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FAQs on Betta Diseases 9

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Related FAQs: Betta Disease 1, Betta Disease 2, Betta Disease 3, Betta Disease 4, Betta Disease 5, Betta Disease 6, Betta Disease 7, Betta Disease 8, Betta Disease 10, Betta Disease 11, Betta Disease 12, Betta Disease 13, Betta Disease 14, Betta Disease 15, Betta Disease 16, Betta Disease 17, Betta Disease 18, Betta Disease 19, Betta Disease 20, Betta Disease 21 Betta Health 22, Betta Health 23, Betta Health 24, Betta Health 25, Betta Health 26, Betta Health 28, Betta Health 29, Betta Health 30, Betta Health 31,
Betta Disease Causes/Etiologies: Determining/Diagnosing, Environmental (By far the largest cat.), Nutritional, Viral/Cancer, Infectious (Bacterial, Fungal) , Parasitic: Ich/White Spot, Velvet; Senescence/Old Age, Cures/Curatives/Treatments,

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

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Not the full Monty... Betta env. dis.  - 02/25/06 Hello, <Howdy> I am desperate for some help. I bought my Betta (Monty) from an aquarium about a year ago. He has always been very happy and healthy. I love him to death, I always say he seems to wag his tail when he sees me, it is so precious. I am terrified that he is not going to make it. About 3 weeks ago, I first noticed that he was changing colors. He was (for a year) a deep burgundy and bright turquoise w/ a couple of clear spots on his fins. Well, I read the color change was normal, and the clear spots on his fins were from past damage. The color change started at the base of his dorsal fin, then moved throughout his body, covering almost everything but his head, and has covered half of his belly fin. He is all white now w/ the exception of his head and about 80% of his fins. Very shortly after that, I noticed his fins were vanishing. I couldn't see any fraying or holes, the just seemed to disappear. Right before that started, I had moved him to a gallon tank. I added a mini filter and it made him unable to swim. It was a very light filter, made for 1 gallon tanks, but the pressure was too much, so I took it out right away. I use a Betta water conditioner and change his water weekly. After the fin problem started, the happy "wagging" stopped. He hung out in the corner at the top of the tank and didn't do much. I checked with a Betta expert, who told me he was a marble and the color change was normal. I also started using AquariSol and aquarium salt. By, that time, his fins had gotten worse. They began splitting and clumping, to the point where they looked almost non-existent. I also noticed the black edge around the fin that they say happens when a Betta has fin rot. I figured he definitely had it and started treating him with fungus eliminator and tetracycline every 3 days w/ a full tank change. He is on his third dose and his personality is back to normal, the fins aren't clumped as much, but they are not growing back. They are still splitting and I noticed today that a long piece of his fin fell out, that he ate before I could get it out of there. His temperature stays between 78 and 82 degrees. He eats pellets, and once a week I give him freeze dried bloodworms. He eats all of his food, so I know there is no waste collecting in his tank. I seem to be doing everything right, I am just not sure. There are no other symptoms, and no other behavioral changes. So, I guess I need to know, if I am doing everything right and if his personality getting back to normal but not his fins, means he is getting better. Is he normal? <Maybe> Is there another problem? <Perhaps> Does he have to have filtration? <Yes> Are the meds right? <... possibly, but I would not have done this> Is all I have been told true? Will his split fins ever grow back together? <Could, yes> I have read everything and searched everywhere, but nothing covers EVERYTHING that is happening to him and changing with him. He seems to be good one day and bad the next. his fins look more clumped as I sit here typing this. Because his personality seems to be good again, would I be foolish in thinking he is getting better? <? Not likely> I ordered a ph test kit, which I will use when it gets here, but even with the use of water conditioner, could it be the water? <... is resultant from environmental insult... an intractable infection? No> Our city does not have the best water. I also read it is not good to use bottled water. If our water is bad, can I slowly acclimate him to bottled water? <I would not> I don't know, I am so confused. I am leaving on vacation for 9 days and really don't want to leave him. It will break my heart if anything happens to him while I am away. Can someone please help us? I really don't want to lose my baby yet. He still seems to have a lot of life left in him. I am lost, ANYTHING you could tell me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Pam Kisling <Bob Fenner>
Monty II  - 02/25/06
Hello, I sent an e-mail earlier asking for advice on my sick Betta Monty. I need to add something that I just noticed. On the top of his body, right after where his head meets his body, at the beginning of the rise of his dorsal fin, there is a tiny patch that looks meaty. It looks like he has lost some of his scales. I wanted to include this with my previous e-mail, as it may be pertinent. Thank you again. Pam Kisling <Is just more evidence of env. originated problem/s... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Betta ... crumpling fins - 2/23/2006 Bob - <<Actually, Lisa :).>> I have a blue Betta.  He's probably 2 years old (I inherited him from someone else).  His fins appear to be crumpling up especially tail) and the two front fins look as though they are broken and/or missing like someone cut them off.  Do you know if there is a cause for this? <<Many, but most likely a water quality issue.  Make sure he is in a heated, filtered aquarium.  Search "Betta" on WWM for more information.>> Thanks for your help! <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>> Carole

Betta Seizures??  - 02/20/06 I have been having a heck of a time with my little Samikins. I've had him 2 yrs, 2 mos. Last Sept, he became pretty ill with fin rot, not eating, lying on the bottom of his bowl <Don't live in bowls...> and then Popeye. I treated him after finding the right combo of meds and his fins look beautiful now. However, he never fully recovered from the Popeye because his left eye is still swollen. Also, his lips are quite enlarged (looks like he had collagen injections). For the past 3 weeks, I've been treating him with fish Ampicillin (was told this was a powerful antibiotic), but it seemed he was getting worse. I began to notice he was having increased difficulty eating. He would snap at his food, but invariably miss it and then just give up. I had to resort to pointing to it. I also noticed he was becoming a bit more aggressive by jumping out of the water and biting my finger when I showed him where his food was. I finally figured out he was blind in his left eye and probably not seeing too well in the right one either. Last week, he again stopped eating for no apparent reason and began to float in a vertical position in a corner of his bowl. <...> He was barely swimming around and I just figured since he is a geriatric Betta, his time was coming to an end. It has been heartbreaking watching all of this. I'd been changing his water at least once a week to keep it clean and he never has excess food in his bowl. When I changed his water a earlier this week, he did perk up a bit and began to swim around some but still not eating. There was a lot of white, cottony stuff floating in his bowl that has been persistent no matter how well I clean it or after using medication to treat fungus. Last night, I bought him a new bowl with new marbles. I decided to pick him up rather than contaminate his new net. Well, in the process, he jumped out of my hand onto the kitchen floor (about 3 ft). I thought for sure he was dead. I immediately placed him in the new bowl prepared with Maracyn 2 and anti-fungus tablet. His head was lying face down in the marbles and he was motionless for about a minute. Slowly, he began to swim rather wildly and not at all like his usual behavior. He then calmed down but I was not too optimistic. Then, he began to flail and would either float on his left side or upside down (motionless) for minutes at a time and then he would right himself and gasp for air at the top only to resume this position. This went on for at least 30 min. and I was sure he was dying after falling on the floor. It was breaking my heart to watch this as I only wanted to care for him. Approximately, an hour later, he resumed normal, upright floating and also began to swim a bit. He even came to the side of the bowl and greeted me with his usual bad attitude by flaring at me. I was at a loss. I honestly can't believe he survived all of that after basically being sick off and on since Sept, not eating for a week and then falling. Today, he is swimming a bit but he still doesn't eat and isn't interested in eating. Is it possible he had some type of seizures or what do you think was the cause of his behavior last night? It was truly heart wrenching to watch. I know he is old and will die, but I'm not sure what to expect when he does. Will he float or sink when he dies? There were several times last night I thought he was dead but after minutes he would move a little. Sorry this is long, but I want to do right by him in his last days. He is very precious to me and kept me good company when I was off work following knee surgery last year. Thanks ~ Melissa <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm Your fish needs to be in a heated, filtered environment... not just chemicals poured in on it. Bob Fenner>

Agitated Betta    2/17/06 Hi.  I'm hoping you can help me; I can't find any info similar to what's going on with my Betta.  I've had Rex for three weeks now.  He lives in a 16 gallon BiOrb (round tank) with a heater and he was added after the first week of setting it up.  Everything has been fine until two days ago.  Water quality is good and steady, just tested it yesterday.  Temp, steady 78 degrees.  Added aquarium salt during set up and an 3 tablespoons after he got here. <... is this system cycled?> Rex caught on to the fact that he can see his reflection on the sides of the tank, but as of two days ago, it seemed flaring is all he wants to do.  His fins started to disintegrate, a case of fin rot that I was hoping to deal with before he started flaring constantly, but he's lost a lot of fin now. I added a 1 1/2 teaspoon dose of Melafix <... not worthwhile> last night and it's been down hill ever since.  He's been agitated and flaring all the time, even with the lights off.  I thought he was just getting overly stressed seeing that "other" Betta all the time, but now I'm thinking something else is going on. Today he's staying against the wall of the tank behind a plant, flaring and breathing at the top.  He stopped long enough to eat, then went back to it. Please help!  He's my first fish!  I love him so much and I don't know what to do!  He's agitated all the time and losing his fin at a rapid rate because of it.  What can I do to calm him down? Thank you do much!  JoAnne <I would stop adding the non-"Fix" and go to either the product called Maracyn/Erythromycin or one of the specific "Betta" antibiotics... Is this system cycled? Have you read on WWM re Betta Systems? Disease? Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta addendum    2/17/06
Hi!  Me again!!  I'm hoping Rex is more okay than I thought...I think he's building a bubblenest!  That's why he's hanging around the top of the tank!  He's still flaring like crazy and has lost more of his tail, which I'm not happy about.  I seriously would like to kick somebody's a#! at that pet store that sold him to me!!!  Anyway, is it possible that the combination of seeing his reflection a lot and the bubbling action of the Melafix provoked him to bubble? <Maybe> I'm feeling silly and anxious at the same time!  Can you tell I'm a newbie?!!!  Thanks again for your time!!!  JoAnne <... please read through the Betta section on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

My Betta ... dis., env.  - 02/16/2006 Thanks for such a great website.  I have 2 aquariums at home (saltwater reef and freshwater) and one Betta here at work, and you all have been VERY helpful to me in my care of all three aquariums.  This time, however, I have searched the FAQ's and didn't find the answer to my question. <Let's add to them> I have a Betta in a heated (81 degrees) 3 gallon aquarium with a live plant, no other fish...  I have had him for about 2 months, and has been doing fine.  The tank was cycled before I added him, as my 4 year old Betta died a few months ago and lived in this tank for about a year. Yesterday I noticed that my new Betta has bubbles on the ends of some of his fins.  The bubbles are red like him, but a couple seem to be in a small white edge area growing on part of one fin.  Is this fin rot? <Mmm, no> I have never seen bubbles on the ends of the fins of Bettas before, and I see a lot of Bettas here at work.  My last Betta was 4+ years old and I never had any problems...   Please let me know what could be the issue, and what treatment I should use if anything. Thanks again, Larena <Very likely this accumulation of gas at the fish fins extremities is evidence of "Emphysematosis", a condition wrought from too much/fine gas in the water itself (akin to opening a soda pop on a hot day)... Will self-cure over time... best to store all new make-up/change water at least a day (a week is better) ahead of time before using... to dissipate such gas. Bob Fenner>

Please help! Betta, snail in a toxic setting  - 02/16/2006 Hello! I wrote a while back and didn't get a reply to my question, but I think it was because I accidentally attached too large of files. So, I'm sorry to bother you again but I have been Googling on your site and was still unable to find the answer to my question. I have a 5 gallon eclipse tank with a bio-wheel filter, one Amazon sword plant and a 25 watt heater set to 80 degrees. The tank has been set up for almost five weeks and contains 1 Betta. Every other day I feed him 3 Betta bits in the morning and evening and on the other days I feed him 3-4 Tetra freeze dried blood worms. I think that he has fin rot because his once beautiful, blue and orange fins have begun to fade and now contain small, pinpoint holes near his body and about a week ago his tail tore. <What re water quality, testing? Readings?> They also look ragged, kind of curly, and clear. Initially I changed about 50% of the water and added 1 tsps of aquarium salt/per gallon. For the past 10 days since then I have changed 20% of the water every other day. After a few days the tear in his tail went away, then a new one appeared. Since then they have both healed but he is not looking any better. I had my water tested today at my LFS and they said that all of the measurements were perfect and had me treat the tank with Maracyn. Should this help? If it does how long will it take and how will I be able to tell? <... visually, by appearance, behavior...> Also will it cause my tank to recycle? <I suspect it isn't cycled currently> I don't have access to a hospital tank so what should I do to prevent or fix this? <... fix the environment> I'm sorry I'm asking so many questions but I just want my fish to be ok! I promise this is the last question... When I first added the Betta I also put in a black mystery snail, after about a week he started to look white and fuzzy. Almost like he had white/clear hairs growing on his shell. He also started producing tons of slime, so much that he had big strings of slime and poop hanging off of him. <Is a clue that your system water is amiss here as well...> I didn't want to hurt my fish incase it was contagious so I took the snail out and put him in his own bowl. When I rinsed the fuzz and slime off of him and changed the water and he seems better for a day or two then it comes back again. Do you know what this could be and if it can be treated or should I humanely dispose of him? Also would this have possibly caused the condition in my Betta? Thank you so much for your help! ~Catherine <As stated, something is off with your water... Do you have a "sea shell" or rock here that might be poisoning your system? Do you have test kits for water quality? I would be adding activated carbon to your Eclipse filter (over/twixt the pad) to remove (hopefully) whatever is the real trouble here, testing your water for ammonia, nitrite... Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help! Betta, snail in a toxic setting    2/17/06
Thank you so much for your quick reply! I really appreciate all of the help you guys give to people, it means a lot. I don't have any decorations in my tank other than a plastic cave/rock that I bought from the petstore. <Then something with the water itself... maybe> It says it is safe for aquariums and I rinsed it before putting it in the tank. I will add the carbon to the filter after the 5 days of Maracyn treatment and see how it goes. Thanks again! <Thank you for the follow-up. I do hope the carbon "does it" here. Bob Fenner>

Betta Illness/Water Quality - 2/15/2006 To the Crew, My Betta is approaching an old age and I am constantly nagged be the question of whether or not I am treating him good as he gets closer to his final days. I wanted to tell you about my habitat for fish, etc. So that I can know in the future if my fish are properly taken care of. Castor lives in a 2.5 gallon mini-tank. He has a carbon filter, a hiding Rock, and a small bubble stone setup. He gets fed at least once every other day, though he is a pig so in his final time I have been feeding him once a day. He is lethargic now and whisks around his tank in random bursts of energy then floats back to the bottom. This has been happening for the last two days, however he still eats, or tries to. For the past three weeks I have had to cut his pellets in half for him to swallow. His mouth seems normal but it's almost as if the piece is too big for him to handle without being chopped in half anyways. I have been treating him for the past month with Fungus clear. I noticed that his tail was rotting a little and his scales where a little poking out. There has been no improvement in his actions, in fact as I said he is having those "death spasms" for the past two days. Today, (it may be too late) I am treating him wondering if maybe the culprit is Velvet. His fins are a little more golden green but it's not extreme so I guess this was my final hope of a diagnosis. When I put the medication in, the dose on the bottle he swam up to me in spasms. Castor always comes to me when he sees me; in health he did a little happy dance for food. So his swimming up was not abnormal. I just want to make sure that I am doing everything possible to make his days comfortable and that I have not added to the problem by giving him medication. He has been given these doses: One month treatment with fungus clear: treats dropsy, fin rot, cotton patch like fungus 3 days ago I added a small dose of aquarium salt Today the typical dose of CopperSafe. I did a water test today as well. Its interesting the instructions tell you what the colors should look like but not what they look like when there is too much acid, base, hardness, etc. the nitrite and nitrate levels matched up well. The ph was orange, it's supposed to be an orange color, mine might have been a stronger orange. The hardness was brown should be dark green, alkalinity was light yellow green should be yellow. I apologize I know this email seems like it will never end. In short, what can I do to fix the water if it is a big problem? <<In this case, I would stop medicating.  I would do several small water changes over the next few days, possibly adding some salt.  I say this because I have a feeling the medications have affected Castor's water quality, which is truly the culprit.>> Am I overdosing? Is it just old age (Castor is 2 years old or older depending on how old he was when I bought him)? <<My oldest Betta is almost 6.  If Castor was old at purchase, than perhaps.>> Is the habitat suitable? <<Is his water heated? I do not think the problem is with the tank, though bigger would be better/more stable.>> Thank you so much! <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>> Kamriss

Siamese Fish as Alternative to Siamese Cat... okay   2/14/06 Hi there, I've always owned a Siamese cat but when I moved into a unit, I decided to keep a Siamese Fighting Fish (Bettas) as a pet, instead. My beautiful blue male fighter is about 12 months old. I started him off in a pink Marina Betta kit (1.84L) tank with a grill lid. It has access for a heater but because I live in North Queensland in Australia, where the climate is hot and humid, I find the temperature in the tank normally remains around 80 degrees. <Steadily? Even during the night?> During winter I simply wrap a tea towel or towel around his tank to keep him warm. He has since grown to 6 cm. Recently I moved him into a larger tank- a 6L "New Era" (dome shaped with a plastic circular base and circular open lid). Is this tank big enough for him to live in without becoming stressed? <If it is heated, filtered... or you are very diligent in maintenance> He seems happy. I read that some male Bettas are raised in 2L jars while others prefer to live in 8L tanks. <This is so... but the water is changed religiously, and often> I have visited various pet stores and aquariums where I see all kinds of tiny container tanks for male Siamese fighting fish. Some were so narrow, I was surprised a fish could fit in them and be able to eat. <Not for long or well> Is 6L okay for my male fighter to live in? There is no room for a filter yet he seems to enjoy sharing his tank with an airstone ball; a snail (housekeeper) and large Anubias water plant. There is also gravel, an artificial plant and a thermometer in his tank. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm> Recently I noticed white spots on his fins and tail. So I applied 4 drops of Wardley's IckAway product to the 6L tank. The label said to use 4 drops per 4 L but with a filter. IckAway gave off a strong odour and clouded the water. <Yes... its toxicity killed off the necessary beneficial bacteria in your system> My male fighter became stressed and appeared to have trouble breathing. The next day I removed everything out of his tank and cleaned it out. The following day I awoke to find my male fighter covered in a fungus coat. What had happened to him? <Poisoned...> Immediately I applied a teaspoon of BettaFix to his water. The fungus coat fell away. I am now using BettaFix over a 7 day period to treat this white spot problem. I added an airstone ball hoping the extra oxygen would promote healing and breathing. Since I added the airstone ball he has ceased blowing bubbles. I think he is mesmerized by the stream of bigger bubbles on the surface of the water. Is this Okey for him? The air pump is set on low. <Fine> Today I bought a gravel vacuum cleaner self-starter siphon to clean out his tank each week. I now know from reading all your helpful website e-mails, to remove and refill half of his tank water each week and leave him in his tank while I clean it out. <Yes> I use Seachem's Betta Basics water conditioner (his Anubias water plant lasts longer when I use this conditioner). He likes to eat pellets once a day. Should I try offering him other food for variety? <Ah, yes> Am I caring for him properly or could I do more to keep him well? Thanks. Sharon <Read my friend. Your answers are posted in articles and FAQs files archived on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Sick Betta, env.   2/13/06 We have a 1 gallon tank that is heated by a light <What happens when the light goes off?> and a bubble stone/tube for aeration. <No filter...> We keep his tank clean, adding "Prime", and aquarium salt.  He is still on his side on the bottom.  I have seen him eat a few pieces of food.  I have also lowered the water level so he can reach his food easier. Any other advise? Thanks, Donna <Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm Bob Fenner>

Lethargic Betta... system?  02/12/06 My Betta, Brady, is showing the same exact symptoms as Cathy's Betta, Fish.  Motionless at the bottom, fading color, etc. I don't know what to do and going to the Google link wasn't very helpful.  Please help if you can.  I'm scared he'll end up dying. Amarachi U. Enwereuzor <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Betta suddenly died   2/9/06 Hi, <Hi there> I had a Jr. (named after Dale Earhardt Jr.) a beautiful red Betta for about 7 mos.  He was in a 2 gal. bowl and I kept the water temp between 75-80 by using a heating pad underneath the bowl. I used bottled water treated with the right chemicals and he seemed very healthy. Fed him a diet of the Betta "pebbles" (little brown balls) with dried worms as an occasional treat. The only thing I can say is that he wasn't building bubble nests as often. He'd flare at you if you touched his bowl or put a mirror up. When we got up the other morning he had suddenly died. We have no idea why since there had been no change in his eating, water temp/condition or behavior. Do you have any idea what might have happened? Thanks, Kathy <Could be a few things... but this "does happen". Male Bettas are sometimes sold pretty well-mature and live only a year or two beyond. What you list as care is/was fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta Missing Fin, Lack of Info - 2/5/2006 Thank You for your prompt reply. <<You're welcome.>> I understand I need to check his levels and give you some more information. Will contact you again once I have done this. In the meantime, can you please tell me if fins grow back? It seems that they are. <<In the proper cycled, heated conditions, they likely will.>> Thank you again, Byanka and Tim <<Good luck with your little guy.  Glad to help.  Lisa.>>

Pouring chemicals on Bettas won't cure them if the root problem is environmental  - 2/4/2006 Hello... our Betta has been sick for 3 weeks.  At first it looked like he had possible internal parasites, so we gave him "Parasite Clear".  That didn't seem to improve his condition.  Then he seemed to have velvet.  So we gave him "Fungus Clear".  He seemed to improve somewhat, but then started not eating and just laying on the bottom.  Sometimes he comes to the top for air and dives headfirst to the bottom and either lays on the bottom on his side or "sits" on his tail with his head up, the eventually lays on his side on the bottom.  I just cleaned his tank AGAIN and added "BettaFix".  Now he really isn't doing well at all.  His breathing is getting worse, and he lays on the bottom most of the time.  He doesn't respond when I gently move his tank to get him to move.  We got him about 2 years ago.  Do you think this is just old age taking over? Thanks, Donna <... is this fish in a heated, filtered system? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Diseased (but from what?) Betta   2/3/06 Hi!  I have posted my problem at another forum, so I will link to it so you can read the problem I'm having with my male Betta (complete with pictures): http://aquamaniacs.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21701 I'm not a huge fish aficionado, only having had a few fish in bowls or a small 1-gallon aquarium here and there throughout my life (angelfish, Bettas, goldfish, Neons). But I have a beautiful blue-green-red iridescent Betta named Prisma because of his beautiful colors. However, in the last couple of weeks he has developed a filmy coat, which I thought might be velvet. <Might be> I put in a daily medication for parasite infections (contained formalin and malachite green) from last Friday to today (Wednesday) with no apparent results. I have cleaned his water twice this week and today put in aquarium salts and am now trying Melafix (with Melaleuca). He has lost his iridescence and color (a dull brown/gray), <From "med." exposure most likely> and he is more splotchy around his head than before. He also continues to have the slimy coat. His appetite appears to be decreasing and sleeps most of the time. What does it seem like he has, and what medication is right for him? I have attached a before and current picture of him if it would help to identify his ailment. Thanks for your help! Please help if you can!  Let me know if you need more information. Thanks! <Hard to say w/o microscopic examination... might be parasitic, could be infectious... or just environmental. Is this fish in a heated, filtered setting? Have you read re such on WWM? Bob Fenner>

Betta Missing Fin, Lack of Info - 2/3/2006 Just a quick question after searching your archives to no avail. My Beta's middle fin is half missing. This occurred approximately a week ago. He is happy and active. There are no others or other physical components in his tank which may have done this. It looks fine, nothing irregular, other than the fact that it is missing. I just wanted to know, Is this a concern? Any ideas? Will it grow back? <<Please read the Betta care articles on WWM.  Is he in a heated, filtered tank?  What are the readings for ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte?>> Thank you for your time. <<You're welcome.  Lisa>> Byanka (and Tim the weirdest looking Beta in Central Australia

Uncycled Tank, Very Sick Betta 1/23/2006 Hi!  I am hoping that you can help me.  We purchased a 2.5-gallon tank with the intention of using it for a Betta.  We cycled for two weeks (added that bacteria start at the beginning of cycling and some water from a goldfish tank to get the bacteria really growing). <<This tank is not cycled.  The bacteria you need resides on substrate and filter media, not the water column, and needs food (ammonia from fish waste, or purchased and dosed) to stay alive.>> Before adding the Betta, we did another 50% water change and let it sit with the filter running for 36-48 hours. <<The bacteria mentioned above will die within 24 hours without a food source.>> We tested water conditions before buying the Betta and all was fine. Within four days, the Betta came down with cotton fungus and was dead- to spite treating with Mardel. <<This was a water quality issue, not a disease per say.>> Well, we decided to start from scratch since I thought temperature may be a problem.  This time we used a 5-gallon tank <<Good size for a Betta.>> with a heater set to 78 degrees F.  Before putting the new Betta in, we again tested (water is a tad hard here- PH= approx 7.5 GH=around 100 ppm KH= around120 ppm Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia where all undetectable). <<Undetectable because the cycle hadn't even started yet.>> The pet store said these were all good values. <<They are, after cycling takes place.>> We did treat the water with EasyBalance and AquaSafe before water testing as recommended by the pet store.  We brought the new Betta home Friday evening.  I took a long time acclimating him (about 4 hours). <<Too long for me.>> Here is a picture of what he looks like today (less than 3 days later).  I did a 50% water change and started treating him with Fungus Clear yesterday morning at the recommended dose. <<I would stop treating, and continue your water changes everyday.  Do you have access to Bio-Spira? If so, do a large water change and add it to your filter.>> I guess I can't treat him again for two more days.  He just looks awful. <<Agreed.>> I feel so sorry for him.  Is there anything else I can do to save him? <<As stated above.>> This is treatable with Fungus Clear.  Right? <<Remedy the problem instead.>> I know it doesn't look good.  If he does die, which I hope he doesn't, is there anything else I can do to keep this from happening again?  What did I do wrong?   <<Please read on WWM about properly cycling an aquarium.>> Thanks, Christi <<You are welcome. Lisa.>>  

Using Epsom, not the printer  - 01/23/2006 Hi, I have searched and searched your web sight in vain. I feel like I am going around in circles.  Where do I find out how often I give my Betta Epson Salts for constipation? <Epsom... magnesium sulfate...>   Please don't tell me it's on the WWM site.  I just can't find it. Thanks for any help you can give me. Kathryn <Put the word and the word "Betta" in the Google search tool  on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Velvet   1/21/06 Hey there! It's me again!      The blue crown tail that I previously asked about has an update!      Remember I said he was listless? well... a few days ago, I noticed he had this fine golden dust-y looking stuff on him. Now, growing up with fish, I knew EXACTLY what my Betta (and the Betta next to it, unfortunately) had. VELVET!!!    <Mmmm>   so, I put some Meth Blue in the water... (don't worry, I followed directions!) and gave them a PROMPT water change.      my questions are this:   1) How long does/will Velvet last? <Days to a couple weeks... if treated properly> 2) Is Meth Blue okay to use on my fish? <Yes> 3) My red Betta that has Velvet is peeling. It looks like he is shedding a few scales. Is this normal? What is this?    <Mucus, body slime>   THANKS ALOT!!!    <No such word as alot. Bob Fenner>   Renee

How do I know what my Betta has??   1/20/06 Hello, <Hi there> I think my Betta is constipated, but when I do research on the internet, I now wonder if he has dropsy or something wrong with his swim bladder. How do I know what is wrong with him for sure?? <Mmm, "take him apart"... happily treatments for both are similar> He has a swollen, fat belly.  His fins are smooth and not raised.  He can't swim real well. he lays on top of the water heater we have in his 5 gal tank and he kind of lays sideways and stays up there so he can get his breath of air. I know I overfed him when I first got him as I didn't realize he only needed like 3 pellets or less a day.  That is what he was eating , the Betta pellets. <And something more/different than pellets> I did give him some peas quite some time ago, but that has not helped.  I have now been fasting him for 3 days straight as he seems to be getting worse. He used to still be active, but for the past week or so is when he has been laying around on the top of the heater (which is under water by the way, just near the top so he can get air easy). What can I do?? Thanks!! Jen <The simple addition of a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt should "do the trick here". Bob Fenner>

New Betta With Ammonia Problems   1/18/06 Dear Sirs: I did search for this, and found something quite close, but it didn't address my exact concern, so please bear with me. My Concerns: the tail "threads" the water getting cloudy so quickly. Here are the facts: New Male Betta, just purchased 50 hours ago. First 24 hours were spent in smaller bowl, with tap water & drops of tap water conditioner. Now in a round 1 gallon plastic tank, tap water conditioner drops, fake plant (I would describe the feel of the fake plant as perhaps feeling soft pine needles), plastic beads, little divers helmet. All came with tank) Just put him in this last night.  Mid-day today. water seems to be slightly cloudy.  (not heavily, but perhaps as if I'd put a teaspoon of skim milk into the bowl) I am in Australia, very hot, so air-conditioner has been on quite a bit during day, off at night. I have taken a cooked small prawn, held it a bit above or just on the water a couple times today and he'd do a little jump and take a very small bite out of it. I did notice when my husband was getting the new bowl ready, he had both his (cleaned) hands in the water trying to adjust the beads and such. Water did set for about 2-3 hours after being treated before putting fish in. He is acting just fine, but for a lack of a better way to say it. looks like he's starting to lose "threads" of his tail. Just today. Not getting quite as excited about seeing himself in the mirror as he used to. I tried to keep this as concise for you as possible.  Thank you in advance. Juli < As your new little Betta excretes waste it and uneaten food quickly turns to ammonia which is toxic to fish. This is the cloudy water you are experiencing.  It "burns" the fish's gills and fins. This may explain the threads you are seeing.  Do a 50% water change to dilute the ammonia. Feed only once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes once each day. Remove any uneaten food after two minutes. This will reduce the ammonia but not eliminate it. You can continue to dilute it with daily water changes. You can add Bio-Spira from Marineland that will put the bacteria in the tank and begin to start to break the ammonia down. The will transform the ammonia to nitrites and then to nitrates. The nitrates are less toxic but still need to be removed with water changes. There are many chemical resins that will remove ammonia. You might want to look into these and make a little "tea bag" filled with these resins top control the ammonia until you can get around to doing a water change. An ammonia test kit will let you know when the resin needs to be replaced and when a water change is needed. Over time you may get the bacteria to developed naturally. Go to Marineland.com and check out Dr Tim's Library. Go to the article titled "The First Thirty Days" for a better understanding about what is happening in your bowl.-Chuck>

Aging Betta  1/16/06 Please help me.....my Betta named Blue has been an active happy fish. I've had him for 3 years. Lately, when I feed him, he just isn't as excited about eating and I've noticed that when he does lunge for his food he often misses it and may try 3 times before he gets it. He hangs out nestled in the plant roots a  lot more than he used to. I used to feed him 4 pellets of food, but I've cut it  back to 2 and I stay to be sure that he eats it. Is this just old age or  something else.....and what can I do? Thanks. <Am sorry to state/concur that this is likely mostly "age"... three years in captivity is a good long while for this species. You might extend the period, quality of life for your Blue by raising the water temperature to the low 80's F. Bob Fenner>

Betta with possible fungus... read WWM Hi, I read through the FAQs on the website, but didn't really find an answer to my Beta's "issue".  It is a female beta, we affectionately call her the Murderer, but her real name is Kappa the Betta, SO FAR SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF 2 OTHER BETTA'S, ONE MALE (Alpha) AND 1 FEMALE (Delta), the beta <If you had read the FAQs re Bettas on WWM, you'd have seen... that female and male Bettas should not be kept together continuously> Yet she lives on. I noticed a couple days ago she had a white-ish lump on her head between the eyes,  so I read up on fish diseases, and promptly secluded her to a smaller tank/big margarita glass, so I could clean  her bigger tank, which has a filter. <Don't live in glasses> I am uncertain how to treat the mystery illness, could it be fungus? Or Ick? When I moved her to the smaller tank it took some time to catch her, she is fast and seems to have an appetite, and doesn't appear to be ill.  But now the white spot has been exposed and now its all red and nasty looking.  I don't know how to treat her, or if I should now wait till the 'wound' heals to treat her. <Go back, read. Bob Fenner> To be honest.. I am torn, if she dies, it will be ok, but again I would hate for her to suffer, if there is something I can do to help her.  She is approx 2 years old. Even though she killed my other fish, I feel humanly obligated to help her any way I can.. aside from a trip to the vet,.   Please help!!  If you require any further info I would be happy to provide it. Kindest regards Lisa & Kappa

Betta with possible fungus ... more input Hi, I read through the FAQs on the website, but didn't really find an answer to my Beta's "issue".  It is a female beta, we affectionately call her the Murderer, but her real name is Kappa the Beta, SO FAR SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF 2 OTHER BETTA'S, ONE MALE (Alpha) AND 1 FEMALE (Delta), the beta <If you had read the FAQs re Bettas on WWM, you'd have seen... that female and male Bettas should not be kept together continuously> REPLY--> {male beta was making a nest and female looked full of eggs, was trying to mate them, hard to mate when they are in different tanks} Yet she lives on. I noticed a couple days ago she had a white-ish lump on her head between the eyes,  so I read up on fish diseases, and promptly secluded her to a smaller tank/big margarita glass, so I could clean  her bigger tank, which has a filter. <Don't live in glasses> REPLY--> {the glass is bigger than a beta tank and only slightly smaller then a gold fish tank} I am uncertain how to treat the mystery illness, could it be fungus? Or Ick? When I moved her to the smaller tank it took some time to catch her, she is fast and seems to have an appetite, and doesn't appear to be ill.  But now the white spot has been exposed and now its all red and nasty looking.  I don't know how to treat her, or if I should now wait till the 'wound' heals to treat her. <Go back, read. Bob Fenner> REPLY--> {thanks for your help} <--sarcasm <Go back.... RMF>

Betta Behavior/Health Question  - 01/12/2006 Quick, hopefully easy question!  I have a Betta that I purchased several weeks ago for my office.  I have had one at home for about a year, in one gallon aquarium with a live plant, a small cave that he loves to hang out in, and a filter.  The aquarium has a light on it that keeps the water in the low to mid 70's. <Even at night?> Harley (my home fish) has thrived in that setup and is at least twice as big as he was when I got him and still has beautiful, bold coloring.  I feed him a type of pellet food - a few in the morning and a few in the evening - with dried bloodworms every now and then as a treat, and use tap water treated with NovAqua and AmQuel. <Sounds good> I've had him for about a year now, and I just read that Bettas are often already a year old when you get them, so I'm dreading the inevitable time when I come home and he's not with me anymore. Anyway, I bought the exact same tank for work, and got the new Betta (Fuego) at the same place that I got Harley.  I feed him Betta Bites in the same pattern as I do Harley (except he fasts on the weekends, so I give him a little extra Friday) and used the same water treatment.  He seems to be doing equally well, but after reading some of the posts from other Betta owners, I am wondering if he's sick or if he's just has a spazzy personality.  He loves to rest in his plant (there've been a couple times he was so comfortably resting on the plant he looked dead) or in one special spot at the bottom of the tank, but then every once in a while he'll dart around the tank quickly and flip out - kind of like cats do sometimes. <Heee! Know what you mean... in fact I do this myself...> His coloring is great, and he's already bigger than he was when I got him.  Do you think that's just his personality, or could something be wrong?   <Could be either... maybe the office temperature fluctuates more in the evenings...> I did notice a tiny tear on his bottom fin this morning, but he's been a spazzy since I got him and the tear is new. Also, I decided to get a snail for each tank, just for visual interest and to help clean up the leftover food. <Good>   The guy at the pet store said it should be fine and neither snail nor fish should bother each other. Has that been your experience? <Yes> The fish both seem mildly interested in the new addition, but for the most part ignore the snail. Finally, my coworker got a Betta at the same time, and loves to hold a mirror up to the tank to make him puff up.  Is doing that all the time dangerous for the Betta - i.e. does it raise their stress level to a dangerous point?   <Yes... better to only occasionally expose Bettas to their reflections, others of their species.> Thanks! Lara <I would just keep an eye on the torn fin... as long as this Fuego is eating, he is unlikely to "go". Bob Fenner>

Oh please help... Betta trouble   1/10/06 I am just sick over the state of my Betta and have read everything that I can to help, but the fish is still doing worse. I have had my fish for about three weeks and began with one beta and a real plant in a 2 gallon aquarium.  The fact sheet on the Betta said the temperature could be 64 - 80, <The lower figure is way too low...> but I bought a mini heater after a week and the temp was then usually 72. <Betta was likely chilled, stressed from vacillating temperature... takes a while to recover from>   I tried to do the nitrogen cycle, but got worried about the Betta and changed the water out 25% and then 50% about every other day.   <Also too stressful> I got test kits and though the ammonia was always 0, the ph here is about 7.6.   <Not a problem> (I treated the water, tried to let it sit at least overnight and I used stress coat.) <Good... water needs to set about for a week nowadays though> He had always been a bit of a fin clamped fish, but he had built a bubble nest when I first put him into the tank and seemed happy and ate the Hikari Betta pellets readily. Then I bought another plant, a smaller java moss, and put that into the aquarium.  Soon he began to act oddly, hid out, darted around, and sat on the bottom a lot and then the fish began to have tail rot on his fin (anal fin?).  I did a lot of research and went to local pet store and they stopped me from buying meds but had me buy BettaFix, and I also added aquarium salt at 1 tsp per gallon. The next day he was even worse and so I bought Mardel Maracyn, and then the next day I got Maracyn 2.  Fish just got worse and began to show signs of Ick.  I did more reading and got the quick cure for Ick, <Too much...> bought fish a 5 gallon tank with a heater with thermostat and put the temp at 80 degrees with all new water and only fish moved to new tank, no accessories, plant, etc. <Positive steps... am sure you wish you had investigated ahead of purchase...> Ick appears to be better, but the fins are falling off in chunks and now the fish will not eat and looks really bad.  I think the problem is now on his body.  I do not have a way to take a picture. I gave up on the Maracyn 1 and 2 as it has been 3 days with worsening results.  Anal fin now almost entirely gone and fish reddish on body.  Now I just added tank buddies fungus med for fin/tail rot and multiple symptoms, but I am desperate.  Fish is still swimming around the tank, and I put something in so that he has a higher place to hang out in case he gets weaker. I do not want him to suffer more, but don't want to euthanize him prematurely.  What else can I do? <Stop using the "medications"... some are way too toxic, weakening... Instead add a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt (won't hurt your plants) and leave the temperature where it is, stop changing water... and read what is posted on WWM re Bettas (again)... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Jackie

Sick Betta   1/10/06 Hi there, I just stumbled across your site, a little too late possibly depending on what you advise me of I suppose. <Okay...> I noticed some strange spots on my Betta about two days ago, and a change in behavior a bit later. I was home all day yesterday observing him, and decided to start treatment against true fungus I believe it is, because he has slightly clamped fins ( they look rubbery but normal fin shaped, but not the free flowing fin of a regular Betta), whitish grey spots on either side of his midsection about 1 cm in diameter and a small one on top of his head, and he's corner hiding only coming up for air. <Mmm, what would cause this?> I stuck him in about a 1.5 liter hospital tank, about the same size as his regular tank, and conditioned it as normal. I went to grab some meds and came home with Mardel's Maracyn tablets and read the instructions, and dropped a tablet in after diagnosing him. It said use one tablet per gallon so I did. <Mmm...> What I didn't realize ( I was on the net today and found out otherwise) was that your supposed to dissolve it and put in the right amount of concentrated medicine/ gal. so I have no idea what am supposed to do now because its almost a day later, and there's tablet debris all over the tank. <I can imagine> I hope my poor spunky is okay in the end. ~Jamie~ <Please take a read over the WWM site re Bettas... and their Systems, Disease... you have not provided enough information for any direct, cohesive response. I suspect that your Betta's problems are rooted in environmental and nutritional shortcomings. Bob Fenner>

Betta With Problems  - 01/09/2006 I won't bore you with all the details. Suffice it to say I was over zealous in cleaning my tank (10 gal w/ one dwarf Pleco and one Betta), wiped out my biological filter and had a nasty ammonia spike. I dealt with the ammonia spike chemically and with water changes but then had an out break of Ich. I treated with Ick Guard II and increased temp but the Crowntail Betta did not seem to clear up. In fact he got worse and developed milky jelly-like blobs on his tail. I moved him to a hospital tank and changed meds. He's been on Maracide and Maracyn for two days. The Ick is much improved but the globs of milky jelly are starting to slough off taking large portions of his tail with them. Is there anything more I can do or is it a matter of continuing to medicate and wait and see if he makes it? < Keep the water clean and at 80 F. Not much else you cam do.-Chuck>

Please Help! Sick Betta - 1/6/06 <We'll try.> I am very alarmed at what is becoming an increasingly serious problem with my beta fish (Chef).  He seems to have some sort of "growth" on his back, just above his fin.   <Disturbing....  Bettas lately seem to be overwhelmingly susceptible to Mycobacteriosis....> I have tried various medications, natural and otherwise, but nothing seems to help.   <If it is in fact Mycobacteriosis, best not to medicate.  It is very rarely treatable, even caught early on.> I am worried because it seems to be getting bigger and bigger, and eventually I am afraid it will kill him.  He seems to eat normally, but I am noticing that the "growth" is now affecting his swimming.  (his body is sort of bent in half when he swims)  Well, anyway, if you have any clue as to what this might be, your help would be greatly appreciated.  Here is a link to a web page with some pictures to help you with any diagnosis you might be able to provide (have you ever seen anything like this?): http://classes.berklee.edu/mcarrera/Pictures/Help_My_Beta/Help_My_Beta.html <Sadly, this could very well be from Mycobacteriosis, or perhaps is a tumor or growth of other sort....  And unfortunately, there really isn't any good suggestion I have regarding it, other than to leave it be, and as long as he is happy and eating, care for him to the best of your abilities.> Thanks so much for any help you might be able to give me. <So very, very sorry to be the bearer of such poor news....> Mike <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Sick Betta Finally Getting Better   1/11/06 Hooray! He ate today for the first time in nearly a week and he's showing signs of his old spunk. The grey blobs of fungus or bacterial rot or whatever it was are all gone (although so are large portions of his formerly gorgeous Crowntail). There are no more Ich spots and the few cloudy areas on his body are clearing. It's so good to know one CAN save a fish. Usually it's so difficult. Basically, here's the treatment I used that was successful: I put him in a 2.5 gallon hospital tank with water that was treated as directed on the packages of Maracide and Maracyn. The room I keep my fish tanks in (there are several) is heated to a constant 78 but while this Crowntail was ill I pumped it up to 80. I moved him to a new 2.5 gallon hospital tank daily to help control the Ick faster. The water in each tank contained the same amount of meds and had been seasoned and left to come to ambient room temperature for 24 hours before the transfer. (BTW- I don't net my Bettas. I herd them into a specimen container to avoid damaging fins and tails. They are used to it and don't seem to mind after a while.) And I learned a huge lesson. I'll never never do a water change, clean the tank and clean the filter on the same day ever again. I really thought that the untouched bio-wheel alone could manage and was trying to save myself time. Instead I lost my beautiful Betta's tail and nearly his life. Oh yes, and I ended up spending a fortune on meds not to mention hours on care. < Congrats on a successful treatment. Welcome to the club.-Chuck>

Betta Losing Fins   1/11/06 Thank you for emailing me back, but I still haven't figured out why my male Betta has lost all of his fins. We don't have any other fish in the aquarium that we have him in, only the female which we have now removed as of 1 wk ago. We bought some stuff called MelaFix for fin rot but I am unsure if that is what's wrong with him, the female has nothing wrong with her fins but my male has lost all of his I have separated them an began treating both tanks am I doing the right thing. Leslie < Putting Bettas together, even a pair , is a bad idea unless they are ready to spawn. In this case I think the female tore into the male. When the female was removed the torn fins got infected and developed fin rot. I consider Melafix to be more of a general tonic and not a specific antibiotic, although some aquarist have had success with it. I would recommend a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Raise the water temp to 80 F. Treat with Nitrofurazone as per the directions on the package.-Chuck>

Bettas With Salt  - 1/6/06 Hello, Try as I might to research the needs of my little fish, between the mountains of info on this sight and others, as well as LFS employees trying to push medications at me telling me "it won't hurt anything to try", I find myself confused what to do and in need of some straight advice. My tank is: 10 gallon Male Betta 5 Network Corys 1 piece small driftwood Fake plants Power filter Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate down to about 8, pH 7.3, GH 2, KH 2 Temp 74-78 (as stable as I can seem to make it) Water changed 2 gallons weekly Water treated with Kordon Amquel at one teaspoon per 10 gallons and aquarium salt at roughly 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons Two months ago, the Betta had a bad case of constipation, and white stringy feces. After that cleared up his stomach would swell after eating for a couple hours. I know the original problem was over feeding and now feed him less. He is fed frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp with the occasional day of Betta pellets or day of fasting thrown in. The problem seemed to be improving over time, so I did nothing to treat him thinking he could recover by himself, but in the past few days not only the swelling has returned, but he seems to be developing fin rot and has been getting rather nasty with his tankmates, flaring and even nipping at them occasionally. Some possibilities of stress for him: Switching from Start Right to Amquel? Doesn't seem likely, but maybe I'm overlooking something? < Start Right is Methylene blue and salt. You are already adding salt. I would discontinue both and stick with the Amquel.> Less salt in the water? It was at 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons for a while. < Why are you adding salt? Bettas and especially Corys really don't like salt.> Change in ph? I stopped using pH lowering chemicals and have been just using tap water (7.4), but it has taken a month to go from 7.0 to 7.3. < Leave it alone.> On new years the light was left on until 2 am. Maybe that could be the problem. (My wife assured me we wouldn't need a timer yet, and I listened) Or is it a combination of a lot of little things? < Probably stress and diet.> Should I treat with Metronidazole? < Yes if you think he has an internal bacterial infection.> Should he be moved to a hospital tank for a while? < If you think he is sick then a separate tank would be better.> Will Epsom salts help, and would it be a problem to add with the current salt in the tank? <I would try the medication first and skip the salt .> Will that raise the hardness to the point of compromising the Corys health? < Corydoras catfish usually come from soft acidic water. The higher the pH the more stressed they will become.> Should the salt level be raised or lowered? < I would skip the salt.> It seems as soon as I start thinking I've gotten the hang of this fish thing, they go and start losing their fins, and I'm just as confused as ever. < You are slowly building up the salinity of the tank by adding salt every week.> A couple quick unrelated questions while I've got your ear: Is a diet of bloodworms and brine shrimp good enough for the Corys? < I would through in some other foods with some vegetable matter in it.> With my incredibly soft water, would it be a bad idea to add a couple more pieces of driftwood? < As long as the pH stays around 7.0 adding a couple of pieces of wood should not be a problem. Try and get your water temp up to 80 F and I think your fish will look much better and be much happier.-Chuck> Thanks for all the help,-Sean

Betta Getting Better   1/7/06 Hello again, My Betta seems a little happier over the last two days, his mood is better and his fins haven't worsened, so I think I'll keep him in the main tank instead of stressing him by putting him somewhere new. It looks like I'm not going to be able to get my hands on any Metronidazole until the middle of next week, so unless there is something else that would be helpful, I'm going to leave him alone until then. I originally added the salt on the recommendation of an LFS employee to detoxify a small amount (.25 if I remember) of nitrites that showed up when cycling the tank with BioSpira. I have continued the use of the salt after reading that it makes the fish more comfortable with the osmotic pressure of the water and hinders bacterial growth. I understand why you would think the salinity would be building up, but I have kept a close eye on it with a beer grade hydrometer. Regardless, if you think it is doing more harm than good, I'll be happy to stop adding it to the tank. < Use your fish as a barometer. They are the final word. If everything was fine I would recommend that you not change anything. But something was wrong. Based on the info and without actually seeing the fish we recommend some changes that hopefully will work.> Thanks for letting me know what is in Start Right. Since I doubt Methylene blue is an essential nutrient for fish, the bottle will join it's friends pH down and Crystal Clear at the dump. < These chemicals have their place but they come with high expectations that are hard to live up to.> I would like to add more driftwood for aesthetic reasons as well as bringing the pH down a little and providing a home for Anubias and java ferns in the future. My only concern is that the tannins will wreak havoc on my miniscule KH. Will my current water change schedule replenish the buffer fast enough? Thanks for all the help,-Sean < Add the pieces of wood slowly over a few weeks and continue to check the water chemistry. The results will tell you how you are doing. You could always add a buffer to keep things from crashing.-Chuck>

Betta Constipation & Betta Feeding   1/4/06 Hello! I have 2 questions about Betta fish.      1.) I believe that 1 of our Betta fish is constipated. His sides & belly seem very swollen. He floats sideways & seems to not be able to swim downwards... it's like he keeps floating to the top. He's very hesitant about eating. He usually loves to eat... especially bloodworms. He also darts around his bowl really fast. This has just started all this within the past day or 2. What can I do about his constipation? From what I've read on your site, I believe it's constipation. <The best curative here is Epsom Salt...>   2.) What, how much, & how often should I be feeding them? <This is also posted on WWM> We have gotten so many different stories from so many people that we are really confused. I usually give them either a few bloodworms, a few crumbled flakes, or a couple of crisps 2-3 times a day. They usually finish the food really quick. <Twice, thrice is fine>      I am a bit more nervous about caring for them as the 1 that we had the longest.. about 1 1/2 years...died about a month ago. We think he ate some of his plastic plant & it got stuck in his mouth somehow. The middle one... which we got a few months after the 1st...seems to be doing pretty well. The newest one...which we got about a week after the 1st one died...about a month ago...is the constipated one.      We've never had fish before we got the Bettas. About 6 months ago...we tried an aquarium with like 10 fish & an algae eater...but all the fish died & we gave back the algae eater back. Bettas seem so easy to care for...for the most part. They are in big bowls right now...but we are going to get an aquarium (with a divider) to put them in...So they can have more space & the constant warmth they need. Also, I'm very nervous about putting any plants/decorations in with them. Is it just a freak thing that the Betta ate the plant? <Very unusual> I would like to put some decorations & plants in so they don't get bored & can hide when they want to...but need advice on it 1st.    <Please see WWM re Betta Systems...>      Sorry to go on so long. Any help/advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!                                                    Kelly    <Bob Fenner>

Betta With Ich  - 01/03/2006 My Betta has Ich. The instructions on the medication say to give the   recommended dosage every day until cured. I was wondering if my tank  doesn't have a filter, should I still give the dosage every day? Will the medicine build up inside the tank and poison my fish? The bottle also says  to remove the carbon filter (which I don't have). Is this because it will suck  up all the medication? Please help... I am very confused. I don't want to  over-help the little guy. < You Betta got Ich from the water being too cold and by being exposed to the parasite. Treat as prescribed on the bottle. Try to get the water temp up to 80 F. Do 50% water changes every day before medicating. In three to four days you should see some improvement.-Chuck>

Worried! Re Crowned Tail Bettas fins   Hey there WWM!    <Renee>   I got a beautiful blue Crowntail Betta right after Thanksgiving. Sadly, on Dec. 25 my beautiful blue Betta died. The regular red Betta that was sharing the tank with it became depressed because it missed it's little blue Betta friend. Fearing that it was going to die, I went out and bought another Crowntail Betta. Now, the red Betta is fine, swimming and flaring like before, but the new green Betta is listless. <Happens... likely just from the move... but such behavior is a "signal releaser", indicating its sub-status to the resident "winner"... Male Bettas should not be permanently housed in view of other males...> He seems bored, and just stays near the bottom, sometimes swimming to the top for air. I usually have to move the tank to get him to move. I change the water about once every 3 days and I use completely pure water with a PH of 7.0 and I've looked at all the other disease FAQs, and none seem to fit my green Betta. He eats just fine and his color is wonderful. He has no bloating and he doesn't have any spots  or "strings" coming off him. I have noticed that when my red Betta flares at this green Betta, the green Betta just stares at him. I'm really worried about this new green Betta, because I was CRUSHED when my beautiful blue one died. Maybe it is just him getting used to his new surroundings, <Yes, possibly> my blue one was the same way a few days after I bought him. He does seem to swim about and act normal  when I pour new water into the Betta tank. Reply ASAP please, I have 5 other Bettas (making 6 in all) and I need to know what is wrong so I may catch it in-case the others get it as well. PLEASE HELP ASAP!!    <Mmm, I'd move the new Green one out of view of others for a few weeks>   I am sending some pictures of the green Crowntail Betta enclosed, perhaps you can help me.      Thanks,         Renee <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Shortening Betta Tails I have had two male Bettas in separate 2.5 gallon minibowls w/filters for about six months.  The one fish is named Bruce Lee and the other fish is named Jackie Chan.  (Yes, I was being a bit cheesy when I named them.)  Their temperature is kept around 80-82 degrees via a heater and I do total water changes every 2 weeks with AquaSafe and a teaspoon of aquarium salt mixed in.  
<Mmm, there are a few things to mention here... Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm I'd avoid complete water changes> They normally eat around 4 pellets fed once a day, except on Sundays, when they fast, (someone told me this was a healthy thing to do to rest their digestive track) <Is> and Tuesdays when they get a dose of thawed frozen bloodworms.  They live near each other, but not so near that they can see each other very well and they do not display their gills at one another at this distance. <I see> I tell you about their care because I want to make sure that I am doing everything possible to make them happy and healthy.  I had noticed two months ago that the tail of Bruce Lee was shortening substantially.  I knew when I got the two fish that their tails were the same length, but now Bruce Lee's is half the size of Jackie Chan's. <Likely bacterial... secondarily... related to a lack of filtration/cycling> I have never seen him bite his tail and I watch him frequently although I have noticed that Bruce Lee is a much more high stress fish than Jackie Chan and from reading the emails on your website I figured he was fin chewing even though I had never actually seen him do it.   I live in a dorm apartment at college and my fish recently came home with me for Christmas break- a two hour drive in which the fish were kept in jars that sat in cup holders of my car.  I could find no fish sitter so this was necessary since I would be gone a month.  Three weeks after I had set up their tanks at home I realized that Jackie Chan's tail is now as short as Bruce Lee's and I have never seen him bite his tail, so now my high stress theory doesn't seem to be holding any water and I'm fearing that they are sharing a similar sickness or neglect.  Bruce Lee has always been a little high strung and Jackie Chan has always been a very laid back fish.  He is always happy and hardly ever flares his gills.  I was thinking that maybe the move has triggered some anxieties in Jackie Chan, but still, I have never seen him bite his tail and three weeks later seems a little late for the fish to be freaking out about being moved.   About a week ago there was an incident with Jackie Chan's heater that worried me.  I check their temperature every morning when I feed them and I noticed that his temp gage was at 90 degrees.  I thought this was very strange because his gage was set to 80 degrees, but I guess it must have malfunctioned.  I promptly threw away the heater because I thought it would be better to be a little cold than to fry him.  I was not able to find another gauged heater that could fit inside his tiny tank for a few days but when I noticed his temperature was declining to the lower 70's I finally bought him a heater that has no gauge and simple stays around 80 degrees and he seemed fine.  The tail shortening started a week later so I suppose the temperature changes could possibly have stressed him out. <Yes> What do you think could be the cause of this?  Do you think I am giving them proper care? <Except for the lack (apparently) of filtration...> It is hard to tell from all the fish websites because everyone seems to be saying something a little different.  My fish seem otherwise healthy except for the shortening tails.  I've heard the suggestions on your site about adding small fish to the tank to distract them from biting their tails, and I guess it is possible that they are eating their tails when I am not around to see.  Do you think this would be a good idea for me to try? <Likely is bacterial... fix the water quality... Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help- Jay

Re: Shortening Tails <Likely bacterial... secondarily... related to a lack of filtration/cycling> Cycling is partial water changes- Correct? <<Mmm, not really... please see here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm>> <Except for the lack (apparently) of filtration...> I'm confused... you keep saying that I have a lack of filtration, but I stated in the beginning of the email that I have 2.5 gallon minibowls w/filters.   Are you saying that is not good enough?  The filters that came with the minibowls are Whisper Power Filters and I change the filter cartridges once a month as the back of the box suggests.  Sorry if I didn't make that part clear.   Minibowls are a kit that comes with a filter, overhead light, fish food (unfortunately unsuitable for betas) and a storage compartment under the tank.    <Thank you for this added information/clarification. Note the word "apparently"... I would check for ammonia, nitrite... try to schedule your filter cartridge changes "out of sync" with the water changes... to preserve biological cycling. Clear/er?> <I'd avoid complete water changes> About the water changes... I use a gravel vacuum when I clean their tanks.   How much of the water should I syphon out when doing a partial water change?   <<... this is posted on WWM... no more than half>> How often should I do this?  I figure that if you think there is a bacterial problem you also probably think that I'm not cleaning it enough. <<Please see WWM re FW maintenance, Bettas, their Systems... Much more to state that is related... and time is short. Bob Fenner>

My Betta has a problem...   12/28/05 Hi, I have a question about my Betta. He's a happy little guy in my 10 gallon tank along with platies, gouramis, a couple tiger barbs, a black red finned shark, and Corydoras. I noticed today that the scales on his head are protruding out, kinda like a pin cushion. I put him in my hospital tank...He swims and eats fine, but his heads all swollen and sticking out. Can you help!!!! <Mmm, may be "age" only... or subsequent expression from a physical trauma... only very secondarily an actual infectious (derived) problem... If anything I might treat this fish's water with Nitrofuranace (in the separate tank)... If it were mine, I'd more likely leave it in the main tank. Bob Fenner> Thanks,           Sedona Hopkins Re: My Betta has a problem...   12/29/05 Ok...I'll maybe pick up some Nitrofuranace, but it isn't something contagious, right? I really wouldn't want that. Thanks for your help, Sedona <It is very unlikely this is "catching"... is even pathogenic. Bob Fenner>

Betta Keeping, life lessons  12/24/05 I am really not looking for help at this point as it is too late for that, however I am trying to find some answers to educate myself.  Please forgive me, as I have never owned a fish and am not knowledgeable about them.  To give you a little background on my story, I bought a blue and red male Betta for my girlfriend in August to keep her company at college.  She named him Napoleon, and he always did great.  He lived in a little round glass fish bowl until late September when they both moved back home with me.  We bought a one gallon tank and a thing that circulates the water.  We put some rocks and a couple little fake plants in with him.  We changed his water completely and washed the rocks and plants once a week every Sunday and then half his water on Tuesdays and half on Fridays, always making sure it was distilled room temperature before putting Napoleon in it. <Good technique for temp., but distilled not desirable> I don't know anything about ammonia or nitrates or PH levels like you talk about, and that is something we regretfully never checked.  Napoleon was great and after he moved back home his colors became very vibrant.  Everything was going fine until this week.  We changed his water on Sunday, cleaned the tank and rocks, and put it all back together.  We used distilled water warmed to room temperature  (about 78 degrees) and life was good so far.  (On a side note we fed him 4 pellets in the morning and 4 in the evening. We thought since he was bigger than most Bettas he needed to eat more, I'm not sure if we were wrong in doing this.)  We changed half his water on Tuesday and he was his happy little self.  On Wednesday morning we noticed that he was a little lethargic and didn't swim all over his bowl, only swam up to the top to get his food.  I looked on the internet and couldn't find anything that fit his symptoms, although I thought maybe he was starting to get constipated.   Unfortunately I had to take my girlfriend to the emergency room Wednesday night (she's alright) so I had my mom stop by to check on Napoleon and she called me to tell me he wasn't looking very good.  When I got home he was floating on his side at the top of the bowl.  I thought at that point he was dead, and I tried to retrieve him and he uprighted himself and swam spastically all over the bowl before floating on his side again.  Realizing he was still alive, the first thing I did was change his water and again all he did was float sideways.  I did the pea thing and dropped it right in front of him and he took it in his mouth and spit it back out.  He wouldn't eat anything.  I couldn't get to a pet store until Thursday morning so I said a little prayer that if he was suffering that he would go onto a better place and not hurt anymore.  When I awoke Thursday morning he was still floating on his side and I noticed that he had lost all color (completely white) <Not good> around his fins and the back of his head, nowhere else, and both of his eyes were bulging out.  Again I thought he was dead and tried to retrieve him, and he swam away and started floating again.   I called a pet store and the clerk there told me to either flush him alive and not deal with it or put him in a Ziploc bag with some water and stick him in the freezer until he died.  Neither of these sounded humane and I don't believe in flushing fish down the toilet, and I couldn't freeze the poor guy to death.  As I was trying to track down another pet store, dear Napoleon left his world.  As bad as it sounds I didn't realize how attached I was to the little guy until he passed away.  I feel like a horrible horrible person for causing him to suffer.  After looking on your site, I cannot find any information that matches the symptoms he had.  He didn't have any white spots or evidence of fungus, he wasn't bloated, the only thing I could find was about the Popeye and it seems to me that was a secondary symptom.  I would like to know if any of you guys might know what happened? <Mmm, likely "just" environmental stress...> I'm sure it had something to do with our changing his water this week, but we did everything the same as we always had.   Whatever we did was bad enough it only took a few days for it to kill the fish.   We would like to know what we did wrong and what caused it, because we are at a loss.  I am really hoping that what I have told you rings a bell and you can tell us what happened to our poor Napoleon.  We are thinking about getting another Betta in the future as they are such magnificent creatures, but we don't want to risk hurting another fish.  It is a heavy load on my shoulders knowing that something I did caused the poor thing to suffer.  If you could educate me on what steps were wrong that we took I would appreciate it.  I don't ever want this to happen again if we get another fish.  Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you very much! <Thank you for writing. So clearly, and showing your care. And do take a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm Bob Fenner>

Betta With Pop Eye  12/24/05 Hello: A week and a half ago our Betta showed the first signs of Popeye. At the store I was told to use Melafix, but the problem just got worse. Now we are trying Maracyn Two in combination with Aquarium Salt and Cycle. We moved the fish into a hospital tank and changed the water every other day. The fish seems friskier and is eating again, but the eye condition didn't improve. Today is day four of Maracyn treatment; my question is for how long should I keep it on Maracyn and, eventually, what other medication would you recommend? Thanks for your help! Roxanne B. < The water changes are good. Treat with Nitrofurazone or Metronidazole instead. Both of these will work on anaerobic bacteria that are behind the eye pushing the eye out.-Chuck>

Very sick Betta please help!  12/22/2005 My male Betta. Has been swollen and on his side. He also has fin rot. I have been treating the fin rot <With what?> and he is not doing any better. I have stopped feeding him for over a week now. <For what purpose?> His color is pale. I have added .5 teaspoon of aquarium salt to his water. I have done a 100% water change every week. <Not a good idea to change all at once...> I have kept it warm and he is still on his side. I thought swim bladder but everything I read says it will correct itself and it has been a few weeks now. He is stuck at the top swollen and on his side? What else can I do? What else could it be? Pics to follow this e-mail. <... where? Is this fish in a heated, filtered system? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above... on Betta Disease, Feeding. Bob Fenner> Best Regards, Donya

Betta Disease, Systems 12/18/05 Hello, I have had my Betta for about a year now. He is in a one gallon glass bowl/vase. My husband felt bad for him so we purchased a 10 gallon aquarium and  put him in there with some molly's. We had 5 fish in there with him and they all died. One had a pop eye and  the last fish got Ick and died as well. (The medicine did not work) As soon as he got Ick I moved the Betta back to his old bowl, but now he  has gotten it too. I am treating him with rid Ick and got antibiotic in there as well because it looks like he has fin rot as well. After three days the Ick is clearing up but I want to know when to clean his water. I ordered an Eclipse  5 for him and should I move him in there when it arrives or should I finish the  medication first? <I would go and rig up, run the Eclipse, sans activated carbon... did you raise the water temperature in your treatment regimen? I strongly encourage you to do so... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm> He is eating again and has come back up to the top of the bowl (he had been sitting on the bottom) I don't want him to die, his color has changed a bit too. Please give me some advice. Thank you, Laura <Read on my friend. WWM has sections on Betta Disease, Systems... Bob Fenner>

Re: The disappearing fighting fish  12/18/05 Thought you might be interested . We dispensed with the BiOrb and now have a full size tank. <A good move> We found a fighters head complete in a tulip shell after contacting you when we emptied the orb, no sign of the rest of it though. Thanks Trevor <Thanks for the update! Good luck with the new tank. Best regards, John>

Betta with velvet  12/16/05 The velvet is the problem now. He is really breathing hard. What should I  Do about the velvet?  Thanks. Brandy <... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm ... "and the linked files above"... sigh. Bob Fenner>

Betta Still Passed Away  12/16/05 Hi Chuck, You wrote back to me about my Betta. Did you read my whole message? He was in very clean water and the temp. was at 80 degrees. He just  kept going from one illness to another. Their fins do grow back. Even the little  bit of his dorsal fin was growing . He ate like a little pig up until 3 days ago. I was sure trying hard to save him! There just isn't enough information on the medications. Like for instance; how long to use them, how to make sure they  are cured and the advice from the Betta sites are all different and can be very  confusing! Anyway... he died today. He at least had 9 days of a normal existence. Bless his heart. Thanks for at least writing me back.  Brandy < I thought I read it all. Typically Bettas get cold from being in little bowls with no heat. When the weather cools down the ambient air temperature cools down and the little Bettas get too cold and start to break down. Sorry you had so much trouble with your Betta and he passed away. I like to use a medication for three days, do a 50% water change and add carbon to the filter to totally remove any residual medication. The prevents the bacteria from developing a resistance to the medication. Keeping the same medication in the tank for so long probably contributed to developing a bacteria that was very resistant to antibiotics. Thus the never ending diseases. No proof but just and theory.-Chuck>

Betta Fish Illness: Please help! I have had a Betta fish for over a year and until last night, he was perfectly fine. He seems unable to keep himself upright and keeps turning to his side.   Also, he's not really able to swim to the bottom of the tank -- it's almost as if he had air in him and is unable to get rid of it -- larger bubbles appear out of his gills occasionally. <Good descriptions> Still, he's "fighting" to survive and we keep cheering him on and so far, he's made it through the night.  We fed him 4 little pellets this morning which he ate with energy, but then back to the floating on his side. He's in a large crystal vase in about 2 liters of treated water -- the only change there's been lately is I bought Hikari Tropical Betta Bio-Gold pellets and fed him those.  Today we fed him his old food -- same brand but without the "tropical". What can we do?  He's been such a great companion, puts on little dances in the morning when we come down to feed him, etc. etc. Mostly, we don't want him to suffer. <This fish needs to be moved to a heated, filtered system... this will likely cure him. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick Betta  12/15/05 How do I use CopperSafe with frequent water changes? He is in a 2 gal.  tank. I have been treating this poor fish from the day I bought him. He has been  in Maracyn II all but 9 days since Oct. 15. I keep his water very clean  with sea salt and stress coat as directed. He has had fin rot, Ich, and now  velvet. I treated him with Maracide 3 weeks in a row with no results and he  seems to be getting worse. WHAT CAN I DO? How do I help with the stress of all  this medication? The meds. don't give enough information on the use and how long  to use them. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!  Desperate at this point!  Brandy < Bettas actually come from warm calm water. Increase the water temp to 80 F. You would be amazed at how much better many Bettas get just from being kept at the right water temp. Since you are using such a little bowl I would mix half the water with distilled and half the water with tap. High minerals in some waters may interfere with the medications. You have been treating this guy way too long. You should have seen some results in a couple of days not a couple of months. I would back of on the meds for a few days , get him to eat and build his strength back up. Clean warm water will go a long way. His fins may have become fungused and may never grow back. Improve the conditions.  I have a feeling that if the bacteria causing the disease was still active then there would be no fins left on your Betta by now. If the fins are still being eaten away then I would treat with Nitrofuranace. If they are remaining constant, then I would not medicate and assume they have been fungused off. I don't think they will grow back.-Chuck>

Bloated Betta, Treatment options - 12/13/2005 Hello, My name is Matt, I'm 20 and I live in Florida. My question is, I have had a Betta for about 1 yr now, and I know he's nearing the end.... <So sorry to hear this.> However I want to postpone this as long as possible. Recently, he started hanging out around the bottom of the tank and it takes me time to get his attention, also he started to get really bloated, and now his stomach is very distended. I tried the Epsom salt, I tried peas, and both to no avail.... Help me, please, I don't want this to be the end for "Mr. Big". <Matt, I would keep up with the Epsom salt for a little while and discontinue feeding entirely for some days - then feed only foods high in roughage content (adult daphnia, adult brine shrimp, peas, etc.).  This is really the best recommendation that I have for you....  If this is the result of a bacterial infection (Mycobacteriosis is common in Bettas right now), then at this point there really is little you can do....  Feeding food medicated with Oxytetracycline may possibly help, but it is unlikely.  For now, be vigilant, keep his water quality pristine (test and maintain ZERO ammonia, ZERO nitrite, less than 20ppm nitrate) and hope for the best.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Summat about a Betta fish  12/13/05 Over the past week my fish isn't as active as he used to be.  I've had him for a year and a half now and I got him from a pet store. I change his water regularly but lately when he swims around it's like the back-half of him sinks. He'll swim a little and it will sink. Do you think he's just old and maybe dying? Let me know if you can help me, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks so much! Erica Price <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

What does Monster have besides the blues? <Betta Systems, Disease> 12/13/05 Hi gang. I am hoping someone can help me out with this.  Sorry for the length -- I tried to be really specific because I feel like I am sort of 'in between' sicknesses and need help with a diagnosis. I've had Monster <Uhh... what "is" this?> for about a year without any problems.  He has lived happily in a bowl (first a Betta sphere, then a half gallon bowl with glass marbles) in my warm apartment.  This winter, however, it has gotten pretty chilly over the past few weeks (down to 63F, which I now know is WAY WAY too low, though a pet store told me Bettas <Oh, a Betta> were ok down to 60F) <No> and Monster has gotten lethargic.  Sunday, after having been gone for two days, I returned to find him REALLY lethargic, not eating, fins kind of clumped, labored breathing (big open-mouth gulps and flaring gills) and a cotton-like thing on the right side of his head (in front of the gills, but behind the eyes).   He had some stringy cottony looking trailer things on his feelers, too.  It is possible that I saw a little bit of flashing last week, but not a lot (I wouldn't have known it was significant behavior at the time and can't quite remember). I immediately treated the bowl with jungle fungus eliminator  (just one time) and aquarium salt.  I also bought a really cheap desk lamp with a bulb that got hot to leave above the bowl to heat up the water.  In the morning, he looked much better and I went to the tropical fish store - they recommended simply Betta anti-fungal/ anti-bacterial (I don't know what is in it, no ingredients listed, product info. not available on the internet. weird, if you ask me) instead of the fungus eliminator and suggested that I increase the salt to 1 Tbs/ gallon, which I did (over the course of a few hours).  Water changes every other day (matching temp).  Still, the lamp went off at night, so there was probably a not insignificant diurnal change -- less than ideal. <...> Within a day or two, appetite returned, lethargy improved somewhat, labored breathing was gone (almost instantly), and the cottony stuff was gone.   However, in its place, precisely where it had been on his head, were a few (2-3) white pus spots where it looked like sores had been and were healing.   These did NOT look like sugar or salt grains and they were only under where the cottony stuff had been (imagine what it would look like if you skinned your knee and then soaked it in a salt bath - pussy).  I continued to treat with simply Betta and aquarium salt until this morning.  Still, monster was a little lethargic and I realized I haven't seen the top fin flare out in a while, though I attribute this to the low temp. <Yes...> The pus dots shrink sometimes, but still aren't gone.  One went away and there is a new one close to the old one and the area, just right there on the right side of his head (not at the gill, in front of the gill), is a little faded looking.  His swimming is still a little off (he just seems so week, no top fin flaring) so today I bought an aquarium with a heater (YAY!) and a filter and a baby tear plant (which, after looking it up when I got home, I realize will probably die pretty soon).  Monster is much happier, the top fin is even starting to come out a little, though I realize now that it looks pretty ragged.  In terms of figuring out what is going on, there has been no flashing this week at all. How should I proceed?  This is my first Betta, first aquarium, first problem.  The temp is set to 82 and there is 1 tsp/ gallon of salt, but no other treatment in the water. I don't think it is Ich, but I have never seen Ich, so I don't really know (after all there ARE "white dots").  I am not sure that I treated the fungus long enough, though it seems that there is the chance to hurt the fish with the treatment - I don't want to risk it if now I can just increase temp / salt and that would be sufficient. Thanks for reading all this and for helping me figure out how to help Monster. Rachel <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm and the linked files above, particularly re Betta Systems. Bob Fenner>

Sick Betta - 12/11/2005 Good morning.  My beta looks very pale. He is not eating. His fins are fraying. He has a slimy coating with yellow dots all over even his eyes.  Can you help me find out what he has so I can treat him? Thanks :-) Marisha J. Gruber < Probably got chilled and got sick. Find a way to heat your Bettas water up to 80 F. Treat with Nitrofuranace as per he directions on the package.-Chuck>

Betta Not Acting Normal - 12/11/2005 Good day! I am already concerned with my fish Fabio. He's a male Betta fish who is quite a character (as I had owned another male Betta fish before that my  housemates describe as "boring").  A week ago I noticed that my fish hasn't been acting like himself lately.  Doesn't get excited when I feed him or when he sees me or when I let him play with his mirror.  So Friday night I changed his water but after two days (Sunday), during which he has been eating less & less (had to scope out stale food), I noticed that he hasn't made any bubble nest whatsoever.  I checked the internet for possible reasons, diagnosis, and treatment and upon closer look saw that the end of his fins is clumped up.  He wasn't eating any more, stays at the bottom & only goes up to the surface to get air.  He was definitely not his sociable self and chose to ignore me & my housemates which is so not him. I finally decided to get him medicine for his rotting fins, so I changed his water and started medication last Tuesday.  He was still not eating (I continued to feed him and scoop out the stale food after).  He is now staying near the surface of the water I guess for easy access compared to him staying at the bottom days before.  Worst, he has difficulty swimming -- at times he looks like he's going to tip over and swims erratically. I don't know if I have given all necessary information that can help you help me with my problem.  When I went to a the pet shop where I bought my fish Fabio four & a half months ago I went looking for this medication that I got from the internet Neosulfex' by Aquatronics but they didn't carry it and instead gave me Splendid Betta BettaFix Remedy.  I think that I should be patient and wait for it to work but what if I'm wrong and it's not a tail & fin rot.  My fish I still not eating and I don't think I can bear losing another fish this soon.  I hope you can help me. Sincerely, Karen  < One of the biggest problems with Bettas is housing.  They are usually kept in little bowls with no filtration and no heat. Bettas actually come from slow moving or stagnant bodies of water that get very hot. Probably over 80F in some cases. In fish bowls they are easily chilled. Since they are cold blooded they get cold and slow down. Sometimes to the point that they stop eating. Almost like a hibernation. I would recommend that you find a way to heat him up to that water temp and see if he gets better. If not the medications will be more effective.-Chuck>

Sick Betta - 12/11/2005 Good morning.  My Betta looks very pale. He is not eating. His fins are fraying. He has a slimy coating with yellow dots all over even his eyes.  Can you help me find out what he has so I can treat him? Thanks :-) Marisha J. Gruber < Probably got chilled and got sick. Find a way to heat your Bettas water up to 80 F. Treat with Nitrofuranace as per he directions on the package.-Chuck>

5 year old Betta  12/12/05 Hello from San Diego. <Hello! John here with you this evening from cold and wet Shanghai>   We have a Betta who is 5 years old, yes 5! <This is good going!> The man that we bought him from is very impressed.  We didn't realize what a long life this has been for a Betta. He has a large bowl with a peace lily.  Recently our dog (who is 14 1/2) took his plant out and ate part of it. Our poor Betta was lethargic and laying on the bottom of the bowl nestled in the crease at the base. <I had a similar experience when my cats went digging in my old Betta tank a few years ago.> His color was pale and he didn't want to eat.  Swimming seemed to be an effort and he seemed heavy, like he is sinking.  Of course we got him some more plants to cheer him up (making sure that the leaves stay underwater so that our boy Bugsy doesn't eat them.)  His color is now much better and he has perked up a bit. He also is moving his eyes.  Before they were stationary.  He is able to lay on leaves close to the surface and easily gulp air now which seems to be helping a lot.  The best part is that he has made some bubble nests!  We can't help but feel that he is saying thank you and that he is happy, but he still is not eating. <His predicament does sound somewhat better.> Usually we give him his food and give a tap to let him know it's there.  He has always been a good eater, and a bit of a beggar. He even knows how to snap bubbles to get our attention (smart fish!) For the past 3 or 4 days we tap but feel as if he can't really see it.  We always tell our animals that they are going to live forever but it seems that maybe he is tired and ready to leave.  We just want him to be happy and comfortable. Do you think that he might pull through? <You Betta has lived a long live... but it is certainly possible that he could pull through. Make sure the water quality is pristine, and temperature is stable. You could try feeding a few (thawed) frozen bloodworms, or soaking his food in garlic to improve his appetite.> Thank you for your time <You're welcome. Good luck to you and your Anabantoid friend. John.>

Seeking Betta Advice  12/12/05     Dear Bob, I hope it is okay that I contact you through this email address. I have several questions concerning Bettas and have been putting forth due diligence in hopes of answering my many questions about how to care for Bettas. After visiting the website, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/, I have found that many other Betta owners have addressed questions to you and have been able to resolve their problems and I'm hoping for the same outcome, if you would be so kind.     At my workplace, I'm known to be the 'animal person' because I have several cats, a dog and a hamster and will practically go to the ends of the earth for them. The news spread to one my co-workers who dropped by my cubical one day and asked if I was interested in acquiring a Betta. I was very reluctant since I had a very bad experience with goldfish as a child. My goldfishes kept mating and spawning roe cluster all over the tank, whereby I tried to clean it and unknowingly cracked the tank and all the watered drained and they died a horrible death. In any regards, she explained to me that she received the Betta as a gift when she attended a baby shower. She said it was awful and she believes the Betta should have a better home that can provide more attention to him because the water changes proved a nuisance to her husband and she herself didn't have the time. I went home and asked my boyfriend what he thought. He was enthusiastic and promised to share some of the responsibilities. I called my co-worker and she bought the fish to work the next day. He came in a little bowl that held about 22 fl. oz. of water (I measured). It was horrifying because the tank was this murky brown color. She also bought his food too, which is the Tetra BettaMin brand and suggested that if I change the water its fine that I do a full change but only with Arrowhead Mountain Spring water. I felt so bad I called my boyfriend and he asked me to go to Petco to buy him a new larger tank and do a water change at work in front of my co-worker so that she can go over with me anything I needed to know. I bought one of those Anchor Hocking Classic Drum Style 2 gallon tanks and gravel that looks like marbles that had been flatten. I didn't know any better! After a pH test and water change everything was fine and he was happy. My co-worker told me to only feed the Betta 4 flakes every other day. I thought that was incorrect. My boyfriend and I started to feed him 2 times a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I started having to do water changes every 4 days. I was worried that one day I would crack the glass of the fishbowl in addition to the Bettas health because dust falls in the bowl and creates a thin layer of muck and during his feedings he would gulp a little of that stuff. I then bought him one of those Mini-Bow 2.5 gallon aquariums but when I bought it home it felt really flimsy. I went back to Petco the same day and ended up buying the Eclipse 3 gallon tank. Since it had a hood I didn't have to worry about the dust and I figured that the water would be cleaner because the tank had that 3-stage filtration system. Anyhow, I setup the tank and let it sit for a day and relocated him the next evening. When I went to relocate him I noticed he had a white batch on his forehead (review picture) and some of his scales above and below his lateral line-back half of his body- looked ruffled. I tried to look on the internet to see what was wrong with him. It didn't look like he had Ick because it didn't look like someone sprinkled him with salt and the only other indication of having anything white on him indicated that he had a fungal problem. I went to Petco the next day and got him Maroxy and followed the directions and medicated him for 5 days. It didn't work! At the end of the five days he still had his white patch. On the fifth day I had guest over and they said that he has Ick. I waited another 2 days and did a full water change and started giving him Maracide with Maracyn. It didn't help. I waited another two days and treated him again with just the Maracide (by the way, no filter except the bio-wheel). It's still not helping. He doesn't seem to be getting worst except now his food intake is less than it used to be maybe 8 little particles (brine shrimp and flakes).     I feel so hopeless. I really have no idea what to do with him. I have a feeling the tank maybe too cold (only the backside of our house gets hits by sunlight). I would like to get him a heater. Do you think this is a good idea? I was told for small aquariums the conversion exchange is 4-5 watts per gallon. My tank is has a 3-gallon capacity and the smallest heater I can find is a 25 watt will that too strong for him? Can you advise to 1 specific brand of heater I should get as well as a thermostat to monitor the heater? Can you advise what wattage I should get? Also, once I have this heater and thermometer where in my tank should I place it?     In addition, to my battle-ram of questions, do I have the right tank? I thought I did except I think the filtration maybe too much. I like the filtration and I think he does too, but the current it creates bothers both him and I. He used to blow bubble nest and still does once the filter is unplugged. I think the flux in the movement of water is causing problems for him when he tries to create his nest. I LOVE his nests. It's the only way I know he's happy with me, so it's very important. Finally, his food! He won't take any other suggestions of food. He will not eat the Tetra Blood Worms Freeze Dried treats I got him or the Hikari Betta Bio-Gold. He just likes his Tetra BettaMin (especially the yellow bits in it). I pick it out for him so that he gets more of those than the flakes. I would prefer him to have a variation of foods. Please advise I would really appreciate it. Thanks again! Christina <Don here tonight. Wow! You've gone through a lot to house this guy. A big thank you for that. First and foremost, you want a heater. Bettas are tropical fish and need a steady temp in the high 70s. Get the lowest wattage one you can find and place it in a corner when it get some flow from the filter. The tank and filter you have him in are fine. Only two problems with housing. The incandescent bulb may heat up the water too much. Keep a thermometer in there and monitor. As long as the temp stays steady, day and night, you'll be fine. As to the flow from the filter, you are correct. Bettas do not like current. Maybe a few plants, real or plastic, would break it up a bit. That bio wheel will not help control water quality until it becomes established with two species of bacteria. Never clean the bio wheel. Not even a rinse in tap water. Read here on "FW Cycling": http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm As for maintenance, you should never change 100% of the water. 50% once a week will be fine after your tank is cycled. Twice a week for now. Use dechlorinated tap water. As to feeding. Every other day is fine for now. Until you have this tank cycled food is a bad thing. It creates the ammonia and nitrite that cycling will control. After cycling is complete, once a day is enough. Getting his water temp up will help with his appetite. I think that if you get his temp correct and reduce the 100% water changes to 50% most of the other health related problem will clear on there own. Stop all medication. They kill off all the bacteria in your system, good and bad. And you must have that good bacteria. Bettas are tough little guys and fight off most small problems if they are housed in pristine conditions and at the correct temperature. Good luck with him. Don>     

Chocolate Salted Betta - Betta and Ich  12/10/05 HI!!!:) <Hello Lacy, Adam J with you tonight.> My girl Betta Daisy has white spots on here fins. Yesterday she was fine. Not to long ago I put her in a 10 gallon tank. Their are some other fish with her some small fish and to small goldfish. <Mmm, goldfish and Bettas are not good tank mates. They prefer different temperatures and the goldfish can easily outcompete the Betta for food.> She is staying in the corner a lot and she is not eating either. I don't think she has Ick.  <It's Ich but in any event I think you are correct. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> sincerely, Lacy <Good luck, Adam J.>

I Thought He Had Ich...  12/5/05 I thought that my Betta had Ick because he had white spots, but they went away after a day. He is still scratching though. He likes to but his face in the smooth rocks on the bottom of the tank. He didn't do that before. I looked more closely and found that there is a red break in the pearly scales that cover most of his head. It is right in front of his gills. His body is red so I wonder if it was always like that and I failed to notice, or if its a symptom of something. Is there a disease that has scratching, quick-fading white spots, sluggish then erratic movements, and red slashes by the gills? Is it Ick or something else? The red marks are really throwing me off. Please help. Thank you, Concerned Betta Owner. <Lindsay, your Betta likely still has Ick. The white spots are only visible on the fish for one out of the four-week lifecycle of the parasite. I would treat by slowly raising the temperature to 85 degrees, and salt the water with aquarium salt, according to the directions. During this time, perform regular water changes, being sure to salt the replacement water the requisite amount. Please also read up on "cycling" a tank and how to test for water quality. Best regards, John> 

Mister Miyagi and his Bubbly Eye  12/7/05 Hello, I have a Siamese fighting fish called Mr. Miyagi, who of course I am very attached to. (He is just so cool) <They are wonderful fish.> Anyway, I've been reading like crazy on your forum to try to figure out what is wrong with Mr. Miyagi's eye. He has a little bubble in his left eye. His eye is neither swollen or protruding etc... he just has a little bubble in there. <Odd. Though this is not something I've seen in a Betta, I doubt that it is a major health issue, the way you're describing....> He seems perfectly fine apart from this- you know- eating well, very energetic etc, just the bubble. <I think I would not be too terribly concerned at this point.> I read about the Epsom salts other people use for their Bettas with similar conditions, but am unsure whether this is the solution for my little Betta. <Epsom salt is very helpful as a laxative and for other fluid and swelling issues.... Though it wouldn't hurt to try, I doubt that it will do much, if anything, for your otherwise healthy sounding pet.> I would appreciate nay advice as I am VERY fond of him and would be shattered if he died. <All things pass.... but doesn't sound like this condition will do in Mr. Miyagi.> (Although my work-mates would probably breathe a sigh of relief because they would no longer have to hear about him daily!)  <Tell them his prognosis is good - and for now, just "keep an eye" on him (sorry, couldn't help the pun). Maintain optimal water quality (ZERO ammonia, ZERO nitrite, 20ppm or less nitrate), and overall keep him a happy fish!> Regards, -Paula. <All the best to you and Mister M., -Sabrina>
Mister Miyagi and his Bubbly Eye (Not His Bubbly Toes) - II - 12/09/2005
Hi Sabrina, <Hello, Paula!> Thank you so much for your reply. I will do the things you said and 'keep an eye' on him. He seems to be very happy, he even built a bubble nest yesterday, and the eye has not changed (gotten bigger or anything) so hopefully it will be okay. <Sounds good, so far.> Thanks again, -Paula <Sure thing. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Betta With Ich  12/7/05 My Betta is suffering from Ich. I have noticed that his tail is becoming increasingly ragged and I am finding pieces of it on the bottom of his tank. Could this be from fin rot, or could the holes left by the parasite be making it more susceptible to tearing? The pieces of tail are scattered within close proximity to his decorative Roman columns. Could he be tearing his tail on that when he goes to scratch himself? I need to know whether or not to treat him for fin rot. Is it bad to mix medication for fin rot and Ich? What is the best medicine (in your opinion) that works for each disease? Some websites say that Ich medication should be coupled with bacterial medication to fight secondary infection. Is this necessary? If so, is it safe to combine medicines for Ich, bacteria, and fin rot or would it unduly stress out my Betta? <Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and change the filter. Heat the water up to 82 F. Treat with Rid-Ich+ by Kordon and treat with Nitrofuranace at the same time. follow the directions on the bottles.-Chuck> 

Betta in rough shape  12/7/05 Hi guys.  <Catherine, a girl, today.> I bought a male Betta from a pet store 3 months ago. For the last week or so, he's been really lethargic, and hasn't been eating much (today he won't eat at all), and his fins seem to be stuck together. He doesn't seem to be able to fan them out like he used to. They don't look like they are disintegrating at all. He's in a bowl (approx 2L), and today (when I read some of the FAQ's on your page) I put a desk lamp over his bowl to try to warm up the water a bit.  I change his water once a week, and put water conditioner for Bettas in the water every time and make sure it's at room temperature before I put him back in the bowl. He was eating Nutrafin Max Betta flakes, but the pet store suggested I try him on pellets to decrease amount of nitrates. The problem is, he won't eat the pellets. I don't know anything about fish, and I'm lost as to where to go from here! If you need more info, let me know. I'm worried about my fish! Thanks! Steph <Hi Steph! It's good that you are worried about your little guy. A couple of thoughts/suggestions. First read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm. Your light is good to warm the tank, but it may result in highly fluctuating temperatures. You might consider getting a 25 watt heater. Visi-Therm Stealth makes a good one. You also might consider plants (silk or real) and a larger system.  You might also want to try feeding him a few bloodworms and/or a peeled, crushed raw pea. When you change his water, try to change only about 50% at a time -- this results in less of a shock to his system. Consider getting a test kit to ensure your levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are at 0, 0, and <20ppm. If they aren't, reduce the amount you are feeding him and increase water change frequency. You may have to change water often considering you have a tiny tank. Best of luck with him. Catherine.> 

Re: The disappearing fighting fish  12/8/05 Thanks for the fast answer . <Hi Trevor -- You're welcome>  We have the water tested and actually get it from our local aquarium supplier. <OK. Obviously, a healthy, cycled filter is more important than the source of the water.> The orb is covered and the last test after the vanishing showed evidence of a corpse rotting , but other than that all the tests have been good. <Hmmm the corpse must have been somewhere.> Sorry I can't think what the suckers are , some kind of mini catfish as far as I can remember. Do you think it likely they could get rid of it all overnight or during one day or something like that <It is unlikely, but possible. If you have searched high and low, inside the tank and the filter, then I believe it is your only explanation.> Trevor <Best regards from Shanghai, John> 

Betta's Been Bent, Folded, and Mutilated!  Ow  - 12/03/05 I have a female Betta who has been injured somehow. I left her with a friend when I was away for Thanksgiving, and when I came back my friend said that she'd cleaned my fish's tank. Now my fish cannot swim properly and I have noted that the problem is with her left side fin. She swims in circles a lot and cannot make it to the top of her normal tank. When she folds her fins against her body, the left one sticks out. Also I have noticed that her left fin is more ragged than her right. I have moved her to a shallow tank where she can more easily reach the top, and I am wondering if there is anything further I can do for her. If her fin is "broken," is there a possibility it will heal or am I putting her through unnecessary pain? < Chances are you Betta may have attempted to jump out and injured herself. As long as there are no fungal infections then she will probably heal. That doesn't mean that she will fully recover. Internal damage is hard to diagnose and impossible to treat.-Chuck>

Ich Vash!  Betta is Ich-y  11/30/05 I bought this Betta a week and a half ago. His name is Vash. He has white spots on his body. He was acting healthy yesterday and I saw no signs of anything wrong. Today I noticed the Ick and went to the store and bought Ick Away. I clean his water very regularly, but I'm afraid I feed him too much. Could that have caused it? <You should feed very, very sparingly in this small tank.> I'm so confused. He is in a 2.5 gallon tank and seemed extremely healthy (flared fins and playful movements). <Yup, Bettas are great.> Why did he get this disease? I just lost another beta exactly a week ago. <He may have already been carrying it at the store (the life cycle of Ick is around 4 weeks).> This one is my favorite and I really don't want him to die. I'm sorry, I didn't have time to read through all the sites on WetWebMedia. Is there anything else I can do? I'm afraid I will lose him very soon. Please respond as soon as possible. <I would gradually raise the temperature in the tank (you'll need a small submersible heater) to over 85 degrees. This will speed up the life cycle of the Ick. Add aquarium salt according to the directions on the package to kill parasites. Replace part of the water frequently with dechlorinated water of the same temperature, salted enough to keep the salt concentration at the correct levels. When removing water from the tank, try to suck it from the bottom. Continue this treatment (heat and salt) for a couple of weeks after all symptoms have disappeared. After this, do read up on nitrogenous wastes (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate), and how to keep them in check.> Thank you. -Katie- <Welcome. Best of luck to you and your Anabantoid friend. John> 
Ich! Vash!  Getting Better  12/1/05
Thank you so much, John, for the quick reply. <You're welcome> You probably saved my fish. Vash is clearing up. He only has a few spots now. <Good to hear. Remember, Ich has a 4-week lifecycle... and is only visible on the fish for one week of this, so be sure to follow the recommended course on the bottle through to completion. Vacuuming off the bottom will also help to get rid of parasites which have dropped off the fish.> I wasn't able to go purchase a heater last night, but I turned up the heat in the dorm. <Stability is key here> The Ick Away seems to have done the job for now, but I am still concerned. Should I continue the treatment? I'm afraid I have become rather paranoid about Vash after Wolfwood (my other Betta) died last week. Wolfwood's bowl sat next to my "super loud" alarm clock. Could that have been a factor in his death? <It's always important to limit stress factors in fish, especially in such small quarters> I don't know what was wrong with him. He wouldn't eat and he laid vertically at the bottom of the bowl with his tail straight up. He swam on his side and had to do complex acrobatics just to get up for air. It became increasingly harder for him to do so. He eventually gave up and dove down into the rocks as fast as he could and didn't attempt to get air any more. I don't know if it was the lack of air or the force of the impact that killed him. Could he have had a swim-bladder problem? <I'd suspect water quality issues.> As for Vash, do I have to look online for a heater for so small a tank (2.5 gallons) or can I get one at Wal-Mart or PetSmart? <I can't say (don't have such stores locally). It may even be cheaper to just buy a cheap 5g tank and a 50W heater. Then, with a small hang-on filter, you have the perfect tank for a Betta.>  Also, should I purchase rock salt and pH test strips? <Nitrite and ammonia test kits will be of more use here.> Another question I have concerns my friend's Bettas. She keeps her room fairly cold (probably around 60 degrees), and she keeps them in rather small bowls. Her fish have been doing fine for months now. Is this a fluke? <It can be done -- these fish are very hardy. Unfortunately, they all-too-often suffer for this.> I gave her Vash's old bowl after I bought the tank for him, but it still doesn't seem big enough. Her fish often change to a grayish color when the water gets dirty but become vibrant again once their bowls are cleaned. She changes the water once a week, but that doesn't seem enough for such a small bowl. Sorry for writing so much.  <You're very welcome. Good luck with Vash.> Thanks again, Katie. <Best regards, John> 

Listless Betta, Aging Betta - 11/29/05 Hello, <Hello Peter, John here.> I have had my Betta for almost 2 years now, and it has been wonderful.  <I love Bettas, wonderful fish, but have sworn off them... for the time being, at least.> I have never experienced any problems with it being sick, or relatively unhappy, until now. In the last week, I've noticed that the fish is always on its side "gasping" for breaths. Rarely will it swim up, even when I feed it in the mornings. I got worried and changed out all its water, about 10 minutes ago. <Be very careful when doing this. I would prefer smaller, say 50%, changes, more often. Make sure temperature and pH are matched, and that tap water is treated with water conditioner before use.> The tank I have the fish in is about 3/4 of a gallon. I have noticed a bit of discoloration, and its top fin seems weaker and thinner. When the fish does swim, it swims in a very weak fashion. I am worried about my fish, it has stayed with me for a while and I don't want it to die now. If you can, please help me. <Awww. I understand completely. In the absence of any obvious disease, it is difficult to recommend a course of treatment. It is possible your Betta is simply becoming old. 2 - 3 years is a common lifespan for fancy Bettas (that's why I have sworn off them). However, there are things you can do to improve his lot. First of all, can you make sure you place his tank in an area which is not prone to temperature fluctuations? In fact, the best thing you could do (and what I would do here...) for this guy would be to purchase him a slightly larger tank (3 gallons would be fine, 5 would be great), and a small heater and filter. Read up on the nitrogen cycle as applied to filtration in fish tanks, and test the water for concentrations of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. If you can get your hands on a product called "Bio-Spira", that would facilitate the establishment of the new filter. Bettas are wonderful fish, and do indeed deserve a little more swimming room. You may also find that, with a careful watch on water quality, and a stress-free environment in which to recuperate, your Betta will show signs of recovery before long.> Thank you so much for your time, Peter Haddad <No worries. Good luck to you and your Anabantoid friend. For specific advice on setting up a new Betta tank, you could try our user forums, http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk . Best regards, John.>

Thank you for the Epsom salt remedy and other info  11/24/05 You will be pleased to know that I now have two very happy Betta fish...thanks to you. I've been caring for them, somewhat reluctantly, for almost two years... since a relative gave them to my children. Until now, they've been in  vases with peace plants. <A fate of many...> Since one developed Popeye and stopped eating three weeks ago, I have learned a lot ... especially from your site. I had gotten lazy with the water changing. The Maracyn didn't seem to do anything, but the Epsom salt did. I have gone out and purchased TWO 2.5 gallon tanks w/small heaters and have the same "gems" on the bottom. The guy with the eye problem, who I thought I would have to euthanize somehow, is eating bloodworms (used to be plain old Betta food) swimming in twice as big an area in balmy temperatures. <Good> Since he was doing so much better, I ran out today and got another one for the other fish. I see him spending less time on the bottom now too...much happier. <Ah, very good> I haven't hooked up the air filters or put stones on the bottom because I'm not quite sure what to do. I've stuck the peace plants through the top because they do like to rest in them. If you have any suggestions for whether I should hook up the air filter, add gravel, plants, etc....I would appreciate it. <You should> I'm not a fish person. Feel sorry for them...and for birds in cages. Only cats and dogs before. Thanks again. <Become yourself. Bob Fenner>

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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