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Fin Rott Emergency

622 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  IndeedPanda
I got Bo from the petsmart near my house last Thursday. I thought he was a white betta with slight pastel coloring. After a couple days I realized he was actualy blue with a red stripe and white 'frill'. I then noticed one of his fins was damaged. I transfered him from a gallon bowl, to a 2.5 gallon glass tank. I added a tsp of salt to the water and changed the warer daily. Three days ago I got teracycline and added it to the water and continued daily changes.

Recently he has stopped moving and eatting and the tail rot is shredding his tail and he keeps his fins so close to his body I can't check the fin. I don't want him to suffer. I'll do whatever I have to do. I'm going to do a water change and add 2tsp of salt and fresh tetracycline to the water tonight... but I'm so scared. If he suffering? Can I save him or am I just prolonging...

He seems to be getting worse and I'm so mad at the store for letting him get this way, but I don't know what to do. Their is no filter in that tank, instead I've been doing 100% water changes every day. There is 1tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp of teracycline in the water. No air pump as that seemed to bother him. He used to twitch and dart around in the tank- was he in pain? I use the correct amount of conditioner and the PH is a bit high, but safe and there is no amonia. I fed him Omega betta flaked when he was eatting.

Please help! If I can't save him then tell me what to do, I don't want him suffering.
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What size is your tank?
2.5 Gallon
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Omega Betta Flakes, Omega Betta Pellets, Bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish?
Twice a day when he'll eat

How often do you perform a water change?
Every night
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
10ml conditioner
2 tsp aquarium salt
1/8 tsp tetracycline

Water Parameters:

Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
pH: 7
Hardness: these two were high but
Alkalinity: in the safe range

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
He gained a lot of color since I first got him, but his tail and right fin are shredded.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He used to twitch and dart and eat, but now he just floats at the top of the tank with his fins tightly at his sides.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
I noticed his tail and fin looking a bit odd five days ago, the stillness started three days ago, the day after I introduced tetracycline.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
I first just put him in clean, heated water. I then started to add 1tsp aquarium salt. I change the water daily. 4 days ago I started treating with tetracycline in addition to the salt. He would not eat the Jungle Fungus eliminator pellets.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? I don't know.

How old is your fish (approximately)? Unknown... I bought him from petsmart.
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I added organic rooibos to the water and he's swimming around... but his tail doesn't seem to be getting better. Anyone? Help!
Alright, first off, with a 2.5 gallon tank, even non-filtered, you don't need to change the water so often. 50% once or twice a week should be fine. Changing the water too often can stress the fish.

I would suggest getting a testing kit and maybe backing down on the salt. Generally, it's 1 tablespoon for 5 gallons, so you should only be a pinch more then a tsp.

You should do some research or wait for more opinions, but I where careing for him, I would remove some of the salted water, replace it with clean and treated water, stop changing his water and medication and leave him alone for a few hours. He could just be stressed.
I've got my fish in a 1.5 gallon heated, non-filtered 'hospital tank' for sudden, rapid fin rot (he had obvious signs of old fin issues when I got him). I noticed he was looking unwell at the recommended 1teaspoon salt per gallon and reduced it by half. This immediately perked him up and his fins quickly started repairing, and he's done well on that dose so far. I do daily water changes on the small tank, as that was what was recommended.

Since you have meds in the water which treat fin rot, perhaps reduce the salt level and see if this help him pick up? Also, putting him in the smaller tank might help him get some rest while he recovers.
Thank you Aus. I'll reduce the salt to half, though the care guide said to increase the salt if there was no change after 5 days.

MollyJean I have done nothing BUT research this over and over since I first noticed the problem. I've read through dozens of other forum posts and books and other websites. I'm just hoping people who have experienced the same problem can help. When the fish is sick his immune system is damaged and changing the water normally isn't good enough. I have been changing it 50% the last two days, but that's not been good enough so I'm going back to 100% water changes.
He may be getting toxic if I understand correctly on the time line of treatment....since he seemed to get worse after the antibiotic...I would stop that......and start Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) 3tsp/gal and tannins if you have a tannin source...either IAL or dried Oak leaf while in a small bare QT container floating in the heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-77F range.

Using the small temporary cup/lid he came in-place him in this half full of the tank water-using the premixed treatment water-make 25% water changes every 15min for 1hour today-then place the lid on the container or better-use plastic veggie wrap to help retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ and attach it to the side of the heated tank so it doesn't sink-turn off the light...

Tomorrow start 50% water changes using the premixed treatment water for the next 3 days-On day 4 make 2 back to back 50%...repeat this schedule for 10-14 days-

Then re-acclimate him back to the fresh like temp dechlorinated water from his tank-I would do a full tear down of his tank when you start this treatment to have it ready-but make a 50% water change the day before he is ready to go back in it...

Premixed treatment water: using a 1gal jug (clean milk jug with lid) filled with double dosed dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and the tannin source-let this steep for 30min to start the tannins releasing and salt to dissolve-Shake well before use...
Each day the water should be darker as more of the tannins are released and this is what you want.

Fin damage can take weeks to months to re-grow and sometimes the fins will never look the same depending on the amount of damage, age of fish, genetics, overall health and nutrition.....

Your goal right now-get him eating, swimming, responding to you again and treating the secondary infection.....fin re-growth takes time.....

Nutrition is really important and once he start to feel better he should start to eat....
Feed good quality varied diet in small frequent meals-if you have access to mosquito larva offer several rinsed for one meal a day to boost protein....

Good luck....
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He may be getting toxic if I understand correctly on the time line of treatment....since he seemed to get worse after the antibiotic...I would stop that......and start Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) 3tsp/gal and tannins if you have a tannin source..
OFL - is epsom for only if/when the antibiotic fails? My next step is to try triple sulfa for Sid, since he can't seem to tolerate AQ salt in a higher dose (does okay on half dose) for his fins splitting so much. He's been on the AQ for 7 days, a day off it (in which his fins started to badly split again) and two days back on it now. Is antibiotic the best next step or should I try Epsom salt too? Or is the epsom salt not for the fins, but Panda's betta's general unwellness?
I put some Rooibos tea in the water... he's swimming again! I'll follow your advice Oldfishlady.
Here's an update on Bo. He's swimming more and eating. Is he going to be okay?


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