My Betta has had a white patch at the top of his tail for several months. It looks kind of cottony and has gotten bigger over time. I've been treating him with BettaFix and changing his water weekly, but it has not helped. He has even lost some of his fin and I fear that the rest will rot away too. I'm not sure if this is a fungal or bacterial infection - I want to treat him, but don't want to make him sicker in the process or kill him. Any help or suggestions for medicine would be greatly appreciated. He has been laying at the bottom more frequently, but still swims up for air, and also to eat usually twice per day. Some days he looks pale and swims kind of sideways or darts around the bowl (this has been going on for awhile) and others he looks fine, but lately he seems to be in pain. He's more than a year and a half old, but I want to keep him around for as long as possible! Thanks for your help :)
Very likely it's both. I highly suggest that you should do daily water changes instead of weekly and keep treating him the medication. I've never use Bettafix, but have used Rid Ich for fungal infections.
well, for starters, your bowl is MUCH too small for a betta. and with that water change schedule, you're not doing enough to keep the ammonia away. is there ANY way you can get him at LEAST a gallon tank and small heater?
him losing his fins isn't what you need to worry about. it's that..... rot. or whatever it is, reaching his body. i honestly have NO clue what's wrong. it's... some kind of fin rot, or bacterial thing eating his tail. since you've used bettafix and it didn't work, you might need to go stronger than that.... i'm far from an expert in medication, though.
Your first priority needs to be getting him out of that awful bowl. It is much too small, one the smallest I have ever seen actually. Betta fish need at bare minimum 1 gallon, but the recommended is at least 2.5 gallons. This species of fish is tropical, meaning they thrive in water temperatures around 76 F - 82 F. For this reason you will need purchase an aquarium heater at the appropriate wattage. Another reason you need a bigger tank? The one you have cannot be heated safely because it is so tiny.
Unless you drastically change the conditions he is in, medication and treatment for his illnesses will be completely useless. Please know that I am not trying to be mean by stating all of this. It is just the reality of the situation.
Sorry - but 1st priority is a good broad spectrum antibiotic like Kanaplex of Furan-2. And you need to do this ASAP, this is an advanced infection and your fish simply isn't going to make it if you don't jump on this right away.
THEN do please think about giving him more water, and changing it more frequently. This is not a 'moral' standpoint, it's just basic good fishkeeping. Your fish has a much better chance at recovery in better conditions than he's been getting, and that's just a fact.
How is medication supposed to do its job when he is likely cold and sitting in a stew of ammonia? The OP cannot heat that bowl safely and unless she does daily water changes, ammonia will build up too quickly.
Hence why I stated first priority should be getting a bigger tank. Right now he is basically living in the cup they sell Betta fish in.
Not to argue (because the fish needs all of the above, I heartily agree) but we don't know the OP's circumstances - perhaps they can't afford a bigger tank -and- medication -and- a heater all at once.
The temp's too low but not so much it'll kill him quicker than that advanced rot. The ammonia might -- but the Op has already been advised to increase water changes.
With increased water changes (daily, in that little bit of water) and with some antibiotic working on halting that rot before it hits the fish's body (if it hasn't already.. looks pretty close to it, to me) the disease might not kill the fish while the OP is sorting out a bigger tank and heater, if they choose to purchase those.
Clean water daily is a must, though, if the betta's to be kept in that tiny bowl. This necessary schedule will ultimately prove quite stressful on the fish, which won't help the healing process at all.
But that bacteria's #1 priority, looking at the state of its tail..
most medications are dosed in larger bits. it's nearly impossible to dose something so small. even my 1 gallon hospital tank was hard to dose, since most meds are dosed for 5 and 10 gallons. OP would have to do some major math and HOPE they get the dosage right.
if OP is low on funds, they can get a sterilite bin, which are cheaper than tanks, as a temporary home for the betta while they medicate.