Betta first aid kit

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LZ Floyd

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Though I've been meaning to pose the question, I haven't because it might open the doors to overtreatment of our sick Bettas.  But with Phloxface <a href=" post</a>, I thought it was time to raise the topic.

Often, our Bettas are well on their way into an illness before symptoms arise.  By the time a question about symptoms is asked and answered, it may be impossible to get the necessary meds in a reasonable time frame.  So (and first), is it good to have a meds-based Betta first aid kit on hand to have in the event of an illness?  If so, and keeping in mind that meds have an expiration date to them, what meds are good to keep "just in case?"

Mike
 

Phloxface

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I think it's a good idea to have some of the basic meds on hand all the time.  I too do not want to overmedicate my fish so I only do it when they stop eating and swimming or have obvious physical symptoms. All my fish have from time to time looked clamped up and under the weather but they still ate and swam. I just let their own immune systems take care of it and they are usually fine after a day or two. If they stop eating and swimming that's a sign that you need to step in right away. I check the water parameters first to see if that could be the cause, then try to feed green pea to see if constipation could be the problem. If I rule these things out then I have a sick fish that needs meds.
I have had nothing but good results with Mardel products so I always keep a supply of Maracyn (for gram positive bacteria), Maracyn 2 (for gram negative bacteria) and a small bottle of Coppersafe for parasites. I keep only a small amount of each and replenish as needed so that I don't have to throw away a lot of expensive, expired medicine.
I think it's always a good idea to have meds ready when you need them. The trick is knowing when to use them and when to just let the fish's own immune system take care of minor things. Also, it helps to read up on fish diseases so you can properly identify what is wrong with your fish.
 

chickadee

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A lot of the meds come on cards of 8 capsules/pills and having one card can be enough for a start or complete round of therapy of the drug depending on the tank size.  The ones I would not be without are:

Maracyn
Furan 2 or Maracyn 2
E.M. Tablets  (erythromycin)
Triple Sulfa Capsules
Jungle Labs Fungus Clear Buddies
Epsom Salts
StressCoat or aloe based conditioner

The other things in my Betta Pharmacy are but not necessarily needed and probably not the most practical:

FishPen (fish penicillin)
FishCycline (fish tetracycline)
Betta Zing
Quick Cure
 - and -
Freeze dried Daphnia (takes the place of peas in a pinch and will be a temporary food for sick fish)

The betta care kit at the top has those things because they are the things that my books will recommend in one way or the other as remedies for nearly everything except the most exotic of problems.  If I have a card of each of those (and they usually last a couple of years minimum) I think I am ready for nearly everything.  The two what used to be BIG GUNS in my medicine chest, I will not let near any of my fish ever again...Melafix and Pimafix.

Just my list ... others may have other suggestions.  The one thing about the meds I chose for the real core of the kit is that those few do not wipe out the biological filter where some of the ones in the bottom list do.  If you are going to use something be sure that you find out about its effect on your filter.  If it is going to affect the filter, it is imperative that the fish be moved to a q tank to be treated and the main tank filter be protected from exposure to the meds.

Rose
 

0morrokh

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In case anyone wants to know the Jungle Fungus Clear works miracles against finrot!!! (just ask my Otos!)

I just have a few q's concerning the meds:
Do you really need Maracyn & Maracyn 2 since Fungus Clear treats about the same stuff?
What do the EM and Triple Sulfa cure?

And I just went completely blank I can't seem to remember when you use the epsom salts...aargh I should know this... ???
 

chickadee

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There have been times when the bettas finrot becomes bacterial and then it needs either Furan2 or Maracyn2

The Jungle Labs Fungus Clear buddies are the first line of defense but when they have a bad case or there is actual tearing in a betta fin they are not going to take care of it. When we were worried about Oto fins that is a whole different world than a large betta fin being ripped or disintegrating on you. If it is caught right away the Tank Buddies are fine but sometimes it is due to tearing and/or bacterial infection, they will not do it then.

EM and Triple Sulfa are good for all serious wounds to the body and serious illnesses that are not fin related. They are broad spectrum antibiotics that treat internal infections. They also are some of the few that do not affect the biological filter. These are your BIG GUNS.

Epsom salts is good for ulcers and for really bad constipation...it is a potent laxative for fish as well as peas. It is the next line of defense after the peas have failed, and if the betta is cold for too long or overeats on a consistent basis, they will have a time when the pea trick will not work. Then it is time for an epsom salts bath. Since it is Magnesium Sulfate instead of a Sodium salt it will not upset their fluid balance the way a saline solution would.

Rose
 
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