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Old 12-09-2011, 10:53 AM   #1 
Sprinkles
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Exclamation Fin Rot + Ich, best combined treatment method??

Hello all, this is my first post on the forum and I wish it wasn't one asking for help!

On the 4th I (mistakenly) went into Petsmart, not intending to leave with a fish as right now money is tight and I really don't have the setup I would like. But there was a pretty, shy (totally wigged out when I picked up his container) male betta with fin rot that I just couldn't leave. That being said he's living in a 1 gallon for now until I can get something bigger.

The first day and a half or so, he acted okay. He swam all over the place, ate, flared at his reflection in the side of the aquarium. It took me until Wednesday to get Aquarium Salt, as the closest Walmart that sells fish supplies is a little drive away. Again, money is tight, so I wanted to buy the supplies there. By this time the fin rot had already gotten considerably worse, which surprised me. I did a total water change Wednesday night, and added 1 tsp. of the salt, plus Stress Coat. Yesterday afternoon, repeated the process. Yesterday night however, I saw what I thought might be Ich forming on his fins. He's a Pastel so I'm having difficulty figuring out if it's on his body or not. As of yesterday he is somewhat lethargic, has no appetite, and is rubbing himself on the gravel in his tank. The fin rot only seems to have gotten way worse.

My issue is this: I'm leaving town the night of the 14th to go help some friends move. I'll be 2 hours away, and likely won't be back until the 20th. I had this commitment long before getting my fish so I can't not go. My mother will, I'm sure, feed him and give medicine if needed, but I know she won't do daily water changes like they need to be done when he's getting medicine.

So what I'm asking is if there's a med any of you experts would suggest that would treat both of these issues *fairly quickly*, to at least get him on the road to recovery between now and then, so that a daily change wouldn't be pertinent? Also, should I take the gravel out of his tank while he has the Ich?

I have already become quite fond of this guy, he kind of stole my heart before I even brought him home. I really don't want to lose him. I'm not new to owning fish, I used to always have an assortment of sorts until about 5 years ago. We had a major move and since then, I haven't had any. I have missed them, and been wanting to get more, but I'm having to work out the kinks in my fish knowledge I seem to have lost since then, haha. So any help you all could offer me would be greatly appreciated!

Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78-82 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? TetraMin Flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x daily

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? While sick, daily.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat and, while sick, aquarium salt.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Holes in fins, more appearing and getting larger. Small, white dots forming on all fins.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic, not eating, rubbing on gravel.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Fin Rot, at the pet store. Ich, last night.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes; 1 tsp Aq. Salt + Stress Coat + 100% daily water change.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? N/A
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:50 AM   #2 
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It sounds like you're doing the right thing, but for aggressive fin rot that isn't getting any better I'd suggest upping it up to 2tsp gal.

But first I'd make sure it is fin rot and not biting or his fins getting snagged on something. If you could post a pic we can help you identify the trouble a bit better. Are his fins shrinking? Are they black or possibly red tipped (bloody)? Or perhaps dark and crusty.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:07 PM   #3 
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My plan was to up it to 2 tsp/gal when I did his water change today. I was just hoping someone might have a suggestion for a more aggressive treatment for the rot and ich since I'm leaving in 5 days. :(

His anal fin does have a blackish line on the very edge on part of it. I don't think he's biting his fins, I've sat and watched him for awhile because I was concerned about that too. But his fins just seem to keep... rotting away. Or something. I will go try to get a picture now.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #4 
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Go ahead and up it to 2-3 tsp per gallon, raise the temp of the water to 85/86 if you can, it will speed up the killing of the ick. Do this treatment for no longer then 14 days (counting what you have done already)- if by the end of 14 days he still has ick then proceed to use either Jungle’s Parasite Clear, API Super Ick Cure, or Kordon Rid Ich Plus without the use of AQ salt.

The daily water changes, and the AQ salt should help his fin rot if he does have it.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:04 PM   #5 
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Well, he wasn't being very cooperative with pictures. He was content to continuously rub himself on the gravel. It's starting to upset me.

This is the best I could get: things I'll point out are the hole close to the base of his tail, the long area missing out of his dorsal, and the discoloration on his anal fin you can sort of see even though it's out of focus.

He has little pin-prick sized holes all over, and there's a whole portion of his tail that's just... nearly gone now. Is is possible he's doing some of this damage on the gravel? There is nothing else in his tank, so he couldn't be tearing his fins on anything else. Should I remove the gravel?

http://i43.tinypic.com/6qy9nr.jpg

Last edited by Sprinkles; 12-09-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:26 PM   #6 
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I would remove the gravel, and continue the AQ salt treatment with raised heat- that way if it is fin rot, the AQ salt and daily 100% water changes will fix it, if not, then no harm and you are still killing off the ick with the salt.

Go ahead and use boiling water and soak the gravel in that for the remainder of the treatment of your guy.. changing the boiling water once a day- that should kill off any eggs in the gravel.

Small holes could be from rot, damage from the gravel, or high ammonia- which all 3 are easily fixable, and you are fixing it. Once his ick is treated and gone, then keep up with the weekly water changes and the rot shouldn't come back.

How often and what % were you doing water changes prior to him getting ick?
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #7 
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Well I've only had him since Sunday, he had a fresh clean setup Sunday about 9 at night. I did a 50% change Tuesday afternoon, so he didn't go quite 2 days. Then of course Wednesday and yesterday he got total changes. Yesterday being when I noticed the Ick. I have no idea how long he had been at that store but his water definitely didn't look clean when I took him home, so it wouldn't surprise me if there was an ammonia issue.

Okay, thank you! I'm fixing to go do his change right now so I will remove the gravel and do the soak until he is better.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:05 AM   #8 
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Poor fella..

For a 1 gal unfiltered tank you would want to be doing 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week regularly, dosing with full amount for that water volume of conditioner.

He may be prone to stressing easily, which is why ick came about quickly after you getting him.

You can try an ick specific medication such as Jungle’s Parasite Clear, API Super Ick Cure, or Kordon Rid Ich Plus instead of the salt since I just realized you are on a time limit :( Stop the salt usage if you decide to go with the medication, but keep the temp up.

How long will you be gone for?
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:06 PM   #9 
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I'll probably be gone 6 days. :(

He does seem to stress easily. He completely wigged out the entire ride home the day I got him, and he doesn't care for the water changes much. He did seem to settle in pretty well though, and he relaxes fairly soon once I get him back in his tank.

His tank is about a steady 84, that's the best I can do without it getting too warm. When I did his change yesterday I used 2 tsp/gal of the salt, and before I went to bed I put in another tsp. I think that really made a difference, he seems a lot more lively and he actually ate pretty eagerly for me a few minutes ago. So I figured I'd do the same thing today and if I still see no change in the Ich, then I'll get one of those meds tomorrow so he has a good 3 days before I leave. I'm hoping I caught it early.

Last edited by Sprinkles; 12-10-2011 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:34 AM   #10 
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Well, as sure as I said that... now he's developed red spots on his fins. I'm guessing a bacterial infection? Septecimia? I'm not entirely sure where to go from here. Thought about getting API Erythromycin and the Super Ich Cure Liquid, since that covers all of my bases and it says on their website it can be used together, but that's $20 worth of medication and I don't have the $20 to spend. I'm at a loss. :(
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