My betta fish is chronically ill. I don't know what to do anymore. When I received him, he was in a very, very small tank (a little over 32oz). He got fin rot, and I got him a bigger tank (1 gallon) and clean water and the problem cleared up. He was fine for a couple of months, but then got fin rot again. With API's Melafix that was once again cleared up. Then came the nitrite poisoning, which no matter what I did or who I consulted got any better. The nitrite levels wouldn't drop no matter what I did. Finally, I gradually changed his water over from slightly basic to slightly acidic, which favors a different type of bacteria and fixed the high nitrite levels. I used BettaMax and API Stress Coat to help heal his inflamed gills. He was fine for about a month and then got fin rot again. I felt anyway that he needed a larger tank and so purchased a 2.5 gallon tank, filled it with half old water and half new water, put my fish in, treated with Melafix for a week, and he was all better. His water remained slightly acidic and as before I am using a heating lamp and keeping the water between 72 and 76 degrees.
Here is where my frustration peaks. He JUST GOT BETTER. He is in a new tank. I have been doing 50-75% water changes for the past 2 days to help cycle out the Melafix. His pH and temperature are the same as always. My fish now is showing signs of pop-eye AND fungal white cottony patches. Neither is severe, but being that I keep close tabs on my fish's physical condition I noticed it right away. I have moved him into the old tiny 32oz tank (since I do not have the old gallon tank with me) with half old water and half new water, still at the same temperature and pH. I have used BettaMax on that water, since the guy who told me to buy it said it works really well on pop-eye. My fish is isolated to begin with, but I felt the need to thoroughly clean his tank. I don't use live plants. I feed 2-3 pellets a day of wardley advanced nutrition betta food. I always remove what he doesn't eat, but he always eats everything and then begs for more. He still has his appetite, but I've cut back on the feedings to 1 pellet a day to minimize waste. I always use Aquarium Salt and API Stress Coat when changing water or doing a cleaning. I just don't know what to do anymore. 4 of my 5 roommates also have fish. They don't do water changes, don't dechlorinate the new water when they do, don't check temperature or pH levels or ammonia and nitrite levels, don't remove uneaten food, don't use aquarium salt, and generally don't pay nearly as much attention to their fish and I do to mine, and yet their fish are all healthy and mine is chronically ill. Please please please someone help me figure out what I'm doing wrong here and what I should do to properly treat the fungus and pop-eye.
What are your water pram numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH
How much and how often are the water changes
Have you been using aquarium salt for a long time and how much are you using
Do you know how old he is?
When you had him in the 2.5g what kind of filtration if any used?
Yesterday ammonia and nitrite was 0, pH was 7 on the nose.
I just tested again and the ammonia is still zero but the nitrite and pH have both gone up. Nitrite is now between 0 and 0.5 and pH is about 7.5. I know for a fact that both have gone up is related; I think the water here (at school) is different than the water at home, so when I added new water its probably more basic. I'll make sure to add buffer next time.
When my fish is healthy I do 25% water changes every 3 days. When he is using medication I follow the recommended water change rules for the medication. The most recent medication I used was API Melafix last week to treat his fin rot. The directions on that is to not do a water change during the treatment and then do a 25% water change. I think I did more like a 50% water change... that was yesterday.
I have been using aquarium salt since I bought the 1 gallon tank, which was about 10 months ago and I use the amount listed on the box. That is, 1/2 rounded teaspoon per gallon.
I acquired my fish almost exactly a year ago, but I have no idea how old he is. He is HUGE though... much larger than any other betta fish I have ever seen (about a centimeter wide at the gills and 4 and a half cm from the tip of his mouth to where his tail starts).
I did not have any filtration in the 2.5 gallon tank yet because I was traveling but I intended to buy a low-flow filter once back at school after receiving my pay check (which was today).
Well if you say he's HUGE, look up King and/or Giant bettas. If your betta really is a king or giant, then you really should get him at least a 5 gallon. IMO I prefer to keep bettas in 5 gals. (I have a 5 gal divided, but that will change once one passes). Pay attention to the average length of a betta and compare to yours.
EDIT: Just realized, does yours have a long or short tail? I'm not sure if longer-tailed bettas can be part king/giant as I've never heard of it.
Are you getting water from different sources? Try keeping to just one source, it's much easier that way. If you got him a year ago, WHERE did you get him? A store? That easily adds about 6months - 1 year. However, tons of Petco/Petsmarts have begun to sell them at, what it seems, 3-4 months.
I also think king/giants have shorter lifespans than regular betta splendens, so that might also take a toll on its age.
IMO I don't like Melafix. There's supposedly something in there that can affect their labrynth organs. Through other's experience, this proves true, however not all faced it. Some people resort to using 1/4 - 1/2 of the original Melafix dose. Sorry if I've scared you, but this is enough to drive me away from the medication, as there are plenty of other meds to use (although I always go a natural route).
Did you buy the filter yet?
And sometimes some bettas are just more sick than others ~
I'm confused though, as of right now, how is he sick? Once you're done with medications, as usual continue with daily water changes, and the aquarium salt.
What I've been doing for at least 5 months now, or so..., is soaking their pellets in garlic juice. Bettas just seem to love garlic, and it supposedly helps their immune system. Well it's proven true, as I've never faced fin rot since 6 months, and no disease since about 7 months. I suggest you try this. If you don't have access to garlic juice, just post as I'm doing a different route for my garlic juice. ( I don't have fresh garlic cloves, or garlic juice in a bottle).
He does have a long tail and isn't as big as what I'm finding for Giant Bettas, hes just a very very large normal betta.
I have been getting water from different sources since I move back and forth during the year. I'll see what I can do about one source.
I purchased my fishy from a fundraiser my school was having. I assume that they got the fish for the fundraiser from a pet store.
I don't think I will be using Melafix anymore. Thank you for that information.
I did not buy the filter yet because I haven't gone to the pet store yet. I will be going on Wednesday as that unfortunately is the first chance I will have.
Right now, my fish is showing signs of pop-eye in one eye (its bigger than the other one and they were the same size 2 days ago) and he is showing signs of a fungal something or other (small white patches on top of his head... very very small. I caught it very very early). I don't know what to do to fix this since I've been using the Melafix and he's still getting sick with things that the Melafix should kill. Like I said, I'm using BettaMax now but I don't know how well it works - I've only heard one testimonial in its favor.
I will DEFINITELY try to soak his pellets in garlic juice from now on. I will make a quick stop at the grocery store when I go to get the filter.
So my fishy is still behaving normally and is still very interested in food. His eye doesn't seem to be getting worse, but it still has a swollen look to it. The fungal patches aren't getting bigger but they aren't going away, either. I'm going to move him back to his 2.5 tank today, though I can't go out to get a filter or garlic juice or anything because Rhode Island is in a state of emergency and most of the roads in my county have been shut down.
What I have here in my dorm room is: Aquarium salt, BettaMax, API Melafix, API Stress Coat, a 32oz tank, a 2.5 gallon tank, rocks and fake plants for the 2.5 gallon tank, API 5 in 1 Aquarium Test Strips, and Nutrafin Cycle Biological Aquarium Supplement. I also have a CVS within walking distance that has a very, very limited pet selection. If anyone has any ideas about what I could do to with what I have, please please let me know.
I suspect columnaris, but google it up and make sure it's right. And that's definitely pop-eye. Check if MARACYN and MARACYN 2 treat those, I heard many people mixing them together and getting favorable results. If you've already used bettamax, then just keep to it.
Test strips are next to useless, very misleading. Liquid kits are wehre it's at. For cycle-biological supplement, no idea.
Just keep to lots of water changes, aquarium salt (if medication permits), and in this case I would succumb to medication. Usually medications do work well. Since I just read you have bettamax, go ahead and use bettamax.
That bacterial thing sounds very likely. However, the Melafix should have knocked that out when I treated him last week. I think that the BettaMax treatment is working, whatever the disease may be, since the smallest white patches have gone and the larger one (which was still very small when I began medicating) has shrunk and doesn't look quite as fuzzy. I'm still keeping a close eye on it.
Speaking of eyes, his swollen eye still appears a tad swollen but definitely has not gotten any bigger.
I still have him in the 32oz tank because it's easier to keep track of the medication and its easier to change his water and make sure that the tank stays clean. The larger tank has rocks and plants and a lot of water to change. Also, I still do not have a filter for the larger tank and because of the floods I don't know when I will be able to get one. Therefore, I've decided to keep my fishy in the smaller tank for the duration of his medication process.
The nitrite levels have gone down to zero and the pH is once again neutral after I did a 50% water change.
He is still behaving completely normally, but if I see signs of stress even with these conditions I will move him back to the larger tank, probably without rocks or plants though.