Lethargic Betta, erratic swimming, Jumping, Fin rot

  • #41
It's a tough choice, but if it were me, I would go with treating the fish. Even though it says not to change water during the course of the treatment, I would change small amounts, and add a bit more medicine than is called for along with the water changes, and add Prime at the over dose amount every other day.
I would do exactly that.
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  • #42
ok i will do the maracyn today since i don’t think it’s stabilized. I think i’ll dose it the way the fritz website says to by diluting it first with 10 equal parts of water to be able to use half of one packet for each dose accurately (by using half of the solution). I think i’m confused on making one packet 4 doses because each packet treats 10 gallons so i thought i should just do each one by the half? I see what you mean for adjusting the medication to account for water changes though so it’s tricky, but i think j can use the same principle of dividing one packet into 4 by pre diluting it. here’s fritz’s recommendation for small tank doses what i said didn’t make sense.
fritz instructions
thank you!
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  • #43
i put the maracyn 2 in a whole packet today with the ammonia level at 0 because the first day calls for a double dose for 10 gallons of 2 packets and i have a 5 gallon tank. Today do you think i should just dose for the 5 gallons plus 1/4 of a packet to make up for a water change? Today i noticed he was swimming erratically again and kinda twitchy since the first dose and looked like he tried to jump out of the water. I checked the water for ammonia and it still says it’s at 0. Not sure what to do since i’m not supposed to do a water change the first day but know the water is probably not the best conditions since he tried to jump.
Rose of Sharon
  • #44
He may be reacting to the medicine. I had a betta that reacted badly to erythromycin. I would only dose him for the 5 gallons since he is acting twitchy. If he continues to act extremely stressed, then I would actually cut down on the dosage to see if that helps. If he levels out, then you could do a water change in another day, and then just dose for the 5 gallons and not add the extra 1/4th. Since the water parameters are reading 0, then it has to be the meds that he is reacting to...
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  • #45
i’d actually update what i last said because i am noticing since i added this last dose that he is less active and at the bottom and kinda more twitchy, also i’ve seen him swimming in circles sometimes and rubbing against the corner of the glass and gravel. it kinda looks like things have gotten worse today overall from his behavior yesterday. my water parameters are still at 0. also the fin rot is just progressing still a lot in the areas it was not previously that bad.
It also looks like he is clearly trying to itch himself against the gravel and he is back to breathing heavily and not moving around. gosh this poor guy i feel so bad! and not sure what do to? should i take the meds out maybe?
hey so he was also just swimming very quickly in circles around the tank (around a small terra cotta pot that i added) which i haven’t seen him do before. He was looking to uncomfortable for me to do nothing so i performed a water change of around 25 percent just now, i know this messes up the track of the medication but i was too scared for him and thought taking out some water would be the only thing i can really do at the moment. i’m worried things are very time sensitive right now but not sure and might just be freaking out. sorry for spamming here so much it’s just always reassuring to hear from you and i feel like this current behavior feels like he’s only regressed. thanks again!!
Rose of Sharon
  • #46
You did the right thing. If he is reacting badly to the Maracyn 2, then that would be the right thing to do. It really does sound like he is having an allergic type response to the med.

Can you post an updated pic of him? Are you seeing signs of white spots on his body - ich?

I would continue to do small water changes, and continue to use the aquarium salt for now.
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  • #47
Sure here is a new pic of him. It’s hard for me to tell how much worse it’s gotten and if there are any signs of regrow that but i don’t think there have been. The last picture is from a while ago for comparison. I’m worried about only using the aquarium salt though because i know for more extreme fin rot cases it is typically recommended to use something else but if you think that just aquarium salt could do the trick i’ll give it another go.


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Rose of Sharon
  • #48
After looking closely, I can say that I don't see where it is worse - looking closely at the 3rd pic and comparing it to the 4th pic. And I do think that I see some slight regrowth. It looks like there is some webbing on his analfin that is growing back, and there looks to be a spot on the caudal fin that seems to be repairing.

And I don't see any sign of ich at all. I do not see body rot of any kind. I also think that he may have some combtail/crowntail mutation, which makes his dorsal fin look the way it does. He is definitely a rose tail or feather tail, but there is a possibility that a parent could have passed on a combtail/crowntail gene. I will have to read about that.

Do you have a pic of him when you first got him? Just curious....

And I think I would try dosing him at half strength to see if he can tolerate the meds at that strength.
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  • #49
this is really sad to look back at and i feel ashamed since my god he used to be so beautiful and i feel so bad for letting him deteriorate without noticing for so long. I think that’s a good idea to try to continue with the meds because i think i do some some regrowth on his bottom fin (not sure the name) but it’s a different color than the rest of the tissue where i see it which i know is common for regrown tissue after fin rot. I do think something still needs to urgently be done, maybe another water change i’m not sure though, but he is trying to jump out of the tank a couple times recently which i know is really a bad sign. My ammonia is still 0 though and ph and nitrates are good, u think i made a big mistake though of replacing my cut foam filter pad while doing a water change because i saw it was dyed yellow from the maracyn and thought if i was trying to get rid of the medicine i should change the filter, the prime still seems to be doing it’s job though. He still seems a lot more uncomfortable than he was 2 days ago because he is twitching when he swims and trying to jump out sometimes. Should i go to the store and maybe add some product with BB before trying to do the medication at a lower dose? I did read that maracyn 2 is said to be too strong so i wish i hadn’t put in the full double dose they call for at the beginning since i didn’t know it can be too powerful. Also want to clarify that the dose was just too strong at once and not that he is intolerant to the maracyn 2 because of his genetics or something? also is it possible the lighting in my tank is making him uncomfortable if i am using an aqueon standard beginner tank they look kind of bright but i’m not sure? also i believe he was labeled as a dragon tail beta or something with dragon in it but i could be wrong


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Rose of Sharon
  • #50
He really is a beauty!!!

It helps a lot to see what he looked like when you first got him. I do think that he has some regrowth, too.

With the cut foam filter, I think that I would have just swished it in dirty tank water, and put it back. That is the best way to clean any type of filter media. You want to keep the beneficial bacteria and rinsing it in dirty tank water allows that to happen.

I'm not sure about adding some bacteria from a bottle. I have only ever used tetra safe start, and that was when I was actually cycling the tank with no fish.

He may be having some sort of allergic reaction to the maracyn 2. That is why I would use it at half strength. You had no way of knowing how he would react to it until you tried it. Where meds are concerned, sometimes it just involves trial and error.

You can always turn the lights off for a while during the day, or only leave them on for a couple of hours at a time. It is true that bettas don't like bright light, so if there is any way to dim the light, that would be great. If not, just turn it off, and use natural light.

I would put him through one full round of maracyn 2 at half dose levels (5 days), and then only do water changes and aquarium salt for the next week. Once the fins stop receding, then you can stop using the antibiotic. The fins will grow back, but slowly and over time.

Just a reminder - in case he lost part of his fins by squeezing into a place that he shouldn't be, you want to make sure that he can't do that. If he can squeeze behind the filter or heater, or something like that, or if there is anything that he can snag his fins on, you would want to remove or at least, make everything betta proof.

Even though he looks rough, he is making progress!!!!
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  • #51
Thank you! I am curious about this regrowth i see because i’m not exactly sure when it may have started and what was the cause of it (what has worked for him). This morning he was still twitching a little and seemed uncomfortable so i did another water change of 3 liters and used prime at the double dose (as i have been doing daily since purchasing the prime). I think doing this today balanced out the after because at the time of me writing this he a small bit more comfortable than earlier today and the past two days but he is still jumpy and random sometimes (since i first put the maracyn 2 in and gradually started removing it the next day because of his bad reaction). Seeing that he looks a bit more comfortable sometimes as more of the Maracyn 2 gets removed i am still hesitant about going forward with the half dose but i think i may just not understand how the medicine is supposed to work. Asking in a genuine way and not insinuating that it’s the wrong thing to do, why should i continue with the maracyn 2 if it seems to cause him discomfort? Is there supposed to be some discomfort with the medication process to a certain extent? Also how long would the effect of the medicine take to have him show signs of regrowth? I’m not exactly sure when the regrowth started but i first noticed it probably 3 days ago, which i think was one day after doing the first dose of maracyn 2. This would also be i believe maybe 4 or 5 days after i used the methalyne blue bath one time for 30 minutes. And of course i did the full treatment of maracyn 1 before that. Do you think that the maracyn 2 was most likely what triggered the regrowth despite it making him very stressed? I also purchased a led dimmer that’s set to a sunrise and sunset gradual timer because i do think the lighting should be changed. Also, if there is regrowth at this point and i continue to make sure the tank is properly clean and i’m building back up the BB, do you think that the treatment might be done already if he will continue to heal slowly given what has changed? Just wondering these things i’m not expert but i wanna just be positive i’m not doing anything to further cause him stress.
Rose of Sharon
  • #52
I guess I suggested using the maracyn 2 for a full course in case it was working, even though you were seeing some reaction in Kyoko to the med. I was thinking that you had already used it for a few days, or at least, there was already some of the med in the tank for a few days even though you were removing it with water changes, and were very close to reaching the 5 days allottted for treatment, even though it would have been at a much lower dose.

If you are seeing some regrowth, then maybe it would be best to stop using it all together. Since you used maracyn and meth blue and now maracyn 2, there is really no way to tell what helped with the regrowth. It could have been the combination of all 3. I really have had good experiences with the meth blue baths/dips and the maracyn 2. I have never used maracyn for fin issues before, so I really can't speak about it's effectiveness in that regard. I just know that it targets gram positive bacterial issues, not gram negative.

With fin issues, when the treatment is really working, I have seen some regrowth as soon as 3 or 4 days during the treatment and/or a week after treatment. I don't think that there is a precise answer as to when the regrowth starts as every case would be different depending on the severity of the fin rot and the strain of the bacteria causing the problem.

You could just stop all treatment except for frequent water changes for a couple of weeks, and try to notice the progress of the regrowth over time. If you see the fins coming back, then there would be no reason for more meds.

I hope this helps, and I am so glad that his fins are growing back!!! :)
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  • #53
I guess I suggested using the maracyn 2 for a full course in case it was working, even though you were seeing some reaction in Kyoko to the med. I was thinking that you had already used it for a few days, or at least, there was already some of the med in the tank for a few days even though you were removing it with water changes, and were very close to reaching the 5 days allottted for treatment, even though it would have been at a much lower dose.

If you are seeing some regrowth, then maybe it would be best to stop using it all together. Since you used maracyn and meth blue and now maracyn 2, there is really no way to tell what helped with the regrowth. It could have been the combination of all 3. I really have had good experiences with the meth blue baths/dips and the maracyn 2. I have never used maracyn for fin issues before, so I really can't speak about it's effectiveness in that regard. I just know that it targets gram positive bacterial issues, not gram negative.

With fin issues, when the treatment is really working, I have seen some regrowth as soon as 3 or 4 days during the treatment and/or a week after treatment. I don't think that there is a precise answer as to when the regrowth starts as every case would be different depending on the severity of the fin rot and the strain of the bacteria causing the problem.

You could just stop all treatment except for frequent water changes for a couple of weeks, and try to notice the progress of the regrowth over time. If you see the fins coming back, then there would be no reason for more meds.

I hope this helps, and I am so glad that his fins are growing back!!! :)
this does help a lot. I actually told you the wrong timeline for the maracyn 2 and it maybe makes the most sense that it is what worked since I actually did do 2 treatments of it, the big double dose on the first day, and a regular dose for 5 gallons the next day. While the small amount of fin growth is reassuring, i am still very concerned about his behavior since today he is continuing to swim in a spastic and frantic way and trying to jump out the water it looks like in addition to spending most of his time on the gravel and staying still. He is eating regularly but i think he’s still far from comfortable with the way i see him swimming. My water parameters are still 0, and sometimes there are periods where he acts normal but i can tell he is still enduring some discomfort that is i think characteristic of a parasite still active. Not sure what to do now or what not to do to get his behavior back to normal if the water quality is not the issue?
Rose of Sharon
  • #54
I hope that he starts acting more normal now that you are removing the meds out of the water through water changes. You can always give him a few more days and then see if he starts acting like his old self.

I wanted to give you some info about parasites, as you seem to be a little worried about that.
Parasites can be a little tricky. The only ones that I really know about are ick, velvet, gill flukes, hexamita, and those internal ones that the bettas sometime have when you first get them, or when you introduce something new to the tank and the betta becomes infected with them, including camallanus worms.

You know it's not ick. And if you aren't seeing the signs for velvet, then you know it's not that. (breathing heavy, gold dust on body, clamped fins, lethargy, scratching on decor, flashing/swimming into things, loss of color, loss of appetite, sunken belly). Gill flukes would cause breathing issues, gasping for air at the surface, damaged gills, redness near and on the gills, over production of mucus, lethargy, loss of appetite, loss of color, clamped fins, and rubbing on decor (trying to rub the flukes off).

Hexamita, or hole in the head, you will see weight loss, loss of appetite, holes or lesions on the head, loss of color, change in poop color and constiency. It is an internal parasite. With most internal parasites, you would see lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, clamped fins, possible bloat, loss of color and maybe some abnormal poop. With camallanus worms, you can actually see the worms sticking out of the anus of the fish.

Paracleanse or API General Cure for velvet and gill flukes; Prazipro for internal parasites; Levamisole medicated fish food for internal parasites/as a dewormer, effective against camallanus worms. There are a lot of meds out there for parasites.

I have never used Paracleanse before. I have used Prazipro before, and it seemed to work well. I have General Cure in my betta med kit, but have never had a reason to use it. I have used Paraguard for velvet before, but I didn't find it very effective. I ended up losing that betta.

Just wanted to give you a run down on parasites, types, and treatments - at least the ones that I know about. I usually deworm my new bettas with levamisole flake food. I have only ever had one betta with velvet. I have never had a betta with ick. I have treated a betta for hole in the head, but it turned out that he did not have that parasite after all.

I know that it is a lot to take in. You and Kyoko have been through so much already. I really want him to get better. After you read through all of this, try to decide if what he is doing matches any of these descriptions. Dosing with these different meds can cause him some stress, so be mindful of that when trying to decide if you want to dose him with a different type of med. Try to be as sure as you can. I wish there was just one med that would treat everything, but there just isn't anything like that.

I think that you might need to just give him, and yourself, a little break for now, and just do some water changes. He may surprise you, and start acting well again.
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  • #55
i think so too, while i still see him swimming in weird ways i think it is slowly getting better with the water changes. I also think a big thing that might be causing him to swim the way that he is could be him fighting his reflection. I have seen him frequently go up to the glass and kinda swim directly into the sides of the tank and it looks like he could be seeing his reflection. It also looks like he is trying to escape since he kinda digs into the corner of the tank with his head and is kind of upside down when he’s doing this. I didn’t used to see him doing this but now i think that is what he is doing sometimes because i have my tank oriented differently so i can fit my bucket on the table for water changes which may cause the tank to be more reflective. Maybe i will try to address this some how. also wondering if you think it could be a good idea to start using the stress guard for doing water changes now that the ammonia is gone and it can help with fin damage.
Rose of Sharon
  • #56
You can use the stress guard if you would prefer that over the Prime. You are staying on top of the water parameters, so all of that is good.

It does sound like he is seeing his reflection. My guy will actually do a face plant into the glass sometimes when he sees his reflection!!! There are some things that you can do to help with this problem. You can add live plants along the back of the tank. You could add more Indian almond leaves so that the water becomes darker brown. I have taped black construction paper on the back side of the tank before. You could also use white paper as long as it is non-glossy. I actually buy these really big Indian almond leaves that I lean up against the tank on the inside, and they act like wall paper. Some people will paint the outside of the back side of the tank. There's also that stick on stuff that people use on windows to tint them, and you could use that on the back of the tank. These are just a few ideas.
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  • #57
Hello again! I am writing again because I am slightly concerned with two things I observed with kyoko. The first thing is some discoloration on his fin that I did not see or was not as noticeable a couple days ago. Since there has been regrowth on his fin I thought things have only been improving but also suspect that the rate of regrowth has decreased I am pretty sure. Additionally I think i have seen two small holes develop and increase in size in the past two days in a new area of his fin that I didn’t see before so I am worried whether the progress he has made might be reversing in some areas? Not sure if that’s how this can work. In the pictures below I’ve highlighted this newly observed discoloration along with the areas of regrowth. Also, i just saw him eat a detritus worm so I suspect the gravel is not clean even though I vacuumed it recently, when I do gravel vac I can ever seem to get that much waste out of the tank and it just floats around.. guess I’ll just have to vacuum again. But yeah I am wondering if this discoloration could be a sign that the fin rot is getting worse again? If so I will probably go the route of using aquarium salt since it seems maybe the most gentle?
Thank you


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Rose of Sharon
  • #58

Those two holes that you see could be made by his flaring. It happens a lot with long finned bettas. A couple of mine had them, and they healed with water changes. They will heal in time, just like his fins. In the middle pic, I can really see the regrowth there. It is looking good; it's just a bit rough right now. And the last pic, I think that might be just his coloring. I wouldn't be concerned, especially since it is in the middle of the fin, and not along the edges.

He really is making progress!!! Kyoko is looking good!! You are doing a great job with him. :)

If you do want to try a few days with aquarium salt, that would be ok, if you think you need to. I would not use it for more than 10 days in a row, though. If you use it all of the time, it will become ineffective, like over using any med would.
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  • #59
Hii so I do see that the discoloration from yesterday has turned into more tiny holes in his fin. There is a lot mor discoloration like that I see all over his fin so I am concerned that this will keep progressing on all of those dark areas. Additionally I’ve seen him swim erratically a bit today so I’m doing a big water change right now and going to treat the water with API Stress-coat since my ammonia parameters are still at zero so I think i can afford not using the prime and provide some stress relief with the aloe Vera. Based on the progression from yesterdays photos wpuld you say i should to take more action in fighting the fin rot still or just keep doing water changes? Also what’s a good schedule for water changes I should follow at this point of his recovery and moving forward? Thank you!


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Rose of Sharon
  • #60
I like the stress coat idea. Try that for a week and see if it helps.

I would still do small water changes every other day, maybe just a gallon or so each time. I don't think that I would go back to the antibiotics unless you see the rot really take hold and those small holes get bigger. It seems that the water changes are working. He could be rubbing his bottom fin along the bottom of the tank which could cause a little damage. That's something that might happen as long as you have him due to his fins being so long.

I do remember that there was an issue with taking him out and doing baths. Just if you feel more confident now, you could do a methylene blue bath with him. I use a one gallon bucket for this treatment. I add one fourth of a teaspoon of methylene blue along with some aquarium salt. You can keep him in the bath for 30 minutes or up to an hour. I am doing this now with my betta who seems to be suffering from some form of internal infection. I have a square food container (the kind that you get lunch meat in at the store), and I just let him swim into it. I may move him toward it with one hand while I hold the container with the other. When he is in, I quickly pull the container up out of the tank. With practice, you will become really good at it. I then transfer my betta to the medicated water in the bucket. I make sure that the water level is not high enough for him to jump out. I also put in a thermometer so that I can track the temp. The temp of the water should match the temp of the tank water. I stay there with him to make sure that nothing goes wrong. When it is time for him to come out, I use the same container to take him out of the bucket, and just transfer him back to the main tank. A little methylene blue in the main tank won't hurt anything.

This is just in case you feel like you could do it. If you are still uneasy about it, then stick to the water changes and the aquarium salt in the tank, along with the stress coat. :D
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  • #61
Ok so one more thing I am wondering is this sudden BOOM in very tiny (and hard to photograph) worms in my tank along the sides of the glass and floating around. I can’t photograph them very clearly because they r so small but I’m not sure for sure if they are harmless detritus worms or planaria or something else. They are very small and wiggly and all white and look like dust. I have heard that if detritus worms are at the surface and quickly multiply it means something is wrong with the water quality but all my tests have said there is no ammonia and I have been cleaning it often. Also I am seeing Kyoko swimming very rapidly so I am concerned about the water quality but I’m not sure what to do. If you have any advice for removing them effectively that would be great. I know gravel vacuuming is a good step but wondering if there is something else that I could do as well. Thank youuu


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Rose of Sharon
  • #62
Those look like detritus worms. I think just about every aquarium goes through this at one time or another. My betta would hunt them down and eat them. It's just another source of protein. It just means that you might want to do a bit more of gravel vaccuming the substrate. They really are harmless. After some period of time, they seem to go away as the cycle of your tank ages.

I also think that the more you watch Kyoko as he swims and moves around, the more you will be able to recognize his regular swimming patterns (fast, slow, and jerky patterns), and when he is truly in distress. They can sometimes freak you out by their movements. When my betta, Flash, brushes against the roots of the pothos ivy in his tank, he will sometimes take off like something is chasing him when in reality, he just scared himself, lol! He's like a kid yelling "something touched me"!
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  • #63
my betta who I have been slowly recovering from fin rot is currently trying to jump out of his tank and seems very uncomfortable. I have done tests many times and his tank has never showed any ammonia or nitrates, the pH and temperature are also all where they should be at. Last night I removed the hide in his tank (a terra cotta pot) so that I could position it better to provide more shade. To do this I needed to ensure the hole at the bottom of the pot was covered so I didn’t have to angle it with the bottom digging into the substrate so i super glued some rocks to fill the hole and let that set outside of the tank over night in some water. He seemed pretty stressed before I took out the pot and taking it out seemed to be a mistake since he freaked out when I did so but eventually calmed down. This morning I woke up to the sounds and sight of him looking like he is desperately trying to get out of the tank, i don’t think he is the type of betta to just jump for fun since he only started jumping for the first time since he showed signs of illness about 2 months ago. I have been doing regular water changes and have used both prime and stress coat for doing so. The only filter I have in my tank is mechanical filtration through a pretty dirty looking sponge pad that I have cleaned a bunch only using tank water, there is also a sponge filter on the input. Wondering what I can do to relieve this issue since the water quality seems to be alright as it is. Do I need a better filter?


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  • #64
If that is the only hide, very well might be stressed out. I tend to set my betta tanks up in such a way they almost never have to swim more than an inch or two to be completely hidden or feel hidden. Some really just like to hide in or under stuff. Makes them feel safe and not exposed.

But i will say, anyone who says bettas only jump because of water quality issues, probably cannot find their behind in the dark without a map and flashlight. Nothing is ever that simple in the aninal world!
  • #65
I haven't been on fishlore in a while. How is your fish doing?
  • Thread Starter
  • #66
my beta fish who had severe fin rot at the start of the summer and who i thought was steadily healing from it though his fins have not grown back that much over the course of 4 months is now again acting very concerning. He is constantly trying to jump out of the tank despite the ammonia levels being 0. Also he is swimming very sporadically and freaking out all the time. I have tested the water and he has a heater so the temperature is ok in the tank and I think the water quality. He also has an airstone in the tank and live plants so I think the oxygen level is ok. His fin rot which he had at the start of this summer has never fully recovered and I think it may be coming back but I’m not sure. I noticed he has black faded spots developing also on his fins which i have noticed in the past have lead to holes in his fins. I’m not sure what to do since he did not seem to react well to Maracyn 2. I have not tried Maracyn oxy and not sure if it’s what I should use. I have not tested the pH and nitrates since my other test kit ran out but I never saw any alerting results from those test strips but I will get more to check. I don’t know how to add a video but basically he is trying to get out of the water and I’m not sure why. Could this be some other form of parasitic infection causing this. Can anyone tell if the black spots in his fins are something other than fin rot or if they are fin rot. Thank you all. I added a photo of him when I first got him call him now to show the black spots and the deteriorating color of his body:( he isin a 5 gallon tank


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  • #67
Sorry about your betta. Most fish will only jump out of the water for a few reasons:

1. They're trying to catch food above the surface
2. The water quality is bad
3. They're scared

Some species try to jump out of the tank for other unknown reasons (I know some try every time the tank lid is off).

Because your betta has a big tail, I doubt he will actually be able to fully jump out of the tank. So there's very little chance that you'll find him on the floor on day.

However, this leads me to thinking that it is likely a water quality issue. Additionally, I'm seeing some white on his back. Could you post another picture of just his back/head? If it's what I think it is, then it is a disease that is, indeed, caused by water quality issues.
  • Thread Starter
  • #68
Hi thanks for the response. Here are some more photos of him, I haven’t noticed any white spots on him really it’s more like dark spots developing on his tail which I’m the past has lead to him developing holes in those places. Now his entire tail is kinda full of dark spots which makes me think his fin rot could be returning in a bad way. I do water changes as often as I should and my ammonia levels have always been at 0. I also tested for nitrates since I got more test strips and nitrates were at 0 and pH was at 7.5 about. So not sure what is causing him to act so concerning.


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  • Thread Starter
  • #69
My beta fish who i have had for just a year now and is in a well established tank has for a while been showing signs of ammonia poisoning despite ammonia levels being 0 on every test I have done.
Tank size: 5 gallons
Heater: Yes (78 degrees in tank)
Ammonia: 0
Tank mates: None
pH: about 6.2 (I know it should be a little higher, there are cattapa leaves in the tank which I heard lower the pH but maybe lowering it too much?)
GH: about 0 ppm (i also heard this could be too low potentially but also heard from fish store employee not to worry about it)
KH: Also about 0 ppm
Plants in tank: 2 anubias, 1 silk artificial plant, a small circle of frog bit floater plants which he used to spend all day below the surface of.
Filter: Fine floss pad layered on top of a piece fluval bio foam, and sponge filter over intake pipe (I have the aqueon smart clean tank)

So I have posted here a good amount about my bettas previous issues with fin rot and erratic swimming patterns where he very quickly swims in all different directions and has tried jumping out of the water many times. These signs all point to bad water quality but I have never seen any ammonia levels appear in the tank except for once a while ago which I then got rid of with daily ~25% water changes and switching to using Prime always. He first developed fin rot at the start of this summer about a week after i added a new piece of driftwood to his tank which he enjoyed hiding under and being on top of the annubias that i attached to it which was my first attempt at providing a natural habitat for him. After about a week I noticed the fin rot and each day it was getting much worse. After trying a variety of ways to cure him, first aquarium salt, then using Maracyn 1, then trying one time a methalyne blue bath which resulted in him jumping out of the cup i used to transfer him into the bath but he survived, then transferring him was too stressful so I tried Maracyn 2 which I heard is the only type effective against gram negative bacteria. Eventually I saw some regrowth of his fins after the maracyn 2 and things were looking better for him. This regrowth did not continue steadily but was a major improvement from his rock bottom.

Fast forward to last week, after doing a gravel vacuum for the first time in about a month and I noticed him trying to jump out of the tank and doing his erratic/spastic swimming. I tested the water and there is no ammonia still. I also noticed he has been developing black spots on his fins which in the past lead to holes developing in the darkest areas. He seems to be suffering from ammonia poisoning despite my 0ppm tests. YESTERDAY things got much worse as he is now acting very lethargic, staying at the bottom of the tank and this morning he would not eat food. Could these behaviors just be caused by his fin rot for some reason returning? I don’t know why the fin rot would come back when his water quality has seemed to be ok? Could it be an issue with the 0ppm GH and KH? I’m not sure if I should try using maracyn 2 again if it would still be effective since he has already been dosed on that antibiotic in the past. I also remember him seeming to react badly to the medication since I think it could have been dosed too strongly for him. Does anyone have any recommendations how to move forward. Is there any other reason he could be swimming all crazy and quickly all over the place. My last post did not get much of a response so this is mostly a more in depth recap of it with the new information that he is being lethargic. I also read that using ich x with maracyn 2 is a good combo from aquarium co op as a broad spectrum medication plan. Should I try ich x even if he likely doesn’t have ich since I don’t see white spots? The photos below show both an api test and terra test strips of the water, the ammonia is not included but it is indeed at 0ppm. The photos also show the dark spots I have been seeing develop on him. Would love any response. Thank you all<3


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  • #70
Hello! I remember you posting a few days ago on this topic. One thing that maybe I didn't realize a few days ago was that you were using test strips instead of a liquid test kit. Test strips are inherently unreliable and can show false results. I recommend investing in a liquid test kit and checking that ammonia again.

As for now, do a 50% water change every other day or a 25% water change every day to clear up whatever hidden water quality issues you may be facing. I would continue adding catappa leaves or other botannicals, as the tannins destress them, which aids in healing.
  • Thread Starter
  • #71
thanks for the reply! I have been using The api vial ammonia test kit and only use the terra brand strips to measure the other parameters. I did a 50% water change last night and added some seachem stability and that got him to eat this morning. Not sure what the Agee issue is since I don’t think i would have ever done something that could have broken the cycle of my tank as I try not to over clean. I’ll keep doing water changes and plan on using betta fix for the fin rot. Thank you
  • #72
*Threads have been merged.*
Our members can advise you best if they have the full history of this Bettas issues in one thread.

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