Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mibi_fibi 01-24-2008 02:41 PM

Betta troubles
I had originally posted this under Emergencies and Diseases, but now I'm thinking maybe I can get some help from my fellow betta lovers...

to repeat myself...
My betta has been having some troubles over the last few weeks.
First issue was with a white speck on one, then both eyes. Treated with a week of Melafix, but only one eye got better.
Second, noticed that the majority of his 'crowntail' fins (long streamers) had disappeared. This happened so slowly I really hadn't noticed until I was looking at old pictures.
Third, specks are back on both eyes, and one of his pectoral fins became damaged somehow. Not sure if it is finrot, it occurred overnight so I assume he shredded it on something. Trouble is, the fin does not seem to be improving (10 days later..) and I am now on day 4 of both Melafix and Pimafix. There appeared to be a wee white speck at the damage site, hence the Pimafix in case there is a fungal infection too.
Finally, he seems to be bloated all the time. Diet is varied, including peas. I assumed he's just 'big' but in case it relates to the other issues, I thought I'd mention it.
Even with all of the above troubles, behaviour is completely normal !
6 gal tank, water parameters are stable, no amm, no nitrite, nitrate kept below 40. pH is around 8, but has been since day 1 (june 07).
Questions: any thoughts on what is going on? should I try another treatment i.e. antibiotics? If so, what? Tank contains live plants, amano shrimp and glowlights, so I'd need something safe for them.
Tank is pristine, no fluctuations, frequent water changes. Also, glowlights show no signs of trouble. Are bettas more susceptible to finrot? Should I just try aquarium salt? How long should I be continuing with the Melafix/Pimafix treatment before I give up and switch to something more potent? I'm anxious to see it start to heal, but also don't want to waste time if this treatment is ineffective.
What would be a better treatment?
Any suggestions are appreciated, Thanks.
Sorry for all the questions...

bettababy 01-25-2008 02:09 PM

This sounds as if its a serious fungal infection, with a possible bacterial base to it. There is one treatment I know that is effective... most meds don't work well on bettas.
Because there are other fish in the tank, you'll want to move the betta to quarantine to treat, average treatment is 5 - 7 days. The 2 medications you'll want to find are Fungus Eliminator and Methylene Blue. Does both medications according to directions on the bottles in a bucket (3 - 5 gallons works best). Once the meds are mixed in the bucket of water, this is good for 2 days... Fill a bowl with 100% of this medicated water and move the betta to it. Next day do a 100% water change in the bowl with the remaining medicated water. You should be able to get 2 changes from each bucket, so expect to mix this 3 times for the course of treatment. Each day replace 100% of the water with clean medicated water, do this for 5 - 7 days, until the eyes are clear and fins appear to be healing. Do not add salt or any other medications while doing this treatment.

How many glo lites are in the tank with the betta?
If you need more help, let me know!

mibi_fibi 01-26-2008 12:47 PM

Thanks for the advice, today is the first day her behaviour seems a bit off so I'm heading out to buy meds and a QT. The eyes seem a bit better, but it has been 7 days with melafix and pimafix so I agree I need something more effective for him. Pec fins have showed no sign of improvment.
There are 3 glowlights and 3 amano shrimp in the tank. Only a 6 gal, so that was my limit. Is it definite that I should quarantine my betta? Are the medications bad for the others? I just don't want to stress Fibi by moving him to a new tank if I don't have to. I could move everyone else instead since they are healthy. I'll get a QT anyways, but what would you suggest?
Thanks again, I'll keep everyone posted.

bettababy 01-26-2008 02:14 PM

I would suggest moving the betta instead of the other fish, keep the QT small (you could use a bowl if you can keep the temp up and stable), and follow the procedure as explained above. I would expect for you to see improvement within the first 3 - 4 days, but keep up with the treatment for a full 7 to make sure you have really kicked the problem.

mibi_fibi 01-27-2008 07:26 AM

I now have Fibi in a 2.5 gal tank, with heater and gentle aeration and some meds. Temperature is slightly higher than main tank, around 82-83. Is this a suitable temperature for the QT?
I was unable to find meth blue at my LFS, so it's only the Fungus Eliminator that's in there now. Is there something else you recommend instead of meth blue or should I continue as is? I had read somewhere that TC is good in combination with fungus eliminator. As an alternative, I also picked up Maracyn and Maracyn-Two. What do you suggest?
Instructions for Fungus elim say to dose every four days, following a 25% water change. This will be my plan, since the tank is larger than a bowl and I don't want to stress Fibi with 100% changes.
Thanks again for your advice.

bettababy 01-27-2008 01:03 PM

The biggest benefit of using Methylene Blue is its staining ability. The blue stain smothers the light from the fungus, preventing it from growing. If you're using the fungus eliminator, I would suggest returning the Maricyn and Maricyn 2. Those won't be needed and bettas don't often respond to either of those medications. Please don't mix them with the fungus eliminator. Not all medications can be mixed, and your problem with the Melafix and Pimifix combination is likely to be because they were mixed. Most meds I can think of to substitute for the Methylene Blue are either ineffective or too harsh on a betta, so please continue with just the fungus eliminator according to the directions on the packaging. You might want to consider purchasing the Methylene Blue online, as the combination of that with fungus eliminator are about the only meds a betta really will ever need. Those 2 meds will cover most issues common in bettas. If this is an option for you, let me know and I can help you find it online. I think Drs Foster & Smith carries it, and they are a reliable company.
Keep me posted!
Also, the water temp at 80 - 82 should be fine considering bettas breathe from the surface. Warmer water has less oxygen in it, which can be an issue with some meds and some fish, but not the bettas. Watch the aeration, as even slight can cause stress in many bettas, and stress will only cause more illness problems. The aeration is not really needed in this situation.

mibi_fibi 01-28-2008 08:21 PM

I managed to get some meth blue today, so I've done a 50% water change and added fresh medicated water. Unfortunately he doesn't look any better today, I hate to say it, I fear he is worse. I'll keep you posted, thanks again.

bettababy 01-29-2008 03:30 PM

I'm glad t hear it, please be patient and give him some time. This isn't a 100% guarantee, but it's the closest thing I know of to it. I have treated bettas that I was sure were hopeless, only to find they had 2 - 3 yrs of life left in them. Healing takes time.
Keep me posted and let me know if theres anything else I can do to help.

Blaxicanlatino 01-29-2008 05:54 PM

hmmm. it sounds like hes getting old maybe.

hope he get better 8)

mibi_fibi 01-29-2008 06:43 PM

Today he is the same, no worse, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. Still eating like a wee piggie, also a good sign.
I will try to be patient, thank you so much for all of your help.

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