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Advice on Popeye Betta


Skymoon
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Hi i'm a little new here and I was recommended to ask for some advice on this forum on my poor betta fish that suddenly got Popeye. I have a Paludarium that has a gecko on top and my betta fish on bottom along with some cherry shrimp. The aquatic part is at least 15 Gallons. 

Here are my water parameters 

  • Ph 7.2
  • Nitrates ppm 25
  • Hardness 300?
  • Nitrite ppm 0
  • Ammonia 0
  • KH/Buffer 80
  • Water Temperature 80 F. 

So I recently got a betta fish two months ago and he was doing really fine and very active, eats anything he can fit his mouth too until 3 days ago from today I noticed he wasn't nearly as active when i was going to feed him for the night. He was resting near the top corner of the tank and looked fine until he turned to the other side and saw his eye had swollen terribly. After a quick google search it seems he got Popeye though its to be only on one side. The next day I quickly got some fritz maracyn and was told to do a water change and then add the medication that day and for 5 days, then water change on the 6th day. I've also added 1 Indian almond leaf in the tank as I have heard helps sick betta fish.

On day two he seemed better and got some apatite back and fins aren't as clamped, then day three he was eating but now is hiding in the back tank behind some wood instead of the front corner. I'm concerned if it's getting worse? I've never dealt with Popeye and it seemed he had a lot of slime coat coming off of him along with noticing his face looking really swollen, and something white appearing below his eye. I'm now wondering if it's an injury then bacterial infection, or maybe a tumor growing since his cheek is swollen now? Not only that it seems his head has also swelled a little since I have an old picture when I first got him. Does Popeye take a while to see any signs of improvement, is he even improving or getting worse? Or is there another issue he is having besides the Popeye? Any insight and advice would be very appreciated. Thanks!

 

The pictures below are from oldest to the most recent pictures. 

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Popeye can because by a number of things such as poor water quality bacterial infections injury when it's in one eye it's usually caused by an injury as you have live plants I would do aquarium salt baths 1 table spoon for 1 gallon for no more than 15 minutes for 5 days the salt will help reduce the swelling of the eye I would add more Indian almond leaves as they have antibacterial and antifungal properties depending on the quality of the leaves you might have to add one leaf per gallon to get a beneficial effect and monitor for the next couple of days give an update if you seeing no improvement after the 5 days of salt baths @Skymoon

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@Colu Thanks so much for the reply. So for the salt baths I would get a separate container and soak him for 15 min. Do I use tap water or his tank water? I only have 9 indian almond leaves and my tank is a 15 gallon so I'll just dump them all in there then and get some more is it possible that I can overdo the almond leaves?  

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On 3/6/2023 at 11:35 PM, Skymoon said:

@Colu Thanks so much for the reply. So for the salt baths I would get a separate container and soak him for 15 min. Do I use tap water or his tank water? I only have 9 indian almond leaves and my tank is a 15 gallon so I'll just dump them all in there then and get some more is it possible that I can overdo the almond leaves?  

What I do is use tank water as it has the same water parameters and temperature for salt baths and just top off the tank I have used large amounts of almond leaves to my tanks to simulate leaf litter it only lowered my pH by 0.3 as you have very hard water it shouldn't affect your pH it very beneficial 

Edited by Colu
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Posted (edited)

@Colu Thanks! Do I add more maracyn since I've taken out the tank water and added new water? I've done the salt bath 1 tablespoon for 1 gallon for 15 min today and it looks like it caused the fishes eye to bleed. The cap looks like it's coming off now? Should I be concerned? 

Edited by Skymoon
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On 3/7/2023 at 1:02 AM, Skymoon said:

@Colu Thanks! Do I add more maracyn since I've taken out the tank water and added new water? I've done the salt bath 1 tablespoon for 1 gallon for 15 min today and it looks like it caused the fishes eye to bleed. The cap looks like it's coming off now? Should I be concerned? 

It could be a slight hemorrhage to the eye that's more visible now the white  flim has started to  come off if the the eye is visible bleeding I would holed off on the salt baths just in case you cause more trauma to the eye when you catch him no I wouldn't add more maracyn I would just keep treating following the instructions on the box if your just removing 1 gallon of water  for your salt baths it shouldn't dilute the medication to the point that it's less effective 

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@Colu Thank you again for helping me out. You've been a big help and hopefully my betta will pull through! I'll make sure to wait on the salt baths then until he doesn't look like it's bleeding. I'll give an update when I finish his medication regiment! 

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So it's day 7 of the medication regiment and that means update time. Here's an update and it's not looking so good... apparently part of his face has fallen off I don't know if that's good or bad? I believe I mentioned on my original post something white was growing under his eye. Well after Monday it got bigger and kept growing! at first I thought it was just his slime coat trying to really repair what was happening on that side of the cheek or something but it kept growing until Thursday and then after a water change that the medication called for, half of that white stuff fell off and now today all of its off and it looks like it left a big chunk his cheek is gone and his eye doesn't look so good. I checked the water and pretty much the perimeters are the same, give or take a slight change in ph because of the almond leaves i added along with 0 ammonia. My shrimps are doing fine despite all of this. Some I guess good news is that his behavior is still the same despite the bad injury, he's still been eating and even was very eager to eat yesterday too. I'm assuming I continue for tomorrow the maracyn regiment again? @Colu

 

Here's a picture on his progression on what happened.

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Sorry to say he's not looking good it could be bacteria  eating away at his face or growth below the eye that has ruptured that could have caused the Popeye if you have a quarantine tank I would move him and treat with aquarium salt 1 table spoon for 2 gallons and follow up with a course of maracyn2 the active ingredient minocycline is a more broad spectrum antibiotic treatment also has anti-inflammatory properties  @Skymoon

Edited by Colu
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Thanks for the reply! Do you happen to know what causes bacterial rot? if you don't that's alright I'm just wondering if I might have caused something to do so? I'm just surprised he got it in the first place. I'll try to get a quarantine tank then. I'm assuming I get him a 2 gallon add the salt and maracyn2 and keep him there until he's well? Also should I use my tank water to fill the quarantine tank so that it's already established instead of direct tap water? I don't have any maracyn2 on me and two of the fish stores I go to don't have any and i'm not sure if the third one will have it. Amazon also doesn't sell it so if I am unable to get it should I stick with maracyn? Thanks again for the advice, this has been an interesting learning experience for me, I was hopping it wasn't going to get this bad. @Colu

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It's an opportunistic bacterial infection that eats away at the tissue it could also be a ruptured growth below the eye in that case the medication and salt will help prevent secondary infection as you have done a course of maracyn that treats gram positive bacteria I would treat with maracyn2 as that treats gram negative bacterial infections if you can't get maracyn2 then I would treat with seachems kanaplex it treats gram negative and some gram positive bacteria @Skymoon

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Thank you for the explanation. I'll try checking for the maracyn2 with this one fish store and if they don't have it i'll look for seachems kanaplex. How much seachems kanaplex do I use for a 2 gallon tank? and will it become an issue with the maracyn I already have in my tank water if I filled the 2 gallon hospital tank? Should I start with new water and just use conditioned tap water instead? Thanks again for the reply. @Colu

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On 3/11/2023 at 2:12 AM, Skymoon said:

Thank you for the explanation. I'll try checking for the maracyn2 with this one fish store and if they don't have it i'll look for seachems kanaplex. How much seachems kanaplex do I use for a 2 gallon tank? and will it become an issue with the maracyn I already have in my tank water if I filled the 2 gallon hospital tank? Should I start with new water and just use conditioned tap water instead? Thanks again for the reply. @Colu

I would use water from his  tank he's how you dose maracyn2 and  kanaplex in smaller tanks kanaplex come with a scoop

 

 

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Edited by Colu
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So update time. Today was my betta's third dose on Kanaplex. At first on day one of the medication I thought he was doing better since it seems to stop the white growth from going deeper on his face and was producing some slime coat and day 2-3 he seemed the same though more lethargic but he was still eating nicely. day 4 isn't looking so good, he's the same but I'm starting to see on his body underneath his skin the same white stuff that caused his face to fall off starting to develop at his side. At first I was thinking he might have some kind of hole in the head disease but now i'm worried he might have Fish TB and have decided to get him tested for it. I'm checking some vets to see if they do fish testing. Should I be concerned that he might have fish TB? @Colu

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On 3/15/2023 at 4:40 AM, Skymoon said:

So update time. Today was my betta's third dose on Kanaplex. At first on day one of the medication I thought he was doing better since it seems to stop the white growth from going deeper on his face and was producing some slime coat and day 2-3 he seemed the same though more lethargic but he was still eating nicely. day 4 isn't looking so good, he's the same but I'm starting to see on his body underneath his skin the same white stuff that caused his face to fall off starting to develop at his side. At first I was thinking he might have some kind of hole in the head disease but now i'm worried he might have Fish TB and have decided to get him tested for it. I'm checking some vets to see if they do fish testing. Should I be concerned that he might have fish TB? @Colu

I don't think it TB what I would do is complete the course of kanaplex and then follow up with a course of sachems metroplex  in food feeding a small amount twice a day for upto 21 days the active ingredient metronidazole treat's anaerobic bacteria that can cause body rot you will also need seachems focus that binds the medication to the food 

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Edited by Colu
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I'm very much upset with my fish. I though he was turning for the worst but then today this morning he's acting like his old healthy self which i haven't seen since he's gotten sick. He's moving around like he didn't get hurt at all. Should I still still do the metroplex? or should I continue using Kanaplex? He's finished his first course of Kanaplex today. @Colu

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On 3/15/2023 at 3:34 PM, Skymoon said:

I'm very much upset with my fish. I though he was turning for the worst but then today this morning he's acting like his old healthy self which i haven't seen since he's gotten sick. He's moving around like he didn't get hurt at all. Should I still still do the metroplex? or should I continue using Kanaplex? He's finished his first course of Kanaplex today. @Colu

If your still noticing the white patches under the skin getting worse then I would follow up with the course of metroplex in food 

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Posted (edited)

@Colu

Thanks for the reply! Should I do a water change and continue dosing him Kanaplex until white on his cheek goes away or do I just do a water change and see if he gets better? Can I feed him the metroplex just in case or would that be overdosing him with too much medication? I managed to get metroplex today but unable to get focus and the garlicgaurd. I should get it in the mail by friday though. It also seems like he's starting to get black speckling on his skin where his injured side is.

Here's hoping he gets better!

Edited by Skymoon
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On 3/16/2023 at 4:13 AM, Skymoon said:

@Colu

Thanks for the reply! Should I do a water change and continue dosing him Kanaplex until white on his cheek goes away or do I just do a water change and see if he gets better? Can I feed him the metroplex just in case or would that be overdosing him with too much medication? I managed to get metroplex today but unable to get focus and the garlicgaurd. I should get it in the mail by friday though. It also seems like he's starting to get black speckling on his skin where his injured side is.

Here's hoping he gets better!

Black marks are a sign it's starting to heal think of it like a bruise I would do a water change and monitor if he starts to get worse then  follow up with the metroplex food

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@Colu

 

Thanks again i'll keep an eye on him for the next few days and update if something major happens! So far it seems his popeye is no longer swollen, sad to say its so injured during the whole process of fighting off the bacteria that even if it does heal he won't be able to see through it again. Here's hopping he gets better!

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  • 3 weeks later...

So it’s the final update time. I’ve been doing the Metroplex for the three weeks and I thought it cleared up the infection. Been doing the regular water changes and usual. The past few days it came back so I tried feeding him the medication again but slowly it wasn’t getting better to the point he isn’t eating anymore or moving, this is the worst I’ve seen him ever. Tonight I have decided to euthanize him since he’s been suffering more than a month and I think his quality of life isn’t going to get better. I’m pretty sure he has hole in the head since there’s now a big patch on his head that’s being eaten away. @Colu thanks so much for helping me out on this journey it’s so sad that it ended up this way. 

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On 4/7/2023 at 1:46 AM, Skymoon said:

So it’s the final update time. I’ve been doing the Metroplex for the three weeks and I thought it cleared up the infection. Been doing the regular water changes and usual. The past few days it came back so I tried feeding him the medication again but slowly it wasn’t getting better to the point he isn’t eating anymore or moving, this is the worst I’ve seen him ever. Tonight I have decided to euthanize him since he’s been suffering more than a month and I think his quality of life isn’t going to get better. I’m pretty sure he has hole in the head since there’s now a big patch on his head that’s being eaten away. @Colu thanks so much for helping me out on this journey it’s so sad that it ended up this way. 

Sorry to hear that he's gotten worse he could have developed  body rot that eaten away at the skin you could try treating him with a more broad spectrum antibiotic treatment such as kanaplex or maracyn2 if you think he's quality of life isn't there any more and he's suffering in that situation I would euthanize him with clove oil 

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Yeah before he would be perky and show he might recover from all of this, along with a hearty appetite but this is something I think he’s suffering big time what he’s acting like now, and he’s still trying to recover from his face slumping off. How much clove oil do I need to euthanize him? @Colu

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On 4/7/2023 at 2:21 AM, Skymoon said:

Yeah before he would be perky and show he might recover from all of this, along with a hearty appetite but this is something I think he’s suffering big time what he’s acting like now, and he’s still trying to recover from his face slumping off. How much clove oil do I need to euthanize him? @Colu

He's some information on using clove oil Screenshot_20230407-0254572.jpg.bf5d2e837b6c40de0f639b4e22b7e847.jpg

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