Q: My cousin's betta is in bad shape, and I'm attempting to rescue it. His clear, frontal fins have basically disintegrated, and his other fins are a bit ragged. He still eats and swims somewhat, but lays on the bottom a lot. He was in dirty water, but ammonia levels were also high. Is this fin rot or ammonia damage?

Question submitted by Sadie, Lowell - MA

A: First of all I would like to personally chastise your cousin. Shame shame shame shame on her/him for treating Mr. Betta so poorly. 

BOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOoooo  !!!! 

OK, now that I got that off my chest (I barely feel better). wait, I need to do this again:

BOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOoooo  !!!! 

I am so glad you stepped in and together we are going to save Mr. Betta (or die trying). Although it might have got some ammonia poisoning, it more than likely is losing its fins to rot. So here is what to do:

  • keep water extra clean (see water)

  • add a bit of fish vitamins (available at your local fish store) to water.

  • feed only great food (frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms).

  • now the vital stuff: Treat Mr. Betta with Spectrogram (by Aquatronic) (will hit both bacterial and fungal rot) and add a bit of Fungus Eliminator by jungle (in crystal form) also . Add medication like this: Change water every 5th day and add medication then. Do not add medication again until you do a water change of his bowl. Keep an eye on fins to notice any changes (for better or worse). If your betta's bowl is very small (under 1/2 gal) change the above 5 day cycle to a 3 day cycle.

  • Email me in 10 days with update and we'll go from there. I will not charge you for the consultation. This will be my contribution to save Mr. Betta. When you do email me, paste this in your email so your email gets to me and so that I'll know this is a legitimate solicited email. 

Oh and tell your cousin we are all very disappointed in him/her.