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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thank you for your help and insight.


My betta fish has lost his appetite and overall character. I noticed the beginnings of some fin rot on his dorsal fin and began a treatment with T.C. Tetracycline. The fin rot cleared up well and quickly. The treatment regimen involved removing the active-carbon filter and administering 4 doses with two 25% water changes: one change per 2 doses of anti-biotics.


The fish lost its appetite during this treatment, but it hasn’t really returned. It’s been about 2 weeks since the start of the treatment (approx 1 week of treatment, followed by another week of business as usual).
After the treatment finished, his appetite momentarily seemed to return. He had little interest in his regular pellet food but was interested in blood worms. He has been picky in the past, going through phases when it comes to his preferred food.


He now has no interest at all in any food offered.


He would regularly show an interest in your activities and the happenings in the room. Favorite time was feeding, when he would show his excitement by shifting from side to side quickly as he waited. He was curious about anything that was new or moved. He seemed curious about my playing guitar if I was near. He would rarely flare unless he was being dopey and you managed to startle him when you walked up.


Now he sits rather still near the top of the water and is indifferent to nearly everything.


School is really picking up, so I have rarely been home over the last two weeks, which is a big change.

  • Age of fish: betta has been with me for 10 months.
  • Size of tank: 5 US gallons
  • Tank-mates: 1 mystery snail
  • Daily feeding: 4 pellets of high-protein betta food or blood-worms
  • Sleeping schedule: Tank gets natural light, but might be artificially illuminated from the surrounding room 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. The tank has an incandescent light but it is rarely used.
  • Temperature: Regulated to 80 F.
  • Tank bed: Gravel
  • Tank decorations: 1 rock cave, 5 fabric plants which are rotated out for variety
  • Cleaning schedule: 25% once a week, decorations once a month, filter change each 4 weeks.
  • Current pH: 7.0
  • Current Ammonia ppm, etc : No test kits immediately available
  • Medical history: One prior bout of fin rot which was treated with success.
  • Interaction: Aside from feeding and having him in my workspace, doing exercises right by tank, and changing the fish’s view by propping up various books by his back wall.

If you have had any similar experiences and feel that you can shed some light on the situation, I’d like to hear from you!

Thank you.
 

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Maybe I missed it, but what brand pellets are you feeding?

Just a suggestion, but mystery snails are very dirty and it's likely that the fin rot is a result of poor water quality. It may continue to come back with the mystery snail in the tank, because it's a pain trying to keep it clean with them in there. I love mystery snails, and I bred them for a short time, but I would never keep one in a tank with a fish under 10g.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I find that it's best to use a jar of minced garlic. It's already kinda juicy. Some people put a clove in the microwave to get the juice. I don't like doing this 'cause it stinks up my microwave.
Thank you for the pointers! I'll get some minced as that sounds easier.
What kind of pellets are you using?
Aqueon Betta Food.

  • Protein 38% min
  • Fat 7% min
  • Fiber 7% max

I find they are just a little too big so I cut them in half best as I can before feeding.
 

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Hi Lick!

The short answer is I'd suggest doing 2-3 50% water changes over the course of a day, but the damage may be done.

The long answer is tetracycline is an unstable chemical. When it breaks down, those products are toxic. That's why those 25% water changes are part of the usage directions. After treatment, I always do a series of large (~50-75%) changes to "flush the system" and get any remaining tetracycline out of the aquarium.

Tetracycline also is a chelater, meaning it binds to ions like magnesium, calcium, iron, all those essential "minerals". In the aquarium, that means the water is depleted and the water chemistry goes out of whack. In the fish, that means he becomes anemic and his metabolism also goes out of whack, both of those show up as low energy. More water changes and feeding a high protein food may help, but getting a lethargic fish to eat is... tricky. Maybe try dangling an (un)frozen bloodworm from a paperclip and wiggling the end of it in front of his face. Movement might get him to bite.

The important thing is to SLOWLY get his water back to "normal" and to get him eating (something) again.
 

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Hiya Mike!

Fresh (read: new from an unopened package) activated charcoal should absorb most things, so it will help to get chemicals out of the water. That's one side of the equation.

The other side is the replenishing the "stuff" in the water. Without getting too science-y, there are trace elements, metals, and assorted ions in water. These are a limited resource in every tank. That's why we (should) do regular water changes. And why using only distilled or reverse osmosis water is "bad" because pure water, while tasty, has been completely stripped of everything. You can add "stuff" back into the water, but things get pretty hardcore at that point in order to get everything to balance.

I find it's easier just to grab a milkjug and head for the sink! Cover both bases in one go.

If you're looking for more info, to start you can Google for 1) the relationship between pH, KH, and GH and 2) redox and the aquarium. And may be dust off ye olde chemistry book...
 
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