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Old 02-27-2013, 08:37 PM   #1 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: BC Canada
Arrow My Betta is sick! Am I treating him with the right stuff?

Hi All my betta, Coro (purchased adult in dec 2011) Is very sick. I have had bettas before but I am not able to access myracin 2 (spelling) so I have to treat with the medication in town. I had a few choices from API but I bought TC Tetracycline. Last night the pet shop convinced me to buy melafix in the first place I tried it once (last night) but it just didn't seem right to me so I got the TC Tetra today and put that in. He has 3 red spots on one side, and a small spot on his top fin of white?,, was lying like he was dead off and on for a week I really thought he was a gonner so that's why I didn't get him medicine until last night. The little guy wants to survive. He has a bit of a curve to him but I think it is only from not feeling well.. He hasn't eaten anything in about a week now. I did have some green algae in the tank a few times but it gets some daylight so I figured it was just from that. He did have an issue with digestion before where he was constipated, got bloated and looked almost dead but recovered. This issue started with him being very afraid of me, hiding when I came around (usually I could call him out of his tunnel). And downhill from there.

What size is your tank? - 5 gallon but I have taken some water out so he doesn't have to swim as high
What temperature is your tank? 75 - 76 but goes a little higher when the light is on for a while. Never under 75.
Does your tank have a filter? yes I have removed the media right now
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes adjustable heater as well as an external thermometer and a in-water thermometer inside the tank
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none only him the whole time

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? I feed him pellets 3 in am and 3 in pm I think nutrafin
How often do you feed your betta fish? morning and night

How often do you perform a water change? Approx once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? approx 1/4 of the water
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I add the water decholorinator. let the water sit overnight in a bucket. heat it up to the desired temp infront of a wall heater and then add it to my tank then I add some cycle

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No I do not have a test kit I have had the pet store test my water before with the way I treat it and it has been fine


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has clamped fins. has 3 red blotches as well as what appears to be a small white area on the tip of his top fin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Hides, flops over, swims weak, does not eat
When did you start noticing the symptoms? I think about a week and a half now
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I changed the water, put aquarium salt in the water, put some betta fix in the water. Started to try something else,,, some melafix for one day.... and now have the tc tetracycline
Does your fish have any history of being ill? yes he has had constipation problems I gave him a little pea and it helped.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I would say about 1 year when I got him so just over 2 years?

Last edited by steftravels; 02-27-2013 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #2 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: BC Canada
Ok and a picture from today
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:11 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week. - switching pellets and adding a fast day will help wtih the constipation.

he is also too cold at 75 and 76 is really bare minimum with 78-80 ideal. What heater are you using? It sounds like you may need a new one 25w is needed for this size.

Removing your filter media will kill off the bb and crash your cycle.. you will now need twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100%

Most pet stores are unreliable sources of water quality. They use unreliable test strips and consider high levels of ammonia as "normal". Unless they are using a drops kit and giving you actual numbers on ammonia, nitrite or nitrate I would not trust them.

I notice since he's new he's been going through the cycling process.. with your water change schedule this is why he's become sick.. Cycling takes up to 2 months and during this time you should be testing daily for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time either show up. In addition to this a regular 50% weekly change with siphon is needed. Your readings show the tank has not even barely started to cycle. First you will see ammonia spike, then you will see nitrites. Eventually, even after a week of no water changes ammonia will stay at 0, then finally nitrites. At this point you should be left with only nitrates, which should be kept <20ppm and the lower the betta by the once weekly change with siphon.

Tetracycline has toasted your cycle, so between this and removing the media you will have to start over again once he is well - not before.

So at this point I'd give a couple back to back 50% changes with siphon, and see how he does. He's red so it's hard to diagnose anything additionally red on him.. but bloody splotches on the skin and fins can be a sign of septicemia, which would not be surprisng for him at this point.. If it has gotten to this point he needs meds. Kanaplex, Triple Sulfa or Maracyn 1 and 2 in combo treated for 2 weeks.

Tetracycline will not help with this and neither with Melafix. Melafix is not good to use with labyrinth lung fish because it can coast their labyrinth lung and cause them to suffocate.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:09 AM   #4 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: BC Canada
Hi Callistra
I will try and find him a different pellet if he starts to eat again. we are limited where I live and I can't even find the Hikari ones that I used to use...

As for the heater I have been using an adjustable one. It can go higher but I have read that too high will make the bacteria worse. He has been living fine at this temp for over a year now so I am unsure if that is the cause of his illness.

I have had him for over a year now so he is no longer cycling. I know that the medicine will throw off the tank but I really do need to put something in and I can't use the filters that I had because they did have carbon in them. it's a good filter but slim so I can't put just the foam in..or vice versa. The reason I add cycle whenever I change the water is because the water quality here is not very good and my other fish would die. as soon as I started adding the cycle. They stopped I figured our water here needed it..

I thought the TC Tetracycline would treat septicaemia. It says so on the box.. I can't get maracyn here. I called all the pet stores and no one carries it..I may be able to get the triple sulfa.. how is it different from the tc tetra?

I agree I was scared to use the melafix after I read it would coat their labrynth so I have decided not to use it. ..please let me know about the medicine difference if you can...
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