Betta looks on the brink of death from fin rot - need quick acting solution

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zombiesaurous

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err, I mean Ick (he also has fin rot)

So I've been treating my betta with Jungle Ick Guard in a cycled fluval spec aquarium for the last 3.5 days with the temperature between 79-80F. As of last night, he's refusing food and is non responsive. Just laboured breathing at the top of the tank. I don't have an air stone/pump but am going to run out and get one today. Also considering a salt bath to help him with osmoregulation but not sure if that will do more harm than good since his regular aquarium is medicated. Thinking about discontinuing Ick Guard. Any advice to help save my fishy's life? I feel like if I don't do *something* today, he's going to be a goner by tomorrow.
 

Nympxzie

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Have you been changing the water? I believe water needs to be changed every time you dose ick gaurd. What are your parameters? How many gallons is the tank?
 

zombiesaurous

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API liquid tests. I have all the best stuff for him. Aside from fin problems (which crowntail bettas are prone to) he's been a happy, active fish that would jump for food and come greet you until he got ick. The Ick came on a Marimo plant that I'd quarantined but obviously not enough. Any advice on what I can do to save my fish? Need to do something fast...

I got the Air Pump today.
 

FishtailBraid

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Is your heat up? I'm not sure how much you should increase it, but there's a heat treatment for Ich which is said to be very good.

If he's lethargic, it's a great idea to provide him with somewhere easy to sit close to the surface (if he doesn't already have something) like a betta hammock or a real or fake plant with large leaves. In extreme cases you could lower the water level, but it could be difficult to fit your filter in then. This is so that he can easily get to the surface for oxygen.

Is there carbon in the filter? I've heard carbon can absorb some medications and needs to be removed during treatment.

Another thing I've heard is that Indian Almond Leaves can really calm bettas and apparently have antibacterial properties. I haven't personally observed the antibacterial part as I got some for my betta when he was poorly but he had recovered by the time they arrived, but he seems to LOVE his leaf!

Finally, welcome to Fishlore! I'm sorry we've "met" under such difficult circumstances.
 

Witchydesign

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Air pump wont do anything, hes a labrynth breather, orbreathes air at the surfacie. the usual treatment for fin rot is super clean water with a touch of aquarium salt. Ick ive never used meds, i usually just go with heat, but with thefin rot i would say give a rest on the meds and go with salt and super clean water.
 

Bijou88

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If you decide to try the heat method for ich, the temp you'd need to gradually raise it to is 86f I believe.

 

Witchydesign

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See id say heat but with the finrot i think would get worse with the heat.
 

Bijou88

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Hmmm, maybe so. I've never dealt with either yet (knock on wood) so you may have more insight.

 

zombiesaurous

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Thanks for the feedback. I might repost this because I messed up with the title and it's confusing. His laboured breathing and lack of appetite is my main priority right now, then beating the Ick and then the fin rot, which quite bad at this stage. I added the air pump and it seemed to give him a tiny bit more energy. He even ate half a pellet of food last night and a quarter of one today though today he's back to resting on his plants. I have two betta hammocks, one of which has an live anubias positioned on it (his favourite spot) and a bunch of other silk plants that go pretty close up to the surface, so he spends a bit of time on all of those.

One thing to note is that I think that the cycle is starting to crash from all the water changes/medicine, because there was a bit of detectable ammonia (less than 0.25ppm) in my tests last night. Hoping it's just a false positive from Prime but if not, that's extra stress. I have a second tank cycling for him but the cycle is not done yet so I can't move him. I do have indian almond leaves but at the moment, I'm using black water extract, which are supposed to have the same properties.

Another thing to note is that he seems to have more energy when the Ick Guard starts to wear out and he's bloated even though he's not eating much. Definitely don't like this medicine. If I could get my heater to go warmer, I'd switch to heat and salt. My heater is a Hydor 25w and I think it's faulty because even though my apartment is cold, it's on the second last setting and it doesn't do a good job of keeping a steady temperature past 80F. If I raise it more, it fluctuates between 81F and 79F daily, and that's worse than keeping the temp steady at 79F.

Last night's readings were: Ammonia: less than 0.25, Nitrites: 0, Nitrates: 5.0, PH: 7.5, KH: 125, GH: 179

I'm on day 6 of Ick Guard. I want to switch him up to something else but read that you're supposed do 14. Any thoughts?
 
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FishtailBraid

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My heater is a Hydor 25w and I think it's faulty because even though my apartment is cold, it's on the second last setting and it doesn't do a good job of keeping a steady temperature past 80F.
Could you try wrapping the tank in something insulating, like a blanket, to see if it helps with temperature loss?
 

Witchydesign

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id say give him a med break, clean water and salt. give him some time between meds.
 

zombiesaurous

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I've done a week of medicine now. Hopefully that's long enough to kill all the ick, cause I need to take him off. He's eaten a couple of times since I posted but generally just one pellet at a day or a small part of one. He's mostly mouth breathing now (what's up with that?) which is why he ends up spitting his food out. Just really weak. Maybe the salt will help with osmoregulation.

How do I switch to salt? Do I need to do a large water change to take the medicine out?
 

zombiesaurous

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I switched to salt yesterday after doing a 50% water change and I thought it helped because he was staying under the water more rather than just at the top gasping for air but today his breathing is slower. He hasn't eaten at all for 2 days and before he was only eating one pellet a day or sometimes just part of a pellet so he's very skinny and very weak. Body almost completely on his betta hammock. I have black water extract in the water for stress and vitachem, hoping he gets his appetite back because at the moment he does not look like he's going to live much longer.

I don't get it, his ick wasn't even that strong (just few spots at a time on his head that lasted about 5 days) and Ick meds aren't supposed to be deadly to fish if dosed correctly. I used it at half strength too. Why'd he get so weak and sick?
 
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