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FAQs on Betta Diseases 8

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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

Betta male or female, lying on bottom but still eating plenty    6/14/06 Hello, The label on the container said "male beta".   I want to know if what I really got was a female.  I haven't seen it flaring at all and its fins are thin and sparse.  How do I tell which sex it is? <With growth, time going by it will be obvious. Male Bettas are considerably larger, with more flowing finnage, more "outgoing" behavior than females> And now,  it seems to be lightening up to almost "color-void" all over (except the fins).  I've had it for about a month and its appetite is really good.  As a matter of fact, it always seems thrilled with feeding time.  The problem is, for the last week it has been staying on the bottom of the bowl, only moving around when I move the bowl.  It rockets around the bowl like I scared it half to death then it darts right back down to the bottom again.  Sometimes it even looks like it is trying to hide under the gravel.   <Don't live in bowls very long or well in general...> Where we live, our tap water is VERY chlorinated.  (I've even had a hairdresser ask me if I just got out of a swimming pool when I went to get my freshly home shampooed hair trimmed.) <Good point>   I've been using spring water out of a jug to replace the bowl water.  Is that acceptable? <Possibly. "Spring" water is not a given quality> I've been to afraid to use our tap water even if I leave it out, because of the amount of chlorine in it.  What's wrong with my fish?   <Better to leave this source water out for a week or more before using...> Her name is Angel.  (If it's a boy I guess its name is Angelo) Thanks so much, Stacey <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Something about a Betta  11/24/05 Hi, I have a Siamese fighting fish in a one gallon tank. The problem  is he has these white spots on him but he's not acting weird. He's had them for about three weeks. Thanks. <Mmm, might be Ich... and do you have a heater, filter? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above... You need to act quickly here... Bob Fenner>

My Betta Fish is Sick  11/24/05 Hello, <Howdy> I am hoping someone can help me.  My Betta fish (we named him Blu) is sick.  Blu has obvious fin rot and possible mouth rot.  What I am confused about is why all of the sudden he has stopped eating, turned grey in color (normally blue & red), and is laying at the bottom of his 2 gal aerated tank and not moving much. <Mmm, could be a few things...> He is about 2 years old, which I know is old, but this all started so suddenly. <Sometimes... this is what happens... quickly> On Sunday, Nov. 13th I did a partial water change.  By that Thursday he started showing signs of distress.  Friday he wouldn't come to the surface much and when I went to feed him (he did eat) it smelled so awful I had to change his water again.  Friday was the last time he ate.  Saturday I went to the pet store and they recommended using "Jungle Fungus Eliminator".  There was little improvement other than breathing and color.  Today he is still laying on the bottom and not swimming or eating at all.  I switched him today to "BettaFix Remedy" and don't know how long till I will see any results.  I checked the ammonia levels and it was at 0. <Good> I also noticed today that he now seems to have inflamed gills, but I'm not sure of that.  He seems to be holding on for now, but I'm afraid if he doesn't eat soon he will die.  I normally feed him a mix of pellets and bloodworms, but switched to "BettaMin Tropical Fish Medley" on Saturday thinking he needed new food.  I normally kept him at room temp which is what I thought I should do, but now have learned to keep the tank at around 80 degrees and have done so since Friday. <Good. This should have a positive effect... in time> What is my next step in treating him? <Perhaps a level teaspoon of aquarium salt added to the system, but I would not add any more of these other medications> He is normally a very fun fish...he likes to try to bite fingers and watch me cook (he is kept in the kitchen so he gets a lot of human contact).  If there is anything else I can do, please let me know.  Thank you for your time!!! Sincerely, Concerned Betta Owner Sarah <I am hopeful that with the temperature raised, your Betta will recover, resume feeding soon. Bob Fenner>

Betta fish w/pop-eye  11/22/05 Hi Bob: <Carina... one of my fave Siegel/Schwall tunes btw> Just went thru lots of info on your website, could not find answer I needed.  I'll appreciate a reply. <Okay> We have a Betta fish in a 0.5 gall. bowl. Has not eaten well and not his usual self for a couple of weeks but there were no other physical/ behavioral signs to diagnose a specific disease & get treatment. (We cleaned water regularly and have another healthy Betta fish in a separate bowl.)  Came back from a trip yesterday and I noticed pop-eye, <Both little doubt related to the change in seasons... cooling> today it's worse with a white secretion. I cleaned his water & rocks again, store gave me "Splendid Betta BettaFix remedy," natural anti-bacterial based on Melaleuca (tea Tree) rather than stronger antibiotic, since my fish is in a small bowl w/o filter, etc. Would you agree? <Nope> I also read about your Epsom salt suggestion. Would this be instead of an anti-biotic or additional treatment? <Instead, though is miscible> I know you address questions from people with more sophisticated tanks and fish, but we love our pet and want to help him get back his health. Thanks! Carina <This fish needs warmth, filtration... stability. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm.  Bob Fenner> 
Re: Betta fish w/pop-eye  11/23/05
Bob, thanks so much for your reply! <Welcome> Actually I started him on the Melaleuca product that evening b/c I was unsure how long it would take you to reply and I felt so bad for him, and he seems to be doing better already, secretion diminished and eye is less swollen. Maybe it was just the better environment that did the trick?  <Likely so... am not a fan of "tea med.s"... don't do much harm... or good> <<It feels awfully tingly on the scalp.  Marina>> Still not eating (third day, maybe he can't see well yet or he's just sick?). <Time will tell> I just spent over an hour going through the info. you suggested, you guys must have PhDs in fish care! I'll get a heater, larger bowl, maybe a plant, also start using aquarium salt as suggested in one of the pages. One thing I'm still not sure about is: Now I remove and add 50% of the water every 5-6 days, and then 100% and good scrub in the bowl and gravel every 10 days. I remove uneaten pellets with a net daily. Is this OK, or do I need to replace 100% of the water each time? <Better to not re-do all/ever... but to save a good part (half or so) of old water... for biological, filtration reasons> Or never 100% to keep "good" bacteria in the water? Would plants make a difference re: frequency of cleaning? <Yes> Thanks in advance, Carina <Bob Fenner> 

Betta problem  11/18/05 Hello. Please hear me out before deleting this message. I know you probably get questions concerning Bettas all the time, but this one is unique. I have a female Betta that has had some diseases in the past that I have been able to cure. Her head now seems to be getting rounder than usual. It protrudes over her mouth. I don't know what the problem is. If you could respond with some kind of diagnosis or even a theory, it would be much appreciated. With much gratitude, Marisa <Some type of tumor, internal infection... I would use Epsom Salt here. Covered on WWM... Bob Fenner>  

Distended Belly in Siamese Fighting Fish  11/18/05 Dear Bob: <Robin> One of our one year old fish's belly is getting bigger and bigger. This started to happen just after I cleaned the tank. It looks as though he will burst - is there any hope for this little guy? Robin Hamill Bermuda <Yes! Try adding a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt per five gallons of system water... and read on WWM re Betta Health, Systems: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm.  Bob Fenner> 

Betta Problems  11/18/05 Hi - I have a (rather large) female Betta fish. She isn't very old, but lately she seems listless. In fact, she hardly swims around anymore. She either lays at the bottom of her aquarium or props herself on one of her plants. There is also a small white spot on the top of her dorsal fin that has never been there before. The aquarium she is housed in has a divider in it and on the other side there is an additional female Betta. I'm wondering if you could give me some advice as to what to do with this (possibly sick???) Betta fish. I don't want her illness, if there is one, to pass on to her aquarium buddy. Thanks for any advice you can give. (I'd appreciate a quick reply...time may be short for my fish.) <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm scroll down to the area re Bettas... read re Systems, Feeding, Health/Disease. Bob Fenner> 


Some sort of parasite?  No, Betta Beauty  11/17/05 Hi Guys, <Monte> Was hoping someone could shed some light on a peculiar "attachment" on the dorsal fin of my Betta. <Good pic...> The attachment is about 1mm in diameter, egg-like, well-defined with a cloudy interior, with no stringiness and no other spots on the body. Appetite, character and activity all seem normal. BMW, (that's his name) is in a 15 litre tank and has another Betta, "Gorgeous Blue" in a tank beside him. <Appears healthy otherwise. I do think this is likely some part of the Betta's skin... sans chromatophores, scales... you could remove it physically (carefully netting, tweezers)... but not likely a problem> I have looked around a few sites and can't seem to find any mention of egg like attachments.  Is it harmful? <Not likely> Can I just pick it off? <Yes> What is it? <Part of the Betta> Yours Sincerely, Monte Walker. <Bob Fenner>  

Popeye in an Older Betta - 11/14/2005 Good Evening... I have been reading your chat forum.. Kudos on the GREAT JOB you do answering all who have questions! <Thank you kindly for the kudos!> I too have the "Betta" obsession.... 8 at my worksite, and 7 at home.  <Wow.> Two days ago, however, my oldest, has developed a red spot at the right front lower jaw, and yesterday I noted he is developing "Popeye" (left side). "Rupert" has been with me for 22 months now, and has not grown much since I've had him (leading me to believe he was fairly close to adult at purchase).  <Entirely possible. They don't exactly make 'em like they used to; a couple of years is about "right", unfortunately.> All "the boys" have their tanks cleaned weekly -- their water is "well water" (brought from home). I have added one of the "Melaleuca" compounds to the tank, <I generally avoid against such things.... really not of much use.> along with some "slime coat", but don't seem to see any change in his afflictions.  <I actually might not use this either; some of these sorts of products actually "work" by causing the fish irritation.> Am I expecting to see change too early? Is "Rupert" perhaps too old to help?  <Mm, not necessarily.... I would generally try to see to it that this fish has optimal water conditions, appropriate temperature....> Since you haven't found the Melaleuca compounds to be of much use, should I change his tank again and try Epsom Salt ?  <Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) may in fact help reduce the swelling of the "Popeye"/exophthalmia.> I've not tried any of the "medicated" treatments offered at PetSmart or PetCo (locals here) as I did not see any mention of Popeye or red spot on the "usage" labels.... <If anything at all, you could consider a broad-spectrum antibiotic, but I'm not sure I would in this case; at least, perhaps not just yet.> If I should be treating with OTC medications, should I use Epsom Salt as well?  <I would start with this only, and see where that gets you.> Thank you in advance for your assistance in helping my little buddy.... Best Regards from the "PhishPharm"..... ....Swim On!!!... <Glad to (hopefully) be of some service.... Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Ambiguous Betta - 11/14/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I've had my Betta for about 4 months now, and up until recently he was in perfect health. About two days ago a grayish white spot about the size of a pencil eraser showed up on the left side between his eye and the gill opening. I think it might be Ich, but I'm not sure because of the size. If it's possible, I was wondering if you could give me some advice about a treatment for my fish. Thanks! <Mm, tough to say, as there's really not enough here to go off.... I would first advise you to test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and be sure to maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.... Beyond that, I'll advise that you take a look at our Betta disease files and try to understand what ails your fish. Please read here, and the files linked in blue at the top: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm .> -Kristi <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Betta Treatment  11/12/2005 Hello Mr. Roberts,  <<Uh oh.. who's Mr. Roberts?  Do I have his email address?  He needs his own folder, too!>> I have two questions; I am treating a sick Betta in a two gallon glass container with Maracyn II . How do I get The proper dosage? <A "pill splitter" is best here to get about the right sized piece of the tablets> Each packet treats a ten gallon tank. Also, should I add aquarium salt or not. <Yes, I would> I use StressCoat to dechlorinate the water. I wrote you about three weeks ago about this same fish and saw improvement, then we had a set back with Ich and the beginning of dropsy. I am also treating with CopperSafe. He is eating, but, will only eat blood worms at the moment. He spits the Betta bites out. I also wanted to thank you so much for having this web site. I don't know what I would've done without you. Thank You from the bottom of my heart! Brandy <Welcome my young friend. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Sick Betta - Betta Treatment Cont'd - 11/23/05
Hello again, I wrote to you about this same Betta two times before. I bought him sick because I couldn't just leave him to die. He had fin rot, his dorsal fin is almost non existent, his gills look as though they have been eaten away. I treated him twice with Maracyn II and once along with copper safe. <Proper nouns, capitalized> He has been in clean water about three days and now his left gill is very swollen.  I shined the light to see if it is velvet and I see a shiny gold spot, I don't see anything that looks like gold dust. A gold spot that is shiny, but, not dust. His left gill is gaping pretty badly and when he takes a breath he looks like a bobber when it gets a bite on a fishing pole. He has had the beginning of dropsy and he had Ich. He beat that and now this .I keep his water very clean. Treat it with stress coat and Dr Wellfish sea salt.  <Proper nouns...> He has a very good appetite now and swims around a little. I don't want to over medicate him! <...!> What should I do? He had fin rot also, but, they are showing some improvement. He is in a two gallon tank; heated 78 and filtered. HELP!!! Brandy <I would leave this fish with just the Salt treatment and treat new water with the StressCoat period. Bob Fenner> 

Listless Betta  11/9/05 Hey Crew. Once again I have climbed to the top of the mountain to seek your sage advice. <Maybe sage spice...> <<Is an herb.>> I have a male Betta whose health has deteriorated rapidly in the last couple of days. He's been very still, either hanging near the bottom of his tank, or near the surface. Yesterday he refused to eat, (frozen bloodworms, his favourite) and today he is breathing very heavily.  <Time for a series of water changes...> His only other symptoms are a slight lightening in colour of his throat area, and some swelling (not severe) of the belly, just behind his head. I've had this fish for less than six months, so I'm fairly sure it's not old age setting in. Here's the data on my system and maintenance regimen: 10 gallon divided tank. His tankmate, another male Betta, is showing no symptoms. <Not good for this species males to have continuous visual exposure to each other> There is a minor infestation of pond snails in this tank. Perhaps as many as 20 of them, all very small (smaller than a pea). Heated to 26c, filtered with a HOB filter rated for a 10 gallon tank. I performed my regular weekly water change of about 20% yesterday (he was already showing these symptoms at that time). Readings before the change were Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrates approx. 15 ppm. pH is 7.1.  I feed a varied diet; this fish's staple food is Hikari Betta Bio-Gold, but I also offer frozen bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp, dried brine, dried daphnia, peas, and spinach. Each of these items are given approx. once a week. I've added aquarium salt to the tank at 1 tbsp per five gallons, but I'm reluctant to medicate until I see symptoms of a specific disease. <Your maintenance and mentality are perfect> I think I've covered all my bases, is there anything I've missed? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. JM <I would try the general cathartic of adding (to the other salt is fine), a teaspoon of Epsom Salt... and even raising the temperature another degree C. or so temporarily. Hopefully your one male Betta will snap out of its funk. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 
Re: listless Betta II...Bob <Hey, I'm not listless...>  11/10/05
Thanks for your response, Bob. Before receiving your reply, I went ahead and added 1 tbsp of Epsom salt to the tank. It seems to have helped; my Betta is now more active, and is once again responsive when I approach the tank. <Good> However it seems things may be worsening. The swelling in his abdomen has worsened significantly, and there is now something resembling pus coming out of his right side. <Yikes...> I have not seen anything actually excreted into the water, but it's as though whatever is under his skin has burst, like a pimple. In light of this new information, is there any additional treatment you can recommend? <No, nothing really> ps: It's not really relevant to this fish's condition, but in addition to the divider, there are large fake plants separating these two fish visually. They do "spar" occasionally, but generally don't pay each other much mind. We are aware that being able to see each other constantly is not good for these fishes, and have done our best to prevent it.  <Very good> JM <I am hoping for some sort of spontaneous recovery for your Betta, though such expressed tumors are very bad indeed. Bob Fenner> 

Betta With Deformed Fin - 11/05/2005 Hello, <Hi.> My name is Daria, <I won't make any jokes - Sabrina with you, today, no longer teenaged, and not a witch.> and earlier today, I rescued Harvey the Betta from the foundation dept office of my college. I actually went in to try to help them take care of it because I saw him 2 days before with food flakes floating around his bowl and one his pelvic fins seemed deformed or infected. When I tried to explain that there is a tad more work to keeping a Betta than sitting it on a table and dropping some flakes in everyday, they handed the fish over to me.  <Ah, good!> Upon bringing Harvey home, I cleaned out his tank and replaced with fresh water, <Hopefully didn't clean "too" thoroughly, so as not to destroy the nitrifying bacteria present....> more gravel and a plastic plant, until I can go out and buy a real one for him (if that is a good idea at the moment).  <Likely so. Can see WWM for some ideas. I'd stick with very low-light plants.> At the office, he was only floating in the middle of the tank, but now he seems to be happily floating around.  <Good.> I also placed a mirror outside of his bowl (I read somewhere that it would stimulate him and thus help him heal better).  <Should only use this temporarily.... maybe a few minutes a day, when you think about it. It can be stressful for them to always see an "invader" in their territory that they can't get to or drive away.> He also seemed to enjoy the brine shrimp and bloodworms I fed him tonight.  <Sounds tasty!> My concern is his fin. The normal fin has a white patch at the end, which I am assuming is regular coloration because my other two Bettas share this characteristic. The other fin, however, is a tad longer and considerably wider and lacking in the white patch. The fin is slightly curled at the end and has two small bubbles. There are no signs of white spots or cottony material nor does it appear to be fin rot. The fin just hangs limp at its side while the other one moves. I have been tediously searching online sites for a similar problem all day and have yet to find a solution.  <This may be genetic or developmental. Or perhaps from an old wound or disease. For now, I would just observe.> Tomorrow, I plan to go out and get some aquarium salt and maybe BettaMax or fungus eliminator, but I am wary about using the latter two because I have yet to figure out what exactly the problem is. <Very, very good to have such caution. For now, I would just observe.> Thanks so much for your help, I hope I haven't missed the answer for my question somewhere on your site.  <No problem.> Thanks, Daria <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Beta problem 10/30/05 Good Evening, My Poor Beta <Unless he's a test fish, it's Betta> Alegris has a large bump on his side, and I cannot for the life of me figure it out. It isn't a fungus because I've treated him for it, I've also given him a general "Beta Cure." <They mis-spelled it too?> The bump is about the size of a tangerine seed and is a grayish shiny color. <Good description> I've had him about six months purchased from PetSmart and treat his tank with tablets, clean it every two weeks, etc. The only change I made recently was buying a small, aquarium tested bridge for him to hide under, because I do have three cats who will occasionally come to watch him, though it is rare. He recently got stuck under a plastic plant when the floor shook because of a box getting dropped, and I had to remove the plant to get him out, so I'm wondering if maybe he cut himself? <Possibly> His behavior hasn't changed at all and he still eats healthily, almost too healthily. He's a small fish and I've already had problems with bloat, even after skipping a meal once a week. <A good clue as well> Please let me know what I'm doing wrong so I can help him, I really do adore Alegris. Thank you very much. Em <Likely the tumor/spot is related to general stress, unsuitability of the environment... secondarily to poor nutrition. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above... on Disease, Nutrition. Bob Fenner>
Re: Beta problem
Sorry, I work as a "Beta" tester for writers and I'm so used to spelling it that way that Betta never quite comes out right. <Heeeeee! Great> Thank you for your help. Em <Welcome. B>

Betta, Fuzzy Fin, Chilly Tank - 10/28/2005 My Betta was doing great up until this afternoon when I noticed he was just leaning against one of his plants. When I got up and looked closer he swam to see me I could see a small patch of clear like fuzz next to his dorsal fin. Two hours have passed now and it seams that this fuzz is spreading quickly. I have put some fungus medicine in his tank (Victoria Green B and Neutroflavine) <It's more likely that this is bacterial in nature.> We live in Florida and have experience a few cold days. Could this be a result of a temp change in his aquarium? <This could very well have stressed him and make him susceptible to disease.> He has 1 ½ gal tank with filtered water, but I don't have a heater for him. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm .> Please let me know what you think, I'm afraid he's going down hill fast. <I am concerned that this might be a bacterial illness, in which case I would treat with a broad-spectrum antibiotic, or antibiotic food. Please consider heating this fish's world.> Pat <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Burned Betta? - 10/27/2005 I am curious. My Betta "Angelo" looks like his top fin has been burned "like in a fire" He even appears to look burned on his scales also. What could cause this and how can I help him? <A couple of possibilities here; first and foremost is poor water quality. Please test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Ammonia and nitrite must be ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm. If this is not so, do water changes with dechlorinated water to fix these levels. Another possibility is bacterial fin rot, which may have been brought on by poor water quality. Excellent water quality alone my cure this, or it may need antibiotics. Start with exploring your water quality first.> Stephanie P.Mills-Sykes <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 

Sick Wal-Mart Betta 10/25/05 Hi, I bought a sick Betta from Wal mart because I couldn't leave him to die. He was very very pale. He floats on his side, his gills were very swollen and his right fin is completely rotted off. I treated him for five days with Maracyn two and his color is finally improving, but, he still floats on his side and hasn't eaten. I also added some Dr. Wellfish sea salt to his  water. His bowl is two gallon and is heated and filtered. I changed his water to give him a med. break and would like to do a second treatment. Please advise. Thank You. Brandy <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Betta Troubles? 10/25/05 Greetings, <Salutations> I don't know if writing this letter is the right thing to do or not but I feel as I have ran out of resources and that perhaps you all at WWM might have the information I need, so here goes.  I've had my little Betta guy for about a year now. He's always been in good health, spunky and happy.  He lives in a 10 gallon tank with 5 little neon tetras.  He has always eaten Hikari Betta Bio-Gold along with some bloodworms for a treat every few days. Today I noticed that the poor little guy is HUGE. His belly is swollen to at least double its normal size, if not more. I was running low on the Hikari and the past two feedings, prior to today, he was just getting the flakes that I usually give to the neon tetras. I would like to think that it is just a case of constipation due to the food change but he also has a piece of 'skin' hanging off near his eye? Like perhaps he hurt himself in some way or rubbed up against something and hurt himself? But there is nothing new in the tank that has not always been there and I don't see anything in the tank that could cause that kind of damage. <Mmm, could be the steady food as you mention... effect/s of "old-age"...> I read elsewhere on your site that tetras like to 'beat up' Bettas, even if we don't see it and kill them? <Mmm, generally not w/o observation, and typically not Neons> But I'm wondering if this is a different kind of tetra because the ones I have in this tank are just tiny little fellas that hang out in their little group of five and all five of them together do not equal the size of the Betta. So I find it impossible to think that they are suddenly beating him up? <Me too> He's been going to the top of the tank for air a lot more than usual and he also seems a little 'dense', meaning running into things, etc.  He also seems weak, as usually he loves to play in the bubbles that the air stone makes, but tonight I noticed he could barely keep from being swooshed away by the bubbles.  Last night I did almost 1/2 tank water change. Normally I do about 1/3 of a water change per week with tap water that has sat at least one week. <Good> His temperature it always right at about 80 degrees.  Last night and today I added some Rid-Ich, <Be careful... toxic> but it has done nothing to help, perhaps because I do not have the filtration on the tank off? <No> What does it sound like to you is wrong with my little Betta? Or do you perhaps have any advice of what I can try? Should I remove him from the 10 gallon tank and put him in a little bowl? I don't know. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Pamela J. <I do have a suggestion... that is, what I would do... Administer a level tablespoon of Epsom Salt, turn the filter on and leave it on... and try feeding live, frozen/defrosted or freeze-dried brine shrimp (for its laxative effect). Reading the Betta Disease FAQs files archived on WWM might bring you solace. Bob Fenner> 

New Betta, Feeding; Old Betta, Fungus - 10/21/2005 Hello, <Hi.> My friend just got a new blue male Betta yesterday, and he's living in a beautiful 1 gallon bowl with a live plant. The problem is that he doesn't want to eat. She's tried blood worms, Betta premium foods, and pellets, and he doesn't eat anything. He's kind of small, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. What can she do? <Just give him some time to chill out - it may be a couple of days before he accepts food. If in a few days he still won't eat, try offering him frozen or live foods - bloodworms or brine shrimp, or mosquito larvae - NOT Tubifex worms.> On another note, my red Betta is doing fine after his little drunken accident, <Little drunken accident.... Uhh, did you write to us before about this? I have some vague memory.... Attaching previous correspondence when you email us works wonders.... we go through some dozens of questions *a day* sometimes.> but he still has the fungus by his gills. The fungus is white and doesn't have any texture to it. I think it had to do with the fact that when I first got him I didn't change the water for about two weeks, but rest assure I change his water every week now and I got him a 2.5 gallon tank. So what can I do about the fungus? <Description is too vague.... also with so very little information about your system, I am uncomfortable giving any recommendation to medicate as the problem may be entirely environmental.... Please be testing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> How much salt should I add to this new tank? <None if you like - or no more than one tablespoon per five to ten gallons.> Thanks, -Worried owners <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Listless Betta - II - 10/21/2005 Thank you for your response; unfortunately, within a few hours of my email, Teggun was completely covered with white fuzz and expired on the bottom of the tank. Our entire office will miss him, but we do plan to find a successor. All the best. <My sincere condolences for your loss.... I do hope you will find a beautiful new pal. Take a look here, to perhaps help you out with bringing your new pal home: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm . Wishing you the best, -Sabrina>

Sick Betta, not tickled Elmo... 10/16/05 Hi My Betta, Elmo has a white spot on his side for about 2 and a half weeks now, when it first showed up I used the Bettafix remedy for 7 days, but it did not seem to do much, if anything. I've had him for 7 months now and he's been perfectly healthy up to now, I do water changes every week, and alternate feeding him blood worms and flakes, I have no heater for him, just the light on top of the lid of his tank. How can I make him better? should I repeat the BettaFix remedy? Thanks <Mmm, likely your Betta's life has been shortened by improper environment... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above... on Betta Systems, Disease... Bob Fenner>

Betta Problem, Previous Correspondence? - 10/12/05 I'm not sure how to describe but I wouldn't say cottony looking. At first I thought a pellet had landed on his back, now it looks like a yellowish looking bubble. He seems well, I just changed his water today using Stress Coat and also added some Quick Cure for Ick and Lymphocystis. I had two other Bettas before, they lived a little better than 3 yrs. I've had these for around 2 yrs. They are in two separate 1 gallon tanks, Any idea what this is, I've found no info on it. Thanks in advance, Lisa <Hi, Lisa - I *think* it was I that responded to your previous question, but I cannot recall for certain (we go through so many). Can you please reply, and include the previous correspondence? Thanks much, -Sabrina> 
Betta Problem, Previous Correspondence? - II - 10/12/05
No it wasn't me, this is my first time on your site. <Ah. I was confused by the opening statement(s) seeming like replies, rather than the beginning of the story.> I did submit a question on another site, can't recall the site... no response yet. The bubble looking thing is still on his back, he seems otherwise healthy and perky... even working on a new bubble nest. <If the "bubble" is cauliflower-looking, maybe Lymphocystis.... many, many bacterial (or even environmental) possibilities.... Be testing your water, maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm with water changes....> I have used the quick cure today. <I would not use this.... too toxic.> I see no change in the bubble, it doesn't look bigger or smaller. Could it possibly be Ich? I see no white patches at all just the one bubble spot, everything else looks normal. I appreciate your responding so quickly, didn't expect such a fast response!  <Check/maintain water quality, and try going through the articles and FAQs on our site about Bettas to ascertain what the bubble is. There are too many possibilities to diagnose without an image or extremely detailed description.> Thanks again, Lisa  <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Betta Bacterial or Fungal Infection - 10/10/2005 Hello, <Good morning.> I have a Siamese Fighting Fish. I only bought it recently. It seems to have white fluffy streams coming from its head. It is not affected anywhere else on the body, just the head. <Likely a fungal or bacterial infection....> It has been very lazy. Does not swim much. Just sits on the bottom of the tank (on the rocks). The water has white streams going through it (looks like little pieces of string in the water and coming from his head). Is this bacteria? <That or a fungus.> If so, what can I do to make this fish more lively and get rid of the white bacteria? <This fish will likely require medicine - please research (on WWM and the 'net) "columnaris" and fungal infections in fish and try to determine which it is.> I regularly clean the water and the other fish seem to be fine. <Please be testing for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, and nitrate below 20ppm with water changes.> Thanks for any help, Kunal <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Betta System, White "Mung"? - 10/09/2005 Hello, <Good morning!> I am so happy to find your site, very helpful regarding info on Bettas. <I'm glad you find it so. Thank you for these kind words.> My question for you is... I have a Betta in which he is in a somewhat of a dome shaped (port hole tank) that has a mirrored backing, that mounts on the wall. <I've seen these, know what you're talking about.> My problem is, I change the water regularly, as needed, <"As needed" meaning, test frequently, change water if trace of ammonia or nitrite, or nitrate above 20ppm is present? Or....?> but at times there seems to be I guess you would call it almost like a white Mung that floats down into the water. It almost looks like if you took an egg white and dropped it into the water. <Possibly a fungus of sorts.... possibly detritus or contaminants in the water.... Many possibilities, here.> There also after a few days after cleaning the tank the water seems to look a little oily on top (like oil spots). <These very small systems should have water changes every couple of days, in my opinion.... They stagnate, get "icky" as yours does.... Any very small Betta system will do this.> I cannot find any information as to what this could be. <As above, many possibilities.> I have bought fresh food and as I said keep the tank clean for this "Mung" looks very disgusting and I can't think that it would be healthy for my fish. <I agree.> Any help you could give me or suggest would be greatly appreciated. <My recommendation is to move this fish into a larger, more stable, more easily maintained system. Take a look here for more info and tips: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm .> Thank You, -Kimberly <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Betta System, White "Mung"? - II - 10/10/2005
Good Morning Sabrina, <Good morning, Kimberly! Hope you are well today.> Thank you so much for your quick response and helpfulness. <Any time - I'm glad to be of service.> I wondered if I could impose as to ask you one more question? <Absolutely.> I will take your advice as to testing water and upgrading to a larger, more manageable system as well. <I am quite glad to hear this.> My question is... my husband and I go round and round about what is the best method of water to use for refilling tank. I previously use only room temperature bottled spring water to fill fish bowl. I don't know if it is better to do this or use tap water that has sat at room temp for 24 hours (do I use the chlorine drops for tap water that has sat for 24 hrs. as well)? <If you do use tap water, yes, you will want to treat it, likely for chlorine and Chloramine.... there are many products available that handle both.> My husband says to use our "well water" and I feel that is not an option, I could be absolutely wrong. <Honestly, at this point, I will say that well water is a serious gamble. If it is suitable to drink, it *might* be able to be made suitable for fish use. The well water at my folks' place in Idaho is the best water I've ever used for my fish aside from RO/DI, but the well water at my place in California is.... well.... I like my fish, I don't want them to die, and so I don't use my well water! Yes, it really is that bad. So, basically, what this boils down to is that there is EXTREME variance in quality of well water from place to place. When in doubt, don't use it.> It would not surprise me if he was "Right Again" ha... I would appreciate your input. <And there you have it :) > Once again, thank you so much and I look forward to continue using your great site as well as looking for more info at the web site you have recommended. <And thank you very, very much for your kind words.... It is a treat to correspond with people who really do want to learn about the lives in their care.> Thanks Again, Kimberly <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Slimy Betta, not looking on WWM 10/7/05 Hi! I'm trying to decide if I have a fish problem. Maybe you can help?! We got a new Betta from the pet store yesterday. Brought him home, put him in the bowl with distilled water <Mmm, don't live in bowls, or distilled water> and a few marbles, gave him a bite of food...he was brilliant & happy. This afternoon, he has white slimy things on his scales. He is just as active as yesterday, but is looking a little worse for the wear. Any advice?? Thanks Jennifer <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> 

Bettas, Fin rot, and Water Quality  10/07/2005 Hi. I need some advice as to what might be wrong with my Betta, Marley. It appears that overnight, his rear tail is somewhat shredded. He seems active and is swimming as usual and there are bubbles on the surface of his tank. I changed his water a few days ago, but there was nothing different about how I did it. Do you think he has fin rot? What might have caused this?  <Likely a water quality issue.... Please test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.... Maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, and nitrate at 20ppm or less. Do water changes if this is not currently so.> I read up on what some other people have posted about shredded fins, but none seemed to match my case. Marley lives alone in a gallon sized tank with rocks on the bottom. I have not moved the location of his tank. Any ideas?  <None without water test results.... these are crucial, and may be the root of the problem. Please read here as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm > Thanks so much for your time. ~Lisa <Check your water first and foremost, and go on from there. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Betta with Chronic Fin rot  10/3/05 WWM Crew-- <Catherine here today.> I bought a Betta ~3 months ago. Within days of buying it, it started showing signs of fin rot. I've treated him with two rounds of antibiotics (tetracycline), but today I got up and looked in his tank, and his tail had started rotting away again. I've kept his Ph at 7.0 using driftwood, kept his temperature at 80 degrees with a heater, and he is in a 10 gallon aquarium. Aren't these ideal Betta conditions? I religiously vacuum the gravel, and his tank was cycled up until I used the second round of antibiotics, and now I do daily water changes. After a water change, Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate have been 0.0/~0.25/~10 PPM. I am totally at a loss. My boss at work keeps a Betta in a bowl and pretty much all she does is adds water every once in a while and feed it, and the thing has been healthy for close to two years. What the heck could I possibly be doing wrong? <Wow, nice system.  The only thing that could be better is 0 nitrites, and that will happen again one the antibiotics get out of the system.  You might want to cut back on vacuuming until the system cycles again -- it will make the cycle faster.  My suggestions: Put some plants in the tank.  Real is better, but fake silk would be good too.  It might make him less stressed.  Putting a tablespoon or so of either Epsom salt or Marine Salt for each 5 gallons of tank water can also help.  Remember, salt doesn't evaporate.  Therefore you will need to "top off" with plain water.  Some Bettas don't like strong current, so turning down your water flow may help.  Adding a few bloodworms and peeled peas to his diet may make your fish healthier as well.  Unfortunately, you may have gotten a fish that is genetically sensitive or had a rough "fryhood" and will always be more prone to disease.  Hope this helps.> Jason <Catherine>
Re: Betta with Chronic Fin rot
 10/5/05 Catherine--  <Hi, Jason> Thank you for your speedy response! I already have three plants -- two fake and one real -- in with him. I also have a piece of driftwood and a small piece of pottery in with him. <Is it possible the pottery is leeching something nasty into the water?  How about the fake plants?>  I added a plastic log-looking thing today at your recommendation. He seemed a little skeptical of it at first -- investigating it as if it were going to get him, but then there was a thunderstorm tonight and I caught him hiding underneath it. <Scared fish>  The only place that I have ever really ever seen him hide is in a small fork in the driftwood which is near the surface of the water and not the most "hidden" spot.  I have used salt (Non-Iodized; my water's Ph is very fragile, and aquarium salt has caused fluctuations in the past) at a rate of 1 Tablespoon per 5 gallons for more than a month now. I am careful to do a water top off before water changes to avoid over-salinating. Should I switch to Epsom salt? I understand Epsom salt is a laxative (I've used it with piggy goldfish) but he isn't having any problems in THAT department. <I think Epsom salt is more of a pick-me-up.  It's one of those things that is an all purpose treatment.  You can try it.  It shouldn't hurt, but it might not help more than non-iodized sodium chloride.>  I have also used Melafix after the end of antibiotic treatments to encourage fin regrowth.  <MelaFix is basically tree leaf extract.  I don't think anyone really understands how this works.  Some people think it's magic and others think it is useless.>  His fins rotted substantially today, I would say he lost 20% of his tail. I am reluctant to put him on Tetracycline again -- it only staved off the fin rot for the time when he was on it in the past. Do you have any other recommendations?   <Is your pH fluctuating a lot?  If your water is very soft or your source water is variable, you may be changing pH rapidly.  This could stress the little guy.  If your water is soft many of the buffers tend to work better than for hard water.  Driftwood isn't typically used as a buffer -- peat is to bring pH down and crushed coral is to bring it up.  You should also check out the WetWebMedia Chat Forum (linked from the bottom right of the homepage).  There are several Betta lovers that often hang out trading ideas.> Jason <Catherine>

Sick Betta  10/3/05 Please help. <I'll try...Jorie here.> My Betta is over a year old, but not sure exactly.  He has always floated at the top of the bowl, mostly on his side, but always ate and seemed fine. <Hmmm...while Bettas do seem to have very different personalities from one another, this seems odd. Good sign that he was eating, but the floating surely isn't normal.  Sounds like swim bladder disorder.> Within the past couple of weeks, he still floats, but now he floats at the top by his head and his body dangles down into the bowl.  He is not interesting in eating, but I'm not sure if he can even see the food as one eye faces the ceiling and the other faces down into the bowl. <What are you feeding your Betta, and how much? Bettas like a varied diet, just like people; I typically feed my two Bettas small pellets in the a.m. (only 3-4 pellets) and frozen, then thawed bloodworms (3-4) *or* Mysid shrimp (1 shrimp) in the p.m.  A Betta's stomach is about the size of his eye...do not overfeed!  Swim bladder disorders are very commonly caused by too much food; try cutting back for a bit and see if the condition improves.  If he isn't eating at *all* though, let him be for a few days (this won't harm him - he won't starve, and if the problem was indeed caused by overfeeding, it will actually do him good.)  If he continues not to eat, try soaking the food mentioned above in garlic extract (I like Kent's Garlic Xtreme, but you can also use pure garlic oil extracted from capsules...found in spice aisle of any grocery store.) Also, try to get your Betta to eat a frozen, then thawed pea (you may have to cut it, and probably will have to soak it in garlic to entice the fish) Your Betta may be constipated, and this will help him. If the diet changes don't work/help, the Betta's swim bladder disorder may be a bacterial infection.  Try using either Maracyn or Maracyn-Two (first is form gram-positive infections; second is for gram-negative...unfortunately, it may be "trial and error" to determine which medication will work on the fish. Follow the instructions on the packaging and *do not* mix medications.)   I change his water every week and use bottled water. <Great to hear about the frequent water changes.  Bottled water, however, is not the best thing to use for fish, as it is often times lacking essential elements.  Is your tap water particularly bad? If not, I'd suggest using it, of course using something to remove Chloramine/chlorine.  Or else, consider something like Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Tap Water filter, in conjunction with Electro-Right and pH Adjust, to add back the necessary "good" elements to the purified water.  Also, what temperature are you keeping the water at, and is it constant? Bettas prefer warm water, between 80-82 degrees F is perfect.  Most important, though, is to keep the temperature constant.> I also add Betta Fix and Stress Coat.  Is he getting ready to die or is there something that could be wrong with him?  Thanks for your help! Hopefully I've helped.  I'm also attaching a link that more thoroughly describes swim bladder disorders in Bettas. http://bettas.fishjunkies.com/Disorders/sbd.php Wishing you and your Betta well, Jorie.>

Re: Droopy Betta:  10/2/05 Thank you Bob, for responding so quickly, I feel like you are the super hero for Bettas everywhere, saving them from deadly ignorance of us- so called fish lovers. <...> Well, thanks to you I am planning on buying a multi-gallon tropical fish tank possibly with dividers and definitely with a heater.  I placed a heat lamp near my Betta's vase, (careful not to let it get too hot), my Betta was all "puffing up" at me at me at first, starring me down/wiggling around .  In the morning he was swimming all around and started building his nest again.   thanks, Nia P.S. And he is not "puffing up" at me anymore.  Everyone should have a thermometer of some sort, for the Betta's water temp. <Agreed. Good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>

My Betta is sick  9/29/05 Hello: <Hi...Jorie here> I am using my mom's e-mail <OK> Could you please help me?  My Betta is in the corner and gasping for air, has white stuff on him and losing color, and not eating.  What should I do? Thanks Aaron <Well, Aaron, I need a bit more information to better help you.  First of all, how long have you had this Betta? How big is the bowl/tank he's in? Is there filtration in the tank? Is the water heated? Bettas do best in water kept consistently at 80-82 degrees F.  How often do you change the water in the tank and when was the last time you did this? Do you have a test kit and if so, what are the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels of the water? Right now, I'd suggest doing a large water change...perhaps 50-75%.  Make sure that you are treating the tap water to remove chlorine, Chloramine, etc., and that you are matching the temperature of the old and new water as closely as possible.  Sounds like right now your Betta has body fungus - you will need to keep the water as clean as possible until he recovers (and after, too!).  Begin medicating with a broad spectrum antibiotic like Spectrogram and follow the packaging instructions.  Make sure that you start with clean water before you begin medicating, though, as I believe you will be told not to clean the water while using the meds. Also, how much are you feeding? Excess food on the bottom of the bowl/tank will rapidly pollute the water...remember that the Betta's stomach is about the size of his eye...3-4 small granules per feeding is plenty.  And, finally, on that note, what are you feeding the fish? Fish need variety to stay healthy...I feed small granules in the a.m., then either bloodworms or Mysid shrimp in the p.m. (3-4 worms or 1 Mysid shrimp). Good luck, and please do some research on the interest with regards to Betta care...there are some great sites out there (www.bcbettas.com to mention one...) Cheers, Jorie>

Betta Euthanasia  9/27/05 Hi, I've done a little bit of research already but this is a tough decision so I wanted to get your advice. I've had my Betta for about nine months and recently he seemed to get very tired and is now just sitting on the bottom of the bowl. I'm not sure what caused the problem but it probably doesn't matter now. There doesn't appear to be any sickness, though I should mention that this started after I was told to change the water more frequently (I was doing it once a week with no problems). <Maybe coincidence.  Are you dechlorinating your water before adding it?  Matching temperature?>  Anyway, he has stopped coming up for food and hasn't eaten for two days. <Not good, but not the end of the world.  Fish sometimes don't eat for a few days and it doesn't hurt them.>  I'm assuming letting him starve to death is a bad idea but what's the best way to put him out of his misery? Freezing?  Is that really better than letting him just die in his bowl?  Thanks in advance for your help.  <I'd put a heater and maybe a filter in his tank and see if that helps.  You also might want to tempt him with a few blood worms or peeled peas broken into smallish bits.  You could also put about a tablespoon of Epsom salts per gallon of tank water.  That has been known to work miracles "jumpstarting" fish.  If none of this works, there are several methods of euthanasia.  One is freezing.  To do this, freeze water to the point there is skim ice on top and drop the fish in.  This works better on tropical fish.  Bettas, while tropical, are tolerant of colder weather.  This may not be the best method.  You can also use clove oil.  Put the Betta in a cup of tank water and add several drops of clove oil (available at a local drugstore).  The Betta will go to sleep and not wake up.  Finally, you can do the quickest method which is a sharp knife through the brain.  I know I couldn't do that, but it's fast.  Good luck with your decision.  Don't count the Betta out yet.  Catherine>

Health question re Bettas  9/26/05 Hi Thanks for such a great and useful site. I couldn't find anything to answer this question: My male Betta lost a lot of scales on both sides and top of his head. This was most probably from torment by his rival, an angelfish (which died at about the time I noticed this problem). <Happens... incompatible> It also could have been his own attempts to rid himself of Whitespot - I never saw any parasites on the Betta but did notice some on the tetras, so have since successfully removed the parasite.  Betta seems happy and well since the angelfish departed. <... except for the missing scales... fishes' first defense against disease, osmotic imbalance...> My question is: can the Betta grow back it's missing scales? <Yes... given good care> Is there anything I can do to help? The scales were what I liked most about him - he's a red Betta with cobalt blue specs on the scales. <Good environment, steady... and nutrition> Do you reply by email as well as well as on the board - or do I just keep checking to see if the question got answered? <We respond directly to all, post most> thanks for any help Simon <Good luck, life to/for you and your Betta. Bob Fenner>  

Betta With Tumor?  9/25/05 I have attached the two best photo I can take of the area.  Basically it is a tumor looking thing on his lower right jaw area.  I have bee searching like mad for answers but have not had any results.  He is not acting any differently then he has for the past year that I have had him.  Still eats fine as long as the pieces are small.  Seems to have a had time getting larger food into his it is like he has lock jaw as well.  I you could point in some direction to help that would be great. < It is an anaerobic infection under the skin the you could try a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone. If it is a worm type of parasite then you could try Clout or Fluke-tabs. If is truly a tumor then no medication will help.-Chuck> Doug Denny

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