Q: 2 wks ago: Betta dark, lost fins. Changed water & treated w/Bettamax&Maracyn2.  Appetite returned. 2 days ago: Betta on side floating at top, white cottony fungus on head.  Changed water & treated w/JungleFungusClear&SplendidBettaFixRemedy. Fungus on head gone but color dark, not eaten in 3 days, lays on side at the top.

Question submitted by Robin, Millbrook - AL

A: Ok Robin, sounds to me you got a sickly betta on your hands. Is this a new betta? If so, it probably arrived to your home with something (as an added bonus). Pet stores should have the slogan: Buy one, get one free (as in you buy a betta and you get, ab-so-lu-te-ly free of charge, a nice disease for FREE! What a deal!!)

Cottony fungus is not something I ever see in my fishroom. Do you add a bit of rock salt  to your water? And a bit of aquarisol, too? If so you should never run into such problem. See my water page to learn how to properly prepare betta friendly water. 

Do you keep your betta's water clean? Poor water quality is the number one killer of bettas, with spoiled live food being the second. Those two combined claim more betta lives than anything else. Do not feed live foods. Stick to frozen or freeze dried instead.

What strikes me is that your fish is fighting a bunch of ailments all at once, or one after the other if you will: fin rot, swimbladder problem, fungus... This shows a betta going down hill fast. Meaning the immune system is not working properly. I know you have tried a myriad of medication (in quite a creative way if I may add ;) ), but if that was my fish I would have gone about it differently. Bettamax is not suitable to CURE anything. It is great for sulking bettas and for preventing. It has never cured rot for me, unless it was a very very slight onset (say from a breeder that got a tear from spawning). Please see my disease page for better medication choices in the future. Also just shlapping any two ol' medicines together does not always help your fish. As a matter of fact the wrong medications combined could really hurt your fish more than anything else. So careful with the cocktails! I have tested my "combination of 2 drugs" recipes and I know they are safe and efficient, that is why I recommend them. I would not recommend improvising.

Currently your fish has swimbladder AND fungus. I would treat it with Spectrogram (Aquatronics), add the salt to the water and the aquarisol, per my water page instructions. If you wanted to go hard core, you could mix a bit of Fungus Eliminator (in crystal form) by Jungle in wit the Spectrogram. Now Spectrogram already has anti- fungal agents (which is why I recommended it to you) but it also has Kanacyn, one of the most potent broad spectrum antibiotics out there. 

If this does not cure your fish, then it means your betta is too far gone to be saved. Remember however that unless the water is kept VERY clean, your fish has zero chance of survival. Nothing can ever replace a clean, healthy environment for Mr. Betta. Goodluck to you and him.