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Oh Dear.. Basil The Bettas Got Finrot


mrbumblebee

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Hi guys, my new (and very first) Betta (Basil) has finrot...

I'm so disappointed - I've only had him a week and now this, I've tried really hard to get everything just right. I feel really bad. :(

He did have a stressful shipping from the seller (not his fault at all), so I think it may be a combination of this and adjusting to his new home.

When I got him I noticed that he had a slight split in his lower/anal fin (so I salted slightly anyway), but it seems to have got worse over the past week and seems to have dissolved away into a little chunk :( His other fins are fine (for now)

He's in a 6UK/7US gal glass tank, heated and filtered (cycled). He is active, swimming about and eating really well, no other symptoms that I can tell.

At the moment I'm doing partial water changes of 30-50% every two days (dechlorinated/same temp) and I've salted the tank to 1 teaspoon per gallon which I think is 0.1%? Can I/should I salt higher? (He is tolerating salt well, no problems)

I have some Melafix on standby (thanks for the helpful product review on other thread by the way). I want to give the salt and v. clean water regime a chance first as it has worked for my goldies before.

Does this sound about right for starters, is there anything else I could do? (Bare in mind that anibiotic medications are hard to get hold of in the UK (Unless anyone can suggest one?)

All help, as usual greatly appreciated :)

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When helping bettas to heal their fins, isn't .3% salt correct? I am not sure for how long tho... Until it's healed? Since Melafix is a good general tonic, I don't see how it would hurt. Be very careful with the dosing, you don't want to overdo it. Tea tree oil will knock a fish out in very high dosage. Someone will be along shortly that will know more about this.

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Thanks Lady_Dodecagon, I'm not sure about salting with Bettas either, I would probably go to 0.3% with my goldies but I was under the impression that Bettas would not tolerate that much, does anyone know if thats correct?

I may start Melafix next week if no improvemenst - although as from today it's no worse (that I can tell). Water quality is good and he doesn't seem to mind the water changes, continues to eat well and is still active. Hope he doesn't get anything secondary though :(

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I know that bettas will take 1 tsp/gallon of salt well, I used to keep my betta tank at that level all the time. Now I only do it if something is going on. Right now I have Horatio's salted at that rate because I was late with his water change and his fins were just beginning to show signs of it. I am planning on watching him for a week to see if I need to keep the salt level there or if I can go back to fresh water. *smaks self for not taking better care of him*

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if the rot's still progressing I suggest taking a more drastic step: use a pair of scissors to snip it off above the infected area and use half-strength melafix to help speed up the healing process. a clean cut will heal faster than a wound that had undergone aggressive rot. besides, salt's not really that good for bettas from what I usually hear and read.

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Sorry to hear about your betta mrbumblebee.

and not wanting to highjack the thread but i think my betta is also suffering from fin rot, is there a UK equiverlen to melafix and is adding this to tank that has cories in a good idea?

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Use surgery as the very last resort. You want to make sure the scissors are sterylized and you do a 100% water change before putting him back into the tank. Don't jump to this solution without thought, because its possible for the rot to start over afterwards, but much closer to the body since you've already cut more off.

Do they sell any anti-biotic meds in the UK? The rot could be bacterial or even fungal. Watch him closely to make sure he's not biting it himself.

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Kissy: I personally wouldn't cut his finnage (sounds a little too harsh to me) but some people are selling Melafix on ebay so it might be possible to get from LFS here in the uk. but if not i've seen this in lots of stores, is this similer?

http://www.waterlife.co.uk/waterlife/myxazin.htm

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Thankyou for your comments guys :)

To be honest I would never of have considered surgery until it was mentioned here, I didn't realise it was an option, it does sound a bit drastic becasue as I say it's only affecting one fin and it has not spread anymore since I started the salt and v clean water change regime. I'll bare it in mind though.

Yeah Peanuts, I was wondering about that Myxazin stuff as well - I don't think it's an actual anitibiotic solution though, just something antibacterial like Melafix to promote healing - I have seen it for sale on UK websites though I'm sure.

Well, I have my Melafix (and Pimafix) here already, so I may start with some Melafix next week to start it healing.

Kissy if it can be a fungal cause as well (though I've not noticed) Could I add Pimafix as well as you are supposed to be able to use them together, does that sound ok?

As temp, salt and v.clean water worked for my goldies in the past (early stages finrot) I assumed it would with Bettas, is there any merit in this? Has anyone completely cured there Betta like this or do they add meds? Could I go to 0.2% salt? Thanks in advance for your help :)

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well as for your question about compatibility of melafix on cories, the label says its generally safe for catfish and loaches.

Snipping the fins isnt really that terrible if done properly. as long as the instrument has been thoroughly sterilized with acriflavine or iodine. and like I said, half-strength Melafix (half of the recommended dosage) is very good at protecting new cuts and promoting regeneration. Just dont expect the fins to get as long as they used to be...

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I was aware that fins sometimes do not grow back as they were before, but hopefully I started taking action quick enough to stop it getting worse.

Like I said it seems no worse now since the start of the week and does not seem to have spread to any other fins. I think the split in his lower/anal fin may have been trauma/stress from his shipping and it started from there :)

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Do you mean that the fin rot on that one fin has not gotten any worse since the begining of the week? That means its healing. It will take a while before you start to see new growth since there was an infection. If it seems like nothing's getting worse and your betta's still happy then keep up what you are doing, and you should see new growth by next week :)

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Oh dear.. things do seem to be getting worse after all. Yesterday I spotted that Basil now has a small hole in his right ventral fin, the anal fin also seems to be getting more ragged, the others are OK for now.. :(

He's still very active and eating well (I've reduced feeds slightly while he poorly to try and keep the water quality good and nitrates down between water changes)

Just to recap what I've done so far - over the last week I've been doing partial water changes of 30-50% every one to two days and kept the tank salted to 0.1% (which he seems to have tolerated well)

Obviously things are not improving so as from yesterday I salted to 0.2% which again he seems to be tolerating (I had read from previous posts that other members have sucessfully salted to 0.2% with their Betta's) I also started a 7 day treatment of Melafix (half stated dose as this seems to be recommended by most people) as well.

If things are not improving by the end of the week I might need to try a "proper" medication.

Can any UK'ers recommened a treatment available here that they have successfully treated their Betta with (for bacterial finrot)?

Just another quick question though - the Melafix bottle says to dose daily for 7 days and THEN do a 25% water change (presumably to let the dose build up?)

I'm a bit worried about leaving it that long before water changing for a sick Betta because they need very clean water to recover from finrot don't they? Do you think it would still be OK if I just replaced a the dose after water changes? I'm currently checking all the water params every day anyway,

I'm sooo disappointed that Basil's poorly, I had plans to plant the tank and everything but I think I'll wait till we get over this first :(

All help greatly appreciated! :)

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Keep the water tested and if the ammonia or nitrites go up do a change. I am sorry I can't help you much more. :( Good luck with Basil! Me and mine have our fins crossed for ya! :heart

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well... I still think you should have opted for surgery earlier. fin rot's not exactly like bacterial infection, I think the closest analogy is a person having a necrotizing limb that needs to have it amputated already

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Yeah thanks, I gather surgery on a fish should always be a last resort - I would rather try good management and proprietry treatments first, I think the stess of cutting fins could be much more damaging than trying a couple of meds in the first week of the problem.

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Man Yu: surgery should really be a last resort shouldn't it?

mrbumblebee: I've got my fingers crossed for you too. but I also thought that that it was a little strange that melafix states that you shouldn't change the water for 7 days. My betta is on his third day with it. everything seems ok at the mo, his fins look a little better and he's picking up a bit more (looking less sorry for himself).

but gotta keep a really close eye on them params

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Do you have prime or another ammonia binding product? The best option would be to dose a bit of prime when ammonia is present to detoxify that while treating melafix. If not, I'd do waterchanges, but don't add back what you dosed the days before. Most fish meds are like human meds: if you missed a day you wouldn't double dose the second :P

I don't know what sort of anti-bacterial meds they have in the UK. Maybe you should post that question in the International subforum. I hope someone can help you with that. Man yu, there are different types of fin rot. I'm willing to bet that this rot is bacterial since it seems to be progressing quicker than other common types.

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we're having a real hard time assessing the condition of the fin rot and best possible solutions since we're not seeing any pics. Well, bacterial fin rot isn't something that could be touched by melafix or salting anyway. I think it's fungal fin rot or tearing injuries those remedies are recommended for...

BTW, any chance of pics to settle this debate?

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Thanks for your comments guys. I've been salting to 0.2% and using Melafix for the past three days and it DOES seem to be working. It's certainly not getting worse. Whatever the cause of it, things seem to be getting better. I think it was my assumption that the cause was bacterial because it came about after the stress and trauma of shipping, we shall see what happens form now on.

Man Yu: Unfortunately, no pics at the moment as my parents have taken my digital cam on holiday, I will post pics if I can, if it does not improve (I planned to post pics of my new Betta anyway) It's not exactly a debate! With due respect, I just have not read anything or heard or spoken to anyone who agrees that cutting fins is the best course of action during the first couple of weeks of a problem WITHOUT trying clean water and supportive measures like salt and proprietry medications first. However, I am grateful for your comments and it is good to hear other points of view :)

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Kissy- the water quality is quite good and it's just the NitrAtes level I wanted to keep as low as possible for healing, I'm testing the water daily so I should pick up any bumps in the cycle. The small hole in the right ventral fin seems to have almost disappeared within a couple fo days so hopefully things are are the right track :)

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If your tank has a stable cycle, you should be okay with no waterchanges for a week as long as nitrates don't get high. Feed him only a little bit and it shouldn't be a problem. Too many waterchanges can stress him since he's still settling, and if you can, adjust the filter flow to the lowest possible.

Pinholes happen from time to time and are pretty common. They sometimes just appear for no apparent reason. Sometimes they heal, sometimes they tear and heal, and sometimes they just stay there for a bit. Its nothing huge do worry about.

It sounds like Basil's on his way to recovery :) Watch for yellowish clear outline on the end of the torn parts. This is the new growth. As it grows in, it should start to gain color back.

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