Lethargic Betta, erratic swimming, Jumping, Fin rot

aryekyoko
  • #1
Hi all, My first post here, and unfortunately not under good circumstances. I have one male betta (not sure what type he is) who I have gradually moved up to a 5-gallon tank from originally a 1.5-gallon one with a filter (I stupidly purchased several nano tanks (all filtered) instead of just upgrading to a 5 gallon the first time) who i keep with one mystery snail (who I have now removed since my betta would nip on his antennas). As I did these water changes I used old substrate from the other tank which I suspect was full of too much waste which I thought was good to transfer into a new tank as a way to cycle it and have good bacteria because I think I had read somewhere to not wash substrate when using it to set up a new tank. My fish seemed much happier with each upgrade and completely healthy. With the setup of my new 5-gallon tank I also wanted to switch from plastic plants to natural ones and use Mopani wood for the benefits of water quality and getting rid of ammonia which I suspected my tank might have to some degree since I did not vacuum the gravel for a long time though had been doing water changes somewhat regularly but not enough. Fast forward to now I recently started to notice less activity in Kyoko and him not always coming to the surface to eat. About two days ago I was observing Kyoko close up to check in on him and noticed that he has severe fin rot on his top fin that looks to me like it is close to reaching his body. Also starting this day I noticed white fungus blobs floating in the tank and attached to floating amazon frogbit plants I most recently had added. I suspected that perhaps these brought in some fungus into the water which at this point was very tannin filled from the Mopani wood so i took the plants and the white blogs out and also the Mopani wood and as I suspected the white fungus was present on areas of the wood where my anubias plant was attached. ALSO on this day, I noticed the most concerning thing about his current condition he was not moving around at all and staying in one place and panting and he is completely not eating. He will come to the surface of the water very very occasionally at this point to take a breath and goes right back down. Also he sometimes starts swimming around in a spastic and jerky way which was very concerning (I haven't seen it . Immediately I assumed he was experiencing a combination of ammonia poisoning or something was wrong with the temperature as I also did not have a heater. The temperature was around 73 and not how it normally was with the smaller tanks at 75 which I knew was too cold but not the most dangerous but i knew I had to get a heater to eliminate this as a stress source so I can try to revive him. I knew I had to do a water change asap in case high levels of ammonia or nitrate was causing these issues. So i did about a 50 percent water change and vacuumed the gravel thoroughly. I noticed there was lots of waste in the substrate and even saw two microscopic worms come up which scared me a lot I saw online this type of worm is common and not that bad). I then refilled with dechlorinated water at probably 75 degrees. After taking this action I went to the store to get nitrate/ph/ghetc. and ammonia testing kits. With the water at that point my ammonia levels were 0, and my nitrate and nitrite were 0, pH was the right level. I also purchased a heater and got the water to 78 degrees but did this first gradually by turning off my ac and letting my room be warm. My next step was to remove my snail and plants and try a medication method, I think I am dealing with severe fin rot that is causing lethargic behavior and heavy breathing or high amonia that was present before i water changed and got my test kit.

Most current situation:
I went the route of using aquarium salt to treat my fish which I think was a mistake as my fin rot looks pretty close to the body and think that the antibiotic Mardel Maracyn would have been a better solution potentially. I purchased the aquarium salt today (may 30/31 cause I'm writing very late) the day after i first did a 50% water change. Before adding the salt I cleaned the gravel again and did a 50% water change to make sure I was treating him in pure conditions. I bought and used API Stress coat plus as my conditioner for this water change because of its benefits for the slime coat. I also put back in the mopani wood after boiling it again to remove white (harmless?) fungus for the tannin benefit. I went with the dosing I saw online recommended for more severe cases of fin rot but not at the highest concentration of 1 tbsp/gallon since my fish looks very weak and don't want to do too much. I went with 2 tbsp for my 5-gallon tank and dissolved it fully first in tank water. I added it to the 5-gallon tank with now just the piece of wood and that's where I am at with treatment so far. My betta looks very unhealthy at the time of me writing this and I want to move forward with the best quickest solution to save him (if its still possible at all). My main questions at the moment: im not sure what to do next if i should continue to use the aquarium salt to treat him or try to instead use Mardel Maracyn and remove the aquarium salt to do so (another source of confusion for me). People online have shown the process of using aquarium salt to treat fin rot but i see lots of different methods and it seems more challenging and less fast-acting than antibiotics, I am not sure what do do next as far as the salt treatment. Aquarium co-op says to leave it in for a while and then gradually remove it with water changes once I see improvement. Another source, aquarium sphere, seems to suggest to do a 100% water change after just 24 hours of the salt and repeat the process which doesn't make sense to me as I thought a 100% water change was never recommended and can be harmful (im assuming especially to a very sick fish).

If you have any advice on how I should move forward (try to remove salt and use maracyn or how to use the salt the right way) (if i should change the water 100% or move him into my old 2.5 gallon tank with completely new water and try the maracyn in that tank instead of trying to get the salt out of this) or have any advice id appreciate it sooooo much im sorry this is way too long I just got the vibe details are valued here for healing. You can see his current state below. He stays in that corner and i cant upload a video but he is panting heavily and flutters his pectoral fins.
 

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aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
My beta Kyoko who i keep in a 5-gallon tank with some live plants and a heater whose tank current water quality reads healthy on all tests after cleaning out the very dirty gravel and 2 recent water changes (50% each), has suddenly shown very severe progression with fin rot and has started acting very lethargic and not moving around the tank or eating. His fin rot is very bad and i think that’s purely what is what’s causing him to stay at the bottom and not move. He is panting heavily constantly as well. Also if he does swim to get a breath at the top, it’s very sporadically and with quick out-of-control spasms (very sad to see). I was going to use aquarium salt to treat this fin rot so i used 2tbsp for my 5-gallon tank yesterday and have still seen only his condition getting worse. I regretted not going the route of using Maracyn once i added the salt since i did hear it was more effective and recommended for advanced stages of fin rot. I added the salt yesterday, now i’m still very worried as his fins look MUCH worse today and he’s acting more unhealthy. Entire portions of his fin are dangling at this point and i know he is close to dying. Any help would be so appreciated! Should i try using maracyn instead of the salt after one day of the salt? How do i safely use the maracyn if his water already has salt/how to remove the salt. I saw different suggestions of how to use the salt but i think i need to switch to antibiotics asap since it is so bad. Recently posted a much longer explanation of the issue. Thank you so much if you can help
 

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Rose of Sharon
  • #3
Hi and Welcome to Fishlore!

So sorry that you are having issues with your beautiful betta boy!!!

I think that part of the problem is stress. You have made a lot of changes in a small amount of time, and your betta is probably feeling some of those affects. Fin rot doesn't kill very quickly, and it must progress to some type of severe body rot before it is fatal.

I would set up the 2.5 gallon with a small heater if you have one, and a small air stone for extra oxygen (if you have one). You won't need a filter since you will be doing water changes according to the instructions on the meds (usually a change every other day, I think). Meds can often deplete the oxygen in the tank, and antibiotics will kill off the beneficial bacteria in your 5 gallon, so best to use a separate tank for medicating - a hospital tank. His temp needs to be 78 to 80 degrees. Bettas are tropical so they need a warmer temp. Lower temps will cause stress, which can lead to various diseases/issues. Use your dechlorinator (API stress coat).

Since you are dosing in a hospital setting, you can use a regular dose of aquarium salt (follow the instructions on the package). Maracyn has the antibiotic erythromycin, which is good for gram positive infections. Most fin rot is gram negative, so I always recommend maracyn 2 (minocycline) or api fin and body cure (doxycycline). You can try the maracyn to see if it helps. If you see that it is not helping, then you may have to go with one of the other two that I mentioned.

If this happend quickly, it may have been due to all of the sudden changes. In your 5 gallon, I would do a big water change to remove most of the salt, and let it run for a few days. Let everything settle a bit.

Keep the lights dim or off. Bettas don't like bright light, so dim is best. They need at least a good 14 hours with lights off every night.

Tannins are good (the brown in the water that comes from the drift wood). You can get the same thing by using Indian almond leaves (catappa leaves). It is very beneficial for bettas, and the tannins do provide some slight antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Watch for any other symptoms that may happen. If you see the dark color/dark gray or black patches moving to his body in a short period of time, then it is not fin rot. It is something else.

I hope this helps!!! Hopefully your betta boy will bounce back after a little treatment. :) Let me know if you have any questions!
 
BruinAquatics
  • #4
Luckily with Fin rot there is a multitude of medications to use. Maracyn and Maracyn II are both good medications. I would start dosing when you can. As far as the aquarium salt, don't worry about it as you can keep the salt in the tank when you medicate with Maracyn.

What are your current water parameters?

Make sure to remove chemical filteration before you medicate (carbon, purigen etc)

I would also add an airstone in there for some water movement to get your fish some extra oxygen.
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Hi and Welcome to Fishlore!

So sorry that you are having issues with your beautiful betta boy!!!

I think that part of the problem is stress. You have made a lot of changes in a small amount of time, and your betta is probably feeling some of those affects. Fin rot doesn't kill very quickly, and it must progress to some type of severe body rot before it is fatal.

I would set up the 2.5 gallon with a small heater if you have one, and a small air stone for extra oxygen (if you have one). You won't need a filter since you will be doing water changes according to the instructions on the meds (usually a change every other day, I think). Meds can often deplete the oxygen in the tank, and antibiotics will kill off the beneficial bacteria in your 5 gallon, so best to use a separate tank for medicating - a hospital tank. His temp needs to be 78 to 80 degrees. Bettas are tropical so they need a warmer temp. Lower temps will cause stress, which can lead to various diseases/issues. Use your dechlorinator (API stress coat).

Since you are dosing in a hospital setting, you can use a regular dose of aquarium salt (follow the instructions on the package). Maracyn has the antibiotic erythromycin, which is good for gram positive infections. Most fin rot is gram negative, so I always recommend maracyn 2 (minocycline) or api fin and body cure (doxycycline). You can try the maracyn to see if it helps. If you see that it is not helping, then you may have to go with one of the other two that I mentioned.

If this happend quickly, it may have been due to all of the sudden changes. In your 5 gallon, I would do a big water change to remove most of the salt, and let it run for a few days. Let everything settle a bit.

Keep the lights dim or off. Bettas don't like bright light, so dim is best. They need at least a good 14 hours with lights off every night.

Tannins are good (the brown in the water that comes from the drift wood). You can get the same thing by using Indian almond leaves (catappa leaves). It is very beneficial for bettas, and the tannins do provide some slight antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Watch for any other symptoms that may happen. If you see the dark color/dark gray or black patches moving to his body in a short period of time, then it is not fin rot. It is something else.

I hope this helps!!! Hopefully your betta boy will bounce back after a little treatment. :) Let me know if you have any questions!
thank you so much for the response! i went ahead with the maracyn since that was highly recommended by aquarium co-op for fin rot and did a around a 30 percent water change to get some of the salt out before getting the maracyn after getting the maracyn along with an airstone, about 2 hours after the first water change i did another around 45 percent water change before adding the maracyn dosed properly for the 5 gallon tank. i did not want to move him into a new bank because i was afraid the stress of being in the net would make it way worse. Now i have the maracyn and airstone in the tank and i do not know if anything has really improved so far (about 2 hours later). I see him now laying more one his side and he just did another round of shimmies around the tank after getting air at the surface. No real signs of improvement but maybe i need to just wait and not change anything for a day. i’ll keep u updated it i see improvements or have more questions. thanks again !
 

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Rose of Sharon
  • #6
Just keep an eye on your water parameters as you go through the process - ammonia and nitrite in particular. And it will take some time for your betta to respond to treatment, so give it a good week. Hopefully he will start doing better soon!
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Just keep an eye on your water parameters as you go through the process - ammonia and nitrite in particular. And it will take some time for your betta to respond to treatment, so give it a good week. Hopefully he will start doing better soon!
i’ve noticed his erratic and frantic swimming is still happening and its been around 5 days i think since he last ate. the fins are really getting worse i think and now i am wondering if he potentially has velvet in addition to fin rot that is causing the erratic swimming because my water quality tests say everything is normal. from the photos below are you able to identify signs of velvet or possibly ich that could be causing his behavior? He barely swims at all but when he does it’s in very fast spurts in all different directions. i’m still very worried. thanks for being so responsive!!
 

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BruinAquatics
  • #8
Ich spots are usually very prominent white spots on the body. A good way to tell if he has ich is if the number of white spots doubles day by day. From what I can tell he doesn't look like he has any. If you do start to see numerous white spots that double by day I would use Ich-X to treat.

Ich is an oval shaped white dot and velvet is usually much more of uniform dot and usually a fish will be covered in white dots when they have velvet.

For now he seems to be free from that.
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Ich spots are usually very prominent white spots on the body. A good way to tell if he has ich is if the number of white spots doubles day by day. From what I can tell he doesn't look like he has any. If you do start to see numerous white spots that double by day I would use Ich-X to treat.

Ich is an oval shaped white dot and velvet is usually much more of uniform dot and usually a fish will be covered in white dots when they have velvet.

For now he seems to be free from that.
the photos are not very clear but i’ll add one more just to be sure it’s not velvet because i do see some very subtle gold dusting looking dots on the back of his fin and thought that velvet could be more subtle like that? i doubt ich since i don’t see any really noticeable white spots but the tiny subtle goldish dusting on his tail made me think that cause i otherwise done know what is causing his erratic swimming and not moving? could fin rot really be the only thing wrong with him? i thought fin rot usually doesn’t make the fish lethargic and not eat but it would have to be bad water or another disease that took advantage of his weakened immune system. you have to look close at the photo but can you see the discoloration spots?
 

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Rose of Sharon
  • #10
I'm not seeing ick or velvet. With velvet, you will see breathing issues, as it starts off in the gill area. They will then start producing a lot of extra slime as a way of trying to get the parasite off of the skin/scales. The gold dust is just about the last symptom that pops up, and it will cover the entire body.

I think you might be seeing his iridescent layer come through. All bettas have an iridescent layer.

He is definitely not comfortable. Try soaking his food in some garlic juice. Garlic juice is used for picky eaters, and it also provides an immune boost. You can get cut garlic in a jar at just about any grocery store. Garlic is used in some fish foods, but I find that you can soak pellets in the juice, and that works just fine.

I know that you are getting info from aquarium co-op, and they are a good place to start, but if you do a round of treatment (usually 3 doses that takes about a week), and you don't see any improvement, you may need to think about switching to a different antibiotic. The problem is that bacterial strains can become resistant to antibiotics. I'm not saying that the erythromycin won't work, just letting you know that it might not work. If you want to read about it, do a search for fin rot, or gram negative bacteria, and see what you will find.

Another treatment that you could do along with the antibiotics would be to give him a methylene blue bath. You can find methylene blue at most pet stores and even at Wal-Mart. You can use a quarter of a teaspoon in a gallon of temp matched tank water. Methylene blue will stain whatever it touches, so be very careful. Use a separate container for the bath, and leave your betta in the bath for about 30 minutes. Put the betta bath in a place where the water will stay warm. As long as your betta isn't too stressed, you can try to do these baths daily for a few days. This med has been around a very long time, and I have used it to treat fin issues in some of my bettas. As long as the betta isn't stressed in the bath, he should do ok with it.

I hope that the maracyn and aquarium salt work! And I hope that he bounces back quickly!
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I'm not seeing ick or velvet. With velvet, you will see breathing issues, as it starts off in the gill area. They will then start producing a lot of extra slime as a way of trying to get the parasite off of the skin/scales. The gold dust is just about the last symptom that pops up, and it will cover the entire body.

I think you might be seeing his iridescent layer come through. All bettas have an iridescent layer.

He is definitely not comfortable. Try soaking his food in some garlic juice. Garlic juice is used for picky eaters, and it also provides an immune boost. You can get cut garlic in a jar at just about any grocery store. Garlic is used in some fish foods, but I find that you can soak pellets in the juice, and that works just fine.

I know that you are getting info from aquarium co-op, and they are a good place to start, but if you do a round of treatment (usually 3 doses that takes about a week), and you don't see any improvement, you may need to think about switching to a different antibiotic. The problem is that bacterial strains can become resistant to antibiotics. I'm not saying that the erythromycin won't work, just letting you know that it might not work. If you want to read about it, do a search for fin rot, or gram negative bacteria, and see what you will find.

Another treatment that you could do along with the antibiotics would be to give him a methylene blue bath. You can find methylene blue at most pet stores and even at Wal-Mart. You can use a quarter of a teaspoon in a gallon of temp matched tank water. Methylene blue will stain whatever it touches, so be very careful. Use a separate container for the bath, and leave your betta in the bath for about 30 minutes. Put the betta bath in a place where the water will stay warm. As long as your betta isn't too stressed, you can try to do these baths daily for a few days. This med has been around a very long time, and I have used it to treat fin issues in some of my bettas. As long as the betta isn't stressed in the bath, he should do ok with it.

I hope that the maracyn and aquarium salt work! And I hope that he bounces back quickly!
thanks again for the info! i will try soaking his food with garlic and see if that gets him to eat . So far two days post the first Maracyn treatment nothing has changed and i think his erratic behavior is worse. I am worried about transferring him into a hospital tank since he always really fights getting into the net but i will if it comes to it. I am going to do a 30% water change and then another dose of the maracyn and see if that does anything.
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #12
Instead of using a net, you can try to catch him up in a container of some sort. I don't use a net any longer as it always does damage to my betta's fins.

I just use something plastic, like a clean food storage container that I have set aside just for the betta. If you are quick enough, you can scoop him up with no problems. Just be careful not to spill water all over the place, lol!
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I just want to ask about his erratic swimming spurts where he bangs into stuff. I see online this behavior is usually caused by some illnesses or parasite. He seems to really be struggling internally and i suspect it’s not just fin rot causing that symptom? Wanted to know what you think could be causing the erratic and spastic swimming if not ich ? i saw the ammonia levels in the tank went up a bit but i’m about to do another water change before the second dose of maracyn so i hope that improves it. It seemed like the ammonia rose quickly, anything you suggest for keeping ammonia down aside from water changes and cleaning the substrate? thank you!
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #14
The most immediate thing that will help with ammonia would be water changes. You can use Prime water conditioner, and it will hold the toxicity of low levels of ammonia and nitrites. You can actually over dose the amount, and it won't hurt the fish. I like this water conditioner over all others because it can hold the toxicity for 24 to 48 hours.

Illness, parasites, bad eyesight, lack of oxygen, buoyancy issues or stress can cause bettas to swim erratically. The rubbing behavior can point to external parasites, but you would see some evidence of external parasites - ick - salt like white spots spreading all over his body; velvet - gasping for breath, clamped fins, gold dust over areas of his body (not just his fins), lots of slime produced to try to get the parasites off - turn off the lights and use a good led flashlight to look at him - if you see the gold dust, then it is velvet; gill flukes - swimming to the top for air a lot, trouble breathing, lots of slime being produced, skin lesions, clamped fins, gill discoloration.

Glass surfing is due to stress, seeing his own reflection, or something along those lines, and can be described as erratic swimming.

If he had a swim bladder issue, then he could be swimming quickly and erratically to the top of the tank for air because it is hard for him to swim. He could have little to no buoyancy, and it would look like he was swimming frantically. (this is where a small air stone would help)

And then, bettas normally do this start and stop swimming behavior that can look erratic at times, especially those with long fins. But it's normal for them.

You can see how involved this gets by just the little that I have written. I don't mean to be confusing, but I wanted to give you all of the options that I can think of.

Usually parasites either get attached to the betta if there is something new added to the tank, like another creature, plants, or infected water. If the water parameters are off, or the water is too cold, or the fish is too stressed, then that can activate some parasites, which are always there, but healthy fish can usually fight off.

I know that it's hard to be clinical when it is your own fin baby involved. Just know that if Kyoko's water parameters have been good, his water temp set at a good place, and his stress level down, then there is no reason for him to have external parasites unless they were introduced into the tank some other way.

Prazipro or Prazicleanse for internal parasties, Cupramine (velvet or ich) or Coppersafe or Paracleanse for velvet, and Ich-X for velvet and Ich - just a few of the meds that treat external parasites....

I recommend that you continue to treat the fin issues, and to keep a close eye on him to see if he has any other symptoms - especially breathing issues and changes to his gills, scales, and body. You can do damage by over medicating, so it's best to be sure before you get into any other type of treatment. Plus, this could get really expensive if you buy a bunch of meds that you just don't need.

I do hope this helps, and gives you some perspective. I know that this is a lot of information. You know your fish better than anyone else. Are you seeing any of these symptoms that I have described, and if so, which ones?
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
sorry to be writing so much to you but its been really good to have input from a more experienced fish keeper. I wanted to send another pic of the small spots i was noticing because i think they are definitely slightly more noticeable than even yesterday. I have gotten him to now eat a couple of times which made me feel a lot better, he seemed to like the garlic pellet but has eaten 2 pellets that did not have it too! His breathing is still very heavy and not swimming regularly but has had moments where he swam somewhat normally. I also wanted to send a pic of my ammonia test because i think it is in between 0 and .25 but wanted to see if maybe i was reading it wrong. The color in that test is the most yellow i’ve seen it go even after a big water change. I did a 30% water change before the second medication and not sure if i was supposed to but the man at the fish store recommended that since the medication he said can be too strong if i don’t even thought the directions say to not do water changes while medicating. Also wondering your take on that (doing the water changes between medicating). I’ll try to calm down now cause i know this stuff takes time but yeah i’m just worried about the potential progression of another illness being the issue that my fin rot treatment might not be helping. Thanks again so much.
 

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Rose of Sharon
  • #16
I read the directions for dosing with maracyn, and it does not say to change the water. Since you have him in a 5 gallon, I am assuming that you are dosing a half of a packet every day, right?

The medicine should have a cumulative effect if you have to dose every day for 5 days in a row.

I think doing the water changes is improtant. I would keep on doing those. If anything, the strength of the meds would be cut because you are taking out medicated water, and putting back clean, unmedicated water, and then dosing the tank again. I think that you are safe doing it this way.

About your ammonia test - I bet that is really 0. The API tests are known to give off a possible 0.25 reading, even if there isn't ammonia present. Try testing your source water to see if it gives off the same reading. I've had the same thing happen to me, and when I tested the tap water, it gave the same reading - 0.25.

That is a really good pic of Kyoko. I see what you mean about what looks like white specks on his fins. I'm still wondering if that is just his coloring. I've just never seen ich attack only the fins before. Usually it would be on his body by now.

You could always try to treat that (as ich) in the natural way, which would involve raising the temperature slowly over time to about 86 degrees (it won't hurt him to do that), and you are already adding aquarium salt. If it is ich, then at that temp, the life cycle will be shortened to about 2 to 3 days. With frequent water changes, this might work, if it is ich, as you will be removing a lot of the free swimming parasites. He will really need that air stone for the extra surface aggitation if you do this. High temps always deplete the oxygen in the tank. And so do antibiotics. And this is something that you can do while you are dosing with the maracyn, and even if he doesn't have ich, then it won't harm anything.

The last thing that I would recommend is dosing with another med for another issue right after finishing dosing for a previous problem if you don't really need to do so. But when you are done with the maracyn (5 days, right?), and you still see those white dots, and they cover his body, too, then you might want to look at dosing with an ich med, like Ich-X, or Kordon's Rid-Ich plus, or Seachem's Paraguard. There are tons of ich meds out there. But I would try raising the temp and doing the salt treatment first, since it is something that you can do now, and to see if the white dots disappear or not, or if they spread, like ich would normally do. If they don't spread, and he starts acting fairly normal, then I would not dose for ich and would bring his temp down to a normal level slowly, and then stop dosing with the aquarium salt.

Hope this makes sense!
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I read the directions for dosing with maracyn, and it does not say to change the water. Since you have him in a 5 gallon, I am assuming that you are dosing a half of a packet every day, right?

The medicine should have a cumulative effect if you have to dose every day for 5 days in a row.

I think doing the water changes is improtant. I would keep on doing those. If anything, the strength of the meds would be cut because you are taking out medicated water, and putting back clean, unmedicated water, and then dosing the tank again. I think that you are safe doing it this way.

About your ammonia test - I bet that is really 0. The API tests are known to give off a possible 0.25 reading, even if there isn't ammonia present. Try testing your source water to see if it gives off the same reading. I've had the same thing happen to me, and when I tested the tap water, it gave the same reading - 0.25.

That is a really good pic of Kyoko. I see what you mean about what looks like white specks on his fins. I'm still wondering if that is just his coloring. I've just never seen ich attack only the fins before. Usually it would be on his body by now.

You could always try to treat that (as ich) in the natural way, which would involve raising the temperature slowly over time to about 86 degrees (it won't hurt him to do that), and you are already adding aquarium salt. If it is ich, then at that temp, the life cycle will be shortened to about 2 to 3 days. With frequent water changes, this might work, if it is ich, as you will be removing a lot of the free swimming parasites. He will really need that air stone for the extra surface aggitation if you do this. High temps always deplete the oxygen in the tank. And so do antibiotics. And this is something that you can do while you are dosing with the maracyn, and even if he doesn't have ich, then it won't harm anything.

The last thing that I would recommend is dosing with another med for another issue right after finishing dosing for a previous problem if you don't really need to do so. But when you are done with the maracyn (5 days, right?), and you still see those white dots, and they cover his body, too, then you might want to look at dosing with an ich med, like Ich-X, or Kordon's Rid-Ich plus, or Seachem's Paraguard. There are tons of ich meds out there. But I would try raising the temp and doing the salt treatment first, since it is something that you can do now, and to see if the white dots disappear or not, or if they spread, like ich would normally do. If they don't spread, and he starts acting fairly normal, then I would not dose for ich and would bring his temp down to a normal level slowly, and then stop dosing with the aquarium salt.

Hope this makes sense!
Thank you! this does make sense, the only thing i’m a little confused on is doing the aquarium salt at the same time as the maracyn. before i added the maracyn i did 2 50% water changes to remove the salt since i felt like two treatments at once could be overwhelming. Are you recommending that i add more salt back to it now with the maracyn? Also are you saying to continue doing the water changes with the maracyn (as you said it might be safer that way) but is it bad to be losing the cumulative effect of it? also the after level is gonna be too high if i didn’t take out some water before adding another dose. And yes i’m using half a packet for each dose(which i have made sure to do correctly by premixing it with 10 equal parts water and using half of the mixture). I will try the ich x next if he doesn’t start to move more regularly by the fifth maracyn treatment i think as my water heater is pre set to 78 so i don’t think i can raise the temp and am kinda worried if my airstone creates enough surface agitation for hotter water.
I read the directions for dosing with maracyn, and it does not say to change the water. Since you have him in a 5 gallon, I am assuming that you are dosing a half of a packet every day, right?

The medicine should have a cumulative effect if you have to dose every day for 5 days in a row.

I think doing the water changes is improtant. I would keep on doing those. If anything, the strength of the meds would be cut because you are taking out medicated water, and putting back clean, unmedicated water, and then dosing the tank again. I think that you are safe doing it this way.

About your ammonia test - I bet that is really 0. The API tests are known to give off a possible 0.25 reading, even if there isn't ammonia present. Try testing your source water to see if it gives off the same reading. I've had the same thing happen to me, and when I tested the tap water, it gave the same reading - 0.25.

That is a really good pic of Kyoko. I see what you mean about what looks like white specks on his fins. I'm still wondering if that is just his coloring. I've just never seen ich attack only the fins before. Usually it would be on his body by now.

You could always try to treat that (as ich) in the natural way, which would involve raising the temperature slowly over time to about 86 degrees (it won't hurt him to do that), and you are already adding aquarium salt. If it is ich, then at that temp, the life cycle will be shortened to about 2 to 3 days. With frequent water changes, this might work, if it is ich, as you will be removing a lot of the free swimming parasites. He will really need that air stone for the extra surface aggitation if you do this. High temps always deplete the oxygen in the tank. And so do antibiotics. And this is something that you can do while you are dosing with the maracyn, and even if he doesn't have ich, then it won't harm anything.

The last thing that I would recommend is dosing with another med for another issue right after finishing dosing for a previous problem if you don't really need to do so. But when you are done with the maracyn (5 days, right?), and you still see those white dots, and they cover his body, too, then you might want to look at dosing with an ich med, like Ich-X, or Kordon's Rid-Ich plus, or Seachem's Paraguard. There are tons of ich meds out there. But I would try raising the temp and doing the salt treatment first, since it is something that you can do now, and to see if the white dots disappear or not, or if they spread, like ich would normally do. If they don't spread, and he starts acting fairly normal, then I would not dose for ich and would bring his temp down to a normal level slowly, and then stop dosing with the aquarium salt.

Hope this makes sense!
also i’m wondering if i should worry about the bubbles that are forming from the maracyn and my air stone. Are they perhaps making the water less oxygenated since they are not popping at the surface like they normally do in a tank?
 

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Rose of Sharon
  • #18
How many more days do you have left for the maracyn treatment?

Maybe you can wait on the salt until you are done with the maracyn, and then regroup after the treatment is done.

Sounds like you are dosing correctly, and doing everything the right way. If you want to hold off on a water change for the next two days and see how it goes, that would be ok, as long as the parameters are ok, and continue dosing according to the instructions on the maracyn. Or, you can add a bit more of the meds if you want to do a water change daily. In other words, change one gallon of water, and put in a little bit more than a half of a packet in. But if you don't feel comfortable eyeballing it, just skip the water change for a couple of days.

I think that the air stone is ok. Don't know why it's causing so many bubbles, but the air stone is adding oxygen to the tank.

I guess I was trying to figure out a way to treat both the fin rot and the possible ich. But maybe it's best to finish the maracyn treatment first before anything else.
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Hey again,
So today i did the last treatment of maracyn but have noticed the fin rot still worsening and it’s quickly deteriorating his under fin as well. He is still erratically swimming and looking like sometimes trying to itch himself on the sides of the tank but usually it’s just erratic and looks scary. I’m wondering if you think ich c is the next step i should take because i saw that it treats other parasites as well and potentially would help with whatever kyoko is dealing with. Or do you think the salt or methalyne blue would be the better next step. I just want to get him to start swimming normally and not freaking out and swimming all crazy as quick as i can and do not see that the maracyn has achieved that. Sorry for repeating myself since you’ve already given input on this but i just wanted to clarify which out of the options you’ve mentioned would have the best chance at getting him to recover the quickest? thanks again a lot
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #20
Hi,

If he has more white spots, and they are on his body, I would say go with the Ich - X treatment.

If you don't see more of the white spots, then I would try the methylene blue and aquarium salt treatment. I was wondering if the maracyn would help.

When trying to fight fin rot, it really is best to use an antibiotic that treats gram negative bacteria, like Maracyn 2 or API Fin and Body Cure. But the methylene blue has helped me in the past with fin rot, and so has the aquarium salt.

Keep me updated!!! I hope that everything goes well, and Kyoko gets better soon!!! :emoji_two_hearts:
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I have not seen more white spots on his body so i’m assuming its not ich but would you say there is some other illnesses likely if he is swimming all crazy other than fin rot i should be trying to treat or would just treating the fin rot be the priority (or potentially the only issue)? I would have known to try Maracyn 2 instead of regular maracyn was not what aquarium co op had recommended. Do you think trying maracyn two is worth a shot? Im only interested in maracyn 2, or the api fin and body care, because i’m worried about transporting him into another tank for the methalyn blue, and same applies with doing a salt bath treatment, but i wouldn’t have this issue with just adding more salt to the water after doing a water change of the maracyn tomorrow but i’m not sure that would be a quick method of recovering him as an antibiotic at this point.
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #22
If you would feel more comfortable trying another med over the methylene blue, then go ahead and try that. Either one of the two should help. I have used Maracyn 2 along with aquarium salt in the tank at the same time, and I am sure you could do the same thing with the fin and body cure.

I guess I am not sure about his erratic swimming. That has me puzzled. Is he doing that all of the time? Are his lights on when you see him doing it? Is he glass surfing, or is he swimming around very fast, and then sinking to the bottom? Just trying to figure that part out...
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
the erratic swimming happens occasionally, most of the time he is at the bottom not moving in various spots, usually in the corner or the front against the glass where is meets the substrate, he goes up to the surface to get a breathe every now and then and then swims back down to the bottom, but sometimes while doing this, usually i only see it if his light is on but it could be happening when it’s not on too and i’m not aware of it, he starts to swim quickly in all directions in quick spurts very quickly, he also will kinda shimmy along the side/bottom of the glass and change the direction he’s facing so i wouldn’t really say glass surfing but looks like trying to itch himself potentially but i’m not sure. Most of the time though he just sits at the bottom, also sometimes his head is lower than the rest of the body kinda like he is burying it so i’m gonna assume my light in the tank is too bright and try find a way to make it dimmer.
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
If you would feel more comfortable trying another med over the methylene blue, then go ahead and try that. Either one of the two should help. I have used Maracyn 2 along with aquarium salt in the tank at the same time, and I am sure you could do the same thing with the fin and body cure.

I guess I am not sure about his erratic swimming. That has me puzzled. Is he doing that all of the time? Are his lights on when you see him doing it? Is he glass surfing, or is he swimming around very fast, and then sinking to the bottom? Just trying to figure that part out...
Also wanted to add that Kyoko has been swimming today more than he has been, more similar to a healthy fish and at the surface of the water sometimes. I think his fin rot is still getting worse though but i’d say he has now shown some signs of improvement just regarding his behavior. Not sure if this changes anything and if i should continue to treat him with another antibiotic. I think i am going to go the route of Maracyn 2 or Melafix (since they are the same active ingredient). Would you recommend one over the other?
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
ok so i went out and got methalyne blue and set up another smaller tank with it. I used a cup to transport him and very unfortunately he jumped out of the cup and was on the table for a second out of water. I quickly got him into the methalyne blue tank and he seemed to be doing well in it, i left him soaking in it for 30 minutes and while he was soaking i did a water change about 50%. I think this was definitely a mistake and put him through too much change in his environment because now that i’ve put him back into the bigger tank he is staying in the same corner of the tank and breathing heavily. I don’t know what steps to take next and i’m scared of doing another methalyne bath because of how stressful it seemed to him and how he fell out of the cup. It’s too scary and now i don’t know what to do. there is some methalyne blue in the main tank from transferring him in a cup. i don’t want to keep transporting him so i think i will try the maracyn 2 tomorrow if he is still alive :(
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #26
So sorry that he jumped out of the cup!!!! :(

It was beginning to sound like he was doing better, and now this! Bettas do tend to jump sometimes. I am sorry that he looks like he is suffering after the jumping and the methylene blue bath. Give him some time, and I think that he will de-stress. He will be ok even though he jumped out as long as there are no internal injuries. I have seen threads on this site where bettas jumped out of the tank and landed on the floor and survived.

I think the Maracyn 2 is a good idea. If he has any internal bacterial problems, this med is a good one to use, both for external and internal issues.

The water change was good. I would avoid using betta fix or melafix, as they contain tea tree oil, and that can interfere with a betta's labyrinth organ. They are marketed as being herbal, natural remedies. Many fish stores sell it, and it may help out other fish that do not have labyrinth organs, but it is not good for bettas. I used it when I first got into keeping bettas, and it never did anything other than smell up my tank.

I have great hope that Kyoko will get better soon!!! Sending good thoughts your way!
Oh, I also saw the post about an ammonia jump. The antibiotics do kill off your beneficial bacteria, so you may have to do some water changes to get that down. That may be why Kyoko is breathing heavily. If you have some Prime water conditioner by Seachem, it will actually hold the toxicity of low levels of ammonia and nitrite. And you can over dose it if necessary. It should hold the toxicity for 24 to 48 hours. It's what a lot of people use when they are doing a fish-in cycle.
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
So sorry that he jumped out of the cup!!!! :(

It was beginning to sound like he was doing better, and now this! Bettas do tend to jump sometimes. I am sorry that he looks like he is suffering after the jumping and the methylene blue bath. Give him some time, and I think that he will de-stress. He will be ok even though he jumped out as long as there are no internal injuries. I have seen threads on this site where bettas jumped out of the tank and landed on the floor and survived.

I think the Maracyn 2 is a good idea. If he has any internal bacterial problems, this med is a good one to use, both for external and internal issues.

The water change was good. I would avoid using betta fix or melafix, as they contain tea tree oil, and that can interfere with a betta's labyrinth organ. They are marketed as being herbal, natural remedies. Many fish stores sell it, and it may help out other fish that do not have labyrinth organs, but it is not good for bettas. I used it when I first got into keeping bettas, and it never did anything other than smell up my tank.

I have great hope that Kyoko will get better soon!!! Sending good thoughts your way!
Oh, I also saw the post about an ammonia jump. The antibiotics do kill off your beneficial bacteria, so you may have to do some water changes to get that down. That may be why Kyoko is breathing heavily. If you have some Prime water conditioner by Seachem, it will actually hold the toxicity of low levels of ammonia and nitrite. And you can over dose it if necessary. It should hold the toxicity for 24 to 48 hours. It's what a lot of people use when they are doing a fish-in cycle.
Ok thank you so much that makes me feel much better. You’ve been a great help to me and it’s really appreciated. So yeah i’m not sure i’ll do another methylene bath since i really have trouble transporting him since he really runs from the cup. With the ammonia, right now i will do a 30% water change. And see where it’s at tomorrow. But i’m still not sure what cause the spike in the first place since my tap water has zero ammonia, do you think it could be the cup of the blue water? (or potentially the almond leaves being present with the blue water?) I took them out in case that’s the issue and right now my ph is at 7.0. I will get the prime conditioner tomorrow for this, do you think there is anything else i should get at the store to help? I think after i get the ammonia to zero i will try continue treating the fin rot with the maracyn 2 treatment since i understand how to dose it.
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #28
Just a little of the methylene blue in the tank wouldn't kill off a lot of beneficial bacteria. If you used it at full dose in the tank, it would. Is this in the small tank (hospital tank), or your main tank?

If the ammonia is in the tank that you dosed him in with the Maracyn, then that is an antibiotic and that did kill off some beneficial bacteria.

I think that the maracyn 2 is the way to go for the fin rot, along with some aquarium salt.

I think that the Prime water conditioner will allow you to treat Kyoko in the tank, and add the Prime to hold the toxicity of the ammonia so it won't hurt him. I know that you aren't supposed to do water changes while doing the treatment, so by adding Prime every day or other day (follow the instructions on the bottle), he should be ok.

Doing the big water change now has probably helped a lot.

The Indian almond leaves will bring the ph down a little, but not enough to hurt anything. A ph of 7 is fine for bettas.

I think you have everything that you need besides the Prime. - aquarium salt, maracyn 2, and Prime should be it....you have stress coat, in case you need it, and Indian almond leaves, too....

You have built a pretty good betta medicine kit....
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Just a little of the methylene blue in the tank wouldn't kill off a lot of beneficial bacteria. If you used it at full dose in the tank, it would. Is this in the small tank (hospital tank), or your main tank?

If the ammonia is in the tank that you dosed him in with the Maracyn, then that is an antibiotic and that did kill off some beneficial bacteria.

I think that the maracyn 2 is the way to go for the fin rot, along with some aquarium salt.

I think that the Prime water conditioner will allow you to treat Kyoko in the tank, and add the Prime to hold the toxicity of the ammonia so it won't hurt him. I know that you aren't supposed to do water changes while doing the treatment, so by adding Prime every day or other day (follow the instructions on the bottle), he should be ok.

Doing the big water change now has probably helped a lot.

The Indian almond leaves will bring the ph down a little, but not enough to hurt anything. A ph of 7 is fine for bettas.

I think you have everything that you need besides the Prime. - aquarium salt, maracyn 2, and Prime should be it....you have stress coat, in case you need it, and Indian almond leaves, too....

You have built a pretty good betta medicine kit....
The ammonia was in the main tank and i did the methylene treatment as directed on the bottle, 10 drops per gallon in the separate bath tank so 25 drops in the 2.5 gallon bath tank. After doing a 30 percent water change the ammonia level in the main tank looks the same as it did before if not a little worse. Not sure why the ammonia is happening suddenly, i haven’t been having issues with the ammonia at all until using the metheyle blue. Not sure what to do now since this water change didn’t improve the ammonia? Is there anything else i can do to get rid of the ammonia? I know that the prime holds the ammonia low but does that mean it reduces it too or just makes it stable if there is already no ammonia? is there another product maybe that’s good for getting rid of ammonia? below is my ammonia test after the water change
 

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Cupcakevirgo
  • #30
The prime will bind the ammonia into a form that is not toxic to fish but is still used up by the BB. I would keep doing prime so that the BB in your tank build back up enough to handle your current spike. I also like Seachem stability as a product (usually I just do this for new tanks).
Mostly I just wanted to say I hope your betta does better soon. I dont have anything to really add to the discussion. Just good luck *hugs*
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
The prime will bind the ammonia into a form that is not toxic to fish but is still used up by the BB. I would keep doing prime so that the BB in your tank build back up enough to handle your current spike. I also like Seachem stability as a product (usually I just do this for new tanks).
Mostly I just wanted to say I hope your betta does better soon. I dont have anything to really add to the discussion. Just good luck *hugs*
thanks so much wow this is the friendliest site! i will make sure to get the Prime asap!<3
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Ok so today i did a 3 liter water change for the 5 gallon tank (around 30 percent) and treated the new water with the Prine conditioner before putting in the new water. I waited a few minutes and just did another ammonia test. The ammonia level is still the same if not a bit worse (between .25 and .50) My pH and nitrate/nitrite are still the same at 0 and about 7 for the pH. I know it’s not advised to do more than a 30 percent water change each day which is what i have done for the past 2 days. I also added a small sponge intake pre filter to add more filtration and allow BB to grow (though i know that the medicine i will use next, Maracyn 2, will kill of BB. I just feel very bad knowing the water quality is so much worse than it was two days ago and he’s going through so much and don’t know when i should expect the ammonia to start going down with the Prime? His fin rot is still progressing a lot on his bottom fin and so i am desperate to get the ammonia in the tank down so i can start treating with maracyn 2 (and potentially some aquarium salt). thank you!
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #33
I think that you could change out 50 to 60% of the water at a time, and it would not be an issue. The ammonia isn't going to go down until the bb gets going really well. Even though you are seeing ammonia, the Prime is doing it's job - keeping the ammonia toxicity down. Just keep dosing with Prime as needed.
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
ok great! thanks
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #35
ok so today is the third day where i haven’t been medicating kyoko and just been trying to get the ammonia down in the tank by doing around a 30% water change each day. He has gotten definitely a good bit better as he will now consistently eat from the surface of the water and swims more normally. I’m not sure if the ammonia in the tank is down enough to start medicating with the maracyn 2. I think the fin rot is still worsening despite his behavior improving so i want to treat his asap but not sure if i can yet because of the ammonia. The latest water test is shown below. Thank you!
 

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Cupcakevirgo
  • #36
I feel like a lot of times the api test kit will show .25 falsely, but ask for verification from other members.
I feel like if he is acting better that is a great sign.
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
yeah ive seen that in the past so i think it could be 0 although when i test just my tap water it is a little more yellow and less green so not sure. Thanks!
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #38
Does the Maracyn 2 have instructions for a fish bath? I don't remember....if it does, it might be worth doing since you are trying to get the tank straight but need to treat for the fin rot...
 
aryekyoko
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
the directions do not have instructions for a bath and after the incident where he jumped and seeing how stressful it seemed to him i think i’m gonna try to keep moving him to a different tank to a minimum. After the last ammonia test i just did after waiting an hour post water change I think it’s safe to say the ammonia is at 0 or close to it. Do you think it’s too risky to try the maracyn right now since the tank just recently got down to 0 ammonia. I definitely don’t want it to spike again especially since im supposed to do minimal water changes during the treatment. Maybe should i wait a few more days? Or should i maybe put something in the tank to help with BB like quick start or a bio rock maybe? Don’t know if that would do anything cause the maracyn kills it but maybe it could help? Also I know the ammonia is probably now just so low because of the prime which you said lasts only 24/48 hours, so i’m not sure if that actually means the water quality is good enough to try more medication?
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #40
If you see the fin rot progressing, I would medicate. The maracyn 2 will kill the bb. If it looks like the fin rot is stable, and not progressing, you can wait a few more days.

It's a tough choice, but if it were me, I would go with treating the fish. Even though it says not to change water during the course of the treatment, I would change small amounts, and add a bit more medicine than is called for along with the water changes, and add Prime at the over dose amount every other day.

Depending on how many packets of medicine you have, you could take one packet, and divide the medicine in it into maybe 4 doses (I think I read that it's 2 ozs for each packet for a 10 gallon tank, so break it up into a half of an oz for each extra dose). Since it says to dose with 2 packets the first day, I would not do a water change for that first big dose.

If you change one fourth of the water on the 2nd day, then you add the right amount of meds along with one of the 4 doses that you set aside. The medicine does not go away with time. It is either filtered out with activated charcoal, or taken out in water changes. So the addition of more meds results in a cumulative effect over the course of a treatment.

If you go to the Fritz web site, you can ask questions there. Just be mindful that they have their own products as far as water conditioners and will recommend that you use them over the Prime. Here is the web site...

Fritz Maracyn 2
 

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