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Old 07-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #51 
Millowsan
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That's a good tip! I'll use a pair of tweezers to entice him more. I'll start the antibiotics tomorrow -- fingers and toes crossed
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:29 AM   #52 
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I do not think you need to euthanize, but this is a very abnormal bulge. The characteristics of this bulge and timeline are not normal at all…given treatments have already been used, I think you need to be as certain as possible that your next round of treatments are going to be ideal for this condition...and this condition is unusual and isn't easy to diagnose. I would contact Dr. Aukes for advice in treatment and potentially long-term management if this is something chronic rather than infectious… 520.298.7814.

Hikari is great food, your temp is great, your water is great, and if the heater is an Ebo Jager as it appears it is the best heater made, bar none. The conditions your fishy has are ideal…this is NOT environmental and the good environment plus it’s slow speed of progression makes it unusual.

Yesterday's medications were harsh and severely stressed fish...salt caused less stress then. Today's medications are precise, easier to dose, low in toxicity, and very safe and low-stress. Aquarium salt does not heal fish….it stresses fish more than actual medication and if this is bacterial, it will do nothing. I don’t use it for a variety of reasons documented by many fish doctors...the doctor will elaborate if you call him and ask him about salt and freshwater fish.

You need the widest spectrum antibiotic you can get because what exactly going on is not well known…ideally, you want only one antibiotic that you only do one course of to minimize stress and damage to the biological filter. Using the Maracyn with minocycline is going to be ideal if you only have 1 or 2 because EM is way too narrow spectrum and if this is not without a doubt swim bladder-related, EM is not ideal and this does not seem to be swim bladder due to locomotion issues not really observed.

However, I am willing to bet $20 that TMP Sulfa is the best treatment (ideally via feed) and is what the doctor will say, possibly in combo with metronidazole depending on the slime coating. When one isn't sure, TMP/SMX is usually best. Maracyn Plus is essentially TMP and General Cure is metro and praz…so the stuff can be found local although it's ridiculously expensive like all of the medications sold in actual stores. TMP/SMX is as wide spectrum as you get and it covers everything including a few difficult bacterial disorders fish are prone to that do not respond well to other antibiotics. It also works fast like a bat out of hell and is easier on the tank.

The pictures make it appear as if there is excessive slime on the other skin…is this correct?
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:41 AM   #53 
Millowsan
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I don't know if there is excessive slime on the skin, he's my first betta and I'm not an expert on diagnosis. I was using API stress coat to heal his fins. I've only used epsom salt to treat him so far. I don't know if Dr. Aukes can help me since I'm all the way in Michigan.

I was planning on starting him on Maracyn 2 in the morning. I've never heard of TMP/SMX, where can I buy it online?

I'm very confused now on what to do next when it comes to treatment...
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:34 AM   #54 
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Stress coat doesn't do a whole lot for fins...it is good for conditioning water but what aloe does for fish is somewhat debatable. The most important aspect is clean water. Fins cannot heal if ammonia is present and fish will struggle to overcome disease even with the perfect medication...which makes a water treatment that neutralizes ammonia and nitrite the best option given it temporarily stops the buildup toxins which are the most common causes of death. The biggest concern beyond clean water is preventing secondary infection. With clean water being #1, use of a lighter wide-spectrum medication as a QT preventive can take care of #2. Nitrofurazone+furan/sulfa+light meth blue mixes are incredibly popular given they provide good bacterial, parasitic, fungal, and some viral protection, and how it only takes a very small dosage for them to work well, meaning less stress. Some fish feel instantly better upon the application of nitrofuracin green, for various reasons that, in sum, makes it easier for a stressed or hurting fish to breath and utilize oxygen. As a general rule, minor-moderate fin/scale damage will heal if the fish is overall healthy, given good water, continues feeding, is kept stress-free, and is kept away from things that could cut them. Many additives such as MelaFix often make things worse rather than better, so always bear in mind that just because something is advertised as 'natural'/'holistic'/'organic'/or other common sham advertising claims, that does NOT mean safer nor does it mean any body of evidence suggests that the additive provides benefits that outweigh drawbacks of dosing. Arsenic is natural...but obviously far from safe or useful. Many of today's medications are so low in toxicity and cause so little stress that using a good medication as a first line treatment makes sense.

The doctor does phone consultations in which you can send him pictures and discuss symptoms...something that has gone this long is something that he will probably have the most experience and best treatment in mind as it is unusual. Since he would be unable to run certain tests like a gram stain, he will likely advise TMP/SMX as it's one of the best antibiotics currently used for fish. He sells TMP/SMX ranging in size from a small jar to 5 gallon buckets and beyond...Maracyn Plus is essentially the same thing, but if you order it in a jar with a scoop rather than powder packets, it will be like 1/10th the price or less.

TMP/SMX is common and many know it as Bactrim (used on people and pets...many people sell it under various names). If you use TMP/SMX, you will not need to cocktail with other antibiotics because its range is incredibly wide and it is incredibly effective. TMP has not only strong anti-bacterial properties for both gram positive and negative, but it is also active against some fungi, protozoa, mold, and even viruses...this is one reason it is ideal over minocycline given it treats more things and maximizes the chance it will treat any illness. For people, it is used to treat things like MRSA, eColi, and even VRSA, when other antibiotics fail. If fishy has a bacterial infection, chances are TMP/SMX will kill the bacteria (and also help some if it is certain fungal, mold, protozoa, or viral infections).

The doctor's medications are amazing...there are a few good makers but their combination of range of products, abilities to help diagnoses, treatment advisors, fast shipping, cheap pricing, and wide range of quantity had me using them as my primary vendor for meds and advice when I got stuck back when I worked in the industry. Gary and Brian Aukes (both doctors) have really pioneered a lot of the field by bringing high quality pharma-grade meds to the market for availability for anyone from a professional breeder to a hobbyist with one fish, and have each been a massive component to modernize treatment models by moving away from older, harsher, and more toxic treatments to the newer, better tolerated, far less toxic, and more effective medications. They were also one of the first to show factual evidence that the use of salt for freshwater fish beyond only the shortest of durations has the potential to be incredibly harmful as well as how salt really doesn't work. Medium- and long-term usage of salt can lead to physical changes incorrectly diagnosed as dropsy, septicemia, and even fish TB due to sometimes severe and permanent internal organ damage partly due to osmoregulation being completely screwed up by the salt. Kind of like if a person gets a staph infection, drinking 5 liters of sea water is not going to kill the bacteria, but it will harm the person. All those websites that say to use salt are wrong...salt kills freshwater fish and the medications that do what many people (incorrectly) believe salt can do are far, far, far, far, far more safer than salt. Between poor effectiveness and potentially severe long-term health consequences, in a world with safe and effective medications, there is no reason for its usage as a first line treatment whatsoever.

http://www.nationalfishpharm.com/products5.html
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:07 PM   #55 
Millowsan
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I tried calling the doctor but no one answered. Do you know what their business hours are? I've sent them an email.

I'm even more worried about papadoupolos now, I really love him and can't imagine losing him.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:44 PM   #56 
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They will not be in until monday morning, IIRC. They do check email intermittently IIRC. Provided Papadoupolos has had this for a while and has not gotten markedly worse, IMHO if you wait a day to treat or to change anything such as current treatment to be sure you have the right thing, that is better than starting a new treatment only to find it is not the best treatment and have to stop, delay to remove the old treatment, and then start up with another.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #57 
Millowsan
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Hello, I called that number and they said it sounds like my betta has parasites. The lady who answered my phone said, I should use Praziquantel. I asked her if I could send her photos and she said she will take a look at them in the next few days.

She didn't think it was a bacterial infection.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #58 
Millowsan
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I need advice, papa has a hole in the middle of his fin and it's getting bigger.

I don't know what to do :( He's on maracyn 2. He's been more bloated than usual and I'm afraid some of his scales are slightly raised on both sides (not horizontally, more like 40 degree angles). I've seen lots of photos of fish with dropsy and their swelling is usually underneath the body, but papa's swelling is on his sides, and his left has a lump so it's not normal.


He stays on top of the water with his mouth close to the surface most of the time (even before the antibiotics). He still eats like a pig (even when I soak his pellets in antibiotics) and greets me when I come to the tank.


I've checked for ammonia etc, and they're all zero and the pH level is 7.6 ---

I use prime as my water conditioner but I also added stress coat once I saw the hole yesterday. But it's only become bigger today :(

I feel like maybe I should go to the pet store and use maracyn plus since it's broad spectrum instead of maracyn 2. I also have tetra's anti parasite medication on hand.


Any advice would be really appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:28 PM   #59 
lilnaugrim
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I'm sorry, I feel that I am of no use at this point

Hopefully Copper or Nick can chime in to help
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:44 PM   #60 
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How long has he been on M2?. It migjt be time to start M and finish off M2. Sorry, I'm on my phone.

Add.1 tsp.AQ salt per 1 US gallon of treated water to his water (I use canning salt).

Thus will help with healing his fins. Honestly at this point, I'd be preparing for the worst. Continue with the treatment though!!! Once you finish, if he isn't better, then I'm at a loss. :(
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