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Old 01-20-2010, 11:56 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Help me treat my sick betta please!

Several months ago I attended a wedding where the bride got betta's to use as decorations/favors. As I was leaving she insisted I take one and against my better judgment I did. I'd never owned a fish and didn't know the first thing about them. I put it on the counter in the tiny bowl it came in, bought some betta food and that was that. Over the next few weeks I was surprised to discover a "relationship" blooming between me and Tabitha (named after the bride, of course). She would get all excited when I came in the room, and soon I discovered that she would do "tricks" for me, which basically meant she would jump up (waaaay up) out of the water to get food from my hand. She quickly became a bit of a legend among my friends and family and people would come over and expect to be entertained by our antics.
About a month before Christmas (maybe a little longer) I noticed that her fins were getting smaller. I did some looking online and decided she had fin rot. I got some bettafix and started changing her water more frequently and moved her to a bigger bowl. Over the next few weeks her fins continued to deteriorate. I did more research and was still convinced she had fin rot. I decided I should medicate her with something stronger so my husband started calling fish shops around town to try and find the meds I thought we needed. I think it was ampicillan, but to be honest, Iíve read so much that I don't recall for sure. Anyway, after having several places tell him that what he wanted was a controlled substance and could not be purchased a nice, informative fella told him that probably all Tab needed was to have some rock salt added to her tank. He was confident that she would be feeling better within 24 hours. So we did that, and we started doing daily water changes as per his instructions as well. She seems happier, but her fins continued to get worse, and several of them were gone altogether and she developed a sore on her back. I made the decision to start treating her with antibiotics (erythromycin). I noticed that she started getting "fuzzy" - like she has a thin film of white fuzziness, pretty much all over. It started out pretty subtle, and then I decided the stringy white things hanging off of her sore weren't leftover strings of fin, like I originally thought, but part of her fuzziness. Her mouth recently deformed making it really hard for her to eat. All of her fins are gone now, including her tail. She has teeny tiny stubs for pectoral fins and that is it. Needless to say, she's not swimming much. She does dart around the bowl intermittently. I've noticed that she will hang out at the bottom of the bowl, or right near the surface. She is constantly coming to the surface for air and then she blows bubbles out of her gills. I swear she has presented symptoms of every disease Iíve read about, and Iíve read about them all. While I feel very educated about Betta's now, Iím having a heck of a time deciding what is wrong with her. My latest guess is columnaris, and if it is correct, I suspect it was that all along, and she never had fin rot. But I could have a totally different theory tomorrow. I've bought so much stuff trying to make her better. Yesterday I switched her to tetracycline because the other antibiotics were doing nothing. I've done at least a dozen things, I won't list them all, but if you have any questions about something I bet it's something Iíve done or considered.
Today, after 24 hours on the tetracycline, she is pretty much the same - maybe slightly improved. But it's been typical that her demeanor goes up and down. There have been many days when I think she won't make it through the night, only to wake up to her beep bopping around her tank. Any and all suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated. I just want her to be back to her old stunt fish self. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:15 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
Hello and welcome to the forum. Tetracycline is for bacterial infections so I would keep treating her with the tetracycline and keeping the water clean. It may take awhile before seeing any real improvement.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:45 PM   #3 
Betta Fish Bob
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
Woo-hoo! Another addicted betta lover!
You gave an incredibly informative post, and I am happy to see as a new betta lover, you did not give up on your new friend. I think DQ is right, continue the Tetracycline treatment and give it some time.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:08 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Thank you both for the advice and encouragement. I sure wish there was a fish doctor to take fish to! That would make the whole diagnosis thing easier. I'll keep doing what i'm doing and hopefully she'll show some improvement soon.
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