Sick betta fish

puffthefish

My fish was a happy and lively fish last week. I started to notice that he was less active recently and that his fins seemed to be fragile and jagged so I started treating him for fin rot. I have been using bettafix in a smaller tank, and his skin and fins are starting to look better, but he now spends almost 90% of his time laying on the bottom. When he swims around, he swims around super fast around the top of the tank, and then stops and drifts back to the bottom. Sometimes it almost seems like he’s swimming upside down. He’s lost his appetite a bit and hasn’t been eating as much as he normally does. This is a picture of what he looks like now. Any suggestions on how to make him better?
 

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Salem

How long have you had him? What size is his tank? Does it have a filter?
Your profile indicates you don't know the nitrogen cycle. I would recommend you look into that asap as its the single most important thing when it comes to keeping any aquatic pet. You'll want to look specifically into "fish-in cycling" for tutorials on how to cycle your tank.
 

puffthefish

How long have you had him? What size is his tank? Does it have a filter?
Your profile indicates you don't know the nitrogen cycle. I would recommend you look into that asap as its the single most important thing when it comes to keeping any aquatic pet. You'll want to look specifically into "fish-in cycling" for tutorials on how to cycle your tank.
His normal tank is 2 gallons with a filter, two soft plants, and stones at the bottom. I change the filter and I water frequently. Right now he is in a half gallon tank with nothing in it as I treat him for fin rot and am changing his water frequently. I’ve had him for a little less than a year and he was much smaller when I got him.
 

Salem

His normal tank is 2 gallons with a filter, two soft plants, and stones at the bottom. I change the filter and I water frequently. Right now he is in a half gallon tank with nothing in it as I treat him for fin rot and am changing his water frequently. I’ve had him for a little less than a year and he was much smaller when I got him.
Theres a good chance that the issue could still be ammonia build up in the half gallon. While he has been in there the 2 gallon home tank has almost definitely crashed and will need to be cycled again.
 

Rose of Sharon

Hi,

Welcome to Fishlore!

That's a pretty severe case of fin rot. Bettafix isn't really good for bettas because it contains tea tree oil, which affects their laybrinth organ, the organ that they use for breathing. I recommend that you stop using Bettafix.

I would then do daily water changes in the half gallon. He needs his water to be pristine, and that is going to mean changing his water every day in a small half gallon. If you aren't using any kind of water conditioner, I would recommend using Prime by Seachem. It helps hold the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite, and you will need it for the fish-in cycling. I would also get some aquarium salt, and start dosing him with that. Follow the instructions on the label very carefully. You won't need much in a half gallon tank, and the salt doesn't completely go away unless you do 100% water changes. The accumulation could be deadly, so be mindful of how much you put in, how much water you change, and dose accordingly.

I would treat him with anitbiotics at this point. I recommend Kanaplex, by Seachem. It is basically kanamycin, and treats bacterial infections, which causes fin rot.

He also looks very thin. What are you feeding him, how much, and how often? He may not be getting enough nutrition. I suggest feeding twice a day with a good protein-rich betta food. Examples would be fluval bug bites, omega one betta buffet pellets, northfin betta pellets, new life spectrum betta pellets, daphnia.

I know that this sounds like a lot to process. If you have more questions, please post them.

I hope he gets better!
 

puffthefish

Hi,

Welcome to Fishlore!

That's a pretty severe case of fin rot. Bettafix isn't really good for bettas because it contains tea tree oil, which affects their laybrinth organ, the organ that they use for breathing. I recommend that you stop using Bettafix.

I would then do daily water changes in the half gallon. He needs his water to be pristine, and that is going to mean changing his water every day in a small half gallon. If you aren't using any kind of water conditioner, I would recommend using Prime by Seachem. It helps hold the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite, and you will need it for the fish-in cycling. I would also get some aquarium salt, and start dosing him with that. Follow the instructions on the label very carefully. You won't need much in a half gallon tank, and the salt doesn't completely go away unless you do 100% water changes. The accumulation could be deadly, so be mindful of how much you put in, how much water you change, and dose accordingly.

I would treat him with anitbiotics at this point. I recommend Kanaplex, by Seachem. It is basically kanamycin, and treats bacterial infections, which causes fin rot.

He also looks very thin. What are you feeding him, how much, and how often? He may not be getting enough nutrition. I suggest feeding twice a day with a good protein-rich betta food. Examples would be fluval bug bites, omega one betta buffet pellets, northfin betta pellets, new life spectrum betta pellets, daphnia.

I know that this sounds like a lot to process. If you have more questions, please post them.

I hope he gets better!
I found everything at the local pet store except the kanaplex, which is coming from amazon. I tested the water with a 5 in 1 test strip and it says everything is normal, but the pH is too high. How do you fix that?
 

Rose of Sharon

Bettas can withstand a large range of ph. What hurts them is when the ph goes up and down, so consistency is the key.

If the current ph is what you have always had, I would not do anything to try to bring it down.

If you do want to bring it down a little, and you don't already have some in your tank, I would recommend adding Indian almond leaves. The tannins that they release will make the water brown, but bettas love it. I have had them in all of my betta tanks. The tannins also help to decrease stress, and some say that it provides very mild anitbacterial properties. The Indian almond leaves also help with the healing process.
 

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