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Please Help Daniel the Betta!


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Daniel is a ~1 year old Betta dealing with chronic fin loss and two white bumps. I’ve tried a lot of things and I’m at a loss as to what to do next. I just want my little man to feel better. 😭


-        - Any guesses as to what the white bumps are? The two white bumps have been there since at least January 2021 but probably longer and do not seem to have changed in size. He has not gained any more bumps and is not bothered by the current bumps.

-       -  What to do next for his fin deterioration? He is in a hospital tank and I have tried Maracyn Two, General Cure (Praziquantel/Metronidazole), 1 tsp salt per gallon for five days, 1.5 tsp per gallon for 10 days, Melafix, Pimafix, and almond leaves.


Daniel lived at my work from March 2020 to March 2021 in a 5 gallon tank with a Top Fin Compact Aquarium Heater and Tetra Whisper internal filter. It had gravel on the bottom, silk plants, moss ball, and hiding spot. He had fin loss and an episode of lethargy that resolved with aquarium salt and betta fix (or they resolved on their own).

Below is the timeline since I’ve had him home:

3/5 – Brought Daniel and his tank home and performed 50% water change. Fins were mostly intact with a couple tears in his caudal fin. I added a light to his tank lid and it was on 14 hours a day.

3/10 – Fins appeared to be getting worse so removed the activated carbon pouch (read: high flow with no baffling 😅) and dosed Melafix from 3/10 to 3/14.

3/14 – Returned carbon pouch to internal filter. (It had dried out probably killing all the good bacteria.)

3/18 – Tested water parameters which were normal but for a pH of 8.2, temp at 80*F. At this point I reduced the light schedule to 10 hours a day.

3/20 – Found two new holes in caudal and anal fin.

3/21 – 3/22 – Performed a 60% water change and dosed 1 tsp salt per gallon every 12 hours for three doses. *

3/23 – Noted a new hole in his dorsal fin. Removed activated carbon pouch again and administered a dose general cure every 48 hours for three doses (3/23-3/27).

3/29 – Daniel had horrible fin loss; at least 30% of his caudal fin with jagged edges and bloody tips. He went into a 5 gallon quarantine tank with a Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater and a Hikari Bacto-Surge High Density Foam Filter. I started treating him with Maracyn Two following the directions on the package (3/29 to 4/2). Temp: 76*F

3/31 – Daniel began acting lethargic.

4/1 – Added 2.5 ml of Ich-X. Tested water parameters which were normal but for pH of 8.2. Did a 30% water change and added an almond leaf.

4/2 – Daniel was so lethargic he could barely swim up to the surface and was just lying motionless on the bottom. He refused food for the first time.

4/3 – Still lethargic and refusing food so I did a 30% water change and started dosing Melafix, Pimafix (4/3 to 4/10) and did 1 tsp salt per gallon.

4/4 – 4/10 – He perked up and his fins became less ragged; he started eating again.

4/11 – Did a 30% water change maintaining salt concentration.

4/13 – Water test was normal but for pH of 8.0. Treated 1 tsp salt per gallon.**

4/18 – Did 30% water change and increased salt concentration to 1.5 tsp per gallon. **

4/20 – Daniel’s fins started trending worse again, the edges seemed thinner.

4/21 – Daniel’s anal fin is definitely getting more frayed and stringy. I changed out his heater to a Cobalt Neo-Therm heater so that I could increase the temperature to 80*F.

4/27 – Did a 50% water change and did not add any salt. Cleaned sponge filter.

* Erik Johnson’s Betta Treatment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RernXiqBfFg

** https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/aquarium-salt-for-sick-fish?_pos=2&_sid=9b971b0da&_ss=r


He was originally fed Aqueon Betta Food but after the lethargic episode the pellets were too big for him and I switched him to Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Baby Pellets. At the office he was fed three times a week (I inherited him with those feeding instructions) but when I brought him home, and did some googling, I started feeding him every day with fasting days sprinkled in. I feed him one pellet at a time and the total ranges from 3 – 6 pellets a day.


Through almost all of this, he has been a perky spunky boy who loves eating.

4/27 Water Parameters:

Temp: 79*F

API Freshwater Test Kit

pH – 8.0

Ammonia – 0 ppm

Nitrite – 0 ppm

Nitrate – 5ppm

Tetra 6-in-1

pH – 8.4

Nitrite – 0 ppm

Nitrate – 20 ppm

GH – 150 ppm (Hard)

KH – 80 ppm

Chlorine – 0 ppm

Tap Water Parameters

pH – 7.5 – 7.8

Ammonia – 0 ppm

Nitrite – 0 ppm

Nitrate – 10 – 20 ppm

GH – 150 ppm

KH – 40 ppm

Chlorine – 0 ppm


New fish owner makes many mistakes and tries to fix them but betta’s fins continue to deteriorate, what now?

Thanks in advance!













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I would take a step back and give him a break from treatment over treating can be just as bad as the disease it's self you might have killed off the bacterial causeing fin rot but it can take a while before you see improvement the white lumps can be the start of tumor in Betta or its injured it self it's difficult to no for sure

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I agree. It seems like you may have solved the problem at the beginning of the month when his fins took a turn for the better. What you’re seeing now in terms of thin edges could actually be regrowth. Give him two weeks off and see what happens.

If the white bumps aren’t bothering him, and they’ve made it through all the salt treatment and antibiotics, they could be harmless tumors.

He’s a pretty boy and you’re taking great care of him!

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