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Old 03-07-2011, 10:06 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
I've been fighting Fin Rot. It's evolved into something more, please help! (pictures)

This started when I tried to move Pluto into a new 5 gal. Fluval Chi tank, which I had treated with the same everything that I was treating his one gallon tank with. We had got him a water frog from the pet store that had been in the tank for the night already before I put Pluto in with him. Pluto was happy and swimming everywhere in there and I thought he was even getting along well with the low powered filter. He never had one before.

But a few days later I noticed his bottom fin was dark on the tip. Uh oh. Went to the pet store, got the bettafix that I thought was the only thing that they had. But it just got worse and within 2 days the rest of his fins were getting dark and the one fin was rapidly being consumed. I did research online, educated myself. Tried neomycin but he wouldn't eat it. So I broke down and got the the harsh stuff tetracycline. I moved him out of the Chi tank immediately when I first noticed the dark on his fin. Now he is in a small glass that I exchange water in the one gallon tetracycline prepared tank. I have almost gone through 2 cycles with the stuff, and the darkness on his fins has stopped consuming him. The dead fins are falling off, but now I think he may have the secondary fungal infection the tetracycline box talks about. And just tonight he is showing some open red sores.

Can he still make it? I baby feed him, talking to him and getting him to eat one or two pieces of blood worm at a time. He is having trouble swimming in the directions he wants to go, but I would to if I lost all that fin.

Sorry if I was a little long, but I didn't want to leave anything out.
I was hoping someone could give me another perspective. Am I just putting him through a lot of pain? Or can he pull through? I have hopes but I think he is septic.

Any help would be great!

What size is your tank? - Was a five gal, now a glass cup.
What temperature is your tank? - 72-74
Does your tank have a filter? - not anymore
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? - no
Is your tank heated? - no, was before the cup
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? - no, had a frog before the cup

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - blood worms and betta food pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? - try twice a day so that he eats at least once


How often do you perform a water change? - at least once a day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? - 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? - betta safe, betta bowl plus, amquel plus for the nitrate ammonia ect.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
No, do not have a kit.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? - He has lost most of his fins and has turned red and white at the base of his back fin.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? - he does not eat as readily, has trouble swimming smoothly, but still responds to talking and tries to eat.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? - beginning of last week. 7 or so days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - Began with bettafix, did not work. Then neomycin, he did not eat it. Then tetracycline about 4 days ago. He has responded to it.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None, some stress.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him in November. So maybe a year old?

Last edited by Krisami; 03-07-2011 at 10:18 PM. Reason: Added information
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:23 PM   #2 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Mississauga, Canada
Wow, I've never seen a case so advanced. Usually when it gets this bad it goes from Fin rot and is referred to as Body rot (the bacteria that ate his tail are now attacking the body).

If he was the only fish in the Fluval Chi I would say keep him there, if you have a 1 gallon tank/jar/tub it would be better. That glass is just too small and may not be helping the problem. If you have live plants you can move them into a seperate glass or something.

Then I would say use aquarium salt, one teaspoon per gallon and daily water changes. That always works for me with fin rot and will help prevent seconday infections, you may need to be more agressive with body rot but I don't know. I don't know if tetracycline treats both gram positive and gram negative bacteria, fin rot can be either or even fungal. Maracyn/Maracyn2 would cover all of the above but again may be too mild.

When you say he responded to the tetracycline do you mean he started to heal or the fin rot slowed?

With the whitish coloration my worry would be Columnaris, have some nitroflourazone on hand if the sores are surrounded by a white slimy or fuzzy looking substance.

Edit: I see now you say he had a frog. Go to walmart and grab a 1 gallon tupperware for a hospital tank, that would be the best and cheapest solution for now.

Also your additives are excessive and expensive. Something like Prime would cover all that for a fraction the cost. I have a feeling all those chemicals are partially to blame. You can probably start by using only the Tetra Betta Safe OR the Betta Bowl Plus, it already does everything the other does. Unless you have excessive ammonia/nitrates in your tap water you don't need the Aquamel either.

Last edited by Malvolti; 03-07-2011 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:41 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Sounds like he is getting septic and possible flexibacteria....I would keep him in a small QT and start high does aquarium salt 3tsp/gal and tannins from either dried Oak leaf or Indian almond leaf along with 100% daily water changes...maintain a water temp of at least 76F but no higher than 77F...if he is still eating I would get some fresh garlic and crush it well and soak the medicated fish food in the garlic juice and see if he won't eat it for you at least 3 times a day...I don't normally recommend OTC medications but this sounds pretty advanced and it can't hurt at this point....

You can pre-mix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add the 3tsp/gal salt and the tannin source to steep...shake well before use....this will make water changes and correct dosage easier too and the longer the tannin source steeps the better...

Good luck and keep is posted....
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:22 PM   #4 
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So he is not doing well. He is floating to the side, and doesn't have energy anymore. He is so tired I think. I have been fighting this for just a week or so now, but it's progressed so fast. How do I put him out of his misery? I feel like I can't do anything more.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:05 AM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
The method I use is decapitation with a sharp knife...its fast....
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:06 PM   #6 
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Thank you for your help guys, I really really appreciate it. We let him go today so that he doesn't have to suffer anymore. Thank you for your help again. I love this forum. I'm not sure yet if I will get another betta. Not for awhile anyway.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:13 PM   #7 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Sorry for your loss...but don't get discouraged and give up....these things happen...sadly its all part of a hobby that deals with live animals.....
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disease, fin rot, fungas, red sores, tetracycline

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