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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

Bruce, my betta, has been sick for about 3 months. He has a cauliflower-like growth on the base of his dorsal fin that has been around for and has grown for about 3 month and fin rot for about 2 months. About a month ago he developed popeye and I haven't been able to completely get rid of it yet. He was in a 3 gallon tank with a filter and with a small algae eater (Alfred). In the 3 gallon tank, he was getting 100% water changes once a month and about 20% water changes every 2 weeks except for the week he got a full water change. I don't know what species Alfred is. I introduced Alfred about a month before Bruce's symptoms started. I recently have had Bruce in a 0.5 gallon tank for quarantine from Alfred. Alfred is totally fine. I isolated Bruce about 1.5 months ago.

Now for what I have tried for treatment:

When the growth first appeared, I didn't do anything about it until his fin rot appeared then I isolated him for about 2 weeks with 100% water changes once a week, and treated him with Bettafix for one week. That wasn't helping so I got a broad spectrum anitbiotic called Betta revive http://www.hikariusa.com/solutions/healthaid/betta-revive/ and treated him for a week. The growth (it wasn't that big at all at the time) didn't go away but it stopped growing so I assumed it was going to be permanent. His fin rot had appeared to have stopped as well. So I put him back in the 3 gallon tank after a 100% water change in the tank. About 1 week after that he got popeye. So I isolated him again and started treating him with tetracylin for about 3 weeks. He had no water change for 2 days, then 25% water changes for 2 days, then a 100% water change, and then the cycle was repeated (as per the instruction on back of tetracylin package). His popeye went down but never went away. So I talked to a pet store and they suggested I get a heater for him and try treating him with bettafix again. They said to only give him a 85% water change after one week. While treating him Bettafix and a heater his popeye only got worse and is now worse than it ever was. So I just did a 100% water change and started treatment with a heater and Triple Sulfa http://www.apifishcare.com/product.php?id=639#.Vg3tF3pViko. The back of the package say to remove filter. Give treatment. Treat again after 24 hours. The treat again after 24 hours with a 25% water change. Then repeat again with the water change after another 24hrs for the final dose. The tetracyclin had the same treatment schedule. (I repeated it for 3 weeks with the tetracyclin) If this doesn't work then I don't know what to do. I am desperately trying to cure him but I can't find the right answers. The only vet that would see him wants to charge me $120 to look at him and I can't afford that on a student budget. If anyone has any suggestions I really appreciate the help.

Thank you.
 

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Hi there!

Please copy/paste the form from the below link into your thread here.

Be sure to answer every question and leave nothing out. Especially the water test results for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

The more questions you leave unanswered, the slower the process is to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Housing
What size is your tank? 0.5 gallon quarantine tank; 3 gallon regular tank
What temperature is your tank? quarantine, 30 degrees celcius. 3 gallon, room temperature
Does your tank have a filter? quarantine, no. 3 gallon, yes with activated carbon
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? quarantine yes, 3 gallon no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? yes in the 3 gallon, an algae eater

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? once per day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Quarantine, 100% once per week and 25% everyday depending on what medicinal treatment is. 3 gallon 100% once per month
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? read previous answer above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? tap water conditioner, betta water renewal

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No
If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? reduced fins, white cotton growth on dorsal fin at base, popeye, clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? slightly less active. still shows some excited when getting fed but not as much as before
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3 month ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
When the growth first appeared, I didn't do anything about it until his fin rot appeared then I isolated him for about 2 weeks with 100% water changes once a week, and treated him with Bettafix for one week. That wasn't helping so I got a broad spectrum anitbiotic called Betta revive http://www.hikariusa.com/solutions/h.../betta-revive/ and treated him for a week. The growth (it wasn't that big at all at the time) didn't go away but it stopped growing so I assumed it was going to be permanent. His fin rot had appeared to have stopped as well. So I put him back in the 3 gallon tank after a 100% water change in the tank. About 1 week after that he got popeye. So I isolated him again and started treating him with tetracylin for about 3 weeks. He had no water change for 2 days, then 25% water changes for 2 days, then a 100% water change, and then the cycle was repeated (as per the instruction on back of tetracylin package). His popeye went down but never went away. So I talked to a pet store and they suggested I get a heater for him and try treating him with bettafix again. They said to only give him a 85% water change after one week. While treating him Bettafix and a heater his popeye only got worse and is now worse than it ever was. So I just did a 100% water change and started treatment with a heater and Triple Sulfa http://www.apifishcare.com/product.p...9#.Vg3tF3pViko. The back of the package say to remove filter. Give treatment. Treat again after 24 hours. The treat again after 24 hours with a 25% water change. Then repeat again with the water change after another 24hrs for the final dose. The tetracyclin had the same treatment schedule. (I repeated it for 3 weeks with the tetracyclin)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for one year and 10 months. his wasn't fully grown when I got him.
 

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My "Babybetta" just recently had popeye, and I was able to get rid of it after about 4 days. He seems okay now.

The one thing that I highly recommend, and something I don't see anyone mentioning in their "medical" posts, is to add bacteria to the water ... especially when treating your betta (or any fish) with antibiotics. The antibiotics will eat up the "good" bacterias too, so you have to make sure to replenish them! I bought Aquavitro, a bacteria seed for the aquarium biofilter. Make sure to add a biofilter to your filtering system. These biofilters are, I believe, rocks that hold the "good" bacterias and help break down the ammonia and nitrites into nitrates in your tank. (I think they also help betta himself.)

I have been adding the Aquavitro bacterias for about four days now, and the last time I did, he instantly perked up (after ignoring me all day) and came to the front of the tank, all fluffy, to hang out with me. It was like he was saying "thank you".
 

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I acquired my BabyBetta only a couple of months ago. As a brand new Betta owner (never owning fish before), I have spent hours upon hours researching online and hanging out at the local aquarium to acquire the knowledge needed to keep BabyBetta healthy and happy!

Here is what I am also doing:

The tank temperature should remain in the 78-80 degree range. You should be testing the pH level of the water (should be 7.0, not higher), ammonia level of 0, nitrite level of 0, and very little nitrates (Aquarium workers said less than 15). I've added BettaSafe and/or NeutralRegulator accordingly to adjust the levels.

p.s. It is vital to keep a good, consistent temperature. I read in one post that just having a betta in water that is too cold can cause infections.

My betta is in a 5 gallon tank right now, and will soon be upgraded to a 12 gallon with one female guppy (we'll see how that works out).

Good luck with Bruce!
 

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You could also try with every water change is adding 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt to his 3 gallon tank. The salt is beneficial in oh so many ways and can reduce swelling to Bruce's popeye. Warm water with a heater and testing the water parametres as suggested are good protocols. Fingers crossed for Bruce.
 

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NicoleFR:

Deepest apologies that none of the more knowledgeable members here saw your post when you wrote it. Hopefully you and your fish are still around. Here's some info for you.

Triple Sulphas are bacteriostatic, meaning they stop the growth of the bacteria but do not kill it. BettaFix should only be used as a preventative, and never when there are more serious issues going on with the fish. It's a natural remedy, so is not that strong. I recommend tossing it and never using it again.

Tetracycline is generally not the first choice for fin rot, columnaris (fuzzy patch), or popeye. You cannot use this medication when other medications are currently present (but you can use it alone in a bath of Methylene Blue). The pH must not be higher than 7.5 because it renders the antibiotic useless. You do not want to use it if the fish has any type of open or bleeding wounds. It is also very toxic past its expiration date, so be mindful to check for that. And if all of the previously mentioned things aren't scary enough to try and remember, it kills the good bacteria in the bio-filer. Not that tetracycline should never be used, only that it's generally not the first choice when there are much better medications out there without all of these restrictions, which can be a bit overwhelming for a new aquarist.

If your fish has been getting better then disregard the following, but keep it in mind should you ever need to medicate for the above symptoms again. This is a much much better medication regime for your fish;

Methylene Blue, Seachem KanaPlex (Kanamycin), and API Furan 2 (Nitrofurizone). Use all of those together in a 1 quart container with fresh dechlorinated water. This is called a medicated bath, and you do this every day for 30 minutes until the bacterial infections are gone. For a 1 quart container 2 drops of methylene blue should be fine, but be sure to call the 800 numbers for the other two medications to find out how much to use for 1 quart of dechlorinated water.

You also want to ensure the temperature in the tank is 75F. Higher temps mean that the bacteria is going to grow at a faster rate, meaning your fish could possibly die before medication has a chance to begin working.

As for treating the tank itself, there is no better remedy than fresh clean water. Fin rot will never take hold of a fish unless there is poor tank conditions. Increase your water changing schedule, do weekly gravel vacs to help remove rotting organics, do monthly filter media rinsing in a bucket of clean dechlorinated water (this does not harm the good bacteria, unless you don't add dechlorinator). Be proactive with your tank maintenance and your fish should live a long healthy life.

If you ever need help with getting your tank cycled, I have a tutorial for that here.

------------------------------------------------

The one thing that I highly recommend, and something I don't see anyone mentioning in their "medical" posts, is to add bacteria to the water ... especially when treating your betta (or any fish) with antibiotics.

I very seldom, if ever, recommend antibiotics for the tank that will kill the filter bed. There's entirely too many antibiotics out there that are safe for the cycle, and more often times than not are better than the antibiotics killing the bacteria. I find that most people are not knowledgeable enough to discern between gram positive or gram negative antibiotics, and which of the two will or will not harm the bacteria, and why.

The tank temperature should remain in the 78-80 degree range.
No. Any time that there is even the remotest of possibilities of a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection you never ever leave the temp at high levels. You always lower the temperature to the very lowest you can go that is comfortable to the species in the tank. In this case a betta, so the temp should be lowered to 75F. Bacteria, fungus, and viruses will increase their growth rate at higher temps, and you definitely do not want that because it will kill the fish.

You should be testing the pH level of the water (should be 7.0, not higher)
When using Tetracycline you don't want the pH above 7.5.

A different story when cycling the tank though because you want the pH to be no lower than 7, and in fact if it's 8 that's even better. At low pH there is more ammonium than ammonia, and at higher pH there is more ammonia than ammonium. Nitrifying bacteria cannot process ammonium, so we want the pH to be 7 or higher.

This is why you do not use some antibiotics while cycling the tank. Some of them are pH dependent, but a lot of them are not.

and very little nitrates (Aquarium workers said less than 15).
An honest question because I want to know; why is that relevant to the OP and her current regime in medicating? There's no reason her nitrates need to be that low. If it's advice in getting her tank cycled, needing to have nitrates no higher than 15 is wrong. A healthy nitrogen cycle can safely have anywhere between 5 ppm to 50 ppm nitrate, depending on the type of tank it is. Freshwater plants + discus should try to be no higher than roughly 30 ppm. Ponds, brackish, african cichlid, and freshwater community tanks should try to be no higher than roughly 50 ppm. Some fish are more sensitive than others when it comes to nitrates, but for the most part just like with pH they adjust. On average most aquarist have anywhere between 5 ppm to 25 ppm nitrate. Mind you this is just generally, so not everyone has theirs that low. Point being, it's OK if it's a bit higher because fish are generally tolerable to it.

Last but not least, probably the best advice ever given on any fish forum online (this is the general consensus by most experienced aquarists on fish forums); never ever ever listen to or ask for advice from pet store employees. More often times than not they're clueless and have no idea what they're talking about. As others already know, it's a vary rare occurrence to find a store employee that knows their way around a fish tank much less the proper use of medications.
 

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First off, you're having problems because you're not doing enough water changes. You need to be doing 50% changes once a week. Popeye, fungus, and fin rot result from poor water quality. Consistently clean water will prevent fin rot, but since you need to treat the other stuff like Mousie suggested, the methylene blue should get rid of the fungus quickly and perhaps the fin rot. I don't know about the Popeye though. Remember, the smaller the tank the more maintenance required, the bigger the tank the less maintenance required
 

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First off, you're having problems because you're not doing enough water changes. You need to be doing 50% changes once a week. Popeye, fungus, and fin rot result from poor water quality. Consistently clean water will prevent fin rot, but since you need to treat the other stuff like Mousie suggested, the methylene blue should get rid of the fungus quickly and perhaps the fin rot. I don't know about the Popeye though. Remember, the smaller the tank the more maintenance required, the bigger the tank the less maintenance required
Notice, Bruce is in a half gallon now, and has been for over a month. Shouldn't the watef changes be even more often?

As for ever moving him back to the 3 gallon, I think he needs to be alone in there.

The thing that struck *me* was Bruce needs more water changes. Especially, especially, especially as he is healing from popeye and fin rot. His owner needs to do individual searches on this site about each health concern and read everything! There is so much good advice. My first recommendation would be a bigger tank (to himself, no tankmates) and a much more frequent water change schedule.

Best wishes for Bruce! Study, study! I learn so much just doing searches and reading through old threads.
 

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Another thing that I'd like to point out is the fact that OP has an algae eater with the betta in the 3g tank - that size of tank is not suitable to house anything but the betta on it's own. Please consider getting another tank for the algae eater or rehoming him.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone for your responses!
I wish I had an opportunity to see them sooner as I just finished up with midterms.

I would like to update everyone on his condition and what I have done:

I tested his water and the only issue with his water is that it is harder than ideal.

I went to a specialty fish store and spoke to someone there. The gentleman there suggested that I move him to my spare 1.5 gallon tank and treat with kanamycin. I did that but miss read the label for the medication. I thought it had said to give treatment once a day for up to three days when in reality it said to give treatment once every two for up to three doses.

So when I realized that I just did a 100% water change, put in a filter and added some aquarium salt to give Bruce a break from all of the medications he has been on. His condition hasn't worsened; his eye isn't any larger and he is still mildly active.

I have been doing 25% water changes every 3 days. I was giving him ~1tsp of aquarium salt with those water changes but I will stop that as I have recently read that continuous addition of aquarium salt like that will "over salt him" for a lack of better words.

He is due for a 25% water change again today. I am considering to try a salt dip or I may try treatment with Kanamycin again but with the proper doses.

Thanks again for all your help! I really appreciate and please keep up the feedback it is really helping me!
 

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I don't have much advice, as there are people much more knowledgeable than me esp. when it comes to medicines and proper dosages, etc. but did want to mention a couple things.

First of all, you are correct, the continuous adding of aquarium salt will cause an over dosing of salt so be very careful with that. Secondly, in a 1.5 gallon tank you need to be doing at least a 50% water change every other day. Water changes are always important but even more so when dealing with a sick fish.

Hope Bruce gets better soon!
 

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Mousie, thank you so much for correcting me on my post above! You educated me a bit and hopefully helped to save Bruce.

Now I am hoping you can help me save my betta - BabyBetta. He is laying on the bottom of his tank breathing really hard and looking up at me saying, "help"!

I will start a new post for this!

1) What is the normal temperature range for bettas when they are not sick?
2) What is a good temperature for bettas when they have parasites (Ick, Velvet, etc.)?
3) What
 
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