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Old 11-17-2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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Betta with pop-eye? On death row? :-(

Hey! i searched the forum and online, but i can't get a striaght answer

My girlfriend has a betta, in a small half gallon tank at her residence, and she woke up this morning and the fish is very docile, swimming occasionaly, with a swollen cloudy eye. I assume this is Pop-eye. The first thing she did was do a 50% water change, which i congratulated her for. Its an unheated tank, she does full waterchanges every week without fail, and the fish does eat all of this food. She just left a message on my cell phone, so iwasn't able to talk to her to get more information.

I also know that the tank is cold. Probably around 70*f. Dipping sometimes to 66*f. Does anyone know of an at-home cure for this? if not, what type of meds that petsmart would have that could fix this?

She also said the one side of his face was "controrted" and grey. I don't think its the normal white fungus though.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:02 PM   #2
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That tank is way too small and too cold for a betta. In an environment like this, stress and disease can often occur. With a half gallon tank, even a full water change every week isn't enough. She should be doing 30-35% every other day, but that doesn't address the cold temps.

Try to get a little bigger tank - if you get at least a 3 gallon, you can use a 25 watt heater, which is a common size. Here's a small bowl heater, but it's a bit pricy: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113767

Popeye is often the result of a poor environment; changing the environment will help the cause of the disease go away. To treat the betta now, use an antibiotic like Jungle Fungus Eliminator (also an antibiotic) or one of the Maracyns - read the label to see which one is recommended for popeye.
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:05 PM   #3
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How do they live in those little cups for months at a time then?

It probably is to cold, She did have a halogen desk lamp overtop of it to give him light. It also kept his tank a little warmer, but it burned out.

Poor little Vlad the impaler :-( (gotta love the name though)
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudz
How do they live in those little cups for months at a time then?
I worked at a department store that sold betta's out of the little cups; they recived 100% water changes EVERY day and shelf they were kept in was 78 degrees F.. and they were all sold off bi-weekly, they were not ordered untill sold.. hope this answers your quesstion..
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:00 AM   #5
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Ok, SHe's got the tank in a warmer room, its about 72. Shes doing 50% water changes every day at minimum. He is still active, and eats and burrows in the gravel, but he does "rest" more often than he used to.

She can't afford 30 dollar drugs for a 3 dollar fish though. Is Pop eye contagious? She may be coming home next weekend, assuming the fish is still alive i'm wondering if he'll fare better in my 10 gallon with a bunch of neons. (would he be agressive)

Shes got a tank that is about equal to this one:
http://www.bigalsonline.ca/catalog/product.xml?product_id=30293;category_id=2173;pcid 1=2253;pcid2=

Its designed for a betta, how could it be too small?

If anyone has a home remedy for pop-eye, it'd be greatly appreciated. As well, Is Pop-eye painful for the fish? I did talk about the possibility of euthanizing the fish. I can't stand letting any pet suffer.

Please let me know!

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Old 11-18-2005, 01:58 PM   #6
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72 degrees is still too cold. I know you're trying, but if he's at 72 degrees, he probably won't improve. I don't know of any fish med that is $30, unless you buy a quantity of 100 tablets, maybe. The meds at places like Petco and Petsmart are around $5, I think.

I'm not sure if popeye is contagious. My firth thought is no, since it's a result of a poor environment, but I don't know how wise it would be to put a sick fish into a healthy tank. I really don't think the betta would fare well in the neon tank anyway. Neons will group up and nip at the betta. I've seen it in the fish tanks at the store where I go. A group of tetras was ganging up on and nipping a betta. I informed the owner and he moved the betta. You could possibly have a betta and a group of neons in, say, a 30 gallon tank. That may work, although I'd still recommend watching them. In a 10 gallon, I think the neons would be too aggressive, especially since the betta is slower than he used to be.

About that little betta cube - the companies only make what they think will sell. It is really a "myth" that bettas can live well in unheated, unfiltered, small bowls. They really need heat and filtration like any other tropical fish. I did put my very first betta in a bowl for a few months, and then when I gave him a proper tank, it was a joy to watch him "blossom".
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Old 11-18-2005, 02:14 PM   #7
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My mom had a betta hex thing in our bathroom when i was young. It was maybe a liter (1/4 gallon) and the betta lived for over 2 years. Our bathroom window was open often as well.

I believe that we have fallen victim of mis-information!

The fish appeared to be very happy!

Every now and then she'd show people how it puffs up when she put a mirror near the tank, is that BAD for the fish? could it have contributed to his stress/sickness?

Would there be any fish that would be ok in a tank like that? even a gold fish? she wants some sort of pet for her room, but the landlords don't allow "pets" per say.
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:21 PM   #8
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betta's and possibly the VERY small killfish species are the only fish I know of that will do ok in a small tank.. I honestly think a 10 gallon tank (10 bucks at any department store) and a little 50watt heater would be a great investment in the fish.. but. thats JMO
goldfish need alot of space and depending on the species that could be up to 20 gallons+ per fish.. not a small tank canidate by any means..

"we" as in us have not fallen for mis-information.. tropical fish need tropical temperatures to be heathy.. 78 degrees F is a good average.. 76 degrees F is generaly thought of as the miniumum but the fish usually dont do as well.. they normaly do best most of the time in the low 80's.

the anitbiotics are ~$5.00 not $30.00.. and if the cause of the illness is not changed medicating it will not help..

its my oppinon that causing a betta to flare is stressfull.. I would not be conserned about it if the fish was heathy.. but if it isnt in the best of heath I would stop this practice..

I realize past experaince might influance the way we think about how we take care of our pets today.. When I first started in this hobby I lived in a area with extreamly hard water and most people didnt bother doing water changes but maybe twice a year because the high KH bufffered the water so well the PH wouldn't drop.. the fish looked ok and they didnt die off but they would never spawn and didnt seem to thrive.. I dare say that that practice was not correct maintaince but I couldnt convence the owners of these fish any diffent.. some of wich were family members..

In other words.. this is your fish.. and I know just how hard it is to try to convince someone of a problem with there care of a fish if nothing "seems" to be wrong.. but in your case.. you see ill effects on the fish.. I would think this would tell you that something needs to change.. but thats your call..
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Old 11-19-2005, 12:54 AM   #9
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Oh no, you've mis-understood. This is not my fish! I am super anal about my fishtanks!

its my girlfriends, She wanted a fish, and i was with her, and she has NO room in her single room that she rents, so "we" (being my girlfriend and I) decided to get a betta "kit" This is how she and I were victoms of mis-information.

I'm not a fish killer! My philosophy is that the fish didn't CHOOSE to come home with me, I forced it, So i better make sure its life is better than anything else it could have "expected".
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:51 AM   #10
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aahhh.. I see..
so..
the tank needs to be heated and the fish would be better off with a 10 gallon tank.. once the cause is "fixed" then if the pop-eye still remains you could treat it with medication.. HTH

btw. I dont remember and I dont read above anything about acusing anyone of being a "fish killer"
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Old 11-19-2005, 09:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
I dont remember and I dont read above anything about acusing anyone of being a "fish killer"
I know... It just sensed a ... scolding? tone in the last message. If this fish were in MY care, it would be in a ten gallon. I feel horrible for the little guy, now that i know they really cannot live happily in a container like that. Tis not what the LFS in london said!

Shes started daily 50% water changes now, rather than 100% every week, and shes got it under a halogen lamp now. She thinks the temperature is around 75ish. He seems a little more active now, and she says the swelling has gone down as of last night.

I'll keep you posted.
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Old 11-20-2005, 12:51 AM   #12
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you seemed to be in disbelief of the advice givin. my intention was just to get your attention to the problem the fish your speaking of was having.. I did not intend to scold you or yours. I realize my argument may have been a little strong since it was from personal experiance but you stated that your mothers beta lived for years in the window.. wich is a strong arument in itself.. btw. to the best of my knolwlege the average betta's life expectancey is actually longer then two years..
there was a miscomunication and I conseded to that..
I think Im done talking about this.. its not helpfull to your g/f's bettas situation..

Im glad to hear that the water temperature is up but does she know what the temperture is dropping to at night when the light is out? and the swelling going down is a great sighn.. Im pulling for the little guy.. :P
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Old 11-20-2005, 01:25 AM   #13
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I would be very careful of the halogen light. They put off a great deal of heat, and then when you turn them off at night, the temperature drops a great deal. You'll have to do some careful monitoring of the temperature and see how much it fluctuates. I warm up my water for water changes in one gallon jugs under our halogen under-cabinet kitchen lighting. The room temperature right now is 72 degrees, and in only an hour or so I can get the water jugs warmed up to 82 degrees or warmer. So that's a huge temperature span for a fish - if it warms to 82 by day and falls to room temp, or close to it, when the lights are out. Just be aware of that and check the temperature.
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:11 AM   #14
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Well, SHe went and got the medicine anyway, from what i gather, she diluted it properly. However, the fish has made a turn for the worse. He says that there is puss oozing from his eye, and hes very inactive.

Shes taking it pretty hard, too. I think i may get her a 5 gallon kit for christmas. That way Vlad the Impaler the second will be happy.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:19 PM   #15
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its likely from the temperature fluctuations..
I would go with a 10 gallon.. the price is almost the same (just a couple of dollors more in most cases) and its twice as much water (the tank really doesnt take up that much more space either).
If your intrested in saving Vlad the first.. you might want to consider a mini water heater or a low watt heater (like a 50 watt max) online.. the sponsor sites give a decent discount to members.. this might make up for the shipping cost on top of the lower e-tail cost of hardware online, compared to LFS and brick and morder stores..
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:44 PM   #16
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I looked at that. I almost sunk 18 bucks into a little heating "pad" however, it only "warms" the water. No control, and its for 2-5 gallon tanks. this is only a half gallon, it'd heat it up too much.

The guy at the LFS said the 25 watt HOB heater they have would make the temperature change to fast as well. and it was 40 dollars. If it is still alive when i get there next tuesday, i'll try and bring it home, it takes about 4 hours to get home by train, he'll be fine in a bag for that long, right? I have a 5 gallon that used to be used for a lizard. I'll put a bead of silicone around it to make sure its water tight and get my spare 50 watt heater goin with a bubbler.

As hopeful as i am, I don't think this fish is going to make it. Its out of my hands until next tuesday night . (7 more days) I feel horrible.
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Old 11-22-2005, 01:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
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The guy at the LFS said
hmmm.. that right there is the problem.. I am supprised he said that it would be bad for the tank.. but did he offer a suggestion for a more expensive product? Or does he expect you to buy more betta's from his store? LFS employees have a vested intrest in your failure if they expect you to purchase live stock from there store.. I have only met one LFS owner that had a clue as to the proper care of livestock on top of that.. I would quit listening to them.. even if they are knologeble about some aspects of the hobby, I havnt seen any of them be well rounded or even have the basics correct..
when I worked with fish I was asked to take a test in order to take care of the animals.. the test and the lititure I had to study had information that if I shared that information with a customer they would be 100% likely to louse live stock.. needless to say, I didnt give the customers that information..
have you checked the prices of heaters online? $40 is well.. rediculus..
and.. 25 watts might move the temperature quickly.. but.. once its up to opperating temperatures the temperture will not change more then a few degrees.. so that will no longer be an issue.. the halogen light moves the temperature quicker most likely.. it would be an improvement..
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:21 AM   #18
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the odd thing is, i've developed a relationship with this guy, josh from the lfs. he didn't try and sell me anything else, he just told me to move the betta into a warmer location.

However..... I'd probably have to get a submersible one, because the shortest one i've seen is 8 inches... and her tank isn't even that tall. I'd have to put it along the floor, i'm guessing, because there isn't really any flat sides in the tank either. Is it ok to rest them on the floor?

the only things that worried me about getting that 25 watt heater for her is A: we're saving up to go to cuba and shed freak at me for spending more money, and B: the heater would wear out so quickly because it would be cycling so often. I guess if i get a high quality one it'd be good.

Also: the 25 watt heater at my lfs is 38 dollars. its made entirely of thermal plastic, no glass. the 50 watt heater is about 20. if the heater will indeed shut off at the proper temperature, would 50 the 50 watt be acceptable?
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:21 PM   #19
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What I have seen "nano tank" keepers use is the reptile heating pads that they place UNDER the tank, where they can control the temp but it is gentle heat, like a heating pad, yet it is designed to be placed under the tank. These work very well for small tanks and that will mean steady temp without having to put something in the water that might heat it too much.

Best of luck - we all just do the best we can, and usually we learn from our experiences and go on to enjoy our fish as they enjoy long lives under our care, as we learn more about keeping them.
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:46 PM   #20
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that actually sounds like an EXCELLENT idea TankGirl!!! You are BRILLIANT i even have one from my brothers old lizard! except it doesn't have any control. It just stayed on 24/7. I can put foam in between if its to warm. I'll use a test jug to get the right combo. No animal testing.

Brilliant! *jumps with glee at saving money*
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