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Discussion Starter #1
Just discovered one of my Bettas swimming upside down in his tank, and while while taking a closer look, I also noticed that one of his eyes is cloudy as well. So (with my limited experience), I surmised that with this combination of symptoms presenting itself, I might be dealing with a bacterial infection (I was a couple days late with his routine tank cleaning, so I'm afraid it might be my fault). He is also approximately a year old, so it's possible that age could be an issue as well.

Therefore, I was wondering just what (if any) treatments would should I pursue (or even if I have the diagnosis correct). I know some people use API's Bettafix for sick fish, but didn't know in this case if that would work, or I needed to just go ahead and bring in the big guns? I remember back in the day my aquarium friends used Maracyn whenever their fish took ill, but as that was almost 40 years ago, I'm assuming the state of the art has gone beyond that.

Thanks again, and any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Great to see you seeking advice. Could you please answer the questions below so that people can get a better understanding of your Betta and its care?

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank?
Does it have a filter?
Does it have a heater?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?

Food:
What food brand do you use?
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
Freeze-dried?
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
What percentage of water did you change?
What is the source of your water?
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner?

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:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
Is your Betta still eating?
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
How long have you owned your Betta?
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?

PLEASE PROVIDE CLEAR PHOTOS

NOTE: EMBED YOUR PHOTOS. PLEASE DO NOT LINK. Click on the paper clip in the toolbar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2.0
Does it have a filter? No
Does it have a heater? No
What temperature is your tank? 75 degrees F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:
What food brand do you use? Hikari Pellets (although after the most recent water change I did supplement with some Omega One Betta flakes, which went uneaten)
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? Daily

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Usually twice a week (see original post)
What percentage of water did you change? 100%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? No substrate
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Reptisafe

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: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness (GH): N/A
Alkalinity (KH): N/A

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Yesterday
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Cloudy left eye
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Unable to swim properly (corkscrews in the water)
Is your Betta still eating? No
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? 1 year
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No

Sorry, but don't have any good photos at the moment. As before, this happened two days after a delayed water change. Also, I as noted in the food section above, after said water change, I supplemented his normal diet of Hikari pellets with some Omega One flakes, which he did not appear to eat (although my other two bettas did, and they seem okay).

So, I don't know if this happened due to either:

a). an infection caused by the delayed water change
b). injury while being netted
c). a reaction to something in the (uneaten) supplemental food
d). age
e). all of the above/none of the above

Sorry, that I don't have any data regarding the water chemistry.

Thanks again.
 

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CONDITIONER: You said you're using Reptisafe. I believe that's strictly for reptiles, turtles in particular. Have you considered using a water conditioner for Bettas? Best one is SeaChem Prime. I'd strongly urge you to switch to that immediately.
FOOD: A better choice over Hikari is New Life Spectrum or North Fin Betta Bits. They're a higher quality pellet because fish/protein is the first ingredient.
HEATER: I would very strongly advise that you get an adjustable heater. It will keep the tank at a steady 78 degrees Farenheit or 26C, which is where you want to be. Fluctuations in temperature will cause stress on your Betta, therefor eventually weakening his immune system and making him more susceptible to illnesses.
WATER CHANGES: I don't believe the requirement for your tank is two 100% changes per week. There is a sticky on the Forum with water change schedules for both filtered and non filtered tanks that'll provide the correct schedule for you.

It's excellent that you're seeking advice. Others may be able to weigh in and help your lovely boy to recover. Fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks.

I normally use Aqueon's Betta Bowl Conditioner, but ran out and used Reptisafe (which, as you noted, I use for my turtles) as the store was out of the Aqueon at the time. I'll give them a call and see if they have it or the SeaChem back in stock.

He doesn't seem to be in quite as much distress since I moved him to the QT, but then it again, that can be a bit subjective. As you can see from the picture, he's still not eating.

Didn't know if I should go ahead and start him on a broad anti-bacterial treatment such as Furan 2 or Maracyn I & II, or give him a little bit more time to see if the bladder and eye issues stabilize.
 

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Hello!
I agree with what @AndreaPond posted above. Are his most recent water changes using the Reptisafe? If so I would get SeaChem Prime if you possibly can. It will assist with any water parameters being more stable for a day or two. Some plain IAL (Indian Almond Leaves) and Catalpas leaves to float in his tank will help as well. They have antibacterial and healing properties.

Is he in a QT tank now? (Is that what your picture is from). The concern that I would have about treating with antibiotics is that if the source of the infection/ stress/ bacteria then it would most likely come back, not be treated correctly, and/ or possibly make things worse. But I'm still learning all of this myself so please take my advice with a grain of salt.

I'm sure you already know that most bacterias and issues are already in their tanks (and their genes) and sit dormant until the fish is stressed and their immune system is unable to fight it off or keep it at bay.

Does he want to eat at all?
Do you have or can you post a picture of his regular tank as well?
Is he hanging out at the top more or at the bottom?
Are those dots on him, or is that the tank/ camera?
How is his poops? Are they solid, stringy, colored... etc?
Can you think of any other symptoms that weren't listed on the questionnaire?
Sorry for all the questions, @Veloran is usually pretty good at recommending antibiotics so any extra information you can provide will help tremendously!

I tagged him so hopefully, he can give you better advice.
 

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The makers of Reptisafe do not list it as acceptable to use with fish. However, they do say it will help slime coat in fish. So whether it is or not depends on how you read the manufacturer's blurb. I do doubt the Reptisafe is the cause of his problems.

Is there any possibility your forgot to add the conditioner? In the past I have (even when not distracted) and my fish acting not quite right jogged my memory. That is one reason he might seemingly less stressed in the QT tank.

If budget allows, I would look into getting a heater. Many of us have used Hydor in smaller tanks and really like them. Hygger also makes an adjustable. I haven't used it but here's a link:
 

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Hi, first item on Reptisafe, I see there is a lot of controversy about it's use with fish. I can't make a recommendation either way, however, what concerns me is that it does not have a specific list of ingredients. Additionally, I am concerned that while it may be a decent dechlorinator for amphibians and reptiles, I don't know (especially with the chelating ingredients) what it does to a fish's osmoregulation and electrolytic balance.

Can you tell if he has some sort of fluid retention (bloating, etc)? It looks that way in the picture, but it may just be the angle. It appears that he is in some trouble, but I don't want to start him on something like Furan-2 for his cloudy eye unless he is showing other symptoms.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks again for the replies.

He's still about the same. Hasn't eaten since late Saturday/Early Sunday, and still just floating at the top of the tank as in the picture. He's still showing some signs of life, as when I walk up to the tank, his fins start going a hundred miles an hour, and which time he corkscrews around until he levels out for a short distance before coming back to a rest (although he does seem to be laying more on his side than he was before). As for bloating, there does indeed appear to some, although not to the extreme degree that I seen in photos of other fish I've come across on the net.

Should I go ahead and start him on Epsom salt dips, in hopes that may provide some relief? I've read contradictory things around the net in regards the use of Epsom salts in Bettas, but I'm willing to try anything at this point. Also, in addition to dips, should I add some Epsom salt directly to the QT itself (as there seems to differing opinions in regards to that as well).
 

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Go ahead and start him on some Epsom salt (make sure it's plain and unscented), do a bath, just dissolve 1 tsp / gal in some tank water and add it to the QT. Let's start at 5 days and see if we need to add more.
How is is eye, still cloudy?
If he starts to decline more, we may have to look at meds.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Started the Epsom salts. Can't tell about his eye as he is now fully laying on his side, with that eye pointed downward. Every time I get close, he corkscrews off and swims away, only to come to rest on that side again. I'll try again later, but don't want to have him burn up all his energy reserves swimming around too much.

Curious as to how long can a Betta go without eating, as he hasn't eaten since last Saturday.
 

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They can go weeks without eating, the bigger issue now is his lethargy.
Can you get another picture of him?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Not the best picture, but as before, he won't stay still when he sees me (I'll try again in a minute). Notice he has gone from hanging vertically to almost completely flat (bloating seems to have increased as well).

1021489
 

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Ok, that's not good, he's in trouble.
I have to take a a best case assessment that he's got a bacterial infection that's causing the buoyancy and bloating issue. It's either that or organ failure which we can't do anything about.
Can you get your hands on Kanaplex? I know you mentioned Furan-2, that would be a second choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
No Kanaplex, and Furan-2 is out of stock. We had a Mom and Pop store that had just about anything and everything under the sun, but the big box pet stores came in and put them out of business. Now outside of a few API products, you're pretty much out of luck.

What they did have was:

API EM Erythromycin

API Super Ick Cure Powder (does contain Nitrofurazone, although I believe at a lesser concentration than Furan-2)

API Fin & Body Cure (Doxycycline)

API Triple Sulfa

API Fungus Cure (Acriflavine)

As the API Fin & Body and Ick Cures have the components of Furan-2, I didn't know if I could use them together in combination as a replacement. How about using the two of them in combination with Erythromycin (or would that be too much for the system to handle at one time)?

I thought I could turn to Amazon Prime, but with the upheavals associated with COVID, I can't get anything delivered earlier than next week, which will be too late.

Thanks again, and if there anything I can do with the above available medicines (either by themselves or in combination) let me know, as I'm afraid that's all I have to work with.
 

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Start with the API EM Erythromycin.
It's not as effective but it's the strongest antibiotic on that list. Don't mix meds, it's dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Started Erythromycin. I recall using it back in the 80's when I had regular aquariums, but never seemed to have much luck with it, but something's better than nothing.

He seems to have gone downhill quite a bit since yesterday, so I'm not holding out much hope at this point (but one never knows, so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed).

Was able to find some Kanaplex (which can get here on Sunday), so I went ahead and ordered it in case (god forbid) my other two Bettas might need it in the future.
 

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If you've started the Erythromycin already, complete the full round even if the Kanaplex gets here. Once the round is done, we may need to give him a day off and start him on Kanaplex (hope he's still hanging on).
 
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