My Betta is near death. I suspect fin rot. He's not eating, he's very lethargic. This began yesterday. His tank is 3.5

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Customer: My Betta is near death. I suspect fin rot. He's not eating, he's very lethargic. This began yesterday. His tank is 3.5 gallons with a heater and filtration. We did a water change yesterday and added Bettafix. Is there anything else I can do?
JA: A lack of appetite can seem worrying. The Expert will know how to help. Does the betta fish seem to be in any pain?
Customer: I can't tell. I don't see an injury.
JA: What's the betta fish's name and age?
Customer: Casper. We got him in January. I don't know his age.
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Casper?
Customer: He has two tank mates: a mystery snail and nerite snail
Answered by Anna in 8 mins 1 year ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,050 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience keeping fish. Can you send me a picture of Casper so I can see his condition? Also, what have you tried for treatment? Thank you.

Customer
Water change last night and Bettafix. He's in a spot where I can't get a pic.
Customer
Customer attachment 3/7/2021 4:59:27 PM
Customer
If you can see his tail at the top near the heater, he is draped over the plants.

Thank you. I’ll take a look and be right back.

I can see enough to tell that you are right. He does have severe fin rot, and also that he is near death, as you suspected. I feel terrible to tell you this, but I believe you deserve honesty. I don’t think anything you can do will help. It looks like he is too weak to swim, and he probably isn’t able to eat anymore.

If I’m wrong, and he can eat, you can try a better treatment.

Breeders have turned to intensive inbreeding in bettas in order to get the long fins and unusual colors. But another result is that the fish now have weak immune systems. As a result, severe fin rot has become common. In some bettas, the fin rot becomes chronic and has to be treated several times a year.In others, one treatment solves the problem. But in others yet, nothing works.

Bettafix is a very mild antibiotic, and can’t deal with this severe fin rot. The infection has progressed to a severe level. If there is a chance of saving him, you’ll need a stronger antibiotic. Kanamycin (brand name Kanaplex) has been found to be most effective against fin rot, but can only be dosed for 5 gallon or larger tanks. Since your tank is smaller than that, you can try Maracyn 2 or Furan 2. Both are good options, but not quite as effective as Kanaplex.

If Casper can’t swim well and can’t eat, you’ll have to make a choice. You can either let nature take its course, or you can choose to humanely end his suffering. If you need to know the best way to do that, or if you have more questions, just let me know. I’m sorry not to have better news.

Customer
Thank you so much. This is a learning process. We are new fish owners.

You’re welcome. I understand. Fish keeping is more complicated than it seems. If you think of anything else, just let me know. I’m glad to help.

Customer
Thank you :-)
Customer
Can you tell me if I need to do a complete water change after Casper passes since we added Bettafix to the tank? We have two snails we moved to another tank while we tried to help Casper.

Yes, if you want to put the snails back in, you will need to do a complete water change.Snails are extra sensitive to medications, and I don’t like to take chances even with a med that’s supposed to be safe.

Customer
Thank you so much.

You’re very welcome.

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Anna
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