Repeat Antibiotic Treatment?

  1. RosaGarden

    RosaGarden Initiate Member

    So my betta's finrot got worse while I was treating him with Bettafix. I think that could have been partly a water quality problem. But I discontinued that treatment when I read that it doesn't actually kill bacteria. Then I tried a course of Marineland All-in-one remedy, following the directions. Didn't work. Then I tried daily water changes with 3 tsp/gallon of aquarium salt. Fin rot was still progressing, though slowly. Now I am on day 3 of Tetracycline AND 3 tsp/gallon of aquarium salt. I need to stop the salt treatment or reduce it after the final dose of Tetracycline, because I read he shouldn't be on that high dose for more than 10 days. I know aquarium salt is controversial in the first place, but I don't know who to believe. EVERY treatment is stressful/potentially damages organs, so I don't know. I just know he is SO happy and does not outwardly seem stressed at all. My question is how I know whether to repeat the Tetracycline treatment after tomorrow. I think the increased tearing I see now is a result of the continuous motion of a delicate structure, though I can't be sure. It is possible the fin rot has stopped getting worse, but it's so hard to tell if the progression is just slowed. We are talking super tiny surface area here. There is a red spot on the tear on his upper fin and a red spot on the tear on his tail. By the way, he is mostly transparent except for some dark spots on his body and full body and fin iridescence, so I would know if there were any more red spots than this. This is the most difficult case of finrot I ever remember seeing. I don't remember ever having failed before when I used to keep bettas. I think part of the problem may be his tail was already shorter from it when I got him, but I had no way of knowing at the time since it was the first time I saw him. He has a lot of fin left, but I have been terrified it would spread to his body. So how do I know whether I need to do another course of Tetracycline? I'm assuming I'm supposed to do a 100% water change before repeating. For those who are not completely opposed to the use of aquarium salt, should I give him a reduced dose after tomorrow or none at all? I am really wondering if this is just a salt resistent strain anyway.
  2. KinsKicks

    KinsKicks Fishlore VIP Member


    It sounds like quite the ordeal! If your sure your water quality isn't bad (how often were your WC and what are your parameters) I suggest this: get all of that aquarium salt and medication out; if your cycled, you should have no problem doing an extremely large water change (90%) and add carbon back to your filter to remove the meds. You've done quite the combo, and I think it's better to stop (or at least take a break) the artificial treatment before it takes a toll of your Betta.

    Therefore, get yourself some Indian Almnd Leaves; this stuff is completely natural and works wonders for Bettas. It will stain your water (from the tannins), but that's exactly what you want. I would do at least, every other day WC (35-50%...depending on what your Betta is used to) and make sure you use enough of the leaves to make sure the water stays stained (a tea color)

    Can you take a pic as well?
  3. OP

    RosaGarden Initiate Member

    Took this with my phone. Am going to post a longer reply on my computer in a sec.View attachment 332769

    Took this with my phone. Am going to post a longer reply on my computer in a sec. 8c6e2c9bed1ba103a684f71b80709604.jpg

    Thank you for your reply, Kinskicks! I put him in the tank four days ago with new water. The tank is not cycled, but the antibiotics would have killed the good bacteria anyway. Since the Tetracycline instructions are very specific about water changes during treatment, I have seen no real point in trying to test the water. I plan to do a 100 percent water change tomorrow anyway, after the first cycle of antibiotics is finished.

    I do think I will discontinue salt treatment after tomorrow. However, I am hesitant to stop the antibiotics. I do understand the concern about overstressing him and appreciate your advice in that regard. The issue I have is that I could breed antibiotic resistent bacteria by stopping too soon. It's the same as if a doctor told you to take your full 10 days of antibiotics even if you feel better because otherwise you are giving the bacteria that are not fully dead yet a chance to mutate and adapt to the antibiotics still in your system. Then if antibiotics are actually the only thing that would cure him, I could be dooming him by stopping too soon because I won't be able to restart again unless a different antibiotic is different enough that the bacteria are not resistent to it. While healthy living and habits are the best policy for fish and humans both, sometimes that's not enough for humans either and antibiotics are necessary (though I would also agree they are overused on humans). I am wondering how you or others would respond to these concerns of mine and I very much appreciate your input.

    I also read somewhere that if three full courses of antibiotics fail, you should give the fish a one week vacation before trying a different type of antibiotics. This sounds like sound advice to me. But I'd be willing to try the almond leaves instead of a different antibiotic in that case.

    I also do have Indian Almond Leaves on order, but they might not arrive for several weeks. I also have Seachem stability on order and it should be here in just a few days. In the meantime, I don't want the fin rot to get worse.

    Do you have actual experience with using almond leaves in a cycled tank alone to cure fin rot? And, if you do, do you think that maybe the fact that you caught it at an earlier stage is responsible for curing the finrot? Or do you just have experience with correctly cycled water and the leaves in combinations totally preventing the rot?

    I know these are a lot of detailed questions so sorry if it's a lot to sort through. I just want to be scientific about the matter in hopes I can save him by thinking through every last contingency. :D

    Edit: Thank you so much to the moderator who helped me remove my accidental repeated picture posts!