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Fish/Sick betta fish


Worthington fin
Worthington fin  
Fin 2
Fin 2  
QUESTION: Hello! Hopefully you can help me and my male betta Worthington. Worthington lives in a 2 gallon heated tank that has a water change every four days. Somehow he got fin rot and his beautiful fins are really short. I don't think he has the fin rot anymore but his fins haven't grown back. Is there anything I can do to help this? I use API stress coat + water conditioner that helps with damaged fins but they haven't grown. I want them to grow for his own sake so he can swim better, though his swimming still seems fine. I also use a little aquarium salt as a destresser. He seems to feel fine and his attitude hasn't changed. Also, on his tail fin is a lump the same color as he is (white) that sometimes turns red. Any idea what this could be? Thank you!

ANSWER: Worthington is a beautiful white betta! I envy you, white betta's are pretty uncommon!

The problem is you don't have a filter! Betta's need AT LEAST a 5 gallon aquarium with heater + filter. Did you know they sell 5 gallon starter aquariums at wal-mart for 20 dollars? They come with hood lamp + filter!

From what I can see in the picture is that you have a bowl heater. They are unsafe. The temperature goes up and down like a roller coaster and fish die from fluctuating temperatures. It also causes great stress. In-tank mini heaters are best with a thermometer (excuse if I spell this wrong English is not neccessarily my first language).

What you can do is get a in-tank filter and that will help tremendously.

Without a filter the aquarium produces ammonia which is causing that bump, its ammonia burns. In stagnent water there is low oxygen and crazy water chemistry. Water chemistry is key to keeping fish alive hence why it is reccomended you do weeky water tests!

Fin-rot is caused by poor water chemistry it will never heal unless you get a filter going in there so that the water chemistry can balance out.

By the way aquarium salt is a tonic for fish funguses and white spot. It is false advertisement that it "reduces stress" as it says on the bag/box. Aquarium salt does nothing to cure stress. Just think about it, Betta's are freshwater fish that have lived in freshwater for thousands and thousands of years why would they suddenly need salty water?

Remember to declorinate your water every time you do your weekly water changes. Clorine in tap water can kill in a matter of hours.

Otherwise Worthington looks in great shape and the nameplate on his tank looks cool as well! With good care and excellent water quality he can live 8-10 years easily.

My sources? I have had dozens of past Betta Splendens and sorority tanks. My beloved show-breed Elephant Ear Betta who had snowy white "ears" and a rich purple body passed on this summer at 8 1/2 years old and he lived in an 8 gallon aquarium.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much! I saw an elephant ear betta for the first time the other day and it was spectacular! Yours must have been beautiful. One more question- how long should I let this new tank cycle once I get it all set up? Thanks again!

ANSWER: It depends. The normal range is 4-8 weeks. When you are cycling do not do water changes or gravel siphonings. Just do weekly water tests.

You can cycle the aquarium with a bottle of StressZyme, which contains live nitrifying bacteria and some fish flakes.

Once you got the filter up and running every day feed "invisible" fish and the flakes will decompose and create Ammonia at the bottom. Add the proper amount of stresszyme as directed on the bottle.

Test with strips weekly or take it to your local petstore which will do it for free.

The water will get really white/cloudy and you'll know that its a bacteria bloom and that the bacteria is producing. This will clear up it is a good sign.

There will be Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, and PH on the strips.

First at the beginning of the cycle Ammonia will have a deadly spike.
Second Nitrites will come and kill Ammonia and Nitrites will have a deadly spike. Some Ammonia may be leftover.
Third Nitrates will come and kill both Ammonia and Nitrites.
Fourth the tank will settle out.

The final and fully cycled parameters should read...

Ammonia- 0
Nitrites- 0
Nitrates 20-30 PPM
PH 7.0-8.0

Best of luck to you!

- Ash

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello again,
I'm here to do a follow up on Worthington. He doesn't seem to be much better at all. He spends most of his time lying at the bottom of the tank and doesn't have as much energy. I assume this is because it tires him to swim with shorter fins? His tank cycled and I got him in the new 5 gal with a better heater. Do you have any suggestions to help him out more? He still has a fairly regular appetite but he just doesn't seem to feel well. Thanks for your help. ~Leah

You should give him some treats or some protein to help up his energy. Frozen Bloodworms or Brineshrimp is good.

Try feeding him some garlic juice to pick up his immune system. Also check the water temp. If its too high it'll cause lethargy.

Do you have a filter on the 5 gallon?


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Ash WolFF


My knowledge of fish ranges from freshwater and saltwater fish compatibility and care from easy livebearers to monster fish. I can help you set up a simple freshwater aquarium to a complicated reef tank. I would be pleased to assist anyone who is new to the aquarium hobby.


I have been in the aquarium hobby for eight years mostly dealing with large and small aquariums. I keep mostly monster fish (Arowana's, Large Cichlids; Oscars, and freshwater/saltwater eels specifically) but now that I am in college I am keeping a 30 gallon tropical community and a 45 gallon brackish aquarium while my father tends to the big monsters I left behind.

I'm on YouTube! My 30 gallon community posts are the only ones that are up so far. My Brackish tank is next! I'm on Yahoo Answers:

I am currently in college aiming for a job in Marine Biology.

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