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Guest BiscayneBoulevard

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Guest BiscayneBoulevard

Hi guys,

A couple of days ago I was in a pet store looking at the fish in those Betta death cups. I was not planning to buy any fish from this place at all - it is a pretty bad store and most of their fish were sick. But then I spotted a little red/purple/blue Betta in one of the display "tanks"... he had jammed himself as far under a little plant as he could go, and was not moving at all. Then I saw him rush up to the surface to take a gulp of air, and then rocketed back down to bury himself under the plant again. I know you're "not supposed to" buy sick fish (although I think everybody does sometimes - on purpose!) but I couldn't leave him there - the pet shop didn't even know he was ill.

When he went up to the surface I saw that he had ich - very, very bad and worse than I have ever seen on the new fish I have put in quarantine. But I thought it would be a simple matter of quarantining him with some ich medication. He is currently in a cycled (though I guess the ich medication has killed the biofilter) 8 gallon tank and I have been treating him with an off the shelf ich medication (formaldehyde and malachite green). I've been feeding him mosquito larvae from our pond and he has perked up a lot - he hunts down the larvae now instead of just floating around near them. I gave him the second dose of medication today - the spots have reduce a little, but not too much - and there is a teaspoon and a half of rock salt in the tank.

My problem now is that I've realised that the poor little guy also has fin rot. I've never seen fin rot on my goldfish before so didn't recognise it when I first got him. But I'm not sure what to do, since I am treating for ich and cannot mix medications. I've read online that you can treat fin rot in Bettas with 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon - is that right? Is there any chance that it could clear up on it's own with good water quality/food and less stress? I've also read that tetracycline can help fin rot, and I also have some of this in tablet form... but I don't want to wait until the ich is gone in case the fin rot becomes too advanced, however I can't mix medications! What to do?! Would the salt help, and is that the right dosage?

The fin rot on his dorsal fin is sort of... it looks like the fin is disintegrating, and it is the same with his tail and those two little fins at the front (not the pectoral fins - those ones that only Bettas have - sorry, don't know the name)... on the fin under his belly, half of the fin is white, and there is a red edge to it (I read that white is a sign of healing - is that true?)

I am planning to put this betta into a nice 20 gallon fully planted tank with some otos and corys, and possibly some guppies if that all works out, and I really don't want to lose him now to the fin rot!

Thank you!!

Bis

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What medication are you using right now? If it is quick cure, do a 100% water change right away! Quick Cure and salt do not mix.

Malachite Green is de-activated by light, so that is probably hindering his recovery. You need to keep the room as dark as possible and keep a thick towel over the tank to keep out light.

Here is a page on other warnings about quick cure, malachite green and formalin. I am not sure if formalin and formaldehyde are the similar or not.

If it were me, I would just use heat (slowly brought up to a stable 80*F)and the rock salt (slowly brought up to 2 pre-dissolved teaspoons per gallon) to heal both the fin rot and the ich. Those active ingredients are pretty harsh and may be what is causing the fin rot in the first place. Salt and heat may be all that he needs and it does not harm the cycle. The fish will not get better without perfect water quality so be sure you keep up on waterchanges.

I am a little worried about how you described the finrot though..Red is a sign of bacterial infection and white is a sign of either fungal or bacterial. New tissue may grow in clearish at first, but that is after the rot has stopped and healed.

I'd still just go with the heat and salt first. Salt is a good cure-all and has healing properties with most parasites (ich definately), bacterial and fungal infections.

Sushi, isn't maracyn 2 just anti-bacterial? Which active ingrediant fights ich?

I hope he gets better!

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Guest BiscayneBoulevard

Sushi - I live in Australia, and unfortunately we do not have Maracyn or Maracyn 2 here. To the best of my knowledge, we do not have Quick Cure either.

Kissy - the q-tank is currently in a laundry - the light is always off in there, as no body goes in generally.

Thanks for the advice - I will keep up the water changes and try the salt and heat for now.

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Kissy- Bah, the text is small and i read wrong. I was thinking that it didn't work very well for ich either but I thought thats what the text said. It really says to use maracide for the ich and use maracyn-two to prevent secondary infections from popping up. Sorry for the confusion. They should use a larger sized text!

BiscayneBoulevard- I don't live there so I really can't help you. I don't know anything about the types of medicinces for sale down there.

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Guest BiscayneBoulevard

That's okay Sushi - there doesn't seem to be a thing with brand names here. For example, American medications all go by their brand names, eg Quick Cure, not necessarily their ingredients. Seems to be that we just use an off-the-shelf medication for such and such malady. I don't usually go to the lfs for that sort of thing because they cost an arm and a leg, and in my experience are usually wrong (for example, when asking if I could treat ich with salt, I was told that it was an "extremely harsh outdated cure and we don't use that anymore", when off-the-shelf medication is actually harsher. But then, they wouldn't make any money if they gave people the right advice.

I used the off-the-shelf medication this time because the ich was so bad. I have treated my goldfish with salt in the past, but wasn't sure about the dosage for bettas, or whether you could use salt, so I just used what I had. His spots are starting to go away a little, though he's still pretty covered.

Also Sushi, I read in a pinned topic in this forum that guppies could be kept with bettas. What if I had two male guppies and six female guppies in a 20 gallon, heavily planted tank?

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That's okay Sushi - there doesn't seem to be a thing with brand names here. For example, American medications all go by their brand names, eg Quick Cure, not necessarily their ingredients. Seems to be that we just use an off-the-shelf medication for such and such malady. I don't usually go to the lfs for that sort of thing because they cost an arm and a leg, and in my experience are usually wrong (for example, when asking if I could treat ich with salt, I was told that it was an "extremely harsh outdated cure and we don't use that anymore", when off-the-shelf medication is actually harsher. But then, they wouldn't make any money if they gave people the right advice.

I used the off-the-shelf medication this time because the ich was so bad. I have treated my goldfish with salt in the past, but wasn't sure about the dosage for bettas, or whether you could use salt, so I just used what I had. His spots are starting to go away a little, though he's still pretty covered.

Also Sushi, I read in a pinned topic in this forum that guppies could be kept with bettas. What if I had two male guppies and six female guppies in a 20 gallon, heavily planted tank?

Male guppies will nip at the betta or vise versa. I wouldn't put them together. There are many other fish that you could try. I just busted out $35 for a fish encyclopedia and there are many beautiful fish in the book. Some are prettier than guppies and are nicer.

I think spike tailed paradise fish, nagy's licorice gourami, croaking gourami, ornate ctenopoma, hancock's doradid, hatchet fish, banded rummy nose, harlequin rasora, pearl danio, leopard danio would make good tank mates. I don't know a whole lot about all of these guys but from a quick veiw of their temperments/size/required temperature they sound like they might be good tank mates. Any tank mates you get should be as big or twice the size of a betta. At first he will most likely flare and flare and flare at other fish so they will tire easily so its better to pick out stronger fish. Guppies could easily be killed.

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Guest BiscayneBoulevard

Hmm... well I will look into some of those fish next time I am at the lfs. But had my heart set on guppies, and have been planning the new tank for a while, whereas this poor guy was bought on a whim - may have to house him separately.

I just did a 40% water change and added the next dose of medication. Also put more salt in, so now it's up to 1 teaspoon per gallon. However, after the water change he was pretty freaked out and was darting around the tank, and sort of twitching. I turned the filter off because it started buzzing and thought maybe that was what was irritating him... should I still take the salt up to 2 teaspoons per gallon tomorrow? I'm really worried about this fin rot... I don't want the poor guy to die! Also raised the temp to 28 C.. I think that's about 81 F.

He's still fairly active and eats all his mosquito larvae... so hopefully he'll pull through. I think when he's healthy he'll have beautiful colours.

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I don't think you're supposed to mix the meds and the salt. Maybe that's why he's darting around? I've heard it's better to choose one or the other and stick with it. In this case, at least the salt would treat the ich and the tail so that might be your best bet.

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Guest BiscayneBoulevard

I've read that salt can make the medications more effective. I've treated other fish the same way before. I thought as long as it wasn't Quick Cure it was alright.

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Nope she is correct. You are not supposed to mix salt and heat with meds. You should be either using salt or meds but not together. When I had goldies that had a bad case of ich Sandy recommended that I stop the meds I was using on them ( ridich) and try the salt and heat method. It worked great and is much easier on the fish.

here is an article about using salt for ich.

http://www.koivet.com/html/articles/articl...p?article_id=94

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Guest BiscayneBoulevard

He seems to be doing well with the salt and meds - some of his spots have disappeared and the redness in his fins is fading. I'd like to follow through with the meds since I've already put him through that, so once the dose is up, if he still hasn't fully recovered I will go straight into the salt and heat thing. I still think that salt and these particular meds are okay together though - other sources have told me that this is fine.

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I have recently bought a sick betta myself... I went to the store I originally bought my black thai plakat the other day and saw one left... he was at the bottom with his fins clamped and had VERY bad ich... I tried telling the guy I always see in the fish department and pretty much told me in a nice way they didn't have time to treat the bettas properly... long story short, he is now in my house in our extra 2gallon being treated. He is swimming around a bit now but still not feeding like he should. If he pulls through he'll be going to my god daughter as she can't have pets in her new apartment (she has had a betta for almost 2yrs. as well)

I treated my first plakat (had ich and an eye injury) with melaxfix, heat, salt, and darkness. Supposedly the dark makes it harder for the ich parasites to find the host... so they die faster in the midst of finding him. You want your heat at a constant 85... it seems a little extreme but my betta actually seemed to enjoy the heat. I do suggest doing a %100 change every now and then as well, but try your best to keep the salt/meds and heat relatively close to where they were. He was treated in a week and a halfs time and has made a full recovery. He is happy and healthy as ever now.

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Guest BiscayneBoulevard

Good on you LoveDah - even if buying sick fish means supporting second rate pet stores, I still think it is a very kind thing to rescue a fish, or any animal. On that note I just bought home three pregnant feeder gambusias...........

I hope your second black plakat makes a full recovery! My betta seems to have improved - his ich is almost entirely gone, and the redness in his fins continues to fade. He has also stopped clamping his fins, and is turning out to be very beautiful. Still not 100% but getting there. I wish you and your admirable cause good luck - let me know how it goes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest BiscayneBoulevard

Well, Heironymus has made a full recovery. No sign of ich for at least a week now, and his fins are growning back beautifully. He has regained his spirit entirely and flares at absolutely everything! I followed through with the meds, and then moved on to salt, and it all seemed to work very well. Once his bowl has cycled, I am going to move him to a 2.5 gallon fully planted bowl.

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