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i need help with my butterfly betta


New Member
Jul 17, 2019
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My beautiful Pisces hasn’t been eating for almost a week. I tried feeding him freeze dried food (bloodworms, aqueon color enhancing pellets, mysis, daphnia, and even live bloodworms) nothing i feed him has worked. I tried the garlic treatment that helped a bit and he ate one pellet but that didn’t do the trick.

I did noticed a long clear string coming out but it stays there. He’s also been resting too much and hiding in his cave. I could be overreacting and he’s just getting old.

I tried almost everything I could to make him feel better but nothing seems to work. Can any one please tell me what could be wrong?



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Tank of the Month!
Oct 29, 2018
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He could have internal parasites. I would try treating him with Prazipro and see if that helps.


Jan 26, 2008
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Perth, WA
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Fish do a stringy white poop for several reasons.
1) internal bacterial infection causes the fish to stop eating, swell up like a balloon, breath heavily at surface or near a filter outlet, do stringy white poop, and die within 24-48 hours of showing these symptoms. This cannot normally be cured because massive internal organ failure has already occurred.
This is unlikely to be the issue if it has been going on for a week.

2) internal protozoan infection cause the fish to lose weight rapidly (over a week or two), fish continues to eat and swim around but not as much as normal, does stringy white poop. If not treated the fish dies a week or so after these symptoms appear. Metronidazole normally works well for this.

There is a medication (API General Cure) that contains Praziquantel and Metronidazole and might be worth trying.

It's interesting that API and the Californian government have listed Metronidazole as a carcinogen. That's a concern considering it was widely used to treat intestinal infections in people.
Anyway, handle with care, don't inhale the medication, and wash hands with soapy water after treating the fish or working in the tank.

3) intestinal worms like tapeworm and threadworms cause the fish to lose weight, continue eating and swimming normally, do a stringy white poop. Fish can do this for months and not be too badly affected. In some cases, fish with bad worm infestation will actually gain weight and get fat and look like a pregnant guppy. This is due to the huge number of worms inside the fish.

You can use Praziquantel to treat tapeworm and gill flukes. And Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms.

Remove carbon from filters before treatment and increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.

You treat the fish once a week for 3-4 weeks. The first treatment will kill any worms in the fish. The second and third treatments kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs inside the fish's digestive tract.

You do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment. Clean the filter 24 hours after treatment too.

Treat every fish tank in the house at the same time.

Do not use the 2 medications together. If you want to treat both medications in a short space of time, use Praziquantel on day one. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate on day 2 & 3. Treat the tank with Levamisole on day 4 and do a 75% water change and gravel clean on day 5, 6 & 7 and then start with Praziquantel again on day 8.

The water changes will remove most of the medication so you don't overdose the fish. The gravel cleaning will suck out any worms and eggs that have been expelled by the fish. Repeating the treatment for 3-4 doses at weekly intervals will kill any worms that hatch from eggs. At the end of the treatment you will have healthier fish. :)

Make sure your water quality is good and there is no ammonia or nitrite and the nitrate level is below 20ppm.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Use some API General Cure after you do a water change. Remove carbon from the filter before treating, and increase aeration/ surface turbulence.


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