Help Persistent Popeye/FinRot


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What is the water volume of the tank? 2.5 gallons

How long has the tank been running? 8 months

Does it have a filter? Yes

Does it have a heater? Yes

What is the water temperature? 78

What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 male betta


How often do you change the water? Biweekly

How much of the water do you change? Random, sometimes only 10% because its not dirty. We were having issues with the filter and food and it was causing us to need to do 50%+

What do you use to treat your water? Tetra AquaSafe For Bettas and Pristine Natural Organic Waste Management

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? We have the vacuum now

*Parameters - Very Important

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes

What do you use to test the water? We have test strips

What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: I dont know

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0

pH: 7.0


How often do you feed your fish? 2x daily

How much do you feed your fish? 5 pellets each time

What brand of food do you feed your fish? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold

Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms

How long have you had this fish? 7 months

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? We bought the fish with what we thought was fin-rot (still seems to have) and the Popeye started 3 1/2 weeks ago

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? top fins look mangled and one eye is bulging. Top scales maybe look peeled off, unless thats what its supposed to look like

Have you started any treatment for the illness? Yes

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? Yes

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? The fins-no, the eye yes. His behavior-“sleeps” ALOT

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

When we bought the betta, his top fins looked mangled but my daughter fell in love with him so we got him and treated him with a week of API Bettafix. Nothing changed so we just assumed time will help or maybe he’s supposed to look like that. Overtime he seemed fine and he loves to eat and hide but we started noticing that he is always resting and sometimes I would even think he might be dead. Around February we bought a different pellet food, which paired with the filter started giving us problems with the cleanliness of the tank. We were constantly having to change the water and replace the filter every week. Then a few weeks ago I noticed that his one eye was bulging out. We got a vacuum and switched to a sponge filter, bought the original type of food pellets and did a 90% water change. We did 10 days of BettaFix, followed by a week now of Seachem Kanaplex. Bettafix was poured directly into the water daily, Kanaplex is every other day, 1/2 a scoop. I scooped out some of his tank water drop the medication in and swirl the container around until it’s dissolved and then pour all of that back into his tank. There has been no carbon filter in his tank either because I know that can filter out all medication. Tomorrow will be dose 5 of the Kanaplex. He doesn’t look any better and he still is always laying at the bottom of his tank or on his leaf. He does have energy spurts though, especially when he eats.



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I’m relieved he doesn’t look as bad as I thought he would! The first thing I’ll mention is feeding him a little less. Maybe 2-3 pellets in the morning and 1-2 in the afternoon. Do you soak your pellets? If you don’t, you should soak them in tank water for about 15 minutes and then feed them to him.
I think the issue with your betta is poor water quality. Your tank isn’t cycled.
2.5 gallons is the “minimum”, but I recommend you get a bigger tank (5 or more gallons). You should also get Seachem prime and API master test kit. In a bigger tank it’s easier keeping water parameters stable therefore keeping your betta healthier and helping your betta heal. Seachem prime will help your tank cycle. What test strips do you use? Tetra ones are fine, but API ones aren’t always accurate. You also need to test ammonia.
You already stopped using bettafix, but I thought I should let you know that it doesn’t actually “fix” anything. Bettafix and any other medications with “-fix” can harm your betta’s labyrinth organ. I’m not really experienced with medications, but I found that the maximum dosage of Kanaplex is 3 doses. I would stop using the Kanaplex and do 25-50% daily water changes. Indian almond leaves can also really benefit your betta.

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