What is the best antibiotic treatment for moderate finrot?
I'm caring for a colleague's fish. These male bettas, housed separately, both have finrot, and neither did well with the aquarium salt treatment (one even got a little worse), so it is time to try an antibiotic. However, there are lots of brands out there that say they treat finrot. Which is best?
All my aquarium conditions, water, water temps, food, etc etc are fine. I just need to know which antibiotic to go with; I don't want to waste more time experimenting. In advance--thanks for your help!
All conditions are good--I've been doing this a few years, with no finrot in MY aquariums. But these are not my fish, their conditions have been less than perfect, and it's definitely finrot.
Currently, each gentleman fish is in his own 1/2 gallon jar, with heat @ 78-79 F. They are near each other for company--both seem to enjoy it. Their water is conditioned. They are getting meals of brine shrimp with spirulina, mixed with a touch of bloodworms.
Salt treatment: aquarium salt, 1 tsp/gallon for 5 days with 100% water changes daily--nothing changed (except they both looked annoyed), so went to 2 tsp/gal with continued water changes for another 3 days (8 days total). The red Betta actually started looking worse--rattier--about this time, so I started transitioning them back to fresh water over the next couple of days. Both are active, and the blue is looking better, but the red definitely needs to go to the next step.
I read all the stickies--and I've used some of the advice before--but, since several different medications are shown as effective with finrot, I'd like to know which ones work the best. My colleagues are teachers, and their students are missing their classroom pets...
You will need to dilute for the size of the container. Basically you dissolve the entire dosage (packet, scoop whatever) in the same number of tablespoons or cups as it is intended for. For example, if the packet is meant to treat 10 gallons, dissolve the full packet in 10 tablespoons of water. If it does not dissolve you may need to use cups. I know Kanaplex dissolves well. I'm not sure about Triple Sulfa. Then you take the same number of units of the mixture as his bowl out.. so for a half gallon you would then take half a tablespoon or half a cup of the mixture and put it in his QT. This must be mixed up daily and extra mixture cannot be saved.
Make sure you're doing water changes like this:
The 50% changes the betta can be kept in the bowl and use a turkey baster to remove half the water and as much of the debris as possible. For the 100% you need to remove him - scoop him out with a plastic solo type cup and set aside while you thoroughly rinse the bowl and gravel to remove the debris. Then he should be acclimated to the new water by floating for an hour while you slowly add a couple tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes. When you release him, try to let as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. All water changes should use same temp water, matched to running tap using the in tank thermometer and the water needs to be premixed with conditioner before adding it to the betta tank. If you don't already have anything, you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store - rinsed thoroughly in hot water but no chems.
As far as keeping this betta healthy long term.. this all needs to be met or he will just get sick again:
Bettas need to be kept in 2 gallons minimum. In these twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100% are needed. Bettas kept in 1 gallon containers live an average of about 2 years compared to double that+ in larger containers. The 1 gallon would need 3 weekly water changes of 50%, 50% and 100%, and even then they will be subjected to ammonia.
Bettas are tropical fish and must be kept at a temp between 76-82, with 78-80 being ideal (about 25-27C). The temp must be stable and not be dipping or jumping around. In a 2 gallon you can get an adjustable 25w heater. Any new heater should be tested for 24 hours in similar size container with in tank thermometer to make sure it will hold a constant appropriate temp between 78-80F. Then the betta must be acclimated to higher temp either by floating in a cup inside the main already fully heated tank for an hour, or by adjusting the heater to increase the temperature of the tank no more than a degree per hour and 5 degrees per day.
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. If you want to supplement one brine shrimp and blood worm in replace of pellet meal that's fine but they shouldn't be his only food - high in fat and lacking in nutritional value. Also if they are freeze dried they should be thoroughly soaked before feeding in a separate container with some of his tank water or other treated water for at least 10 minutes before feeding.
Apologies on the delayed reply--computer was down. Went with the triple sulfa, which does dissolve well in water, and it seems to have done the trick. Have started on educating the colleagues on how to improve their Bettas lives. Thanks for all help!