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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Probably about 2 weeks ago my black orchid betta fish (got him about a year ago) started getting pretty bad fin rot with a white growth on part of the fin that looked like it was melting. I tried treating with API's E. M. Erthomycin. He was still swimming and eating.

Fast forward to the past week and he no longer has the white fuzz nor does his fin look like it's rotting further. However, he was just lying on the bottom of the tank no longer swimming or eating. He always had a slight curve to his spine, but for the past couple days his spine's curve became even worse - looks like the shape of the letter "C". I continued the Erthomycin for all 10 days and added aquarium salt ~1 tbsp for the 10 gallons. Also today it looks like he's starting to pinecone. Can anyone please help?

Insect Vertebrate Arthropod Botany Leaf

Reptile Lizard Iguania Scaled reptile Organism

Housing: 10 gallons with live plants
How many gallons is your tank? 10
Does it have a filter? Yes a sponge filter
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 78-80 F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Only snails

What food brand do you use? Aqueon's Betta Pellets
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? twice a day 2 pellets each time & ~3 days a week 2 pellets once a day to try and prevent overfeeding.

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? tap water
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum the substrate
What additives do you use other than conditioner? Imagitarium Biological Booster for beneficial bacteria
What brand of conditioner? Seachem Prime

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 8

Symptoms and Treatment: Initially fin rot spots, now not swimming, not eating, extremely curved spine
When did you first notice the symptoms? 2 weeks ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? More rounded spine, becoming more copper color
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? lethargic, won't move at all or react to anything
Is your Betta still eating? No
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Aquarium salt added, Erthomycin 10 days of treatment
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Fin rot a year ago
How long have you owned your Betta? a little over a year
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No

A betta, a cat, and an approching-ancient dog
15 Posts
hi, im going to preface this by saying i just joined and have not very much experience, but this situation spiked my curiosity and did a little research. i wasnt going to respond due to the lack of my knowledge, but no one has yet so i thought id say what i found.

a curve to the spine can we a growth defect when a betta is still young caused by ammonia poisoning i believe, and as you said he always had this so this could be the case. usually the curve can get worse with age, but the fact that it has got so much worse in so little time- im quite honestly not sure.

do you have any pictures of him before this curvature worsened? also, since hes currently not eating maybe try to place a pellet or two in garlic oil and then try and feed, if you have any available.

otherwise, everything seems great. only thing is your waters pH is a little high. bettas do best when the pH is closest to 7, but they can do just fine in a range of pHs around 7. i really dont think the pH is whats causing this issue though.

good luck, i hope someone more experienced can help you and your fish through this.

Super Moderator
23,872 Posts
PS I think u r feeding too little
Agreed. Overfeeding is when you give too many pellets at once; not total pellets in a day. Four pellets 3 x per day seven days a week with no fasting is good. Soaking in garlic juice may help.

As for the curve, there are a plethora of reasons from birth defects to tumors. Nitrate poisoning also has a signature "C" shape. Clean, warm water is all I can offer.

210 Posts
If you want you can fast once a week if you are really scared. Myself, I feed my betta 3x a day and one pellet broken into half each time(the pellets are quite big)

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the replies I appreciate the advice, but unfortunately he passed away... If I ever get another betta again I'll definitely look more into better feeding. I used to always feed more, but it was tough to get hit attention at meals to see and then eat the pellets and he didn't care to eat shrimp
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