Formalin is one of the treatments listed for Ambiphyra in the Merck Veterinary Manual.
With regard to Usnea, Callistra started a thread on it awhile back: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=89314. She used to be online a lot, but I haven't seen her recently. I just sent a PM to her, asking if she could take a look at this thread.
1) Determination of antioxidative potential of lichen Usnea ghattensis in vitro The study was aimed at evaluating the antioxidant activities of extract of Usnea ghattensis. The antioxidant activity, reducing power, superoxide anion radical scavenging and free radical scavenging activities were studied.... The results obtained in the present study indicate that U. ghattensis is a potential source of natural antioxidant.
Thank you for the articles and the information about usnea! Although of course it makes me worried every time I expose my betta to something new, I really would like to try this out. Especially since I've been noticing his longer stub being eaten on a bit on the end, and I really want to preserve all the tail material he has.
After use of the formalin bath and some of the other antibiotics the vet had prescribed, the ambiphyra problem was indeed resolved, and the cytology revealed no more signs of infection from bacteria or parasites, but this does not go on to mean that there will be no infections in the future.
From this advice, it seems like I should try usnea, vitachem, and stress coat. I have kanaplex and polyguard and other antibiotics on hand in case I think he has an infection, but since the white growth is always there it definitely makes it hard to tell if there is infection and if I need to treat it.
He's been in his small treatment tank for awhile because I was worried the force of the filter in his bigger tank might damage the delicate tail condition he has going on. I really would like to get him back in the big tank but does anyone know a good way to remove any soap residue that may have been there before or any bacteria or parasites and such. It's been unoccupied for a month or so and I want to make sure he's entering a safe environment if I put him in. Thank you again guys!
You can increase the heat to 86 F for a few days and that should take care of any parasites that didn't die off already from the lack of a host. The bacteria probably has died off already or gone dormant; the only way to make completely sure any bacteria are gone is to treat the tank with Kanaplex before you put him back in. Before you put him back, change most of the water and try to rinse the gravel if you can. You don't need to use the filter if you think it's too strong for him; in that size tank, you're relying on water changes mostly to keep the water quality good.
He's back in the bigger tank now being treated with kanamycin, and I had added in stress coat today too. I just ordered usnea and vitachem, and I'm hoping so much so that this combination treats him well. Today I watched that last stub he had disintegrate and it made me so very sad. He's very active thankfully, but it was so hard to watch that bit of tail go. Please let me know if there's anything else you all can think of.
Seachem Paraguard markets itself as a safe alternative. It is a broad based med that is more like an anti septic and is ant fungal. Ive used it with good results however not in a case this severe. I wish you the best your a terrific owner.
"ParaGuard™ is the only fish and filter safe aldehyde based (10% by weight) parasite control product available. Unlike highly toxic and difficult to use formalin based medications, ParaGuard™ contains no formaldehyde or methanol and will not alter pH. ParaGuard™ employs a proprietary, synergistic blend of aldehydes, malachite green, and fish protective polymers that effectively and efficiently eradicates many ectoparasites on fish (e.g. ich, etc.) and external fungal/bacterial/viral lesions (e.g., fin rot). It is particularly useful in hospital and receiving tanks for new fish and whenever new fish are introduced to a community tank. For use in freshwater or marine."
Out of curiosity, does your vet think lymphocystis could be a possibility in that area? It's a virus that creates cauliflower-like cysts. Most of the time, the cysts are all over but I'm wondering if the cysts would attack the weaker area of the body and gather there.