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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I really need some help for my male crowntail, Setsuna.
First off, here is the form for disease help:

How many gallons is your tank? 3.5
Does it have a filter? Yes, hang back
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? between 78-80
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Air stone is installed, but I only run once in while since it's too powerful for Setsuna to swim. Other Aeration would be from hang back filter.
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No, but he has one live plant, a Syngonium (arrowhead plant).

What food brand do you use? Hikari Betta Bio-gold & Fluval Bug Bites
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Both
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 2x Daily, if pellets, 5-6 pellets; if flakes, 2 big flakes

your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a month
What percentage of water did you change? 95% - 3 gallons out of the 3.5 (almost all the water basically)
What is the source of your water? Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water (bought from the grocery store)
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Always vacuum substrate when changing water
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? No additives usually, on occasion Bettafix for stress relief; Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
*Please note I did just do a water change yesterday due to medicine; it is based on the new water in the tank now, however I have never seen it deviate from these when I used test strips before. Below tested with API Freshwater Test kit + API test strips.

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 7.6
Hardness (GH): 30 ppm
Alkalinity (KH): 80 ppm

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? About a month ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? First, he was having trouble seeing out of his left eye. Then it clouded up and I noticed long stingy white things coming off of his fins. It evolved into white lumpy clumps on his fins (as treatment continued). His eye is still a little cloudy and he cannot see from that eye either.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He is less active. Lays at the bottom or top of the tank. Still swims to see me and puffs his gills at food out of excitement
Is your Betta still eating? Yes, he is a hungry boy as usual.

Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
For below, please note I tried my best to dose according to directions, though it was hard to calculate/estimate
-First, I used a course of Pimafix (for fungal) - 3 ml first day, 1 ml next 4 days
-Second, I started a course of Maracyn Two (Minocyline) - 1 packet first day, half packet next 4 days
performed 25% water change as directed
-Third, another course of Maracyn Two (This time in 1 gallon bowl) - 1 packet each day for 5 days
new water in fish bowl, changed all the water in main tank
-Fourth, returned Setsuna to main tank (3.5 gallon), used API Fungus Cure (Acriflavine) PLUS a smaller dose of General Cure - Fungus Cure: 1/2 packet first, then another 1/2 48 hours later; General Cure: similar to Fungus cure, but lower dose, 1/3 packet (? don't remember/ hard to measure) first, then another 1/3 (?) 48 hours later
performed another water changed as directed
-Fifth, API Aquarirum Salt PLUS Bettafix - 3 1/2 teaspoons of both - let the fish chill in that for a day or so
-Sixth, disease persisted, started another course of Maracyn Two - 1 packet for 4 days
performed 95% water last night (10/11) also the 4th day of Maracyn two
-Seventh, at my wits end, Setsuna currently in pet store cup of the my previous Betta with 5-7 drops of Bettafix, 1 medium-sized grain of API Aquarium Salt, and a drop or two of API Super Ick Cure.
His tank is prepared with dose of Melafix (2 ml) that was added into the tank last night (10/11) for his return

Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not since my ownership
How long have you owned your Betta? Since April of this year (2021).
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Nope, he was absolutely beautiful.

Attached photos with colorful gravel are from when he was the 1 gallon for treatment.
Ones in the cup are from this morning (10/12).
Please let me know if you need more photos.

NOW, let me try to explain in concise a manner as possible what happened. First off, I noticed he was having trouble seeing out of his left eye beginning of last month, Sept. I noticed he did not see food dropped on his left side as much as the right. No clouding or signs of injury at the time.
Then I did something stupid, which I thoroughly regret. When I was changing his water mid-last month, I cleaned out his pre-filter sponge and filter media with tap water. Stupid me didn't realize you're not supposed to do that.
After that I noticed the tank starting having some redish stuff on the inside and also some weird film on the top of the water. I treated with Pimafix. That's when Setsuna's eye clouded up and I started noticing a few long stings off of his top dorsal fin.
I did some research, learned I'm not supposed to wash filter media with tap water, and also guessed I must have killed beneficial bacteria and caused bacteria bloom of the bad stuff.
I assumed Setsuna was suffering from Flavobacterium columnare (Cotton Wool Disease), so I treated with Maracyn Two.
Since then I performed the treatment with the above schedule. I switched to the Fungus Cure because I noticed two holes in the tail fin, which eventually spit out to the end of the fin. I read online holes usually mean fungus, so that's why I tried the Fungus Cure.
Now I'm not sure what to do since it seems nothing is working. Is it really Cotton Wool Diesase? Or is it Fungus? Or Parasites? Or some other fourth thing?

Please, please any advice or help is VERY much appreciated as I just want the best for my little best fish friend.


134 Posts

Setsuna is a beautiful betta!!!! So sorry that you are having issues with him.

I see that you are doing your best to help him, and that you have given him a few rounds of treatment with differing meds.

First, I recommend that you stop using bettafix all together. It can damage the betta's labyrinth organ, the organ that helps them breathe. I would also say put away the ick med, too.

From what I can see, it looks like some sort of fin rot/fungus on the ends of his combs. Columnarius/cotton wool disease usually attacks the body. I am not seeing the colored lesions on his body, but that may be due to the glare of the pics (I am looking specifically at the ones of him in the cup). Is he having trouble breathing? That is usually one of the main signs besides the colored patches on the body.

If you don't see either of those 2 things, then I would say that he has either a bacterial infection along with a fungal infection, or either he has just a fungal infection.

Fungus Cure is made with malachite green and acriflovan (as you noted in your post), which is an antiseptic. Fungus cure, along with aquarium salt, should be able to treat the fungal issues. If you drop his temp to about 77 degrees, it will help by not allowing the fugus to grow as quickly. The Maracyn 2 is basically minocycline. Maybe what Setsuna has isn't responding to minocycline. So many strains of bacteria and fungus have become drug resistant, that it takes a different combination sometimes to get rid of the bad.

I would try using a different antibiotic along with the Fungus Cure, like maybe kanaplex by Seachem (kanamycin). Each dose contains about 32% kanamycin. If you try this out, then I strongly recommend that you stick to the dosage instructions carefully, or maybe try half doses at first. The good thing about kanaplex is that it can be readily absorbed into the body of the fish. Too many anitbiotics will cause your betta's kidneys to be damaged, and that is something to avoid at all cost. I would recommend trying this for at least 2 rounds of medicating (maybe 2
1 and a half to 2 weeks, or whatever time limit is depending on the instructions on the meds).

Finally, after deciding where you want him to be so that you can dose him well, I would do small, frequent water changes every three days. I know that the meds say to wait for so many days between water changes, but clean water is one of the best medicines. Please remember that when using aquarium salt, that the salt only leaves when you do water changes. You will have to make sure that you keep track of how much water you remove so you know how much aquarium salt to add back in. You wouldn't want to add a full dose of aquarium salt if you have only removed one third of the water. The salt would build up, and that would be dangerous for Setsuna.

With a 3.5 gallon tank, it is best to do more freqent water changes, even if the tank is cycled. You could change one gallon of his water every 3 days, and it would not take a lot of time or money (since you use bottled spring water). He would be happy and healthy, and you would be happier knowing that he is well! :)

I do hope that this all makes sense and that it helps, and that he bounces back soon!!!!

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Rose of Sharon,

Thank you so much for the advice; it is really helpful!!! Having a direction is taking the stress off, lol!

Regarding the Cotton Wool disease, I have not seen him having trouble breathing, so I will try your advice with the Fungus Cure, aquarium salt and 25% water change every three days. I also just ordered the Seachem, Kanaplex online as well.

One more question though, right now I put him back in his tank, which is currently dosed with the Melafix. It has the same active ingredient as Bettafix, so would be ok to take out 3 gallons tomorrow maybe? Just to remove this, since I definitely don't want to harm his little labyrinth organ. Then start the Fungus Cure, salt, and water changes maybe Thursday?

Yes, agree with you on changing the water more often. It is totally my bad. :rolleyes: I'm planning to move him to a 5 gallon once he is healed up as well.

Thanks again and will keep updating on this!

134 Posts
Yes, go ahead and do as big of a water change as you can to get the melafix out.

I did the same thing and bought both melafix and bettafix, and only later found out that they were not so good for bettas. Some people use them and swear by them, but when I was using each of those products, I found that they did nothing but give my tank water a weird smell! :)

Sending good thoughts your way!!!!
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