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Old 08-15-2011, 10:15 AM   #1 
six
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Resistant infection? Please help!

Hi, I'm trying to put as much detail here as possible, so thank you in advance for reading.

My betta has a lump at the start of his dorsal fin (picture HERE--sorry for the blurriness but it's hard to get a decent photo).

I was out of the country for 1 month and had someone else watching him. This person fed him and replaced the evaporated water, and also performed two 50-75% water changes while I was gone. I came back and the fish had this lump. He is also lethargic, doesn't swim around much at all (especially compared to how he used to), tends to lie at the bottom of the aquarium. I immediately assumed it was some kind of bacterial infection.


Details:
The tank is 10 gallons, heated (kept around 77 degrees), filtered. He currently has no tank mates. He eats 6-8 betta bites once per day. I perform weekly/one-and-one-half-week 75% water changes but have been doing them more frequently since I came back and noticed his condition (discussed below in treatment). I use AquaSafe to cleanse the water.


Now, here is the real problem, treatments I've tried:

- After getting back (~1 month ago) I changed ALL of the water in the tank and cleaned the tank pretty thoroughly (multiple rinses with clean water, scrubbed the sides of the tank, used soap on both tank and accessories while scrubbing and rinsed thoroughly afterwards). New filter. Within about 2-3 days I started to get paranoid and decided it would be best to hit it hard because it looks so terrible, and bought Meracyn Two. I started the treatment as instructed and stuck with it for 14 days but stopped because I saw absolutely no change. I had 24 packets of the treatment, and instructions say the treatment should only have to last 7 days--I tried two rounds of it with no success. For the first round I had him in the 10 gallon tank. For the second round I quarantined him in a 5 gallon tank (no filter but heated). Neither of these had any effect whatsoever.

- After this failed I started doing bi-weekly water changes (~75%) but this doesn't seem to have helped either.

Quick note: about a month before I left I did have a severe/persistent dark green algae problem but it looked like it was cleared up (I did a lot of cleaning) before I left the country. It doesn't look like there's any green algae in the tank now.



I am very, very concerned now because the part of his dorsal fin closest to the lump appears to be wilting away to the spines now and he is more lethargic than ever.

I am considering putting him back in the 5% tank, heated, with filter (?) and changing the water every single day until I start to see improvement.

Please let me know if this is a good idea or if you have any other suggestions. Thank you so much for your replies.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:04 AM   #2 
six
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Edit: by 5% tank I of course meant 5 gallon tank
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:32 PM   #3 
six
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Is there a reason I'm getting absolutely no replies? I hate to bump my own post, but everyone else is getting responses to their question. It kind of makes me wonder if I'm an idiot and the answer is simple or if I did something wrong with the way I presented the information.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:29 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Did you do a vinegar rinse after you used soap in the tank to rid it of any soap residue......I would not recommend using soap in the tank ever.......

I couldn't see the lump in the pic-but he does look pretty rough......

His symptoms-lethargic, stays on the bottom...is he still eating, responds to you when you approach the tank??? is he having any buoyancy problems and how long have you had him......

Right now-I would get him in a small container that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-77F range and start Epsom salt 2tsp/gal (not aquarium salt) tannins-either IAL or Oak leaf along with 100% daily water changes for 10-14 days

Cover the top of the QT container with plastic veggie wrap to help retain the heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ...

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and tannins-let this sit for 30min-1hr to steep and release tannins and salt to dissolve....shake well before use....Use this premixed treatment water for the 100% daily water changes (while in the QT container floating attached[I use duct tape] to the side so it doesn't sink or get knocked around by the filter)

If room temp can maintain the goal temp of 76-7F you may not need to float the QT in the heated tank.

Turn off the light and/or try to keep the area dim lit to help reduce stress...

Be sure and do a slow acclimation to the treatment water by making 50% water changes every hour for 2 hours today and then start the 100% tomorrow...he needs to stay in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment time

When making 100% water changes-check the temp of the premixed treatment water to insure temp is within a couple of degrees between QT water and Tx water.

Tannins-either IAL (Indian almond leaf) usually can get this online or Naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (10-12 crushed/gallon)

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals...if you have access to live foods-like mosquito larva-offer several rinsed once a day for one of the meals.....

Need to start getting his system cleaned out of possible toxic substance and build his immune response.....Epsom salt and tannins along with good nutrition can help.....

Good luck and keep us posted.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 08-15-2011 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:11 PM   #5 
six
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Thank you so, so much for answering!

The lump is the big white blob on his back in the picture, he does have some fin rot as well that I've been trying to get rid of but the lump looks far more serious to me.

I did not do a vinegar rinse, I'd never actually heard of soap being any problem provided it was rinsed thoroughly. I'll certainly not use soap again.

He still eats, he still responds to me when I come to the tank and/or turn on the room light. I don't think he's having any buoyancy problems, just lethargic.

I have had him for about 2 years now.

I'll start getting the materials needed for this and start asap. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions, I feel so much better having a plan of action... hopefully he'll be back to full health soon.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:22 AM   #6 
six
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Hi... just giving an update...

I've had the fish in your treatment water following all of your directions for 4 days now (since the 18th). So far no real visible improvement... he still looks about the same and the lump on his back may actually be worse. However, behaviourally my fish seems a little more chipper; he greets me more like he used to. Because he's in the smaller container and it's different for him I have to feed him very carefully to be sure he sees his food. But he seems to be happy enough and maybe feeling a little bit better.

I tried both frozen mosquito larvae and frozen brine shrimp but he seems completely uninterested in both. So his diet is still just the betta bites. I'm willing to try other things but he seems to be really picky regarding his food.


The man at the fish store said a lump was a sign of an internal infection, but I'm sure I'd be treating that the same way anyway. He also mentioned that since I've had my betta for about two years and he was big when I got him he may just be reaching the end of his life span. I'm hoping that's not the case though and either way I'd really like to have him feeling better.


If anyone has any further advice/updates/whatever I'd appreciate it. And thanks again Oldfishlady for your treatment suggestion.

Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:45 AM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Its only been 4 days....sometimes it can take 10-14 days before you see any improvement, its good that he is starting to show behavior improvement and more responsive to you...that a start...I wish I could get a good look at the lump and make sure its not the caudal peduncle which is a normal lump....and true he may also be at the end of life if you have had him for 2 years.....if you got him at a pet shop he was most likely already 6-8 months of age...making him near 3 years and a fairly long life for this species.....

Keep us posted.....
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