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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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I agree I think antibiotic treatment is the best way to go as he isn't eating I would treat with kanaplex in the water as it adsorbed by the fish so it's useful in treating fish that are refusing food you could try add seachems garlic guard to his food it acts as an appetite stimulant to encourage him to eat

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Yes I would do a water change and add carbon to remove the trio I would treat with kanaplex I wouldn't use Kanaplex and maracyn together you can use maracyn and  maracyn2 together as for metroplex I would only use metroplex and kanaplex together if you using kanaplex to treat his food and metroplex added to his tank

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