Hole in his tail

pamd
  • #1
My male betta Sparkles has suddenly developed a hole in his tail. It's about the size of his mouth. It's about in the center of his tail vertically, and about 1/3 of the way back from his body (closer to his body than the tip of his tail).

Could this be the start of fin rot? I don't see any other abnormalities. Could he have bitten it? I've never seen him chase his tail. I don't think he snagged it on something in his aquarium. There's nothing sharp in there as far as I know. I don't even use gravel. I just have smooth, rounded marbles on the bottom.

Any suggestions? Should I pick up some VitaChem as suggested in at least one other thread (regarding fin rot) to help the hole heal and hopefully to help prevent it from getting worse?

Thanks for any advice you can offer!
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #2
You could use the vitachem and give it time. If it gets worse I would post again for more advice, but if the vitachem helps it then count it as an easy fix.
 
Barbrella
  • #3
Does the Eclipse filter have an intake tube in the tank? Bettas often get their tails sucked in by the filter and can rip it.

Just keep his water extra clean and keep on eye on the rip to make sure there are no blood streaks or deterioration.

Simple rips usually heal very quickly, with the new growth being transparent and colour coming in later!

ETA: What kind of decorations are there? I get my bettas little statues, etc with hidey holes to go in and out BUT the inside of the holes is often very rough. I always sand down any sharp or rough piece.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #4
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for the replies!

I can't find Vitachem anywhere in Tucson. One store said they carried it and I went there. It turned out to be an all-marine store, so they only had the marine version. Vitachem FAQs sounded like it wouldn't hurt to use the marine version for freshwater fish (and vice versa), but best to use the proper version. The only store that carries the freshwater version is out of it and said to try back Wednesday. Are there any other vitamin formulas that are just as good and might be more readily available?

Barbrella, yes, the Eclipse 3 does have an intake tube. (And thanks for either remembering that Sparkles has the Eclipse 3 or for refreshing your memory by looking up my other posts.) That's an interesting theory that the intake tube could have caught his tail. It's pretty gentle, although strong enough to catch most of his little poops. Maybe that is what happened.

The only things in the tank are:

Intake tube
Heater
Aquarium thermometer
Clear plastic cup with rounded top edges
Live plant in plastic cup (pointed, but soft, leaves)
A soft mossy plant that goes wherever it wants
Smooth rounded marbles -- no substrate
Feeding ring (new! an experiment to see if he'll use it for bubble nest)
Sparkles -- no tank mates, well, at least not of the type you can see
 
Barbrella
  • #6
I hear and read all the time about bettas ripping their fins - and tearing out chunks - on even gentle intake tubes. Their fins are so fragile it doesn't take much. Sometimes they like the way it feels - go figure!

Anyway, most of the people I talk to cover the intake tubes with something like loosely draped netting or a thin layer of filter material, just to keep fins from making contact!

You might want to try that.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #7
we order the vitachem off the DFS website, but the marine version would be fine to use. if you compare the ingredients, you'll see how close they are.
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks again for the replies. I think I'll take you up on the netting idea, Barbrella. And CoBetta couple, good to know I can use the Vitachem for saltwater fish.

Now Sparkles is acting agitated. That seemed to start last night. He's swimming up and down in an agitated manner at the side of the tank. He's mostly ignoring me instead of acting delighted to see me. He ate a little last night and more this morning, but is not nearly as enthusiastic about his food as usual.

Could this behavior be related to the hole in his tail (which looks about the same today as it did yesterday)? But I think I know the answer to my question. His water quality is bad. I don't have an AP master test kit (yet) so I took a water sample to PetCo. I don't know how accurate their test is. They used an all-in-one Quick Dip strip.

Nitrite = 4 ppm
Ammonia = 5 ppm
Nitrate = 20 ppm
pH = 7.6

Obviously, I'm going to do a big water change tonight. But I also picked up something called Cycle (beneficial bacteria) made/distributed by Nutrafin/Hagan. Should I go ahead and use it? Could it cause any harm?

One thing interesting in the little insert that came with the Cycle is a small chart comparing ammonia and nitrite levels with an untreated control tank and a tank treated with Cycle. It showed the untreated nitrite level peaking at about two weeks -- that's how long Sparkles has been in that aquarium. I thought he could probably self-cycle it, since he was doing just fine in a bowl before. But I'm not so sure now. Hopefully those ammonia and nitrite levels have peaked and are on their way down.

Thanks again!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #9
i'd definitely say 'return it' on the cycle. we used that when we started and our tanks just kept going through a series of mini-cycles. they didn't cycle until we stopped using it. The only product that speeds up cycling is a refrigerated product called BioSpira. That's because the 2 types of nitrifying bacteria than cycle a tank have a 15 hour life cycle and have to be refrigerated to extend that and BioSpira still has a very short shelf life. There are MANY products like Cycle that claim to help cycle a tank but they just don't have the right kind of bacteria and amount to smoke & mirrors.

the best thing to do when cycling a tank with fish in it is to use Prime to treat the tap water and do water changes of about 25% every 2-3 days.

last night, did you have his tank light on when the room was dark? sometimes, they can see their reflection and think it's a challenging betta. they can flare and get agitated and they do remember that 'other betta' was there later on.
 
armadillo
  • #10
HI Pam. I hear Fish Protector has the same effect as Vitachem. See if you have better luck locally with this one?

Oh, and water changes are really the way to go with nitrites and ammonia. I wish you the best recovery for your fish.

Thanks for the replies!

I can't find Vitachem anywhere in Tucson. One store said they carried it and I went there. It turned out to be an all-marine store, so they only had the marine version. Vitachem FAQs sounded like it wouldn't hurt to use the marine version for freshwater fish (and vice versa), but best to use the proper version. The only store that carries the freshwater version is out of it and said to try back Wednesday. Are there any other vitamin formulas that are just as good and might be more readily available?

Barbrella, yes, the Eclipse 3 does have an intake tube. (And thanks for either remembering that Sparkles has the Eclipse 3 or for refreshing your memory by looking up my other posts.) That's an interesting theory that the intake tube could have caught his tail. It's pretty gentle, although strong enough to catch most of his little poops. Maybe that is what happened.

The only things in the tank are:

Intake tube
Heater
Aquarium thermometer
Clear plastic cup with rounded top edges
Live plant in plastic cup (pointed, but soft, leaves)
A soft mossy plant that goes wherever it wants
Smooth rounded marbles -- no substrate
Feeding ring (new! an experiment to see if he'll use it for bubble nest)
Sparkles -- no tank mates, well, at least not of the type you can see
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Sparkles' hole in his tail has very gradually increased in size, and now he has another, small, one closer to his body. Obviously, I'm very concerned.

I can't remember being so frustrated buying products locally. I called all fish and pet supply stores for Vitachem and Fish Protector. None carried Fish Protector, but two usually carry Vitachem and were out of stock. They both said they'd have the Vitachem mid-last-week, and neither received their shipments. Wow, I wish I had just gone ahead and ordered the Vitachem online, but figured I would have received it faster and cheaper to wait for the store shipment. Oh well. 20-20 hindsight. I still don't have the Vitachem, and supposedly will be able to get the marine version Tuesday.

No store in Tucson had Garlic Guard, either. But I took advice in another thread and just soaked a bit of Sparkles' food in garlic juice from a jar for human consumption. He's not sure about them, but ate about 5 pellets soaked in garlic juice each night, last night and tonight.

Beside the holes in his tail, he's acting almost but not entirely normal. He's been his usual piggie self for the most part except for the "Phew" garlic pellets, has been active in his tank (maybe overly active). He's still bothered about something, obviously stressed.

I think his water quality is still not stabilized and his relatively new tank is not fully cycled, but I don't know that for sure since I don't have a proper test kit. Petco's "test strip," as we all know, is not a reliable test. I did manage to get ahold of BIO-spira last Wednesday, and added about 3/4 teaspoon to his tank to hopefully give it a bit of a jump-start. I probably should have added more, and by now, the un-used BIO-spira in my fridge has probably gone bad.

I've been doing 20% to 30% water changes every day since the first hole appeared a bit more than a week ago. Besides giving him the garlic, continuing with the partial water changes, and hopefully acquiring the coveted Vitachem this Tuesday, is there anything else I can do?

BTW, Dave, I returned the product called Cycle!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #12
hmm.. the only other things I can think of at the moment would be an alternate liquid-vitamin if you can find it and using NovAqua+ to treat the tap water.
 
armadillo
  • #13
I was just going to say. What do you treat the tap water with? It's odd that he's upset immediately after water changes. Is there perhaps a large difference in temp or pH or something between the tap water and his own? Is the tap water really heavy in chlorine/chloramine?
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
I actually talked with a city water engineer a few weeks ago. He told me the water in my area is treated with chlorine, but not chloramine. At any rate, I use Betta Plus, by Nutrafin, to treat the water, then usually let it sit out overnight to make sure the chlorine evaporates.

I'm exceedingly careful to not change Sparkles' water temp too rapidly. In fact, this brings me to another question. His stand-by water is much cooler in my house. His aquarium temp is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The house is much cooler.

After emptying his tank 20% to 30%, then replenishing it, I usually just put a few tablespoons at a time over the course of about three hours, being paranoid about changing the temperature too rapidly. Is that too paranoid? Is there a way to do it faster?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #15
you could add it faster I think but if you have a digital thermometer with a probe, you could warm the water to the same temp as the tank water and dump it in.
 
LZ Floyd
  • #16
HI Pam,

When I do water changes, I use water that has come from the cold tap. I age it for a week to let it "gas out." When it's time to do the change, I first siphon vac the gravel until the amount of water I'm extracting has been removed. Then, I add conditioner to the new water (I use 1 gallon plastic containers that originally held spring water) and heat them in our kitchen sink filled with hot water.

Once the uncapped containers are in the hot water, I hang a floating thermometer by its suction cup attachment on the mouth edge of one of the containers. When the temp has reached approximately 5 degrees F warmer than the tank temp, I remove the containers, cap them, and shake them up. This gets the conditioner dispersed and by the time the shaking is done, the heat is dispersed throughout the container and the water is at the exact temp I want, the tank temp.

I use NovAqua+, but have used the Nutra Fin product in the past and not had problems with it.

Changing your Betta's water daily may stress him (or her) out. It might be worth a try to space out the changes and do them twice a week while you await a test kit.

Without a test kit it's hard to know what the parameters are. But these numbers strike me funny: Nitrite = 4 ppm Ammonia = 5 ppm Nitrate = 20 ppm. I could understand nitrates at 20, but that would suggest the tank is cycled and there would be no ammo, nor nitrites. If the ammo is that high, I might suspect there is a high level of nitrates already in your water. That is, if the test parameters given you are anywhere near accurate.

WRT the fin problem, it might be in your interest to hunt down some Maracyn 2; it should be easily obtained from the lps. If there is no fin rot, VitaChem has been suggested to promote healing. If there is a fin rot disorder developing, catch it in its early stages. I believe that our Gainey's septicemia is fin rot-related. On the fins, the fish don't seem bothered by it. Once it gets to the body of the fish, though, it starts to do internal damage.

Mike
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Sparkles' tail is getting worse. The original hole got a little bigger, then he developed a small dark spot (blood?) nearby, which turned into a pinhole. The two holes have now merged. Lengthwise, they're about the size of a pea and vertically about half the size of a pea.

I've had him on Maracyn for five days, as well as VitaChem, and he's gradually gotten worse during this time. I don't know if it's finrot, but suspect so even though it doesn't look like pictures I've seen. The edges of his tail don't seem to be affected and there is no whitish coloration (although I understand the whitish-ness is a secondary infection caused by finrot).

What would you fish lovers recommend? I went to PetsMart today to get his water tested and also picked up Triple Sulfa and Rid Fungus -- a combo that CoBettaCouple has had success with for treating fin rot -- so I have it on hand in case that is the recommendation. Or should I put him on a second round of Maracyn, even though it hasn't helped so far? The instructions say you can do two five-day rounds without having to wait between.

He appears to be behaving and eating normally, except that it seems he's "clamping" his fins somewhat and not spreading them as much as he used to.

Here are the results of the water test, which PetsMart did. It appeared to be a more accurate and complete test than the previous ones PetCo did, but both used strips:

Nitrite = .5
Ammonia = 0
Nitrate = 0
pH = 7.6
Hardwater normal
Alkaline perfect

This test was done today, after the five days of Maracyn and no water changes. I guess that explains the nitrite and the lack of nitrate, right?

I've posted other stats previously in this thread, but just as a reminder, he's in an Eclipse 3-gallon tank by himself. There are no sharp objects in the tank, and the water is 80 degrees F.

Atison's Betta Pro is his primary food, which I supplement with HikarI Betta Bio-Gold -- and now VitaChem and garlic juice (just a couple of times for the garlic juice).

Any help you can offer will be much appreciated.

Edit: Now I'm almost sure it's finrot. He's missing a chunk of the end of his tail since I wrote this post two hours ago. Probably the 25 percent water change I've been doing in the past hour provoked the already diseased piece to fall off.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #18
the black spot turning into a hole really sounds like fin rot. clamping his fins could be an indication of something else, but it doesn't sound like he's showing symptoms of anything other than fin rot. If it were us, we'd treat for fin rot.
 
LZ Floyd
  • #19
Don't care much for black spots, myself, especially when they are precursors to (or otherwise involved in) fin separation. Our fish can appear quite lively while exhibiting fin rot. But, if fin-rot-related bacteria enters the fish's bloodstream, the fish's behavior will start to show it. Fin clamping may be one such response.

WRT fin rot, most written material out there suggests to, first, clean up the water and see if that takes care of the problem. If so, the regeneration of fin material may be accelerated by keeping the water clean and using additives like Vita Chem. While fin rot may also be associated with fungus, from what I've seen in the written material, bacteria is often the culprit. Note that, without doing scientifically-based cultures, we hobbyists are left to making such causal determinations by noting changes in appearance and behavior and making a best guess as to what the appropriate treatment should be. There are fish-disease guides out there to help, here are a couple:

In the early stage of any disorder, I'm a proponent of taking the least-invasive approach; overtreatment can have negative repercussions, both immediate and long-term. Your mention that the problem is worsening despite your supplying clean water and a week's worth of treatment, that dark spots are appearing you suspect to be blood, and that Sparkle's fins are clamping, suggests to me that it's time to take a tougher approach.

It's hard to tell from your writing, pamd, if you are using Maracyn 2 and are calling it Maracyn, or if you're specifically using Maracyn. There is a difference between the two in that Maracyn treats gram-positive bacterial problems, while Maracyn 2 focuses on gram-negative bacteria. Most bacterial problems with fish are caused by the gram-negative type calling for Maracyn 2 treatment. We use Maracyn to help the fish ward off secondary infections due to the illness and treatment effects of Maracyn 2.

My suggestion is to start treatment using both Maracyn and Maracyn 2. I'd start with a 50% water change, then administer the meds. I'd also gradually turn up the heat to 83 degrees (one degree an hour should be okay). If you can get Sparkle to eat protein-based foods like bloodworms, that also might be of benefit.

Please keep us updated.

Mike
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
the black spot turning into a hole really sounds like fin rot. clamping his fins could be an indication of something else, but it doesn't sound like he's showing symptoms of anything other than fin rot. If it were us, we'd treat for fin rot.
Thanks, Dave. Since I didn't have an answer last night, I started using your recommended Triple Sulfa. I hate having to use these chemicals, but I knew if I did nothing, I'd lose Sparkles for sure, since the disease has been progressing. I just hope, all together, we can cure and save him. I saw your combo of Triple Sulfa and Rid Fungus has worked for you. I therefore started Sparkles on Triple Sulfa last night, await further suggestions regarding Rid Fungus, and now think I should continue at least the Triple Sulfa for the recommended time (four days) since I already started it.

While fin rot may also be associated with fungus, from what I've seen in the written material, bacteria is often the culprit. Note that, without doing scientifically-based cultures, we hobbyists are left to making such causal determinations by noting changes in appearance and behavior and making a best guess as to what the appropriate treatment should be. There are fish-disease guides out there to help, here are a couple:
Thanks, Mike.

In the early stage of any disorder, I'm a proponent of taking the least-invasive approach; overtreatment can have negative repercussions, both immediate and long-term. Your mention that the problem is worsening despite your supplying clean water and a week's worth of treatment, that dark spots are appearing you suspect to be blood, and that Sparkle's fins are clamping, suggests to me that it's time to take a tougher approach.
I agree.

It's hard to tell from your writing, pamd, if you are using Maracyn 2 and are calling it Maracyn, or if you're specifically using Maracyn. There is a difference between the two in that Maracyn treats gram-positive bacterial problems, while Maracyn 2 focuses on gram-negative bacteria. Most bacterial problems with fish are caused by the gram-negative type calling for Maracyn 2 treatment. We use Maracyn to help the fish ward off secondary infections due to the illness and treatment effects of Maracyn 2.
I used Maracyn, not Maracyn 2. Shouldn't have listened to the guy in the LFS -- we all know better -- but he seemed to know a lot and talked me into Maracyn rather than Maracyn 2.

My suggestion is to start treatment using both Maracyn and Maracyn 2. I'd start with a 50% water change, then administer the meds. I'd also gradually turn up the heat to 83 degrees (one degree an hour should be okay). If you can get Sparkle to eat protein-based foods like bloodworms, that also might be of benefit.

Please keep us updated.

Mike
Will keep you updated, and thanks to everyone who has offered help to save Sparkles. Now, should I use the Rid Fungus, or not, on top of the VitaChem and Triple Sulfa?
 
Kevin
  • #21
I have heard really good things about tri-sulfa...though i've never had to use it

I picked up some rid-fungus today at my lfs...it says you can use it with other meds...so I would start on that to prevent secondary fungal infections...it should be 100% organic...so it wo'nt affect sparkles much, if any
 
COBettaCouple
  • #22
I think that as far as that level of antibiotics goes, the triple sulfa is the least stressful to their systems. it even leaves the good bacteria alone.

i'm not sure if the rid-fungus is needed or not, but i'd recommend it as it's herbal and not harsh like chemical meds.

we did a 10-day course of both on Aslan after he made the stressful 1800-mile, 3-day road trip (4 full days from tank to tank) to Denver when he was already losing his fins to some sort of thinning finrot before the trip.. and he completely cleared up and started regrowing fins. we also used fish protector for a few weeks daily and always use vitachem daily to help with the regrowth.. but the main thing for Sparkles now is to get his system the help it needs to fight that off.

Thanks, Dave. Since I didn't have an answer last night, I started using your recommended Triple Sulfa. I hate having to use these chemicals, but I knew if I did nothing, I'd lose Sparkles for sure, since the disease has been progressing. I just hope, all together, we can cure and save him. I saw your combo of Triple Sulfa and Rid Fungus has worked for you. I therefore started Sparkles on Triple Sulfa last night, await further suggestions regarding Rid Fungus, and now think I should continue at least the Triple Sulfa for the recommended time (four days) since I already started it.

Now, should I use the Rid Fungus, or not, on top of the VitaChem and Triple Sulfa?
 
LZ Floyd
  • #23
Though listed as antibiotics for treating fin rot, I've not used any of the sulfa products, so I can't vouch for their effectiveness. Having started using the triple sulfa, though, it's best to finish the treatment recommended. If you don't, the bacteria involved may develop immunity to it.

I don't know if this has been mentioned, but you also want to remove any charcoal filter media from the filter as it will remove meds from the water.

Keeping the water clean is also essential. In our five-gallon tank, I was doing a 40% change twice weekly except when treatment protocols dictated otherwise. And, it was suggested to me to raise the tank temp to 83*F or 84*F to help the meds work better. Mike
 
COBettaCouple
  • #24
with the triple sulfa, you'll want to do a 25% water change after the 1st 5 days, then start the 2nd 5 days.
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Oh nooo! Sparkles was looking a bit better in the past few days and this morning.

Tonight his tail is ripped in half from the end up to within a quarter-inch of his body. I've kept him on the Triple Sulfa, Rid Fungus and VitaChem. Help please!
 
LZ Floyd
  • #26
Hey pamd,

It's hard to tell from the post exactly what's happening. I think the first thing to do is to make sure Sparkle's water is clean. If you don't already have a water parameter test kit, I suggest you get one (the strips are not reliable, I've heard). It's my opinion that no medication can be effective if the water isn't up to snuff. So, clean water is where treatment begins. (Sometimes, clean water is all that is needed, if the disease has not advanced too far.)

Another water parameter is temperature. It has been suggested to me (and to others) to raise the temp to 83*F to 84*F. Do this gradually at a rate of 1 degree per hour.

Where is Sparkle at as far as treatment time (i.e., second day, eighth day)?

If the water parameters are at a healthy level and you're only a few days into treatment, it could be that what has happened to Sparkle's tail is only because treatment couldn't save that part, but that you're on the right track. OTOH, triple sulfa and rid fungus might not be the right meds, idk. Or, it could be that there is a charcoal filter element still in the filter, which is neutralizing the meds - I don't recall you saying whether or not one was there.

If the triple sulfa and rid fungus don't have any effect within a ten-day treatment period, it would make sense to me to abandon those meds and try Maracyn and Maracyn 2 in combination.

It's not easy to medicate a 3-gallon tank with meds that typically are packaged for 10-gallon quantities. How are you dosing the tank now?

Sorry about all the questions and suggestions to spend $$$.

Mike
 
COBettaCouple
  • #27
we've had that happen with a couple of our male bettas.. with ours it was simply a matter of them blowing out the fin and causing a tear since all decor is carefully checked for the slightest chance of being bad for their fins.. I don't know that it's related to the holes - these fin splits just happen with male bettas sometimes and the treatment you have him on now will help keep the tear from developing finrot as well as help it heal up. A tear like that usually takes a month at least to heal up even with a full dose of vitachem daily.
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Hey pamd,

It's hard to tell from the post exactly what's happening. I think the first thing to do is to make sure Sparkle's water is clean. If you don't already have a water parameter test kit, I suggest you get one (the strips are not reliable, I've heard). It's my opinion that no medication can be effective if the water isn't up to snuff. So, clean water is where treatment begins. (Sometimes, clean water is all that is needed, if the disease has not advanced too far.)
I took a water sample again today to PetSmart, and it looked fine. Zero nitrites and ammonia, but zero nitrates, probably because of the meds. All other parameters looked fine.

Another water parameter is temperature. It has been suggested to me (and to others) to raise the temp to 83*F to 84*F. Do this gradually at a rate of 1 degree per hour.
Thanks for the reminder. His water has been at about 80-82 degrees, but I checked again today and it was at 78, probably because of the house temp being cooler as the weather cools. I set his heater up 2 degrees. I'll bump it up again tomorrow if it's not 82 to 83 degrees.

Where is Sparkle at as far as treatment time (i.e., second day, eighth day)

If the water parameters are at a healthy level and you're only a few days into treatment, it could be that what has happened to Sparkle's tail is only because treatment couldn't save that part, but that you're on the right track. OTOH, triple sulfa and rid fungus might not be the right meds, idk. Or, it could be that there is a charcoal filter element still in the filter, which is neutralizing the meds - I don't recall you saying whether or not one was there.
He's been on the Triple Sulfa for six consecutive days now. The instructions say to treat four days, with a second four-day round if necessary. I resisted the urge to do a water change during the first four-day round, as water changes seem to stress him, but did a 30% water change last night (before Triple Sulfa treatment Day #5).

He was on five consecutive days of Maracyn (not Maracyn 2 or the combo of Maracyn and Maracyn 2) treatment right before I switched him to Triple Sulfa.

As far as the charcoal filter, thanks again, but I removed it. Good advice to anyone who later reads this thread and needs help!

I don't know if I'm on the right track or not, since he seems to have gotten worse. I hope you're right that it's possible I'm on the right track.

If the triple sulfa and rid fungus don't have any effect within a ten-day treatment period, it would make sense to me to abandon those meds and try Maracyn and Maracyn 2 in combination.
Agree. If Sparkles is still alive.



clear.gif

It's not easy to medicate a 3-gallon tank with meds that typically are packaged for 10-gallon quantities. How are you dosing the tank now?
I measured the Triple Sulfa, and calculated that it takes slightly less than 1/4 teaspoon for a three-gallon tank. "Slightly less" sounds like one of my grandmother's recipes (or mine for that matter) and is not perfectly and scientifically accurate, I know. But none of this stuff seems perfectly scientific. So much guesswork is involved. The dose is probably reasonably accurate for the size of tank.

The exact meds are such guesswork, as you mentioned before, since we don't know if we're dealing with gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria or if it's the result of injury (which I don't think it is).

Sorry about all the questions and suggestions to spend $$$.
Thanks!!!!! Don't apologize, you are doing your best to help, and Sparkles and I thank you much!
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
we've had that happen with a couple of our male bettas.. with ours it was simply a matter of them blowing out the fin and causing a tear since all decor is carefully checked for the slightest chance of being bad for their fins.. I don't know that it's related to the holes - these fin splits just happen with male bettas sometimes and the treatment you have him on now will help keep the tear from developing finrot as well as help it heal up. A tear like that usually takes a month at least to heal up even with a full dose of vitachem daily.

Does this mean Sparkles has a chance? He doesn't look good. He looked happy and funny and cute and fine a couple of days ago and seemed better. But this morning he was kind of clamping his fins again and had the additional horrid split in his tail.

And by "full dose of vitachem daily," do you mean two drops in his water per day? (The instructions call for 2 drops per week in his water based on his tank size. He's not crazy about his food soaked in VitaChem.)
 
COBettaCouple
  • #30
These Bettas can surprise you with how strong they fight and he's got a chance. You can do triple sulfa for up to 15 days according to the company if need be.. is there anything that might be causing tail splits?

yea, 2 drops per gallon each day on the vitachem.

Does this mean Sparkles has a chance? He doesn't look good. He looked happy and funny and cute and fine a couple of days ago and seemed better. But this morning he was kind of clamping his fins again and had the additional horrid split in his tail.

And by "full dose of vitachem daily," do you mean two drops in his water per day? (The instructions call for 2 drops per week in his water based on his tank size. He's not crazy about his food soaked in VitaChem.)
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Oh no! Sparkles looked even worse this morning. Until now, only his tail appeared to be affected. Now his dorsal fin looks ragged and his lower fin is partially whitish-transparent.

As of last night, he's now been on antibiotics for 13 days -- five on Maracyn and eight on Triple Sulfa. Since neither seemed to work and he continues to decline, I'm thinking of putting him on the combo of Maracyn and Maracyn 2 starting tonight.

I've also been giving him two drops per gallon of VitaChem and a daily dose of Rid Fungus. I guess I should continue these?

I just don't know what else to do and I greatly appreciate the help I've received here and any further suggestions.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #32
his case sounds very stubborn. it may be worth considering kanamyacin (Kanaplex) or Furan-2.
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
his case sounds very stubborn. it may be worth considering kanamyacin (Kanaplex) or Furan-2.
Well, I bought some Maracyn 2 tonight (before I saw your post and researched the two drugs you suggested) and was planning to use it along with the Maracyn. But then again, I thought perhaps I should keep him on another night of Triple Sulfa. I did neither and thought perhaps it would be better to let him and his tank rest for at least a day from all these antibiotics, and especially to wait until I hear more from you and others who know better than me. I did give him the Rid Fungus and VitaChem tonight, though. I also did a very gentle 20% water change.

One fundamental lack of understanding on my part is what I should expect. For example, did I give up on the Maracyn too quickly after the five-day treatment when I saw further decline? Did I give up on the Triple Sulfa too quickly after eight days, seeing further decline? Did I conclude too fast that neither treatment was working? Or should I have seen at least him holding steady if not improving during these time periods? At one point on the Triple Sulfa, about four days ago, he seemed to be feeling better even though his tail was still just as split. I haven't seen any healing of the split whatsoever since the hole turned into a split.

He used to like getting "caught" in the air bubble output from his filter, letting the current take him to the bottom of the tank and past his plastic cup that holds his plant, pausing to look at me like, "Wheeee! Look at me! Betta fun, Mom!" and then doing it again several times in succession, obviously on purpose. (Egads, he's so cute. The thought of losing him ... oh never mind ...) (And no, I don't think he's tearing his tail while he's "playing." There's nothing sharp.) He was doing that little trick again a few days ago and also eating more robustly and paying more attention to me than he had since all this began. That only lasted about a day and a half.

He's still eating, but not nearly as enthusiastically as usual. He's also hovering near the top or bottom of the tank, not moving much and pretty much ignoring me. But he did accept four pellets this morning and three tonight. He didn't want any more, though. I realize that's enough nourishment, but I wanted to see if he wanted a couple more. He didn't.

I realize you all must be very hesitant to further advise me in case we lose Sparkles. But don't worry. It won't be your fault. We're all trying our best, and the collective info you're providing is the best we can all do. My main goals and hopes in this thread, of course, are to save Sparkles. Whether Sparkles' outcome is good or bad, someone will learn something by your good advice or from my mistakes and hopefully save another precious little being.

Thank you all again for your knowledge and caring.

Edit: I forgot to mention that his lower fin looks the same to me as it always has tonight -- in this light. I'm not sure if he's always had the whitish-translucence near the edges or not, and I can't see that tonight. I've spent countless hours interacting with him and observing him, but perhaps he's had that all along, or perhaps he's developed that as normal coloration as he's matured, or I've not seen it because of a rare combination of the backlighting from natural light early this afternoon while he was drooping at the back of the tank. In other words, I'm not sure if today's observation regarding his lower fin is a result of fin rot or natural coloration.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #34
I would finish the course of triple sulfa as it's best to finish a course. sometimes an antibiotic just doesn't work on a fish, although it sounds as if you are having some results with the triple sulfa. without seeing his fins, I can't call that for sure, and it really is always up to each Betta owner to decide the best course for their little one. the progress isn't always readily apparent and that's where your judgment on how he's doing is the way to decide what to do next for him.
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #35
Thanks again, Dave. Triple Sulfa says to use it in four-day courses, and he's completed eight days on it. I still don't know what to do?!!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #36
oops, sorry, I was thinking of TriSulfa which does 5 day courses.

I wish I could tell you which course to take. you could go with the maracyn/maracyn-2 combo or with one of those 2 stronger antibiotics. They're pretty strong though, especially kanaplex. just look at how he's doing and you can make the best call for him. If you think the Triple Sulfa did help some, you could try one more course of it or go to the maracyns combo.

Thanks again, Dave. Triple Sulfa says to use it in four-day courses, and he's completed eight days on it. I still don't know what to do?!!
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
Sparkles is still looking a bit better this morning and tonight -- doesn't mean much, since he's still droopy -- but I'm still keeping him off the antibiotics of any sort. So many meds for Sparkles and his tank.

I really hope I'm not making a fatal mistake here, just trying to use the best judgment for the little guy and trying to do our collective best.

I keep asking him what he needs, and at least he's responding to my gazes and attention. He ate better tonight. Piggie, looking for more. His fins are still ragged, though, and he is still lethargic compared to his happy former self. He isn't familiar with peas. One thing I'd suggest to anybody new to Bettas is to provide a few pea treats *before* they get sick so they get used to them and think of them as a treat. A sick fish will probably not take to unfamiliar food.

I'm still not sure what to do, but the plan is to let him and the tank off the antiobiotics for a couple more days, then to start another round if he's not better or worse. I'm not sure if that should be another round of the Triple Sulfa, the Maracyn 2 (probably), or a combination of the Maracyn 2 and Maracyn.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #38
glad to hear of some improvement & hopefully that's a good sign of him having turned the corner now.
 
pamd
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
glad to hear of some improvement & hopefully that's a good sign of him having turned the corner now.
Thanks for the well wishes and I hope we're indeed looking at a good sign. He's been acting even happier and more responsive today. I don't want to jinx anything by posting something too hopeful, since his illness has been quite a no-fun roller-coaster ride.

He's been begging for food, showing off and generally behaving like his sweet, hilarious little self. rather violently yesterday and today. I take that as a good sign because of his show of interest and strength.

His poor tail is still ripped. It looks like it is no worse, and -- hopefully not wishful thinking -- possibly a tiny bit better.

I've still had him on VitaChem and Rid Fungus, but no antibiotics. I'm thinking of waiting for the first sign of any further decline to put him back on the antibiotics. If so, it'll probably be Maracyn 2, but would it be better to use the combo of Maracyn and Maracyn 2?
 
Kevin
  • #40
sounds like a good plan!
 

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