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Old 04-17-2011, 10:50 PM   #1 
metalbetta
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Pineconing

I should know better than to ask this... but is there any way to reduce pineconing? Any way at all? Or any way to stop it from getting worse?
Nina has columnaris. Like, really crappy columnaris. I've been treating her with aquarium salt and antibiotics (day 3), but she's really taken a turn for the worse. She's starting to pinecone. Slightly bloated, but not enough to make me think she has dropsy. She's still eating okay, and responsive when someone comes up to her tank.

I know what the cause for pineconing is. And that's what freaks me out the most.

But in an act of desperation I'm asking if there's anything more that I can do for her. I love her dearly, but I'm preparing for the worst. Please, if anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

(I don't think it's right to put her to sleep in her condition right now... if she gets to the point where she's unable to move properly, or something along those lines, I may consider it.)
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:07 PM   #2 
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You can try an epsom salt treatment: 1 tsp epsom salt per gallon of water for two days, then 2 tsp epsom salt per gallon for eight days, doing 100% daily water changes throughout treatment. Usually by the time a fish starts to pinecone, it's too late. :( But if he's not in pain, you can try the epsom salt soak to see if it helps.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:17 PM   #3 
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I'll try anything at this point. She's family. And I've seen pineconing end badly too many times... So I know this might be in vain... But it's worth a shot. Thank you. :)
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:34 PM   #4 
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I think Lola's got the right idea. Good luck with her. :(
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:37 PM   #5 
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I need to restock my fish supplies anyway, so I'll pick up some epsom salt while I'm out. How do I treat? Just a short dip, or should I add it to the tank overnight? And can I continue using the antibiotic with it? or will I have to wait until she's finished with treatment?
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:55 AM   #6 
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Just premix your regular conditioner, epsom salt and tap water. Then do a 100% change with the new epsom salt water. You will be keeping him in epsom salt for ten days, but you will need to do 100% water changes (new water always conditioned and salted) every day during treatment.

I don't know about antibiotics; I've never used medications or antibiotics on my fish. Maybe someone else who has more experience in that area can weigh in.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:11 AM   #7 
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It's a first for me too, and they're not leaving a very good first impression. Anyway, thank you, and I really hope this helps! She's actually perked up tonight since I fed her. Scales still sticking out, but she un-clamped her tail and wiggled at me. Keeping my fingers crossed that it's a positive sign, and the pineconing is the bacteria reacting to the meds. In my fantasy world that's how it's working. lol
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:38 AM   #8 
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What antibios are you using?

For Columnaris we've had success with API T.C. Tetracycline. Are you still keeping her at a high temp?

Keeping her at the cooler end of the happy betta spectrum with saran wrap and a towel over her enclosure will help, as will lowering the water level.

1. Columnaris HATES cold temperatures
2. It also doesn't respond well to the dark. Our bettas always hid from the light while they were infected and it seemed to help them.
3. Their immune responses react to stress the same way ours do: if they're in the dark they feel safer and can thus direct that energy toward healing instead of trying to fend of any potential predators.
4. Putting a sort of seal over the enclosure reduces evaporation and keeps the air nice and humid for the labyrinth organ
5. Reducing the water level still gives her room to swim, but she can conserve energy if she doesn't have to work as hard to get to the surface to breathe. If it doesn't require as much effort she is less likely to drown.
---> maybe try giving her something to rest on that will keep her near the surface. Before we realized she had columnaris, one of our females kept beaching herself on a bit of Java fern that poked out of the water: we might never have clued in if she hadn't.

--->we have also found that Epsom salt has a greater affect (at slowing it down) where aquarium salt just makes it multiply faster. we lost one this way.

Good luck. I hope this helps. Read the instructions on your antibiotics carefully: not all of them react in salt. I know for the one we use it negates the medicinal properties.



I'm not sure if it will help her at this stage, but I've seen stranger things happen.

Good luck.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:36 AM   #9 
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Right now I have her on Erythromycin. Today's the last day of treatment, but I don't see any change in her lesions at all. The box says I can repeat treatment, but I'm not sure if I should. I will be buying epsom salt today to use, and I may end up ordering Tetracycline, since I keep hearing such good reviews on it. I've also heard a lot of good stuff about Triple Sulfa.
Today I'll at least nix the AQ salt. I always thought it was some sort of a cure-all for bacterial infections but you learn something new every day! lol
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:41 AM   #10 
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I don't have anything useful to add but I'll keep good thoughts coming your way. I hope she pulls through!
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