All Betta Owners Read! Melafix Alert!

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chickadee

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Edit: Moderator's Note-Adding a link to an updated discussion on this topic. Anyone interested in more information regarding it, please go here: Update Regarding Labyrinth Fish and Melafix
-End Moderator's Note-

MELAFIX ALERT!!!!* NOT SAFE FOR BETTAS!!!!* WILL KILL YOUR FISH OF OVERDOSE!

I just received a report from Butterfly by e-mail that Melafix is dangerously toxic to Bettas so I beg of you that any of you who are now treating your Bettas with Melafix do an immediate 90% water change and watch for signs of floating, acting unconcious, or dopey.* This has caused deaths in Bettas or other Labyrinth fishes.* Melafix is a great medication for all fishes having nothing but gill breathing systems, but for some reason causes a death by overdosage at normal levels when given to fish with Labyrinth organs.* Please begin immediately to use Bettafix in its place for all tanks of under 10 gallons and while I would cut the dosage considerably it is said that Melafix is still safe for 10 gallons and above.* We are talking perhaps no more than 1/4 dosage strength and then constant supervision of fish for adverse effects.

I do want to assure you all that this information came to me only moments ago and I got it to you as soon as I could.* I am off to remove the second tank of water from my Betta, Marty who has been acting in the above manner while I have been dosing him on Melafix the last few days.* I put him on a carbon filter and came to warn you all.* Now excuse me I must go and see to him.

Rose
 

atmmachine816

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I'm so sorry Rose. Hope he will be alright. If it's all labyrinth fish would'nt gouramis be at risk also?
 
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chickadee

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Yes Gouramis are at risk also as they are also Labyrinth fish.

Rose
 

Stradius011

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*Groan* I just added Melafix before I read this. Thanks for warning us Chickadee. I read the same thing at ultimatebettas.com but I didn't pay attention to it.
 

0morrokh

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Wow that's really good to know. Hopefully Marty and Stradius's fish and all other Bettas will be ok. Let us know how the Bettas are doing. And just to clarify...is Melafix 100% safe for non-labyrinth fish in tanks of 10 or more gallons? Also where can you get Bettafix? (am I correct to assume this is just the Betta version os Melafix?) And also (sorry about all the questions), is Primafix safe for Bettas?

Now, the science geek in me kicks in...how come Melafix adversely affects labyrinth fish? And what in Bettafix makes it ok?
 
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chickadee

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No Bettafix is evidently made of a different base ingredient than Melafix and is not the same chemical make-up at all. There is a chemical in Melafix that disturbs the ability of the Labyrinth organ of Anabantids (Labyrinth fishes) to process the air that they need to breathe. They are still able to use their gills but they cannot use the Labyrinth organ and can effect drown from the inability to use regular air. It is imperitive that they be protected from overdose of this chemical.

The article stated that fish that do not have the Labyrinth organ and have gill breathing systems only are perfectly safe to use Melafix on to treat diseases such as fin rot.

I am afraid I would also be hesitant to use Pimafix although it is not mentioned. The two meds (Melafix and Pimafix) are made to be used together and as such it would be hard for me to justify using Pimafix if it is unsafe to use Melafix. Now let me stress that this too applies only to Anabantids (those with Labyrinth organs).

This is not to say that they are not superb products for the fish that they are safe for. They are and have saved the fins of many little fish. It is simply not going to be safe to use them on the fish specified.

Just in case some of you may have some of the other fish involved here is the complete list of the fish types I could find that are involved:

Perch
Combtail
Ctenopia or Ctenopoma
Betta
Gourami
Paradisefish

Any form of the above fish should not receive Melafix. (and I would not suggest Pimafix by association)

Rose
 

nmwierman1977

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Thank you so much for the warning. Mr Red has been on this medication for a month now. And I actually have been noticing him swaying side to side lately and acting not quite himself in the past few days. As soon as I get home I will change his water out and put the bettafix in there. I just hope it's not too late. He's been on it for so long. Natalie
 
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chickadee

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After rereading the article about Melafix I find that the same chemical IS in Bettafix but at a MUCH smaller dosage and at a concentration that is specifically tested on Labyrinth fishes. Sorry for the misinformation. This has shaken me a bit too.

Rose
 

Butterfly

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The ingredient that causes a problem is Melaleuca, it is Tea Tree Oil.
Carol
 
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chickadee

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Thank you for seeing that we got the information. It seems that we have had some bettas that were starting to have some slight to moderate problems.

Rose
 

Isabella

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This is a scary piece of information (especially for those who have bettas or gouramis and have treated or are treating them with Melafix). Rose and Carol, thank you for keeping us all informed.
 

0morrokh

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chickadee said:
After rereading the article about Melafix I find that the same chemical IS in Bettafix but at a MUCH smaller dosage and at a concentration that is specifically tested on Labyrinth fishes. Sorry for the misinformation. This has shaken me a bit too.

Rose
Where's the article?  I'd like to read it myself (not cause I don't trust you or something, I'm just curious now) EDIT: never mind I read the article from the post in general discussion

Well, hopefully all the Bettas who have been on Melafix will recover ok.  Keep us updated.
 

Stradius011

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chickadee said:
After rereading the article about Melafix I find that the same chemical IS in Bettafix but at a MUCH smaller dosage and at a concentration that is specifically tested on Labyrinth fishes.  Sorry for the misinformation.  This has shaken me a bit too.

Rose
So is BettaFix dangerous too?
 

0morrokh

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No I think Melafix just has a concentration of the chemical that is too high for Bettas but Bettafix is lower so it is safe for Bettas.
 

rip_van_winkle

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That's really weird though, because when I bought my betta, the worker there said that she uses melafix with all of her new bettas - and shes a betta breader! So, I trusted her word and got some for my betta to reduce stress (And heal his fins, they were a bit ragged.) He was fine on it. Could it be that some bettas have the genes to stand up to it and some don't? This is weird.
~Hannah
 

0morrokh

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I have heard of both Bettas who have no reaction to the med and Bettas who are killed by it. Some people use it successfully with Bettas but cut the dose way down so that the tree tea oil is in the same amount as it is with a dose of Bettafix. However, since it have killed Bettas I would never risk using any amount with any of my Bettas. It is way too risky.
 
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chickadee

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I also used Melafix on my bettas and was using it on one of most darling bettas when I received this article and he died as a result of the exposure to it. It was not only a long death but a particularly unpleasant one. If I had been able to find Clove Oil to mix with Vodka he would have been euthanized. I would Never use it on another fish nor will I ever recommend it being used on another fish that has a Labyrinth Organ. It cannot be diluted to mimic Bettafix as that dilutes the rest of the active ingredients to the point of being ineffective. I do not believe I would even recommend Bettafix as I do not know whether the Tea Tree Oil may have a cumulative effect that is unknown as yet.

There are just other medications that can be used in its place and if the choice is there why not be safe with one of the safe ones? I believe it is not worth the risk. I realize this forum is for debates but this topic is not really something that debate should be too open to as there have been many fish die of use of this medication and to recommend its use is just not right. (even diluted) Use it on other fish if you wish as there is nothing wrong with that, but any tank that contains a Labyrinth Organ fish should never have it added to.

Rose
 

Eskielvr

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I just treated my Betta for possible fin rot using Bettafix. I didn't have enough so I was only able to treat it for 4 days. I did a 3 gallon water change (5 gallon tank) to get rid of the left over and to take out some of the Betta SPA, since I found out that was for conditioning for breeding and it turned the water really dark. He's doing much better now since I treated him.
 

rip_van_winkle

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Yea, I certainly will not be useing Melafix on him now that I know the dangers. When I used it with my betta I didn't water it down and he's fine. Weird. Oh! *smacks forehead* there's carbon in my filter! No wonder it didn't hurt him! Well, thank goodness it didn't. I'll have to remember to take the carbon out and use a regular filter cartrige when i'm treating with meds.
~Hannah
 

nmwierman1977

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Good thing you forgot, you saved your betta's life. I too have Lost a Betta due to Melafix. He happened to die a few days after Marty died Roses Betta). We had both been treating them on itand my Betta Mr. Red was on it for a month before I found out the danger's of it. Natalie
 
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