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83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a week ago one of my bettas passed away and left me rather devastated. He was one of two that I was taking care of for the first time on my own and I've had him for quite some time. So my roommate thought it would be nice to get me a new betta.

She bought the little guy from Walmart, and while he's a beautiful crowntail I quickly noticed some things I've never dealt with in all my years with these fish.

Parts of his tail inexplicably get thin in the middle, then thicken out. My first assumption was possibly fin rot, but then through research I learned of tail bitters. I've never seen him biting so I can't say which is which here. Regardless, I've started using aquarium salts in the water in addition to Prime and doing frequent water changes. Sunday (when I got him), Tuesday, and then just today.

Another thing I noticed is that within the week I've had him, he's refused to eat. Now, I'm a student without a car so I can't go to places on a whim nor can I buy brand after brand of food to satisfy a picky fish. I have Betta Bites and Omega One Buffet Pellets which I've both simply thrown in, broken up, and pre soaked. He still shows no interest in eating. I threw flakes in once as my roommate has flakes which he nibbled then spit out before refusing them entirely.

I plan on buying some garlic and attempting to soak pellets in garlic juice to see if this promotes him to eat. Although I've never done this so...I'm a little lost at where to begin.

ALSO...I've been looking around the net a lot lately- including this site- to make sure that I've been on the right track with this. I have never before dealt with a sick betta...and I saw something about poop color.

Now, this little guy hasn't been eating but he's pretty darn active. He flares at my older betta and swims around looking pretty healthy. He doesn't seem to be clamping his fins (he's pretty much mimicking the behavior of the older one besides tracking my finger. He shies away from that) but...his poop is coming out rather clear. I assumed it was from not eating but if this is parasites well...I'm at a loss at what to do.

Right now he's in a tank like the one on the left
It's a temporary arrangement until we can cure his fin rot and whatever else is wrong as the bigger tank houses another betta (a divider would separate them but it would still expose them to the same water so...)

Needless to say, this tank does not have filters. But it's the tank my mom bought for our bettas when I was a kid and I know for a fact that they can live out a VERY long life in those things. But it requires 100% water changes. I can't check the water, but seeing as the other betta is healthy and happy (eating like a pig and greeting me everyday) I can only assume that it's also suitable for him.

The only medication I have (which my mom reluctantly bought for me the one time she stopped by my apartment) is Bettafix, which I'm reluctant to use as I've heard very mixed reviews on it (although two different pet stores said it was really good). Anything else will take some MAJOR convincing to get anyone to take me...but obviously I didn't bring a fish into my home to kill him.

Any and all suggestions to get this guy in his proper glory are welcome.
And this...
is a cell phone picture of the little guy with the questionable fin rot circled around. I sadly can't take any better but I hope this will be enough for now.

I've dubbed the little guy Linebeck. If you get my username, you'll probably get the reference here. I thought it'd be funny since the other betta is named Bowser and my past one named Vaati.

So...yeah, I certainly hope I did this right.

83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
ah...I just realized I should've answered the little info thingy. Sorry. I hope double posting isn't frowned upon here. I can't find a way to edit

What size is your tank? shown in picture. Less than a gallon. Temp tank.
What temperature is your tank? Not sure but the room itself is 74-78
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Bites and Omega One Betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Right now, one pellet twice a day since he hasn't eaten anything and I'm observing him.


How often do you perform a water change? Right now every 3-4 days
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? Prime and now aquarium salt

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

I don't test the water, but my older betta uses the same water and is healthy.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? There might be more missing fin but I can't say for sure. If so, it's nothing significant.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No change. New fish that won't eat.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I got him home
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Lots of water changes, keeping uneaten food out of the tank, and adding aquarium salts
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not sure. He's a new fish.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Young. I've only had him a week and he's barely half the size of the other betta I've had since April.

83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am so so sorry for the multiple posts but I just discovered something and now I'm freaking out.

So I decided to do a little inspection with a flashlight and found out there's a PARASITE on my fish! It's long, clear and on his stomach. I can't tell if there are any more or if they're the cause of his fin problems or why he won't eat but UGH.

As I've said before, I have two fish. One is older and healthy. They're in separate tanks but I have an extra which I use to hold the fish while I clean their water. Before I knew this was a parasite I used the same tank for both. Healthy fish first. Then the sick one. I haven't had to clean the healthy one's tank yet so he hasn't come into contact with it but can he get contaminated? Also, I only have one net.

Until this point I've just been running things under hot water but I don't know if that will be enough.

Just...please I need all the help I can get.

3,848 Posts

I have never delt with external parasites but this is what the site says about them

External Parasites
•Symptoms: You may see parasites (other than ick) or you may not. Pay special attention to the area around the gills and fins. May dart and rub against decor, lose interest in food, lethargy, color loss
•Treatment: Some parasites can be treated conservatively with Aquarium Salt. For salt treatments, treat as you would with Ick. If conservative treatment does not work or if you have extenuating circumstances then there are a number of medications you could use. API’s General Cure and Jungle’s Parasite Clear fizz tablets are both affective ways to kill parasites. Do not combine with Aq.Salt.
•Alternative Medicines: I like PP for all stubborn external infections. It has never failed me, but it should only be used as a last resort.
For the suspeced area of fin rot - is there a black outline around the infected area? If not, he may of taken a bite out of his fins. The tank you have isn't very big. If you have another betta on the other side of the divider, it may be stressing him out which can be a of tail bitting. Boredom can also cause tail bitting. A bigger tank would be better - you can add in more decorations and a heater and more swimming space which will lead to a happier fishie :-D However if that is not possible right now, I understand. I got one guy in a 2 gallon storage container till I can get a better setup for him. ( storage containers make great, cheap homes for bettas by the way).

As for him not eatting, that's almost normal - especially for a walmart betta. Since they are not cared for in the store, many have really high ammonia levels in their cups, so it may take a week or two before they feel better. I would keep an eye on him just incase something else is going on. My last walmart betta didn't eat for over 3 weeks. He finally ate something yesterday! You can try freeze dried blood worms.

83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is a black outline around the area and he just lost a small chunk of tail.

The fish is by himself in a small tank until I can get him healthier. The bigger tank has a healthy fish and I don't want to hurt him. Although it's looking more and more like the small tank might remain this guy's permanent home...

I am certain he has parasites. I see a white string coming from where he should be pooping. I have noticed it 3 times now over the course of a few days.

Currently he refuses to leave the top of the tank. There's nothing he can really 'rub' against to relieve itching and since he's a new fish I can't appropriately judge his behavior. I also suspect he might be clamping his fins now...

I suppose I should ask... tuberculosis doesn't have symptoms like this, does it? I made the mistake of only having one net and I don't want to spread whatever this fish has to the healthy one. I'm more than certain that this little guy probably won't be with me all too long. My aquarium salt treatments aren't working and he's very quickly getting worse.
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