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Old 01-28-2012, 08:08 PM   #1 
danifacetastic
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Bloated Betta, Treated With Maracyn, no luck, now onto Parasite?

I'm sure you've seen my postings before about my betta who's been bloated since about Sept/Oct. Since December I've noticed he's gotten more bloated. He isn't AS lethargic as he was but still sinks to the bottom of he doesn't use a lot of effort to stay to the top. The bloat isn't as bad but somedays it's worse and then the next day it will be fine. Also his body has a slight red sheen to it. I treated with Maracyn/Maracyn II for a total of 10 days now (5 days, about a week, then another 5 days) and 2 tsp epsom salt a day with no changes really.

I was advised that if this didn't work to move onto something that treats parasites. I wasn't able to find the anti-parasitic food but I picked up Tetra Parasite Guard fizzy tablets that treats internal and external parasites. Should this be my next course of action? Should I combine it with Maracyn or Epsom salts? I've noticed he's gotten more stressed since I upped the epsom dosage to 2tsp instead of 1...should I cut back?
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #2 
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Remind me.. is he still eating? If so, is he pooping daily and what does the poop look like?

I would not use that medication. It contains an ingredient called Dflubenzuron that as far as I can tell is not an actual med but a restricted use PESTICIDE known to cause cancer.. Not something I'd be giving to my fish. Also if it's parasites it's internal and would need to be fed. They say it works internal but truth it is the meds are not absorbed through the gills and count on water gulped by the fish to treat and so as a bath it's not very effective. Also quite possible it's still bacterial and resistant to Minocycline, but that would depend on the other symptoms.. like what the poop looks like and if he is flashing/darting at all.

Assuming he's eating what you're looking to get is Metronidazole and Focus by Seachem and mixing up your own antiparasite med. You can either use treated aquarium water or garlic guard by seachem (100% garlic extract). Take one measure each of the Metro and Focus into some of the liquid and soak the pellets 10 to 15 min. Feed two twice a day. Good pellets for this are Hikari because of the high wheat content but others will work too. NLS will not work as they don't soak at all and sink within seconds of soaking. You have to mix up fresh each feeding.

If you can't find this you might be able to use General Cure by API as it contains both Metro and Prazi and should both be safe to feed as the Jungle stuff contains both of these ingredients together. Mix up the same as above.

Last edited by callistra; 01-28-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:17 PM   #3 
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He's eating 4 pellets a day and pooping fine. His attitute has changed in the past 2 weeks...he's a lot more skittish and when I feed him he literally jumps out of the water to get the food.

If there's any possible way could you link to these medications? Because when I search for medications I come up empty handed.

I actually bought general cure by API before I bought Maracyn and Maracyn II and was told by someone on here...I don't remember who...that it wasn't going to treat any of the symptoms.

This whole mess is just so complicated. It seems like nothing is working and it's so hard to get a hold of the medicine I need.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:53 PM   #4 
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Okay I have almost had more than I can handle with this boy :( Since starting his 2nd dose of Maracyn things have went from a standstill to worse. He's MORE lethargic now and the medicine is dosed with water in a small plastic tupperware container which now has black crap floating in it and I don't want to put that in the tank. Now he's laying around more than usual, a little more bloated, and just overall worse looking since I started the second round of Maracyn. The only thing I did different was instead of 100% daily changes I did every other day. I just changed his water and the only thing I added was 1 tsp epsom salt. I just don't know what to do. This is getting so complicated :(
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #5 
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The medication should have been mixed up fresh and then emptied every day, so I'm a little unsure about this black mess you're describing.. You haven't been reusing the same mixture over and over have you? It will have lost its potency after 24 hours and been worthless somewhere between that and 48 so you would have only teased the infection and possibly built a resistance.. Also you predissolved the salt before adding right?

If he's not getting better on Maracyns then something else is needed. You should have seen significant improvement after the first round, even if a second was needed if it was the right med. Focus on trying to find Maracyn Plus or Kanaplex and Focus by Seachem. If you can't find it you'll have to speed order it online and hope for the best. You can try feeding the Maracyns in the meantime. Did I tell you how? Use a small amount of treated water and put a packet of each in the mixture. Soak the pellets for 10-15min and feed 2 twice a day. The only pellets I know for sure wont' work for this are NLS. Hikari works particularly well because of the high wheat content they soak a lot up.

General Cure works on parasites only. If he has internal parasites his poo should be abnormal and if its external you should be seeing signs of it. You are describing signs of a bacterial infection that has reached the point of dropsy and possibly septicemia (red sheen).

ETA: Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I don't know why one would suspect parasites if he's eating and pooping normally. That's pretty much the symptoms of internal parasite infection. And if it was external you'd either see it or he'd be flashing or something.

Last edited by callistra; 01-29-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:04 PM   #6 
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Parasites he will be skinny since internal parasites will be taking nutrients away from him.
Large extended abdomen doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing- I have a boy who is about a year and a half who looks to be bloated, but isn't. The lethargy could be from the water temp, and quality of food he is eating.

Over medication could also cause more problems then the original complaint. What was going on with him to make you put him on all those medications?

My recommendation?

Place him in his tank, make sure the tank has had a water change recently though- test if possible, make sure the temp is 78-80*F and see how he does. Only thing in there is water conditioner. Make sure the filter is baffled or on low setting if you have one and see how he does.

I have helped quite a few people who have medicated their fishes for weeks with all sorts of things.. to end up that their fish become healthy and normal when taken out of it. Their little bodies aren't designed to handle the harshness of the medications for any length of time.

Epsom salt is gentle enough on them.. but since you say he is having normal bowel movements, then there is no need to use it- it won't make his belly size go down since it isn't a blockage of sorts.

High protein variety diet will help keep him regular and healthy so no Epsom would be needed.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:09 PM   #7 
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OP already stated the betta was pine coned in a previous thread.

Quote:
3/4 of his body have like doubled in size and his scales are pineconing.
The conservative treatment you suggest will be lethal and dropsy always requires epsoms and some type of med. Please know the problem before you make a suggestion as the OP doesn't know enough to understand you're just making a suggestion from lack of knowledge.

I believe at this point it has to be bacterial in nature because his poop is normal. Sometimes dropsy is caused by a parasite but this is generally GI dropsy or in a case where a parasite infection leads to an opportunistic secondary bacterial infection and this is what eventually leads to dropsy (or visa versa but in both cases the bacteria is causing the all over swelling).

It's very possible it's resistant to the Erythromycin and Minocyline or also that they're not being dosed properly so I'm trying to see how they're being mixed/dosed and also looking to move to something stronger.

Last edited by callistra; 01-29-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:48 PM   #8 
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Hi danifacetastic, I'm so sorry you're having such difficulty with this boy.

When you dosed the Maracyns, did you mix it up using the 5 cup method? This is the ideal way to mix up meds for treatment in a smaller tank.

5 cup method:
Get a container or jug that can hold 5 cups of dechlorinated water. Add the dosage of medicine to this and mix/shake well. Use 1/2cup of the medicated water per 1 gallon of tank water. So if the tank your boy is in is 1 gallon, pour 1/2 cup of the medicated water in. If it's 2 gallons, pour 1 cup in etc.

Is he still in epsom salts as well? If not, I strongly recommend you put him in 3 tsps per gallon.

Go ahead and stop usage of the Maracyns. One of the medicines, minocycline, can cause kidney damage if used too long and I'm beginning to suspect this may be the case with your boy. As kidneys are damaged, fluid builds up and causes the bloating/pineconing symptoms of dropsy (also known as ascites). This would explain why he has bloated further.

If he looks very bad, you may need to consider euthanasia. As OFL says, you need to do what is right by the fish.

I'm sorry things look so grim right now.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:00 PM   #9 
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I think they used the tablespoon method but idk. I told them to spoon out 10 tablespoons of water and add a packet which treats 10 gallons. Then spoon out as many tablepoons of the mixture as gallons in the container. This effectively cuts the meds into 10ths which are easily distributed to the gallons. What you have described cuts the meds the same way but uses more water to dissolve.

5 days on Minocycline isn't going to cause kidney damage and this is one of the few meds that can actually cure dropsy. Doing nothing will definitely cause him death so while there is some risk it's not really one that should be considered. He was bloated and pine coned before treatment started which is why he's being treated and unfortunately it was all they could find of the possible meds that could cure it. Kanaplex or Maracyn Plus would have been better choices but they couldn't find them.

Last edited by callistra; 01-29-2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:16 PM   #10 
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But he hasn't been on mino for 5 days, he's been on it for almost 10.

Also, since efforts to medicate have failed, including a second course of Maracyns, I am also considering that the cause of his bloating and pineconing is not a disease as originally suspected but in fact a tumor or internal growth. Is it possible for you to post a pic of him, Danifacetastic? I may be able to tell from a pic if it is a tumor or not.

If it is indeed a tumor, there is nothing you can do but ensure he is comfortable or humanely euthanize him. :(

In the meantime, Danifacetastic, if you want to continue to try and treat him, then look for Seachem Kanaplex. You will almost certainly need to order it online and you can get it here:
www.kensfish.com $5.95 for 5g (all you need) and shipping costs/time which varies depending on the method you choose.

If you do choose to pursue treatment and you order the Kanaplex, I again recommend taking him off the Maracyns and keeping him in only 3 tsps of epsom salt. His body WILL need a respite from the medications he has been on before he is treated with such a stronge med as Kanaplex.

I am also going to ask OFL what she thinks, as she has seen many cases over the years and may also be able to tell if this is dropsy or a tumor. I was and still am hoping very much it is not a tumor.

Hang in there.
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