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Discussion Starter #1
The other day I noticed Maverick had a large white spot on the OUTSIDE of his eye. It matched the description of a cataract, with me not knowing his age I figured his old age was setting in and that it was normal. But just yesterday (March 20th) I noticed a white film on his OTHER eye consistent with cloudy eye, and I know that's definitely not just old age.

I do not have access to an extra seeded filter to use for a hospital/quarantine tank. I know I have to use salt but can not add that to my main 33 because there's plants and shrimp. If anyone has any suggestions on a solution it'd be much appreciated.

Housing:

How many gallons is your tank?
-33 Gallons
Does it have a filter?
-Yes, 2 sponge filters
Does it have a heater?
-Yes, 100 Watt Fluval E series
What temperature is your tank?
-79°-80° F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
-Yes, an airstone in each sponge filter
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
-Yes, 6 amano shrimps

Food:
What food brand do you use?
-Xtreme betta pellets
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
-Pellets
Freeze-dried?
-No
How often do you feed your Betta?
-3 times a day (Admittedly I sometimes forget the 3rd feeding since I have it scheduled so late in the day to space out his feedings)
How much?
- 3-4 pellets each time

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
-Every Saturday-Sunday
What percentage of water did you change?
-25-30% (10 gallons)
What is the source of your water?
-Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
-Vacuum the surface of the sand
What additives do you use other than conditioner?
-Tropica Ferts
What brand of conditioner?
-Prime

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5.0ppm
pH: 8.2
Hardness (GH): N/A
Alkalinity (KH): N/A

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
-Last week
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
-One eye looks slightly cloudy (like a film), and the other has a white dot over it (I think a cataract)
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
-No behavioral change at all
Is your Betta still eating?
-Very enthusiastically
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
-N/A
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
-He's been lethargic etc before but more frequent water changes fixed that, when I first got him he had a bump on the side of his face but that healed with Indian Almond leaves
How long have you owned your Betta?
-Since July of 2020 (age on arrival unknown)
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
-A small bump on his face but again that healed

1028165

^Eye with white film

1028166
1028167
1028168

^Eye with cataract(???)
 

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Hi! Honestly, I don't know that I'd do anything. Just be sure that you start to do three or four gentle taps on the frame/top edge of the tank each time you feed him, and always feed him in the same place every time (a food ring could help keep his food from drifting) so that as his eyesight becomes less, he will still know where his food is going to be, and when you're giving him his meals.

Also, try and don't move the decor/plants etc so that he doesn't become confused.
 

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On the form you state you have two sponge filters. Could you not move one of them to a quarantine tank for the short term salt treatment? You could then replace that sponge filter with a new one in your 33 gallon and in a week you'd have 3 seeded filters. There's nothing you can do about the cataract but you're right sbout cloudy eye--that's treatable, and usually indicates something funky going on with the water. I'd do 50% water changes every few days on the main tank and treat the betta with salt in the quarantine tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
On the form you state you have two sponge filters. Could you not move one of them to a quarantine tank for the short term salt treatment? You could then replace that sponge filter with a new one in your 33 gallon and in a week you'd have 3 seeded filters. There's nothing you can do about the cataract but you're right sbout cloudy eye--that's treatable, and usually indicates something funky going on with the water. I'd do 50% water changes every few days on the main tank and treat the betta with salt in the quarantine tank.
You're right I never even thought of using the extra sponge filter. I'm just curious about what I'd do with the "quarantine" filter after (since with cloudy eye being a bacterial infection I wouldn't be able to use it again. Well I suppose I could if I disinfected it.) I'm just more confused about how he obtained this infection, the water stays stable parameters-wise and I do water changes every weekend.

So 50% of 33 gallons every 3 days you'd say, and treatment wise, what dosage of salt would be best for a cloudy eye infection (pertaining to however many gallons I use as the hospital tank of course.)
Thank you!
 

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The recommended salt treatment is 1 Tablespoon per 5 gallons. When doing water changes for the quarantine tank (recommended) replace the same % of salt as the amount of water removed. For example, if it's a 50% water change, add 50% more salt. Use aquarium salt or unadulterated Kosher salt, Diamond Crystal brand for example. If the ingredients list anything other than salt, put it back in the shelf.

You could also add almond leaf.

No issue with the filter. It's had the same exposure to the bacterial agent as the remaining filter in the 33 gallon. In fact the quarantine filter will be benefiting from the bacteria-reducing salt treatment. If this were a parasitic infestation, then there would be a filter issue. But that's not the case here.

I should mention that we're assuming this is bacterial. And that is indeed the most likely cause. But it could be other issues, none of which are treatable, i.e. old age, cancer etc. But clean water and salt will tell the tale. Providing clean water is the most valuable element of the treatment. In fact. many cloudy eye cases are cleared up by frequent large water changes alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The recommended salt treatment is 1 Tablespoon per 5 gallons. When doing water changes for the quarantine tank (recommended) replace the same % of salt as the amount of water removed. For example, if it's a 50% water change, add 50% more salt. Use aquarium salt or unadulterated Kosher salt, Diamond Crystal brand for example. If the ingredients list anything other than salt, put it back in the shelf.

You could also add almond leaf.

No issue with the filter. It's had the same exposure to the bacterial agent as the remaining filter in the 33 gallon. In fact the quarantine filter will be benefiting from the bacteria-reducing salt treatment. If this were a parasitic infestation, then there would be a filter issue. But that's not the case here.

I should mention that we're assuming this is bacterial. And that is indeed the most likely cause. But it could be other issues, none of which are treatable, i.e. old age, cancer etc. But clean water and salt will tell the tale. Providing clean water is the most valuable element of the treatment. In fact. many cloudy eye cases are cleared up by frequent large water changes alone.
Thank you so much for the dosage, I'll be sure to write it down since I'm sure it'll be useful in the future lol. I'll be sure to add some almond leaves to the 33 gallon as well.

And I never thought of it that way but it makes sense, thanks for explaining it in that way I feel less discouraged to use existing filters XD

So I think overall I'll start with recommended more frequent and larger water changes, if there's no improvement with the cloudy eye I'll move him to a quarantine tank for a salt treatment. And I have to agree there's a high possibility it's just old age setting in for him (since I'm unsure how old he was when I got him, it's hard to tell when he's a giant and "normal" bettas are aged by size), especially since he's showing a cataract AND there's no problems with the water chemistry (I doubt it's even the high PH since he's been in my water of 8.2 since July of 2020 and has never had problems). Thank you for all your help and advice, I'll keep this thread updated if there's any changes with him!! (y)
 

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For what it's worth, that's exactly what I'd do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
🚨UPDATE🚨

Maverick is now in a 10 gallon tub hospital tank. His condition has unfortunately worsened and he's the most lethargic I've ever seen him. I've added 2 tbsp of aquarium salt to the 10 gallon tub per dosage recommendation. What frequency and size in water changes would you recommend in the quarantine tub?
 

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If it were my tank I would do 25% daily, replacing only the salt you remove. Is the white on his face normal for him or is that part of the problem? On top of the salt I would brew a strong IAL tea.
@imaal has given you really great advice, I don’t know that I’m adding anything new but hope he feels better!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If it were my tank I would do 25% daily, replacing only the salt you remove. Is the white on his face normal for him or is that part of the problem? On top of the salt I would brew a strong IAL tea.
@imaal has given you really great advice, I don’t know that I’m adding anything new but hope he feels better!
Alright thank you so much for the advice, I'll be sure to start a daily 25% water change schedule starting tonight! And I have some extra Almond Leaves so I'll make some tea for him! And yes he's always had some white on his face since I got him (he has the marble gene), and it doesn't seem to have fuzz or anything like that so I'm confident those are just his facial markings. The point of concern were his cataracts but something worse has seemed to happen which is why he's become so lethargic.

Thank you!!
 

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No problem! It’s tough in Canada because we don’t have access to meds so you have to just do what the best you can with what you have.
 

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Yeah our hands are kind of tied in the Great North @BettaloverSara lol

Just a quick update; because I had to catch him with a net, Maverick no longer trusts me and is afraid of my hands. I realize his vision is a problem (because of the cataracts) but when feeding he'd normally have no troubles when I used some tongs to create movement on the surface to recognize there was food. Now he does not react to me (or when he does it's to move away). And because he's afraid he won't come up to eat at all. I'm sure everyone here's had a tough case with a betta, but it's just heartbreaking to seem them change for the worse. It's horrible seeing my little buddy like this.
 

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Are you able to see the food if it lands in the substrate? Like us, fish have other senses so he could probably find the food on the bottom if you let it sink.
 

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Are you able to see the food if it lands in the substrate? Like us, fish have other senses so he could probably find the food on the bottom if you let it sink.
I tried feeding him some frozen brine shrimp, but I realize they probably camouflage with the clear tub bottom when they sank down (I plan to vacuum the bottom when I do the water change tonight, so I won't let the left food cause any spikes or anything.) However he's never been the type of betta to scavenge at the bottom, I've never seen him do it. And it didn't seem like he smelled it or anything, or if he did he wasn't interested.
 

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I tried feeding him some frozen brine shrimp, but I realize they probably camouflage with the clear tub bottom when they sank down (I plan to vacuum the bottom when I do the water change tonight, so I won't let the left food cause any spikes or anything.) However he's never been the type of betta to scavenge at the bottom, I've never seen him do it. And it didn't seem like he smelled it or anything, or if he did he wasn't interested.
You could try soaking it in garlic juice. Sounds weird but they like it.
 

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petco et al has garlic juice products

And because he's afraid he won't come up to eat at all.
Hopefully this is temporary. Try giving three taps on the frame/edge of the tank specifically related to feeding times and try and maintain the same times morning and evening. Also try a food ring to contain foods so they don't float around so much (I don't know if this will work for him, but it might be worth a try) - also turn off any bubbler/air stone and also the filter, again to get his attention and also to stop the food from moving around.

Don't give up, just try and be really consistent about his feeding time, the three taps and turning off equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
petco et al has garlic juice products


Hopefully this is temporary. Try giving three taps on the frame/edge of the tank specifically related to feeding times and try and maintain the same times morning and evening. Also try a food ring to contain foods so they don't float around so much (I don't know if this will work for him, but it might be worth a try) - also turn off any bubbler/air stone and also the filter, again to get his attention and also to stop the food from moving around.

Don't give up, just try and be really consistent about his feeding time, the three taps and turning off equipment.
I'll take a look at Petco, thank you for the recommendation.

Unfortunately I'm not sure this current skittish behavior will be temporary. He's had a few scares from me when I was a newbie at doing water changes (Accidentally tapping the class too hard with a cup and scaring him, the syphon scaring him very badly), but he'd always bounced back. I barely "chased" him around the tank with the net to get him to the hospital tank (it only took maybe 2-3 minutes and he wasn't breathing heavily by the end of it), so to me this skittish/almost unresponsive behavior to people is being caused by something else. He is used to tapping at the surface of the water being a sign of food but he's not responsive to it right now. I have an extra food ring and I'll try turning the filter off when I try to feed him again. Thank you for all the help and advice everyone.
 
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