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Old 11-18-2011, 05:37 PM   #1 
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fluffyfish's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Kentucky
What Am I Doing Wrong???

I love my little friend and I'm worried about him. Can you help me, please?

What size is your tank? 10 g
What temperature is your tank? 74
Does your tank have a filter? Underground only
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? 1 fast day, 1/2 pea once a week, 1/2 baby brine shrimp every couple of days, 2 or 3 bites of bloodworm each day on remaining days
How often do you feed your betta fish? once or twice a day, except fast day


How often do you perform a water change? Daily, as of late (weekly changes until the past few weeks)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% now (25% before)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? AquaSafe

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? Yes If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: Can't tell--test strip is barely shaded pink; more than zero, but well below 20
pH: 7.2
Hardness: 75
Alkalinity: 80

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? A couple of weeks ago, my betta's tail and fins began to show signs of fin rot. It was a mild case, but I was nervous and put him on tetracycline. I followed directions, treating two days with no water change, then a water change before the third and a water change before the fifth. After that, I changed 50% of his water each day before the 6-10 doses. At first the condition seemed to worsen. Around days 6 and 7 the progression seemed to halt and during the last few days I've seen regrowth. But when I checked on him this morning he had popeye! His eyes aren't cloudy, but they are distended (equally on both sides).
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not at all. He's very active, follows my hand when I'm cleaning the aquarium and jumps out of the water if I hold my hand above the tank too long.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Fin rot a couple of weeks ago; bulging eyes today
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes; he has been on tetracycline for 10 days. I am out now, but I think he needs a break anyway. Do I give him a week off and start up again? If so, should I start Tetracycline or another antibiotic?
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not until the past month
How old is your fish (approximately)? About a year? (I have only had him since February, and he was not fully grown when I purchased him.)
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:56 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about your little guy.
Is there a chance to get a picture from the top of him looking down? That will verify the popeye (not that we don't believe you, but would want to see how big they are to see whether the conservative is all that is needed, or something stronger. They normally have bulging, bubble eyes).

I would stop with the heavy meds- normally conservative works really well, cheaper, and safer for them. For popeye I would go ahead and place him in a tupperware container that you can float in his tank to keep him warm. You will want to pre-dissolve 1-2 teaspoons of Epsom Salt per gallon (mix it along with the water conditioner in a gallon water jug to make it easier to do water changes). You will want to do daily 100% water changes. It should be better within 10 days, but if by the 7th it's not, go ahead and let us know and we can try something else.
I would get verification first before starting treatment.

Raise the temp to 76-78 minimum as well, 74 is rather low for them.
Also, would stop feeding the peas, as they are used for goldfish for constipation. It sometimes works for constipation on bettas- but bettas are insectivores, and they can't properly digest the pea- why people use it for constipation; the body will try to eject the pea, pushing it out along with any other waste inside of them.
They can't digest it, nor do they get any nutritional value from it- basically you are feeding him a laxative each week that could in turn cause a blockage.

Are the blood worms and shrimp frozen or freeze dried?
Would also recommend using pellets as the main staple in the diet, with frozen shrimp/blood worms every couple of days. You will want to feed 2+ small meals per day, a day of fasting is fine.

Him having fin rot (black edges crusty and flaking, or white cottony puffs at the ends) and now possible popeye, I would probably say to up the weekly water changes to 30-50%. You can step it down each week, just test the water prior to doing a change, and do a little less the next week if the water comes out clean.

If he gets fin rot once more, I would do the AQ salt treatment, but that is my personal choice as I don't like using medications on them.. and would put him in a QT container when doing medications to be able to control everything and to be able to watch him closely.

If you decide to use medication, you should give him some time off from it- but then you risk him losing an eye. Epsom Salt is very mild and won't harm him- you buy it at a local pharmacy, Walmart has a decent sized box for less then $2 in the pharmacy section.

Good luck, keep us updated :)
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