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Old 06-23-2010, 11:58 PM   #1 
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LMac54's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Exclamation Betta First Aid Kit!

I thought starting a discussion about this would be helpful for everyone, not just myself.

If someone wanted to make a "Betta Fish First Aid Kit"... so if anything happens they would have everything at hand... what should be in it?
Or rather, what do you keep in your "First Aid Kit"?
This includes any items or medications.

Let's make lists! I figure it might be easier to go through the thread if everyone's post were organized. You don't have to use this format, just be sure to note all the information (a,b,c)...

1) thing one
----a) Specific brand/title/name of each item.
----b) What is it for?
How much it is and Where to find it
2) thing two
----a) Specific brand/title/name of each item.
----b) What is it for?
How much it is and Where to find it
3) thing three.... etc etc etc

If someone wants to talk about Hospital/Quarantine tanks (how big, what they need, etc), that would be great... as QT tanks are extremely important in a kit as well.

P.S. I'm not sure if this should stay in the Diseases/Emergencies Forum or moved to the Betta Fish Care forum...
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:23 AM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
MY number one medication:

Clean water and lots of water changes-in QT 100% daily

QT- 2-3 cups to 1g

Clean 1g jug-used to pre-mix my salt waters to insure correct dosage, steep the OL or IAL and to ease water changes in QT

Plastic veggie wrap-over the top of the tank to keep the air above the water warm and humid for swim bladder, respiratory problems, labyrinth issues.

Temp-depending on what and why I am treating I keep the water temp from 76F up to 82F-(some bacteria thrive best in warmer water)

Airstone-for aeration in some cases as some pathogen dislike high oxygen levels like flexibacter columnaris

Aquarium salt 1tsp/gal-3tsp/gal-injuries, parasites for 10 days with daily 100% WC

Epsom salt 1tsp/g-3tsp/g-I use for bloat, constipation, swim bladder problems for 10 days with daily 100% WC

Fresh garlic-long term feeding for internal and external parasites-6 weeks to see any effect and then I feed it for the life span as part of their diet. (small amount) Short term for appetite stimulant.
This works to improve immunity and purges the system in some fish (do not leave garlic long term in the tank).

Native oak leaves or Indian almond leaves-tannins for calming effect, antibacterial/fungal properties

Live foods-improves nutrition to support immunity, promote healing, triggers hunting instinct, exercise, fiber to help constipation.

I only use natural treatments and the goal is to improve the environment and nutrition to help improve the fish immune response so that they can help them self heal and recover.
Prevention is best with good husbandry practice.

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 06-24-2010 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:01 PM   #3 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Old fish lady is right--if you are taking the best care of your fish possible, clean water and natural remedies should be all you need. The most common problems in bettas could be prevented by proper care and housing.

However, sometimes fish come home from the pet store or come to us in the mail weak and depleted. Sometimes when we're just starting out we make terrible mistakes that we wish we could take back. I have made such mistakes and have adopted free fish from the pet store that needed medication to get over their problems.

When I dealt with internal parasites (once with a betta, once with a pearl gourami) the treatment I used contained the ingredient Praziquantel (Jungle Parasite Clear for internal parasites). About four days since the initial treatment, the fish began to pass their worms--and by day six, had gotten over their lethargy and regained their appetite. Treatment was stopped at day five.

I have only had to deal with ich on one fish, but I will not forget it. Temperature fluctuations caused by an incandescent light caused the fish to weaken and become susceptible to an ich infestation. I tried raising the temps and changing the water every other day for a week, but the ich got worse and the fish deteriorated. Then I tried a week of Mardel's Coppersafe--but the fish continued to worsen. Then I did a treatment containing malachite green (Jungle's Ich Clear) and the ich cleared up in 5 days--I continued the heat and salt treatment once the ich was visibly gone but stopped the MG treatment due to its harshness. The ich never returned. From now on I will only use malachite green and not bother with the copper.

Bacterial infections are tough. You should never, ever treat your fish with an antibiotic unless you know with a high degree of certainty that the source of the problem is bacterial. If you don't know what it is, do not jump on it with meds. Furthermore, you should never abort an antibacterial treatment early, even if the fish worsens or appears to be better--this creates stronger strains of bacteria. For most bacterial problems, I would recommend API's Triple Sulfa or a combination of both Maracyn I (erythromycin (gram +)) and Maracyn II (minocycline(gram -)) at the same time. If there is a very strong suspicion that the bacteria is columnaris, Kanamycin is reported to be a very efficient columnaris killer.

Like Old fish lady said, though. Prevention is key. If you are taking proper care of your betta, you should never need these treatments.
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