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Old 12-16-2018, 08:26 PM   #1
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Exclamation How to treat fin rot? (betta)


Hello everyone! I am currently taking care of a neighbor's betta, who I finally convinced to let me treat it. I have had it since last night. After a few months of my neighbor's care, the fish's fins are about 2/3 gone, and ragged. I tested the water of her aquarium and it had about 0.25-0.5 ppm of ammonia, 0 nitrates, around 5 ppm of nitrates, and 8.2-4 pH. It is a dumbo betta, but the rot is so bad there that now the pectoral fins are nearly nubs with only one long piece left on it. The dorsal and anal fins are better, but the caudal fin rot has almost reached its body. The problem is, I have researched for countless hours and know my way around hypothetical situations, but I have not much experience at all. I've never had to treat a sick fish, and much of the advice on fin rot is contradictory. After a quick stop by the LFS last night, now I have API fin and body cure. However, I'm starting to doubt the pet store employee's recommendation. I don't usually trust what they say, but I was in a rush. But back to it -- I haven't treated the betta yet, but I'm keeping water quality good in the temporary hospital tank. I don't want to use an antibacterial without being sure that it'll be effective. The hospital 'tank' is a 5 gallon bucket only filled halfway (otherwise it's too tall for the betta to swim to the surface for air), with a small heater (set at 78-80 but the temperature is currently at 75) and an airstone. I don't have an extra filter for the setup, and the neighbor's filter is attached to her tank, which is at her home.

As far as the betta goes, he's having trouble swimming. At the surface, the 'current' from the air stone is too much for him to fight against, and he ends up becoming still and letting himself be moved to be against the wall, going into a slight 's' position. He bottom-sits frequently but still moves often, quickly, and is lively. I haven't noticed any fungal growths or fuzziness on his fins. He still eats happily as long as he notices the food. It may be important to note that he had a small growth near the rear of one eye when he was first purchased (from petco). Another one developed on the other eye a month or so ago, but neither had grown considerably and tumors are quite common in bettas, so I didn't see it as a cause for concern.

The question is, how should I medicate him? I have heard bettafix/melafix recommended by some, but others say it is only effective with very few gram-negative bacteria. Others say aquarium salt, but some say it isn't effective enough on its own and that it's too irritating to bettas. My API fin and body cure is hard to dose for a 2.5 gallon, because the packets it comes in are meant for 10 gallons. I don't want to dose the wrong amount if I estimate the amount needed and I definitely don't want to kill someone else's fish!

Thank you so much if you read through this! I didn't mean to write a novel but I wanted to provide enough information for you guys.

P.S. - Sorry for the bad quality pictures. First are the 'before' photos, and the second link is now.
https://twitter.com/laurrra379/statu...62821201731589
https://twitter.com/laurrra379/statu...63193572040705
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:27 PM   #2
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Hi welcome,


If it's mainly a water quality issue, very low flow and good quality water should resolve. Light salt dosing will help for minor infections and he should be fine with salt dosing. The 'fix's (like the antiseptic dyes) will also help but would suggest half dosing (and measure accurately) as more likely to cause the fish problems. These will also help in minor infections. If getting worse, then into antibiotics. However just clean water can make a big difference all by itself.
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Old 12-16-2018, 11:32 PM   #3
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Hi welcome,


If it's mainly a water quality issue, very low flow and good quality water should resolve. Light salt dosing will help for minor infections and he should be fine with salt dosing. The 'fix's (like the antiseptic dyes) will also help but would suggest half dosing (and measure accurately) as more likely to cause the fish problems. These will also help in minor infections. If getting worse, then into antibiotics. However just clean water can make a big difference all by itself.
Thanks for the response! What would you define as a low salt dosage? And how would I go about dosing it in my tank? If things get any worse, what 'fix' or antiseptic dye and antibiotic would you recommend?
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:50 AM   #4
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Salt dose 1 TEAspoon per 5 gallons of water. Double it after a week.

Medications: Trypaflavin, Nitrofurantoin (Furan 2), Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin), or Neomycin Sulfate. Malachite Green is the more common dye stuff I believe Delapool is suggesting.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:24 AM   #5
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For fin rot, the best fix (IMO) is just clean, warm water. Bettas like it pretty warm, 78-82F. If you really wanted to you could also use some API Stress Coat, I found that it helped accelerate the healing process a bit.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:56 PM   #6
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Salt dose 1 TEAspoon per 5 gallons of water. Double it after a week.

Medications: Trypaflavin, Nitrofurantoin (Furan 2), Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin), or Neomycin Sulfate. Malachite Green is the more common dye stuff I believe Delapool is suggesting.
It's been about 10 days now since I started the salt treatment, and it's hard to tell whether the rot is getting better or worse. I think I'll have to medicate. I've heard that a combination of Seachem Kanaplex and Jungle Fungus Clear is effective as a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Any thoughts on this or experience? I'm not aware of the medications you listed; what's the difference between them or advantage of using one over another?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 12-30-2018, 01:30 AM   #7
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The kanaplax and furan 2 (in JFC) can be combined eg for bad columnaris infections. The potassium is a good disinfectant - quite good by itself but useful to cleanup bad external infections so the antibiotics have a better chance. The combination above should be fine and good chance.

Temps above normal and high organic load reduce effectiveness imo. Also monitor first night carefully and half water change if fish not coping with meds (but should be fine, Iíve treated Bettas with those although not all combined).
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Old 12-30-2018, 01:50 AM   #8
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The medications I listed are what is advised for fin rot. Of course those are the medical names and they go by different brand names. If you Google the medical names then the product will pop up. I've heard Kanaplex works for fin rot.
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