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Sick betta


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Water Parameters:

  • pH= 8.2
  • Nitrates= 5
  • Hardness= 19
  • Nitrite=0
  • Ammonia=0
  • KH/Buffer= 12
  • Water Temperature= 79

My betta, Maverick, has been sick for almost a week. He is lethargic, has clamped fins and color loss. He spends all of his time on the bottom of the tank and hasn’t eaten in 2 days. I don’t know what’s wrong so I treated him yesterday with the trio of meds & dosing recommended by Cory- ParaCleanse, IchX and Maracyn. No improvement yet. 

I know my pH is too high but it’s been stable. I have almond leaves and fritz dark water to help with healing. 
I know I shouldn’t do a water change for 1 week. What do I do if my parameters get wacky?  I’m worried I’ll have an ammonia spike or my nitrates will get much higher. Also, if he’s not eating(& I’m not feeding him per instructions), will my biofilter crash?

I’m including pics in case someone has an idea of what’s going on. 

Thanks for any help!





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In my opinion, the trio dose one/dwell week thing is more for a preventative/precautionary thing for new addition fish.

In your case, there more clear, direct signs of illness. In this case, I believe it is better to dose based off instructions, and choose a med to target specific symptoms, if possible.

First off, make sure there is zero ammonia and zero nitrites. Any level can stress a fish, especially one that is already ill. Don't underestimate clean, fresh water. 50% water changes can be your friend during treatment, if needed.

Secondly, a bit of salt can help. Plants can tolerate a small amount of salt. (1 TBSP per 5-10 gallons). If you end up ramping it up to a medicinal level (such as 1 TBSP per/2-3 gallons), then it may be best to treat in a hospital tank.

Third would be medication. I don't know bettas, and can't tell much from your pics, so a broad spectrum antibiotic would be a reasonable choice. Maracyn (for gram +) Maracyn 2 OR Kanaplex (for Gram -) would be a good choice. If you suspect a parasite (White stringy poop/wasting away/thinning), then the Paracleanse that you are using is a good first choice. I have found these may be best mixed into food...although I realize your betta isn't eating. Kanaplex is good in food as well.

As for food during treatment, there are varying opinions. I would not fast the fish, personally. Food can boost the immune system, and help fight off illness. Bloodworms soaked in Garlic Guard may be tough to resist, and are a good choice when trying to get a fish to eat.

Good luck, and keep us posted. Colu is a member here, who always has solid advice regarding treatment. I am sure he'll chime in.

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