Hey guys I am new to this site and this is my first post. I have a male betta with fin rot. He looks similar to this betta but with a little more fraying on the tail: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lw...2rwfo1_500.jpg
(sorry I couldn't take a good pic of him so I just used this one)
He is in a 10 gallon QT tank and I just finished his treatment of maracyn 2. His tail doesn't look any worse than before the treatment, but it doesn't look much better either. I have to admit that the water quality wasn't the best during the treatment. The ammonia rose to 0.02ppm for a day or so but I didn't want to change the water because I was worried it would remove the medicine. I don't think his fin rot is cured because I can still see some black on his top and bottom fins. What should I do next? I am going to do a 50% water change tomorrow and then 20% changes every 2 or 3 days to keep water quality good. My question is should I add new medicine right away or should I wait a week or so to let my betta rest? Also, should I treat with maracyn 1 and 2 this time or try a different medicine? If so, what other medicine should I use? Don't say salt and clean water because I tried that and it didn't work. I'm very confused and I want the best for my betta so please help me! Thanks
Hi Leopardfire and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear about your guy.
A very good medication for fin rot is API Triple Sulfa. However, if you think you may have any allergies to sulfa drugs, DO NOT USE. Instead, try API Tetracycline.
As you guessed, it's probably a good idea to give him a week or so in clean water to clear his system of the Maracyn-2. Make sure when you medicate that you remove any activated carbon in your filter, as this just sucks the meds out of the water.
Thanks so much! I went and got the triple sulfa today. My betta's fin rot got drastically worse in his 1 day without maracyn so I don't know how long I can wait between the medicines. Also, I found out that my tap water contains 0.03ppm ammonia which is causing ammonia levels in my tank to rise after each water change. I bought some TopFin ammonia remover so hopefully that will get rid of it. Should i wait until the ammonia is at 0 before adding the medicine? I don't know how long that will take and I can't do any water changes to help it because my water has ammonia.
Hi Leopardfire. I have a suggestion: instead of having to add two different chemicals to your water (water conditioner and the ammonia remover), get a bottle of Seachem Prime. It's both water conditioner AND it will detoxify the ammonia as well. Less work for you. However, levels of ammonia will still show up on any water tests because any product that neutralizes ammonia doesn't exactly get rid of it. It just binds with the ammonia and turns it into the less toxic ammonium.
Under ordinary circumstances, I would say to wait a week for your betta to get rid of the Maracyn in his system. But if his fin rot has worsened already, then if you feel comfortable with the idea, we can go ahead and put him into the Triple Sulfa.
It's probably best to go ahead and add the meds tonight so he doesn't get any worse.
Thanks I'm defiantly going to do that. I'm going to put the medicine in tonight but I wanted to give my betta at least a small break.
My final question is about the pH. The pH is at 8.5 which is super high. My other tanks are at 7.5 but for some reason this one is much higher. The only reason I can think of is the sand I recently added since non of my other tanks have this problem. It is normal petco sand not live or anything so I'm not sure why it would affect the pH. Anyway is there anything I can do to fix the pH and if not, can my betta be okay at 8.5?
Leopardfire, the sand was definitely just Petco? Are you doubly sure it wasn't a special sand for African cichlids? That kind of sand would cause the pH to skyrocket because it's mostly aragonite and crushed coral. Otherwise . . . I can't imagine why just plain Petco sand would do that.
There are three ways to safely lower the pH in your betta's tank.
1) Indian Almond Leaf. Plop a leaf in there and let it work its magic. However, most pet/fish stores don't carry IAL so you'll have to order online (try eBay, Amy Ketapang)
2) Blackwater extract. You can buy this at Petco or Petsmart. It's just a bottle of tannins and humic extracts. I know Tetra has one although I prefer Kent's if you can find it.
3) Driftwood. Like the IAL, it releases tannins and humic acids that soften the water and acidify it, lowering the pH.
I wonder . . . now that I think about it, I wonder if the sand didn't mess up your KH (carbonate hardness) . . . hmm.
Anyways, if your betta is acting normally he probably will be okay at that high of a pH but there's also a possibility that the pH itself is what is causing his fin rot. Sometimes the wrong pH for the wrong fish can cause fin deterioration.
Thanks so much! I looked everywhere but I could never find a treatment for high pH. The sand I got was kind of expensive so it might have been something special but I'm not sure.
I don't really know much about carbonate hardness, so what are good parameters for a betta tank? I think the KH is pretty high so is this bad for fish? If it is bad, is there something I can do to fix it? Sorry for asking so many questions, but I'm new to aquariums and I want the best for my betta.
What color is the sand? Is it more or less natural colored? As far as I know, all cichlid sands are natural or a salt-and-pepper look.
Carbonate hardness (KH) regulates your pH. I don't know too much myself but I know that if you have low KH, then your pH will fluctuate a lot which is bad. If you have high pH then products designed to lower pH wouldn't work anyway (pH uppers/downers).
Good parameters for KH in a betta tank are around 3-8 KH.
Depending on what kind of tests you use to test your water, your KH reading may be listed as its "alkalinity" number. I know my Tetra 5 in 1 strips list it that way. But you can also get API GH/KH liquid tests too.
For the most part, you don't really need to worry about KH unless your pH is fluctuating for no apparent reason. But I would be interested to know what kind of sand you have because I'm really beginning to wonder if it was cichlid sand. I can't think of any other reason why the pH would go so high.
Hi there. Do you have a filter in the tank? If yes, then the filter will eventually remove the ammonia from the water. You just need conditioner at water changes that also removes ammonia and chloramines but the effect lasts about 24 hours max, so a cycled aquarium with filter in this case is a must. Or 100% water changes with prime every 24 hours, which will stress the hell out of the fish but will keep the ammonia at bay. Also, the higher the Ph, the more toxic the ammonia is. Normally, once the fish lives in a cycled tank with no ammonia and nitrIte, their immune system will fight of most diseases themselves. But a tank with no heater or filter is bound to have issues early or later, especially when your tap water has ammonia.
Please also note that no matter how much you treat, the fish will not recover from sickness if there is ammonia or nitrItes in the water. It's like living in the nuclear reactor in japan and being treated hydratant cream for the burns.
You said that you used maracyn 2 so far. This is a gram negative bacteria treatment and if he didn't get better, try using antibiotic for gram positive bacteria instead, or a broad spectrum that treats both. I wouldn't jump to fungal medication, becauce fungus is a consequence of bacterial or parasitic infection and is the last type of treatment to try, unless it is an antibiotic for bacterial treatment too.
The Ph is a bit on the high side but do not use chemicals as they make your Ph fluctuate and will kill the fish. Someone already suggested a few options but dried almond leaves(ebay is pretty cheap) is the best option and many betta breeders use this in their tanks. It also has some antibiotic and antiseptic properties and the tannins in the water resembles the betta's natural habitat. They love it.
If the tap water Ph and the Ph in your other tanks differ from this one a lot, then your new sand may Ph alterering agents as someone already suggested and it's better if you replace it. Here where I live, a bag of play sand from Argos is super cheap, safe for fish, but just needs the extra washing.
Good luck with the treatment. Hope your betta recovers quickly