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Jan 6, 2019
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hello! So I’ve had an aquarium with a betta for about a month now. There’s some plants, a little bit of algae (but we’re taking care of it), a good filter, and a heater that keeps the water at about 77-78 degrees Fahrenheit. The ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are in healthy amounts (0,0, and a little bit above 0), the ph at 7, and we do 50% roughly water changes weekly to keep the waste down in such a small aquarium. I just noticed it today, and I don’t think his eyes are protruding, and I haven’t noticed it before, but his eye seemed a bit cloudy. He’s not lethargic, eats well, nothing wrong with his swimming or fins. I want to make sure if it’s an infection that it’s treated, but I also don’t want to hurt him. Then again I might be paranoid and it’s just something with the glass. I’ve attached pictures to help with diagnosing. If the image is bad I can always take new ones.

Any info and suggestions would be welcome. Thanks!


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This might be because of a Vitamin deficiency, are you feeding your Betta a varied diet?
Not really. Sadly the only food he’s been eating is a betta pellet food twice a day. I was considering purchasing bloodworms and maybe eventually brine shrimp but I wasn’t sure when to introduce it to him. What foods would you recommend and if it doesn’t go away (by how long), what is the best course of action to take? Melafix maybe?
Cloudy eyes are normally caused by water quality or bacteria. The bacteria infect the eyes if the water is not good. Try doing a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

What sort of filter do you have and how often do you clean it, and how do you clean it?

If there is no improve after a couple of big water changes and gravel cleans then maybe look into a medication.

Do not use Melafix or Pimafix on labyrinth fishes (Bettas and gouramis) because it can leave an oily film on the surface and affect the fish.

Bettas will eat a range of foods including small live insect, bloodworms, brineshrimp, daphnia and marine mix or prawn. If you have a rose garden you can collect aphids and feed them to fish. You can offer small flies, moths and mosquitoes or mozzie larvae to him. Make sure any insects are free of chemicals and pesticides.

Marine mix is various marine meats like prawn, fish and squid that are blended up into a mix and frozen. You can usually buy packets of this fro the local pet shop along with the frozen brineshop, daphnia, etc.

Frozen or live foods can be offered any time and should be fed at least several times per week. I use to feed my fish dry food in the morning before heading out to work and then frozen or live food in the evening when I got home. To feed frozen food you take a small bit out of the freezer and defrost it. Let any liquid drain away from the food, then offer a few bits at a time until the fish is full. Remove uneaten food and wash your hands with soapy water to remove any trace of the frozen food. Frozen bloodworms are notorious for causing irritation to eyes when people don't wash their hands properly after handling them.

The following link has information about culturing live foods for baby fish. However, the information can also be used for culturing daphnia or brineshrimp. Daphnia live in freshwater and brineshrimp live in saltwater/ seawater. You make up green water or infusoria in fresh water for daphnia, and green water in seawater for brineshrimp and add them to the green water. Leave them for a few weeks to grow and then start feeding them to the fish. If you get mozzie larvae in the cultures you can feed them to the fish too.
I guess I just use the filter that came with the top fin aquarium. I was considering replacing it with a better one but I wasn’t sure. I was planning on cleaning it in two days because I was told to clean the filters once a month and that’s how long we’ve had the aquarium with the fish. I’ll try the water changes and gravel cleanings but I don’t want to stress the fish out if I don’t need to. How can I tell if it’s genuinely an infection? The eye looks like it has a few specks of dust on it (I know it’s not. That’s just what it looks like).

Could the diet be influencing his health too?
I don’t know if it would be helpful but the past two days I’ve noticed a film of sorts over the water. Enough to where if I touch it the spot I touched will be clear on the surface. I dunno what it is but it wasn’t removed by a water change. Maybe when he comes to the surface he gets it in his system and it’s causing problems? I’ve been told algae can sometimes cause this too? I’m just trying to figure this out. Btw I haven’t added any medications.
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Filters should be cleaned at least once a month and preferably every 2 weeks if you can. However, you do not clean new filters until they are at least 6 weeks old otherwise you can wash the filter bacteria out and mess up the biological side of the filter. Generally once a filter is 2 months (8 weeks old) you can start cleaning it every 2-4 weeks.

When you do clean a filter you squeeze/ rinse out filter materials in a bucket of tank water. When they are clean put them in the aquarium and wash the filter case and motor out under tap water. When the filter case and motor have been cleaned you reassemble the filter and put the filter media back in, fill it with tank water and turn it back on.
*NB* Make sure your hands and the plug are dry before plugging it back in.

If you have filter cartridges, you can make a small incision along the top or bottom and tip out the granules that are in the cartridge and throw the granules away. Then squeeze the cartridge out in a bucket of tank water and re-use it.

You can normally add sponges to most external filters and these give you more filtration area. You simply get a square or rectangular sponge for any brand of filter and use a pair of scissors to cut the sponge so it fits in the filter.

You can get round/ cylindrical sponges from some brands of internal power filter. These cylindrical sponges have a hole through the middle of them and they usually fit over the intake strainer of most external filters. They add more filtration area and reduce the chance of the fish being sucked onto the intake strainer.

If the eye is cloudy it is infected. However, doing a few big water changes will normally fix the problem unless it becomes badly infected. Then the eye will stick out a lot more than normal, it can go red and they sometimes pop. Normally tho you will see it go cloudy and start to bulge out. It's quite noticeable.

Fish are fine with water changes. Get yourself a basic model gravel cleaner like the one in the following link. Use it to drain some water out and clean the gunk out of the gravel. Leave the fish in the tank when you do this and just slowly move around the tank cleaning the gunk out and draining water. When you have removed about 75% of the water, stop cleaning and refill the tank with dechlorinated water.

If algae is causing a film on the surface it will be green. Having live plants in the tank will utilise excess light and reduce the chance of algae growing. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is one of the better plants for Bettas. It floats on the surface but can also be grown in the substrate.

If someone is using hair spray, deodorant, perfume, smoking or anything else that releases gasses into the air, that can leave a film on the water. Lack of surface turbulence can also cause it, as can dust.

Make sure you don't have any moisturising creams or anything on your hands when you feed the fish or work in the tank.

If you notice it just do a water change and it should get rid of it. If it continues to happen regularly, then post a pic of it and see if it has an oily sheen to it when you look at it. If your not sure what I mean by an oily sheen, add a couple of drops of vegetable oil to a glass of water and look at the surface. it should get a bluey sheen across the surface.

If the fish ever looks off colour or you have concerns the water looking odd or smelling bad, generally the best thing to do is a water change. It will dilute anything in the water and usually fixes the problem.
Not really. Sadly the only food he’s been eating is a betta pellet food twice a day. I was considering purchasing bloodworms and maybe eventually brine shrimp but I wasn’t sure when to introduce it to him. What foods would you recommend and if it doesn’t go away (by how long), what is the best course of action to take? Melafix maybe?
I agree with Colin about feeding live foods or bloodworms. don't worry about wasting money on something your betta won't eat because he will redily eat bloodworms, brineshrimp ect.
also, for the layer on top of the water, it may be a build up of protien, this can be removed by scooping it up with a jar or cup.
Okay. I’ll try all of these and see what works (hopefully he’ll be okay soon). Thank you for your suggestions everyone!
If you feed a lot of frozen (but defrosted) food, make sure you do lots of big water changes. Frozen foods tend to be meat based and cause the water to go off faster so you need to make sure you do a 75% water change and gravel clean each week.

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