Diseases in Bettas

Diseases in Bettas

The majority of diseases are caused by bad water conditions. If you take care of your water quality by doing frequent water changes, and house and care for your betta sufficiently, disease will be scarcely a problem. However, disease does happen, and it is good to be prepared in case it does. Having a few medications on hand is a good idea.

 

FIN ROT

Fin rot is probably be the most common disease for Bettas.

 

Fin Rot is manly caused by dirty water, but it can also be caught if they damage their fins (such as tearing them on a sharp ornament), from here, it is open to bacteria, and fin rot may take hold.

 

It is contagious, so keep any Betta’s water away from healthy Bettas.

 

If you happen to have a divided tank that allows Betta’s to share the water, treat all the Betta’s involved.

 

To tell if your Betta has Fin Rot, his tail will look torn, or with bits missing. The edges may have either a white or black lining.

 

To treat Fin Rot, any bacterial treatment will work. Adding aquarium salt could help too. IAL (Indian Almond Leaves) are always recommended, as they hold anti-bacterial properties.

 

TIP: If you use aquarium salt, 100% sea salt is pretty much the same and works just as well. Any salt as long as it does NOT contain Iodine is fine. I use rock salt, but make sure it is dissolved before use. Use at a dosage of 1 tsp per 20L.
Once Fin Rot is treated, fins should grow back, but there is a chance they will not be quite the same as before, depending on how severe the case was.

 

 

PINHOLE FIN ROT

Pinhole finrot is much the same as finrot, but rather than frayed, torn edges, it appears as pinholes in a Bettas fins.

 

Treat the same as finrot.

FIN MELT

Finmelt is another form of finrot. Rather than the fins rotting, the fins melt, and look like melted plastic. Finmelt is extremely aggressive, and should be hit straight away with heavy medications. Triple sulfur or tetracycline is a good choice.

 

 

VELVET

Velvet is a parasite that is very contagious.

 

It can be hard to spot, but if you shine a torch on your Betta and it looks as if it is covered with a fine gold or rusty dust, then sadly you have Velvet to deal with.

 

Bettas with Velvet will act quite sick: they will have clamped fins, and will scratch against anything such as gravel, tank walls, or decorations. They may also have a loss of appetite and colour.

 

To treat Velvet, keep the Betta in the dark (throw a towel over the tank), raise the heat a bit, and medicate with any medication that cures Velvet. Aquarium salt will also help*. IAL is always recommended.

 

The reason you black out the tank is because velvet requires light for their life cycle. Cut the light, they cannot grow, the medication kills them, and because of lack of light – new parasites cannot start another lifecycle.

 

Sanitize any nets you use, along with anything your fish has had contact with.

 

* TIP: If you use aquarium salt, 100% sea salt is pretty much the same and works just as well. Any salt as long as it does NOT contain Iodine is fine. I use rock salt, but make sure it is dissolved before use.

SWIM BLADDER DISEASE

Swim bladder disease is not contagious, and can be caused by many things, usually overfeeding. The Swim Bladder is an organ located near its back. It helps the Betta to swim properly.

 

Your Betta may have gotten Swim Bladder Disease if you dropped him/her or handled too roughly. If this is the cause, it can not be cured.

 

When a Betta has Swim Bladder, he will either float vertically at the top of the water, or lie on the tank bottom. They will have difficultly swimming, and may or may not have a kink in its back to make it ‘S’ shaped.

 

Double Tail Betta’s are more prone to Swim Bladder as they have a shorter body than singled tailed Bettas.

 

There isn’t really a treatment, most of the time, it sorts itself out. It’s a good idea to put your Betta in a tank longer than deep, or lower the water level. This helps them to be able to reach the surface.

 

Fast your betta for 24-48 hrs, and the following day, offer a pea.

 

Sometimes Bettas will live with SBD for their lives, but don’t worry: they aren’t in pain, just have a little difficulty maneuvering.

 

Thankyou, eBetta.com

DROPSY

Not much is known about Dropsy, and it is probably the most fatal Betta disease. Insufficient water quality, and disease from live food have both been blamed for causing dropsy, although there isn’t proof that they are the sole cause.

 

Dropsy is when a Bettas kidney fails. Fluid builds up, and causes the scales to be raised like a pine-cone.

 

Dropsy isn’t contagious, but the bacteria that caused it is. Any Betta with Dropsy should be isolated from all other livestock.

 

Sadly, they will die within the maximum of 15 days, there is no cure.

 

ICK

Also known as white spot, Ick is a parasite, which is very contagious.

 

Bettas with ick look as if they have been sprinkled with salt. They may be less active, have a loss of appetite, clamped fins, and could be scratching on anything that could be found.

 

To cure, raise the temperature of the water to 30ºC (85º F), and add any medication that cures whitespot/ick. It should be gone within a week.

 

If your Betta is in a small tank, you cannot raise the temperature. Do not put heaters in tanks less than 20L, as it could easily boil your fish! If this is the case, do a full water change, and add your medication and Aquarium Salt*.

 

The reason you raise the temperature is because the Ick parasite is sensitive to heat, and will detach itself from the fish and swim off in the water; there, the medication will kill it.

 

* TIP: If you use aquarium salt, 100% sea salt is pretty much the same and works just as well. Any salt as long as it does NOT contain Iodine is fine. I use rock salt, but make sure it is dissolved before use – you don’t want your Betta swallowing it.
Picture thanks to eBetta.com, used with permission.

 

POPEYE

Popeye is a bacterial infection, and is caused by poor water conditions. As you can probably tell by its name, the eyes of a fish with pop eye bulge, until they are popping out.

 

To treat, do a waterchange, add Indian Almond Leaves (IAL) if available, as they contain anti-bacterial properties. You can also add anti-bacterial medication. Melafix may be of use for mild cases. When using Melafix for bettas, use at half the recomended dosage rate.. as Melafix can be harmful. Bettafix is the same as Melafix, just at a dilated dosage.

 

When cured, the eye will deflate, and sink back into its socket.

 

 

Picture thanks to BettaTalk.

TUBERCULOSIS

Easily the most deadly Betta disease, even though many people haven’t even heard of it. It can imitate may other diseases (such as Popeye) and that makes it hard to find. Often, the Betta has a twisted spine and is really skinny, even if it is being fed normally. It can take up to six months to take affect, and when it does, it attacks internal organs such as livers and kidneys.

 

This is the only fish disease that is contagious to humans! The good news is, unless you have a very infected tank, and stick your hands right in, while you have a big cut, along with a weak immune system, you won’t catch it (so the chances are slim). Even if you did catch it, you won’t die, just get a nasty skin infection which will take a long time to heal. It is very rare for humans to catch.

 

Tuberculosis can be linked to contaminated live food, or eating dead fish that had previously had it.

 

There is no cure.

 

INFLAMED GILLS

When a Bettas gills become inflamed, one or both gills will not close properly. They may or may not look red on the inside; and if in the last stages, they would be gasping for air, unable to breathe properly.

 

A Bettas gills may become inflamed because of bad water conditions, or perhaps from a bacterial infection.

 

To cure, Isolate any sick Betta with Inflamed Gills, and every third day do a full water change. Every time you change the water, add any sort of bacterial medication you have, I would use either triple sulfur, or tetracycline if available. Get your water tested, if you don’t have a test kit – most LFS (local fish stores) will do it for you.

 

Photo permission by eBetta.com

BACTERIAL INFECTION

Bacterial infections are normally a sign of high ammonia in the water. This comes down to not enough waterchanges.

 

Bacterial infections are very contagious. When a Betta has this disease, they may have clamped fins, they could lay at the bottom of their tank, be inactive, have a loss of appetite, and show colour loss. If left untreated, they will have red patches and open sores all over their body.

 

To treat, do a full water change. Remove any uneaten food (this should have been done as soon as your Betta had finished eating!) Isolate any Betta who is infected. As for medications, use any bacterial treatment you can find.

 

Using a cotton bud, you can “paint” on Multi-cure onto the affected sore. Three times a day is ideal, try to do it at least once daily. Do this is a Chinese container and filled just past their body, or in a mesh net (preferred). This worked wonders for the guy pictured below.

 

Continue treating until your Betta is healthy again.

 

FUNGAL INFECTION

If you notice your Betta has white cottony patches on its body, and that he may or may not be less active, may have stopped eating, may be paler than usual along with clamped fins; then your Betta has a fungal infection. Fungal infections are contagious, so isolate any Betta to be found with fungus. To treat; do a full water change and add any Fungus medication you can find. Do this treatment every third day, until cured.

 

Picture thanks to BettaTalk.

EXTERNAL PARASITES

External parasites are easy to find, and magnified glass helps to see them better. A Betta who has external parasites will dart and scratch itself on whatever it can. External Parasites are usually brought in from new fish. To cure, do a full water change, and add aquarium salt*. Look for a medication that kills parasites.
Continue treatment every third day until gone.

 

*TIP: If you use aquarium salt, 100% sea salt is pretty much the same and works just as well. Any salt as long as it does NOT contain Iodine is fine. I use rock salt, but make sure it is dissolved before use – you don’t want your Betta swallowing it.
A picture with a Betta with External Parasites circled in green.

 

 

Picture thanks to BettaTalk.

INTERNAL PARASITES

Internal Parasites are a real pest (like all other diseases). They can come through from introducing new fish to the aquarium, or on live food.

 

The behavior of Betta’s with internal parasites does not usually change, but they appear to get getting thinner even though they eat normally.

 

To treat, do a full water change, then medicate with a wormer. Using Big L, a pig and poultry wormer, also works well – but at a fraction of the price of a Betta wormer. Use Big L at a dosage of 1mL per 7L of water. Do a water change every three days, and retreat, until gone.

 

 

287 Comments

  1. Why thank you so much, I'm so happy to hear I've helped – well done with treating Bob and nursing him back to health to you too!

    Thanks,
    Sarah. 🙂

    • Sarah help!!!!!!
      My fish has an external parasite!
      What should i do???????
      Im 11 and dont want to spend that much!
      I dont want Floyd to die :,(

    • Hi. I just added a snail to my tank and did a whole tank cleaning…. He seems happier lonely-wise but he poops way to much and even after the snail ( who is supposed to do the house cleaning…) he is a Dragon Tale named Luna. Any advise on how to make his digestive system slow down?

  2. I have 2 betta's..one is with fin rot & bloated belly..all levels are fine now,expect ph is 7.5,I'm treating with Melafix & aquarium salt. They live in a 10 gal tank with heater. The 1 fish is showing a little sign of clamp fin,but very active and the 2nd one is not eating and swims once in a while. I have a screen in the tank to keep them apart. I dont know what else to do? I have changed the water twice so far this week.

  3. Sounds like you are treating them well, they should heal up soon.
    If they can see eachother, I suggest carding them. You can use plastic display folder covers and cut them to size (make sure to cut the holes off).

    I also recommend adding IAL (Indian Almond Leaves). I get mine from here, great couple, highly recommend them! http://www.bettawan.com/index.html

    All the best,
    Sarah. 🙂

  4. Anytime Jeff & Wan – I highly recommend your leaves to anybody.
    Great quaintly, with a helpful and honest supplier.

    I will never forget the trouble we had with the Australian quarantine, on how hard you worked to get them in (they are on the allowable import list… there was a bit of a mishap on their behalf).

    Thanks,
    Sarah. 🙂

  5. I had a betta named Fury who died yesterday but I don't know why. Before he died he had some white spots on his bottom fins. I thought it was white spot but was confused because it was only on his fins. I administered the medicine but he died. When I fished out his dead body most of his fins all the way around his body were gone. He was a red and white butterfly so the white part of his fins were gone. Any ideas on why he died? Any feedback would be great.

  6. Hello,
    I am so sorry to hear Furry passed, it's hard losing any pet, I'm sure he was much loved.

    He MAY have had white spot – what sort of medication did you administer?

    The disappearing of finnage makes me believe it could have been finmelt – like fin rot, but much more aggressive, and the fins tend to 'melt' like melting plastic. It comes on super fast, and is very hard to cure.

    Sorry about Fury, hope this helps you for any future Bettas,
    Sarah.

  7. Hi Sarah,
    I wrote yesterday about Fury. The medicine I used just says ick gaurd. How would he get finmelt anyway? I had recently added some neon tetras to the tank and two of them died, then Fury and the other one seems to be sick today. If it is finmelt then what should I do to the tank before adding anymore bettas?

  8. Hi, sorry I didn't get back to you!
    Finmelts a nasty disease, I found it commonly comes on due to cold water temps – but can also be from bad water quality, etc.

    Neon tetras – as gorgeous as they are – are not very hardy, and very prone to disease. If you google Neon Tetra disease, you'll get lots of results. Neon Tetra disease not only affects Neon Tetras – but can also be transmitted onto other fish.

    Good question, the best thing to do is to sanitize it.
    Hopefully this link will help you!
    http://www.bettatalk.com/sanitization.htm

    I personally scrub with salty salty water, rinse really well, repeat.
    Then I fill the tank with potassium permanganate, and leave it. Rinse rinse rinse after a bit.
    White vinegar will be scrubbed all over.. and then bathed in it overnight. Rinsed again. Rinse it till you can rinse no more!

    Then the tank is left in the sun for a couple days.

    Yes, seems very over-the-top, but I'm super paranoid when it comes to disease!

    Hope this helps you,
    All the best,
    Sarah.

  9. Hello Sarah. :3
    I'm so glad I found your page, the pictures helped greatly, though I'm still not sure if my betta actually does have fin rot. It looks like it, but it's just so short I'm worried. It's in the process of healing, but I don't have aquarium salt to help it along nor any other medication.
    I went on a forum a few days ago for help and they said it might be a parasite, but I don't see any of the symptoms that you've listed, so I don't think they were correct. Though I'm very tempted to remove the gravel and plants just in case.
    What do you think is going on?
    I can post a picture of him on my blog and link you to it so you can see if that helps.

    Thanks in advance,
    ~Luna :3

  10. Hi, I have a red/blue betta named Bullet. I think he has tail rot, but he gets bubbles in his tail and fins that will pop and start creating holes. I have treated with anti-bacterial meds, and I was wondering how long I should keep treating him. I'm not sure what else it might be. Any suggestion would help.
    Thanks,
    Claire

  11. Hello Claire,
    Sounds just like pinhole rot.
    Treat just the same as finrot – salt and IAL (Indian Almond Leaves) are the best thing. A anti-bacterial med would also be good (Melafix being my favourite).

    Treat with the meds for say 4 days, then give a couple days rest, using just salt and IAL. If it is still there, repeat as necessary.

    I hope this helps – and good luck!
    Sarah.

  12. Hi our betta has fin rot and have been putting fungal medication in the water, when cleaning his tank what can I use to sanatise it. HELP PLEASE 🙁

    • Hello, sorry it took so long to reply.

      Fungal meds won't help finrot, so I would stop using them ASAP.
      Best thing for it is Indian Almond Leaves (I ALWAYS have them in with my tanks). I get mine from here: http://www.bettawan.com/index.html
      Until then, you can use meds such as Melafix, or other things for baterials – look on the label for fin rot. You can also add a bit of salt (Aquarium salt or salt with NO iodine, such as pure seasalt, is good).

      As for cleaning his tank, just water dechlorinater is good.

  13. Hi, I have a betta fish and he has fin rot. Just wondering what I can sanatise him tank with when I remove his medicated water. HELP PLEASE 🙁

    • Hello, sorry I took so long with replying!

      When you remove his medicated water there will be no need to sanitise, the med would do it. Just do a water change as per usual and keep an eye for anything that could indicate the rot is coming back.

      As always, if you have any Indian Almond Leaves – I highly recommend them, they help prevent disease just as they help cure most.

      I get mine from here and wouldn't go anywhere else – http://www.bettawan.com/index.html

  14. This information was and is very helpful. As I started reading about the diseases, I started to stare at my fish. Looking for any little thing I didn't know before reading this.

    • My betta had what appeared to be dropsy. I put him in a hospital tank but could not convince him to eat any of the live food I got him… A couple days ago he developed a beige spot on his right side below his fin.
      Today was the first time he released any excrement in over a week.
      But the beige spot ruptured tonight and blood and red tissue came out… I can't tell if it was a sore or internal working its way out. he stopped bleeding within a couple minutes but the flesh is still torn
      Also he cannot sink and stays at the surface of the water.

    • I got a betta fish today but I noticed that at the top of his fin, it is red and his top fin looks a little frayed. Do you have instagram ir somwthing to send you a picture of him? Not sure what to do. I'm new to the fish world.

  15. i think my betta fish, Keiichi, has velvet, i didnt notice it when i bout him 3 days ago but now theres a goldish looking patch on his stomach just below his mouth. hes acting normal, swimming around the tank and eating all his food. im trying to convince my dad or brother to go and take me to the fishstore, but they think he's ok or i should just replace him. im responcible for Keiichi and i want to help him. is this velvet or is it just the way he is? please help, i love Keiichi so very much and only want to help him live a healthy and happy life.

    • Hello,
      I'm sorry Keiichi is unwell, hope he gets better! Definitely worth treating.
      The gold does sound like velvet… although is it like a dusty sort of thing, such as the picture shows on here (may/may not have more gold)?

      I would black out the tank, by throwing a towel over it. No lights. This is because velvet is a protoze, and the velvet parasite is only active in the light. Lighting will cause malachite green (used in multi cure) among other medications to become ineffective.
      Add salt, and turn up the heating to about 29*C.
      Adding medication would be a good idea. Use any medication that says it will treat velvet. Have found white spot med to work on velvet, too.
      Multi cure does work for mildish cases, but generally I try to use meds that are for the specific disease.

      Hope this helps, all the best for your fish. I do understand getting attached to fish, and it can be quite upsetting when they get sick!

      Sarah.

    • thank you so much for replying Sarah! its good know that you read and respond to your readers 🙂

      i've decided to go to the store where i got him and tell them that they sold me a fish with velvet. they had several dead and decaying fish at their store, which they seemed okay with. their policy states that they only sell happy and healthy pets, mine and many other fish were very unhealthy looking. i'll be asking them to give the medication($15 is the cost and 3x's more expencive than my fish)free of charge because its the least they can do without me getting upset and telling everybody outside and all my friends that they sold me an infected pet.

      if they refuse to give the meds, than i'll go to another store.

      thanks for replying

    • You're welcome! I try to respond to comments as soon as I can.

      Seems like a plan, hopefully they'll help you with medications. I wouldn't go back to that store if they don't have basic husbandry for their animals.

  16. hey Sarah, i own Keiichi and i have an update. i put a towel around his tank blocking out all the light and i left it like that for a few hours. i havent got the medication yet, but when i checked up on him, i saw that he made a BUBBLE NEST! ive only have him for a few days now, does this mean he is healthy?

    • Good idea. Keep the towel there until your betta seems perfectly healthy again, and then keep it there another additional 2 days. Just to ensure the velvet has all gone (can't see the parasite's new lifecycle).

      Glad he made a bubble nest! Doesn't necessarily mean he is healthy, as I've had unhealthy fish make nests before. But is a good sign indeed. Do still medicated. 🙂

      Also I recommend you get some Indian Almond Leaves. I use them for all my tanks, sick or not. They have anti-bacterial properties, which helps prevent disease, as well as help and cure it. It also makes the tank a slight tea colour. Although many don't like this, I think it looks natural.. and so does the betta. Really makes them feel comfortable. Also makes the water a little "sticker" so they can nest easier, perfect for breeding. I know a lot of people who use them, and all around: our bettas have greatly improved in health since.
      I got mine from here: http://www.bettawan.com/index.html

      Good luck with Keiichi, he's very lucky to have such a caring owner. 🙂

  17. Hello Sarah, I am amazed by all these information you collected on your site. It seems to me it's the most complete I have ever seen when it comes to bettas. Showing their variations with pictures (I would like to have at least one rosetail and a suntail…), as well as a photo with each visible disease, appears to me as a very good solution when something about the fish isn't the way it should be. *thumbs up*
    My grandfather had a fish tank, and now I have bought one for me to birthday (54 litres just to start, but I guess there will soon be more :D), along with a young butterfly halfmoon betta. With your informations I am confident to heal everything that may come along in the future. One of my other fishes, thought as companions for the betta has already died, because I didn't know, neither which disease it had nor how to heal it (it was a veiled neon-tetra from a group of three). "fortunately" she suffered only one night, the next morning it was over, my guppy girl just didn't seem to like her…

    As for my betta, he feels good, is pretty active and very nice to the other fishes and likes to chase bubbles 🙂 so i hope he'll become very, very old…

    Keep up your site, Sarah, and share with all of us your wonderful fishes!

    One question still doesn't leave my mind: How many teaspoons salt are you taking, when giving your bettas a healing salt-bath?

    • Hello Sandra,
      Thankyou very much for your kind words, really appreciate it. 🙂

      Congrats on the tank! I'm sure your Betta will love all that room, butterflies are lovely.
      Neon tetras aren't as hardy as they seem, I've never been able to keep them alive very long. Have a quick google for the "neon tetra disease". You can try cardinal tetras instead, they're similar, but are a lot hardier. It could also be from new tank syndrome, when the tank isn't cycled… do you know about the nitrogen cycle? Have a read if not.. http://www.ausaqua.net/files/TheNitrogenCycle.html

      As for salt, I generally use 1 tbs per 5 gallons.

      Thanks again, good luck with your tank!
      Sarah. x

    • yes I know about the nitrogen cycle. actually it was one of the first things I informed myself about… still thanx for your link, it was very informative.

      before I bought fishes and plants I read lot of stuff about which fishes were suitable for my tank and could be kept together. bacterias I would need, about the light… I'm still a beginner and easy to panic. but except of hard water I have no problems. so I seem to be doing well.

      on august 4 I had my first baby-fishes – I saw one of my guppy girls bearing a baby. finally they were six and I keep them in a seperate breeding tank swimming in my normal aquarium.

      yesterday I got my neons in a seperate tank cause they looked like they wanted to breed and in the night at three I found them laying eggs. hopefully it was no dream O.O here a link with a picture, where I bought them:
      http://www.zooshop-eu.de/zsp152-paracheirodon-innesi-neonsalmler-schleier.php
      aren't they pretty? it was love at first sight. ^.^

      I'll give my best to raise my offspring no matter how surprising it comes. till soon 🙂

    • Good on you for being a responsible owner and informing yourself! 😀
      Sounds like all is going very well.

      You'll soon be overrun with guppies, those things breed faster than rabbits. I have a planted 3ft tank with endlers, I have fry from them monthly.

      Oh wow, I've never seen neons like that before! Can see why you got them. Good luck with the fry!

  18. Sarah my new fish bubbles has a bacterial infection but its not that bad. i am going to clean the tank today how should i clean it? I love this fish I just got her and we are already close with each other.
    Thanks Elana

  19. Hi Sarah,

    I was wondering what is wrong with my fish. His belly is just a tiny bit bloated. And he is still very active.

    • Might just be overfed. Fast him for 24hrs, and then give him a pea the next day. I use frozen baby peas, get one, defrost it… and then peel the stick off (helps if you prick it with a toothpick). Then cut it up into small pieces, and feed on a toothpick (cut the sharp end off). Most won't go for it at first, just be persistent.

      Have a look from bird's eye view and make sure his scales aren't sticking out like a pinecone. If that's the case, it could be dropsy. Think it might just be bloating from overfeeding, though.

  20. Should a betta with velvet and some other bacterial disease be kept in a dark environment? What is a Chinese container? Where do I buy a betta net? Should we keep gravel in the tank when the betta is sick?

    • Yes, they should be kept in a dark environment. Velvet is a parasite whose lifecycle needs light.. keeping it dark is a major help in curing it.

      A Chinese container is a take away container, most chinese places use them for their meals.

      You can get betta nets at petstores and aquariums. Just small nets, make sure they're soft and the holes small.

      Gravel is optional. I generally don't use gravel in my tanks, as they're easier to clean.. and most of mine are set for breeding. I do have gravel in a couple display tanks, however. Totally optional, doesn't make too much of a difference. If you use multicure though (or any medications that have Malachite Green in it) will stain tank ornaments.

      Hope this helps!

  21. Hi i am the person with the fish John and as i have been keeping an eye out for him he seems to be on the sides more. So my first guess is that he has Ick. But he has not had any food besides the pellets what should I do.

    • Hello,
      If there was any way to post a clear photo of John, I could confirm if it is ick or not. Posting a link to a photo hosting site here (I use Photobucket), or alternatively posting onto our Facebook page will work to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bubbles-Bettas/203497696445978

      For treatment of ick, raise the tanks temperature to 30 degrees C (86F). The reason you raise the temperature is because the Ick parasite is sensitive to heat, and will detach itself from the fish and swim off in the water; there, the medication will kill it.
      For medication, I've heard wonders about Protozon, but any medication that says it cures whitespot/ick will work. Also add a bit of salt (aquarium salt, or any salt that does NOT contain Iodine… I use pure rock salt).

      Continue to feed your betta if he's eating, the pellets will be fine.

  22. Does Velvet Kill your fish. If yes, then how long does it take to kill your fish. And when you say contagious do you mean to humans or to fish or both. Also, how do you convince your parents that your fish has the disease and that they should go and get the medicine. Please respond soon. If i give you a pic of my fish Johnny can you tell me if it is velvet or not?

    • Hello,
      Eventually, it could… can't pinpoint an exact length of time for you sorry.
      Contagious would mean to other fish, not humans.
      I can't help you with convincing your parents I'm afraid. But for the mean time you could bump up the heat of the tank, black it out and add salt.

      Feel free to post a photo, I'll definitely help you ID it.
      Post a link to a photo from a photo hosting site, or to the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bubbles-Bettas/203497696445978

    • The image is on your Facebook page i just uploaded it right now. And what kind of salt do I use and how do I raise the temp. I don't have a heater for it and it is like a 2L tank no filter. Also, what do I feed him.

    • Hello,
      I've replied to the photo on the Facebook page… can't really see if it has velvet or not, sorry. Shine a torch/flashlight on him and if it looks like gold dust is covering him, then it is velvet.

      Bettas are tropical fish from Thailand, and they need a heater to thrive. I recommend getting a heater and a larger tank so your fish has space, as well as the ability to heat it (heating something small can result in boiling your fish). A 10L tank is ideal.

      With smaller tanks, such as 2L, you cannot heat them, so your fish will have lots of temperature fluctuations, as well as the water quality spiking. I would say that this would be the cause of the velvet.

      Have a look at the care section, that should answer all your questions. Please do feel free to ask any you may still have.

  23. Hi,
    How do you know when your fish does not have velvet? Will all the gold color be gone? or What? I have had the fish for a week and realized it was velvet 3 days ago. So I have been treating him for three days. How long does velvet usually last?

    • Hello,
      When the velvet is gone, you will no longer be able to spot any of the gold dust, and the betta will act healthy and lively (although mild velvet may appear to be this, you should notice a difference).
      Continue to treat until gone, then treat an additional three days, to make sure the free-floating parasite, naked to the human eye, is truly gone. Shouldn't take more than a week or so, but it can vary.

  24. Hey,
    I was wondering if you could help me. I have a crown tail betta, and I'm not sure if he has fin rot or not. When I got him, he was fairly small but has since grown. He is a turquoise color, and his pectoral fins were light blue almost transparent looking. However, as he grew they turned more turquoise. My question is now all but the edge of the pectoral fins are turquoise and I can't tell if the edge of the fins are torn/ragged or if they are just the light blue/transparent color they were when I got him. Also I read fin rot could result from stress and we did just take a car trip since my college just started last week. Any advice is appreciated.

    • Hello,
      As for his pectorals changing colour, he could have been developing his colour as he grew, which is the mostly likely outcome – you did say he was small when you got him.

      If he had finrot, it would be more noticeable on his non-paired fins first, so keep an eye on his caudal, anal and dorsal especially for tears and fraying.

      You're correct when you say finrot can be caused by stress, but also bad water conditions. Just make sure his water is warm and clean, and he should be ok. You can also add salt. Aquarium salt is good, but you can also use any salt without iodine.. I use pure sea salt. Add it at 1 tsp per 5gallons of tankwater.

      Good luck, feel free to ask any further questions you may have.
      Sarah.

  25. Sarah…Your blog is so helpful. I do need some advice, regarding my Charlie.

    I've had him for 1 year now, but I noticed issues a few weeks ago when he began hiding, the last time I cleaned his tank. I thought he was just depressed. I wasn't home a lot to talk with him, and maybe was lonely. Well, it kept getting worse, and he stopped eating. I would have to search him out in his tank. (5 gallon, with river rock and various colors of green and blue, smooth glass decorative stone) It was getting to the point I thought he was trying to commit suicide in his way, by not eating. That's when I began searching, and thankfully I found you.

    Anyway, I keep a filter (white and carbon) going at all times, so I don't think that cleanliness is an issue, but I noticed that he wasn't hardly eating and wasn’t at the top of the tank waiting for me anymore. The bacteria could have formed from the food he didn't eat, that was buried inside one of his ceramic seashells. Then I noticed he was hiding in them. They were points of interest to him from day one. He would always pick the slightly opened clam shell as his favorite.

    After reading all the posts others write about their Betas, first, I didn't want to make you repeat any answers. SO, I'm still not really certain what is wrong with Charlie. If he has velvet…then the only place it seems to be visible is around his gills. This 'does worry me.' It appears that he can't open and close them really well; however, he rarely has to come up for air, unless I coax him. If he eats, it's only one bite of food, (new food when I bought him), then he goes back down to the bottom and hides.

    I have no clue about what's really wrong; it's not the Ick, of that I'm certain; but just that red/rusty shiny color near his gills. I removed him from the tank, put him into fresh water, trying to keep the temp the same, maybe just a tad warmer, with less then 1/2 teaspoon of Aquarium salt. (pre-mixed in warmer water, then added slowly to the container. I added just about 6 Drops of Melafix. The container is a clear glass cookie jar. I don't have a heater, and sometimes I think the water temp does drop. I don't have a thermometer however, not even one for cooking, to test it…but at least it stays at room temp, which is rather warm in here @ 80.

    He is lethargic, but did come to see me when I was talking with him. However, he's having a difficult time swimming. He does for a few minutes, but then he just closes his fins and floats, then goes back to the bottom. He most definitely has 'fin rot', on the small ones closest to his gills; (sorry I don't know the names) and I hope this gets better because I love my guy. He's that bright blue that's supposed to have the bigger fins.

    First thing I'd like to know is what is the preferred water temp for Betas? What is their preferred diet? One time I gave him the blood-worms, but he didn't seem that interested, unless he ate them when I wasn't looking. What type of real plants do they like? Is it okay to use Lava-rock with Betas, or would it hold too many bacteria because it has deep pores in it? If I buy the real plants for him, should they be rinsed before being introduced into his tank? (Charlie is the only occupant) If this is the start of Velvet, how long should I keep him in the dark? If not, do you think it could be a gill disease?

    I'm trying to keep his tank special, and although not new I'd still like a colorful environment for him. I don't have the lava rock, but I thought about getting it. He likes colors, but I don't want to get anything that's been died. I like the more natural. The river rocks and glass stones seem to cheer him up. I also have air stones in his tank, to keep oxygen in the water at all times. The longest I've shut that off is 24 hours.

    Lots of questions and a long post. Sorry…but I just tried to give you the entire picture, including environment. Thanks much for any assistance you can give.

    Lea

    • Hey Lea,
      Sorry you're having trouble with Charlie, hope he gets better!
      Do you know the water parameters? If you don't have test kits, most aquariums will test the water for you if you take in a sample of his water. This will really help ID any problem.

      It sounds like there may be an issue with the water, once you can get the parameters, you'll know for sure.
      Adding the salt was a good idea. If you can get any Indian Almond Leaves, that will also help – I have a link where I get mine in the link list, on the right hand side of this site.
      Add some medication too. Anything for bacterial infections. I recommend either Triple Sulphur, or Tetracycline. Most aquariums should stock either.

      Also make sure you remove any uneaten food, or this can foul the water.

      I like to keep my betta tanks around 26*C (78/79* F). As for food, you can read a more detailed answer about that in the care section. I swap between dry food made for bettas, frozen bloodworms, and live food (mozzie larvae, blackworms, adult brine shrimp sometimes). I fast them once a week.

      As for lava rocks – go for it. You're right when you say bacteria will hold onto it because of the deep pours, but these will be good bacteria, which help your tank keep its cycle.
      I use lava rocks for this reason as filter media in my larger tanks, and also have ornamental ones for some of the smaller ones.
      Bettas don't like a lot of light, so go for low light plants. Java fern and other mosses are great, as are javafern. Bettas love them, they are low light, and you don't need to plant them, just chuck them in the tank.. they'll sink down.

      Hope this helps you,
      Feel free to ask anymore questions you may have.
      Sarah.

  26. Hi Sarah,
    Have you addressed clamp fin on your website? I haven't found much on it but my betta "Floyd" is suffering from it. I just recently got him and at first he was fine except the typical fin and tail rot they usually come with when you rescue them from a store. Other than that he was and is healhty and happy. Now he is all clamped up but still eats and swims around but it hiding more now. I have checked all parameters and they are fine. Temp is a constant 82 degrees. I have been treating with aquarium salt, Maracyn plus and Maracide just incase. Let me know what you think.

    • Hello,
      I thought I had – shall be doing an update shortly.
      Fin melt is essentially the same as finrot, just a lot more aggressive.
      I believe Maracyn plus is similar to triple sulphur, which I generally use.

      Sounds like you're on the right track with treatment.
      Best thing to do with fin melt is to hit it hard with strong meds, as soon as it appears. It's quite aggressive so you can't let it progress, even a little.

      Good luck, please do keep me updated with how you go. Feel free to ask any further questions.
      Sarah.

  27. Hi,
    First of all, congratulations on such an informative website, it really helped me a lot with my bettas. Keep up the good work!

    So lemme just get to the point
    I came home from school today and was about to feed my fish when I saw that my beautiful peacock-colored betta was lying at the bottom of the tank. Its color turned brown in some places and it was stiff.

    Peacock actually shared a tank with a baby betta, and the divider had holes in it and so i changed all the water to be sure my baby betta didnt also get it…

    I would really appreciate it if you could shed some light as to what happened to my beautiful peacock.

    Thank you so much!

  28. Hey, My Betta Fry Have White Cottony Patches On Each Of Their Sides, Along With A Red Sore, And What Appears To Be An Irradescent Looking Patch As Well.. I Keep Them In A 30 Gallon Tank.. But Only Fill It Up To 10 Gallons Since They Are So Small(Only 15 Weeks Old) We Have Been Using: De-Stresser, Ick Med, Melafix, Regular Water Conditioner, And Aquarium Salt While The Tank Is Covered With A Towel.. I Have No Idea How To Treat This Properly Because I Dont Know What It Is! HELP!

    • Hello, sounds like a fungal infection.
      I would add a medication that treats fungus.

      You can also start waterchanging fry daily and slowly filling up the water level from two weeks old. How big are they? They may be stunted from lack of water, food (what are you feeding them), or the disease. I have fry that are 11 weeks old and they are ready to breed and sell off now.

      Sorry for the seemingly depressing answer, hope it does help you.

  29. 1. THERE IS NO ANTI-VELVET MEDICINE HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES. T_T I don't see anything so far. As in medicines specialized for curing Velvet. Not CopperSare, or Aquari-sol. This is what I panic the most about. The only solution I have here is Angel Drops StressOut. Here's its description:

    ANGEL DROPS StressOut is the ideal liquid solution for fresh water and salt water fish. It promotes healing of wound aid penetration and absorpotion of other bioactive indredients into damage tissues. Plus it is the effective stress reducer for fish. Stress due to transportation, fish shipment decorations, making a water change, handling or netting, or adding new fish to a tank. Study showed that Angel Drops StressOut with natural Aloe Vera helps fish in the healing process in reducing the size of wounds and replacing the natural slime coating of fish. This potent formula not only eases stress, cure or heal wounded or damage fish skin and tissue but also removes and detoxifies heavy metals such as zinc, copper, lead rust, etc. And it neutralizes ammonia, Nitrite, cholramine, chlorin in seconds. And also bring out the true color of the fish naturally. Plus it acts as a liquid bandage in helping your pet fish (ornamental, tropical, rare show fish) to be active and healthy.

    Directions:
    To promote healing of skin wounds, torn fins, scale inflammation: add 2 tablespoons for each 10 gallons.
    To bring out the true color of your pet fish: add 2-1/2 tablespoons for each 10 gallons.
    To remove chlorine and neutralize toxic heavy metals: add 3 tablespoons for each 10 gallons

    Can this help Quinn enough? This is everything that I got 🙁

    • Sorry for the delay in replying to you, I've been unwell and extremely busy.

      Doesn't sound like the medication you have is for velvet. My advice would be to raise the temperature in your tank, black it out (no lights, throw a towel over the tank), and add salt.

      Use either Aquarium salt at the recommended dosage, or any salt with NO Iodine… I use pure sea salt (rock salt). Use that at a dosage of 1 tsp per 5 gallons.

      Good luck, let me know how it goes.

  30. 2. About darkening the aquarium, I did that through covering black papers all over her aquarium, and then 3/4 covered the top of it. I'm afraid though, if I cover the entire top of the aquarium, like with a towel as you suggested, wouldn't that prevent air from circulating in the aquarium? Or do fishes even need air? I put oxygen in her aquarium though, but it's quite big. almost as tall as her aquarium. Im afraid it'd give her too much pressure. Is it okay to put oxygen in her aquarium?

    3. She doesn't eat. I'm freaking out. Not the blood worms (which I want to stop giving to her), not the flakes which she was eating before. Before, she spits them out. Now, she doesn't even get hear to the food. Maybe because she's not really moving that much. She's just at the bottom of her aquarium. It's so hard to get the foods she doesn't eat since these break down.

    4. I read somewhere that I should reduce the water. As in just enough for her to swim at. Not that much. Is that true?

    5. How many times should I put Angel Drops in her water? More like how many times should I change Quinn's water? The directions say 2 teaspoons every 10 gallons. I AM SO FAR FROM 10 GALLONS. Not even 1 gallon. How many should I put in her water?

    6. Is flashlight light also not allowed for her? Because I use it to see if there still are algae in her body. These algae in her body are really plenty already. It got the whole of her body. Do you think I can still save her? 🙁 But earlier this evening, I tried checking on her body and put flashlight to see, I no longer see the yellow dust like stuff in her body. Or maybe it wasn't that obvious anymore? Because before, when I try to see these, I don't really need a flashlight to be able to see them. But now, I hardly see it in her body. Does that mean she's improving?

    • Hello. Hope I can help you with your questions.

      2. (Doesn't seem to be a 1).. Yes, but some air will go through the towel… and they seem to be able to get enough air. Also if you check on them every day or so, you'll remove the towel, look at the fish, and replace the towel. I've had towels over fishtanks for weeks with no ill effects.
      As for adding air through an airstone, that's perfectly fine – I have airstones in a few of my tanks. Some of my bettas even like playing in the bubbles.

      3. That doesn't sound good… all you can do is to keep trying. Try different types of food. If you can get a hold of any live food (blackworms being the best as they are aquatic and will live in the tank if uneaten), that should help tempt your fish to eat.

      4. Only if she has SBD, Swim Bladder Disorder. Fish with SBD have difficulty swimming, and lowering the water helps them reach the surface for air. Normally, there is no need for lowering the water level.

      6. I don't think you need to add it. Also, I would recommend getting a larger tank. Bettas love to swim, and are generally happier and healthier in a larger tank. 10 gallon is a perfect sized tank for Bettas. Also water is easier to keep ontop of.

      7. You mean velvet? I would put her in a larger tank, add aquarium salt or pure rock salt with no iodine at a dosage of 1 tsp per 5 gallons. Throw a towel over the top – it's ok.
      Hopefully this should help.

  31. Well, Quinn is still not moving that aggressive. Of course, I've just started all of these yesterday. Haha. But I really am serious about saving her. My parents believe me about the Velvet, but they don't want me to exert that much effort in saving her. They say we can buy a new one if she dies. But you know, when you have a pet it's not just like that. They die then you'll replace them. No. This is actually the first time I became so dedicated in taking care of my pet. 🙁 How many days do I have to keep her aquarium dark and to put Angel Drops to her water? And oh, about the salt, can I put rock table salt? The one that's big and not iodized? Some articles say this is risky. If I can, how many rock salt (as in the edible ones) should I put?

    Thank you so much for having time to read this. I'm so sorry it's too lengthy, I just don't know who any other reliable person to ask. People in the pet shop are not always guaranteed to be well knowledgeable about this. Some of them just sells. Hay. Thank you so much in advance for answering my queries. Again, pardon me for making it too long. THANK YOU SO MUCH AND HAVE A GREAT DAY! 🙂

    • How is Quinn now? Good on you for trying your best to save her. Please keep me updated how she goes.

      Again, raise the heat to about 29ºC (84.2ºF), cover the tank with a towel, and add salt.
      If the salt has no iodine, it's safe. I only use pure rock salt. Use at a dose of 1 tsp per 5 gallons.

      Hope I helped you,
      Good luck with Quinn.

    • Hi Sarah, this is Mia. I'm so depressed and sorry to say that Quinn just died yesterday. I boiled her aquarium then cleaned it, put water with conditioner and added rock salt. When I put her in it, she died immediately. I don't know what I did but maybe it was my fault. I'm sorry. I don't know, I don't want to buy another fighting fish anymore since I clearly can't take care of it properly. Thank you so much for your help though and good luck!

    • Hello Mia, sorry for the late reply.

      I'm really sorry to hear Quinn passed, I know how much you cared for him.
      There may be something wrong with the water, doesn't sound like it was the cleaning process. Have you had it tested?

      I'm sorry to hear you won't be getting a fish. These things happen, and trust me – last year I lost a lot for no apparent reason, it was extremely depressing. I know how it feels.

      Keeping Bettas can be a lot of trail and error. I would encourage you to try again, as it can be a very rewarding and enjoyable hobby (but does have it's ups and downs). Maybe a break would be in order.
      To me, it doesn't sound like the cleaning would have killed him, so wouldn't be your fault.

      Hope to talk soon,
      Sarah.

    • Hi Sarah. Thank you for your encouragement 🙂 It's really great that betta owners have you to guide them. Maybe I'm going to take care of another betta, but not another red veil tail one for it will only remind me of Quinn 🙁 Aside from betta, do you also know a lot about other fishes? Like clownfish? I find them cute also. Here in the Philippines, the most usual bettas in the pet shop are only blue and red veil tailed bettas. Thank you so much again Sarah! 😀

    • Hello,
      Thankyou for your encouraging words, appreciate it!
      Take your time, and don't rush into it… but I do encourage you to try again sometime.

      Bettas are my forte, but I do know fair bits about other fish, although mostly freshwater. I also keep other species of fish (angel fish, bristle noses, tetras, endlers cichlids, etc), along with other animals: dogs, chickens, frogs, axolotls, tarantulas, centipedes, scorpion, etc etc.

      I'm currently setting up another tank (400L) for a snowflake eel, zebra eel, and a lionfish – which will be my first saltwater tank.

      As for clownfish, I could only give you basic knowledge, as I've never kept them. I personally would stick to keeping freshwater fish before going to marine – but if you want to make the jump, go for it!

      Shame that's the only options you can get there. Had you been in Australia (as I am), I could have shipped you fish/given contacts… alas, that's dreaming.
      Any chance you could order fish through AquaBid.com?

      Sarah.

  32. Hi,
    Hoping you can shed some light on this.
    Our Betta is active, eating, making bubbles etc as normal, but today we noticed two round protruding blobs that look like growths on either side of the top of his his body where his tail meets his body.
    They are blueish grey (his scales are purple)
    Any idea what this could be? He's almost three years old.
    Thanks for your help,
    Sarah

    • Hello,
      It's hard to diagnose without a photo… any chance you could get one?
      If you upload a photo to a photo hosting site (I use photobucket), you can attach the link to the photo in a comment. Alternatively, you can post the photo directly onto the facebook page – there is a link at the bottom of this page, and on the sidebar.

    • Hi Sarah,
      Recently I have gotten a betta fish at my local pet store. This isn’t my first time owning a betta or any other type of fish. But, this is the first time any issues have come up. A little over a week ago my fish was floating on his side at the top of the tank and he seemed to be gasping for air. He kept wiggling around like he was trying not to go on his side but he couldn’t help it. His eyes seemed to be bugging out and eventually he lost his color. Also, his stomach swelled up during this time but shortly went down after a day or two. During this process I was freaking out trying to do everything I could to save him. I found some things for fish in my house and decided to use some of them on him. I changed his tank water and added some AmQuel+ plus (conditioner) to his water. I also added aquarium salt because I read it was helpful for sick bettas. I didn’t feed him for a couple days to try to reduce the amount of fresh ammonia adding into his water. I tested the ammonia levels and they where very high so I think he may have had ammonia poisoning. Did I miss diagnose? All I could do then was hope he recovered. Eventually, his behavior improved and he seemed pretty much back to normal. My fish has a ‘clump’ of scales that have grown where he has previously had a wound or growth. He had this when I got him from the store and I was very concerned if the spot would cause issues. I asked two men at the store and they told me he would be perfectly fine and that he is healthy so I chose him as my new fish. But, about a week later, I went on a four day vacation and left him at home. When I came back he seemed perfectly fine until he turned around and I saw the spot on his side. It seemed like the scales that grew back in a lump/clump fell off. Rough scales are sticking up from where the other scales used to be. Now there is a white spot on his side when odd scales around it. Little pieces of scales are still flaking off. I put him in a smaller bowl with slightly warmer water (My previous water was too cold but I didn’t want to shock him by making it too warm so I went from 72 to 76. Is that too much? And I am going to slowly increase the temperature by adding warm water day by day.) I added some of the conditioner and aquarium salt to the smaller bowl in hopes he will get better. Also, he looked different and I can’t put my finger on what it was but something didn’t look right. His face almost looked smaller or something and his eyes seemed small, like I could see more of the colored part of his eye. I am looking at him now and his face seems to be normal but he is now gasping for air. I can’t tell if there is slight grey patches or spots on him when I look closely or if it’s just his scales. He darts around the tank and jerks his body back and forth, thrashing around. Does that mean he is in pain? Did I just get unlucky with my fish or did I do something wrong? I have never had anything like this happen to a fish of mine. I really hope you can help me figure out what’s going on with my fish and what to do to help him. Thank you so much! P.S. I can't figure out how to attach a video of my fish to show what I'm talking about.

    • Hello, sorry for my late reply – I've been unwell.

      Any chance you can get a photo? If you upload it to a photohosting site and comment the direct link, that would be great. Alternatively, you can post it to the facebook page – there are links at the bottom of this page and on the sidebar.

      I would hit it with a medication such as tetracycline or triple sulfur.

  33. Hi, i think my betta has inflamed gills and he is also swimming funny. he swims in circles (like a dog chasing its tail) and he only moves to go up for air. I dont know what to do, i just bought him at walmart because i wanted to save him because he had really bad water. I am a fish freak but i dont really know whats wrong with him, hes in a 3 gallon and has salt and melafix in it and i havnt changed his water because ive only had him for 2 days now. But i want to make him better, please help Sarah! Ive never had a fish with inflamed gills, oh he also has cloud eye and fin rot (thank you walmart) please help.

    • Hello.
      I know it's hard not to leave sick bettas, but when you buy a sick or ill treated fish, it shows the supplier that there is a demand for them, and they order in more.

      But good on you for saving this guy, sounds like you're doing the best thing. The swimming funny is probably SBD (Swim bladder disorder). If you fast him for a few days, then offer him a cooked pea, cut in small pieces with the skin popped off – that should help.

      Keep his water heated, clean, and keep the salt up. If you have access to Indian Almond Leaves, I would definitely add them – they have an antibacterial properties and will aid him in healing. I have a link in the link list.

      Hope this helps you, please let me know how he progresses.

  34. Hi, I was just wondering if melafix cures ick i have a fish with it. It is not a Betta. My betta died of velvet. I have a 37 gallon tank with a heater with 7 fishes. Only one has the ick. What should I do.
    Thank you

    • The fish is a clown loach. Im going today to get the medicine. what kind of medicine do i get and do i do it for all of the fishes in the tank. P.S. I used this site when I had my betta and it was a great help. You are doing a great job with the site.

    • There are lots of medications available, most will do the same thing. Get anything that says it treats ich/whitespot. Clown loaches are scale-less fish, so check that it is safe for scaleless fish. Most medications you use at a dilated dosage, the label will tell you if it is safe. If it doesn't mention it, use something else.

      If you can catch him, and no other fish in the tank are affected, treat him in another tank/bucket/tub. Otherwise treat the whole tank.

      Thankyou, and good luck!

    • My 2 guppies are no showing a slight case of the disease. Its very mild, but still there. What do I do is my whole tank gone? I just put the medicine in. The medicine is maracide. good or bad?

  35. Oh my gosh, this site has helped me so much! I've treated my betta of fin rot, inflamed gills, swim bladder disorder, and cloud eye. He is now eating and im so happy! Oh by the way, i bought him like that because i wanted to save him, and now hes as happy as ever and will soon be in a 10 gallon with a billion plants to himself! This site has saved my betta, which i still dont know what to name…ideas?

    • I'm so glad to hear this site has been of help! Well done on treating your fish, he sounds like he is in good hands. 🙂

      Personally I'm not the best with naming.. and I have since stopped naming fish (having over 200+ bettas does that, I've run dry of names).
      I normally named my fish due to their colouring or personality. When I first started spawning bettas I named all the parents after fruit… blueberry, raspberry, cherry, apple, etc.

  36. Are there any other ways you can get ick besides feeding them live food? I have only feed him the basic food. Can they get it from dirty water or something? Also, if the fish dies do I keep treating the other fishes.

    • Ick can be brought in, not only from live food, but from other fish. This is probably more common.
      If the fish dies, and other fish still show symptoms, then continue to treat the tank.

  37. Hello, I have a betta named Goat, and he came down with fin rot not too long ago. I bought melafix and treated him with it. His fin rot appeared to get better, but then he somehow got scraggly looking fins again, but this time it was just one deep cut, so I assumed he cut himself on one of his rocks. I treated him with melafix again, and am curious if maybe I overdosed him, because he appears to either have an external parasite, or may be shedding his slime coat according to the research I've done. I really want him to get well because I bought him a pretty little girl to breed with him. I'm not sure if I should be treating for an external parasite or be avoiding excessively medicating because it appears to have caused him to be shedding his slime coat. Also, is it healthy to keep the male and female side by side, or should I have something keeping them from seeing eachother? Lastly, is there anything I can do aside from getting my male healthy to encourage him to build a bubble nest? Sorry for the lengthy questions, I just can't find enough in my internet research.

    • Hello,
      If you could get a clear photo, that would really be helpful. Uploading the photo to a photohosting site (I use Photobucket), and posting the direct link into a comment would be great. Alternatively, you can also share photos directly onto the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bubbles-Bettas/203497696445978

      I would stop using the Melafix. It can be useful for mild cases, but not severe. If you could get your hands on either Triple Sulfur, or Tetracycline, I would use one of those.

      As for keeping male and female by the side, it can be done. However, constant sight of other fish can be stressful – and eventually the pair will get bored of eachother, and will show no interest in eachother. Then, you wouldn't be able to breed them.
      I use plastic display folder covers, cut to size, as dividers. They are waterproof, so can either go on the outside of the tank, or the inside – depends on the setup.
      If you take the card away for 30mins daily, they will show interest and flare. This is also important as a lead up when it comes to spawning.
      Just don't show Goat any other fish while he is sick, let him be isolated for the mean time.

      As for encouraging him to nest, the best thing is to keep him healthy. Carding the fish (like above) also promotes interest, and should get him nesting. You can also place a square of bubblewrap, bubbles down, onto the watersurface. I use it as nesting media for my spawns, and wouldn't use anything else. Great for holding nests together, getting males interested… and even helps the nest look bigger, to impress the females.

      No trouble at all asking questions, if you have anymore – please do not hesitate to ask.
      Good luck,
      Sarah.

    • Hello,
      If you have a look in the care section, it mentions everything about food you'll need to know. Live Mosquito larvae are a great choice, and are a large part of the Bettas natural diet.

  38. Hey! I just got a BABY beta and I am having troubles. I got Pablo 1-2 weeks ago and I have noticed that most of the time when I feed him food, he up-chucks it almost immediately. I have changed the water and used a different conditioner but with no luck. I haven't changed the food because since Pablo is only a baby, I'm not sure weather or not he can handle the adult food. It said on the packet that it was baby food, and the food came with the tank, fyi. I need your help!!!

  39. Pablo is about 1 inch and I'm not sure how old he is, but I got him from the pet store 2 weeks ago. The food is called Hikari Tropical Micro Pellets. I also noticed that even though he has trouble keeping the food down, he wants to eat it and he always is full of energy (charging the side of the bowl when someone walks in. It's kind of like "Come at me bro!!" or "Get out of here this is my room!")

    • The food is probably too big for him, even though they are micro pellets.
      Maybe try a different sort of food then, you could try fry powder.

      If you could, I would try live food. Pablo wouldn't have any problem eating it, and fry tend to grow faster on live food. I would recommend baby brine shrimp, or blackworms at this age.

      Hope this helps!

  40. Hi Sarah,
    Your site helped me diagnose my betta Thomas the Feesh (Thats his full name haha). Unfortunately, the poor thing has Dropsy. I'm doing the best I can to keep him happy in his final days, but I don't like seeing him not swimming around and flaring his fins. He was such a lively guy.

    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a354/lessgurl2007/DSC03917.jpg

    This is a picture of him now. You can really see the 'pinecone-ing' in his fins. Thank you for your site, and your time. Ill book mark this page for when I get another betta

    • Hey Chris,
      Sorry for the late reply.

      I'm sorry to hear Thomas the Feesh has dropsy. Nobody knows how it is caused, but has no cure. I hope this doesn't discourage you to try with another Betta when you are ready.

      Sarah.

    • I will definitely be getting another Betta. Since Thomas the Feesh got sick, I've been researching and delving into the fascinating world of Bettas. I only started researching so I could help the poor fella, but after seeing all the different types there are I'm hooked. I want to get my own little collection going, and eventually (when I move into a place that will let me have a bigger tank) get into breeding them!

      Next couple of days will be spent trying to find a decent fish store where I live. 🙂

    • Sarah,
      Can fish recover from Dropsy? Or have you known them to? Thomas the Feesh is eating more and he is back to his slim self. Also the pinecone-ing in his scales have gone down.
      I'm confused…
      Chris

    • Hello Chris,
      I apologise for the lateness of my reply.

      Dropsy is when the kidneys fail, and Bettas cannot live without that, so die.
      In my experience, there is no cure.

      However, it may have been something else that could have mimicked dropsy and cured. I cannot think of a disease that could do so (especially after seeing the photo of Thomas the Feesh). Then again, you may have had a miracle and he somehow recovered.

      I'm glad he's better, and sorry I couldn't give you a definite answer – it's quite a mystery!

  41. I have had my betta for about 2 months and I was changing his water every 5 -7 days until I notice what I think was fin rot but know believe it is fin melt. I got bettafix and started using it and changing his tank every 2 days. Since then he has no improvement with his fins and had a few white bumps around his face and gils so i got a baterial med (its blue color) and change his tank and add the meds daily. Now the spots have turned redish and still has a few white ones left. He also stopped eating.. I am not giving up on the fish and I hope you can help me with so guidance and if I an doing something wrong. (this is my 5 year old daugthers fish that I an determined to save named Gumball.) Thanks

    • Hello,
      Bettafix is a very mild medication and I've found doesn't help except for the mildest cases of finrot.

      I would say to go to heavy antibiotics. Triple Sulfur or Tetracycline would be your best bet.

      Good luck, let me know how Gumball goes. 🙂
      Sarah.

    • Thank you so much Sarah! I have been all over the web and the pet store and they could not even help me! (the told me ich!!). I will pick up the meds in the morning and hopefully have some good news for my daughter tomorrow since it is her birthday! I do have a small tank (like 1.5 gallons and a light but no heater) the light though does provide heat and I do live in south Florida so the temp should be ok as well as all the water changes I do which I think gum ball is actually enjoying? I will let you know what happens tomorrow.. Thanks you SOOOO much!

    • No problem at all. 🙂
      The blue medication you were using also (Methylene Blue by the sounds of it) is an anti-fungal, so wouldn't help ick (parasitic) or fin melt (bacterial).

      Even in FL, I would still recommend a heater. Without one, there would be lots of temperature fluctuations (especially with the light), and that can stress the fish and leave it open to disease. Heaters have built in thermostats so they will make sure it stays at the same temp constantly.

      Gumball probably does like those 5-7 day waterchanges. That's the perfect number of waterchanges, so well done. 🙂

      Happy birthday to your daughter! And good luck with Gumball.
      Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

    • So I got the tetracycline and did this last night. This morning he looks so much better! I have decided that if makes it, a new bigger tank with a filter and heater will be his x/mas gift! It is 3 gallons but that is as big as I can get. Thank you so much!

  42. My betta royalty is grayish near the belly and has faint horizontal lines on her body. Should in be worried? Also, white is lining his tail fin and the base of his anal fin is a red not orange and blue. Please help!
    From Tanwi
    Ps I'm a paranoid first time fish owner. I love this site it's so useful!

    • Hello,
      Sorry for the late reply!

      Horizontal lines are a sign of stress. Could be from water parameters or temperatures not being sufficient, or from post waterchanges/being moved. If you haven't done anything with the tank recently from when you spotted the stripes, I would get your water tested. Most aquariums do it for free if you don't have test kits.

      The white just sounds like her colouring, sounds like butterfly. Look in the tail types and patterns section for more info.

      If you can, I'd love to see a photo. You can either upload a photo to a photo hosting site (such as photobucket), and copy the direct link into a comment, or post it to the facebook page. Link is below and on the sidebar.

      No worries about being a paranoid fish owner! I must admit, I definitely was a paranoid owner that asked questions about everything and anything!

  43. Hello,
    I just got my second Betta tonight. I haven't had one in years, and suddenly got the urge to get another one. My old one was a pretty multicolor one, who was mainly pink but had blue, green, red, and purple in his fins. I feel guilty now because that fish lived his whole life in the cup he came in.

    The fish I got tonight now has a nice 2 gallon bowl, with two pretty plants, black gravel, and a SpongeBob pineapple house. 🙂 I also got a heater tonight along with him because after setting up the tank, I realized it was too cold. My new Betta is a lovely blue veil tail male and I have several names in mind. Thanks for this website, it has been very helpful to me!

    • Hello!
      Apologies for the lateness of my reply!

      I'm glad to hear you've gotten another Betta. Sounds like a nice looking setup there. I would recommend adding a heater too if you haven't already, as Bettas are tropical fish and will get too cold without one.

      Blue veiltails are quite lovely, and very often underrated. I've had a few of them over the years.

      Thanks for the comment, feel free to ask any questions if you have any.
      Sarah.

    • Hello,
      That's okay, thanks for answering me!
      I did get a heater for him. Jonah is living a very nice life now! His tank is about 26 or 27 degrees Celsius, is that a good temperature? Thanks for all your help!

    • If you still haven' tt thought of a name I have a few…I keep them in mind because when ever I visit a pet store, well , I might bring home another betta.
      Any way here are some names

      Goggles
      Chompy
      Chompers

      Hope I helped

  44. Hi. I'm having a problem and I hope you're able to help me! I bought my betta a little over a month ago. He's mostly blue, with light blue fins with white on the edges. I have him in a 4.5 gallon tank with a carbon filter and a small heater that keeps the water at 78 degrees (F) all the time. He gets a 25% water change every sunday, and i use municipal tap water treated with a Tetra water conditioner, aquarium salt, and Stress Zyme. After last sunday's water change, i noticed a blue dye suspended in the water. Since I've been using the same products and dosages, I figured it was harmless and I probably never noticed before. The fish has been acting fine, very active and a voracious eater, but on monday i noticed he had an open sore on his head. I didn't know what this was from, so i bought a Stress Coat product to help him heal. Well, tonight I added the monthly Stress Coat product and saw that his fins are completely torn up! They're jagged and very short in 1 spot. I immediatly changed 50% of the water (with a slightly elevated concentration of aquarium salt), and vacuumed all the gravel. He's still active, though maybe very slightly less so, but I'm unsure what to do. I'm not an experienced fish owner and I'm unsure whether this could be related to the color i saw in the water or if he has an aggressive fin rot. And, if it is fin rot, is it severe or not and what is the best course of action to treat him? The white edges of his tail are complety gone, and right now I'm wondering if he has had an infection since I got him. Also, the sore on his head has healed fairly well so far, even without the Stress Coat additive.

    Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated by both the fish and me!

    Sara

    • Hello Sara,
      Sounds like your care routine is fine. Not sure what the blue dye would be though.

      The Stress coat wouldn't be strong enough to heal open wounds. I would go for a medication like triple sulfur or tetracycline. This should help with the finrot, as well as the rest of the wound on his head.

      Hope this helps, let me know how he goes.
      Sarah.

    • It's been quite a time with this fish since posting. First, I went to a local pet store and the clerk told me I should try an API fungus product. I tried that for 24 hours and it almost killed my fish– he went from being an active fish with fraying fins to a fish who barely moved with fraying and clamped fins. Then, i tried fresh water everyday with 1.5 tsp of aquarium salt/gallon of water, and his fins got even shorter! I've now ordered Maracyn Plus, and I'm treating with Bettafix until the Maracyn shipment arrives (my local pet shop was all out of the stronger antibiotic meds). Plus, he's getting a 30% water change every day, with just 1 tsp of aquarium salt/gallon.

      As of tonight, he's acting rather normal, given his circumstances. But, I am concerned because there is another open sore on his head, right by where the last one was. I really don't know what is going on with this fish! Anyway, my question now is: once his Maracyn Plus gets here, do I add it directly to his water with the Bettafix in it, or do I need to do a 100% water change before introducing the new medication?

      And thank you so much for responding to my post!

      Sara

    • Hello Sara,
      I would go straight to triple sulfur or tetracycline if you can. Sounds like you need the stronger meds.

      Bettafix I've had no luck for, it can (sometimes) help with the mildest of finrot – but that's about it. Melafix is the same (Bettafix is just a diluted version of Melafix for treating smaller tanks/bowls).

      Remember to always finish the course of whatever medication you use – even if it hasn't seemed to work. Follow the instructions on the label. If you don't finish the course of medication, your fish will become immune to it. Then, if you ever need to use it – it doesn't work.

      Hope this helps, please keep me updated with him!
      Sarah.

  45. Hi,

    I went away for a couple of weeks & my Betta got sick ~ I did full water changes. treated him with Tetracyline, even went out & got a acquarium with a filter & heater ~ I then treated him with medication for ick ~ he is eating now & does swim around & goes up to eat ~ but he still lays on the bottom of the fish tank ~ do you have any suggestions ~ should I treat him a again for ick?

    • Hello,
      Do you know if he was sick with ick? If not, best not to medicate when for a disease if you don't know what he has exactly.

      Any chance you could grab a photo of him?
      You can upload a photo to a photo hosting site (such as Photobucket), or upload it to the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bubbles-Bettas/203497696445978

      The tank could be cycling, and that could be stressing him out. You can read all about it in the Care Section, if you haven't already.

      Without knowing exactly what he has, I would say not the medicate. Just keep the water clean and warm. I would also add salt – either aquarium salt of pure sea salt (I use rock salt). Make sure there is no iodine in it. Use at a dosage of 1tsp per 10 gallons.

  46. Hi Sarah, my name is Lupe and I had just bought myself a new crown tail betta , when I bought him he was at the bottom of the cup I purchased him in and I thought he was just maybe sad and didn't want to swim but when i brought him home and put him in my 10 gallon tank with my female betta all he did was drop all the way down and he seemed to be struggling to come up for air, so right away i put him back in the cup, I'm not sure what's wrong with him. he doesn't seem to be sick but maybe he might have swim bladder disease, how can i be sure? will he survive? I'm scared he will die and he looks very sad. Please help asap. Please and thank you

    • Hi Lupe,
      It does sound like it could be swimbladder disease. Is there any chance you could post a clear photo of him to make sure?
      You can upload a photo to a photo hosting site (such as Photobucket), or upload it to the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bubbles-Bettas/203497696445978

      If it is swim bladder, he will be ok. Fish with swimbladder normally heal on their own. Even if they don't, they can still have a quality life, just have trouble swimming.

      You can help by lowering the water level so he can access air easier. You can also fast him for 24 hrs and feed him a pea the following day. This helps clear their digestive system (sometimes if they're bloated, their stomach can push onto their swim bladder and that causes swim bladder). Info on feeding peas can be found in the care section, under food.

      Does the tank have a heater?

      Also, you shouldn't house male and female bettas together. They are called fighting fish for a reason, even the males and female fight. Even when they breed, there are risks of them fighting eachother to death.
      I have a friend who recently kept a male and female together in a 10 Gallon tank (even though I advised her not to). They lived together seemingly ok for a few weeks, but all of a sudden they fought, and the male was killed.

      Hope this has helped you, let me know how he goes.
      Sarah.

  47. Hi, i need some help. My fish isn't eating and he has a black colour on his face! i don't know if its just his coloring because that is what he came with but, i don't know if he is eating and i am wondering what i should do! I really don't want my cute little phoenix to die!!

    • Hello,
      The black face sounds normal, most Bettas have a dark face, unless they are piebald or have a mask (check the tail types and patterns section for more info).

      What are you feeding him? And what is your set up like, do you know the parameters? If you don't have a test kit, most pet stores or aquariums will do it for you.

      With this info, it will really help me know why Phoenix isn't eating.
      Sarah.

  48. Hi Sarah,
    I currently have 1 betta fish named Rockie. Rockie is currently in a 2.5 gallon aquarium with a filter. I am pretty sure he has the ick diseases. I got his from the pet store (4 days ago) and he looked very healthy. Two days after i got Rockie i woke up and there was 4 white spots on his chin and i thought they were just air bubbles. the next day i woke up and his whole face was covered in what i thought were bubble before i found this website. Then this morning i woke up and his whole body is covered in what i just found out is ick. I have no clue how this has happened!?!?!?!?!? Please help me Sarah my mom says i should return him to the pet store and get a new fish but i love him and i do not want to return him. Will Rockie di?

    • Hello Matthew,
      Sorry for the late reply, hope Rockie is well.

      It does sound like he has ick. You probably could take him back to the pet store, but it really depends on what their policy is, some stores will offer a replacement, some will not accept him. I understand you've become attached to Rockie though and do not want to return him, I'm certain I wouldn't want to return him, either.

      As for what to do, raise the temperature of the water to 30ºC (85º F), and add any medication that cures whitespot/ick. It should be gone within a week.

      For more information, please see the article above, or feel free to send me another comment.

  49. Hey Sarah,
    I actually had a question about feeding. Is it better to feed them a small breakfast and dinner or is it better just to feed them a big breakfast? Right now I'm feeding Orius two pellets in the morning and one or two pellets in the evening.

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading all the information you've collected on bettas. Great job. 🙂

    Tasha

    • Hello Tasha, sorry for the late reply.
      It doesn't make a huge amount of difference if you feed your betta twice a day, or once a day. As long as your Betta is getting the right amount of food daily, it's all personal preference.

      Hope this helps.

  50. Hi Sarah,
    I am twelve and have a male betta who I have had for a week. I don't know how old he is though. I think he is sick because he won't eat, his gills don't completely close, and he stays at the top of his tank and rarely swims down. 🙁 I feed him two pellets a day. My parents think that I should take him back and exchange him, but I feel guilty that i did something wrong and I don't want to give up on him. Is there anything that I can do to help him? Please help me and Sharky!

    • Hello,
      Is there any chance you can get the water parameters tested? Most pet stores and aquariums will do it for you if you don't have a test kit.

      To me it sounds like it could be an ammonia issue. Since he's new, I'm assuming the set up is also new. Do you know about cycling? I wrote a brief article on it in the care section, I recommend you to read it.

      What is Sharky's set up like?

      Hope this helps.

    • Hi Sarah,
      His set up includes a water plant and rocks. He is the only fish in the tank and the tank is about 12" tall and 6" thick. Thank you for telling me about cycling, I think that will help!

  51. Hello,

    I have a female betta that was doing just great in a 29 gallon community tank. One day I fed the tank a cube of frozen brine shrimp thawed in tank water. The betta ate too much and looked like she swallowed a ball. Thinking it may be something else, as a precaution to the rest of the tank I separated her in an unfiltered bowl keeping the water changed every day or every other day. My concern, is her gills turned blood red. She returned to her normal size within 24 hours, but her gills are still bloody looking — everything else looks normal. I'm thinking of returning her to the community tank, but I'm wondering if gills are normally slow to heal or if there is another issue going on. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hello,
      Bettas are known to be gutsy, and I've had a similar experience. I'm not sure what is kept in the tank, so it probably wasn't overfeeding, just the betta was faster than the other fish.

      Sounds like she was constipated, normally it's best to fast for 24-48 hours, and then feed the betta a pea the next day (instructions in care section under food). Sounds like she should be fine now she's back to her normal size.

      Haven't heard about the red gills after overeating before. Any chance you could get a photo?

      Personally I'll keep her separate until it's sorted out.

  52. My fish has a bubble right by its gill. It keeps growing larger by the day. I think it might be inflamed gills, but mixed with something else. Can you tell me what it is and how to cure it?

    • Hello, sorry for the late reply.
      Any chance you could get a photo?
      Think it could be a tumour. If so, tumours in fish can't be cured – but all Bettas have different reactions to them. I've had fish that have died from tumours, but also others have had it grow, but live out their life with no effect.

      I really do need to have a photo to be sure before I can suggest anything else.

  53. My fish has a bubble by its gill. It looks a bit like inflamed gills but mixed with something else. I really do not want him to die! Please help!

    • Hello,
      Is there any chance you could send a photo? It would really help in identifying what disease your fish has and how to cure it.
      There are instructions on how you can send photos in the description below.

  54. My fish Enti, Has fin rot. His fins have been ragged all his life, (at least, when I have had him). Now, it is getting worse. is there a medication available you suggest instead of almond leaves?

  55. Hello again, I added medication to my betta's tank, I saw both options you recommended, But they were very expnsive. I ended up buying Bettafix, a natural medication that said it would heal Fin Rot. I added it, now Enti is laying at the bottom in awkward postitions, but he gets active when he sees me like nothing ever happened. I think I should add that his hospital tank is a 4 gallon bowl. Is he stressed or dying? HELP!!

    • Hello,
      For fin rot you really do need to use either triple sulphur or tetracycline, especially by the sounds of your fish. Although Bettafix does say it cures finrot, it doesn't work very well – and if you're fish has had ragged fins for a long time you really need to get something stronger.
      By the sounds of Enti at the moment, he needs stronger medication now, and continuation of just bettafix could be fatal.
      Sorry, but it's true.

  56. Thank you for your help, I have discontinued bettafix, and Enti is more active by the day! I will buy the medicine you suggested tomorrow. Thanks again!

  57. I need help with a problem with my pet betta red splenden male fish it has white cotton patches on it's body and I bought it medicine called Super Ick Cure can you please help me I really love Eduardo soooo much I eould really appericat e it and my fish won't eat the pellets I feed him HELP ME WITH THIS CHRSIS Thank you:)

    • Hello,
      Ick is white spot, not cotton patches so wouldn't help. Sounds like you have a fungal infection – there's more info on this in the article. Get yourself some sort of fungal medication – not Super Ick Cure. Once he's healthy again he should continue eating.

      Also, for future please refrain from posting your message multiple times – it doesn't get you a quicker answer, only ends up spamming my email. I reply as soon as I can make it online, but multiple emails from the same issue doesn't make that quicker.

      Hope this helps,
      Sarah.

  58. I really wish I had read this earlier. I lost my fish today. I found him laying at the bottom of the tank gasping for air. He couldn't swim to the top to breathe and he finally laid on one of the leaves of a plant I had in his tank. I lowered his water level so it would be easier to reach the top, but when I returned home from school he had passed away.): He was a fighter though.

  59. Hi,
    My betta is blue, but at the end of some of his fins he has these little red blobs and at first I thought it was just part of his fins. It kinda looks like he has little light bulbs at the ends. Is this anything I should be worried about?

  60. Hi Sarah, I might be getting a Betta as an early birthday present. Do you have any cautionary tales or warnings? Thanks!

    • Hello, glad to hear you might be getting a Betta – and even better to hear you are reasearching them.
      Have a read through the care section to learn the proper care for Bettas. If cared for correctly, Bettas are fantastic pets that can live for a couple years. 🙂

  61. Hi Sarah, my betta suddenly turn very pale over night. I am not sure what happened. He became less active and dashes around only periodically. Most of the time, he just stays at the surface of the water. I also realise he swims on the side sometimes as well. I took photos of how he look like before and now, please help me!

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v327/prawn/20130716_095108.jpg (Before)

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v327/prawn/20130724_144346.jpg (Now)

    • Hello, sorry for the late reply.
      He definitely doesn't look quite right. What is the temperature of the water, and are you able to test the waters parameters? If you can't test it yourself, most fish stores will do it for you. This will really help narrow down what the problem is.

  62. Hi Sarah, I have a betta that has fin rot and I can't get any medication for it at any American stores, as I live overseas. When I go to any of the local pet stores all of the writing is in Japanese and I can't read any foreign languages. 🙁 when I order anything online (amazon, Petco, etc.) Medications take an eternity to get through customs. Is there any cure that I can just whip up at home? I have put some aquarium salt and stress coat in her tank, will that be enough?

    • Hello, have a look and see if you can get any Indian Almond Leaves, they have various benefits, one of which includes antibacterial properties and helps with finrot. These should be able to be found overseas. I get mine from here, but there are various sources available.
      bettawan.com
      Salt and stress coat will also help too, but will not be enough to cure finrot but will hold it from progressing until you can get some almond leaves.

      Hope this helps,
      Sarah.

  63. Hi there ….I had a customer come into my job today and telling me to be careful when we clean out the betta cups becuz of the bubbles that are on the plastic cups they can inhale the bubbles? and causes them to stay at the top or very bottom without moving much?!?!?

    • Hello,
      This is totally false, don't worry about it. Sounds like the costumer has heard about swim bladder disorder, but its cause is mostly overfeeding – not swallowing of bubbles.

    • Hello Danni,
      Bettas are labyrinth fish, therefore they breathe from the oxygen at the water surface. You will notice Bettas will take breathes from the water surface and this is perfectly normal.
      It is only a concern if the Betta sits at the surface constantly gasping for air.

  64. Hi there…
    1.If you had a sick Betta, should you take the plant out?
    2. Where would you get a female Betta? I have searched in all of the pet shops around the area but they don't have any girls 🙁

  65. Thank you so much! This blog has been so helpful and informative. Though unfortunately it has taught me, my crowntail female has swim bladder disease. 🙁 I'm going to make sure she lives the rest of her life safe and happy even with her "s" shape.

    • Thankyou, Hazel. I'm glad you've found this site helpful. Swim bladder disease may cure itself overtime, but I have also had fish who have lived with it. Don't worry they aren't in pain, it's just difficult to manoeuvre. Might be a good idea to lower the water level so she can get to air easily.

  66. Hi Sarah, awesome read. My crown tail beta Shao Kahn usually lives in my room, but as I am restoring the table his tank was on, I moved him into the kitchen area about a week ago. Then I did a routine water change as I have done many times before. A couple of days ago he stopped acting his usual lively self and he was really pale. He had clamped fins(something he had never done before)and spent a lot of time sitting in one spot, then engaging hyper drive to the surface for air and going back down again. I figured it was a temperature issue and moved him back to my room where the climate is much warmer. Today, after cleaning his tank, I noticed a fine gold dust coating on him. As you can imagine, I freaked. I followed your advice on velvet as best as I could using 100% sea salt. I don't have any medicine for it though, will the salt be enough until I can get some?

    • Hello,
      Does sound like your Betta has velvet.
      Using sea salt will help, but on its own won't cure velvet. Best thing would to keep the tank in total darkness which prevents the velvet from having another lifecycle (throwing a towel over the tank helps this). Raise the temperature a few degrees, and do try to go and get medication. All pet stores will sell a medication that treats velvet, anyone will do.

      Hope this helps.

  67. Hi Sarah,

    I have a little baby betta fish named Mobey (like Mobey Dick story) Anyway I have had betta's before but not babys. I am getting concerned. I have had him for way more than 3 weeks and there is just a tiny amount of color change. Should I be worried? Plus I was wondering if you have any recommendations for betta toys. Mobey is an active little fish and likes to show off in his/her tank. (I think its a girl but I am not sure) Please let me know what you think!

    • If the betta is young and getting a colour change, he could just be getting colour, or could be marble. If you could send in a photo that would help and I'll see if something is wrong, I could also help sex him/her for you.

  68. Hey Sarah,

    I saw in most of your explainations that using IAL's are very effective for treatment and prevention as they have anti-bacterial properties. I came across a product on a web site called Atison's Beta Spa which is made from extracts of IAL's and turns the water tea colored instantly. Would you recommend using this as a substitute for the leaves themselves?

    • Hello,
      I normally use the IAL leaves, but I have also used Atison's Betta Spa and have found it to be a good alternative. It has the same effects and has a great reptuation. All comes down to personal choice if you want to use the extract or the leaves. For me it's mostly what I have at the time as they are both equally good.

      Hope this helps,
      Sarah.

  69. I really like how this article not only tells you what diseases are out there, but gives you the symptoms, causes, treatments, and pictures! Thank you for this well made article!

    • Hello,
      It could be a variety of things and may not necessarily be harmful, as it could be a natural change of colouration due to either genetics or age.
      If you could send me a photo that would aid in me ruling out any underlying diseases your betta may have and help find a solution.

      Thanks,
      Sarah.

  70. Hi Sarah
    My daughter has a female betta fish named Cuttie that we have had for about a year and a half. She is very attached to it and I have been taking care of it by changing the water weekly . A while back I noticed it was getting bloated on the stomach area. Just recently Cuttie is staying on the bottom or floating on the side and it appears she has lost her swimming balance a little. After reading online thought it might be dropsy but the scales are not raised. I was thinking of giving her peas. Do you have any suggestions on helping Cuttie?

    • Hello,
      It could be a variety of things. From the information given, my first thoughts would be bloating. A pea would definitely help Cuttie.

      If you are able to send me a photo, that would be helpful, as I would be able to rule out anything more serious.

      Sarah.

  71. We were just given a Male betta the previous owner didn't want. So I went out and purchased an aquarium and gravel and plastic trees etc. He seems well and is eating. However he has just started to make a Bubble Nest in one corner of the aquarium at the top. Is this Normal behavior or could he be sick. I've been feeding him freeze dried blood worms which he like alot. He,s so cute. Could he be sick???

    • Hello,
      Bubble nests are part of the spawning process for bettas, and are blown by males in an act of courting. After breeding, the fertilised eggs are placed in the bubble nest and tended by the male.

      Blowing a nest is perfectly normal behaviour. However it does not mean you need to breed, and does not explicitly state your betta is healthy – but it sounds like your male is well cared for, and I would not worry. Blood worms are a fantastic source of food, I'm sure he is very happy.

      Have a read through the breeding section of this website if you would like some more information on bubble nests.

      Hope this helps you, happy betta keeping.
      Sarah.

    • Any ideas on my beta?
      Background: my office wanted to get rid of him because the patients assumed he was dying. As a novice beta enthusiast I knew he was not dying, but handicapped. It appeared to be swim bladder.
      Fast forward 6 months and he is living happily in his own beta habitat in my son's room. This guy cannot swim upright and spends his time floating at the surface on one side, or cleverly wedged into his plant where he can make himself upright.
      I'm going to try to upload the photos…please see the large bulge I photographed today near his tail, as well as a side profile at topwater to show size. It has started get larger and the scales have septated a bit. Did this appear to be something more than swim bladder, such as a tumor? Behavior-wise, he is fairly normal by eating and popping. Except I need to position one pellet at a time where I know he can grab it. I'll do all I can to keep this guy going, he's a super cool fish! Thanks for any feedback… PS his name is Martian.

  72. I had my betta Flash for around two and a half months and he was perfectly healthy and happy, then I tried to indroduce a pleco who died within two days. Then Flash seemingly had contracted ich and I placed him in a hospital tank and raised the heat and added aquarium salt. He seemed to really be recovering, no more darting and increased appetite. Then one morning he had lost a lot of color and wasn't active at all. Unfortunately I came home from work to find him long gone. I am upset but I felt like I had done all I could, the most alarming thing to me is upon removing him I placed him in tissue and there was this rust color all over the tissue. It seemed like I could wipe the color right off his body. It was disturbing. He was buried in his favorite log and even though he's gone I'd still want to know what caused that strange red stuff. Can't find it anywhere else!

  73. My baby Presley is not feeling well as of yesterday. He has a 5 gal, filtered tank. Changed all yesterday. 1st time for adding salt, slime coat, water clarifier, Have heated water up higher & covered with towel. Thinking fin-rot, maybe velvet, internal parasites, I don't know. He is down at the rocks, did not want to eat today. Help, he is such a sweetie. . .

  74. I just want to ask on how many times should I put sodium chloride in my Aquarium? Is it per week, per month or every other day?

  75. Hi! I have a female betta (Zipper) and a new male betta (Zen). I've been away a bit, and in changing Zipper back to her normal tank realized something is very wrong. In the past she has been a picky eater, and I thought that she had the swim bladder disorder and treated her (and I think that it helped). However, she often won't eat and acts lethargic, swimming more on her side. Since I changed her over, I realized that Zip is pale, almost a ghost of her former self. She is also swimming (when she swims at all) with her tail upward. Her top fin (I don't know its name) seems clamped. She is an older betta (I know that she was mature when I bought her). Anyway, I'm worried about Zipper. I've had her for about half a year, and have been referring to your website since the start. If possible, could you please help Zipper and I?
    Zen is a handsome and healthy boy, who will not be coming in contact with Zipper. Nothing used on Zipper tonight would have reached Zen, as his jar was done first.
    Please help me, Sarah, if you know what this is. I love Zippy, and wish that she would stop giving me such health scares. I generally clean her bowl each week.
    God bless!
    Zipper and Zen's Owner

  76. My fish has Pop eye, and I'm so terribly worried about him. Do you know if he is expieriencing pain? I hope not 🙁 I washed his tank today. Will his eye eventually get better ? Where can i find those Indian leaves ? Help me Sarah!

    -Monica

  77. Hello Sarah. I have a betta with a lump on his left side. After reading the different types of diseases I was thinking it could be dropsy but he has had this lump for months. He is less active now and will often sit very still for a long time until he needs air. He still has an appetite. I have not done any treatments. I have done water changes and I have skipped a few days of feeding, incase I was over feeding but it did no good. I'm not sure what is causing this lump. He's in a planted 20 gallon tank with other mates. I do have a filter but I be sure to keep it on a low setting to keep the current from being too strong. He has a betta leaf that he enjoys laying on, and he seems to enjoy laying in the java fern. As far as diet I feed him once a day, 6 days out of the week. He and my other fish gets fed a combination of betta pellets, flakes and freeze dried bloodworms. I have photos I'm just not sure how to post them. If you have an idea on what this lump could be I would appreciate if you would share your thoughts. Thanks.

  78. Hello Sarah. I have a betta with a lump on his left side. After reading the different types of diseases I was thinking it could be dropsy but he has had this lump for months. He is less active now and will often sit very still for a long time until he needs air. He still has an appetite. I have not done any treatments. I have done water changes and I have skipped a few days of feeding, incase I was over feeding but it did no good. I'm not sure what is causing this lump. He's in a planted 20 gallon tank with other mates. I do have a filter but I be sure to keep it on a low setting to keep the current from being too strong. He has a betta leaf that he enjoys laying on, and he seems to enjoy laying in the java fern. As far as diet I feed him once a day, 6 days out of the week. He and my other fish gets fed a combination of betta pellets, flakes and freeze dried bloodworms. I have photos I'm just not sure how to post them. If you have an idea on what this lump could be I would appreciate if you would share your thoughts. Thanks.

  79. I have 2 Veil Tailed Beta's a male(not sure what color he would be considered) and a female(Royal Blue). My female currently has Fungal Infection which I was sure she had but wasn't 100% positive until I read your description and saw the picture. Now that I am 100% positive I can finally get her treated properly. Thank you.

  80. I had a betta named Magma
    he seemed to have all the signs listed in every disease! I got this fish from a magician and I thought the ick was just nice scales. ontop of that I might have contributed to that by giving him earth worms instead of good betta food giving him shock and not knowing the slightest clue of what I was doing. No wonder it died. But the real question is that was my betta just a big magnet of diseases or is there a new extremely deadly disease that is lurking around?

    and just to be clear my fish was definitely sick before I took bad care of it it wasn't swimming lively at all and it looked like it had all the diseases listed above. there is no need to respond but it will be gladly apprieciated.

    im very sorry I have neglected my fish.

    the strangest thing is though I had a betta before named Hawaiian chicken who lived for 4 years.and I have another one right now named lava.

    Please answer this as well if you can do you think it was my fault or the magicians that Magma died?

  81. Hi Sarah! I have a question about my betta, Toasty. A few weeks ago, he developed what looks like a bubble between his fin and gill. It literally looks like a tiny balloon blown up and stuck there, and it doesn't appear to be coming out of his gill or gill tissue. His fin hits it when he swims and it bounces like a balloon, but he doesn't even seem to notice it. Parameters are fine, temp is good, he eats great and is very active. Any idea what it could be? Searching online yields no pictures that even look close to it.

  82. I have had my new betta, Moe, for six days. He seems happy and active in his new habitat and is even building a little bubble nest. But he doesn't seem at all interested in eating any of the food I have added to his tank (betta flakes and one blood worm). I have some live plants in his space, so I wonder if he might be nibbling on that instead?? I looked through the diseases page here but didn't see anything related to feeding behaviour. The only thing I would question is a mild case of fin rot as the very tips of his fins seem a little white-ish in colour. Would that make him go off his food?

  83. Help, my fish has a sore on his head (top fin) it is red and his scales are gone, he is fine and shows no other problems he eats, swims, and has no unusual activity or problems. If you know what is wrong please tell me and what I can do to get my fish back to being healthy.

    Help, my other fish has a strange bump on his head (top fin) and has no other symptoms, he swims, eats, and has no unusual activities. If you know what is wrong please tell me and how I can fix it so my poor fishy can go back to being happy, thanks.

    They are both BETAS

  84. Help, I have a male beta fish that has what appears to be a red sore on the top of this body near his top fin, this spot is red and looks like it is peeling the scales off he is fine other wise. If you know what is wrong please tell me and how I
    could fix it, thanks.

  85. Sarah, my beta fishes fins are really, really, clamped, and the only thing that I do is feed him normal food and a treat on the same day, is that bad? And I really hope you don't think that I'm a bad beta Keeper, he's my first fish in a really long Time (my ONLY betta) and once and a while when I scoop up some of his water in a cup to heat up in a microwave I scoop him up on porpoise and, I'm really sorry to poor little Marko, I know now that that was a bad decision and I was wondering if any of those might be the reason for his fins. Pls respond.(I put him back into his tank before I microwave the water!!)

  86. Please don't think of me as a bad betta keeper, this is my first time and I need help, my betta fishes fins are clamped very very much and all I do is feed him a normal food and a treat on the same day and once and while put him into a cup and then pour him back into his tank, I have stopped doing that but the treats may be a problem, another thing is that when I clean his tank I cannot get all of the gunk out, I was wondering if there was something for that like getting a sponge (live) but I don't want to have to take care of it

  87. Hi! I found your article extremely helpful.
    After reading your article and comparing it with my betta's current condition, his symptoms have been similar to swim bladder disease..Mine is a one and a half year old male betta.
    He was bloating on the right side mid section of his stomach. I have tried with the fasting and pea technique but his bloating hasn't reduce.
    So I'm a bit worried if the case of his bloating is overfeeding or something else.
    Do let me know how can I send you some pictures of his for reference. Please do help me out!! Awaiting your reply!
    Thanks!

  88. Hello, I don't know if you're still active on this blog or not, but my male betta Lapis, has contracted a really serious fungal disease. He's in a 10g tank normally, but I shifted him to a much smaller one to start treatment. I've tried everything and it still won't help and I don't know what to do.. He's not doing too well. Can you offer me some advice on the situation? Thank you 🙂

  89. Hi Sarah,

    I have a question regarding EM Erythromycin. Both of my bettas had a pretty aggressive form of fin rot. After looking at your blog, it looks like they might have had pin hole fin rot. I did 2 cycles of the medication (8 doses total of .5mg of Erythromycin for 2.5 gallon tanks with 25% water changes after every other dose – recommended by API). Both of the bettas' fins receded a bit more after the treatment, and I'm not sure if the treatment worked. It looks like their fins have stopped receding since then, but I can't be entirely sure. How can I tell if the treatment did its job? Also should I try giving them another round of Erythromycin? I've done a 100% water change today and dosed the water with Stress Zyme and Stress Coat. The last time I did the Erythromycin treatment was about a 1 1/2 weeks ago. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated. This is my first ordeal with fin rot, and I'm worried about my little guys. Thank you in advance!

  90. Hi Sarah,

    I have a question regarding EM Erythromycin. Both of my bettas had a pretty aggressive form of fin rot. After looking at your blog, it looks like they might have had pin hole fin rot. I did 2 cycles of the medication (8 doses total of .5mg of Erythromycin for 2.5 gallon tanks with 25% water changes after every other dose – recommended by API). Both of the bettas' fins receded a bit more after the treatment, and I'm not sure if the treatment worked. It looks like their fins have stopped receding since then, but I can't be entirely sure. How can I tell if the treatment did its job? Also should I try giving them another round of Erythromycin? I've done a 100% water change today and dosed the water with Stress Zyme and Stress Coat. The last time I did the Erythromycin treatment was about a 1 1/2 weeks ago. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated. This is my first ordeal with fin rot, and I'm worried about my little guys. Thank you in advance!

  91. hello
    my betta fry are 4 weeds old and many of them have trouble swimming.they are at the bottom of the tank.at first i thought they have swim bladder disorder so i provided some peas and fed them.it's about a weak and they still can't swim well.i do not know what is the problem.
    i feed them baby brine shrimp and sometimes soaked betta food .
    can anyone help me.it's really emergency.
    thank you very much.

  92. Hi Mam Sarah please help me to save my little male beta fish that i have about 1 week ago …He did not seem well his loosing his color and having white spot and mostly he stand on the bottom of bowel not swimming to much and also having pinhole fin rote i am afraid to loose him please suggest me what should i do to save him

  93. My female veiltail has stopped swimming and has a white mucus around her tail where she snuck into the males tank and gotten it chewed on and then it spread up towards her face. I had another die from this. What is it? And how do I treat it?

  94. Can any of the above mentioned diseases/infections in beta's be transmitted to humans in any way and or be harmful? My wife is pregnant and she has obvious concerns about them?

  95. Can any of the above mentioned diseases/infections to betta's be transmitted to humans in any way that can be harmful? My wife is pregnant and she has obvious concerns. Any help would be appreciated

  96. What does it mean if my betta has a pale-ish swollen spot on one side? He doesn't seem itchy or have any problems at all, normal appetite, still acts normal, but he has a patch where it seems to have swollen up, I've been watching close for a few days… Is he ok?

  97. Hi Sarah not sure if you're stil around? Have been reading many f ealier posts trying to work out why my daughter's new betta died after only one week. We did a fishless nitrogen cycle before getting the betta. She noticed he had a white cotton like material growing from its mouth and hadn't noticed it previously as she had been checking him when feeding him quite closely. She treated the tank with pimafix but he died later the same night. So sad. Am thinking he had something wrong with him whn he was purchased. Would appreciae your opinion.

  98. Hello Sarah!

    I see that you know a lot about bettas. I read everything you wrote but i am still not sure what my betta has. When i got him 6 months ago, he started having some white spots at his face, that everybody told me that was because of stress, so i got him a huge aquarium (60 lt) and everything else needed. I change 20% of the water once a month more or less and i add aqua safe and the food for the plants every time i make the water change. I left Poseidon (my betta's name) without food from 22-30 of december but on the 30th that i saw him, he was ok. He ate maybe a bit more and next day he was not super active and didn't eat that much. Then till the 4th of january was again without food and from the 4th till the 8th my flatmate was feeding him. On the 8th i came back and i saw that his head has another shape now. He is not moving a lot and he doesn't eat. Ι have also fotos of him but i do not know how i could show you. I do not know if it is bacterial or fungal or something else. And i only have this aquarium that is full of small shrimps right now cause 2 of my shrimps gave birth 10 days ago. Would the medicine affect the baby shrimps and the other shrimps also? Because if i remove Poseidon, then i do not have another heater and filter for the other 1,5 lt aquarium that i have.

    Thank you in advance,

  99. My betta Rasberry has one splotches on his body. He is silver bodied with a red tail. I thought it was ick..but not sure. He is in a nice 2 gallon tank..no filter…but heater and I am vigilant about keeping the water clean. I clean the tank once a week with 50% every couple of days. I check ammonia levels regularly. Anyway, I've been treating him with Super Ick for 3 days now…and he doesn't look any better. He blew a bubble nest yestetday, is swimming regularly and eating as normal. (He eats out of a plastic spoon. Yes, I feed him one mini pellet at a time. When he is finished ewth one, I give him another. Now when he sees the spoon, he knows its good time. He is soooo spoiled!). Anyway…after reading, maybe he has a fungus. What should I do? Thsnk you…Rasberry is like my child and I want to do the best gor him.

  100. My betta, Nemo, has a white area around his mouth. Is this any sort of problem of disease I should treat and is there any sort of medicine/treatment for it. Thanks!

  101. My betta's fins have become curled up at the ends, since the second week of me owning him. I treated him with Betta Revive from Aquarium Solutions, but I noticed no change. I'm suspecting possible Fin Melt, but I'm not sure. He has also gotten black patches on his body, however I've been told that betta's can change their colours. Anyway, I'd love for your opinion on this! Thanks!

  102. Hi I have a crown female betta. I do not know what happening. Her water at the top get well it is like a spider web were when you put you hand in it you pull it out and it like a spider web. And all she dose is sit there. I know she alive. But she dose not move a lot as she used to. Bubbles appear were she is. I need help.

  103. Hi I have a crown female betta. I do not know what happening. Her water at the top get well it is like a spider web were when you put you hand in it you pull it out and it like a spider web. And all she dose is sit there. I know she alive. But she dose not move a lot as she used to. Bubbles appear were she is. I need help.

  104. Hi There, My mom has a pretty new beta that is blue, I think it is a male. The fish has a gash on the side that has turned white like cotton. She has used betafix for 5 days so far with no luck. Any suggestions?? thanks:)

  105. Hi Sarah,

    I left a comment on this site before contains a question about breeding one of my betta. The betta in question recently developed a very small patch of white on top of its body, almost exactly halfway. It's behaviour has been different as well; it spends a lot of time floating near the surface of the water at the edge of the tank. It also seems almost agitated while swimming, making small darts every couple of seconds. Should I be concerned?

  106. Help! My betta is paralyzed. He seems to have no control of his backside. I feed him by getting him to freak out (which is terrible) by putting the colorful food lid by his eyes and he kind of "bucks" his way to the top and gets a little oxygen and maybe one pellet of food and then sinks back down and lays down. It's so terrible. PH is a little high and ammonia is zero. He's in a 3.3 gallon tank with a heater. I've had him a year. Blue Male. This has been going on for 3 weeks. I changed his tank daily for about 5 days and now have gone back to 25% changes weekly. I hate to keep pulling him out to make him eat and I don't want to prolong his life if he's suffering but I don't know what else to do. I've given him aquarium and epsom salt treatments too. Any suggestions? Also, I lightly touched his back fin with a bobby pin and there was no reaction and then I touched his mid-section and he freaked. So I really don't think he has feeling back there.

  107. Hey Sarah,

    I was wondering what my fish coil have. He has been tilting lately and only spends most of the day on the bottom of his tank. He used to be an active Betta fish. I've noticed that the ends of tail is turning black/gray with slight white spots. The top of his mouth seems to be swollen(I don't know how to say it but it seems like it's his chin, it's right below his mouth.) If it is fin rot then I'll go to the store right away to buy aquarium salt, or some medication to treat him. I just want him to be safe, he is also sharing a take with another fish, but its those tanks with the divider,will it also spread to him?

  108. Hi, I have a beta fish and he has been growing a bubble that starts near his esophagus and extends to the beginning of his bottom fin. The bubble is on the bottom of his body. It's grown quite large and now he's having a hard time balancing and diving because of the buoyancy.

  109. Hello, I am super new to Beta illnesses and fish in general. My Beta Freddie has had the cotton patch fungus for a month, and I've done two day water changes with fungus meds and antibiotics as well as sea salt. I did this for 1 week, now switching to daily water changes as it was getting a bit worse. Now it seems the same after 4 days. PLEASE HELP? What should I do?

  110. Hi

    My betta appears to be bloted and have 1 fuzzy patch behind his fin and near his stomach. What could this be and how to treat it?

    Thank you

  111. Hello Sarah,
    I purchased a double tail Betta about a month ago. I named him Findago and he seemed fine when I bought him. After a week his color started to fade and he floated vertically at the top of my 1 gallon tank. I assumed it was SBD and I bought him a heater and started feeding him blood worms instead of Betta pellets. He started to get a little better after that, but then his tail started to get black and torn! He died yesterday, even though the day before he was swimming around fine :(((. His tail was almost all gone by then
    Is there any way I can prevent this happening with my next Betta?!? Please help!

  112. Hey I have a king betA I know is sick!! It looms like a gill infection bc they aren't closing properly and its swollen around his gills and belly?? Im treating him with melafix and aquarium salt…. He seems more active he has been eating too buf he still looks sick?? Please does anyone know what's wrong and how to save him????

  113. My king beta seems to have a gill infection ive been treating him with melafix and aquarium salt… His gills are swollen and his belly the gills aren't closing properly… Its been a few days bes been more active and is eating but he still looks really sick… How can i help him? What is wrong? Does anyone know?

  114. I didn't change my bettas water for more than a year. I know I'm a bad owner please do not tell me. I mainly focused on my dog, and I wasn't commited to my fish. Now he has white spots all over (I know it's ich) and he might have other diseases. I don't know what to do! Can anyone help?

  115. HELP!! Though your site is very helpful and informative I cannot tell my betta, Sir Lancelot, has much or a fungal infection! He just lays at the bottom of his tank and sleeps a lot. He looks a tad bloated and noticed white spots on his body. I recently changed his water and cleaned his tank, but I didn't use any chemicals. Could it be the wrong amount of water conditioner and/or wrong temperature? I need help ASAP!!

  116. My delta tail male developed mild swim bladder disease. He wasn't being overfed nor roughly handled so I wasn't sure what was going on. I had the idea to get another betta and put them in a separator tank. I figured this would give him some exercise and he would get better. Totally worked! He's perfectly fine now and enjoys "playing" with his roomate. 🙂

  117. We have a Betta, Blue Blaze, in an aquaponics tank ( 3 gallon). Unfortunately from inadequate water changes we believe he got fin rot a week ago. He was a bright blue but his middle began to turn pink and he was staying at the bottom of the tank. We also noted a cyst on his back fin. We took pictures and showed our local aquarium tech. We were recommended to put him in a separate container ( 1 gallon tank) and use aquarium salt. The next day he appeared better, started to regain his color and made a bubble nest. The day after that he was back to looking pale. I have been changing the water ever 2 days and adding the aquarium salt. I've started using Melafix. We have been doing this for 7 days now. Yesterday we noted a reddish brown pea size mass at the bottom of the tank. When I took it out it had a mushy consistence…?feces?? Prior to this I only noticed white stringy things in the water. He is looking pale again and now I notice reddish streaks in his fins. I have added Furacin ( only thing I had) to water this morning…
    Now I am confused if I am not waiting long enough for the treatment to work or if I am misdiagnosing him.
    Summary of treatment
    1. Isolated and placed into tank with Aquarium salt. Day 1
    2. Day 2-8 Salted water + Melafix
    3. Day 8 added Furacin to water

  118. Hi my new betta had fungus, he was in a community tank for only two days. I put him in my hospital tank with fungus meds and aquarium salt. He now has velvet. I just did a salt dip and he seems worse. I do bi weekly water changes of 10-20 percent and constantly check my ammonia and ph levels. My minnows, shrimp and snail in fluval spec community tank are healthy and happy. Please advise. Thanks Mel

  119. Do you still check this page? Regardless, I am pretty sure my betta is very sick. He is a halfmoon male, and I think overfeeding and not changing his water enough may have hurt him.
    – he is turning brown, mainly his head area, but some other small parts are muddy brown as well
    – around his neck area (do fish have necks?) it looks as if his scales are ripping off, They are kinda just floating around while the base is still attached to him. I guess that could also be inflamed gills? All i know is that he looks like a frilled-neck lizard. pretty much like this, but only a little larger: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PESB58n4idY/UWEvH35ICfI/AAAAAAAABEw/O7E3-kgDw5c/s1600/BettaFlare.jpg
    – his fins are shredded, mainly the caudal fin, and the one of top are the ones that are really tattered.
    – his eyes looked a little bugged when i first saw him today. nothing too big, but definitely not normal.
    – overall, he just looks sad and miserable, and i feel bad for him because he must be hurting.
    I am not really sure how to pinpoint what he has, so i was hoping maybe you can help diagnose and help give me some advice on how to help him?
    thanks for your time,
    Sarah

  120. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have had betta fish all of my life, but I have never seen this kind of sickness (if that is what it is). I recently bought a male dragon scale betta from PetCo. He was this beautiful pastel mint color, but after having him for about two weeks, he began to turn a bright blue. As the days went on the color spread from his fins to his body. I figured that he had just lost his color in the cup he was in at PetCo because of stress and he was now getting it back. 5 or 6 days ago I noticed that his fins were getting a slightly brown/black/yellow tint to them in certain areas. I assumed it was the beginning of fin rot so I did a 45-50% water change, added some aquarium salt, stress coat, and a very, very small dose of API’s Furan-2. He seemed to be doing much better on that. I read in a forum that there is another stress coat brand that works very good as well – Kordon’s Fish Protector. I added 1 or 2 drops of that in too which was way less than what the bottle called for, but I didn’t want to over-medicate Rockey’s tank. I gave him an epsom salt bath too, about every other day. 2 or 3 days ago, the brownish black coloration started coming back again, but on top of that it started to look like he was losing scales on top of his head. It has since progressed to something that almost resembles a burn – a patch of tan-ish color that completely covers his scales wherever the “burn” is at – and has spread to almost the whole left side of his head and down his back to his dorsal fin. I have had fish with ich, body rot, and velvet before, but this doesn’t look like any of those at all. He is eating well and still swims up to meet me at the front of his tank. I left his fake plants in his 2.5 gal tank (yes, I understand this isn’t the recommended size but it’s all I have space for in my dorm – when I go home for Christmas break, I am transferring him and my other betta – Spot – to a larger tank), but took away his rock because I worried that the rough edges would agitate his body. I have a filter, but I don’t currently have a heater for him because his tank thermometer always reads between 75 and 80 degrees. I do roughly 25% water changes every 4 or 5 days, but have been doing them more frequently because of his condition. I just lost one of my other bettas last night – Irony – because of an epsom salt bath that ended up burning his body and gills so I refuse to use that as a method for treatment from now on. I already lost one of my little buddies, I don’t want to lose another. Is the aquarium salt and epsom salts burning Rockey? Please help!
    P.s. If you need a picture of what he looks like now to determine what it is and how I proceed, just leave me an email and I can send you one

  121. Hi Sarah
    Thank you for you blog, my betta is named taco and he is not doing well. He is very pale lost his colour, seems to be whiteish around his fins and head. He is just at the bottom of his tank and can't swim straight seems to be not able to get upright. He swims frantically to the top to try and get air. Looks very painful! I have cleaned his tank, changed his water, lowered the water so it is easier for him to get to the top. He is hardly swimming and I am very worried. He has been like this for over 24hours. What do you recommend I do?
    Thank you for you help
    Jess

  122. Hello Sarah, I have a male betta that is showing signs that he is sick. He's losing his color. Won't eat and just sits at the bottom of the tank, he has a weird white spot under his gills. His scales are not up or his eyes popped out. I read everything you've put on the blog and I've started to give him a treatment of salt with no iodine and water and his solution. I separated him from the rest of the betta fish. I have two tanks that split in half so they can't see each other. I was scared he would get my female betta sick so I took him out and washed the tank before putting her back in. It's been a week and he still won't get better. I'm also using a bettafix that is for fungus and torn fins. My other three bettas are healthy and happy. I don't know what to do to make him feel better except continue with the treatment. Please help? Thank you.

  123. Hello! I have a male HMCT named Kaida and he has an infection that looks like nothing on your page at all! He has red lines that are sticking to his skin, (not flat, more 3D if ya know what I mean) I looked up what it could be, no answers. The first thing I did was add aquarium salt, what else could I do? (Sorry that this is wayyyyy after you wrote this page, but I couldn't find anything so needed your help)
    Thanks,
    Lacie

  124. Hello! My HMCT male, Kaida, has an unknown parasite(literally unknown) and I can't find ANYTHING on the internet telling me what this is! He has 3D red lines attached to his scales, but everything else is fine. Please answer if you can, he means a lot! (Sorry that this is WAYYYY after you write this page)
    Thanks,
    AP(initials hehe)

  125. Hello I have a blue and purple elephant eared half moon Betta. He has developed scaly whitish colored patches on his gillsand part of his head is a darker color now. He is in one of those no clean aquarium is which clearly is not for him he was a gift. I am getting ready to move him into a 3 gallon filtered and heated aquarium. I'm trying to find out if this is possibly velvet as it does show up as shiny sometimes but not others or possibly it's just his color change. If so then I will keep him in the small tank and use it as a hospital tank try to curate before I move him into the other one. I have some seachem cupramine but I would like to be positive of the velvet diagnosis before I use it. No clamped fins and he seems to be eating and acting fine..Any thoughts on this thanks

  126. Hello,
    I bought Comet in august and got him a 5 gallon tank with a light and filter but no heater. I noticed he seemed to be smaller an his fins look raggedy at the ends. I don't remember his dorsal fin to be that small. He also seemed to be losing color. I quarantined him with 3 tsp of aquarium salt for 10 days. I was able to get a eater in the middle of his treatment and I keep it on 77. Today is the 10th day and I was going to put him back in his 5 gallon tank and stop using the aquarium salt (I'm still using a stress coat) but he does not seem to look any better. He swims around just fine and gets excited to eat and eats everything. He'll sleep in the corner of the tank near the top at night but I figured its because he doesn't have any hiding places in his quarantine tank. I am researching other diseases but can't figure out what exactly he has. I have always noticed one side of his head seemed to be slightly bigger. Since I was doing research I decided to shine a light to look for velvet and noticed his "lopsided head" is a swollen, red, gill. So confused on what his sickness is and how to treat him properly. Help!

  127. Hello,
    I bought Comet in august and got him a 5 gallon tank with a light and filter but no heater. I noticed he seemed to be smaller an his fins look raggedy at the ends. I don't remember his dorsal fin to be that small. He also seemed to be losing color. I quarantined him with 3 tsp of aquarium salt for 10 days. I was able to get a eater in the middle of his treatment and I keep it on 77. Today is the 10th day and I was going to put him back in his 5 gallon tank and stop using the aquarium salt (I'm still using a stress coat) but he does not seem to look any better. He swims around just fine and gets excited to eat and eats everything. He'll sleep in the corner of the tank near the top at night but I figured its because he doesn't have any hiding places in his quarantine tank. I am researching other diseases but can't figure out what exactly he has. I have always noticed one side of his head seemed to be slightly bigger. Since I was doing research I decided to shine a light to look for velvet and noticed his "lopsided head" is a swollen, red, gill. So confused on what his sickness is and how to treat him properly. Help!

  128. Hello,
    I really need help, reply ASAP please. I bought Comet in august and got him a 5 gallon tank with a light and filter but no heater. 2-3 weeks ago, I noticed he seemed to be smaller and his fins look raggedy at the ends. I don't remember his dorsal fin to be that small. He also seemed to be losing color. I quarantined him with 3 tsp (for a 2 gallon tank) of aquarium salt for 10 days. I was able to get a heater in the middle of his treatment and I keep it on 78. On the 10th day and I was going to put him back in his 5 gallon tank and stop using the aquarium salt (I'm still using a stress coat) but he does not seem to look any better. He swims around just fine and gets excited to eat and eats everything. He'll sleep in the corner of the tank near the top at night but I figured its because he doesn't have any hiding places in his quarantine tank. I have always noticed one side of his head seemed to be slightly bigger. Since I was doing research I decided to shine a light to look for velvet and noticed his "lopsided head" is a swollen, red, gill. He does seem to have gold dust on his lower half and fins. This past Thursday (4 days ago) I started treating him with Coppersafe for the velvet and Maracyn 2 for the gill. I did a 100% water change on the second and fourth day (which is today), cleaned his tank with boiling water, kept the water temp at 83 and turned on his light during the day to advance the life cycle of the parasites so the medicine will kill them. Yesterday I noticed the water was cloudy even though I just changed the water the day before. I checked the ammonia with a test kit and the water seemed to be fine. this morning I went to turn on his light and when he moved he had a stringy slime coat around him that fell off. He has a hard time swimming and he stays with his head to the corner of the tank at the top but he still eats. Im beginning to question if I am treating him or poisoning him with the coppersafe. So confused on what his sickness is and how to treat him properly. Help!

  129. Hello,
    I just bought a betta about two months ago. He was doing really good, and he seemed really happy and active. However, yesterday when I fed him he wasn't interested in the food at all. I've fed him TetraBetta pellets from the pet store. Today he's been laying at the bottom of his tank, and he has been scratching himself on the gravel. I think his fins are clamped as well. I have checked for velvet several times but I don't see any gold dust. I've put a towel over him just in case. Do you know of any other diseases that could make him act like this? Or could this be an early stage of velvet before the gold dust appears? Or could I just be overreacting?

  130. I have a question for the betta health, if you are still active on this blog…

    Two of my fish have things I am not sure what they are.
    Silver, my platinum betta, has black like spots around one side of his body. Today I have noticed the black spots have spread to over half of his right side while the left side remains just a line across the body just above his dorsal fin… I am unsure what this is, but he swims around like he is the happiest fish ever.

    My second fish, I noticed last night, has red spots on the very tips of his fins.

    Any ideas?

  131. Hi my name is Noah and my pet fish alpha either has inflamed gills or an external infection .When I shine a light on his gills you can see two white strips on top of them.if you don't shine a light you can't see them.ps his body is brown when is tail is bright blue

  132. My fish lilo, who i have had for a year and a half, stomach is really swollen around her sides for the last week. I usually only feed her once a day 3 pellets and then I fast her on saturdays. I did some research and it said she's either constipated or that she's got dropsy. She's still really active and swimming around a lot and still has an appetite.I'm not quite sure if her scales are protruding because she's dark purple but around her stomach is pale. Also when shes on the bottom of the tank her tail sticks up alittle but that could be because of the filter which is kinda strong. What should I do I don't want to give her medicine if she's not sick or neglect her if she is

  133. my betta might have inflamed gills, but I'm not sure because he got stuck in my net when I was doing a water change, and has a weird thing that looks like a scar on his right gill. please help!

  134. Hello Sarah. I am looking to get a beta soon, but I don't know what to look for to see if my hoses fish is healthy. How do I choose a healthy fish? I don't want my beta to come home sick.

    Faeryn

  135. Hello, I have a problem. My betta isn't eating and he is acting strange. (Hiding all the time and swimming in short bursts.) I have had him for 9 days and I haven't seen him do this before. Thanks!

  136. I have a betta that aquired fin rot from a rip from a plant (that has been removed) at first i did daily 100% water changes in a bowl and the rot went away and his tail healed, I started to cycle his three gallon for that week but im pretty sure it wasnt fully cycled but i still put him in, and within another week he got fin rot so I put in medication, for two weeks I have put in medication and about two more times he has gotten fin rot. he has had some regrowth now on his back tail which is good, but now he got fin rot on his bottom tail. My only assumption is that I did another 100% water change and boiled everything in my tank because I thought it would help, ( now i realize it didnt) but I think that as the tank starts to cycle the ammonia and nitrates build up and attack the fish again?! I am taking some sample water and getting it tested at the store this weekend and I will probably get ammonia neutalizing drops and indian almond leaves as well. The medicine has been helping once the fin rot comes back, it comes quick! and the medicine makes it better. But I think thats why it keeps getting it, becuase my tank isnt cycled, But i dont know? Also whenever it gets the fin rot back its poop turns black and its usually brown?! Please reply, this is getting so annoying!!

  137. My betta fish has turned partially transparent. First it was his fin, and I treated the water with medication for fungal/bacterial. The color is restored to his fin but his body is now transparent – you can see through him. He doesn't seem sick. He is active, he eats, he has no open sores. This has been going on for a month or two. Any ideas?

  138. Hey!
    My Betta has velvet (checked with flashlight) but he is acting normally no difference. Eating fine and swimming and very active. What should I do? I might be getting guppies but will they get affecting?

  139. Sarah,
    Can you p,ease help my inferno he has white spots on his jaw or under his head and I can't figure out what it is, I'm currently using mela-fix and I can't tell if it's helpig… any ideas???

  140. Sarah,
    please help my beta fish he has white spots under his jaw or under his mouth I'm currently using mela-fix and cat tell if it's working betta-fix helped gt the spots of his head but nothing else….. any ideas??
    Please and thank you😊

  141. My betta has white spots on his jaw or under his head can you help me j figuring what it is?im curently using mela-fix, betta-fix only got rid of the spots on his head… NY ideas I've been trying go figure this out on my ow but I in desperate need of help, please and thank you Sarah.

  142. My betta is bloated and constipated. It all started two weeks ago when I forgot to fast him that day and so he did not poop for like 5 days but he did not get bloated?! And then I fasted him the next Monday and he pooped!! But then I fed him again and he got bloated so I fed him a pea two days later and he pooped and this week he pooped on Sunday I fed him a pea on Monday and fasted on Tuesday and NO POOP!! He is still bloated but not like their is a marble in his tummy and he isn't swimming weird. So I fed him on wendstay and no poop and I am Hoping he poops today. Also a month ago his poops started getting this weird green/ clear circle in the middle of his brown swirly poop! And his most recent poop didn't have that so I thought he was getting better?! And his poops for about a month now too have had little black dots in them if u look with a flashlight!! He shouldn't have parasites bcs his poop has never been white or stringy… only grey and brown bcs like one week ago I forgot to turn the heater back on for 24 hrs after I did a water change! So my betta hasn't been pooping frequently and looks a little bloated but he is active and a good eater so I'm wondering what this is!! And also the other day when I fed him when he grabbed his pellets (last week I started soaking them for 10 mins pre feeding when I noticed he was bloated) a couple tiny bits of his pea from Tuesday fell out of his mouth!! Idk what that means but I'm wondering how I can help my betta and if this is a symptom of a secondary condition ( not dropsy his scales aren't sticking out!) my betta is in a 3 gal tank that is heated to 78 deg and I do 40% water changes twice a week. Right now I cannot afford a ammonia or other tests for my betta! So how can I help my bloated and constipated betta!?

  143. Hello im worries about my fish he act healthy but he has white spots on the bottom pay of his fax is it idk its not salt like or anything its just weird I can't find it anywhere and I dont under stand what it is its not cotton like its just there.

  144. I have 3 bettas at home.
    The fist one has servere fin rot but is quite active and eats the food given. I have treated it with medication but the condition does not improve.
    My second betta tends to stay at the bottom of the tank and only comes up for air and also lost its colour and appetite. Its stomach is a little bit bloated. I have treated it with medication but the condition does not improve.
    My third betta has only been with me for almost a month but it started behaving differently. First it stays at the bottom of the tank most of the time. Sometimes I catch him staying at the bottom in a dying position. Secondly it had a bit of fin melt.
    My second and third betta started to behave differently after I came back from my holiday. Before I go,both my bettas were still active and eats the food given. Except for the second betta it had already lose its colour before I went on my holiday. I hope you can get back to me as quickly as possible so that I can treat them earlier before their condition worsens. I really do not want my bettas to die.

  145. One of my betta has popeye and stays at the bottom of the tank all the time with its head down. Its scales are also a little protruding out. What should I do

  146. my betta has servere fin rot.I have put super bacteria 8000 in the tank for almost a month but still to no effect.I change the water once every week.I also have a pump at the back of the tank.Is a water heater recommended? If yes,what would be the best temperature? What medicine should i use to cure it.

  147. So my 7 year old son saved his money and finally bought his own betta fish along with supplies! As he is so proud of his new pet we are a bit worried. The fish seems great, swimming and eating normally, but his left gill is open alot more then the other and does not seem to close! It is not red,raised, swollen discoulured at all literally just looks like one gill us stuck open?! Any suggestions would be great thank yiu

  148. I have 2 bettas for my sons. We just got them about 2 weeks ago. They kept getting that film on the water and one has a lot if the bubble nests (I didnt know at the time that was normal, I thought it was our water, which was treated with the chlorine remover).
    So I changed the water from tap to spring. A few hours after putting the crowntail back in his bowl he acted like he couldn't swim down, progressing to his tail coming up and staying at the top of the water, sometimes sideways.
    I think he's dying then he'll be upright again.
    Is there anything I can do.

  149. I have just noticed my betta has fin rot, or at least I believe it is fin rot. I changed his water last night and cleaned his entire tank, I woke up to him having what looks like shedding skin, as you would see on a snake, on his tail and lower half of his body. What does this mean?

  150. Hello. I've recently gotten into Betta keeping and have been at it for almost a year. My first Betta I had for two weeks and passed away from swim bladder :(. I was wondering how the poor thing died from it. However we(me and my dad) kept feeding her until she died. She was picky so we were feeding her about 4 bloodworms a day.

    So after that mistake, we ended up getting another one. She lasted about three months and passed away from dropsy. Do you know if dropsy can be caused by levels? We checked PH and it's been perfect, but not ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

    Well after that we got another Betta, a lovely teal spadetail female. She currently has fin rot. We caught it early and was treating her but it's still gotten worse. We switched medicines (with a few days in between) to melafix. She has a 5 gallon tank (which is more like 4 gallons) 2 live anubias plants that have been doing great. We have it bare bottom right now (she's really feisty and way too curious). We also have a filter, aerator and a silk plant in there. We washed everything before we put it in when we first put all that stuff in there. We change Grace's water every 2 weeks (1 gallon). The temp. is about 72 because she seems to prefer it a bit cooler. No heater but we do have one on hand. We hand this one plant she used to sleep by and rub against which wasn't looking to good(the leaves were turning black) that I have no idea why we didn't pull it out. I'm really worried about her but she's hanging tough and still loves to eat (3 pellets a day with a pea once a week).

    Couple questions on this- Could that plant have caused the fin rot?(we have gotten rid of it)

    Can fin rot be caused by nitrites or nitrates?

    She also injured her gill on that silk plant(barely any spikes but we got rid of that) it's still not 100% healed(you can still see the spot) but it got way better in a few days. Could that have had something to do with the fin rot even though it was a month ago?

    We got our Bettas from Petco (all of them) they are kept in small tiny bowls but at the time they had clean water and looked healthy. They also had a couple Betta experts there. Not sure that's the best place for them but I don't want to order online(I don't care about breed or type of the Betta, and I don't want my Betta shipped to me) and Pet Supermarket(great care of Bettas) doesn't really have females. Any places you know of where there is decent Betta care and they have females? The poor thing(Grace) was a stress stripe and just a little bit of teal when we brought her home. I know stress isn't good for Bettas but I think she was there for a while so could that have weakened her immune system a bit?

    She's had fin rot for 2-3 weeks so I'm pretty concerned about her because we lost the other two. She means the world to me and I don't want to bury another fish for a long while. Sorry this post is so long.

    (I'm in the USA)

  151. Hello I just recently got a new Betta about 4 days ago and on the first day I noticed that he had a whitish layer on both eyes. I wasn't sure whether it was bacterial, fungal or anything else, but now there seems to be tiny bits of white coming off eye. Could this mean it is fungal? If so how should I treat it? Thanks in advance.

  152. Hi, Sarah! Thank you for all the helpful information; I've been doing a lot of research on keeping a betta but I have a problem and I'm totally stumped.
    My male veiltail betta, Finn has strange issues with his tail. The ends of it look torn or ripped, especially on the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin also has black spots, and his fins look clamped. The thing that stumps me…Finn seems fine otherwise; he's retained his voracious appetite, performs his tricks (follow finger and jumping for food), greets me when I sit down at his tank (he used to flare, but now he just wiggles >w<), and is never in one spot of his tank for too long. His dorsal fin is also developing black spots, which weren't there before. Am I being too protective? Or is something wrong with my fish?

  153. Hey so I bought my betta boy from a local pet store around my house 2 days ago (3 days, technically it's midnight) and I had researched a bit earlier and I figured it was kind of pale, inactive and ill. I was desperate for a fish and I felt I could treat him and I felt bad form him in the small plastic bag with dirty water so I bought him home…the first day he played explored a bit (bought him a 1/2 gallon bowl with a plant going to shift him in a 4 gallon tank ordered on Amazon yesterday) but then lay still, yesterday I started warming his bowl with hot water bottles in his bowl and he was pretty good and he even let me pet him and was mostly very active apart from when he slept! But I'm worried cause he had fun rot, (which is getting better gave some medicines) but I'm worried if this grey green patch to the side of him and I'm worried it could be inflammation of the gills? Please help and let me know what I can do! I love him so much already!

  154. HELLO EVERYONE!
    My name is Ainsley and I have had my Betta, Chips, for going on 2 years (not sure how old he was when I adopted him)… Chips is my work fish, and it must be said, I LOVE and spoil this fish, but I fear something is wrong. THIS IS WHERE I NEED YOU ALL!

    Chips has had a handful of tanks over the last couple years, and is currently in a 30L Bi-Orb.

    Over the last couple of weeks I noticed that he hasn’t been as active as usual. I downloaded and read up on all Betta-prone-illnesses, and best determined he may have SBD; I gave him a bit of a green pea (cooked/served as per instructions) and he seemed to be a bit better. But, I fear it was short lived. My poor Chips typically stays near the surface now, in a C shape with his nose facing downwards. He is still eating, and does still “swim” but he is definitely more lethargic that usual and I am terrified he is suffering.

    Any and all advice is greatly welcomed, I don’t want to lose my Chips.

    Side note: I do have a Vet in the family, and can/will do what is best for him, but I don’t want to make any decisions until I have received some feedback concerning what I should do… 🙁

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