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Old 02-23-2013, 12:05 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Betta only getting worse, please help!

Size: 5 gallons
Temp: Has been 80 degrees and I brought it down to 78 in the last two days as recommended.
Filter? Yes and have it on without the filter now. Otherwise, I use it 4 hours a day.
Tank mates: I have two male bettas in a 5 gallon tank with a separator. I removed all ornaments and silk plants two months ago.
Food: I use pellets mostly with bloodworms or baby shrimp as a treat once a week. I also use flakes with Sapphire.
How often? 2 times a day, about 4-5 pellets each
Water change? Because they’ve been so sick for so long, I change it 2X25% a week and one full change 1X per week. I siphon out their stool every two days.
Additives: aquarium salt, stress coat, and now using neutral regulator.
Symptoms and Treatment
Early February: Both betas had significant color and personality changes. They eat like pigs and swim around but Scarlet’s gills seem bigger, has a major tear in right pectoral fin, as well as a protruding white spot on the same fin, and Sapphire has major fin rot,. Administered Maracyn II for 5 days and Maracide every other day.

The last two days: After administering the antibiotic, we gave them a break for 5 days, filtered out the meds, and administered Maracyn II again. Scarlet developed white cottony patches on mouth and around both pectoral fins within 14 hours. Sapphire hasn’t gotten better. We’re now administering Maracyn and Maracyn II as well as Maracide. We are also using aquarium salts, stress coat, and Seachem neutral regulator to condition the water. We removed all ornaments.

Last edited by ghaalyah; 02-23-2013 at 12:07 AM. Reason: was given a character limit
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:34 AM   #2 
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if they have been sick for so long, I would stop the aquarium salt, they are not meant to be used more than 10 days straight. Also since they are sick now, you should throw normal water changing schedule out the window. Do a 50+% water change everyday, keep the water as clean as possible.

If the fungal infection, which is what this seems to be, doesn't go away, you might have to consider maybe something is in your water. =<
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:47 AM   #3 
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Don't use neutral regulator. It causes big ph fluctuations that can be lethal.

You should not use aquarium salt and meds. You should also not mix meds like this.. Maracyn and Maracyn II are okay but combined with the Maracide.. all these chemicals you are using alone could kill them.

I would do 100% water change and get a different antibiotic.. Look for Triple Sulfa by API and use it for a full week. All antibiotics should be used a minimum of a full week, imho, or relapse is common. Normally I say two weeks but because your fish were already on meds so long I'd aim for a week and then give a break, unless they still seem to be going downhill.

Can you get photos?

Make sure when you do a water change you use the in tank thermometer to match the temperature of the new water exactly, and premix it with conditioner before your fish enter it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:14 PM   #4 
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These are their pictures within the last few days. Scarlet doesn't have the film on his body today and they're both swimming around and happy. I have them in a quiet room and cover them up as much as possible (QT).

Sorry about the pictures. When I posted the question, it told me I was over my character limit and couldn't post them. Now I figured out how.

So I'm feeling pretty sad right now. My husband's a physician and he agreed that Maracyn, Maracyn II, and Maracide were too much but I read in several forums that that's ok at this late stage. I only started combining them for one dose yesterday so I'll certainly stop.

No aquarium salt- check
No more Maracide - check
No more neutral regulator - check (but my PH levels are ridiculously high, what should I do instead?)

Also, I always ensure the temperature is exactly the same while changing the water, etc. as I use a thermometer in their small tanks and ensure the water is heated accordingly. All medication and stress coat are added prior to placing them back in their tank.

I don't think it's safe to stop the antibiotics now that I started but I can certainly start a new cycle with Triple Sulfa unless you recommend I change it anyway.

After reviewing the pictures, please let me know if your steadfast in our opinions or if you have any other recommendations.

Thanks Aluka and Callistra!
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:21 PM   #5 
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More pictures for perspective

This is Sapphire when I first got him. He's a half moon betta and he had beautiful grey tips around his fins which someone later said was the beginning of fin rot. I'm still not sure.

The other is a picture of Scarlet's torn right pectoral.

I noticed today that Scarlet (who was fully red) now has major blue hues in between red color and Sapphire (Blue with red tie) has major red hues in between blue color. It's quite pretty actually but I'm not sure if that's bad or good at this point.

Thanks again,
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:25 PM   #6 
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Those are some seriously fat fish. I think you are overfeeding.. They each need one fast day a week. I would also cut the flakes. What brand of pellets are you feeding? What you are feeding would be too many for most brands. At this point I would go ahead and fast them at least a couple days, maybe longer until you see a lot of poop pass.

They both appear to have red streaks on their gills? Ammonia/nitrite poisoning. Should be okay with what you're doing now though.

i missed at the beginning you only use your filter 4 hours a day- you might as well not run it at all. Your tank still needs a weekly 100% change, even when they are well.

You have removed carbon to treat right? Carbon in the filter will just remove the meds.

If they've been on those meds a week with no positive results and fish have gotten worse, and you have removed carbon, I would look for a different antibiotic.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:35 PM   #7 
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Yes, they eat like pigs and yes, I feed them 3-4 pellets twice a day and fast them once a week. I changed to a new brand; Top fin food pellets and Tetra baby shrimp (once a month) and blood worms (3 times a month). What do you recommend I do instead?

The streaks on their gills are freaking me out. My ammonia levels are top notch and I siphon out their stool every other day. Nitrate, not sure.

I used to use my filter every day during the whole day and then it was recommended that I only use it for 4 hours so I don't stress then out further. Now I'm only using it without the filter (carbon) during the day to ensure the meds circulate, etc.

I change their water religiously and even more now. 100% water changes a week are a must.

To clarify, I used the Maracyn II and Maracide for 5 days, gave them a 5 day break, and restarted on Maracyn and Maracyn II yesterday. I'm thinking of continuing for one week and then switch to another antibiotic; Gladly!
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:40 PM   #8 
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That's definitely on the high end. I would switch to Omega One or New Life Spectrum Betta. I would try Omega one at 5 a day split up (3 am 2 pm) or NLS (3 and 3) and see how that goes.. Basically you want a pellet whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat

It's okay to use it to circulate the water a bit, but it won't build a biofilter at all run that way, so that's why you need the increased changes. You can also just buffer it by getting a filter sponge with big spores and using a rubber or silicon band to attach it to the outflow. That's all mine needed.

I think I would not continue meds past two weeks.. you risk toasting their kidneys. So I would hit it hard for the next week with the best shot.. Maracyn at least is different.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:55 PM   #9 
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Thanks so much for your advice on food. I seemed to have been using a crappy (sorry if I offend) brand the last 4 months so I switched to Top Fin based on some recommendations last week. I've added NLS to my cart.

Please let me know if you have any additional recommendations. I will post updated pictures as needed.

Again, thanks.
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