Q: KG wrote,

Hi Christie,

I was wondering if you could help me. You have a beautiful Betta blog and I was wondering if I could ask for your opinion regarding the course of treatment for my Betta. I have had this fish for approximately 9 months and bought him at a local pet store. He has been healthy until now. About 5 days ago he came down with what appeared to be fungus. It seems to slough off his body. For two days I used BettaFix but it didn’t seem to work so I purchased some MarOxy and began using it two days ago thinking it was true fungus. Today he did not look any better and I bought some Maracyn and aquarium salt. I now am using a combination of MarOxy and Maracyn and the salt (1/2 of teaspoon). The fish is in a 1 gallon tank. I changed the water two days ago completely. I usually do a full waster change every 5-6 days. I believe he got sick because there was a problem with my heat and the temperature dropped to 65 for two days. He is an unheated tank but my apartment is at a pretty steady 73-75 degrees in the winter and he seemed to be thriving. His color is still very good and he is active and even flaring. He is eating normally. Am I doing all that I can for him? Should I get stronger medicine? The store doesn’t have Bettamax but does have tetracycline. When should he get better? He has these white tufts at the end of his tail and dorsal fin which look as if he snagged some cotton. He also has some growth on his head especially around his gills and mouth.

I hope that you could give me some advice.

A: I’m sorry to hear your betta is under the weather. True fungus is pretty
uncommon with bettas and usually occurs on dead or dying tissue. Not
knowing exactly what your “fungus” looks like I have to guess that it
could be something more common like a bacterial infection. Something
like Flavobacterium columnare appears as a white, grey or brownish
fuzziness that often grows around the mouth and gills or along the top
of the back like a saddle. It can really appear anywhere but those are
the areas most commonly infected. Sometimes it looks short and tufty and
other times it comes in long wispy strings. Most people assume it is a
fungus but it’s actually a gram-negative bacterial infection and is
often treated successfully with Mardel’s Maracyn-Two. Since you haven’t
seen any improvement with MarOxy I would discontinue use. Regular
Maracyn treats gram-positive bacterial infections and is commonly used
in conjunction with Maracyn-Two since the great majority of infections
are gram-negative. It might be a good idea to try the two in combination
on your betta. Continue to keep the water clean, the fish’s water
temperature warm and stable and monitor him daily. Since Maracyn and
Maracyn-Two are antibiotics you should be sure to finish the entire
recommended course to avoid any antibiotic resistance. The addition of
an airstone can make your Betta more comfortable since antibiotics have
a tendency to strip oxygen from the water making it more difficult for
them to breathe.

I can’t say with total certainty that your betta has Flavobacteriumcolumnare but here’s a link to more information to help you make a
better determination.

Good luck and I will be thinking of you and your Betta.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Anonymous says:

    i think my betta has a fungus. But im not sure. He lived through the night. But he looks sick sick…. not eating and not moving alot. he floats to the top and sinks to the bottom. Budda has only been with us for a month, but he is beautiful and funny to watch, I dont want him to die. what should i do?

  2. Jamie says:

    I have had my betta for a couple years…maybe he is getting old or maybe he has a fungus….funny white clumps by his fin and beginning near his tail fin..:( Is it only a matter of time? Or is there a drop or something I can add to water bowl? he is hanging out alot at the bottom of his bowl too..struggles to eat his pellets.:( voegler816@aol.com

  3. Jerry says:

    My betta looks fuzzy the second you look at hims he’s beautiful and the survivng father of two beautiful baby girls and a baby boy QuICK Cure for him but he doesnt look like he has ick just furr and I lost my other Betta Lily to it but I dont know what to do please help!

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