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Incurable Fin Rot? It's Been 12 Weeks And Still Getting Worse...


Guest jbarber

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Guest jbarber

Water parameters (consistent for the last several weeks):

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 5-10 ppm

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 8.2

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? I don't use tap water, I use natural Florida spring water, pH = 8.2 after 24 hrs.

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops

[*]Water temperature? 76-78 deg. F

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 27 gal tank (with approx. 23 gals water in it) that's been running 1.5 years.

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? 2 filters (150 G.P.H. Cascade Bio-Falls filter and 10gal Whisper filter with unknown G.P.H.)

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Lately, I've been doing partial (~20%) water changes every 5-7 days

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 shubunkin goldfish about 5 inches long including tail

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? No additives because the spring water has no ammonia, chlorine, etc.

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Right now, he is on day 9 of a 10-day antibiotic pellet, but usually he gets fed NutraFin pellets or de-thawed peas.

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? No.

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Here is the timeline of medications I've tried since I first noticed the tail rot (NOTHING has worked):

Week 1: Did 75% water change to restore tank parameters (had ammonia and nitrate spike due to neglect of siphoning tank gravel)

Weeks 2-3: Did nothing except add salt (may have added too much too quickly?-3ppt)

Week 4: Melafix for 5 days, then 20% water change

Week 5: Maracyn for 5 days (redness was reduced, nearly gone, but came back during week 6)

Week 6: Maracyn 2 for 5 days, then 20% water change

Week 7: Maracyn and Maroxy combo for 4 days, then 40% water change

Week 8: Began 10-day medicated food treatment with regular, partial water changes (redness around frayed edges actually went away!!)

Week 10: Did nothing except partial water changes

Week 11: Redness returned to frayed edges after NO fin regrowth, so I began another 10-day round of medicated food (this time it did not work at all). I also performed a direct swab of the caudal fin rot with povidone iodine (only did this once and did not see much, if any, improvement)

Week 12: Today, I began a 5-day treatment with Tetracyline in a 5gallon hospital tank.

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Badly frayed caudal fins with lots of redness at the edges of frays. Anal and dorsal fin also show some minor fraying, but no redness.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? No, he acts like there's nothing bothering him as his fins are slowly being eaten away...

I hope I am posting in the right place and do apologize if this is not the appropriate forum. As you can tell from the above parameters, my poor shubunking has had a persistent, resistant fin rot for 12 weeks. While the medicated food and Maracyn both had some minor success, the fin rot always comes back full-strength. For this reason, I keep going back to husbandry causes, but can't find anything wrong with the tank or water parameters that would keep my fish stressed. He has plenty of filtration, a large air stone, plastic plants, colored gravel and a large cave ornament, all of which have been in the tank for 1.5 years with no prior problems. Algae growth is very minimal and located on plastic plants only. I removed the cave last week just to eliminate that as a variable, but there's been no change in condition. He's getting a little worse each day, although this is definitely a slow-acting pathogen. I'm at a complete loss and have sought the advice of other fish forums who have told me to do nothing and just "wait and see". I basically tried that during Weeks 8-11 when all I did was feed medicated food, but it didn't work. By the way, during Week 4, my biological filtration was killed off and my tank went through a 30-day re-cycle, but the ammonia never went above 0.25 for 2 weeks and the nitrite was at 0.25-0.5 for 11 days after the ammonia reached 0. My biggest concern during this period was the pH, because when I first noticed the fin rot, the pH was at approx. 7.6, which could have been due to high nitrates? After the tank stabilized, the pH has been consistent at 8.0-8.2. I've always used the same brand of spring water to perform water changes and I have another tank with a comet goldfish who is doing great in the same water.

No one has been able to help and I'm reaching out in a desperate attempt for guidance...should I continue trying medications like Tri-Sulfa and Maracyn Plus if the Tetracycline doesn't work? Or, should I stop all meds and perform more iodine swabs? (I only did one because it REALLY stressed out my fish for a few hours.) Or should I just accept there's nothing more to be done?

Finally, in case anyone was going to ask, the reason I don't use tap water is because Florida tap water has between 1.0-2.0 ppm ammonia plus chorine and chloramines added for sanitation. Unfortunately, no matter what brand or how much of water conditioner I add (Amquel+, Prime, Ammo-Lock, Chloram-x), my API test drops always shows a large presence of ammonia still left. I even bought fresh drops to make sure the kit wasn't old. I've been told the chemicals are probably interfering with the test kit, but I am not taking any chances. My LFS says to add 4-times the recommended dose for Florida tap water to be sure to remove all the ammonia, but that just seems unsafe for the fish. If anyone has any advice on this topic as well, it would really help, because my tap water has an ideal ph=7.4-7.6 and I'm sure my fish would be much happier.

Thank you so much for your help...I'm not sure how much longer he will last. :ill

Edited by jbarber
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Hi JBarber,

I am really sorry all this is happening to your fish..Also it is really really good that you have posted all the test results and answered all the questions in the box..this just helps the moderators understand the problem better...and also you have posted in the right section of the forum..I am sorry I am not of much help here but I am sure an experienced member or a moderator will definitely help you with this problem in sometime..I would really stop all meds, until a mod guides you thru anything...hold on and hang in there..I hope your fish gets better soon and we are here to support and help you out...this is a gr8 place to be..and someone will address the issue soon..take care..and good luck... :)

Edited by SunshineGurl
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Sorry to hear your Shubunkin has such a stubborn case of fin rot. Although I am not as experienced as other members here I do have a few statements/ suggestions regarding your situation...

I'm definitely weary of using medications, in most of my experiences in the past if I used medications, my fish never really got better, just stayed alive longer. Anyway, from what I see here you have gone through many types of medications to treat your fish. I'm afraid in doing so, your fish may have developed an immunity to some of these antibiotics. Not to mention medications can wreak havoc on your cycle, as it seems it has at one point.

As for the medicated food, what brand did you use? The only medicated food I have found success with is through Goldfish Connection. Both MediGold and MetroMed are great for treating sick fish. :)

My best suggestion would be at this time to remove all medications from the tank using carbon, do a 100% water change to ensure all meds are removed from the water and maybe follow up with gradually adding salt. I know you've tried salt before to no avail, but I honestly feel after months of medicating, your fish may benefit from a bit of a break.

One more thing, in regards to using spring water. Does your PH remain stable? I used to use spring water in my tank due to HIGH PH in my tap water and found it to be more harm than good. However, I can see that in your case, this is the better option due to the ammonia situatin! :) However, I'm curious what your KH is and if the meds and potential PH issues could be affecting your cycle, and subsequently your fish's recuperation.

Keep us posted! :)

Edited by Desiree
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Hello jbarber!

It appears as if you are running in circles medicating! :krazy: As Desiree already said...the medications must stop!! Please don't feel badly about this as we have all been there and done that. On the forum we call it "Shotgun" medicating. You don't know exactly whats wrong, so you overcompensate and try everything. Its pretty much panic, but it can be lethal for your fish.

I notice that you have only been doing 20% wcs every 5-7 days. This is not enough, especially with an ill fish. I also would recommend that you do a 100% wc, temp and ph matched with a water conditioner. The water conditioners contain products to help your fish's slime coat and he needs that right now. After the 100% I'd say you should be changing 40% every other day until your fish starts showing improvement. Desiree has already explained about using carbon to remove the meds, so I won't go there. You have very good filtration so the meds should be gone quickly.

Now, lets talk about the spring water. Tap water contains minerals that fish need to be healthy and survive. We have many posters here from Florida, so maybe they could chime in about ammonia in the water, but spring water doesn't give your fish the minerals he needs, and it has to be very expensive to do water changes. Have you tried filling buckets the night before and letting them sit 24 hours to see if the ammonia will dissipate?

Medigold and other medicated foods need to be used for internal bacterial infections. Your fish has finrot, which is an external problem. No amount of medicated food is going to fix his fins. And as Desiree stated, using these medicated foods can cause an immunity in your fish where later on if he NEEDS the antibiotics, they won't work. Medicated foods need to be saved as a last resort.

Most fish problems can be traced back to the quality of the water. Meaning not enough water changes, too many meds, a cycle crash, not the right kind of water, etc. So my suggestion to you would be this: Take a deep breath. Do a 100% water change and add a water conditioner. Start a medicinal salt program of .1% and do a salt log so you remember how much you put in and when. Do a thorough gravel vac.

Pristine water can often do much more for fish than meds. You would be surprised at how much it can help, especially with external problems like fin rot.

Good luck and post back and let us know how its going!

Edited by vickielm
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I have one question that may be relevant to add to the other points people have made. The other fish you keep separately who appears fine? How new is he? Could he or any new items in his tank have been carrying parasites -without symptoms- and cross contamination occurred? This needs ruling out.

If not:

#2 :If you saw improvement with the Maracyn you first used and then it came back when you stopped using it, its possible that medication was appropriate & you needed to continue that very medication a few more days not change to another. If a medication is going to work it will show signs of working within the first 2 days of use. Sometimes fish need a little longer than the stated duration, esp if their body weight is heavier or size is bigger than the 2" average Joe fish most meds are geared to.

#3: Antibiotics are very specific about what they will deal with and wont ; I'm sure you know this, as well as their effectiveness being related to accurate dosage strength and usage. Using consecutive antibiotics without a break definitely affects the fishes immunity in a negative way. Antibiotics are designed to serve as a prop during the time when the fishes immune response is overwhelmed only, not to be served consecutively. Finrot and peduncle disease need repair tissue which is generated by a strong immune system and repair function goes into hibernation when the immune system is down.

#4 Having said this, while mild finrot is almost always caused by stress, and can be healed with stress reduction and mild salt, severe finrot where the peduncle is reached and the fins between the spines have eroded to the base does require medication (back to this later*)

#5 When a fish is showing stress or sickness,previous water changing routines are no longer adequate. The weekly 20% should be upped to 50% daily. There are bacteria in the tank multiplying when fish are under parr and these need to be cleared. One of the troubles with bottled water I have read here often is owners don't seem to have enough water on hand to do those larger water changes which are so essential. 20% is simply not enough to clear bacterial load.

Bottled water with a pH over 8? That's unusual. But high temperature +high pH is also a danger zone for finrot. Flex (one of the leading bacteria that causes peduncle disease) thrives in high temps and high pH.

The 5 gallon he is in now may cause more problems. Stress is huge for a fish going form larger to smaller water volume; unless its cycled you then have that worry, and since this disease is very closely related and triggered always by stress factor numeration I suggest you put him back in his own tank and sort out the tap water supply by using zeolite to remove tap ammonia and storing water in buckets to use when the ammonia level is safe.

*Medication for advanced finrot/peduncle disease which this sounds to have become I would have suggested a combination therapy of kanamycin in the water and feeding a medicated food that

contains neomycin- Geltek does one.

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Guest jbarber

Thank you to everyone who has responded...I really appreciate the advice. I will stop the Tetracycline medication, but I'm a little concerned that stopping without finishing the 5-day treatment will make him resistant...any thoughts? Once I have done so and start doing more water changes, how long should it take for his finrot to start improving? It's the hardest thing in the world for me to watch his fins getting worse and do nothing except water changes (you know, I feel like I'm just "letting him die"). But I'll do my best to follow this advice and increase water changes daily until I see improvement. I'll also put him back in his big tank, although I should mention the bucket is cycled...I used a filter from the main tank.

Regarding the spring water/tap water issue...all Florida spring water has a pH over 8 once it sits out overnight (I know, I've tested every brand to find one with a lower pH). It's because Florida springs are extrememly alkaline with hard water. I actually have tried letting the water sit overnight with loose cap (both inside and outside in the sun) with and without adding conditioner. Nothing has worked. Trust me, I would LOVE to not be spending so much money on spring water. I just can't seem to find a solution. With a sick fish, I don't want to take a chance of making him worse by adding water with traces of ammonia. I haven't tried the zeolite, so I will buy some today...can you explain how I should use it to treat the tap water before adding to the tank? Finally, my last question is, if I can successfully treat my tap water, is it safe to use it for large water changes since this will lower the pH of the tank rather quickly? Another option is to mix the tap with the spring water for a while until the pH lowers slowly.

To answer the question about my other goldfish, I've only had him for 5 weeks or so, but my shubunkin was sick long before that. While it's certainly not impossible that cross-contamination occurred, the comet has never shown any signs of stress/disease.

Again, thank you for your help! I can't believe I've been dealing with "simple fin rot" for 12 weeks! But what's worse, it means poor Fishy has been stressed out for 12 weeks! (even though he's a trooper and doesn't seem to let it bother him).

P.S. I should probably better qualify the severity of the finrot. His tail is about 2 in. long, and the finrot has eaten away about 1/3 of the tail. :(

Sincerely,

Jennifer

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Oops...I forgot one of Trinket's questions/observations. You had mentioned that perhaps Maracyn was the way to go. I thought so, too, which is why I did a second round along with Maroxy, but this time there was absolutely zero effefct. Same thing with the medicated food. Perhaps it was just coincidence, but during the first round, the fin rot infection (redness) went away within 4 days, so I was stoked! This lasted about a week, but eventually the redness slowly returned. I thought a second round of medicated food with a higher "dose rate" (more feeding) would help, but nada.

Thanks,

Jennifer

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Jennifer, a ph of 8 or a little over doesn't hurt goldies a bit. They actually prefer a higher ph, and 8 is fine and dandy for them.

As far as the zeolite, it comes in little mesh bags and you place it in your filter where the water will run over it. This neutralizes the ammonia. But remember that if you use salt in the tank, you must remove the zeolite as salt causes it to release all of the ammonia at once. Maybe using a combination of both for right now won't stress your fish out, so if you feel better doing that, then do it. So, how about frequent water changes, zeolite, and continue with the Maracyn 2?

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Thank you vickielm. I have already removed Fishy from the bucket and put him in my 10gal hospital tank. It has the same gravel and plants from his main tank that he's used to, so I don't think he will be stressed out in there. (Plus, his main tank is really tall and the hospital tank is more shallow, which I know is better for goldfish.) I did a 50% water change before adding him to the hospital tank and will continue with more frequent water changes as soon as he's done with the Tetracycline (not Maracyn 2). I decided to go ahead and finish the meds since there are only three days left. But then I promise I will stop! I am also slowly upping the salt to help reduce his stress. I also bought a larger variety of foods to feed him. A friend told me only feeding pellets and peas does not offer enough of a varied diet.

I'm also doing some testing to try and find a solution to my tap water problem. I know it is extremely important for me to find a solution (soon!) if I'm going to keep up with the recommended water changes. Here are the water conditioners I have on hand (all bought within 2 months):

Amquel+ = 5mL/10gal standard dose (treats 1.2 ppm ammonia plus chlorine/chloramines)-says it will work within 5 minutes

ClorAm-X = 5mL/10gal standard dose (treats 1.0 ppm ammonia plus chlorine/chloramines)

AmmoLock = 5mL/10gal standard dose (treats 3.0 ppm ammonia, 7.0 ppm chlorine, 5.0 ppm chloramines)-says it works "instantly"

Prime = 2 drops/gal standard dose (treats 0.8 ppm ammonia, 3.3 ppm chlorine, 1.2 ppm chloramines)

I will post more results tomorrow, but so far I have started by treating 2gals of tap water (starting value = ~1.5ppm ammonia) with the standard dose (1mL) of API's AmmoLock. After 30 min. of stirring in the bucket, I tested the ammonia again and it was actually slightly higher (darker green) at 2.0ppm!! :blink: I'm so confused. Could it be that the chloramines are being broken down and converted into free ammonia? Is anyone else having these kinds of problems?

P.S. I was thinking again about the "cross-contamination" question and I remembered that I actually filled up about 30% of the smaller tank my newer comet fish is in with water from my main tank, so he was exposed to my shubunkin's "pathogen". He didn't get sick, so that's more evidence the fin rot is stress-related rather than some mutant resistant bacteria. I totally forgot about that, so thanks to Trinket for helping me remember!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

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Seems to be some false postive results with the ammolock products but I cant help specifically as I don't use them. Others do and will chime in I'm sure. Sounds like you have a plan and you were right to finish up the antibiotics, always finish the course. Any other meds you can stop immediately if they don't look to be helping. Feed some extra iron/protein as tetracyline can make fish anemic.

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HI! (Chiming In)..

I've used the ammolock a few times before and everytime I have added it, it gives me a HIGHER ammonia reading too. I used it during a cycling tank and the tank would rise to the same amount of ammonia each day.. The days ammo lock was added, it went REALLY high...

I've found a product that I am really happy with, that I use as well as regular drop test kits.. The seachem ammonia alert. It's about $7, and lasts about a year.. You can hang it in your tank and it's supposed to detect FREE ammonia (basically the harmful ammonia). I wouldn't rely on it only. Don't use it in PLACE of your drop tests. But if you use it ALSO, it will be useful for when you must use a product like ammolock, which messes with your readings.

Hope that helped?

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Sure thing. Oh and I forgot to include something:

I have a BUNCH of them on hand as well.. I wasn't sure which one I wanted to use so I posted a question and PixieFish answered with this great post. It's pinned now, but just in case you didn't see it here it is:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=70825

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Hi,

I think you are getting false positives. I live in Hollywood, Florida, my city has chloramines in the water which is chlorine and ammonia. A few months ago I was making myself crazy with this. I had no ammonia before the water change. I change the water and wah lah I have 2 ppm ammonia. Then I tested the water the next day and ammonia is back to zero. Prime and amquel I believe neutralize the ammonia from the chloramines in the tap water making it less harmful to the fish. Correct me if I'm wrong. So now I don't even bother testing for ammonia immediately after my water change. I only test the Ph immediately after.

I do the ammonia and the rest of the tests the next morning. Right now, I'm using prime as my water conditioner in addition to Kent's Goldfish Essential. The Kent's claims to be a mineral supplement.

By the way I had a fish that had fin rot, lost a nice chunk of her tail, and it did grow completely back. As per Trinket I used 3% salt, along with Melafix, and fed medigold which is an antibiotic food from goldfish connection.

Edited by kittyfiends
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I haven't used Ammolock, so I can't help you there, but I am a freak on Prime during cycling. I do know that Prime will still give you an ammonia reading, as it neutralizes the free ammonia, but will still show that you have it. Very confusing, but it is a wonderful product. Also with Prime, it only neutralizes ammonia for 24 hours.

I would pay close attention to kittyfiends post, as she lives in Florida and has the same water issues as you. I'm hoping some of our other Florida posters who have the same problem notice this thread and chime in also. I wasn't very clear in my previous post about it might be okay for right now to mix spring water with the tap water to help you lower the ammonia situation.

Don't worry, hon. We'll all chime in and help you get this figured out! :hug:grouphug

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I had that problem once. I treated the fish in fresh water without a filter and changed the water everyday. For the first 14 days I treated with the recommended Melafix dose and after that I reduced the dose to half strength, still changing the water everyday. It took about 3 months but finally the finrot was gone for good and the fins had grown back, the problem did not return. It was a pain in the butt changing the water everyday but pristine water is half the cure, imo.

ps. if you don't want to use tap water you can use filtered water, such as Brita or tap fitted water filters. You can also use de-mineralised water that is used for irons or coffee machines. If you use either of these types of water you need to replace the minerals with conditioning salt or tonic salt for goldfish, there are a couple of brands on the market, such as Seachem Gold Salt. (not aquarium salt or sea salt). It is not recommended that you use mineral water or spring water because they do contain different minerals at various concentrations that may not be ideal for fish to live in.

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Guest jbarber

Thank you all for the great advice! I've been tied up with work, so I'm very sorry I haven't responded before now. However, I took the advice to heart and yesterday bought the Ammonia Alert Sue mentioned. I ALSO bought a Pur water filter attachment for my tap water (I think it has a little better filtration than Brita), as Fishmerised suggested. Using the water filter, I took 2 gallons of tap water and treated with a double dose of Cloram-X (my understanding is that this product uses the old Amquel formula...it seems Kordon, who owned the name, and ARG who manufactured the product and owned the patent parted ways). Anyway, I submersed the Ammonia Alert into this treated water and viola! The next morning, I was reading only 0.05ppm of ammonia in the treated water. As this is almost zero, I'm betting another half-strength dose ought to eliminate it completely. I will do similar testing with the other conditioner products and post thee results if any Florida residents are interested.

Back to my Fishy...I'm almost done with the Tetracycline and it seems to be helping slightly. I would have liked to see all his redness disappear, but only some is gone. I do have an important question regarding the use of medications and biological filtration. My observation is that when treating with a strong antibiotic, the "good bugs" that convert nitrite into nitrate are the first to die off after only a few days. What do you all recommend to counteract the inevitable nitrite build-up while finishing the meds in a hospital tank: a) feed less (I would hate to back off feeding a sick fish willing to eat!), b) add a nitrite remover like Amquel+ as needed, c) water changes despite the negative affectt it may have on medication dose or d) Fill in blank? :)

I have tried various combos of the above, but probably there is one method better than the others. Any suggestions? Thank you! Finally, once I am completely done with the medication, how large of a daily water change is suggested until fin growth is observed? 50%? 30%? I want to make sure I'm doing enough, but not so much I stress him out. He has always been a VERY jumpy fish. He stresses out over stuff my other fish have never cared about. Maybe that's why he's having such a hard time healing. :(

P.S. By the way, kittyfiends, I did some research after reading your post and now I understand why our ammonia level *increases* according to our test drops after using Prime. I found the answer on Seachem's website under Prime FAQ. They have a great explanation so you may want to check it out. Sue's Ammonia Alert is actually the suggested solution on their website to eliminate false positive results for those of us who have a very hard time *trusting* the product is doing its job! ;)

Sincerely,

Jennifer

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I also have a Seachem Ammonia Alert, and I absolutely love it. It tests consistently to all of my tests and it lasts for a year. As she mentioned, don't use it as the ONLY test, but its the best $10 I ever spent on my tank. :)

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Guest jbarber

Yeah, I wanted to get the Seachem drops that use the same technology (i.e. only testing free ammonia so no more false-positives), but can't find them anywhere. By the way, while the Ammonia Alert was only reading at 0.05ppm on my treated water, the regular API drops were reading 0.25ppm, so I guess that extra ammonia is the difference between "free" and "total" ammonia. I swear, this stuff is confusing...and I'm a chemist!

I'll be so happy when I can put Fishy back in his big tank...I miss seeing him in there "dancing" in front of the glass. :heart

Jen

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Guest jbarber

Fish Update:

Well, the good news is I have my tap water issue solved, thanks to everyone's great advice. :D Now, at least I can do as many water changes as I need without problems. And I have had some (minor) success with the medicine. Yesterday was the last dose of treatment (box says to treat for 5 days and repeat for 5 more if needed). During treatment, there was some improvement in redness reduction and his anal fin is showing signs of regrowth (I think...so hard to tell). But, part of his tail fin still has redness on the edges, indicating active infection is present, right? So, should I continue with this medication for the second 5-day treatment since there was some improvement? The medicine doesn't seem to be stressing him out at all (thank goodness).

I just performed a 50% water change and added a cycled filter sponge to the filter to help keep the biological filtration going. Ammonia had remained at zero and nitrite didn't even register at 0.25, so it was just a "trace" amount before the water change. I have also slowly been adding aquarium salt to the recommended dose to 'aid in recovery of fish diseases'. I just wish I knew if the Tetracycline was really helping or if it is just coincidence. You know, I'm starting to wonder if this is fungal instead of bacterial...is that possible? It isn't "cottony" or anything, but it definitelyl seems antibiotic resistant and the tail rot is very even (i.e. eaten away evenly), rather than uneven and stringly like pictures of bacterial fin rot normally look. Is this even possible? If so, would Iodine swabbing help? I have actually done on him twice on the advice of a friend, but that was before I came here for help. Because I didn't keep it up, I don't know if there was any improvement. Seriously, this is driving me crazy and I worry about every night when I check on him and see the redness still there. At this advanced stage of fin rot and with all the facts I've mentioned, what do you guys think is the absolute best thing I can do to help him? I can definitely perform large water changes every day, but is that really going to be enough to fix such advanced fin rot?

I really appreciate the help.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

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Guest jbarber

I went ahead and added the sixth tablet after the water change...maybe it's a coincidence, but he seems to be improving slightly and I don't want to stop what's working. I think I'll just finish the box, which means I have three days left to treat. If others agree, I was thinking of doing a 25% water change before each tablet addition, to make sure water parameters stay really good. I agree, pristine water is important and I'm going to do my best to keep it that way!

Jen

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Do as large a water change as possible/practical each day, tetracycline is a wicked antibiotic and will kill all the bugs in your cycled filter. I would discard the filter as all the dead bacteria in it will just foul the water. jmo.

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