Betta fish sick? Not sure what to do


Hi all,
My betta is sick, and I don’t know what to do. Last time I posted about a sick gourami, and I was politely criticized for trying to medicate with tetra life guard in my attempt to save him which leaves me a little reluctant to post, but I honestly don’t know what to do here, so here we go…

i got Ning Yi in January 2021 from the LFS. He has been healthy up until now. 1 week ago I noticed a fin tear in his tail fin. I immediately added some salt and Seachem Stress Guard, dosed for tank size. the fin tear did not appear to be infected, no redness or anything. No idea how he tore it, nothing sharp in the tank and I have a prefilter on my intake tube to prevent this. 3 days ago he stopped eating, and all of his natural black on his face has turned a medium grey. Very lethargic, just lays on the fake plant leaves near the surface where he can access the surface without moving too much. When he stopped eating, I immediately checked my water parameters which were fine. Regardless, I did a tank cleaning and around a 30% water change just to be sure… but it is not improving him and he is discolouring even further. Difficult to get pics of him as he wants nothing to do with me right now, which tells me he is not feeling well. Can’t tell what is wrong from his appearance - no red spots or tiny white spots (ick), the discolouration does not appear to be fungus as it does not appear fuzzy. No evidence of bloating or pineconing.

Some background: in 16 gallon tank, only fish inhabitant along with three nerite snails.
Tank running since Oct 2020.
Temp is 28 C, verified by 2 thermometer readings. Heater in tank.
HOB filter with prefilter over intake tube (To protect delicate fins)
Ph: 7.4
Ammonia, Nitrites are 0
Nitrates were 5ppm prior to the water change mentioned above. Tank maintenance done every 7-10 days, with on average 10-20% water change. I do not treat the water as I am on an artisan well which is 225 feet deep.
Substrate vacuumed with maintenance.
Feeding: twice a day, normally some tropical flake in the morning with a protein like blood worms or bug bites in the evening. Yes, I am probably over feeding and I cut back the amount a couple of weeks before this started. I am unable to quantify the amounts as they aren’t measured, but with the protein I was dropping in one or 2 pieces until he ate them, went on for 2 minutes only.
tropical flakes are brand Tropical, called Vitality and Color Flakes; bloodworms are brand Omega One, freeze dried blood worms, and the bug bites are brand Fluval, tropical fish formula.

I hate watching him get worse, I want to save him if I can. I don’t know what is wrong, if it is a parasite vs. bacterial infection vs. fungal infection. To make matters worse, I am in Canada and for some reason I cannot buy antibacterial or antifungal medication here, waa told that the government blocked it without prescription in an effort to reduce bacterial resistant infections.
I’m attaching pics, first one is when he was healthy and happy,a ne the other two are what he looks like know, the only ones I could get of him…

Any advice would be great! He’s my office buddy, and it is so sad to see him not doing well, I fear he will die without help.
Please excuse the spelling errors, posted it quickly without proofreading, I’m particularly bothered with typing in know instead on now, lol. Oh well..
Another addition/correction: I can but ick medication in Canada, but this is all I can find other that Tetra Life Guard
Buy, not but, lol


  • BE9C76FA-A1A7-4971-934F-D272A835CB4D.jpeg
    257 KB · Views: 18
  • E334520B-2011-4C82-AAA2-9F4B9DFB901D.jpeg
    152.9 KB · Views: 17
  • B7182070-8BCB-4E04-80C8-F490F4C12810.jpeg
    130.6 KB · Views: 18


You mention he is eating, but what is his poop like? Is he still swimming around normally? Where there any changes to the tank before the issue started?
Unfortunately bettas are often overbred so many have health issues that are not preventable and non-treatable.
Upvote 0


No, he hasn’t eaten in 3 days. Poop was normal dark string, nothing unusual there but I haven’t seen it lately. No, not swimming around normally, is lethargic. No changes to the tank other than a month ago, put in large piece of mopani wood which was purchased at lfs, soaked for a couple of weeks to reduce tannins. This replaced a fake plastic stone decor.
Upvote 0


Not much response here. Drove a couple of hours into the city and am now treating with methylene blue. Hopefully this works. Thank you to those who read the post, clearly no one knew what to do, including me
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

Rose of Sharon

Random Great Thread

New Fish Disease Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom