Fin rot and Bettafix

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antisen

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Dory (still living in a vase) has suddenly developed fin rot. Since he was sick from bad water on Thursday, I noticed his coloring was "off" and some of the scales on his face looked unusual so I decided to get him some Bettafix "just in case." I started treatment on Monday, and yesterday when I was snapping some photos of him I noticed the tip of his tail was unusually red. I wasn't sure how long it had been like this, but his color usually varies anyway so I didn't think much of it. Today the red areas have degenerated and it looks very clearly like fin rot.

Now what? Should I continue the Bettafix medication? Could it be making it worse? Should I do a water change, or will this interfere with the course of treatment? (right now I am on day 3.) Remember that I won't be able to move Dory to a bigger/better tank for a few weeks, so I need to figure out how to help him in his current environment for now.

I know sometimes these things get worse before they get better, and I am maybe overreacting. I just want to make sure this isn't a warning sign telling me I am doing the wrong thing.

Thanks,
Whitney
 

0morrokh

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Your Betta definately has finrot and you were right to start treating for it immediately. However I do not have any experience with Bettafix so I don't know if it is an effective medication or not. I have had good success with Jungle Fungus Clear for finrot, and a combo of Maracyn 1 and 2 is supposed to be pretty good. If you decide to change meds, you have to remove ALL of the Bettafix from the water (as in, do a 100% water change) because different meds can react with each other. However, for the moment I'd just keep treating with Bettafix until we hear from someone else who hopefully knows more about that medication than I do.

Medications put aside, it is going to be extremely difficult if not impossible to stop the finrot if your fish is in an unheated and unfiltered container. This is because your Betta probably got sick because of toxins in the water (due to it being unfiltered) and because he is too cold. Do whatever you need to do to get him into heated water, even if this means temporarily keeping him in a $5, 5 gallon bucket from Walmart or something, with a 25 watt heater stuck in. If anything move him to the warmest spot possible in your house.

I'm not usre what to tell you about the water change. You said you are on day 3 of treatment but how long does the treatment last? Also what is the size of his...it's a vase isn't it? What I will say is that he can't go a week in an unfiltered small container without a water change. Also, dirty water causes finrot so the water needs to be kept clean. In that case you may need to do a water change half way through treatment and then put back the amount of medication you removed.
 

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Bettafix is made from the same active ingredient as Melafix and I do not recommend that ingredient to treat anything on any betta as we have had two bettas on this forum die from complications due to use of Melafix.  Bettafix has been tested on labyrinth fishes and they say it is safe, but the active ingredient is dangerous and I do not feel good using it on any betta.

Can you buy a 25 watt heater and a good new clean bucket like a 3 gallon size or so?  If so please take him out of the vase and make up some dechlorinated water to put within about 3 inches of the top of the bucket and put the heater in and heat the water to about 82 degrees.  (with the fish in there) and do the following:

1st day.
Take one tablet or packet (depending on whether you get the tablets or powdered packets) of Maracyn2 and dissolve the tablet in 10 ounces of water (measure it as it is important) and put 6 ounces of the liquid in the water with the fish.  The meds that are leftover need to be refrigerated.  When you do not have enough to do a full dose then mix another dose in the 10 ounces of water the same way and use the same way.

2nd day and all following days
Test the water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates and do a water change of 2 gallons of water if the readings are over:
ammonia 0.25 nitrites 1.0 nitrates 20.0
Then give a 3 ounce dose of the same medication and if you have had to change the 2 gallons of water add another 2 ounces for the 2 gallons you removed.

This will get him into a heated and medicated environment and give him a better chance of making a full recovery and he can stay there until you can get him a heated tank.

Rose

 
 
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antisen

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Dory's finrot was actually getting better (or at least stopped getting worse) for a while because of the bettafix, but as soon as I discontinued its regular use it got worse again. I am about to move him into the new tank and feel it would be a good place to medicate him properly with Maracyn, but my new filter (built into the 5-gallon hex) has carbon in it and I know this filters out meds. How should I administer the meds in the new tank?
 

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chickadee

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You can break out a little hole in the black plastic grid in the bottom of the cartridge and dump the carbon or get some filter floss that you can just use instead of the cartridge and don't put the cartridge in until you are ready to filter the medication out. I use the product below instead of the cartridges almost all the time. The only time I use the carbonized cartridges are to remove medication. You just cut the big blue pad into a bunch of smaller filters and they will last a year or more. They can be rinsed in used tank water and reused for anything but to remove medications.

Rose
 
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antisen

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Thanks, I am heading to the petstore soon and I'll see if I can find a filter pad... if not I'll just gut the filter he has.

What do you think would be the BEST medication for me to buy? He only has rot on his tail fin and it is only progressing very slowly. It was caused by stress after a bad water change 2 weeks or so ago. I do not want to overmedicate for what seems to be not too serious of a case (yet) nor do I want to cause too much stress when I first move him into his new home. What would you suggest?
 

LZ Floyd

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Hi antisen,

There are a lot of different meds on the market, but the ones most noted here for fin rot cases are:  Jungle Labs Fungus Clear Tank Buddies, Maracyn, or Maracyn 2.  The JLFCTB is about the least strong from what I've heard.  The Maracyn 2 would be the next step if the JLFCTB didn't work.  And the combo Maracyn/Maracyn 2 would be next in the series.  Personally, I'd give the JLFCTB a try and if it didn't work, I'd go right for the combo.  I say this because I've been through the whole process of trying one or the other, but until I went with the combo, I saw no real improvement.

Hopefully you'll find some bulk filter material, it's good to have a sizable bit on hand, anyway.

Your Hex 5 tank is not cycled, correct?  If not, you'll need to do regular water changes.  This will goof up your medication dosages, but not by too much.  I'd try to do as few changes as possible, but if the ammonia levels rise above 0.25 ppm, you'll want to change out a gallon (maybe 2) of water replacing it with dechlorinated, warmed water with an extra 1 ounce (see Rose's dosing schedule below) for each gallon replaced.  (That is in addition to any doses the directions call for being added.)  Warm the replacement water to about a degree above the tank temp before submitting it to the tank.  And, keep the tank temp between 82 and 83 degrees.

If you do not have one, you'll want to get a test kit.  Most here use the API Master Test Kit.  It will give you all you need to test the water parameters.  It's not cheap, but it's the way to go.  Skip the test strips, they're not accurate.  If you're on a budget, get the API tester for ammonia.  Hopefully you'll ward off a problem before nitrites even begin to emerge.  Still it's best to be able to test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

While your at it, you might want to get a siphon vac, if you don't have one.  They're not expensive and it will help you keep the gravel a bit cleaner.

Good luck

Mike
 

0morrokh

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I have found that the Jungle Fungus Clear worked much more effectively for finrot than Maracyn 2 (I had a bad case of finrot, tried M 2 and nothing, tried FC and it worked like a charm), which leads me to believe it is stronger, but others say that the Maracyn 2 is stronger so I don't know. Also this was for Otos not a Betta so maybe Bettas respond differently to different meds. I think that Maracyn 1 and 2 should be used combo for maximum strength, in which case they may be stronger than Fungus Clear. I would be inclined to recommend the Fungus Clear though just from my personal experience.
 
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