So I've posted a couple times before, continuously trying to figure out what's ailing Ruuti - He's been sick for several months now and he's starting to show signs of ulcer-like sores.
I treated him for fungal infections first (after conservative treatments like water changes and aquarium salt), and then used "General Cure" for parasitic infections... none of that helped, so I'm gonna try treating for bacterial. Since I'm not 100% sure what it is, (I'm hoping it's not tuberculosis), I figured I'd try both Maracyn 1 and 2 - I've read different places that you can use them together.
My question is, is it really safe to use both of them together, and if so, how does one do it properly? I want to make sure I do it right! :)
Yes, you can use them together.... However, most aquatic bacterial infections are due to gram negative bacteria. Maracyn 2 (minocycline) treats this type of infection, but it's harsher on the liver and kidneys than some other types of medications. Also, both Maracyn (erithromycin) and Maracyn 2 (minocycline) have been used for quite awhile, so some bacteria is now resistant to them.
Do you mind explaining more about what condition(s) you're trying to treat? Can you post photos? And fill out the form located here?
Thank you for the response - I definitely don't want to put a lot of stress on his organs, but I don't want to see his health deteriorate any more than it has (and for so long)... I used to use Maracyn for fin rot on my previous betta and it always seemed to work well (but I think he may have been hardier than my current guy).
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? around 78 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes - sponge filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Just through the filter(has a Hawkeye air pump)
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Just himself and a few tiny trumpet snails (Introduced from a plant I bought at a local fish shop - I feel that plant may also be the culprit for Ruuti's illness)
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One pellets and Omega One Freeze-Dried Bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Lately once per day, two pellets and a bloodworm (because he had been getting bloated)... but usually 3-4 pellets per day, with the occasional bloodworm
How often do you perform a water change? At least once per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Seachem Prime water conditioner
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? It's only been tested at the local pet store and I'm always told it's "very good"... the tank has been cycled and stays clean
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has become dull-coloured/greyish, his fins are very clamped (they look shriveled but they're not being eaten away by fin rot or anything), some scales on his head looked to have come off and left small raw-looking areas on him; also has shiny greyish patches on him, but they aren't "fuzzy" or "cottony" - just patchy -- One of his first symptoms (several months ago) was that his gill flaps wouldn't come out all the way when he flared
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? For the first couple of weeks he was VERY VERY hyper and spastic, darting everywhere and acting very nervous. Then he acted normally and lately he's become very energy-less and seems to get tired out when swimming a lot - he hides in his little pagoda or sits at the bottom when I'm not interacting with him or feeding him.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Around 4-4.5 months ago (a couple weeks after I got him)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes - started with daily water changes, then tried aquarium salt with water changes, tried API Fungus Cure, then tried API General Cure... After General Cure, his "nervousness" seemed to get better but then he became more listless.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Pretty much since I got him he's been ill with a mysterious illness.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Probably around 8 mo. to 1 year - I got him from Wal-Mart (terrible, I know! But out of all the pet stores - chain and local - in my area, Wal-Mart's fish are the healthiest. They must have hired a good aquarist or something.)
Here are a few pictures I just took of him... (I know they're not very good, but he wouldn't be still!!)
The top right picture sort of shows the "raw" areas - they look like white patches in the picture but they're really sunken down and look like an area where scales are missing.
Hope this helps!!
I REALLY want to help him get better! It's been a very slow moving "illness," whatever it is. I'd love to see him looking as beautiful and healthy as he did in that first picture... :(
Thank you for providing all that information.... Poor little guy. That's a huge difference from your "before" photo on the other thread.....
So you've tried:
1) Aquarium salt - good for minor external infections.
2) API Fungus Cure - its combination of Victoria (Malachite) green and acriflavine is good for a variety of external issues.
3) API General Cure - metronidazole/praziquantel combination that's good for a wide variety of both external and internal parasitic issues. Also helps with internal anaerobic conditions.
Of those three, you only noticed a difference with the General Cure. But he then became listless, and developed external "raw patches."
Hm.... I agree with you, in that it may be worth trying an antibiotic next.
I wouldn't use the Maracyn/Maracyn 2 combination yet though. Most aquatic bacterial infections are due to gram negative bacteria, which Maracyn 2 (minocycline) treats, but it can be harsh on the liver/kidneys. Maracyn (erithromycin) treats gram positive infections, which are less frequent in aquatic environments.....
Since you have the Maracyn 2 (minocycline) on hand, go ahead and try that first. The white, raw patches may be due to a bacterial infection so the Maracyn 2 may help with that.
I'm not sure how snails do with antibiotics. You may know this already. Or, if no one comments here about this, you can ask in the "other fish" forum (or on TropicalFishkeeping.com, which is the parent website for Bettafish.com).
Also, you probably know this already but just in case --> Remove the media from your filter BEFORE adding any antibiotics. Also, I would remove the live plant(s).
(Actually, I generally just remove the sick fish, and treat it in a small hospital tank. That said, you probably already have a "method" that works for you, since you've used antibiotics before.)
So, to summarize, I'd start with just the Maracyn 2 (minocycline), and see how he does.... Keep us updated....
Ahh thank you so much for such a detailed answer. I had a slight suspicion it could be columnaris, but the only thing that made me doubt that was the slow progress of the illness (from other things I've read, columnaris tends to come on pretty quickly - am I right about that? I've never dealt with it before). Also, he wasn't fuzzy. But I know Maracyn (one) treats that.
I'll go ahead and just start with Maracyn II. Hoping it won't be too harsh on him.
(And yes, the photos make me want to cry!) :( It makes me feel so guilty even though I'm trying to do all the right things...
Unfortunately I don't have a hospital tank - so I guess I'll have to remove the plants. Hope I don't kill them, but better them than Ruuti! My snailies did fine when I used General Cure, but before that when I used Fungus Cure I had taken them out and put them in a tupperware container - haha. Their quarantine tank.
Anyhow, I'll keep you updated -- I have tried to wait a couple weeks between each treatment I've tried just to not over-stress him.
Yes, I'm thinking that it's Columnaris, as a secondary infection. Columnaris is opportunistic, meaning there is often a small amount of it present in aquatic environments and it can "take hold" if a fish is stressed or already sick. The Maracyn 2 (minocycline) is effective against the bacteria that causes it. (Since minocycline has been around awhile, some bacteria is resistant to it. So if the patches don't clear up, it may be necessary to try a different gram negative antibiotic (such as one of the furan meds). But try the Maracyn 2 first.)
Tupperware containers are good QT tanks. So that was a good choice.
Hi! So - 3rd day of treatment... he's definitely not looking any better, possibly worse - the shiny greyish patches look more widespread and now (when he's not hiding, which he's usually doing), he's darting around and seems to be "flashing" - I guess that's what it looks like - sort of quickly pushing off different surfaces while darting around... I've read somewhere that bettas sometimes do this with columnaris, and that's why it can mimic parasitic infections.... is that right?
Is it just getting worse before it gets better, or do you think the Maracyn 2 is making it worse? It's weird :(
If he's not looking better by now.... I think it's time to look into a different treatment.
Perhaps go with a broad-spectrum antibiotic.... Two come to mind: Kanaplex and the Sulfa class (such as Triple Sulfa). Both of these treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, and they tend to be less harsh on the body than meds like Maracyn 2. Don't use sulfa drugs if you have an allergy to them, though.
Also, you may want to send a PM to Sakura8, and ask her opinion....
Hi LittleBlueFishlets and GtownBetta. I have a betta that sounds exactly like this! I am so upset that I might be hurting him trying to help him. He is very light in color (not vibrant red any longer) and has a patch of white starting on his head. I have been doing daily water changes and adding salt, because I noticed Fin rot. But now his fins have stopped disappearing and they are now hard and stiff. I did add melafix for the fins as well. But now I am reading about columnaris and don't know which way to turn. He is mostly listless and won't eat... he used to love peas... which he used to eat right off a tooth pick!!! He used to jump for them.
Please help if you can.... I Love my guy. And thank you for any advice you might have!!!!