Boris looks like a pirate

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Mochi

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Hi, I am new to this board and I am looking for advice/help. Boris has an eye popping out of his head. Here is the history. Boris has a 2 gallon eclipse with filtration and heater. A few weeks ago we had a terrible storm that left us without power for 9 days. We have a generator that we would run from 8am to 11pm. We plugged the tanks in during that time. No water changes for about 3 weeks. Tuesday morning I looked at Boris and his eye was popped out! I also noticed a few scales on his head were damaged and fell off while I was looking at him. I'm thinking it could be either bacterial infection or (gut feeling) he got caught on something and injured himself. I had TriSulfa on hand and have been treating him for three days now. I did a 1/3 water change on Tuesday and plan on doing another on Friday. He is eating but he is not quite his usual self, hanging on the bottom until I come and look at him and then comes up to see me. I have been up past midnight for the last two nights, searching about pop-eye. I don't think it has gotten any better and I am worried. Help.
 

cherryrose

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I'm so sorry that Boris is having so many difficulties right now. You have come to the right place to get help, but most of our members are off the boards for the night.

I am just learning myself, but, if you haven't already, you need to get the temperature in his tank slowly up to about 84 degrees. Doing the partial water change is good. Clean water and warm water are the most important things to do first. I don't know about all the different kinds of medicines to use, but I'm sure the TriSulfa is a great way to start. A 2 gallon is rather small for Boris. Mainly because it is so hard to regulate the heat in one that size but it sounds like he was doing fine before the power loss.

At least he is still eating and the fact that he comes up to see you when you look at him is also great. I wish I could be of more help, but I just don't know enough to help any more.

Here is a good place to go for more information.

I hope I have helped some. Others that are more knowledgeable than I am should be here in the morning. Good luck with Boris, Mochi.

CherryRose
 
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Mochi

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Thank you for replying. I figured that the rest of the world is probably sleeping. I have noticed that the tank is hard to keep at an even temperature. It seems to range from 79-82. I am contemplating getting a 5 gallon hex. I started out with a bowl and looked online and saw that bowls are not very humane for Betta's so I bought the 2 gallon eclipse explorer and a heater. I have been leaving the light off in his tank, thinking he might need the rest?!? Or, does he need the light?
Mochi
 

chickadee

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First of all the thing that will clear up an eye problem faster than anything is a nice clean tank with a lot of water changes and a good soft dechlorinating agent like StressCoat or NovAqua+ (it contains echinacea, vitamins and anti-virus protection that the StressCoat does not have). The MOST important thing though is DAILY water changes and large amounts to keep that water as clean as possible so the eye is not lost. I believe that the problem is water quality and not an injury unless you have something in the tank that is sharp or has an edge to it that could have injured him, if so get rid of it immediately please.

Since you had a problem with the power and the tank being off though, I really think that the problem is water quality and not getting clean water.

Is the tank cycled? How long have you had it? While the Eclipse tanks of all sizes are lovely and have really good filters, 2 gallons is MUCH more fragile to deal with as far as water parameters and quality of the tank health goes than the bigger tanks. Even a 5 gallon is not as good as 10 and so forth. The bigger the tank the less work involved and the more stable the tank is when times like this come up. I have mostly Hex5's and they are great. I also have an Eclipse 3 that I am using for nothing but a quarantine tank and hospital tank and for a few plants in between times. It is a great tank but it does need care more than the 5's. I would really encourage the decision to buy and maintain a Hex5 but first we need to get your betta well.

When you get the Hex5 is there any way you would consider cycling with Bio-spira? It would give you an instant cycle and not put your betta through any stress going to a new tank. If so there are sources that are available online and this time of year would be the best to buy as it is cold out and the stuff needs to be refrigerated.

Rose
 
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Mochi

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Thanks for replying Chickadee. The tank has been cycled and has been up for about 5 months. I have checked the water with test strips. I just did a 40% water change. I have used the stress coat but I will get the other stuff you mentioned. I am heading into town (Seattle) with credit card in hand. I am going to get a hex 5, better test kit, better stress coat, etc. I will look for the Bio spira but if I don't find it I will order it from Dr Foster & Smith. I don't want to see him suffer. He might be a fish but he's not JUST a fish. What about light? Does he need the light on? I thought he might be able to rest better with the light off.
 

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He needs to have some light so that his immune system can function properly. Not a whole days worth but 4 or 5 hours or so will do until he is better and then 8 to 10 hours a day. If he has an incandescent bulb in the tank you may want to replace it with a mini fluorescent as it does not heat the tank up badly and will make the tank look better. (this can wait)

Now for testing..

You need to be using the test kits that contain liquid reagents instead of the test strips. The strips are notoriously inaccurate although they are easy. They are just as expensive as the other tests in the long run and can leave you will a false sense of security and maybe dead fish, or at the least very sick. The one we recommend is the one by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. or API. If you copy the page from PetSmart that I am sending they will honor the price online. (usually much cheaper)

The second link is one for the light bulbs in case you did not get a mini fluorescent with your tank.





Rose
 
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Mochi

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Thanks for the help Chickadee. I went to the city today and purchased a hex 5, proper test kit, accurate thermometer, etc, etc. I couldn't find the bio spira so I will have to order it online. It won't arrive until Tuesday. Boris is moving to a higher rent district. But, not for a few days yet. He seems to be in good spirits and has a great appetite. Fingers remain crossed.
 

chickadee

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Good for you and congratulations on the little guy. He has a wonderful betta parent. Do please keep us informed of his progress. He can move in before you get the Bio-spira if that is easier. Just be sure to test the water until he gets the Bio-spira added. It is up to you and what works best.



Rose
 
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Boris has been moved to his new Hex 5. He seems to really enjoy his new digs and has explored every inch. He still has popeye, but he is acting spunky and eating well. Here is a picture of Boris in this new penthouse.
 

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Oh the poor little guy! 
Is he being treated with any medication? Maracyn 2 is for Popeye and a few other diseases and I've always had good success with it. I'd be worried about him losing the eye unless he gets treatment right away. I don't think I would be able to wait and see if it clears up on it's own if it were my fish.
I hope he gets better soon. Keep us updated.
 

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Awww.. I hope his eye gets better! At least he seems happy in his new tank though!
 

AesSedai

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I'm with Phloxface. I couldn't just wait out a popeye. Too risky. ((((((Boris))))))

Mochi I'm so happy that you're trying to help this lil guy. Have you gotten the medicine he needs? I hope it's not too late to save his eye

Kudos to you for stepping up ((Mochi))
 

chickadee

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There is no reason why you should not use some Maracyn2 if you want to and it is true that it may clear things up faster, but the main thing with pop-eye is the water quality and if you are not able to do water changes to keep the water quality up and you cannot use the Bio-spira to cycle the tank if you are medicating. You also cannot keep removing the medication through water changes to lower the ammonia and nitrites in an uncycled tank. I think I will ask LZ to chime in here and give an opinion since he just went through medicating GB in a situation very similar to this....

Rose
 

LZ Floyd

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Greetings Mochi and welcome to the betta forum.  Greetings and welcome to you, too, Boris!

Yes, we just went through giving our Betta, Gainsborough (GB), Maracyn 2 treatments in an uncycled Hex 5.  That our Hex 5 remains uncycled is a long story explained through a number of threads on this forum.  GB's Maracyn 2 treatment was to help him get over a case of fin rot.  There are a variety of bacterias and fungi that can be involved in fin rot, we treated a few of those, but more is needed.  He is now in a 3-gallon uncycled unit being treated with a slightly different med requiring different tank dosings, which makes giving the meds a bit easier than what the Maracyn 2 dosages call for.

Before beginning the Maracyn 2 treatments, you will need to remove the charcoal filter from the filter unit.  It's the squarish one that has the blue filter on one side and the slitted openings on the other.  Leave the wheel filter in.  You will still want some type of filter fabric to replace the charcoal filter you remove.  If you have no filter fabric it can be purchased in bulk form and is relatively inexpensive.  Or, you can break apart the slitted side of the Hex 5 filter and remove all of the charcoal before putting it back into the filter unit (you will likely want a new filter at the end of treatment anyway).  Just make sure you rinse away all debris in a dechlorinated water solution so it doesn't end up in the tank.

The directions for the Maracyn 2 are given in terms of a 10-gallon tank.  If you are using a Hex 5, all of the stated doses need to be cut in half:

Day 1 (2 tablets for a 10-gallon) use 1 tablet for the Hex 5.
Day 2 (1 tablet for a 10-gallon) use 1/2 tablet for a Hex 5.
Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5, repeat Day 2.

The Maracyn 2 directions also call for no water changes to be done over the course of the treatment.  That's bad news here as we want to surround Boris with the cleanest water possible.   And, I'm assuming the Hex 5 is uncycled, which also means regular water changes.

For us, doing daily 2 gallon water changes and at the same time trying to figure out how to safely and effectively dose our Hex 5 with Maracyn 2 was an exercise I'll try to skip.  But if you are really interested, you can look <a href=".

After that experience, here's my suggestion.  Throughout the course of the Maracyn 2 treatment try to do as few water changes as possible.  If you start with clean, dechlorinated water in the Hex 5 and keep yourself to a single water change on Day 3 of the treatment, how you dose the tank should be a bit easier than what I tried.  You will have to keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite levels.  That will dictate whether or not a water change is needed.  If the ammonia levels go beyond .25 as measured using the API Master Test Kit, you will want to do a water change.  I'd suggest a 2 gallon change.  On that, and any day that you do a water change, you'll want to replace some of the Maracyn 2 that you will remove with the water change, in addition to adding the amount of Maracyn 2 needed for that day's dose.

Here's how you do that.  On water change days, dissolve 1 tablet of Maracyn 2 in 10 ounces of dechlorinated water.  It takes about an hour for the tab to dissolve.  If you do a 2 gallon water change, you will need 7 ounces of the Maracyn 2 solution.  The reason to use 7 ounces of the solution is based on the following:  Five ounces of the ten ounce solution will comprise the dose for the day of the water change.  The additional two ounces are to replace that Maracyn 2 lost due to the 2 gallon water change.

On days where no water change is necessary, administer 1/2 of a Maracyn 2 tab.

The water will get cloudy as the treatment goes forward.  After the 5-day treatment period is over, the directions call for two 50% water changes over the next 24 hours.  That should help clear the water.  At the conclusion of treatment also replace the filter with a new one.  That will clear the meds from the tank.

Hope this helps.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We wish you luck in helping Boris get the pop-eye problem under control.  And, please keep us posted on how things are going.

Mike
 

chickadee

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Thanks, Mike.

Rose
 
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Mochi

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Thanks LZ,

I have done daily water changes in the hex 5 and have tested the water every day. So, the one question I have is do I NOT use the bio spira 'cause I will be medicating? I put the bio wheel from his Eclipse 2 into his hex 5 when I set it up because the wheel fit and I thought that might help the new tank. I will start the maracyn right away. Honestly, I can't believe any of the fish are alive after what we went through. Power out for 9 days, temperature fluctuating radically both in the tanks and the house, etc. We had a tree fall on the house and we all were in survival mode. Thank you for all of your great information and attention to details. Much appreciated!
 

chickadee

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No you will not be able to use the Bio-spira while there is medication in the tank. It would just waste it.

Yes, the Bio-wheel is the same for both tanks, good thinking, you probably have a partial cycle already on the Bio-wheel you are using.
You will still need to test the water daily to make sure that the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are not too high. I would do exactly as LZ has asked you to do as far as the medicating is concerned as he just went through a very similar situation, not with pop-eye but with a sick betta and is getting very experienced at this.

We really do want to hear how things are going. It is so hard this time of year with power outages and problems with keeping the tanks going. You are very lucky with the situation that you were in that the fish did survive. It was not your fault but unfortunately the problems are falling on you. If we can help you we will so please feel free to ask us and to comment or scream at us if it will make you feel better.

Boris you be good and mind your parent.

Rose
 

LZ Floyd

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Sounds like you are in survival mode.  Most folks aren't prepared for numerous days without electricity much less having trees fall onto their homes.  Add to that your efforts to get Boris and the others back to good health and you must find yourself pretty busy.

Due to his medication treatments, we had to hold off on our using the Bio-Spira to cycle the Hex-5 GB is in, too.  In fact, we still haven't used it and we've had the stuff since December 12, 2006.  It's sitting in a baggie on the bottom shelf of our refrigerator as it needs to be kept refrigerated before use. 

You put the bio-wheel from the Eclipse 2 into the Hex 5, just be sure to not have the charcoal filter in the filter mechanism; it would defeat the meds you are using. 

Just curious, are using Maracyn or Maracyn 2?

Mike
 
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Mochi

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Mike, I am using Maracyn 2. We took the filter apart and took out the charcoal and put the filter back into the tank. He received one powder packet of Maracyn 2 last night. I thought it would be a pill, but no. I guess I will dilute the packet in 10 tablespoons of water and give him 5 Tbls for today's dose. He was a most voracious eater this morning, major "sharking"! He also has been a lot more active in his new tank. I will test his water parameters this morning. Fingers crossed, Lisa
 

LZ Floyd

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Good to hear that Boris is active and eating.  Those are good signs.  And it seems the Maracyn 2 is the med most folks are using over the Maracyn.

If you don't have to change any water today, 5 tbls of the 10 tbls solution is what you want to use.  You can refrigerate the remainder and use it tomorrow.  If you do have to change any water, add 1 tbls of the solution for each gallon of water you replace to the 5 tbls for today's dose.

Trying to use either of the Maracyns is difficult in an uncycled tank, I know.  Whether or not to change the water on any given day is always a hard one to call as you want to keep the water clean, yet the Maracyn directions tell you to forgo the water changes until the treatment ends.  The one thing that GB seemed to have going for him was that he didn't produce enough ammonia to pollute his tank to toxic levels everyday.  That brings me to this suggestion, you might want to reduce his meal sizes - less input, less output.  Maybe if you cut Boris' meals down to 80% of what he usually gets, it will help you squeeze in a day or two of no water changes.  As he needs nutrients, I wouldn't want to cut his meals by more than 80%, though.

Another thing I avoided with GB over this part of his treatment were pea treats.  Though they are great for dealing with <a href=" fish</a> and as part of a diet regimen, peas act as a laxative, which may cause Boris to add more pollution to the water than you need right now.

I hope this helped.  We do hope Boris is on the mend and that his pop-eye will start to get better.  Please keep us informed.

Mike

Edited to add:

I'm not sure this has been discussed here yet, but it would be good to get the tank temperature up to 84 degrees, or so.  The meds will work better at that temp and the heat will help Boris fend off whatever is causing his eye condition.

I also want to add that, while I take full responsibility for the suggestions I've made here, I won't take credit for that which is due Rose.  The idea to dissolve non-liquefied meds in 10 ounces (tbls, or whatever) for proper dosage distribution came from her and we thank her for that suggestion.  Additionally, the method of dosing suggested here and which is more specific to the Maracyns in combination with water changes, came about after a few thread-based discussions with Rose, as well.

How to determine the amount of meds to be replaced when doing water changes with a particular medication that actually calls for no water changes is a matter of determining the active life of the medication, or it's half-life for doing the math.  I don't know either of these numbers, but, the method developed for use here is based on the idea that antibiotics, such as that in Maracyn 2, will have a relatively short half-life in it's liquid form and especially at higher temperatures.  While some Betta-related sites call for an ever-increasing amount of meds to be used in the replacement water, the amount of which determined by how far into the treatment one has gone, those amounts appear excessively high and ignore that the antibiotic being replaced is in a very deteriorated form.  Here, we are doing a 1:1 swap of the antibiotic in the replacement water, but the amount of antibiotic at full potential being put in the replacement water to take the place of the deteriorated antibiotic being replaced does not seem significant.  This seems especially true if you are dosing the tank tomorrow from the same solution you make up today.
 
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