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Old 06-08-2010, 09:18 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern California
I need some help, so say the least.

I am currently the owner of a sorority consisting of 4 female bettas in my 10 gallon tank. I'm hoping to get 2 more bettas and move them all together into a 20 gallon that I have cycling at the moment. There was this really beautiful female betta, whom I later named Maleficent, at Petsmart that I couldn't give up taking in. She has dark coloration and a deep purple sheen to her, she really is a beauty. When I got home, I realized she was in a pretty rough shape. In the small container, I couldn't really make out the condition of her fins because she had them sort of clamped down. But her fins were in total disarray, and I assumed it was tail & fin rot. Missing fins, pieces hanging off, whitened tips (regrowth? rotting fins?); I placed her in a separate hospital tank, the only one I had at hand (1 gallon =[) and gave her Hikari "Revive" for betta fish.

She seemed to be doing great. Healthy, zipping around the tank, jumping out of her water trying to grapple at the approaching frozen bloodworms. I'm not sure what Hikari was doing for her, but her fins looked the same. After doing some more research, I came across Melafix. A relatively good amount of people that have used it said that it worked like a charm, growing the fins back to their original splendor. Eager for Maleficent's fins to grow back, I dosed her with some Melafix (after a complete water change and I stopped using Hikari). I don't think Malef liked it one bit! Within a few hours, she just became absolutely lazy and just sits around at the bottom of her tank. She refuses to eat anything, not even when I wag a worm right in front of her face. And I thought she might have constipation because she wasn't pooping, but I can't get her to a pea. She just sits at the bottom, she won't react to any kind of movement or tapping I do on the outside. The only thing Malef does is swim up to breathe anf float back down again to nestle on the floor. Is that normal? Does Melafix usually have symptoms like that? I don't know what Melafix was doing, but it scared me seeing Malef like that, so I took her out after a day of Melafix and now I just have her in spring water with some aquarium salt. She's still not eating and just hanging around at the bottom.

I did some more research on medicine and found out about the Jungle Fungus Clear. I bought it, but I haven't dosed Malef with it yet. She's been on so many medications, I was thinking she just needs a little break. So I think tomorrow I was going to try the Fungus Clear. And lately, Malef's been getting this pretty sheer golden color on her body and fins. I was thinking that it might be due to her food. Rich blood worms (frozen, but I thaw it out beforehand with warm water) and the occasional "Betta Color Enhancing Flakes" from Nutrafin Max. So maybe her color was being enhanced? But I've been researching her fin rot and came across another disease that contaminate betta fish: Velvet. Now I'm afraid that Malef might have Velvet!

According to The main indicator that your Betta has Velvet is a copper or rust colored dusting over the betta's body, normally beginning at the head, but it will very quickly spread over the entire body if not treated. Bettas that have Velvet will usually be very lethargic, have clamped fins, and may not be interested in eating. It is very important to treat Velvet as soon as it becomes apparent. And now it seems like that's exactly what Maleficent is experiencing! I'm scared and at a loss on what to do. Should I treat her with Velvet medication? And if so, what kind? Should I continue her fin rot treatment? Is it safe to treat her with both at the same time? I'm not even quite sure if she has velvet or if the gold coloring is just part of her natural coloring, and her fins aren't always clamped.. just occasionally. Often times I see her at the bottom all flaring fins, and just breathing. Gah. I would post a picture, but my mom took the camera with her and she's currently out of country. I can probably post a photo within a few days, but it may be too late by then...

Please help me if you are able to. I'm really worried.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:52 AM   #2 
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Location: Seacoast, NH, USA
I just skimmed your post lightly after the Melafix part. You were right to change out the water and stop using it! There are a lot of anabantoids that are reported to have the same bad reaction your fish is having to melaleuca. I looked at the ingredients, and I see no reason to have switched from the Hikari???

Anyway, others will have some more-specific advice on what to do to help her recover from the Melafix, if she doesn't perk up by herself. If she improves but still needs medication (active infection,) I don't see any reason to not resume the Hikari; you already own it, and it seems to have all the bases covered (including velvet.) Just change some water daily and hope for the best. Oh, and soaking her food in garlic juice might help tempt her to eat.

If it's shiny, I don't think it sounds like Velvet. But like I said, the malachite green in the Hikari stuff treats it.

Last edited by mfskarphedin; 06-09-2010 at 01:08 AM.
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betta, fin rot, hikari, melafix, velvet

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