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Fin rot turning into body rot?!

1004 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Taeanna
Hey guys, I need help and quickly! I got Shaun T about 6 months ago and I noticed a bit of fin rot about a week ago, so I started doing water changes every 1-2 days, pretty much as often as possible. 4 days ago I noticed that overnight it became quite severe with a large portion of his dorsal fin missing. That is when I took him out of his 2.5 gal and into a QT tank with 2 tsp of aquarium salt per gal. Just yesterday I woke up to find that he now has gotten pretty dark in color around his head and a white spot had formed also on his head. Its now twice the size it was and spreading to the other side of his head. I don't know if its columnaris or not because it doesn't look fuzzy at all it looks more like the scales are just dieing. I've also noticed on the rotten fin area there's little red dots appearing, at first there was just one and now I'm seeing a couple. also some of the fin is becoming translucent I'm wondering if that's regrowth or degradation of what was there. please help! I'm not sure if I should up the AS to 3 tsps or get some medicine. I'm in panic mode, I don't want anything bad to happen to him :-(

He was also looking a little bit bloated and didn't poo for two days, finally last night he passed a giant turd. I did start feeding him one more pellet once I got him in a QT cos I was hoping it would encourage fin re-growth. I fasted him today just to be safe. I don't know if I made matters worse or not. I hope not :S

What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78-80
Does your tank have a filter? yes a sponge filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? one netrite snail and lots of plants

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top fin betta bits in the morning and hikari micro wafers at night
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 of the pellets and about 8 of the micro wafers

How often do you perform a water change? every 2-3 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 40%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? seachem prime

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I haven't checked the planted tank yet, will do that tomorrow and post.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fin rot and coloration
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? a little less energetic
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A week or so ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, he's in a 1 gal QT getting 100% water changes and 2 tsp of aquarium salt per gal.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no, I've only had him 6 mos
How old is your fish (approximately)? maybe a year or less

There's his giant poo at the bottom of the last pic.


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I am going to assume we are looking at a bacterial infection because by your description he is undergoing flesh necrosis rather than being attacked from a surface fungal.

For this I recommend using a broad spectrum antibiotic such as tetracycline, however the US does have more choices available such as kanaplex.
If he is bloating up I recommend that when you start him on the medication you stop using the salt treatment as he is beginning to retain water, he will purge this once his kidneys clear out the salt from his system.
Okay so I just got the test results for the planted tank Shaun's been living in. Here they are

PH 8
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 5.0 ppm

So the QT tank also has a ph of 8 then cos its the same water from the tap. Does the ph have anything to do with encouraging rot or bacteria?

Also I'm headed to my LFS soon to pick up an antibiotic. Possibly some stress coat too in case I need it after using antibiotics. Is is possible to mix the two? Also would it be beneficial to use green tea or almond leaf for tannins while also dosing antibiotics?
I highly recommend using the almond leaf, the darkened water calms them right down and this is important during illness since thrashing about can lead to further damage.

Bacteria that lives in fish is usually of the same PH tolerence level as all life so really in order to keep a ph your fish can handle is technically encouraging bacteria, it doesnt help or hinder them too much.
Hey again, I was hoping I could get some advice on using the tetracycline. It says to use in a 10 gal doing 25% water changes every two days adding another packet everyday. So I'm wondering how I should dose it if I'm using a 1 gal bowl. I've already added the first dose last night. I split one packet into ten parts and added one to new water last night. my plan was to continue doing 100% water changes and adding a new dose everytime for 4-5 days, I can't remember how long it said to do it. But im wondering if I should up the dose every night like they say to, so tonight I would change the water and add two portions of tetracycline to the water. Also does tetracycline need aerated water?

Also, the pictures, what do you think? I'm starting to wonder if it is columnaris cos of the saddleback of white and his dorsal is starting to blacken at the base on his body.


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Don't do 100% water changes when medicating TC Tetracycline because the medication needs to build up on itself. (Think of it as when you're taking medication for an illness; you take a lot at first, then gradually wean yourself off it.)

Per this forum, someone doses for a tank less than 10g by taking 10tbsp of new aquarium water in a cup and dumping the entire contents of one packet into the cup with the water. Mix the water and powder together till it fully dissolves. Do a 50% water change, add new water to the tank, and then add 1tbsp of the medicated water per gallon in the tank. You'll most likely have to dump the rest of the unused medicated water because I imagine once the powder has become diluted, it's too weak to use again because the medicated water will have aged over time.

Someone else does 50% water change before every new dose with this medication.

Make sure you do take out the carbon in your filter, if you're using one.
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Okay so just to be sure then, (sorry to be such a bother about this) I continue upping the dose everyday? so if I'm using the tbsp of diluted meds everyday I could do a 50% change and then add another tbsp until the last day? I just want to make sure I'm doing this right. I'm worried so much that I'm going to do something wrong and hurt him even more.

I asked about the aeration because I was reading some meds will slowly suffocate your fish without a filter running, and I don't have a filter going in the QT.
Continue the dosage for a one gallon tank every day till you deem you've dosed enough, basically when he's starting to heal/fin regrowth. (I'm using the full 10 packets, but dosing for a 5g tank). Do a 50% water change every day, add new water, and them at 1tbsp of the medicated water for each gallon of water the tank holds. (I use 5tbsp for a 5g tank.) I'm doing this according to what I've read here (combination of methods). I believe it's working, but unsure.

Aeration could be good. Buy an airstone, a not-so-strong air machine thing (totally forgot what it's called atm), check valve, and something to customize the airflow to make sure the current it creates isn't too strong.
Isn't tetracycline for gram positive bacteria? Columnaris is a gram negative rod bacteria.

Triple Sulfa may also yield positive results for treatment of Columnaris if used early (although this is not as effective of a treatment for Columnaris as it used to be or as the Kanamycin/Nitrofurazone combination).

Minocycline is member of this class of Tetracycline antibiotics and many persons assume all antibiotics in this class are the same, which is not true. Minocycline (sometimes spelled Minocycline) is more gram negative than its cousins and has shown effectiveness for Columnaris.
Maracyn 2 is a product that contains Minocycline.
Tetracycline is capable of targeting both gram negative and positive by inhibiting mRNA synthesis in the bacterial nucleus/genetic material. The bacterial cells in question actually pump the antibiotic into their system by assisted transport instead of diffusion, so it is able to influence both gram types.
It is not as targeted as many drugs because of this, making it more of a widespread carpet bomb instead of a tactical strike.
Thank you guys very much! The teracycline seemed to do the trick as far as taking care of the bacteria. I don't think it was columnaris, just a bad case of fin rot. which is clearing up nicely might i add, he has lots of new growth of his dorsal fin.

I'm feeling really dumb about what im about to say but might the change in color on his head and back be just color changing?? I just finished up his meds last night put him in clean warm water and he's looking like a champ. A creepy one but yea. He's energetic, making bubble nets and his fins are growing. So far he's lost no body tissue and Ive yet to see any fuzz on his body. the white and black has spread more but if I look very very closely those scales look shiny and iridescent like normal scales. I think maybe he's just changing color :cool: I'm still gonna keep my eye on him just to be safe cos this is really bad timing to change color, I mean right as he gets hecka sick.
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He may be changing color on his own, many pet store bettas are a grab bag of breeds and marbles in particular are notorious for spontaneously morphing into a new color scheme without warning.

Glad to hear he is doing better! Can't wait to see his new look.
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