Need help saving my sick betta please

  • #1
I found your community online and it seems you really love caring bettas. I am interested into saving my betta, Rick, because he is sick.

We initially kept him in a small 1 gal. tank with just a heater, changing his water every other day, but soon we moved him to a small 5 gal aquarium with a filter.

In his new home, we changed 50% of the water every week, and added freeze-dried worms to his diet. We also kept one indian almond leaf in it. He seemed very happy, although we had to treat him for fin rot once, with Sera Bactopur as we spotted one or two small wounds on his tail. We also fully cleaned and restarted his aquarium after the treatment.

I believe we were always over-feeding him as my wife insisted in feeding him twice a day.

Now, 6 months after his first treatment, we treated him again with Sera Bactopur as a tiny white spot appeared on his tail. Immediately after the treatment, and a complete water change/cleanup we noticed a white fuzzy trailing, stuck on his tail, so we treated him with Sera Mycopur, and the trailing disappeared immediately.

Unfortunately though, one week later he seems getting worst, staying at bottom, not moving much. A couple of white spots appeared on him, and I am treating him again with Bactopur, this time in his small 1 gal tank, so we can clean the bigger one thoroughly. I am also giving him oxygen-releasing salt. I also fed him some boiled pea, just in case he was constipated. We also radically decreased his food and gave him Sera Fishtamin.

Today I spotted 2 big feces, one of them partially green and redish (probably from the JBL krill leaves we feed him) almost 24 hours after the pea.

The only thing that gives me hope is that he never lost his appetite, he always comes up to eat, and surely eats everything he finds, but it really hurts me when I see him sleeping at the bottom of his tank almost dead.

Considering the 2 white spots, probably "ich" from the freeze-dried worms - Sera Bactopur should be sufficient, as it contains methylene blue...

Please help us save him!
  • #2
Can you measure the temperature of the tank water? White spots occurring over the fish may be ich. This can be treated simply by raising the temp of his tank up to the mid to upper 80s - most people usually go between 84 and 86. This speeds up the cycle and causes it to fall off your Betta and die faster. The spores can easily then be vacuumed up from your substrate.

Pics would be helpful here if you can provide them.
  • #3
Oxygen releasing salt?

Does his tank or bowl have a heater?
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks for the reply,
the temp now is about 80f. I too believe it is itch. I saw some fogy substance floating around yesterday and I did a water change.


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  • #5

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  • #6
I think I should slowly increase temp to 82-83 as you suggested. He seems to enjoy heat as he always lies near the heater.
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  • #7
By oxygen releasing salt I mean Sera Ectopur - it looks like salt, and it says it is an oxygen releasing agent. Someone suggested it as it is supposed to improve treatment.
  • #8
Oh that is some nasty finrot...
Tinker Betta
  • #9
I don't know...hes got fin rot from what I can tell and he is super clamped. As far as the white spots, I'm not sure. Just listen to the experts most definitely!
  • #10
this time in his small 1 gal tank
I would treat him in the 5 gallon bc the water quality will be better and more stable than in the 1g. I'm guessing you'll move him back after the cleaning.
oxygen-releasing salt.
Without knowing the chemical reaction that makes the oxygen I would worry these tablets could be changing the ph, kh, gh when producing oxygen. In that case you are beter without them. An airstone with airpump would be a beter way to oxygenate the water.
Sera Bactopur
If this product is not producing results, you could try seachems products such as kanaplex or metroplex for bacterial or fungal infections.
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Carbeo, thank you a lot!
Obviously, Bactopur wasn't making any good to him, so I found a generic antibiotic (NeoPlex) which did the magic. No more than 3 hours later he is active again! At least, he is not sleeping at the bottom anymore - he floats near the top and moves around every now and then. We all are very happy!
For the next week he is staying in his small tank, so I can administer the antibiotic easier, and cycle him 100% everyday, in order to avoid ich (I think I have seen a spore yesterday).
I am then planning to rebuilt his permanent home with a cave or something similar, instead of those plastic plants, as they are probably responsible for the fin rot (at least initially).
Providing of course that he will be ok soon.

Thank you all for your help!
  • #12
For decorating his tank you will want either live plants or silk plants so they don't tear his fins. Trust me live plants are not as hard as some people make them out to be and they are good for the fish too. Some simple low light beginner plants like Java fern, Java moss, anacharis, Amazon sword and various cryptocorynes could be used.
If you went the silk route you can pick up silk plants and flowers at arts and craft stores as well as even dollar stores. It's all the same stuff, a heck of a lot cheaper than what you'd pay at a pet store and with better variety. Just rinse them well before putting them in the tank and none of the ones that have been sprayed with glitter.
  • #13
Live plants are easy just don't get hornwort. I did and now my tank looks like the week after Christmas when the tree is melting needles everywhere.
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I will probably go with silk plants and check out the nearby home decor store first.
Providing of course, that our little guy will get better. So far he seems getting better, spending more time moving around, but still sleeps a lot at the bottom. He seems to be more flexible than 3 days ago, as he makes many sharp turns with ease now.
The funniest thing is that as soon as he notices us watching him, he climbs up and and stares back curiously. He still eats happily all his food and ich seems degrading.
  • #15
Anubus plants are also a betta favorite and don't generally require co2. He is very clamped and I'm sorry for your stress. I keep my betta tanks above 80°F and they are so energetic. I learned my lesson recently with salt, the answer is no. Never use anything called salt unless treating for a short term
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  • #16
Anubus seems a good choice, from what I am reading. Will they help with poo decomposition?
It is really bad nobody knows how to help, even in the biggest pet shops. They ever prefer your fish to die as you will probably get a new one... Beyond forums and reading, you can't find accurate help anywhere.
Anyway, as I got back home today, I noticed both the remaining white spots fallen of Rick's body, so I rushed another 100% water change and cleanup. Hopefully, we got rid of ich.
Today's reading led me to believe that the use of Bactopur, which contains methylene blue, probably hurt him. The second time I used it for his fin rot, he started sitting at the bottom lethargic. Didn't help much either. I hope the damage is not permanent.
As his tail gets better, I will slowly rise temp to 82 to encourage regeneration. He also seems to enjoy it.
Does anyone have an idea how soon shall I see improvement in his fins and tail?
  • #17
Just like with antibiotics you want to make sure that you continue treating after everything looks okay for at least a few days so that he doesn't relapse
  • #18
Live plants are easy just don't get hornwort. I did and now my tank looks like the week after Christmas when the tree is melting needles everywhere.
This! This is so true! This is also exactly why I don't recommend horn wort. Yeah it's easy to grow but the mess it makes! Unless you like vaccing your tank this is not a good plant.

pancyber keep up with the water changes for the next week for any remaining microscopic spores.
As for finding regrowth you will usually start to see it in about two weeks if you keep pristine water. Keep it clean, keep it warm and your Betta will heal. Some never get the color back in their regrow fins but many do. It just takes time.
  • #19
That does not look like ich to me. He seems to be suffering from clamped fins, scraped scales (which are causing the silvery spots) bloat and some fin rot. Before I tell you what to do to fix it, is your tank cycled?

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