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Old 03-01-2011, 01:43 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
New betta has fleixbacter. Concise Help?


I have been nosing through this forum ever since i got my betta 4 days ago. Now he's sick and I really need your help. I know people have posted about this issue prior to mine, but after reading the related posts and sites I still feel confused about what exactly to *do*. I feel sort of overwhelmed with info. If someone could help me with a clear plan of what to do to cure my betta I would be so relieved.


What size is your tank? 20g
What temperature is your tank? 79 degrees F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, with homemade baffle.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Dried Betta Pellets. Tried freeze dried blood worms, but he didn't really seem to get it.

How often do you feed your betta fish?
The first two days I was feeding as per directions on bottle. About three times a day as much as he would eat, but I didn't do it according to the five minute rule. I would drop in the food a couple pellets at a time, and when he would spit one out I would stop. He would eat about 5 pellets this way each time. I stopped doing this once I found out this was too much and it seemed like he might be bloated so I fed him only once the third day and took a break from feeding the fourth.


How often do you perform a water change?
New tank. Ran for about 3 days before adding betta.

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
I used stress coat when setting up the tank and added stress zyme on betta's first day at home.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Not tested since betta went into the tank. I am out of test strips and would run and get some but I would really like to know what medicine to get, if any, so I can make one trip. When I did add the betta, everything was in ideal range according to the test. No nitrites/trates of course because nothing was cycling. Test did however say the water was hard, but the water in his cup tested the same.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
White, puffy cottony patches, more on one side of his body than the other.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
Less active, doesn't greet me at the glass front like he used to. Doesn't dart to the top for air like before. He seems a bit sluggish getting there. Hanging around towards the middle/bottom front corner of tank. He used to swim all over the place, back and forth. Even in his cup at the store he was the most active and excitable one there.

When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Being very paranoid about my fish I watch him all the time. I would say he seemed to be less enthusiastic a day ago, but still a lot more "playful" than he is right now. Even last night he was swimming around happily, exploring (although i do recall thinking his fins were a bit clamped, and there was a black edging around his fins that I could not remember had been there or not), and when I got home from work today he was like this and its like the cottony spots came so suddenly and drastically. I did not see anything on him when I left for work this morning (5 am) got home at 2 pm. Yesterday afternoon he had the tendancy to sit at the bottom of the tank under the plants and curl into a "U" shape almost and stay there for 5 minutes at a time for about 20 minutes. I don't know if this is a symptom or if this is how bettas rest.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Not yet

Does your fish have any history of being ill?
Not to my knowledge

How old is your fish (approximately)?
Not sure


Other info that may be of use.

- After learning on this forum I had the tank a bit too cold at 76 degrees I did adjust the heater to warm up to 79. I did this on day 1 and the temperature has been stable since. But this may have caused the fleixbacter to thrive?

- Today before work I opened the curtains (I usually don't). Perhaps the sunlight exacerbated the rate of cottony growth?

- I have plant bulbs in my bettas tank. They have cottony growth as well, and have been so since the started sprouting before even adding the betta. I thought this simply happened as they sprouted, but could this be causing the problem? Is that normal? My first thought was he rubbed against the bulbs and picked up some of it and it was harmless, but considering his behavior, I believe it's more than that.


Sorry if i was long-winded. I just wanted to make sure I covered all bases.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Last edited by vintagepksweetie; 03-01-2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:56 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Austin, Texas
This is what I did to treat my fish..

-quarantine into a small tank (for ease of treating)
-lower temp down to 76 (bacteria thrives in warmth)
-add one tsp of aquarium salt per gallon (pre mix it)
-add some indian almond leaves if you have any
-keep in a darker, calm area
-if possible, keep the water gently flowing with either a filter/bubbler. bacteria likes stagnant water
-do daily 100% water changes

If it is flexi bacter, this could help. It will also help if he has fin rot, which it sounds like he might.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:50 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
thank you so much! I am running out to get a small aquarium right now!

I will remove the plant bulbs just in case. But what should I do with my main tank? Does that need to be emptied and reset? If I don't treat the main tank how can I be sure it doesnt come back?

Last edited by vintagepksweetie; 03-01-2011 at 04:54 PM.
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cottony patches, flixibacter

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