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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default Even the best Betta Keepers have problems

    0 Not allowed!
    I am, for all accounts, a Betta Guru. Though I only have two at present, I have had over a lifetime, hundreds of them. Back in the day, I've kept a rotating stock of 50 and was a breeder, and I've learned something......

    Doesn't matter what you know. I currently have one Betta, that is like three I've had in the past. No matter WHAT you do, how good the maintenance, housing, filtration........ the bugger is ALWAYS sick. My current lilting violet is Tiberius, and its driving me to drink. I've had him well over a year and a half, and with pretty good regularity, he has fin rot. Nothing in this tank has changed, not the parameters, water quality, filtration, temperature, feeding, nothing. Once every two months, his fins are falling off. He gets treated with the best care and meds, and he will heal up, look great, and a few weeks later.......... there it is again. Fine one day, next day, the fins are literally falling off.

    And so it goes. Fine Friday, go away for the weekend, come home Sunday night........ fin rot. Shred up, stringy fins, and now an extra helping of pop-eye! Of course, he is being treated with tender loving care, good medications, and tank maintenance. Its ridiculous. Its not my pet sitter doing anything either, she's been "Aqua-sitting" for years now, and is well versed in fish care.

    This has happened in the past when I had scores of Betta, and over that time I've had three, that had this same scenario. I have come to the conclusion that some Betta through breeding or other factors, are just extremely prone to illness. I obviously don't breed these guys when I come across them, no matter how pretty they are. I wish I had a way to find out the fish genetics behind this, but since I can't I just find it as frustrating as the get all.

    I do sympathize with those, especially new Betta keepers that just happen to pick the straw in the lot, and end up with one like Tiberius. To be told you are doing something wrong, when you know you aren't, is sooooooooo upsetting.

    For now, I am treating him and monitoring. However, I do want other Betta owners to know, if they are experiencing this, Its not you, its the fish.
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    A little further from sanity

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    0 Not allowed!
    Alright, put the drink down! I know you keep excellent care of your fish, so there must be something else going on here. Two things come to mind. One is, a long time ago I read an article on treating fin rot, and I am sorry I don't remember the article nor can I find it now but, if I remember correctly, it said sometimes fin rot can take up to two months to cure, even when the symptoms seem to be gone you need to continue treatment a while or it will reappear. The two month time frame seems to fit your situation so this might be what is happening here, and I will continue to search out the source of that information. The second thing that comes to mind is fin rot does not usually make the fins fall off in one day, are you sure he isn't eating his own fins, as an expert you know betta will sometimes do this for various reasons. Betta are very quirky fish and he may be one of the ones that need constant distractions to keep him occupied.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything Happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Rules: If you bend them long enough they turn into loopholes and you can walk right through them.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Continued fin rot that never seems to go completely away generally calls for an antibiotic, such as Maracyn 2, for gram negative bacteria. Not any antibiotic will work and it needs to target the gram negative so regular Maracyn will not be effective. Not sure if you have tried an antibiotic yet.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Gosh, this must be very frustrating! Some betta keepers apparently get good results with catappa leaf. After you follow LH's suggestion perhaps try that as preventive measure?

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    *winces* Poor little guy.

    I have one, Comet the pale pink, whom I've had for just over two years now, and his anal fin is going the same way Midnight's dorsal did. Clumping and cracking and coming apart.

    The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of the act

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    In general, this post wasn't a freak out, lol, but just a statement of fact from my experience. This Betta has been treated, several times in fact, and for well over the duration specified. Antibiotics have been used, and in fact, the treatments are rotated, so that an immunity to one antibiotic would not happen. This particular fish, like two I've had in the past, seems to get every illness known to Betta-kind, regardless of conditions. Speaking to several others who rear and keep Betta, for some reason, there's one Betta you come across that is sick as a dog, all the time, no matter what you do.

    I am sad of course, that this particular fish is now currently dying. Though the treatments being used should be working, it has been a three month down-slide with new ailments creeping into the mix. For reference:

    6 Gallon Fluval edge, no tank mates
    Zoo Med 511 Nano canister filter
    3rd day water changes 50%
    Temp 82 constant using Marina digital
    Parameters ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate trace
    Bare bottom tank, all gravel removed after first bout of illness (over a year ago) to maintain cleanliness
    Silk plants
    Detritus removed immediately
    Prime water conditioner
    Atison's Betta Spa

    Treatments used: Coppersafe (for original illness of velvet). Meds removed after full treatment and cure with Seachem Cuprisorb

    Maracin, Maracin 2, Paraguard, Seachem Kanaplex, Seachem Metraconozole, Ampicilin

    These medications of course, not used at the same time, but in different courses of treatment. The only ones I have used in Tandem are Maracin/Maracin 2 as a 1/2 punch for some serious fin rot, and Paraguard/Kanaplex for the same at a different date. All medications -have- worked,

    As you can well imagine, the antibiotics take a serious toll on the cycle, which is not helping health matters much.

    His current bout of illness is non-reactive to medications, leading me to believe he is now immune system compromised. Though he has had fin regrowth, the pop-eye is unaffected by medications and his health declines rapidly.

    This particular Betta has been ill since four weeks after I acquired him, and in bouts of about every two months since them, regardless of immaculate conditions. I have done everything possible to maintain his health, however, I realize quite seriously, that there are some Betta prone to illness, and even the best conditions are no inoculation against problems.

    I will continue to be treating him of course, to the best of my ability, but feel no particular self loathing that I can't help him. It is beyond the scope of what a fish keeper can do anything about.

    I have come to the conclusion, since I've seen this before, rare, but I have experienced it, there are some Betta through bad genetic breeding that are severely prone to illnesses. I feel terrible, that some new Betta keepers, by the luck of the draw, may have one such as this, and for all their efforts, can't help them. Even worse, when they try to find help, and are told it is a dirty tank, poor fishkeeping, lack of care/filtration/maintenance or lack of medicating.

    Heck, I've been doing this for roughly 30 years, and I got told this too! There is nothing more sad, and frustrating than beating yourself in, doing everything in your power and control, and it just doesn't work.

    For now I will continue his treatment, until either he recovers, or sadly, passes. It has become a full time second job for several months now...... still, there may be hope. Doubtful, but I will try regardless.
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Tiari, I get it. I'm no expert, but I've heard stories about the constantly-sick betta. They are just immunocompromised, who knows why. This happens in other animals, fish are not excluded (I'd imagine). I'm sorry to hear that it's happening, though.

    For all we know, it could be simply that the fish is literally allergic to itself, or to something in the food, or just something unavoidable in the water. This lowers its resistance to bacteria and BAM, constant illness. Kinda like humans and celiac disease. Wheat is literally everywhere, and the allergy can result in tons of secondary illnesses, being extremely difficult to detect.

    I do hope Tiberius pulls through yet again and somehow this stops happening. This is very good reminder that we're not always in control sometimes, even though we try so darn hard and have all the knowledge possible.

    Oh, a tiny tiny idea: UV sterilizer, small one, to reduce free floating bacteria in the water? I know they have little ones. If he is immuncompromised, this may help reduce the numbers of "harmless" stuff that's making him sick. But you know, even that may not help, and isn't good if you have plants in his tank.
    1 - 55 gallon planted community
    3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
    My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Elgin, Illinois USA

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    0 Not allowed!
    Bad genetics show up in all animal species and have a detrimental effect on quality of life and lifespan. I've had cats who came from horrible conditions live very long lives and those who had the best of care die young.

    Sorry he is doing poorly - it's obvious you have done everything possible.
    My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
    75 gal - Gold Pristella Tetras, Scissortail Rasboras, Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, Leopard & Zebra Danios, Wild Caught BNP
    29 gals - Left Tank - Diamond Tetras. Right Tank - Harlequin Rasboras
    Future 40 Long - Candy Cane & Rummynose Tetras

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain"

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Bethy, I didn't think of a UV sterilizer........ that's actually a brilliant Idea.
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

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