Betta Fin Rot Not Responding To Treatment Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by LoveMyFish77, May 23, 2019.

  1. LoveMyFish77 Valued Member Member

    Hey guys, I have a betta with fin rot that I've been treating with aquarium salt doses and 100% water changes every day for about a week now, along with melafix once a day. Despite my efforts, he is decidedly getting worse... He still has a strong appetite and doesn't show any behavioral symptoms, but his fins are significantly worse. I've removed decorations and stuff (even though they were silk and shouldn't have been the problem) but nothing is working.

    Is it time to try antibiotic treatment? I read online the salt/100% change treatment should be done for 10 days but he isn't making any progress so I think it's safe to say this method isn't working...

    Please help. I'm very attached to Steve.

  2. gorejusdesign Valued Member Member

    When using melafix the directions say to use it for 7 days then do a 25% water change. If you have been doing 100% wc everyday then the melafix will not work. It took me almost 14 days to treat fin fot withh aquarium salt and daily water changes but it worked.

  3. LoveMyFish77 Valued Member Member

    Shoot good point on the melafix...
    Did your fish just keep getting worse and worse before finally getting better?

  4. saddleupjep Valued Member Member

    Nothing is going to work with you doing 100% water changes. You're basically putting in treatments and taking them right back out, not to mention they are likely stressful for your fish.
    I would suggest treating according to the instructions a bit before changing tactics. Many people say melafix is worthless, although it has helped encourage fin regrowth for me occasionally. Personally, I'd give the salt a rest for a while.
    From personal experience, check your plants for exposed wire or sharp stems. If you deem them safe, put some back. Again, this will probably relieve some stress on your fish.
    I understand your enthusiasm with 100% WC, since clean water is the mantra for fin rot, but you're not helping him or yourself that way.
    Definitely always read the instructions carefully before you start any medications. It can be tempting to tweak them a bit, but follow them for a while first.

    Also from personal experience, I know how hard fin rot can be to watch, especially when it's moving fast, and especially on a Betta. Don't obsess over it, don't carefully study every inch of your fish whenever you get the chance. You'll drive yourself crazy, convinced that it's worse and treatments aren't working. Follow your plan, and don't expect miracles. I've fought terrible fin rot, and it can get better. Promise.
  5. Lajos Valued Member Member

    Hi guys,
    Please read his post carefully.
    "He has been adding salt everyday & Melafix once a day."
    So, he is doing the right thing even though he has been changing water everyday.

    For severe fin rot, Melafix and salt have little use especially for fins rot that are caused by gram negative bacteria.

    You have to start antibiotic treatment as soon as possible.

    I think Kanaplex (Kanamycin Sulfate) by Seachem is good as it can treat many gram-negative and some gram positive bacteria.

    Check the type of antibiotic carefully because some antibiotics will kill off your beneficial bacteria. You may have to restart your tank cycling again after treatment.

    Also, the bacteria will become immune to the anti biotics in the future. You can only used it once. If the fins rot comes back again in the future, you have to change your medication.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2019
  6. saddleupjep Valued Member Member

    I said to give the salt a break, as they have already done 10 days, which is the number of days considered safe. Melafix has specific instructions on when and how to do WC. It's not doing any good if one doesn't follow instructions.
    Any antibiotics (or other medication, or anything else you put in a tank) will have its own set of instructions, and if you don't follow them correctly, you may not get good results.
    There is a whole different set of advice to give when medication becomes involved. My advice was to give the more "gentle" approaches another chance first before going to medication.
    The whole reason water changes are the first recommendation for fin rot is that one may not need medication at all. That's important before you start involving antibiotics, which, as you pointed out, can wreak havoc if not used safely.

    Kanaplex worked for us, it did take 2 treatments.
  7. gorejusdesign Valued Member Member

    I think we all need to know some more basics here. How big is tank? Before and after pics available? Has the tank been cycled? Testing the water? If so, what are your readings? Is this a community tank with other fishes and if so what kinds of tankmates? Do you have him in a QT now? How much aquarium salt per gallon have you been dosing? You say he is eating and active so that is a good sign. Fin rot can be hard to watch, I know, been there too.
  8. LagerthaM Valued Member Member

    I would consider buying kanaplex just in case the melafix doesn't work. I personally think kanaplex is the best medicine out there for fin rot (especially stubborn and severe fin rot), ich and pretty much all fish diseases.
  9. LoveMyFish77 Valued Member Member

    This is the treatment plan I've been following. It says to do 100% changes and small salts doses once a day for up to 10 days, and I'm not sure if I should give up on it or follow through because the writer appears to know what he's talking about

    is that an antibiotic?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019
  10. LagerthaM Valued Member Member

    Its the antibiotic god. Its the best stuff you can buy without a prescription. Just a warning though, it is powerful, follow the instructions carefully.
  11. LoveMyFish77 Valued Member Member

    I have only done a week, not 10 days. Since I'm nearing the limit, I thought I would ask what the next step should be. I always try to avoid antibiotics if possible because of the harm they do to the beneficial bacterial colonies. Also, I always follow medication directions, but I just forgot about the fact I have to wait a week to change water when using melafix.

    I'm hesitant to use antibiotics because they destroy the good bacterial colonies, but I'm getting desperate.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019
  12. LagerthaM Valued Member Member

    Maybe quarantine him separately from his home tank for treatment?
  13. LoveMyFish77 Valued Member Member

    He's in a 3.5 gallon tank, no tank mates. Tank has been cycled, I do test the water and I will do it again for readings shortly. I've been following the included link when dosing with salt (2 tsp/gallon). I will attach a current picture and try to find a before picture. 


    Edit: found a picture of him before fin rot, though it's kinda hard to see. you have to zoom in...   

    He's already in his own tank
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019
  14. gorejusdesign Valued Member Member

    At the very end of that article fin rot 101 it says: "Avoid medicines that have melalecula oil (tea tree oil) in them, as they DO NOT treat fin rot. They are antiseptic medicines that will help AFTER the rot is cured and help with fin re-growth in some fish. Such medicines are Melafix and Bettafix, to name a few. These medicines are controversial in the betta community, as too much of this medicine can cause damage to their labyrinth organ/lungs. This site does not encourage their use in these fish. Please avoid their use per the recommendation of this article and its treatments." So I wouldn't use the melafix anymore.

    Is it the top fin? I think he might have shredded it by swimming to close to your coral decoration. It looks as if your decoration is pretty large and rough looking.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019
  15. LoveMyFish77 Valued Member Member

    Yes I have stopped using it. I did not notice that, thank you for pointing it out!!

    I have checked the decorations already with the panty hose test. Also, it is not just the top fin, it's all the fins. Additionally, I've had him for a while and he has never done any damage until the last week where all the damage has been happening at once and progressively, so it really does appear to be fin rot. But maybe I should take out the decoration just in case? I just don't want to change the environment too much and stress him out more.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019
  16. saddleupjep Valued Member Member

    When I dealt with fin rot in a betta, I did 8 days of salt treatment, then two rounds of kanaplex, with a 2 day break in between each. Then I used melafix until I was sure I was seeing fin regrowth.