still at 0.4ppm. I am baffled as to what could have caused such a very rapid spike - even leaving aside the fact that it happened in two independent tanks, I wouldn't have thought a solitary Betta (who was only fed two tiny pinches of flake food in the three days I had him) could have produced enough waste in <12 hours to cause a nitrite rise from 0ppm to 0.4ppm! I've tested my raw tap water, and it's no different than usual. <<Your Betta didn't produce the "spike", Helen, the conditioner very likely did.>> Working on the assumption that the only thing that was different was the water conditioner, I took it back to the fish store and got a refund, after some arguing. They were as mystified as I was, and adamant that the water conditioner couldn't have done anything- but they couldn't come up with an alternative to my "maybe this is a contaminated bottle" theory. <<Probably wasn't "contaminated" at all but, rather, an excess of natural ingredients - relatively speaking - that contributed to the bio-load on your beneficial microbes.>> And I was sufficiently irritated with the quality of their advice recently - the guy who sold me the AquaPlus instead of my usual conditioner also told me that keeping five female Bettas in with my male (with only two plants for cover, mind) would make a "nice, active display" (five minutes with Google when I got home suggested that it certainly would be an _active_ display, until it became a display of terrified fish with no fins!) - that I wasn't going to take "Sorry, it's a mystery, not our problem" for an answer. They wouldn't refund me for my poor Betta, though. <<Well, we can toss "good will" down the dilly, can't we? It's not really a big mystery but, in all fairness, it's pretty obscure.>> Wondering if the crew have any ideas as to what could have happened? Both Oto and Betta were healthy and vigorous before the water change, but dead within 7 hours of it. <<Seems a very short period of time but...> The only other thing that I could think of was that maybe both the Otocinclus and the Betta had bad reactions to the "natural herbal extracts" in the AquaPlus and died, and the nitrite spike was due to the start of decomposition (the bodies could have been there for seven hours, assuming that they died as soon as I left the room after my "goodnight" check on the tanks). I've read that both Otos and Bettas may be sensitive to tea tree oil extracts (people seem to recommend half-doses of Melafix, at least). This is just a wild speculation, though. <<Not "wild" at all, actually. Otos are frequently "collected" with the use of cyanide leading to "infant mortality" once introduced to our tanks. Surviving this, it's very difficult to know the condition of the animal and its susceptibility to changes in its environment. Bettas tend to be "sensitive" to similar changes though not for these reasons.>> Other aquarists online seem to have had no problem with AquaPlus and Bettas/Otos. LFS (who, incidentally, sport Nutrafin logos all over their staff uniforms) claim that AquaPlus shouldn't be "overdoseable", and I certainly wasn't underdosing and not removing all the chlorine. <<If the fish were "brought up" with this product, exclusively, I doubt there would be a problem.>> In any event, after this experience, and a bit of research online (inc. WetWeb!), I'm now a bit wary of Nutrafin and their "mystery" ingredients in products - I can't find any specific info on what's in there. Even if the conditioner didn't cause this particular problem, I'm not too happy about dumping unknown "herbal extracts" in with my water changes... <<A matter of "degree" I suspect here, Helen. These extracts can become "bio-waste". Nothing wrong here, per se, but when changing from one with little (aloe Vera) to one with multiple extracts (too long to list), there is a definite potential for a spike.>> *sigh* Just when you think you are doing well... fishkeeping is certainly a continual learning experience! <<Non-stop, Helen, non-stop!>> Many thanks! Helen <<My best. Tom>>

Betta Diseases Sick Betta getting better 5/9/06 I just wanted to thank you for the article. It was very informative in helping me keep my kids happy healthy. I unfortunately adopted/rescued a pretty ill female Betta from a pet shop, and after reviewing over other materials including your own, I managed to get her much less listless than she was before. <Excellent!!!> Ultimately I'd like to be able to get her to survive with my other 2 Bettas (one being a young female, and the other being a middle aged male) I was wondering if you happened to have any advice on getting them to live together, or if you think it would be best for my rescue-e to live alone. I've asked several people, and each person's opinion has differed. <Alone, Bettas are quite aggressive even towards the opposite sex.  Female Bettas can be just as nasty towards other females and their male suitors as males are to each other. Males often attack the females after mating.> Anyways, if you manage to get back to me on this I would be grateful, if not, no harm done. Thanks again for your article, and best wishes! Steve <Good luck with the little lady> <Chris>

Betta.. read please- 5/9/2006 I feel my Betta fish has got fin rot. His tail and dorsal fins are getting raggedy and starting to get smaller. What medications can I use? <<Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm. Thanks <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Re: Treating A Betta With Metronidazole  - 5/7/2006 Dear Chuck, I just e mailed you back to ask you how much  Metronidazole to give to Sammy. He is in a tank with 2 liters of water not 1 to 2 gallons as I told you before.  Thank you again. Audrey < When you buy the medication it has directions of usually one tablet per 10 gallons. You could cut it in half and treat a 5 gallon bucket of aged water and use that water to put your Betta in.-Chuck>
Re: Treating Fish with Metronidazole  - 5/7/2006
Thank you so much for your fast response Chuck. How much of the Metronidazole should I give him?  We have some 250 mg   tablets that we used on our dog.  Is it the same thing? If you help me save him it will be a miracle.   Thank you so much    AUDREY < It should be the same stuff. Do a 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. Use one tablet per 10 gallons of water. Treat every other day and do a 50% water change in between treatments. When the fish starts to eat he is getting better.-Chuck>

Betta, Bubbles, Environment - 05/07/2006 Hi, My Betta has just started this. When he opens his mouth to eat, he has big air bubbles coming out of his gills. <That's probably normal.> He is also breathing very heavily.   <That does not sound normal.> He lives in a 10 gal. tank by himself. I treat the water with stress coat and usually aquarium salt. He had been constipated, so, I left it out this time. <Salt won't hurt him, at therapeutic levels - remember to only add salt when you actually take out water and add new water, not when you're topping off from evaporation.> He  acts normal otherwise. What could be causing the problem? <Really, there are a number of possibilities that could make him breathe heavily.  The first thing I recommend is that you test his water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate - ammonia and nitrite must be ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm.  If these are not so, do water changes to correct them.  If the water is perfect and he still seems to be having trouble, I would advise to watch him very closely for any other symptoms, to try to nail down exactly what the problem is.> Thanks.  B.C. <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Betta With Problems - 05/07/2006 Dear Betta Friends, <Hi, Rohani!  Sabrina with you, today.> I was wondering if I could ask your quick advice about my Betta, Pascal? <Of course.> I'm really worried about him. He was absolutely fine yesterday, but when we woke up this morning he had a large swelling or lump just behind his head extending to near his middle, on his right-hand side, with a little bit of swelling on his left hand side. <Hmm, disconcerting....> Other than that, he is fine; quite active and swimming around despite the lump. <That this happened so suddenly, and overnight, my first gut reaction is that it may be simple constipation.> I looked on your site at the FAQs, and I found quite a few posts about lumps resulting from overfeeding or dropsy. <Mm, "dropsy" is a collection of symptoms, not a disease, and can be an indicator of anything from constipation to severe bacterial disease.> It seems that I may have been overfeeding him. I usually feed him 4 pellets twice daily (which is what the pet shop told me - obviously too much!). <I do feel that this is too much.> I also clean his tank once a week/every 10 days, <Not a "total" cleaning, I hope?> and I add drops to dechlorinate the water and 1/2 tsp of aquarium salt. I also regularly check the pH and it usually sits about a healthy 7. <What about ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?  These should be ZERO, ZERO, and less than 20ppm, respectively.> This morning when we found his lump, I also noticed that he had left-over pellets in the water, so I changed his water and I haven't fed him today, and I will try an Epsom salt bath tomorrow and the pea cure after a day or two fasting. <Ah, good.> I would probably say he's just constipated BUT: His scales ARE kind of pine-coney and I've read/seen photos which demonstrate that this is a symptom of dropsy :( <This can often be an indicator of bacterial disease - but I'd go with constipation treatment for now.> He shows no other signs of illness, and he was absolutely fine yesterday - it was just so sudden. I'm really scared that he'll die of dropsy while I'm treating him for constipation!!! <Treat as you plan to - if it's a bacterial infection, there really is little you can do at this point.  Food medicated with Oxytetracycline may be of help, but not always.  When it gets to a point as advanced as seeing major swelling and scales sticking out, we can just do our best and hope.> So I have four questions - in your experience, have you come across any cases of dropsy coming on SO quickly (overnight)? <Uh, myself, no.  I imagine it's possible, but I would lean more toward constipation.> What are the chances of simple constipation lumps causing a slightly pine-coney appearance from above as well (fingers crossed)? <Is possible.> Would there be a reason that the lump is more to one side? <Perhaps just his anatomy, or perhaps whatever organ might be affected by bacterial infection is more on that side than the other.> Is it possible that this is instead a tumor, and would a tumor come on overnight? <Possible, but somewhat less likely.> I don't want my little man, Pascal le Poisson, to die, especially since he's still a happy (and beautiful despite his lump) little fish. <I will be hoping for the best for him, I promise.  Try with the Epsom salt and pea.> Thank you for your help and your great website, <And thank you for these kind words.> Cheers, Rohani <All the best to you and Pascal,  -Sabrina>

Betta Age, Illness? - 05/06/2006 I purchased my Betta fish one year ago (so he may be as old as 11/2 to 2 years old); he's had a color loss/fading for about 2-3 weeks now, however all else appeared normal (appetite, etc); I have him in a 5gallon filtered tank which I clean once a week; <Avg. lifespan for a captive Betta is between 2-3 yrs...he could be slowing down due to old age, but the color loss concerns me a bit...is this tank heated? One sign of a Betta being cold is color loss...Bettas should be kept at a steady 80-82 degree F temp.  Also, if a Betta is cold, it increases his chances of getting sick...perhaps he was OK in cooler water when he was younger, but now that he's getting older in age, his immune system is more sensitive...> Today I noticed he has one bulging & hazy eye and is having trouble finding his food (but when he does, he eats); his mouth also appears not to close but rather is open all the time; <Sounds like PopEye, which is indicative of poor water quality.  By the time Popeye manifests itself, usu. the water condition has become quite deteriorated.  Increase the water changes (in a 5 gal. for just 1 Betta, I'd normally suggest 50% once per week, but with this symptom, I'd double that.  Also, coupled with increased water changes you might consider a broad spectrum antibiotic, such as tetracycline.  Better environmental conditions are key, however, and the heater will help boost his immune system also> All water tests indicate nothing wrong with water quality; <This is very subjective, and I usually ask people tell me the exact parameters for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate...also, make sure you have a reliable/ non-expired test kit.  Don't trust the "dip sticks", as they are notoriously inaccurate.  Tetra makes a good product in its "Master Test Kit".  Remember, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate should ideally be a zero...even a small amount, esp. of ammonia or nitrite can be very toxic to fish....> My question...is he sick or just old; <He's definitely getting up there in age, but he does sound sick.  Please consider the advice I've given above...> is he in pain?; what should I do for him?; PLEASE HELP <Hopefully I've answered your questions.  Best of luck to you and your Betta, Jorie.>

Bettas, Environmental Disease, Husbandry - 05/06/2006 Dear FAQ Crew, <Hi - this is Jorie tonight> I have two female Bettas and a black mystery snail in a 12-gallon tank.  I recently added three neon tetras to the group from a local pet store. <I am assuming, since you didn't mention, that you did not quarantine these neon tetras before introducing them to the 12 gal.?  All new fish should really be kept in isolation for about 3-4 weeks so that you can keep a close eye, make sure everyone is healthy before introducing to older fish in main tank.  Especially neon tetras - they are *notorious* for bringing in all sorts of nasty diseases, like the infamous "neon tetra disease"...>   (I did not buy the Bettas or snail there).  After 24 hours the neon tetras were dead. <Did you acclimate them to the tank before just releasing them? This should be done for all fish, but neon tetras are quite sensitive...if the fish died that quickly it sounds as though they were shocked.  Also, had you checked the water parameters in the tank before adding the fish?> I think they had some sort of disease because they wouldn't eat and kept hanging around the bottom of the tank.  Now one of my Bettas is showing these same symptoms, my tank smells kind of funny, and my snail was found floating this morning (once I moved him though, he went back down to the bottom).  What should I do? <Any physical signs of distress on the fish (e.g., lumps, bumps, lacerations, loss of color, clamped fins, etc.)? If your tank "smells funny", you *definitely* need to increase your water changes.  How regularly and how much water do you change?  I'd do a significant change ASAP (at least 50% - but be sure to match the old water parameters w/ the new as closely as possible) for starters.  Good husbandry is the best prevention, and also is a helpful treatment.  When everything is going well in your aquarium and all is stable, one 50% water change per week should suffice.  Based on what you tell me, your water conditions are far from optimal and I'd say consider doing daily water changes (approx. 25%) until everyone stabilizes.  Your Neons definitely introduced something into the tank.   This is my first aquarium other than a small one with a male Betta.  I don't know whether I should change some water, add a certain chemical, or something else. <Your first idea is the best - water changes as suggested above.>   Can you please write me back A.S.A.P. because I don't want any of my fish to die.  I have had the female Bettas for about two weeks so I've grown attached to them already.  Thank you very much for your help. <Do you have a reliable test kit? If so, test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. As said above, if the tank is smelly, it is way past time for a water change.  Those levels should all ideally be at zero, and the best way to get them there is to change the water.  Also, what is the setup of this tank like? Is there filtration, filter media, and a heater?  You want to keep the Betta warm, at around 80 degrees, but even more importantly, you want the temperature to be stable.  I think once your water quality improves, the fish should be OK.  But please do remember to always quarantine new livestock for about a month before adding it to your main tank...> Evan <Good luck and I hope everyone recovers. Jorie>

Attn: Bob Fenner, Variety of questions... on Bettas.... health... and snails... comp.... and algae    5/2/06 Hi Bob (if you don't mind the familiarity), <Not at all... is my name...> Thanks for your reassurances.  Terrence and Edmund are both doing fine, in fact Edmund's fins look a bit less curly.  I did get Terrence to try bloodworms and he loves them. <Few Bettas can resist these>   The patchy white spot hasn't spread, though I haven't seen him blow any bubble nests lately. With more frequent water changes (10% 2x a week, 40% once a week out of a 2.5 gallon tank) the water is still 0 ammonia, now 0 nitrites, and the nitrates are hovering around 20 ppm.  I've been feeding less-- skipping a day occasionally, and when I do feed, 2-3 Betta pellets with sometimes a bit of bloodworm, or sometimes just a bloodworm.  Still too much? <Not likely> I have a good number of Malaysian burrowing snails-- I'd hazard a guess of 10. <Soon to be more>   Except for two old ones of maybe 3/4 of an inch, they're all about 1/4 inch or smaller.  I used to have a large population of small Ramshorns, but not long after the move to this new tank, the Ramshorns have gradually died off except for one, whose shell is covered with white scratches.  (I'm it's because my water is soft and slightly acidic.  All the Ramshorns started looking that way as time went on, though the burrowing ones haven't shown any shell problems.)  I was wondering if the die-off may have raised my nitrate levels, and if the waste of the current population could be contributing.  The snails came in with plants from my LFS (and then proceeded to multiply); I knew they were coming and kept them in hopes they'd help keep the tank clean.  If you think they should go, I'll remove them via blanched zucchini or something similar. <Might want to just do this occasionally to keep the numbers in check> I've also had some small smudges of algae on my tank walls, and true to your word in the snail article, the snails aren't eating it.  It's not very noticeable unless it's right between you and the tank light.  It showed up after I added aquarium salt-- any connection? <Likely so> There is also some green on my filter floss where it's moist but not underwater, as well as an iridescent sheen on the surface of my water.  The filmy iridescence has always been there and I take out as much as I can with water changes.  The green growth I've seen before.  Any advice for getting rid of any of the above stuff? <Posted... see WWM re>   I have been keeping my light on too long (about 14 hrs) so I'm setting up a 10-hr timer, and I'm assuming the growth has to do with the high nitrates as well.  I scraped some of the algae off the walls... should I go after the green stuff on the filter floss? Thanks again, Terrence's mom (attached is my last email) <Be chatting, reading. Bob Fenner>

Cellophane Betta - Veins? Hello, I hope you can answer my question. <I will certainly try my best - Jorie here.> I have a Cellophane Betta, he's very healthy and has a few blood red markings on his fins (it's his natural coloration, he's always had these splotches.) My question is: Is it normal to see 'veins' in a cellophane Betta's fins? When I shine light on his fins, I can see red stripes down the rays of his fins. Are these markings, veins, or could it be septicemia? <Seems as though you've had your Betta for a while - is this a new phenomenon or have the veins always been visible?  In general, it is normal to see veins through a "cellophane" Betta's fins, but my main question is whether the condition has worsened, changed, etc...> I treated him for a week, and have kept his water very clean, levels are at zero, but nothing's changed. I'm beginning to think what I am seeing are just the veins in his fins, because he is eating and seems very healthy. The rest of his body is fairly see-through as well. <I am inclined to think this is your fish's normal coloration, but obviously it doesn't hurt to keep the conditions pristine, etc.  Also, as I said above, if the veins have become more prominent, then that is more cause for concern.> Thank you for your time! -Amber <Hope I've helped! Jorie>

Betta With Big Lips - 04/28/2006 Hello My Betta's lips are big, black and swollen; I have been trying to find out what is wrong with him but have had no luck.  Could you please tell me what is wrong with him soon, because I really don't want it to get any worse. <Mm, not sure what exactly the problem is, as it could be a number of things....  I would first off advise you to test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, make sure ammonia and nitrite are ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm - if these values are any higher, do water changes to get them back to normal.  Next, I would add Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to the water at a rate of one tablespoon per five gallons; this may help reduce the swelling.  Lastly, I would advise you to look at pictures of fish with "Columnaris" online (you can enter that word in a Google search) and see if that might look like the problem with your Betta.  If so, he may need antibiotic treatment.> Yours truly, Rachael :-) <Wishing you and your Betta well,  -Sabrina>

Betta Fin  4/29/06 Hi, <Hello - Jorie here> here I am after a very long time needing an answer to a question, as I am completely at a loss here and cannot find the answer in your vast website.   <There sure is a lot of info. - every time I look through the site I learn more than I previously knew!> I have a  cycled (6 months) 10 gallon tank.  My water param.s are Ammo 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, PH 7.  I have 8 java ferns and a ball of java moss.  The tank is home to  1 OHM male Betta.  I have an AquaClear 20 HOB with 2 sponges and BioMax pouch set on it's low setting for less crazy current for my Betta.  I also have an airstone toward the top of the dead side of the tank to ever so slightly agitate the water to ensure no film buildup from plants, etc.  Also there is a Stealth heater that maintains the water temperature at a constant 78 degrees.  I do one weekly water change of 20-25% and vacuum various areas of the gravel each time. <Wow - you certainly have provided a great home for your beautiful Betta.  I can't think of a better setup for your little friend.  Great job!>   When I arrived home from work 2 days ago, my Betta had a reddish, blood colored top (1/2 of the fin) to one of his pectoral fins.  None of his fins are frayed, ragged, etc.  there are no other reddish areas anywhere, there is just this upper section of the pectoral fin that has this strange colored area which appeared over a working day's time.  He also had a very small piece of skin/scale on his gill plate that fell off.  Occasionally, he will sit on the airstone and stick his face in the bubbles as I have it suction cupped to the top and slightly submersed.   <I can't imagine this behavior would have caused the damage.  He probably just likes the feel of the bubbles on him! Bettas certainly are little characters, aren't they? I have found that each Betta has his own unique personality...> I have removed the airstone as a precaution...I am not sure he didn't sit on it too long.   <Not a bad course of action - can never be too safe.> Great here comes the surface film again. <Sorry? You lost me here...> I can't determine if this is Septicemia, or possibly an injury or something entirely different. <Septicemia or physical injury are the two best guesses I would offer.  Our thoughts are in the same place!  Based on your good husbandry, I am leaning towards an injury, but obviously I can't say for certain.> In any case I immediately did a 25% water change and added 1 tsp of aquarium salt. <Great! I would've done the same.> Next day, no change in the coloration of the pec fin, and likewise today.   <Physical injuries take some time to heal - in any event, I'd suggest keeping up with daily water changes just to keep the H20 conditions pristine...> I am not sure what my next action should be, I hate to medicate if this is an injury but I hate not to if it is something else. <Understandable - many times people run out and buy every medication possible, without taking the time to properly assess the situation.  Personally, I would suggest MelaFix - some people swear by this product containing tea tree oil for everything and then ignore proper water changes and other husbandry, etc., while others "poo poo" it entirely.  I'm one who is in the middle on this debate - when used in conjunction with proper aquarium maintenance, I think it can be helpful to help prevent infection from injury and to help regenerate scale/fin growth, etc. It certainly cannot hurt.  If it were me, I'd keep up with the daily water changes and MelaFix for a week and re-assess.  Of course, if things take a turn for the worse, I'd then suggest moving towards a broad spectrum antibiotic, but in all honesty, based on what you've told me thus far, I do not think this will be necessary.>   His behavior has not changed he eats 3 Addison's Betta Pro pellets in the a.m. and a couple frozen bloodworms and an occasional Mysis shrimp in the evening.   He continues to swim around his 10 gallon home. <These are the best signs.  As long as your Betta is swimming and eating, things could be much worse.  Another reason I think this is likely a physical injury and not a "sickness".  Good job in varying his diet, as well.  My Bettas *love* Mysis - they go insane when I take the time to thaw some of these for 'em!> Could you please help me with a course of action?  Thank you as always for your wisdom and advice, I don't know what I would do without you!  Sue <Sue, hope I've helped.  Should things take a turn for the worse, please do not hesitate to contact me/us again, but it really sounds like you are doing everything possible.  Increase your water changes for the time being, give the MelaFix a go, perhaps use garlic oil as a food soak (some believe this can also aid in fish health - again, certainly will not hurt), and keep a watchful eye.  Good luck!  Jorie>

Sick Betta :(  - 04/27/06 Hello guys! I am at a loss of what to do with my sick Betta. I have read through the Betta disease pages (this site rocks) and am still unsure so I hope you can help. I'll give you a quick run down of what's wrong. I have one Betta in a 18 litre tank with 3 Bristlenose catfish (from my first "litter" in a diff tank). About a year ago he came down with pop-eye but after treating him with Epsom salts and MelaFix he has come good. He has had the occasional bout of fin rot of which I have been treating him with the Aquarium Science brand fungus and fin rot remedy (Acriflavine & malachite green) and he has been fine. However, I recently bought a new piece of drift wood with a plant grafted onto it and I rinsed it well before placing it into my tank but since its introduction my Betta has seemed to come down with something (I say something because I think it may be a number of things) and my Bristlenose seem unaffected.<the catfish are usually unaffected/ very hardy creatures :)> Apart from anything my first sign of concern was that he seems not to be swimming around as much as he was. He has been sitting on the bottom a lot. He also came down with only one or 2 white dots and only on his head. They only seem to stay there for about a day and then disappear but now his bottom lip (if u could call it that) is kinda swollen. He is still eating fine and responds when I come to the tank but is slower. I thought this might have been white spot and so I did a 10 litre water change and treated him for it 1 day ago (half dosage as I was unsure how it would affect the Bristlenose). I used the Aquarium Science brand White Spot Remedy (three day - formaldehyde and malachite green). Have I done the right thing? I do not want to lose him...<you may have diagnosed this correctly...I would need a picture to determine what it actually is. If it is white spot the medication you used ...37% formaldehyde solution should take care of it. I would keep the water quality up to par nitrates less than 10. Good luck, IanB> Hope you can help. Alison

Bloated Betta?  Or Reproduction? - 04/24/2006 Hello!  I have spent a great deal of time on your site lately and wanted to say thank you for all of the information! <And thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you find the site useful.> My concern is a 1 year old female Betta.  She is in a community tank and is acting and eating normally.  My concern is that there is a small white protrusion from her anus. This protrusion has been there a week and hasn't changed in size.  Her stomach does seem slightly distended but no more than if she had overeaten slightly. <This is not a problem or bad thing - sounds to me that she's full of eggs.> None of the other fish are showing any problems.  She has been in this tank for about 3 months.  Previously, she was in a divided 10 gallon with another Betta (the other side of the divider).   <A male, perhaps, on the other side of that divider?  Either way, I would bet a decent sum that your girly simply is full of eggs.  No worries at all.> The PH is 7, ammonia nitrates etc are all 0.  I use the dip sticks and all levels are within normal.   <I would like to advise that you use a liquid reagent test kit as well, or at least every now and then, to be sure that those dipsticks are relatively accurate.> The tank temp. is 78.    <All good.> Thank you! <Thanks for writing in!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Betta with possible swim bladder disorder and /or constipation  - 04/23/06 Hi, <<Hello, Heidi. Tom here.>> I have a 2 yr. old Betta and yesterday morning when I got up he was fine and happy. I fed him 4 TopFin Betta bit pellets like I always do although sometimes he only eats 3. Anyways, he ate those and I went about my day. Later that afternoon I looked over at the 1 gallon tank I keep him in and he was floating on his side at the top of the tank. He did, however, have a little bit of feces hanging from him but not much. <<I'm with you so far. Just a side note: Two to three years is a typical lifespan for these fish. (Not that we won't work through this but I add it just as an 'FYI'.) I thought he was dead at first but when I went up to the tank he swam around and then proceeded to float to the top on his side again. I then changed his water. He seemed better at first but then again with the "side thing". So then I did some research and I concluded that it seemed like he had swim bladder disorder or constipation or both. <<The latter can, indeed, lead to the former.>> So I left him for that day. The next afternoon I thought I would try the pea trick that everyone talks about. Well, I find this extremely hard to do. Even though he seemed interested in it the bit of pea dropped to the bottom so quickly he couldn't even catch it with his poor swimming. <<Understandable...>> I even held it with the tip of my nails but when he went for it he couldn't get it from my nail. All I did was spend the rest of the time fishing out small pea bits from the water and at the end of it he wasn't interested anymore. What else can I do? I thought of the Epsom salts I heard about but I am leery to try it. <<Don't be, because that's exactly what I'm going to recommend to you...>> I also am unsure of exactly how much salt to use in a gallon tank and how long I would leave him in it for and how many times do I do it. <<The prescribed dosage is one tablespoon/five gallons. I would say a "light" teaspoon of Epsom salts in your tank would be fine. I would do a water change each day for three days adjusting the salt dosage as appropriate to maintain the recommended amount. By the way, don't feed your pet during this time. He'll do fine without food for this period of time.>> I really want to help him because I hear that if they are constipated and you don't treat it they can die and I don't want that to happen. <<Nor do we!>> Can you give me some advice. <<Yes. Do some research on diet for your Betta. Many times problems arise from a "boring" diet. Bettas feed on live insects/insect larvae in the "wild" so you might want to supplement your pet's diet with some live/frozen/freeze-dried foods, i.e. "meaty".>> Also, the Epsom salt, where can you buy that? <<You should be able to find Epsom salts, readily, at most any pharmacy/grocery store.>> Thanks Heidi <<Hopefully, I've been of help, Heidi. Tom>>
Re: Betta with possible swim bladder disorder and /or constipation  - 4/24/2006 Hi, <<Hello, again>> Thank you for your quick reply, I really appreciate it. <<Happy to do so.>> Ok. So I have fasted my fish for 2 full days now and now he seems to be able to sit at the bottom of the tank and swim up if he wishes. He is no longer on his side. This morning he swims to the top when he sees me come to the tank. <<Good to hear this...>> He appears to have about ,I would say, a millimeter of feces hanging from him, but part of it is clear in color and the end of it looks like a little oval small tan pellet. Does this mean he is still could be constipated or was constipated at all? <<At this point, Heidi, I would prefer that you try the skinless pea again. There is a possibility that he simply won't be interested but I think it's worth a try from the point of expediency.>> Do I still use the Epsom salt? Do I still fast him for a another day maybe two? <<See if your Betta will take the pea before relying on the Epsom salts. Keep an eye on his behavior/feces to get a "feel" for his overall condition. With a little luck, we might just have him back to his "old self" in short order.>> Thank you for your help, Heidi <<You're quite welcome. Tom>>
Re: Betta with possible swim bladder disorder and /or constipation
 - 4/24/2006 Hi, <<Hi>> Oh, I forgot to mention that I haven't tried the Epsom salt yet. I was going to do it today if I still need to. <<Per our recent "conversation", we'll hold off until we see if your Betta will eat a pea. (I'm not a fan of peas, myself, but I'm hoping he is right now.) :)>> Thanks again, Heidi <<Welcome again. Tom>>

Re: Betta with possible swim bladder disorder and /or constipation
  4/26/06 Hi, Tom. <<Greetings, Heidi.>> Ok, this is the 4th day of fasting my Betta. On the 3rd day I fed him a couple pieces of pea like you had advised me to. This morning I saw that he had about a half a centimeter of feces hanging from him. He seems to be swimming around fine now. <<I'm glad to hear this.>> I tried to give him some pea today but he wouldn't take it. <<Could be looking for something more to his liking.>> Should I start to feed him now, or should I still wait? <<Let's start back slowly. Pre-soak one or two of the pellets you normally feed your Betta until they begin to soften. No more than this right now. Keep an eye on him and continue to check the coloration of his feces. These should be dark in color with a healthy animal. Provided that everything continues to improve, you might follow this process for two to three days before returning to normal feeding. Again, I'd like to advise to vary your pet's diet keeping in mind that his food can/will go "stale" after a time. Avoid the temptation to purchase large containers of food if the food won't be used in about 8-12 weeks. In my opinion, small containers would be better here.>>   Thank you for helping me get my Betta back to health. Heidi <<You're welcome and continued good luck, Heidi. Tom>>

Please Help Again!!! Betta Woes  - 04/19/2006 Thanks so much for the info! I took the female Betta to a fish only store (since I have very little faith in the "pet store" chain that sold me the pair) because I had a suspicion that female was a short fin male. I had been online reading the info you gave me. Come to find out, it was a male, he said it wasn't a splendid though, I don't remember what he called it. He said it was rare and not many come into the US. It is supposedly the kind they use for actual fighting in Asia. <Probably still B. splendens, then.  Your fish store clerk is correct in his knowledge that there are many Betta species, but B. splendens is used far more than any other for fighting.  They are often bred to have short fins and a very aggressive temperament.  He should probably never be kept in a community tank for this reason.  Still, with lots of space, he will prove to be a very enjoyable pet.  If you look up examples of the wild type Betta Splendens, I think you will see a fish very similar to yours.> I tend to believe him, as this little guy is super aggressive and loves to flare and flick his tail and jump and anything. By the way, the "pet store" chain told me this was because "she" was ready to breed. Before I go on with my questions, I just want to say I love your sight and endless amount of info, we are so lucky to live in a world with all of this ready available knowledge! <Well, we try.> I decided to keep him anyway, it's not his fault he was mismarked, and I kind of enjoy watching him. Will he be able to eat what the Crowntail eats? <They should have a pretty similar diet.> He is on flake food and freeze dried bloodworms. After ready your sight I realized he needed more that I was originally told. <Not necessarily.  Unless you are conditioning a male Betta to breed, you needn't feed him more than 2 or 3 times per week.> I have both of them in separate 2 gal. aquariums with filters, lights, heaters, gravel, and a plant each. The water temp. is at 78 and I am feeding them a little each day. I also put some BettaFix in the crown tail's tank hoping to heal his wounds, but he is still not eating, he'll <Daily water changes of 30% to 50% are the best medicine for fin regrowth.> take the food in his mouth and then spit it back out, so if you could let me know what I am doing wrong here, I would greatly appreciate it!!  -Kristyl <Bettas sometimes won't eat for a while after you first get them.  They also have trouble chewing flake foods, and small pellets (there are many made just for Bettas) are much easier for them to get down.  In any case, if your Betta is just being finicky, he will eventually be overcome by hunger, and decide that he isn't such a "snob" after all. Jason N.>

Sick Siamese Fighting Fish females   4/18/06 Hi!  I've have two female Siamese Fighting Fish in a 2.5 gallon tank with a filter. I feed them freeze dried blood worms, flaked food, and some tropical flaked food.  They get feed twice a day.  There are glass marbles, a treasure chest, a sea shell, and a little snail decoration in the tank.      One fish is rather chubby in the tummy.  The other fish, which I thought was doing rather well, has been floating at the top of the tank for now today will be the third day.  The chubby fish is trying to help it.  She tries to make the other move, etc.  I've tried to suction out as much of the bad stuff from the bottom of the tank.  I've put in a half of tank of clean water.  I've wiped down the inside of the tank, cleaned the decorations, put in a new filter.  I do put in drops in the water to clear chlorine, etc.      What can I do to save my fish.  I've had them for almost a year now.      Thank you for your help.   Mary <Mmm, not enough information offered here to be definitive... I would not use much flake food in these fish's diet... and would test their water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Sick Betta    4/14/06      About six months ago my Betta starting acting weird...not eating, staying at bottom of tank, etc.  I added Beta Fix and Para Guard along with Aquarium Salt and he got much better within days, but never really "healed".  He seems to have problems turning around or with any dynamic type motion, and has to make several attempts before actually turning around or repositioning.  He eats mostly blood worms (refuses to eat the pellets after introducing him to blood worms), <Try to convince him to switch back.  A few days without any food ought to entice him.> and although he made a quick comeback from his first illness, he seems to be sick again despite still having a healthy appetite.  He has really struggled during the past week or so to swim around his tank, and mostly stays at the bottom.  He tries extremely hard to swim to the top to eat, but sometimes cannot make it, and just drops back down to the bottom obviously depleted of all energy.  I stand there and refuse to leave him until he has eaten at least 3 blood worms, even if it means sticking my hand all the way to the bottom of the tank to put a worm right in front of his mouth so he can eat it without exerting any energy of his own. <Every day?  I feed my male Bettas only once every three days, 2-3 small pellets.  They really don't need to be fed that often.>   He is in a gallon tank with an air filter (or whatever you call those things that make bubbles through a blue stone), and I make sure to change his tank at least once a week.  Since he's been really sick I've been doing a complete water change every time...don't know if I should be, but have been. <100% water changes are very hard on your fish.  Don't do more than 50%, in fact 30% is the target I try to hit with all my tanks.  Doing them daily, or even twice daily while your fish is ill allows you to change more water without stressing your fish.>   I'm still adding the Beta Fix once daily and the Para Guard once weekly, and of <I don't think that Mela/Betta Fix does a lot of good.  I know that the ParaGuard is hurting more than it's helping, however.  This product contains Malachite Green, which is stressful to your fish.  Why are you using it?  This chemical should only be used to treat existing parasitic infections, and only where treating with aquarium salt is inappropriate -- not as a preventative.> course keeping the aquarium salt in there.  I've had him for almost three years now, and love him dearly...he's actually my 4 yr old daughter's fish who she named "Memo" (she meant Nemo but was only 1 when we got him and couldn't pronounce Nemo...)  I know he's considered to be old, but really don't feel it's his age that's contributing to his actions. <Actually, it likely is.  I don't think he is necessarily near dying of old age, however, as your pet ages he will be more sensitive to problems in his environment.>   Ever heard of this before?  Please help...I hate to know he's struggling and really want to help him.   <Discontinue the meds... I would start doing daily water changes, also get your water tested.  You Ammonia and Nitrite should be at 0 PPM.  If you don't know about cycling, read up on it; be sure your tank is cycled.> Pam <Best of luck, Jason N.>
Re: Sick Betta  04/17/2006
The reason for using the Paraguard is that when Nemo first got sick, I noticed he was losing some of his fin length, and after researching the Internet I believed his condition was caused by a parasite and started using the Paraguard to stop further recession of his fins.  I'll stop using all meds and see what happens.  Will also cycle his tank and check the water contents.  Thanks... <Glad to hear!  Healthy water is the single most important part of successful fishkeeping.  I was really surprised to see that Malachite Green was recommended for Finrot, until I remembered that occasionally Finrot can be brought about by a fungal attack, for which Malachite Green is an effective treatment.  Malachite Green is used to kill the fungus, and then daily water changes are used to encourage fin regrowth.  The point is, regardless of the source of the Finrot, clean water is the most important component to fin regrowth. Best of luck. Jason N.> Pam

Betta fins splitting    4/14/06 Hi Bob: I got a blue male Betta for my birthday, which I put into a 2 to 2  1/2 gallon cylindrical vase.  I also bought a filter, an air pump and  a 25W heater, currently set at 77F. I have some aquatic plants  planted in the gravel on the bottom.  My Betta is doing well, as far  as I can tell.  He does not lack appetite. I feed him freeze dried  bloodworms, which he eats with gusto. <Invest in a pellet food designed for Bettas.  Do some research to determine which food is quality and which is not.  Pretty easy info to find, poke around on the net for a bit, or drop into the WWM forums and ask for a couple opinions.  The bloodworms are tasty for the little guy, but don't have everything he needs.> I noticed yesterday that his tail fin split in half and then today  another split developed, so his tail now consists of three stripes.   The splits run the entire length of his tail. I am wondering what  might be going on.  I put some Betta-Fix in the water because the  package claims that it helps re-grow fins. <I'm not really a supported of this product.  I do know several aquarists who are.  As far as I can tell, all it does is make the water smell really nice.>   There are no signs of any  infections or other parasites that I can detect. <Fin rot is usually bacterial.> Oh, I also have two very small catfish in the same tank. <Corys?  Otos?  Both can usually live happy lives with Bettas, but there really isn't enough space for either in your setup.>   The three  fish seem to co-exist peacefully, but I can't tell what goes on  during the day when I am away.  Any ideas? Your help is much appreciated. Thanks Ivo <Your problem is the environment.  Finrot is brought on by stress.  My first guess is that your tank is uncycled.  What readings do you get for Ammonia and Nitrite?  Your pet store can test your water.  If either are above 0 PPM, your tank is uncycled, and you should start reading about cycling an aquarium.  If all is well with water quality, look at the decor, placement of his tank.  Can he hide, get away from you and other people walking around?  Many Bettas do not feel safe unless there are some good hiding places available.  To help him with fin regrowth, start doing daily water changes, on the order of 25 to 50 percent. Best of Luck! Jason N.>

Listless Betta on the Mend  - 04/05/2006 Hello, I have a Betta fish, named Romeo, (by my then 5 yr. old daughter) that has been acting strange for several months now. He swims sideways, by that I mean his belly is to the left, back to the right, right fin up and left fin down. Do you have any clue what could be causing this? We are by no means Betta experts, we're actually quite the opposite. We've had Romeo for 2 yrs and 4 months. I've been putting Betta fix in his bowl for almost a month now and he seems to be doing much better. Early on with this strange act, he would barely move around his bowl, lying on the bottom of the rocks, pretty much lifeless. However with the introduction of the Betta fix he much more active. I would truly appreciate any and all advise you can give to me regarding our fish, he is the only pet in the house and our 3 daughters have become quite attached to him. Thank you. Tonja <Hi Tonja, Don here today. Don't sell yourself short saying you are not an expert. Good job keeping a Betta for two and a half years. In the past it was common to have Bettas live 5+ years. But with all the inbreeding going on today many do not see their second birthday. Glad to hear he is going better. It sounds like he had an internal infection that is responding to the med. Discontinue use after he seems 100% for a few days, or as the label directs. But be aware that he is an old man now. It may be a good time to talk to the kids about the cycle of life. Hopefully he will be with you for a few more years, but that would be the exception. I notice you are keeping him in a bowl. It's hard to argue with success, but IMO the best home for a Betta is a 2.5 to 5 gallon tank with a heater and sponge filter. A light is optional, but stay away from incandescent hoods. They can heat up a small tank to a dangerous level. If you decide to upgrade his home please read up on FW cycling before adding him. There is much info on cycling here, or feel free to join us in the forums.>

Betta Troubles - II - 03/29/2006 Hi Sabrina, <Hi, Monica!> Thank you so much for your prompt reply. <I apologize that this one is less prompt.> I treated my Betta with Tetracycline, after 6 days I decided to change the water, because algae started to grow everywhere (not to mention the reddish water color). I saw many pictures of Columnaris and the description of fungus, but at this point I am still unsure of what it is. <The fin edges, though the fins are SERIOUSLY deteriorated, look mostly healthy now.  I see one spot in the anal fin, and one spot on the fish's side, that look to be perhaps still infected.  Hopefully, under your great care these have or will improve.> I've attached some pictures Hope these help to determine his problem!   <Good photos - really worth a thousand words or more.> Again, thank you so much for helping me! <And thank you for writing in.  All my best to your little pal!> <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Lump on my Betta  3/30/06 Hi Guys, <And gals...> I have had my beautiful Betta for 9 months now. Not sure how old he was when I got him but just now I notice a bulge, a lump on his right side. I know it isn't his stomach. The guy at the pet store said to add one Tablespoon of un-iodized salt to the tank. Is that a good idea? <Mmm, Aquarium Salt and/or Epsom would be better> Any idea on what the lump is? The guy said it could be the beginnings of an ulcer. Is that treatable? <Perhaps> He has two catfish pals and a snail. They all live in a 2.5 gal Minibow tank with the water set to 80 degrees. I keep it clean, do not over feed. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Elizabeth <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lump on my Betta    3/31/06
Hi Bob and Everyone, <Elizabeth> Thank you for the advice. I did a tank clean, added a couple live plants, dissolved the salt and added it to the new water and got him some worms. I'll keep you posted on his lump. Thanks again, Elizabeth <Real good. Bob Fenner>
Why body bloat?    3/31/06
Hello Again Everyone, Why does a Betta get Body Bloat? How can I avoid this in the future? <Mmm, is a complex interaction, set of factors allowing the proliferation mainly in the body cavity (coelom) (secondarily living tissue itself) by bacteria, due to osmotic shock, perforation of the skin or lumen, "poor" water quality, excessive stress, inadequate nutrition, other environmental insult/challenges. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Elizabeth
Re: Lump on my Betta  - 04/05/2006
Hi All, <Elizabeth> My Betta still has his lump after 4 days of the cleaning of the tank and the addition of aquarium salts. <How much water change? How much salt?> He's rubbing against his gravel pile. Do you think I should do a 50% water swap and add aquarium salts again? Or should I just let this play out? He's still eating and is still chipper, doesn't act sick at all. Thank you all for your kindness in helping me. Sincerely, Elizabeth <Is this tank heated? Filtered? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lump on my Betta  - 04/05/2006
Hi Bob and All, <Elizabeth> I did a complete conditioned water change <Best to avoid complete changes...> with 2 teaspoons of aquarium salt (dissolved). His 2.5 gal. tank is heated to 80 degrees and he does have a filter which I change every month. <Good> I feed him a variety of foods: Betta Bites, Worms, a meat treat. I just put some live plants in the tank and they don't seem to bother him, <Are beneficial> he swims through them a lot. I offer him a mirror every so often so as he doesn't get too bored, but not too much mirror time. I watch him all the time, pay a lot of attention to him during the day, but since he lives at my office, he gets nothing from 5 pm until 7am the next day. I have a feeling it's water quality and tank size. <Likely the former... but increasing the size of the system would very likely improve this> He's pretty large for a Betta, maybe he needs more space as in a 5 gal. tank? <A 2.5 should be fine> I really want to keep him healthy, happy and alive. It worries me so much that I am doing something wrong. Thank you, Elizabeth <All reads/sounds like you are doing fine other than the massive change-out/s... If possible and you want to continue these, do try to store most of the new water a week in advance... this helps greatly to alleviate sanitizer, metal, gas contamination issues. Bob Fenner>

Lump on my Betta pt 2
 - 04/05/2006 Hi Bob and All, Thank you for the excellent advice. I will not do another 100% tank cleaning again, is 50% OK? Should I suck it out from the bottom or scoop it out off the top? I have water conditioning as we speak, been there for almost a week in my office. I always read the links you send, but here's another question. Since the conditioned water is not at 80 degrees, will it stress out my fish if 50% of cold conditioned water is added? Maybe add it slowly? <Don chiming in today. 50% water changes are great! Always use a gravel vac and siphon the water from the bottom. You want to remove as much waste and uneaten food as possible. When replacing the water you should try to get the temp as close to the tank's as possible. Maybe a few cups of hot water, or invest in a second heater. A small drop of a few degrees is not a problem, in fact I do that all the time. IMO it simulates what happens in nature when it rains. But our tank raised fish are not as strong as their wild cousins. Assuming a 50% water change in an 80 degree tank, try to get your new water up to at least 74 before adding it. And thank you for giving your Betta such a nice home and varied diet. You are a Betta Goddess!>

Betta parasite??  3/30/06 Hi, <Hello there> Firstly let me apologize that the photo is not as clear as I would have liked... unfortunately the male Betta in question is apparently not a fan of being photographed. <I understand> I have owned him for approximately 5 weeks, we purchased him as a replacement for our previous male with intent to attempt to breed. I noticed around 2 weeks after we got him home that he had a small (approx. 1-2mm) white growth on the rear portion of his dorsal fin. However it vanished after a couple of days. He usually resides in alone in a 4 gallon tank with a small sponge filter, a couple of Java ferns and a heater. As we intended to breed him with one of our 2 females (currently sharing an identical home) we had set up and cycled a 2 gallon spawning tank.   Just before we moved our male Betta into the spawning tank we noticed that he was acting a little strangely... he seemed to spend rather a lot of time swimming in small circles around the suction cups which hold the heater in place.  He would also suddenly swim very quickly and erratically then stop. <Not totally atypical behavior for this species, sex> I moved him into the intended spawning tank (after acclimating him of course) to have a better look, as this tank has a light, and have now noticed that this small white growth has reappeared, only this time above his gill as the photo shows. It is very small (again 1-2mm) and protrudes from his skin rather than laying flat against it. It is rounded at the end and seemed to shrink and turn slightly grey in response to the 10 minute salt bath we tried yesterday, but has now returned to its full, white glory. I have scoured the web and your site for info on parasites, which I assume it to be since it has moved from his fin, and since it appears to be causing him some discomfort, but the only similar things I can find are Ich - which it most certainly isn't as there is only one, and Anchorworm, which aren't normally white and resemble hairs (or so I gather). <Yes... the "egg sacs" stick out like a bifurcated tail...> This "thing" is quite thick (maybe between 0.5-1mm) and I am at a loss as to what it might be, and how to rid my Betta of it. He doesn't appear to be ill... no clamped fins, eating fine, still flaring for the ladies, no listlessness or loss of colour, just the occasional odd bout of swimming in circles. I do hope you can help, as we (and I'm sure him too) are eager to begin breeding, but obviously don't want to start if there are parasites around! Thanks in advance. Kindest Regards, Lindsey <Well... this could be "nothing" but a reaction site... in infected part of the Neuromast system (the "head and lateral line")... or might involve a protozoan like Octomita/Hexamita... or even a "higher" invertebrate parasite... If it were me/mine I would treat this animal with Flagyl/Metronidazole (for Protozoans), and see if the one-shot application "does it". Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta parasite??    4/3/06 Hi Bob, <Lindsey> Thanks so much for your reply. Just thought I would give you a progress report. As you also thought it likely to be a parasite I decided to give my Betta a weak WS3 Malachite Green bath for 20 min.s, as I had some of this in the house (the only anti-parasite I keep around as I find it incredibly good for savage Ich outbreaks) and it was proving difficult to find Metronidazole. A day later the "parasite" was all but gone, leaving just a grey dot. Today it has gone completely... I'm keeping an eye on him for a week or so before we attempt to breed him to ensure it hasn't just moved again! I'm also continuing my search for Metronidazole in case it returns. Thanks again for your help Lindsey <Great news! Thank you for this update. Bob Fenner>

Betta fins   3/28/06   Hi! <Hello> I've searched all over the site, but am still a bit confused, so figured I ought to just ask myself.  I have a Betta (I am fairly sure he's a grizzled Betta - his body is sort of a light pink/opaque colour with blue freckles, his fins are an electric blue with traces of white), and he's only been with us for a little over a week.  He's seemed just fine - he eats well (we feed him Betta bio gold pellets), his tank is nice and clean, he flashes his fans happily and flutters around, but today I noticed that his tail fin looks more like hair than an actual webbed fin (as in, it's more separate strands at the end than it is attached). <Some are more like this...>   I don't recall it looking like this right away, but everything else about his behavior seems fine.  We have a soft aquatic plant in his tank, along with a castle that he likes to swim through or rest in, and very smooth marble stones, none of which have ever seemed to catch his fin.  Does he have fin rot or the like, or am I being overly-paranoid about his health? <Don't know> I've grown pretty fond of the little guy and want to make sure to take care of him if he's sick.  If it is fin rot or some such disease, what do you recommend is the best way to treat it?  Is there a brand that is better than another? <Mmm... is this system cycled?> Thank you so much for your help.  I'm hoping this can be solved quickly, if it is a problem, because I'd hate for him to be sick. Sincerely, Jessica <Please take the time to read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Office Betta  - 03/27/06 Hello, I have a Betta at work that I have had for several months now. I rescued him from our office manager who was going to flush them all because they were listless. Mine was just cold. I keep a light on him and he is VERY active and sassy. Hates it when I turn the light off for the night. He flares his gills and swims aggressively. Anyway, I changed his water on Friday night and after floating him in a plastic cup like I always do, transferred him back into the fresh   water. Monday morning when I returned to the office, his body is peppered with white scales. I have never seen this before and he's never reacted poorly to the changing of the water before. He is in a large cylindrical bowl and I fill it with tap water and add Wardley WaterCare CHLOR OUT. He seems to still be active and unaffected but he looks dreadful. Any thoughts on how to help the poor boy out? Thank you for your help. Bryan <First, thank you for saving this Betta. I can think of no more horrible way to die than in a sewer. And I'm glad to see you are using dechlorinator. That is very important. I think the basic problems here is temperature control and water quality. Bettas are tropical fish that need to be kept at a steady temp in the high 70's to 80. That's impossible to do in a bowl with a light as a heat source. (Please do not leave the light on 24/7) The perfect home for a Betta is a small 2.5 to 5 gallon tank with a sponge filter and a small heater. Then once a week should change 50% of the water. I feel that the swing in temperature (along with being too cool all weekend) and 100% water change is what is causing his problems. Don>

Something is wrong with my Betta?    3/27/06 I have an urgent problem (I think)!!.... I'm not really sure what my Betta is doing. I have owned it for about two months now. He lives in a vase (not with a plant). I feed him bloodworms once or twice a day. I've tried feeding him other foods, but he refuses everything but the bloodworms.      Now for the real problem. I change his water about once a week. I went to change it today and everything went fine until I went to put him in the net to place him back in his water. He jumped out of the net and landed in the sink!! <Happens very often...> :( I had to chase him and I finally got him picked up and put in his bowl. I feel so bad! That's not the end of it though. He was out of water for a total of maybe 5 to 10 seconds, but when he got back in his water, he dug his face under the little blue rocks in the bottom of his tank and began gasping. But it wasn't his normal gasp when I change his water, he was jerking about once each second, and then the jerks began to turn him upside down and vertical. He looked as if he was having a seizure. It was extremely strange looking. It took about five minutes for him to finally go to the top. Now for the past hour he has been hiding under the rocks and gasping (he hasn't stopped gasping at all), then darting to the top once every few minutes. I'm afraid he is dying? Is this normal behavior? Please help!!      Thanks! <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Ailing Betta - please advise!    3/27/06 Dear Crew at WWM, <Kara> Thanks for providing a much needed service!  I hope you can help. I read through many of the stories and did not find a match per se, so here goes: Splash is my son's Betta and I think he was not too healthy when we got him from the pet store.  He seemed to be doing well though until we went away on a short vacation and used the Betta Block feeders. <These should be avoided. Have exceedingly little food value... and the binder used is a pollutant> That combined with not changing his water soon enough, over feeding and uneaten food not removed during this time is what I suspect caused this problem.  (I have learned my lesson about going on vacation!) <Good> He is an aqua blue color with black on his forehead, "arms" (sorry I don't know the correct term and I am too tired to research it right now) and his little tiger like "mane" when he flares.   His fins are more solid and not full of streamers like other Bettas. Currently, his fins are stiff looking, with some holes and dark spots.  His body looks smooth and healthy - no black spots. Because of the tears/holes I assumed he had fin rot and was told by the pet store to use Betta Fix.  At first it seemed to help, but a week later he looked about the same (holes, stiffness, NO black spots) I looked at the site BettaTalk and ordered the kit for sick fish.  I have been using a yellow antifungal powder and also antibiotic powder - fish tetracycline - with water changes and new meds every three days. It has been a couple of weeks now and I see no improvement at all!  In fact, he now has the dark spots I mentioned earlier in this email.  Splash still eats well, but is not building any bubble nests.  He does not appear to want to scratch himself etc. <The root issue/s here are environmental and nutritional/developmental... antimicrobials won't benefit him> He is in a half gallon bowl with a little gravel on the bottom (usually I keep a live plant in the bowl). I use just tap water that has rested for at least at day with dechlorination solution also.  I started adding a pinch of aquarium salt and Aquarisol after Splash got sick for our other Bettas - we have two more and they have been doing fine.  I use the salt but not the Aquarisol for Splash since I did not know if it was OK to combine it with the meds. Initially, I had been feeding blood worms and defrosted brine shrimp.  Now I am only feeding the Hikari blood worms twice a day and I remove what they don't eat.  They loved the frozen shrimp but it was more work for me and I wasn't sure if it might be part of the problem. <Yes> I've read that it can take awhile for fish to get better - I just want to see some sign of improvement so that I know I am on the right track.  What if he has black spot and not a fungus?  Maybe it is better to go back to the Betta Fix Remedy?  Maybe he needs a stronger antibiotic or no antibiotic? <No, not needed, useful> Any insights or advice you can provide would be most welcome!!!!! Thank you very much! Kara <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Betta Condition    3/24/06 Hi Guys, I have been reading your posts on your site and have visited several sites concerning Betta illnesses. My concern is my poor little Betta looks like a balloon. <Possibly overeating... constipation.> In all other aspects he is perfectly healthy (although just tonight I did notice some tattering of the pectoral fin on his right side). He lives in a ph balanced <Not really sure what you mean by that.> 10 gallon tank kept between 75 and 80 degrees F <Do you have temperature control?  Best to keep Bettas with a heater, no more than 2-3 degrees F temp. change in a day.> , with lots of false greenery, a castle, and a couple of pieces of slate to break up the flow from the 3 inch bubble bar and the filter (which I have determined needs to have a sponge sock put over it). Strangely enough, my Betta is afraid of bubbles if they aren't broken up. He just flips out. <Bettas don't particularly like a lot of motion in their water.  If he really doesn't enjoy the bubbles, consider removing them.> Before he lived in this environment he lived in a 3 gallon tank where he did not do much of anything. Once he moved in here he was very ecstatic, but now I am worried because he looks like he could be a Macy's Day parade balloon. He still wants his food <Stop feeding!  By feeding him in this condition you are only adding to the problem.> he comes to the top waiting for his pellets or bloodworms like usual (who says you cannot train fish?). He still swims around like a mad fishie... especially when my cat decides he wants a drink from the flowing filter on the back of the tank ( which is a no-no but do cats listen?) So that is some thing that concerns me could the swollen belly be from something that was in the cats saliva that didn't get filtered out? Or is he just constipated? <Yes.> What do I do if he does have dropsy? <I suspect he doesn't at the moment, but may develop symptoms in the future.  His current state leaves him open to bacterial infections.> Where can I get that medication? I am watching him swim around right now happy as a lark and it is very strange to me that having that much pressure on ones internals wouldn't be causing more problems. He is about the size of a marble. This is not the first Betta I have ever had. The others I have had for all over two years and he is not even in my possession one yet. This is disheartening. Another question everyone else is talking about bubble nests... I do not believe any of my Bettas have ever made one is there a reason for that? <Some Bettas do bubblenest more often than others, however, almost all will from time to time.  If you have never seen your Betta(s) bubblenest, they either aren't happy with the quality of water they are kept in or there is too much motion in the water for their bubbles to stick together.> <On the topic of your bloated fish, stop feeding and add 1 TBSP per 5 gallons Epsom Salt (can be purchased at your local drugstore) to the tank.  Epsom salt is a laxative that will help your fish pass the blockage.  Keep his tank extra clean with daily 30-50% water changes -- be sure to replace the removed Epsom salt with the water changes.  Do not feed him at all for 5 days, after that feed him a small piece of a pea, removed from the shell and crushed.  In the future, be careful about the quantity which you feed your pet and watch for signs of constipation.> Melissa Ann Hawkins Cline <Jason N.>

Strange exploded bump on Betta Fish   3/19/06 Hello, I am writing because I cannot ascertain what has killed my Betta fish, despite performing a lengthy web search. Several weeks ago I purchased a Betta, and did not notice until I got him home that he had a large white bump near the back of his left eye, approaching his gill. The store had a no return policy, and he otherwise seemed to be in good health. However, today I noticed  that the white bump has quite literally exploded, and exposed the insides which  look to be almost like white mold. This explosion has removed half of my Betta  fishes face, and his gills appear red, and he also has redness around his  eyes and forehead. He is swimming quickly, and seems unable to maintain an  appropriate upright position in the water. His face is quite ghastly to look at. I am sure that he is not long for this world, however, I would like to know what it was he had, and if I should take additional precautions  for cleaning out his bowl, lest a new fish I buy become afflicted  by a potentially pathogenic disease.  Also, can stuff like this  pass to humans?? Thank you for any help you can provide  :-) <Mmm, could be tumorous/viral in nature, but could be a protozoan, even a zoonoses... I would completely take down, lightly bleach-wash all your gear just as a matter of precaution. No way to tell if this "cause" is hazardous to humans, but I would do the "usual" in handling pet-fish circumstances, and thoroughly wash my hands, arms with warm water and soap after. Bob Fenner>

Swollen Betta   3/18/06 Have been reading your advice on the sick betas. Mine is swollen and not moving much, just sits mostly on the bottom with his head up. I put the Epsom salt in the tank last night. How long do I leave the salt in the tank? Thanks, Barbara <... posted... on WWM. Much more likely going on here... re environment, nutritional influences... Bob Fenner>

Sick Beta Betta at the ole ball/bowl game!  3/16/06 Hello. I have read through much illness literature and cannot find anything to match what my fish is exhibiting. He is about three years old and resides in  a one gallon bowl. <Strike one> I change the water every week <Strike two if all of it> and replace it with room temperature distilled water. <Strike three!> The last week, or so, he has been resting in the water in a vertical position. Once in a while he will right himself and swim around the bowl then come to rest vertically again. His scales seem to be slightly lifted and I know that is a symptom of TB but he exhibits none of the other symptoms. I feed him one pellet per day and lately he is having trouble zeroing in on the pellet. I know that Betas do not live all that long. Is it just a matter of time for him? Thank you. Sue <Uhh... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Betta   3/18/06 Hello Bob Thank you for responding. I will do the best that I can. I inherited this beautiful fellow from my college kid who had it up at school for a year before he graduated. (Lord knows how much care it got there!) He left the fish here when he got a job and moved away. I've been taking care of it for two years. It  is not feasible to invest in tanks, heaters and filtration systems for this one  fish. Tropical fish will never be my hobby. I just want to nurse this little  fellow along until he comes to his natural end. I will switch from distilled  water to tap water (we are on a well so there are no additives) <Good> and I will put a  gallon in the sun to warm for a while. I'll also put a pinch of salt in the  water to see if that helps. I didn't want you to think that I was a heartless  tropical fish owner. Sue <Thank you for this, sharing. BobF>

Betta Troubles - 03/13/2005 I need urgent help with my Betta. I've researched its symptoms for days and nothing seems to work. His bottom fin is almost gone and his wings <Pectoral fins> are also deteriorating very fast. Initially I treated him with Maroxy for 5 days; because the tail and fins were rooting and some white cottony like material appeared at the end. According to my research the cottony like stuff was a true fungus that usually follows after a tail rot. <I would almost wonder if this is actually Columnaris; Bettas seem particularly susceptible to this.> The Maroxy showed no effect and the fins and tail continued to get worse, so I stopped after 5 days. <Five days may not be long enough for such a problem to show signs of improvement....  These things take time.> Since the problem persisted, I decided to wait a day, then changed all the water and added Fungus Clear (Jungle) but the medicine seemed to accelerate the damage; on the first day of the treatment, part of his tail became transparent and fell off on the second day, so I immediately discontinued the treatment and changed all the water again.  This time I only added the Melafix, since it is less harmful and less stressful to the Betta, but I was still very concerned that the infection was still spreading all over his body.   <It is my (strong) opinion that Melafix is of little to no use in these cases, and may in fact irritate the fish some.> I also read through your disease guide and you highly recommend BettaMax, <Highly - its ease of use in small systems makes it an ideal antibiotic for some illnesses commonly seen in Bettas.> however I was unable to find this product anywhere, <Sad, and not surprising - the company (Aquatronics) that sold it has gone under.> so now I am treating him with Tetracycline (started today Mar.13). I also have Maracyn, Maracyn 2, Maroxy and Melafix. At this point I am totally torn between fighting the disease by using different medication or letting the beta rest by only treating him with Melafix.   <Neither.  Stop switching medications.  Stick with the Tetracycline.  Do not switch to something else.  You are (inadvertently) making this infection stronger and harder to treat by doing so.  Stick with the Tetracycline for 14 days, but no more than that, if avoidable, as it can have a negative impact on the fish's immune system.  If you still have problems by then, I would advise using Kanamycin sulfate and Nitrofurazone.> Please help me on this matter, he is still active and with a great appetite; it kills me to see him stressed with all this different medication and to see all his fins and tail dissipate... I try to maintain the temperature at 75-78F, I am adding 3 teaspoon of salt on the 5 gal aquarium, and I try to keep the lights off as well.  I would appreciate if you are able to help me on this problem. <The only thing I have to add is to be certain to test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, and nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.  Be sure to use a dechlorinator and match the temperature of the new water with that of the tank (old news, I'm sure).> Sincerely,  -Monica Leaw <All the best to you and your Betta,  -Sabrina>

Stubborn Popeye... not the Sailorman, Betta  - 03/13/2006         Hi, I am having a dilemma with my Betta and if you could give me some advice I would appreciate it greatly. I have a five gallon Eclipse tank with three African Dwarf frogs and one Betta. My levels all seemed to be perfect and I did regular gravel vacuuming and partial water changes. And I use conditioned tap water. Last week I found my Betta listless and very inactive only to wake up one morning to see that we was developing Popeye. I immediately went to the pet store and bought Maracyn-Two because he had also stopped eating. I put him in quarantine with frequent partial water changes and a heater. <Didn't have the heater before?> It has been eight days on the medication and Epsom salt and he still has a white ring around his eye and is protruding slightly, his right hand side of his face still is swollen and he just started eating yesterday. Should I do another round of Maracyn-Two? <Mmm, I would not> And through all this my frogs are fine at least! Thanks for reading my letter and if you have any suggestions for me I would be grateful. Thanks, Mary Ann <Just time going by at this point will show whether this fish, eye will heal more completely. Bob Fenner>

Betta mysterious fin disease? Not  - 03/12/2006 Hello, <Hi there> I have recently purchased a male Siamese fighting fish (Betta) for my community tank and he was doing fine until we decided to take him out and put him in a separate tank with no filter or aeration to try and breed him. <Just for a day or so... in heated circumstances...> He was fine for about a week but over the last couple of days I have noticed that his fins have started to curl around themselves and look like twisted twigs rather than fins, this has made swimming difficult for him although his appetite still appears to be normal.  Is this fin rot? Please help! Thank you, <... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Louisa Briggs.

Betta diagnosis/prognosis   3/4/06 My 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>

Jane says: my Betta looks terrible   3/3/06 Hi my name is Jane, a few weeks ago my Betta got this weird looking blue with black coloring on his stomach area it spread to it's dorsal fin and he lost a lot of his tail on the bottom to where there is just fuzz there now. I never noticed it because he has blue on his tail, I thought it was part of his color until it really started spreading. I called That Fish Place and they told me to try MelaFix, I tried that for a few days he only got worse, then they told me to use Furan II. <Better, but...> I just finished that and did a complete water change. This morning my Betta (Felix) is laying on his side at the top of the water struggling to breathe, he hasn't eaten in 2 days and he has a small bulge on his side too, he looks pale. I have him in a 5 gallon tank, with decorations and marbles at the bottom. I keep his water very clean, <How?> his temp at 80 degrees, a light always on for him but a night light at night so he can sleep, he eats pellets for Bettas, I've fed him canned peas but washed them first a few days ago, and he eats dried brine scrimp, he won't eat anything else, I have tried all the different foods, frozen and freeze dried. I am very worried about him, is he going to die? I love my fish and don't want him to suffer, what can I do for him? I would appreciate anything you could tell me, I don't want to lose my baby. Thanks in advance <Your Betta has had a hyperinfective bacterial infection likely... due to... genetics, un-luck of the draw, vacillating water quality/environmental stress... Is this system biologically filtered? I would do this with your next one. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm Bob Fenner>
Re: Jane, Felix and http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm   3/3/06
Hi I wrote a few minutes ago but forgot to put my e-mail address in. My name is Jane. I am the one with the Betta that is on its side, he seems like he is struggling to breathe. Felix is still struggling to stay afloat. He did try to eat a little when my husband put some freeze dried brine shrimp in the tank. I am so worried I will lose my little Felix. As I have said, my Betta is about 2 years old, he got a blue, black fungus with a silver shine to it around his belly area that spread to his top dorsal fin and it has spread towards his tail, he also lost his fins under his belly there is only fuzz there now. I put MelaFix in a few weeks ago, called the pet store they told me to use Furan 2 just finished with that, didn't do much good. I did a complete water change to get rid of that green in his tank. I always put spring water into his tank and make sure it is warm by placing it into warm water to heat it up before putting it in the tank. I keep his water at between 75 & 80 degrees, I have a few ornamental fake plants in his tank. I had gotten him one of those houses for tanks but he seemed afraid of it so I took it out. I have flat marbles on the bottom I didn't like the gravel cause they seemed to rough to me and I didn't want him to rip his tail but that happened anyway for some reason. <... please read where you were referred to last email... the marbles are of little use in terms of biofiltration> I use a filter also it is a 5 gallon tank <Oh! Do you have test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? Test values?> and I keep a light by the tank on all day till night time when I leave a night light on for him. I clean the tank regularly and  change the filter piece every 2 weeks. I do a complete water change from time to time, <Best not to...> (I use to change his water every week but was told the bacteria in the water helps keep them healthy cause it's good bacteria) when I cannot get the water really clean. <Cleanliness is not sterility...> I don't want my Betta in a dirty tank cause I know that can get them sick too. <Far more problems with being too fastidious> My Little Felix has become lethargic, and pale with this stuff on his back. It seems all I have tried has been for nothing, I'm afraid I will lose him, I love this little guy. I have tried to give him a few canned peas but washed them first with spring water to get the salt off because he has a slight bulge on his side too. I think that is all. Can you help me, Please? Thank You in advance, I really appreciate it....Jane & Felix <Bob Fenner>

2nd beta to die ... was a test fish? Betta env. dis.  - 3/1/2006 Hello, I am at a loss, I have a 2 gallon hex tank for my son's beta fish. Everything was great for 2 months then he started to get sick, white fuzz and losing tail fins.  I treated his symptoms and he still got worse and ended up dying.  Before my son found out I went to the store and bought another red Beta, That was on Wednesday and now it is Sunday night and that one is floating at the top of the tank with its nose up and bum at an angle...He hasn't eaten since we got him.  I clean the tanks out really good <...?> and often and also let everything soak in Hot water for a while before I put the new fish in. <Cleanliness is not sterility here> I have another red beta for my other son that is doing great no problems.  The tank stays at about 78-80 so it is not too hot.   <It has a heater? And a filter?> I don't know what is up.... Could it be that the tank is contaminated..... <Is likely environmental in origin/cause. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  

Sick beta tested Betta  - 02/25/06 Clear Day We have a sick beta.  He is at least 8 months old so not a fry.  He has on his head several white splotches, some red markings, and his color has faded (bacteria infection?), <Not necessarily> yet his abdomen is very bloated but his scales look fine (dropsy or constipated?). <No...> He doesn't have any white "strings" nor does he have any "fuzz".  He is lethargic and a little flighty, like he has been scared but there isn't any new stimulus to cause it.   No rubbing or scratching against things.  No "salt" like dots either. We have Terramycin or Oxytetracycline HCL on hand that is a broad spectrum antibiotic that we have for our chickens and honey bees and is used on everything from bees to cattle , but I couldn't find anything that said it was safe for fish.  Tomorrow we will get a fish antibiotic but didn't know if a tiny bit of the tetracycline would help some tonight.  We did clean his water and he looks like he feels a little better or it could be all of the attention, movement, etc..  sigh My daughter is in tears.  I appreciate any help you can give me.  This is my daughter's email so email me at ., especially if you have bad news for us.  I'll be up many more hours. Thank you again, Michelle K in NC <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Sick beta II:   2/26/06 ... same problem, same resp.   The little guy is doing OK, less lethargic, but the white spots have definitely grown and become "cottony".  His abdomen is still very swollen and looks "bruised". <Environmental...> We bought some gel Tetracycline and will feed it to him tonight.  Tonight will be 72 hours without food.  We are basically treating him for constipation and bacterial infection.  We have some pictures.  What do you think?  Two of the pictures shows the spots and how there is a huge white spot on the bottom of the swollen abdomen, but it's not "cottony".  Another picture has a flashlight behind the fish to show how dense and dark that area that is swollen is.  By the way, he hasn't ever had a top or dorsal? fin.  It's why my daughter picked him because she felt he needed to be adopted.  :) <Happens> After reading for several hours, we wanted to get serious about testing Peppermint's water.  Someone gave us a SeaTest Multi-kit they used with a salt water tank but looks like an older one and the pictures I have found on the web, don't look like this packaging.  The kit's instruction guide is minimal and I'm not sure if we can use it with fresh water or just salt water.  Do you know of a website we can read up on this? <You can read on the manufacturer's site: Aquarium Systems.... re... the range of this kits test kits are a bit out of usefulness for freshwater> Do you think the little "packets" are still good?  Can I use the test on fresh water? <Not much> Thank you again for your help. Michelle K in NC "<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>".........

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: