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17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, ciel is really sick. About a few weeks ago I had to helps a friend out by taking the platy she had just bought from her. She had got it at petsmart on sale and decided she didn't want it.
so ciel is pretty calm and muted so I put it in with him until the next week when I got payed and was going to get a new 10 gal tank for subella (my female betta). I was going to house her with some platy's i plan to get later.
Well ciel and the platy got in a fight, so as soon as I got the new tank I set it up and moved subella to the new tank and used her old 1.5g for a hospital tank for the platy.
After I got everyone settled I saw that ciel had popeye in his right eye, I turned his tank into a hospital tank too and started him on maracyn, the next day he had pop eye in the other eye. I keep up with the treatment, aq salt and water changes every day of about 75% thinking that I just wasn't changing the water enough.
He finished the treatment and still was not eating or better, I then saw he had a white spot on his head above his eye's and that it was dented in.
I work at a vet so I got some metracylin, stopped aq salt and do 75% water changes every day and started treating for hole in the head.
But he is slowly getting worser, he now just lays on the bottom of the tank, I have thought he was dead so many times, but as soon has he is touched he jumps to life, swims away and falls back to the bottom again.
The hole in head is looking better, but i'm worried it maybe fish TB becuase the platy with the torn tail fin has white on it's fins and they look like they are disapearing.
Any idea's? I hate to give up on ciel but don't want him to waste away like this. Subella is fine and colorful through all of this.


What size is your tank? 3 gal
What temperature is your tank? about 78 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes marina i25 intank filter i think.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? Yes treta 1-5 gal heater.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? a platy for a short time.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New life spectrum betta formula
How often do you feed your betta fish? 6-8 pieces once a day with one fasting day.


How often do you perform a water change? once a week, thought i had a good enough filter.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stresscoat +

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

Ammonia: o
pH: 7
Hardness: soft

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? just the eye's poping out and dent in head.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? yes, he stays on the bottom of the tank and will not move.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 10 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes, maracyn for five days with filter(i know forgot about the carbon) then he has been on metracylin for 3 days.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)?about 2 yrs.


The platy, sorry it is small and very jumpy.

ciel today

· Registered
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know how to go about it....I don't want to just pull him out of the water, that would be to mean. With as bad as it is and the platy now being sick, I am really wondering if it is TB. I'm thinking if he dies I will sanitize like it was TB.

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1,880 Posts
I'm not positive, I believe you can find more definitive answers on the googles. But I believe you just float their cup in ice water, and then put em in the freezer for a while...

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17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Small update:
After more research I put a bubbler in Ciel's tank. Did he's normal stuff, meds and water change.
I have also started treating the platy for fungus with maracyn.
Anyone have any idea's on why he is always on his side? (i'm thinking swimbladder) Is there anything I can do to help him with that? Also the hole is getting smaller, so i think it is closing.

· Premium Member
23,299 Posts
It isn't possible for Bettas or other small fish to get Hole in the Head because the parasite that causes it is too big for their bodies so they like the larger fish. It looks like he's just lost some scales that didn't regrow back very well. It's also unlikely he's got TB, looks more like a bacterial infection probably to his swim bladder and some liver or kidney failture starting up causing the bloating and the pineconing.

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52 Posts
I had a community betta tank with four females and a male and lost 2 of the females in an outbreak of sickness that sounds just like what you have going on now. All of them got sick, but 3 out of 5 made it. The ones that died definitely had holes in their heads as well as swelling and laying on their sides more and more prior to death.

I treated with metracycline, minced garlic, liquid baby vitamins, and epsom salt to bring down the swelling. I really thought I was going to lose all of them because they were pretty far gone, but the combination worked well. I also boiled all of my equipment and took special care not to use the same tools in multiple aquariums. It seemed incredibly contagious.

I would recommend getting a 1 gallon container to use as a hospital tank if you try the garlic because it rots and smells horrible if you don't change the water every day with it. Definitely keep the bubbler in! Circulation is important with medicines. The epsom salt (about 1/4-1/2 tsp per gallon) will help a little with the swim bladder-like problem/take the swelling down. If the hole heals but he still has issues with swelling of the eyes or body after you finish the metra, I would treat that with Kanaplex for internal infection. The garlic works well on internal parasite issues and HITH. I used about 4-6 drops of the liquid baby multivitamin per gallon. (I mean vitamins for human babies. I got them at walmart. I learned that trick from an experienced breeder).

I hope this helps! Good luck! Let me know if you have questions.
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