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FAQs on Betta Diseases 7

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Betta Disease Causes/Etiologies: Determining/Diagnosing, Environmental (By far the largest cat.), Nutritional, Viral/Cancer, Infectious (Bacterial, Fungal) , Parasitic: Ich/White Spot, Velvet; Senescence/Old Age, 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,

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

"I Been Thinkin' About My Doorbell, When Ya Gonna Ring it?"  White stripe Betta 11/3/05 Hi there. I've had my Betta for over a year now. He's always been healthy. About a month ago part of his back fin right along the edge began to turn white. It's not cottony like Ick it's more like a crusty white substance with a touch of reddish in certain spots. It hasn't spread and he seemed unaffected by it but I figured I should attempt to eliminate the problem before it developed into something.  <If it is a problem per se... could be "just age"... more likely environmental in origin> I gave him Beta Fix for a week or so but that didn't work. Then a week ago I went to an aquarium store and they gave me Beta Revival. For a week I've been changing his water daily <Too much change, stress> and giving him a salt water bath for about 20 minutes a day to help. I don't take him out each time because I don't want to stress him even more so I just change about 75% of the water. I've also been giving him the Beta Revival for 5 days but he just lays at the top of the tank, doesn't swim much, and his color is turning Grayish (not a good thing). So I stopped giving him all medications and his color is back and he's swimming around more and seems his old self. However, the white on the tail still remains. Any ideas on what to do? I've attached a photo of the white spot. Ignore Nemo in the background :) <Nice pic... I would not continue the treatment regimen here... If this Betta is in a heated, filtered setting, eating... it appears fine to me. Bob Fenner> 

Betta with Ich?  9/25/05 Hi Again, so sorry to bother you all again. I have a 3 gallon Eclipse tank with a bio filter that has been set up for approximately 8 months.  I have a heater that keeps the water at a very consistent 80 degrees, I have several live plants, java ferns mostly and a Bolbitis, I have 1 male Betta who I have had for 7 months.  He has never shown any signs of illness including lack of appetite.  I check the water regularly for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, they are all within the proper levels...0, 0, 5-10 respectively.  I have an airstone in the back corner that is low bubbling to circulate the water in the corner.  I change 25 percent of the water every week faithfully and vacuum the gravel.  I add Aqua Nova each time.  I change the carbon filter cartridge every 30 days and clean the pump.  He eats a variety of food changing around each day a combination of two of either Hikari pellets, Hikari freeze dried shrimp, bloodworms and daphnia.  He has a wonderful appetite...but, this Betta developed fin rot and I asked for and followed your advice and treated him with a compound antibiotic.  After I finished with treatment, I did a 70% water change and added 1 tsp of aquarium salt.  Well, his fins appear to be coming back now but 2 nights ago when I looked at one of his pectoral fins on the side it has a white spot!  It looks like an Ich spot but there is only one.  I began upping the water changes to 20% each night instead of one 25% each week.  The spot has not gotten any bigger, but now I am worried I need to treat him for something else because it's there but I am not sure what.  Is it possible for a fish to have one Ich spot?  Could this be more fungus or a weird bacteria? Just cannot imagine what on earth the problem is at this point.  I have KanaPlex, I have Tetracycline, I have Maracide, I have Jungle Fungus Eliminator, and I have BettaMax on hand. ..could you please advise me as to what I should do or try, truly, I am lost.   I really do not want to medicate him more and with the wrong thing if I should not. Thank you, I do not know what my fish and I would do without you guys!  Sue < You Bettas fins may have initially got caught in the filter intake and tore his fins. Then the fin rot may have gotten a hold. When fish are stressed they are prone to come down with almost anything. You fish indeed may have Ich. Keep up on the maintenance and watch him closely for the next few days. If more spots appear then treat with Rid-Ich by Kordon.-Chuck>

Betta Fish Lost It's Tail  9/20/05 Hello!  <Hi, Catherine here!>  My Betta <Betta> fish has lost part of his tail.  <Not good.>  There were two parts with the frilly pretty looking stuff - kind of like a top and a bottom.  The top part fell off.  I didn't see it happen, I keep him at work and I saw it when I got in this morning.  I have large river rocks in his bowl and he likes to bury himself in the rocks, <odd> so there is a possibility that he may have got stuck and his tail came off when he was trying to get out?? <Possible>  Either that or he's sick? <Possible.  This could be fin rot, a bacterial infection generally caused by poor environmental conditions.> Have you ever heard of something like this happening before?  <Yes.>  Will his tail grow back?  <With good care, probably.>  Could this be a symptom of worse things to come? <Yes.> I would really appreciate any insight you could provide.  I am quite worried about him...  <To diagnosis this problem, I need a bit more information. What kind of system is he in?  1 gallon bowl?  10 gallon tank?  Are the ammonia and nitrites at 0 and the nitrates below 20, or even better, below 10?  He'd really prefer a heated, filtered tank.  Read here for more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm.  For now, I'd do 50% water changes daily (with dechlorinated water of course).  The best thing you can do is keep his environment as clean as possible and possibly improve his living conditions with a heater (raise the temperature by a degree or two a day) and a filter.> Thank you very much for your help!!  Richelle  <Keep us posted.  Catherine>

Betta With Bubble  9/19/05 Hi there! I have had a lot of Bettas in the past, the one I have now being almost three years old. Recently I went to a PetSmart and found a very sad looking Betta that I decided to purchase and nurse back to health. He is very thin (I can see his little spine) and has some fin issues. Despite all of this he's still energetic and the only thing really holding him back is that he cannot swim to the bottom of the tank, leading me to suspect that there is some kind of air pocket in his system. He floats on his side at the top of the tank and is clearly exerting himself to get upright to eat. How can I help get whatever is keeping him like this out of him? I've had Bettas with similar trouble before but it always went away fairly quickly on its own. Please help, I can't find any information anywhere. Thank you for your time~ Laine < Your Betta has an internal bacterial infection. Your inexpensive Betta will cost you some time and money and PetSmart will order some additional sick Bettas since they are able to sell them and make a profit. Try some clean warm water and salt at first. Raise the water temp to 82 F and add a tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. Antibiotics like Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone are effective against these bacteria.-Chuck>

Fish Splitting? - 09/17/2005 I was noticing my Betta resting on the bottom of his tank a lot. When he did swim up for air I spotted a bulge under his stomach. I thought it was perhaps from over feeding, so I cleaned his tank and fed him smaller amounts. <Bettas often are overfed, which can lead to health complications....> The other day I saw a mass actually splitting out of his stomach leaving him with a pretty decent since hole in his body. <Now, THAT's bizarre.  Doesn't sound like overfeeding.> The ball burst with blood (nice right?). <Uhh, wow, yeah, this is not at all something that is by any stretch of the imagine "normal".  I don't guess you stopped to snap any pics that we might look at to try and help determine what this is/was?> I don't exactly know what to do. He has a huge hole but isn't dead yet. What happened to him? <In complete honesty I do not know.  Even an image of the fish currently that shows the hole may help.  I am entirely at a loss at this point.> -Abby <Sorry for the lack of help on this one....  if you can send in some images, or a very, very explicit description of the mass, and how/where the hole is, this may help.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Better Betta Beginnings - 09/12/2005 Hi, my name is Varinia from South Africa, <Hello.  This is Sabrina, from California, USA.> I have a Betta - his name is Deisel. I cleaned out his tank, this weekend, I removed him and put in another bowl which I treated the night before. I noticed when I returned him to his clean tank that he had "fluff" on his right eye, I tried to take it off, but I could not. <Tried to take it off, how?  Be cautious/careful of manually removing anything on a fish - though you mean well, it may cause more damage than good.> I must have stressed him out as well. Please help, I don't know what it is, he is not eating well too. The Pet shop gave me some blood worms, but he still did not want to eat them. <Try frozen bloodworms or frozen brine shrimp.  Maybe even a couple live bloodworms or brine shrimp if you can get them.> This is my first fish ever, you must have noticed by now. <Much to learn at this point....> I am really scared that I am not doing it right, would you please help me.... <Please start by reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm  and here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm .> Thanks "V" <Wishing you and Diesel well,  -Sabrina>

Betta fading fast  9/13/05 We've had our Betta for almost two years, which I realize is a long  time. For the past two days he's been lethargic and now he has gray stuff clinging to him.  He stirs a little and is barely eating.  He just  rests near the top of the bowl with his mouth nearly out of the water.  Is  he dying of old age? <At least a factor... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Totally Confused <Betta Health> 9/8/05 Hi, I have a 3 gallon Eclipse tank with a bio filter that has been set up for approximately 8 months.  I have a heater that keeps the water at a very consistent 80 degrees, I have several live plants, java ferns mostly, I have 1 male Betta who I have had for 7 months.  He has never shown any signs of illness including lack of appetite.  I check the water regularly for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, they are all within the proper levels...0, 0, 5-10 respectively.  I have an airstone in the back corner that is low bubbling to circulate the water in the corner.  I change 25 percent of the water every week faithfully and vacuum the gravel.  I add Aqua Nova each time.  I change the carbon filter cartridge every 30 days.  He eats a variety of food changing around each day a combination of two of either Hikari pellets, Hikari freeze dried shrimp, bloodworms and daphnia.  He has a wonderful appetite... but, here is the confusion, this Betta has developed what appears to be fin rot, I can't believe it, but his fins are all ragged and shorter.  I really hate to treat this tank, as it will destroy the good bacteria that I took so long to build up.  I have attempted to add aquarium salt but am afraid that I will use too much, at this point I did a 50 percent water change and I added 1 tsp. of the aquarium salt.  Could you please advise me if I should be using more and how I should add it? <The ferns can tolerate a good deal of salt... but the other types? I would remove the plants, and treat the Betta... with a compound antibiotic...>     Could you also help me understand how in the world he could develop fin rot? <Even in good systems, care as yours... this does "just happen"... hybridized fishes, unseen sources of stress... varying source water quality...> I am so very confused as I think that I do the right things for him, maybe I am missing something?  Thank you, and thank you for your wonderful website that I has helped me over and over again!  Sue <What you list is close to ideal... Bob Fenner>

Desperate for assistance, Betta illness  9/7/05 Hello, <Good morning> My Betta Walt has been with me for approximately two years.  He has received weekly water changes complete with conditioner, aquarium salt, and Betta Fix to minimize stress.  While his color has seemed to fade with age over time, during the past one-and-one-half weeks his back end and face have turned progressively greyer and his breathing has become rapid and labored.  His top fin has also began to show some signs of thinning.  He has stayed at the bottom of the bowl, sometimes slightly on his side, and only comes up to the surface a few times daily for air.  When he does so, he swims very quickly to the top and then slowly sinks back down to the bottom.  He has not eaten in several days. <Not good> I am worried that he may be dying, but I refuse to give up on him before doing all that I can.  I tried both Aquarisol and tetracycline capsules during the last water cycle.  This did not seem to help, so after the last water change, I added nothing aside from the conditioner and Betta Fix.  At this point, I am afraid that another water change may prove too stressful for him in his current state.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  In the event that nothing more can be done, any advice that would ease his suffering would also be appreciated.     Thanks in advance for your help, Josh <Mmm, sad to state, realize, but your Betta is likely "just old"... they generally only live a few years... and this time is foreshortened in "bowl settings". Removing this fish to a heated, filtered system might prolong its life. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm I do wish I could say/state more or differently. Bob Fenner>

Lack of knowledge, adequate care for Bettas  9/5/05 ....I was given my Siamese fighting fish as a present 4 months ago. Both looked like females and were in the same tank. <Not likely females...> One was a lot quieter than the other and the more I learned I knew they would be better apart. Before I could rectify the situation, one jumped out the tank and died. I felt rubbish for not sorting it out earlier. <...> The more active one seemed happy and did all the usual Siamese things. About 2 weeks ago I noticed that her appetite started to go and she was lacking in enthusiasm. Her condition has deteriorated and she now rarely comes up for air, seems to be floating on her side and struggling to stay afloat. To make matters worse we had a tank changing incident and I had to scoop her up and place her back in the tank, all this adding to the stress she is obviously already under. My boyfriend bought me another one in anticipation of the other one dying.... I'd rather work out how to save the one I have got! I feel like a crap mum and desperately need some advice. K x <Read on my friend: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick Betta  9/5/05 Hi there, <Maggie> I have a male Betta, Stanley, who has been very happy and healthy until recently. He had fin rot. I treated him with tricyclen for the 5 days that it said to, and he seemed miserable so I put him back in his home, where he seemed a lot happier. His top fin was just about gone, now it is kind of clear in color, but looks like its growing back, longer than when it had dissolved. However, it looks like the bacteria may have attacked his body as well, underneath the top fin the body turned a silverfish white color. Although the top fin looks like it's getting better, or at least growing back, the body remains the same color, or may be gradually getting worse. I began treating him with the tricyclen again, but I'm new to the fish scene and I just don't know what I should be doing?  I've become very attached to him and I really don' t want to lose him. Thanks for any help you could give me, p.s. I just want to make it clear that the change in body color is only on the top of the body, under the top fin, not the whole body, which is why I think its from the fin rot bacteria, because the top fin is the one that was gone. the top tail fin is also frayed but never completely dissolved like the top one did. Thanks a bunch. Maggie <Is this fish in a heated, filtered setting? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: sick Betta  9/7/05
He is currently in a bowl that is VERY well maintained. I am in the process of getting an aquarium hooked up for him. Going by my previous message, do you think he could still be infected? <Mmm, the direct cause of the Betta's health difficulties is environmental... only secondarily bacterial> The fins are getting longer (still clear color though) but the body (where it used to be blue) is a silverish pinkish now. Thanks for your time Maggie <I do hope your Betta makes a full recovery. Bob Fenner>

Do Bettas Get Tumors? - 09/03/2005 Hello There, <Hi.> I've had my Betta for about 2 years and he's always been in good health-- happy, moves around a lot, eats well, etc. and yet over the past 2 weeks he has developed a strange growth by one of his eyes. It started out as a whitish/gray dot, (I actually at first thought it was a piece of food that had landed on him!) but then grew by the day and is now a quite pronounced bubble-looking growth. Do Bettas get tumors? <They can, yes.> What could this be? <Could be a tumor or granuloma, could be Lymphocystis....> His behavior hasn't really changed--he's still acting healthy--but I'm starting to worry about whether his vision will soon be impaired (it's bubbling out right over his eye) and I also think I might be detecting a small white do on his back, which I worry will turn into the same growth. I've been reading everywhere and can't seem to find out what these symptoms mean. <Try a search on "Lymphocystis" and be sure to maintain impeccable water quality, with nitrate as low as possible.  This viral disease is often beaten by improving water quality, but is not otherwise treatable.  Fortunately, it's very rarely harmful or fatal.  Other possibilities do include tumor(s), Mycobacteriosis....> Thanks for your time, I love my little guy so much and am starting to get more than a tad concerned! <Understandable.  Unfortunately, as you describe it, it does not sound like something easily "fixed" like a bacterial infection.  I would just maintain optimal water quality and continue to give him great care.  Sounds like he's in good hands.> -Erin <Wishing you and your scaly pal well,  -Sabrina>

Help for my Betta Hermie???? very concerned  9/3/05 Hi I have had my Betta for shortly 4 months and he has started swelling and now he is enormous. It started out small and I have tried feeding less and cleaning the tank every 3 to 4 days b/c the water gets pretty cloudy really fast. His eating habits have not changed at all and I am sure he eats b/c I watch him. Actually he is a lot more active now I'm not sure what is going on? I even took my fish to PetSmart and the fish lady couldn't tell me anything different from what I have already been told. Can you please help I just don't   want my fish to die or be in pain. Thank you <... likely environmental in cause overall... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm See the linked files above re Systems, Nutrition, Disease? Read them. Bob Fenner>

Betta Blues - 09/02/2005 Hi Bob, <Actually, Sabrina with you this evening....> I'm hoping you can give me some ideas as to what might be wrong with our family pet, Kevin. He's been perfectly happy in his bowl until about 3 days ago, after my 4 year old dumped a large amount of food into his bowl, and I didn't realize it until several hours later. <Yikes!> I have no idea how much of it he ate before I was able to get him out of the bowl and clean up the mess. I had to completely change his water, and when I put him back in, he seemed okay until the next day. <Likely an ammonia spike from the basically-new setup cycling....> He started acting strange, like he would swim down to the bottom and push the glass beads around with his head, and he seemed very skittish anytime anyone would even touch the bowl.   <First best answer is a water quality issue from the tank cycling.  Be testing for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.> Now he's very lethargic, and he either hangs out at the top or the bottom. <Probably desperate for a water change, right now....  those test results will tell all.> He also "burps" every now and then. I know that sounds funny, but that's the only way I relate it. He'll flare his gills and open his mouth and air bubbles come out. <Bettas are labyrinth (air-breathing) fish; watch him closely for a while, you'll probably see that he does this "burping" after he gulps air at the surface - he is releasing the leftover or unusable air.> His fins are droopy, buy I haven't noticed any white spots on him. His color is still just as turquoise and deep blue as it always was. He does have a spot at the base of his dorsal fin (that's the one on his back, right?) where it joins his body, that looks like one of the "eyes" on a peacock's feather, but it's been there since we got him a few weeks ago. It does look slightly raised, but I'm not sure what it could be. <Possibly just coloration, possibly a tumor/granuloma of some sort....  likely unrelated to his current decline in health.  Just needs a healthy environment.> I'm going to try to get some pictures of it if I can get my digital cam to work.  Any ideas as to what might be plaguing Kevin? Everybody is telling me "it's just a fish... buy a new one if it dies", <Sounds like your everybody doesn't have nearly as much regard for life as you do - thank you for caring so much....  this is the only right attitude to have when caring for a creature, in my opinion.> but this is my kids' pet that they picked out all by themselves when they could've had a dog or a cat or whatever they wanted when their dad left for Iraq. I'd hate for it to die on them :( .   <Me, too!> Anything you could tell me would be greatly appreciated! <Do a bit of research on cycling (plenty of info on WWM), make sure you treat new water for chlorine/Chloramine, test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate....  and read here for more:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm .> Thanks for your time! <You bet.> Jennifer <Wishing you, Kevin, and your kiddos well (and Dad a safe return!), -Sabrina>

Sick Betta  8/31/05 I'm new at dealing with Betta fish diseases, since my last Betta fish (Jake) died with an unknown disease. Anyways, I have a Betta fish that has been sick for at least a few days as we speak. His name is Marland, and his scales are sticking out like a pine cone, and his fins are rotting at the end, he lost his color (jade/blue), has a dark spot on his right side that looks black, and it looks like he is having difficulty coming up for air. My grandmother said that she has changed his water on this past Friday, and she said that he didn't look like sick Friday. So.... What should I do? <Please read here re dropsical conditions: http://www.google.com/custom?q=freshwater+dropsical+conditions&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

Betta fish freaked out, attacking walls  8/31/05 Hello, <Hi - I'm Jorie> I recently moved my Betta fish to a 10 gallon tank after reading your enlightening articles on the cruelty of those little Betta bowls (I was so ignorant!). <Hey, we all have to start learning somewhere, right?> The tank is heated at 80 degrees, has a filter and an aerator, and some soft fake plants and medium gravel. I let the whole setup run for an entire day and tested the water before putting him in (he's in there alone). He has been in the tank for 3 days, and is completely freaked out. <It's normal for a fish to take some time to adapt to his new surroundings...> I expected that he would freak out at first, but his behavior is increasingly manic. After the first day, I turned off the aerator and the filter, and that seemed to help a tiny bit. <I agree with your decision to turn off the aeration, but am not sure about the filter.  What kind of filtration unit is this? Bio-wheel, carbon filter, etc.?> But he has refused to slow down long enough to eat. After a day, he started attacking the sides of the tank, flaring at his reflection (or what I assume to be his reflection) and bumping against the sides with his nose. He has never ever been an aggressive fish before this, I couldn't get him to flare at a mirror held up against his bowl before. But now, he's a complete maniac. I'm worried because he won't eat a thing and doesn't seem to be acclimating to his new home at all. <I've found that each Betta is different in personality - I once had one who was so neurotic he spent almost his entire life hiding inside a fake ornament in his 3 gal. tank.  For him, I was extremely careful to make sure his tank wasn't in a heavily trafficked area, and that he wasn't bumped up against the other Betta tank.  For your situation, I'd suggest turning off the tank light for a bit to let him relax.  Cover the entire tank with a towel to simulate night time and let him calm down.> The tank is still cycling, I'm testing every day and today the pH was 7.2, the ammonia was 0.25ppm, and the nitrites were 0. So it's still very early in the cycle. <This likely isn't helping.  You need to get that ammonia out of the tank ASAP - do a 50-75% water change as soon as you can...the entire problem could be related to the toxins in your Betta's water. Don't worry about disrupting the cycle - when faced with a choice between making the fish more comfortable and prolonging the cycle, well, it really isn't a choice.  The tank will eventually cycle, especially if you turn the filtration back on.> I'm changing 10% (1 gallon) of the water every other day (using treated water of course).  I am just very worried about my fish, he's not eating and is exhausting himself constantly with his attacks on the aquarium walls. There is a standard sheet of "marine" background against the back of the tank, and the rest of the tank's sides are uncovered. Should I cover the sides of the tank with black paper, do you think that would reduce his reflection? <Hopefully I've answered this above.  If the marine background is plastic, perhaps it is catching the light and creating a mirror effect? Try taking it off and see if this improves things.> Should I put him back in his little torture bowl where he seemed so content before? <Try what I've suggested above.  Definitely do the water change immediately, but try just one of the other suggestions at a time so you can see exactly what works.> Thank you so much for your assistance, I love this fish like a baby and your help means a lot to me. <I totally understand - I completely pamper my Bettas also!!! They are like my children!> Sincerely, Rachael <I hope I've helped, Rachel.  Try these tips and I'll cross my fingers that one or more work for you and your Betta.  Sincerely, Jorie>

Betta And "Things" - 08/26/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I just woke up to feed my Betta today, and I noticed that he has these red 'things' hanging from his dorsal fin.   <Hmm....  do a search on "anchor worms".  Is that what they look like?> He is a white Betta so that isn't normal.   <Agreed.> I change his water every week and don't feed him more than he can eat, so it's not poor water condition. <Umm, do you test your water?  Without test results, there's no real way to know.  Keep ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, and nitrate less than 20ppm.> Do you have any idea what it could be? <I suspect anchor worms at this point, as I can't really think of anything else red that would hang off a fish....  An image/photo would be very helpful, here.> -CDH <Wishing you and your Betta well,  -Sabrina>
Betta And "Things" - II - 08/28/2005
I don't think so.. <Okay - can you describe the "things" in greater detail, or supply a photo?> I think what happened was that I put a live plant in his tank a while ago, but, removed it when it started to get all gross, and now I think he has fin rot. <This is an indicator of poor water quality....  Tests would be helpful, here; most fish stores will test your water for you.> I think the red 'things' was and infection or something. <Were the "things" like bits of fin?  Or red streaks on his fin?> I bought him at Wal-mart and pretty sure the problem was fin rot even then, but since he was such a light color, I thought that his fins were supposed to look that thin.  Now I realize I was wrong.   <Possibly, possibly not - a white Betta's fins can have a somewhat "thin" look to them; many white or whitish Bettas have clearish fins.> Do you think that a fish store would just take him?   <Possibly....  just call and ask.> Because I am moving away and can't take him with me anyway... <Bettas are very easy to move; I moved a few with me from Kansas to Idaho, and it was 5 days or so before they were back in a tank....  All you need is a medium-sized Gladware type disposable container (cut a small hole in the middle of the lid) and a couple pieces of live or fake aquarium plant.  Simple as pie.  He'd be stressed, for sure, but not terribly so.  Mine even ate every evening when we stopped for the night.  Can't be *too* stressed if you're thinking about food, huh?> and I want him to live! <If you are looking at bacterial Finrot, I would look for either an antibiotic food, or an antibiotic designed for small Betta tanks ("BettaMax", by Aquatronics, is my choice, here).> -Crystal <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Lumpy Betta - Another Case Of Mycobacteriosis? - 08/26/2005 Good morning <Actually, good evening, now!  Sabrina with you, today.> and thanks in advance for any help you can give me. I know most of you good folks are volunteers <Mm, actually, all of us.> and answering these questions can sometimes be painful. <Yes....  How kind of you, thank you for this understanding.> I have searched the internet and the WetWeb web site and cannot come up with an answer that will lead me in the right direction. <Well, let's see if we can remedy that.> My blue veiltail male Betta was bought a Petco last year... I figure he must be a least a year and a half. He is active, curious and very playful. <All good.> He resides in a Hex 5 tank with bio-wheel and heater.. 80 degrees. <Also good.> His water parameters are ph 7.4..hardness...moderate...nitrate 0...ammonia 0...nitrate between 5 and 10. <Great.> He has artificial silk plants and a two inch substrate. His tap water is conditioned with bowl buddies...I know this is not a very highbrow conditioner but I like it <It works.  Use what you're comfortable with.> and 1/8 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon of water. I do water changes 20% water changes twice a week with a siphon. His feeding schedule is attached... <Sounds varied/yummy enough for me.  Or a fish.  All good.> he feeds from inside a feeding ring with the aid of an eyedropper. Afterwards he likes to play with the bubbles I make with the eyedropper. I try not to touch the fish but sometimes my plastic eyedropper will touch Stewie when he plays. I have made sure there are no sharp edges on the eyedropper...tested with pantyhose. <No worries....  Sounds fine.> Anyways about a month and a half ago I noticed a small lump on his right lower side just before the anal fin. It hasn't changed but It does look like some scales are raised slightly in that area. I have tried to find an accurate internal Betta anatomy picture but to no avail. <This one is about right:   http://www.bubblenest.net/betta_anatomy2.jpg > I know the swimbladder is along the back of the fish and all his internal organs are in the area between head and anal fin. But how far forward are they...where is his stomach, anus and intestines? <Take a look at that image - it's pretty good.> Thinking it might be constipation I fasted him for one day and substituted Epsom salt for the aquarium salt (1/8 tsp per 5 gallons). <Doesn't sound like constipation.> I never actually see him potty but I did see him the second day on the Epsom. Do fish potty quickly, or does it hang on for a while? <Mm, depends on the food.  To be honest, I never see my Betta in the act, either.> The color was a light brown. <Normal.> The lump didn't go down. I waited a week and added one more dose of Epsom salt. no change. Thinkin it might be a bacterial infection I treated him with Maracyn II for 5 days. no change. <May possibly be bacterial....  and difficult to impossible - or even harmful - to medicate....  more on this later.> Observing him with the flashlight the only thing odd about him is the lump. I know Betta fish can develop tumors, but I don't know if this is the case, either. <Yes, very likely....  A tumor or granuloma, and I suspect Mycobacteriosis.  I have seen many, many Bettas at stores exhibiting symptoms, and a fish pathologist pal necropsied several - they did, in fact, have Mycobacteriosis.  My own female has symptoms.... and has lived with them for over a year now, beyond all my expectations.  She has a couple granulomas, a bit of bloating/swelling, and some very minor difficulties controlling her buoyancy - but still acts quite well and healthy otherwise, and is very active.  I have not, and will not, medicate her.  Medicating Mycobacteriosis is very, very unlikely to yield success, and can actually weaken a fish's immune system enough for the disease to really take over.> Finally, my question... I just purchased Jungle Labs anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic medicated food. Can I give him a round of the anti-bacterial food (5 to 10 days)? <I wouldn't....  but it is your choice.  There is a very minor chance it may help, if it IS Mycobacteriosis or other bacterial infection.... but a much greater chance that it will have little to no effect, I fear.> I don't believe it is parasitic but I bought the food to have on hand. <I agree with you.... on both counts.> I don't want to overmedicate but I don't want to ignore any options. <You seem to have all bases covered.> I did a water change in between each round of medication and inserted a  new carbon filter. <As long as this fish is "happy", and otherwise healthy, I would just let him live out his natural life....  may have a few years in him yet!> Thank you very much.... Sue :) <Any time.> Thank you so much for any insight you can. <And thank you, again, for your kind words!  Wishing you and your Betta well,  -Sabrina>
Lumpy Betta - Another Case Of Mycobacteriosis? - II - 08/29/2005
Sabrina, <Hi, Sue!> Thanks so much... a relief to know Stewie can live a good life! I will not medicate. Have a Blessed day! <Thanks kindly.> Sue :) <Wishing you and Stewie well,  -Sabrina>

Betta question, unilateral Pop-eye, use of Epsom  8/27/05 Hi, <Hello there> I have a Betta with Popeye in one eye.  The first day I noticed it, I did a 100% water change and added some Melafix.  His eye seems to be improving a bit, as he had white pus coming out of the sides last night, but it's less today, and he's back to eating and swimming more.  I'm thinking of adding Epsom salt to the tank, but I've also read that they should be put into a separate bowl when giving them an Epsom bath, and that it should only last for 15 minutes.  Should I put the salt right into the tank, let it stand for 15 minutes and then turn the filter on, or take him out of the tank and give him the salt bath there?  I don't want to stress him out by transferring him back and forth between tanks. Thanks for the help, Lisa <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwpopeyefaqs.htm and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Bettas keep dying 8/25/05 I have had 3 Bettas so far,, all 3 have died within the first year,, so I have to be doing something wrong,, I keep them in a 2 1/2 gal tank (alone),, do a 60 % water change once a week <Too much> and use a dechlorinator and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt <Don't need, like salt on a continuous basis> and do a complete tank change and clean everything once a month,, I do not keep the filter running on the tank as it seems to irritate the Betta, ALL THREE seem to develop a disease called dropsy, <Environmental, nutritional...> their gills swell and they seem to have trouble breathing and gulp air at the top,, death will come within 2 days after seeing this, medications do not help, just before this they will become listless,, laying around a lot at the bottom,, <What are all these doubled commas?> I feed them the pellets and dried blood worms,,(2 pellets and 3 blood worms twice a day) they seem to be very happy and content and look great until this disease  strikes, water temp at 78 degrees (heater and temp gauge),,also feed him a 1/2 frozen pea once a month,, I don't know what else I could do for these fish or where this disease comes from,, but it takes them very quickly,, thanks for any help,, tank is clean and drying out now,, don't know if I want another Betta as we get attached to them but don't like to see them in small jar at store, but can't figure out what we are doing wrong, had water tested at aquarium store and they said it was good,, any ideas ?? thanks,, john Perry,, Milwaukee, Wisconsin <Read... here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Fix future correspondence/grammar before sending. Bob Fenner>

Betta With Acne? - 08/15/2005 My Betta fish "Jack" has developed a kind of pimple in the middle of his tail fin. When I got him approx. a year and a half ago I did notice a small darker spot there, it didn't look like any thing but a darker spot on his tail. In the last couple of days it has developed into what looks exactly like a white pimple. It is only like that on one side of his tail and on the other side it looks the same as it always did, just a dark spot approx. an eighth of an inch in diameter.   <Either a tumor/granuloma of some sort, or perhaps Lymphocystis....  Not sure if Bettas can contract Lymphocystis.  Each case I've seen of it, though, involved high nitrate levels; do please be testing for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate - maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate at less than 20ppm.> He seems fine and it doesn't seem to bother him, but I'm worried that there's more going on than I realize. He's in a 5 gallon aquarium, alone, that is filtered. I change the water generally every 3 week to a month. I use spring water I buy from the grocery store. I also put approx. 2 capfuls of Betta Plus in the water each week. He eats beta pellets and Blood worms each day. Do you have any idea what the pimple could be? Should I get him some medication and what kind? <I would not medicate....  If it is a tumor or granuloma, the cause (Mycobacteriosis, for one example of who-knows-how-many possibilities) is likely not treatable, and/or may cause more harm than good to medicate.  I would check those nitrates, maintain optimal water quality, and just observe for now.  Wishing you and Jack well,  -Sabrina>

Geriatric Jerry? - 08/17/2005 Hi,  my Betta, Jerry, has been with me for nearly 3 years.   <A long time, for a Betta, these days.  And that's even on top of however old he was upon purchase....> He has always eaten well.  I started off with Betta food pellets, which I used for about 2 years.  Recently, he began to go for the pellets and missing them.   <Probably from getting on in age.> After a while he would stop because he doesn't like them soggy.  I then changed his food to freeze dried bloodworms (everyday) hoping that maybe he was bored.  He did ok.  But he still goes food the food and misses it.   <Have you tried frozen bloodworms?  These *might* be easier for him to grab....> I'm not sure it's his mouth or eyes, but if he goes for the food it must mean he sees it, right?   <Maybe, or maybe just doesn't see it very well.  It could just be that he's having trouble maneuvering....  all part of aging, I fear.> I just feel so bad for him.  Also this week I thought I was going to lose him,  he began to lie on his side on the bottom breathing deeply.  This happened in his 10 gallon tank.  So I  changed him back to the fish bowl, which he eventually became himself.   <Ah, good.  Do please test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the 10g tank!  There may be something amiss that, given time, will affect the younger, more spry Betta, as well.> One more thing, I noticed he was swollen on his right side toward his tail.  Some things that might help you help me: He lived in a 10 gal. w/ another male Betta, but divided for about 3 months.  The food problem began before Tom, the new Betta.  By the way Tom is doing fine, its just Jerry.  I separated them just in case Jerry is contagious.  Please help!  What do you think is wrong with Jerry?   <Just as above....  Unfortunately, as much as I'd like, there's no cure for age.> And how can I help? <You already are....  softer foods, less water flow, perhaps even floating plants for him to be able to rest near the surface will all be helpful to him.> Thank you so very much!!   <Thanks for writing in, and for providing such great care for your fish!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Bloated Betta... lack of info. 8/15/05 First I would like to say "Hi" and thanks for helping me. I understand that this question has been answered already but there was something that happened to Cye, my Betta, that wasn't mentioned in the other FAQ's and it troubled me a little. He has all of the symptoms that say that he has bloating. He eats as normal, but he after he eats he floats back to the bottom of the tank and turns onto one of his sides and just lies there. He only comes up for air but other than that he doesn't swim around as much. ( He used to swim around a lot more.) He is also having some breathing problems, is that another factor from the bloating also? Well thanks for your time, and effort. Sara <... not much, enough to go on here... what are you feeding? Is this animal in a filtered, heated setting? What do you mean by "bloating?"... Bob Fenner>

Sick Betta 8/13/05 PLEASE HELP!! My Betta seems sick and I have discovered a lump which looks like it is on the inside of his body protruding out, and a spot near  his gill. See pictures below.  Have you ever seen anything like it? <Ah, yes> His color is fading.  He won't eat.  Sits on the bottom a lot or  rests in the plants.  He can swim to the top for air and does swim around  sometime. He leaves his mouth open all the time and cannot swallow the  pellets anymore. When he tries, they get stuck on his lip and he has a hard  time unsticking them! I feed him freeze dried blood worms and Hikari Bio  Gold. I've had him for only 6 months. HELP!! I love this little guy. Please  scroll. When he was healthy, colorful, beautiful, active   Dorsal. spot swelling from inside? right  side. White "spot" near the gill ! Left  side. His mouth stays open now, color fading. <Mmm, nothing as a specific cause of this animal's appearance, malaise comes to mind. It is in a heated, filtered system I take it. Please read through our Betta archives... starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm and reading through the linked files above, where you lead yourself, in the hope that what is posted there will reveal more re your Betta's situation. Bob Fenner>

Bloating Betta? - 08/07/2005 Hi. I've had my Betta for about 7 or 8 months. I change his water about once a week with tap water that's been Brita filtered, bottled and treated with Betta Water Conditioner about 24 hours prior to the water change. I keep the bottles next to the bowl to ensure that it's the same temperature. <What about pH?> Every time I change the water, the beta floats on his side at the surface of the water, almost like he's playing dead or he's lost his equilibrium temporarily. <Possibly he's just sitting around somewhere that he feels secure after his whole world goes swirling around a bit.> Whenever I approach or try to get his attention, he starts swimming around normally, sometimes even flaring his gills (which he doesn't do all that often otherwise), so I'm not all that worried. <Sounds like an active, healthy fish on the whole, yes?> He seems to eat normally, but I also noticed that his body gets slightly bulbous, kind of like he's filled with air (it's not extreme or alarming at all, just something I noticed that might be worth mentioning - but it makes me think that might be why he's floating...like a balloon?). <Hmm....  If he's not really absolutely "floating" (as in, must struggle to swim downwards, and floats back up when not struggling) I would bet this may just be something to do with nutrition and feeding.> He's typically back to normal by the next morning, but what could this behavior possibly mean? Thanks in advance for your help! <Just as you, I wouldn't be too worried.  Likely just adjusting to his space after the water change.  Wishing you and your Betta well,  -Sabrina>
Bloating Betta? - II - 08/11/2005
Thanks, Sabrina. He's back to normal (as usual), but I checked the water and wanted to run the results by you (the water was changed 4 days ago): <Okay> pH = 7.4 <Good> Ammonia = 1.0 <Dangerously high!!  A water change is urgent.  Please consider a larger system that can be fully cycled for this fish.  I have kept systems as small as a gallon with substrate to colonize nitrifying bacteria....  Please read here for more:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm . > Nitrite = 0.25 <Also hazardous.> Nitrate = 0 <Bettas are great fish.  I think you'll enjoy this pet greatly.  Wishing you and your pal well,  -Sabrina>

Shredding tail--help please!!! Betta, western ethic 8/6/05 Hello.  I have had my Betta (Fisher)  for three weeks now in an  almost two gallon fish bowl.  He has rocks on the bottom and two plastic  plants.  I feed him Tetra BettaMin Tropical Medley and Tetra Freeze Dried  Treat Bloodworms. (Is the pellet food better????) <Mmm, better to use, mix, alternate both>   He is kept in tap  water (conditioned, of course). His water is changed every two weeks (which  I now realize should be more frequently????). <Likely so>   He even makes me  bubblenest.... The problem is that his tail seems to be shredding!!  And  the more I look at it, the smaller it seems to get!  The bottom fin seems  fine, but the tail and the top fin, not looking so good.  He is swimming  around and eating just fine.  I went to the store, and they told me to use  BettaFix.  I gave him a complete water change and added the BettaFix.   Will this work?  Is it fin rot? <The base cause here is environmental...> Does he need something else?   <Mmm, yes> I can't find Kanacyn in my local pet stores.  Is it the same as  Maracyn?   <No> When I bought him, they said that he would be fine in a two  gallon bowl with no filter, as long as I did frequent water changes, that he  would think he'd "died and gone to heaven". <Mmm, no... just died>   Please HELP before the poor  guy's tail completely shreds off!!!  Thank  you!!!! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Betta system 8/4/05 Bob/crew, <David> I had a Betta in a small tank together with a couple of Plecos. The Betta just died after a 2-week bout of dropsy.  The Plecos are fine. I'd been treating the tank with Kanamycin w/ regular water changes, since I don't currently have a QT tank. (Actually this ~was~ my QT tank before I rescued the Betta from my niece).  Should I do a full water change before I restock the tank?  I'd rather not if it's not necessary, since that would be potentially harmful to the Plecos. Thanks, -Dave <Not necessary with using this antibiotic. Bob Fenner>

Bloat problems 8/4/05 Hi, Lindsay again. Despite how long my second plea and email may be, I hope you can help me. I have one male Betta Fish (1 gallon tank, no filter) whom I believe has body bloat. I've done the recommended treatment of Epsom salt but two days later he still looks uncomfortably distended. <Needs a better environment> When Tybalt (my fish) attempts swimming (now, he only does it when he absolutely needs air) He sinks to the bottom and when he gets there he can't seem to keep his balance and falls to one side or the other. Under the impression that I would be curing his inner problems I tried treating him with Quick Cure, which neither hurt (I hope) or helped. After reading some of the FAQ's I took your advice and tried feeding him a thawed frozen pea which he reluctantly ate half of. Last thing, his tank is unusually cloudy when I just changed the water two days ago. If there is any advice you have It would truly be appreciated (if you can ASAP), thanks again. Lindsay <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm Bob Fenner>

Betta bloat 8/9/05 I really need some definitive answers on my Betta's bloat (and possibly other) problem(s). I have gotten him a larger filtered heated tank, I have tried feeding him thawed frozen peas, I have tried Epsom salt, I have tried Quick Cure, and I have tried feeding him food with slightly more fiber. Please help me out. His scales are doing a bit of the pinecone thing because his belly is very swollen and his eyes also look a little swollen. He is a little white under and by where his gill puff things are. I read in the FAQs of the site that it may be too late to help him if the pinecone symptom has started, which I hope is not true. I am trying Epsom salt again as a last resort and am going to try and get an antibacterial medicated food. <I would try adding Metronidazole/Flagyl, along with the Epsom...> This has been going on for a while now and is an urgent situation. I don't want any long-term damage for Tybalt, please help. Lindsay <Bob Fenner>

Angry Consumer - Betta Bloat - (II? III? IV?) - 08/09/2005 Ok, listen. <Am listening/reading.  Sabrina with you, today, in Bob's stead.> I have gotten zero help from you on my Betta's illness, Bob Fenner. <I notice we haven't charged you a dime, either.  I don't mean that to sound bad, really, but please take into consideration that ALL of us (Bob included) are 100% volunteers with no pay.  We are doing what we can, as we can, to help others, absolutely and completely free of charge, because we care about the lives that are in captive care.  And we know that our readers care about their fish.  Furthermore, I note that Bob has, in fact, pointed you in the directions you have needed to find your answers.  Please take time to help yourself so we will be better able to help you AND others.> Nice advice on getting him a better tank because that sure helped.  It may have given him more space but it had absolutely no effect on his behavior and bloat. <You've waited what, a day? since Bob's last response to you to determine this?  Please understand that there will be no instant quick-fix for your Betta's condition.  Healing, of any sort, takes *time*.  I feel obliged to point out to you that I wholeheartedly agree with Bob's assessment that the cause of Tybalt's illness may have been caused , at least in part, by environmental problems (water quality, tank size perhaps....).  Bettas are tough fish, to be sure, but they do have limits.> I have figured out by reading the FAQs myself <AHH!  GOOD!  Thank you for reading, and doing some research to try to find your answers.  Truly, this is all we ask.  There are so few of us answering so many questions....  many of which have been answered, repeatedly, in our FAQs, and which only a little reading would have helped in the first place.> that he has Dropsy because his eyes have recently swollen as well as his belly being bloated. Why couldn't you have told me that after my first email? I could have treated him sooner. <Again, as above, Bob directed you to our database of information, did he not?  And you found what you were looking for, yes?  Furthermore, please understand that "dropsy" is only a collection of symptoms....  could be bacterial infection (Mycobacteriosis, even), could be constipation, could be granulomas/tumors internally, could be internal parasites, could be purely a reaction from environmental problems....  took many possibilities to diagnose from a very brief description.> The reason this has been a long term problem is because you don't seem to understand or even consider my situation. You guys are supposed to be helpful and the only advice I got from you was to check out getting him a bigger tank and read about constipation. <Lindsay, the things Bob suggested were in fact adequate....  That you provide an adequate home for your fish and do the research necessary to find your answers....> You would think after more than a week of chronic "constipation" that there might be a different answer. <Not so.... fish can be constipated for a very long time.> I told you in my first email to you about his bloat that peas weren't working, which would have helped him pass any blockage that would be causing constipation. <Indeed....  but it can take time.  There is no quick fix for most any diseased condition of a fish.  Please have patience....  I know Tybalt is very important to you.  It sounds to me as if you have done all that I would do in the same circumstances.  If the disease is, in fact, internal bacterial infection, (Mycobacteriosis, for instance, which seems rampant among Bettas of late), medicating may be hit-or-miss in any case.  My female Betta has (I suspect) Mycobacteriosis, and I have elected *not* to medicate, for this very reason....  too risky in her situation.  So, you see, there is just so much we don't know about your specific fish, that it really is better for you to try researching to help yourself.> Now, you continue to be just as "helpful" and copy my email and send it back to me like you have answered my question. <Possibly a glitch in our system, if the reply included nothing other than that.  I must point out to you that Bob can be one of the most compassionate people I know - in fact, it is BECAUSE of him that this entire system of WetWebMedia exists.... his desire to help others.> I find this extremely frustrating and ridiculous. <Lindsay, is it really so ridiculous for us to be trying to help dozens and dozens of people, *every day*, for free, taking hours out of our lives to contribute to others' lives?  I am terribly sorry for your frustration.  I understand how defeating it can be to have a sick beloved fish.  But honestly, we have answered many very similar questions....  the information is out there, and you have already found it, as you have said.> I have been worrying my heart out about Tybalt because he is a joy to watch and talk to. When I see him in the condition that he is in, it breaks my heart. <I do understand, and my heart goes out to you in this time.> I hoped you could help me but it is obvious my problem is not important enough to actually spend a little more time on. That's all it would have taken to get help for Tybalt sooner. <Time is most often not even a factor in medicating an internal bacterial infection of a fish.  Success is extremely rare, and often medicating hurts more than helping.  Medicating a fish with Tybalt's symptoms is best left as an absolute last resort, in my opinion.  That is precisely why we suggest methods of treating constipation when dropsical symptoms arise....  You might try doing a Google search of our website for "Bernie" and "Betta" and "Sabrina", and see if you can find the saga of one fish with a very determined owner, who despite a (finally) accurate diagnosis, was unable to be saved....  Fish exhibiting dropsical symptoms, if not constipated, rarely can be cured.  It breaks my heart to tell you this.  It is obvious that you do love Tybalt.> Lindsay <Again, please do keep in mind that we DO try to help, and that much of the information you seek is already available to you....  Wishing only the best for you and Tybalt,  -Sabrina>

What's wrong with my Betta? 8/9/05 Hi, I have a Betta fish who recently developed Ich.  I saw tiny white spots on his fins and noticed that he had like a thick white line under his body below his bottom fin.  I treated with Quick Cure <Toxic... Formalin and Copper> and a salt tonic from the fish store.  When I came back from the weekend my fish looked worse.  He doesn't have the spots on his fins anymore; but still has the thick white line and now his fins look like they are coming apart at the ends.  He is laying at the bottom a lot today.  Any ideas? Thank you! Allison <Yes. You need to study... start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm then the linked files above, then re Bettas... Bob Fenner>

White scales under Gills? 8/1/05 I recently bought my Betta (Blake) from PetCo about two weeks ago.  I have noticed Blake changed colors under his gills from purple to white...it does not look like fungus....just the color has changed. <Good observation> He seems happy....eating is normal, swims around and has a huge bubble nest.  He lives in a goldfish tank and the house is usually at 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit.  I have changed the water twice so far (once a week) and his tank seems to be murky right away.....I have washed the rocks and the fake plant really well without soap.  I have also seen him eat......not spit anything out....(usually).  He might spit it out then eat it again.  I am confused.  Should I be worried about these white scales?  Thanks for your advice.    I really appreciate it.    Christine   <Often, when fishes are moved (and humans) the stress causes them to lose "packed cell volume" (hematocrit) and hence gill color... overall vitality... You may benefit from reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Betta Disease 7/29/05 I have searched wet web media and everywhere, I do not know what is wrong with Sci-Fi (our Siamese fighter). Patchy white areas around head, new disease I have not seen this before in 2 years of keeping fish (have had nearly everything so far!!). I can't tell if this is discolouration or some kind of rotting, definitely not fungus or ulcers I have dealt with those before. Looks like wax on the skin? I found something describing benign skin infection that will treat itself looks like wax but Sci-Fi is deffo sick, he is lying on bottom and not eating, looking like he going to die :( : I cannot tell what these patches are?? <Likely bacterial... but what is/are the root cause/s is the useful question> At first I though they were sunken so to speak like a kind of rotting but now not sure, seems to be affecting specific scales in groups. He was fine the other day. Just finished a protozoan treatment course last week for a rosy tetra who appeared to have what might have been slime infection, def not fungus. Before that one fish died of dropsy another of fin rot I treated both but both died anyway. Now Sci-Fi well his fin looking a bit ragged but dunno if that fin rot and accompanying fungus on his head. Doesn't look like fungus I am now well experienced at spotting that. Only way I can describe is like you know some black people lose colour in their skin in patches, it's like that but he's not going pale I had a tetra that went completely see-through his colour came back a week later, strange. My main concern is that he is acting well sick and I find no references anywhere to what it could be? Hoping you can help and thanking you in advance for helping. Sarah <Please read http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm re Betta Systems, Disease on WWM... I suspect the base of the problem here is environmental, nutritional, perhaps coupled with "age". Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta Disease 7/29/05
 Thanks for the reply. <Welcome> Sci-Fi was an adult when we got him so I don't know how old he is, we have had him 6 months. Does seem to be some kind of problem with the water with all that various illness, eh? But PH , nitrate, nitrite and ammonia all bang on (perfect). Temp good. If he dies because he is old fair do's, I just don't want it to be my fault. <I see, and agree... do live only a few years...> Have also 2 adult hatchets 2 golden loaches and a Bristlenose catfish that have never ever been ill in 2 years (have other fish too but these seem to be real stalwarts). Oh dear...well will keep looking. Thanks anyway! <Bob Fenner>

Betta's keep dying, frustrated!!! 7/27/05 Hi Bob and crew, <John> My partner was recently in our local pet store and bought one of those Betta bowls you guys don't recommend (discovered later).  The bowl was not filtered or heated and Frankie the Fish grew white stuff (like a fungus) all over him and died shortly after. <Try living in the refrigerator...> She then got a filter for her bowl, aquarium salt and bought another fish, which was named Frankie again, and the same thing happened, which really upset our four-year-old son, as it was his pet. <Was this system heated?> I started searching on the net after the second fish died, and came across many sites, but your one seemed the most helpful, so stayed up and read it all night.  I then went out and purchased a bigger tank 20 Litres, don't know what that is in gallons. <A liter/re is a little more than a quart, four quarts to a gallon> I also bought a heater and a new filter to clean the tank.   <Yay! Now you're getting close...> We set the new tank up, added aquarium salt and made sure the temperature stayed on 26 degrees Celsius, which is 80 degrees F.  After a week, we went out and purchased our 3rd Frankie, as well as a Ph kit for testing the water.  We tested the water first, and all seemed fine.  We then added Frankie, and after swimming around for a little while, he then would just stay at the bottom of the tank, only coming up for air.  He would lie on his side sometimes below the heater, or on the opposite corner to the heater.  Frankie refused to eat anything, and would sometimes swim around but mostly he would just lie on the bottom of the tank, only coming up for air.  Sadly to report, 3 days later, our third Frankie is dead, which is sad for the fish, and also for our son.  It is rather frustrating now, after reading up on everything for weeks and then doing everything right (as far as we understood), for the same thing to happen.   The third one did not grow any white stuff on it, so at least the temperature seemed to solve that.  Are there any suggestions you could give us at all? <Mmm, was this tank cycled? The principal cause of captive aquatic life loss is actually accumulation of their metabolic waste/s, or bottle-necking of chemical reactions therewith. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> We also added some Bettafix to the water, when it was lying on the bottom all the time.   <Not necessary> Any suggestion would be most welcome, as my partner does not want to get another one, but our son loved his little Frankie and would always come to the tank to see how Frankie was. Thanks for any help you can provide, John <Please leave the water as is... perhaps add a bit of "old" water from the store to it ahead of Frankie IV... You're close to understanding, providing the basics. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta's keep dying, frustrated!!! 7/29/05
Hi Bob, <John> I had already emptied the tank, but had not read up on the cycled part of your website.  I have read all of that now and bought all of the kits to test the water.  The guy at the pet store said I did not need the nitrite kit, <Wrong> but I bought it anyway.  I filled the tank again tonight, and added aquarium salt, added some Methylene blue as this has been recommended on different sites.  Got a new filter again, as Frankie III did not seem to like the old one, when I turned it off, he swam more.  I will try to get some of the stores water for the tank as well.  The tank is sitting on 26 degrees Celsius.  Hopefully everything goes well this time.  Thank you for your advise again and prompt reply, it is greatly appreciated.  Hopefully everything will go well this time. Thanks Bob, again. John <I wish you and Frankie well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta's keep dying, frustrated!!! 8/11/05
Hi again Bob, thanks for the advice so far, it is greatly appreciated. <Welcome> I bought Frankie the IV and the V at a different Pet store.  So far both are living well, which is a great turn around from what happened before.  So thank you very much for your advise. <Persistence pays! Congrats.> One lives in a 20 litre tank with 4 Cory's, 1 bronze, 2 panda's and an albino.  There is also 4 algae eaters in this tank.   <Do keep your eyes on these last... happens that Betta's are often "rode on" by CAEs> In the other tank at home, a 50 litre, it has with Frankie, two bronze Cory catfish, and two algae eaters, but my problem is, when I test with the ammonia test kit, it goes into the higher readings.  I got rid of all of the live weed that we had planted in the tank as the local person at the petstore suggested this might be the problem.  This morning I did a full water change to bring the ammonia level down, and it has for the moment.   I'm feeding the fish, live black worm, Betta pellet's, and also frozen blackworms and also brine shrimp, of course different food for different days. I bought a product to bring ammonia down, but it didn't seem to work. <Look for BioSpira... Ammonia toxicity is the number one killer of captive aquatic life... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwammfaqs.htm and the linked files above>   Sorry to disturb you again, but am I doing anything wrong?  I can't understand why the ammonia got so high!  When I did the complete water change today, I noticed a few live worms under the gravel.  Does this have anything to do with it? <Do peruse the linked files... you want to discover why this system is not cycled, cycling and solve it pronto... in the meanwhile, keep testing, feeding sparingly, doing small water changes...> Thanks for all of your help so far..... Frankie is going really well, and I just love this fish, seems to have a mind, so much better then goldfish. Thanks mate, John <Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta's stopped dying, not frustrated!!! 8/13/05
Hi Bob, <John> Ammonia levels are down to zero, thanks for the advice.  I went to the local aquarium shop and got a bag of their dirty filter water and added it to the tank.  Despite the water being dirty for a day or so, ammonia is down to zero now. So now everything looks like it is going well.  I did add a bag of their water originally as suggest in your link, before buying any fish.  So all is going well now and the fish seem healthy and happy. Thanks for all the help. John <Ah, congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner>

Betta disease 7/27/05 Hi, <Hello> I have a male Betta, which I have had one year. He has developed a very large tumor at the base of his dorsal fin? (top fin)   It now has a  white cap on top of the tumor-like growth.  He still eats, but his  difficulty is swimming now.  He hangs out at the top, resting on top of the  plan I have in the tank.   I change the tank weekly.  I would like to help this fish.  I  asked at the fish store and a response of "there is nothing you can do with  tumors".  I need an expert opinion.  I don't give up on any living  creature. thank you, Donna PS.  I tried to find photos of Betta disease,  but could not find  any photo web sites; in hopes which I could then identify the disease,  with remedies for a cure.  Is there such a web  site? <I am not aware of such a site... but we do post as many images as folks send us. Have you read through the WWM Betta Disease Article and FAQs files? Please start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm and the links above. I would add Epsom salt to the water, liquid vitamins... and hope. Bob Fenner>

Betta Q's - 7-26-05 Hi, <Hi!> I have been reading through your wonderful site for quite a bit now, and I have not found an answer to my dilemma although I have learned lots of things. This is my situation; I have had a red male Betta for 7 months in a 2 gallon tank. He looks healthy, is bright red, is a bit on the lazy side although he can be quite active at time, eats his food with no problems, etc. I change 50% of his water every 2-3 weeks, his water is kept warm, it's got a filter thingy and I treat it to get rid of the chlorine when I make water changes. <All good> The problem is that I think she has that cloudy eye disease and I am treating it with an antibiotic I got from the pet store. My question is: after the 5 days of treatment, how do I change her water? Do I put her in a separate container while I clean up her regular tank and circulate the new water before reintroducing her there? Or should I just get rid of 50% of the water he was treated for the disease in and add 50% new water? So basically I just want to know what happens after the treatment. Thanks much! <I would scoop out the Betta with a cup, perform a 100% water change, pour off as much water from the cup as possible, then re-introduce her.  I wish her a speedy recovery from her illness!> Sirma <M. Maddox>

Sick Betta with Swimming Problems 7/26/05 Dear crew, My Betta Wheaties has been acting very weird the last few days and I'm very worried about him! He has been trying to eat but just doesn't seem to be able to get his usual food in his mouth, no matter the size. I've tried Betta pellets, bloodworms, and tropical fish flakes, and after a day or two of eating problems he gave up on trying to eat. The water is fine and I make regular water changes. He is in a 10 gallon tank with 4 Neons, and two pink Danios which are very aggressive that I'm planning to move soon (they don't seem to pay much attention to Wheaties, though). His gills seem to be stuck out/ enflamed now( it isn't him being mad because I've seen him mad before) and he's becoming very thin and he keeps sticking his whole head above the water and swimming fast to the other side of the tank. Is he having trouble breathing? < Sounds like an internal bacterial infection. treat with Metronidazole.> He is hiding behind the filter and he's been recently looking like he cant keep himself right side up! He keeps slowly turning upside down and I have to keep poking him to make sure he is alive!! He can only stay horizontal/upright when he is swimming, but other than that, he either turns upside-down or in  a nosedive. He is about 5 months old and well developed in his tank. About a week ago, I saw an anonymous plant mysteriously growing in the tank (have absolutely NO idea how it got there!! I found the shell of the seed it came from). Could it be the plant? < No > It had about a four inch stem and had two leaves on it. It was looking healthy. I removed it and put it in a bowl of water just in case I might want it later. Wheaties became sick the day after that. His coloring is fine. I'm not sure how long he can last. I'm really worried about him!!! Please help!! (Sorry if I made any errors, I'm kind of in a rush and worried.) Thanks soo much! Ariel < It sure sound like an internal bacterial infection has begun. As the infection progresses it extends the internal organs and effects the fishes equilibrium. The Metronidazole may work if it is used in time. Early treatment is essential for a complete recovery.-Chuck >

My Betta's gills 7/24/05 Hello there..... may I first say what a fab site this is.... I have got so much information from here!!! <Welcome> I have a male Betta in a 5 gallon tank with a small baby Plec, <Need a few tens of gallons...>  2 neon tetras and a Danio. Tonight I  noticed that my Betta's gill had some sort of plate (for want of a better word!) coming down out of it. It moves up and down.  When I first went out to the kitchen he really flared his gills up ..... it was like a cobra sort of effect. He did this a few times. I have now been watching him and his gills don't look right. I really don't have a clue about the anatomical design of Betta gills ...please help!!!!!! Many thanks in adv Samantha <Mmm, not much to go on here... your Betta's behavior sounds fine... I would not be concerned here. Bob Fenner>

Betta fin FELL OFF :( 7/23/05 Hi, I just stumbled on this website and wanted to write in because my Betta's dorsal fin just fell off! <!>   Completely off!  I feel so bad for him'¦I fed him this morning and when I came back this afternoon, his dorsal fin was at the bottom of the bowl!  I don't have any kind of decoration or marble or anything in his bowl, so there's nothing sharp he could have done this with'¦I'm lost!  The edges of his other fins look fine, so I don't think it's fin rot'¦ What causes this?  And is he going to be ok?  Any help would be appreciated. Thanks :-) ~Sophie <... I have never heard of such an occurrence... I would add some aquarium salt and hope for the best here. Bizarre. Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta health 7/20/05 Hello, I'm sorry to bother you again, I have another question.  My poor Shaolin is not getting better.  I bought the medicine for the water, medicated food, ph tablets, testers, a live tree, but he is still not better, and his fin is so bad.  Someone told me they used 1 teaspoon of sea salt in their 1 gallon tank to help their fish, I just wanted to know if you thought that this would help?  Would it kill him?   Thank you, Jennifer <A very good idea... Have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

Please forgive the question re: water changes for Bettas 7/19/05 Dear crew, <Terri> I recently sent you a question with reference to water changes for my 7.5 gallon tank.  Buried within that note was other information surrounding the care and tank conditions pertaining to my Betta, Achilles.  Having learned to navigate around your site even more thoroughly since that question was posed, I realize I may have been guilty of asking some boring, repetitive questions to which your experts have most likely responded in one form or another for other readers.  I also came across a terrific article written by Bob Fenner on Betta care which I hadn't stumbled upon earlier;  it, in fact, clarified a number of points for me in this regard. <Ah, good> The bottom line here is that I do apologize for my ignorance; it was unintentional.  I realize all of you are quite busy and exceptionally dedicated to answer the volume of questions you do.  My questions were not meant to torture you, <Heeeee! Am envisioning Crew tied up, being pilloried with queries...> nor were they posed before I had looked around the web site (yours and others) quite a bit.  Perhaps my more recent discovery of the article which helped me the most essentially encapsulated everything in a fashion I could more easily digest.  The amount of information I have sifted through saturated me a bit and I guess all I needed was something to tie it all together.   To close, the two questions I had trouble finding answers to were (are): How long might it take to see some noticeable tail regrowth on Achilles following his tail rot episode? <Perhaps a week... maybe months or even never> Do I need to do anything to facilitate this process? <Mmm, you could... optimized, stable water quality... steady tropical temperature, low organic concentration, the use of vitamin supplements...> Reading about Melafix has made me a bit nervous as it seems some Bettas have a rather negative reaction to the compound <Yes... often, very often worse than nothing> and I don't want to intervene further if Achilles is stable and nature will ultimately take its own course (in a positive way re: tail regrowth). Thank you all once again;  please again accept my apology for my own website navigational growing pains. Terri <I have thought... over and over... at depth at times, about how I might devise the best system to impart, inspire folks... w/o "saturating" them... given (of course) the limits, extents of the Net, printed English and graphics... the ability and interest level, range of our intended audience... How would you do this differently? Bob Fenner>

Mirror, Mirror on the wall... (Betta Stress) 7/18/05 Hey gang. <Hey, Mike G with you today.> I'm looking for some advice to make life easier on my Betta. I've had Alpha for nearly a month, after rescuing him from a relative, and a dismal future in a tiny, unheated bowl. Alpha's new home is a cycled, heated (25-27c) 10 gallon tank, with lots of live plants. <Sounds like a very suitable environment for your Betta.> He's eating well and appears to be in good health, but the problem is this...he sees his reflection in the glass, and spends a great deal of time "chasing" himself back and forth across the tank. So far he's showing no ill effects, but I have to think that feeling threatened and stressed all the time will eventually take it's toll. <I wouldn't worry myself too much. If he eats and looks healthy, I'd have no concerns. Just wait until algae covers the glass. :-) > Aside from covering the outside of the tank with something, what can I do to help him? Would some "dither" fish be of any use in this situation? <Doubtful. The Betta is just trying to defend his territory from the "other" Betta. Again, if he eats well and looks well, I wouldn't worry. Best of luck, Mike G>> JM

White spot on eyes? 7/14/05 Hi Bob and crew, <Hi there> One of my Bettas developed a fungal infection of some sort a few days ago-- small white fuzzy patch right where one of his pectoral fins emerges from his body.  I think this may have happened because I accidentally caused a pH swing during a water change right before I noticed the fungus.  I've been treating with Maroxy, which has worked well in the past on this fish for this fungus (he had a nasty case when I rescued him from my niece).   I also noticed that he has a small white spot on each eye.  The spots are small, well-defined edges, more or less round, and centered in the middle of the eyeball, one spot on each eye. He's always had some slight coloration in the center of his eyes, but the spots seem a lot more definitively white now, whereas they were more translucent before. <Good description... these "marks" are very persistent... but will go away (sometimes months) in time with good water quality, adequate nutrition... Bob Fenner> I don't see any other evidence of illness, no pop-eye or anything.  Any idea what the white spots on the eyes signify? Thanks, -Dave
Re: White spot on eyes? 7/14/05
I see.  I think I have been underfeeding him, I was noticing that he's looking a bit skinny.  I do maintain proper water quality but I may be overfertilizing-- following the directions on the bottle but growth is sluggish due to poor lighting in this mini-tank.  Good to know this isn't an infection of any sort.   Is there a name for this condition?  I'd like to read up. Thanks again. -Dave <Mmm, likely "eye fungus" (or persistent eye fungus...) in Bettas. This is actually almost always a thickening of the cornea... resultant from a bacterial, environmental insult. Bob Fenner>

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