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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two male betta fish, Asher and Cloud, in a divided five gallon tank (filtered). A few days ago, I noticed that the very back portion of Cloud's top fin was suddenly very short and there was a section that seemed stiff. This morning, I noticed that at the base where the fin started there is a dark purple/black spot. What should I do?


Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons, divided
What temperature is your tank? 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? One other male betta on the opposite side of the divider

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Three pellets twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? ~25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Tap Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? The back portion of the top fin disappeared suddenly, and the flesh at the base of the disappearing fin has turned a dark purple or black color.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It hasn't.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About two days ago I noticed the missing fin, but didn't notice the black spot until this morning.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet, I don't know what the cause is.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for 9 months and he wasn't quite done growing when I got him.

Pictures from when I first got him and just now.
 

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Oh boy, poor boy. Most likely he bit it in frustration that he couldn't get to the other boy. It looks like it's turned into some nasty Body Rot though. I suggest taking him out to treat him with some antibiotics right away, any of the Furan meds should help him out or if you can't find those you can use Triple Sulfa (Be very cautious if you are allergic to sulfa medications; wear protection if you are allergic to it!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm planning on getting him into a quarantine tank as soon as I can go out to get one (which will be in the next hour). Going to put him in that with fresh water then do as close to a 100% water change as I can manage in the large tank so Asher doesn't get sick too. I'm going to dose both with aquarium salt (1 tsp/gal, correct?). I will look for the meds you recommended, thanks.
 

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You don't need a huge change like that, it will only stress him out. Yes the bacteria is in the water but it needs a point of entry like the first boy who had an open wound. A regular 25-50% is just fine. Also you don't need AQ salt in the tank if the other boy doesn't have open wounds, it may help sterilize Cloud's wound but only for a few days. So if you can't get the meds right away, get the tank, set him up with 3 teaspoons per gallon of salt since his is much more severe. Make sure you acclimate him very well to that, I suggest at least half an hour to an hour of acclimation so it's not so stressful. Keep his tank covered with a blanket/towel at night so he's in complete darkness as that will help him remain unstressed and hopefully allow him to focus on healing up that wound.

Do you know how to dose salt and have used it before? I can walk you through dosing if you need to, just make sure it's dissolved before you put it in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have not used salt before, and I've been reading up on but any info you can give me will help.

Edit: pet store doesn't have Fural, so API Triple Sulfa is what I'll be getting.
 

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Okay! Well first things first; AQ salt can be harmful to a fish if used too long and/or at too high of a dose. We normally use 3 teaspoons/gallon as a maximum at any point but more can be used if absolutely necessary. A length of 10-14 days is generally maximum but can extend longer if the need is so great (usually it's not though). Salt does a few things such as: irritating the slime coat into shedding the old one and producing a new coat. This is good for treating parasites like Ich, it can knock off the parasites with the old coat shedding but doesn't really kill the parasite. Salt also balances out electrolytes but generally that isn't too necessary. And the last thing salt does is sterilize open wounds.

To dose salt:

Chose your salt to water ratio, for your boy I do suggest using 3 teaspoons per gallon since he has a nasty wound. If you are using then a 1 gallon you would mix up 3 teaspoons for that whole tank. If it were 5 gallon tank then you'd have 15 teaspoons, so on and so forth. I take a small cup of any sort, take a bit of tank water (have your QT tank ready before you mix the salt for easy dosing) and then measure out your three teaspoons into that cup. Mix up the salt so it dissolves; this is extemely important! Salt makes heat as it dissolves which can burn your fish so mix outside of the tank! If the fish is not in the tank, go ahead and pour the salty water into the tank and mix around.

Acclimate your fish accordingly. I like to cup my fish in some of his old water and float in the new tank, add a few teaspoons of new water to his cup so this acclimates both to temperature and new water parameters. Add new water to his cup every 8-10 minutes until half an hour or an hour passes. Then gently let him into the tank. You can also do a drip acclimation if you wanted to, less work for you in the end and easier acclimation for him! You can do a quick google search to find out how to Drip Acclimate!
 

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Once you get the Triple Sulfa use just the T. Sulfa since it will be more stressful trying to combine medications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Okay, thanks!

It looks like Triple Sulfa is measured out for ten gallons per dose. I only have the 5 gallon aquarium that they share and the one gallon quarantine tank. I do have a five gallon bucket that I use when I'm doing water changes (gotta put that water somewhere...) Should I mix the water and meds in the bucket, or put cloud back in the 5 gal (!) and just dose that with half a packet?
 

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Personal opinion: The infection is in his body, so I would skip Aquarium salt and go straight to a good antibiotic. Do not use both together.

If this was my fish, I would:
- Use a good gram-negative or broad spectrum antibiotic.
- Raise the water temp to about 76F.
- Do a large water change, or treat in a separate small tank, prior to adding medications.

Reasoning:
- Once an infection is in the body, it becomes harder to treat (than when it's in the fins alone). Also, the situation becomes more serious when it's in the body. Therefore, I would go straight to a good antibiotic. The API Triple Sulfa that Lilnaugrim recommended is a good choice.

- Bettas are tropical fish, and do best at temps in the 75-84F range. At 72F, his metabolism isn't functioning as well as it could. Raising the temp to the bottom of the range (75-76F) will help his immune system. However, you also don't want to raise the temp too high, as bacteria multiply faster at warmer temps. So raising the temp to about 75-76F will help his immune system, but also keep the bacteria from multiplying rapidly.

- Doing a large water change prior to using the medication will help remove any built up toxins or bacteria in the tank. Since he has a tank mate, if possible, move him to a separate container for treatment, unless your other fish also has signs of a bacterial infection. Medications are harsh on the internal organs, so there's no point in subjecting your other fish to them, unless he's also showing signs of infection.

Yes, one packet of Triple Sulfa treats 10 gal of water. So you have several options:

Option 1) Treating in the 5 gal tank:
Use half the packet. This will treat 5 gal of water. Wrap the other half in aluminum foil, then put it into a plastic bag and store it in the dark for future use.

Option 2) Treating in the 1 gal tank:
Get a measuring cup. Put in an amount of water easily divisible by 10's. (For example, 20 ounces, 30 ounces, 200 mL, etc.)

Dissolve one packet in the above amount of water. Add conditioner. Then, put 1/10th of the medicated liquid into the quarantine tank.
(For example, if you used 30 ounces of water, then add 3 ounces of the medicated liquid.)

Cover the container with the remaining liquid with plastic wrap or a lid. Store it in the refrigerator, and use it during the treatment period for water changes. (Be sure to warm it up so it's the same temp as the tank water though!)

Once the treatment period is over, throw out any remaining liquid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's a great idea about measuring for the little tank, thanks! I did the first dose this morning. It looks like the front of his dorsal fin has got it now, too... Asher looks fine, though, so that's good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So Cloud's not doing so well. The dark spot isn't getting any larger and it doesn't look like any part of his fins are disappearing, but now he's not nearly as active as he used to be. Instead of swimming around and going after his food and coming up to check me out, he just sits there. He really only moves to go up for air or to switch between his log and the moss ball for a resting place. It's also taking him noticeably longer to eat his food.

I've been doing daily water changes of 25-50% and dosing with Triple Sulfa like LittleBlueFishlets recommended. Is there anything else I can do for my poor little guy?
 

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How many days have you been using the Triple Sulfa?
Can you post a new photo so we can see how he looks now?

If the Triple Sulfa isn't effective, I would try using furan meds, such as API Furan 2, Hikari Bifuran or Jungle Fungus Clear. But first, I'd like to see a new photo so that we can determine if the Triple Sulfa has done anything.
 

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OK, I would do the following:

1) Give him a bath in methylene blue. Put him in a small container. Add 2-3 drops methylene blue into 1 gal of water. Give him a 20-30 minute bath in this water. Then return him to his regular home. Discard the blue water. (Warning: methylene blue stains everything! I recommend wearing gloves and treating in a small container that isn't your grandmother's antique china.)

2) Stop the Triple Sulfa and switch to one of the furan meds: API Furan 2, Hikari Bifuran or Jungle Fungus Clear.

3) Can you get Kanaplex (kanamycin sulfate)? (Often, it needs to be ordered online. Check the Drs Foster and Smith website.) If you can get this, I would combine the Kanaplex and Furan meds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There are three pet stores in my area, two petsmarts and a rather sketchy pet supermarket. Petsmart should carry a Furan medication, so I should be able to get that tomorrow. I don't believe either store has either methylene blue or Kanaplex. The website you recommended for Kanaplex carries all three (at reasonable prices, too), but in order to receive the meds within 2 days, shipping is $25. Honestly, what are the chances Cloud will make it a.) long enough to be treated with the meds and b.) if he is treated?
 

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Start with API Furan 2, Hikari Bifuran or Jungle Fungus Clear. See what happens. The furan meds are excellent antibiotics for treating the majority of aquatic bacterial infections.

Petsmart usually carries API Furan 2.
Walmart usually carries Jungle Fungus Clear.
(I don't know what Pet Supermarket carries.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Neither petsmart carries Furan 2, so I went to Walmart. Got their last box of Jungle Fungus Clear. I'm dosing the same way as with the triple sulfa (dissolve in 200ml of water, measure out 20ml for the gallon). The instructions say to wait four days then do a 25% water change before dosing again. Since this is in a non-filtered, non-cycled hospital critter keeper, should I continue doing daily water changes as before? (Mixing the new water with the proper dosage from the 200ml I initially mixed and ambkeeping refrigerated.)

Thank you so much for all the help you've been giving me! Here's hoping the Fungus Clear does the trick...
 
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