Severe Fin Rot, Help Needed

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What is the water volume of the tank? Currently in hospital tank 2.5 gall
How long has the tank been running? About a week? It has filter media from main tank though
Does it have a filter? Yes over the side/back type low-flow
Does it have a heater? Yes, but not on because it's too hot in apt/keep checking temp
What is the water temperature? 78.8
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 half moon double tail male betta

How often do you change the water? This is a hospital tank, I changed today 65% after days of meds
How much of the water do you change? ^^
What do you use to treat your water? Seachem Prime, Seachem Stress Guard, Dark Water IAL extract
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? He's in a hospital tank atm, I use turkey baster on substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? It's hospital tank with bioballs & sponge from main tank filter
What do you use to test the water? API test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: haven't checked
pH: 7.2 - kinda high after Jungle Clear treatment, I think it might have affected it bc it has colour?

How often do you feed your fish? Once a day or every other day, but this week, 4x out of 7 days
How much do you feed your fish? A few bloodworms or a small amount of frozen daphnia or frozen brine shrimp with spirulina at a time
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Do you feed frozen? Yes, see above
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? Since Jan
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Just over a week ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Fin rot - ragged fins, small holes, then he had an injury, snail pushed driftwood and it trapped his back fin, damaging it, and fast-moving fin rot ensued
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Yes, full round of kanaplex (every other day) + one day of Jungle Fungus Clear
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? Possibly
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? After the injury he was pretty shaken up, and I moved him to the quarantine/hospital tank which was stressful, but he still seemed himself for the most part, just a little less active. Since the Jungle Fungus Clear + Kanaplex together day, he's gotten much less active, not himself, some jutting around randomly, then just laying at bottom of tank. His fuzzy edges had cleared up at day 5, and I thought he was turning around, but he lost more of his dorsal fin and lots of blackening. Very little of dorsal fin remains

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
Hi, I posted a q on an existing thread that referenced most of the treatment protocol by Fishproblem Fishproblem I have tried for Cyrus, and I'm going to copy that here w/a few edits:
I'm in need of a little advice, [and think you might be able to help since] I've pretty much followed this protocol.
My betta is currently battling mild to severe fin rot and is in a 2.5 gal hospital tank w/ filter that has bio media (no carbon) from main tank for beneficial bacteria. He's been battling this quickly progressing case of fin rot that began after he had an injury. I have seen moderate improvement using just aquarium salt in the past, but used Kanaplex to fully cure his fin rot once before, and seeing the rate of progression with this, I felt like I needed to skip right to the antibiotics. All water parameters are good in this hospital tank atm, though I did notice the ph rose after JFC was added (though since JFC also adds color, Idk if that swayed the API liquid test kit ph test results?), so I put in a few drops of Dark Water (IAL extract) in addition to the leaf in there to help lower it. He's used to Dark Water IAL extract/I use it in main tank with wcs and I used it before with Kanaplex. The water conditioner I use is Seachem Prime, + a couple of drops of Seachem Stress Guard, I previously used all of these without any issue in conjunction with Kanaplex. He's been eating ok, (only fed him small amounts 4x during the week), but hanging at bottom of tank mostly/conserving energy. I didn't know you could combine Jungle Fungus w/Kanaplex until I looked into it more, that's why I did not begin using it till Day 5.

Day One: One Dose Kanaplex
Day Two: No medication/wc
Day Three: Dose Kanaplex IAL leaf added to tank
Day Four: No medication/wc
Day Five: One Dose Jungle Fungus Clear + One Dose Kanaplex
Day Six: No medication/wc
Day Seven: 65% water change, added 1 tblspn aquarium salt

Day 5 after adding the JFC, the fuzzy edges on his fins were gone, and I thought things were turning around, but his energy levels went down, and today, day 7, he had more loss of fins/parts falling off leaving just the "spokes." His dorsal still remains quite darkened as well, and looks worse than 2 days ago. I'm worried more of it will fall off. There isn't much left as it is! Could it just be that the darkened parts are going to fall off anyway? Idk, but it's pretty bad. His other fins besides the dorsal aren't as bad/do have splits and a little darkening at the tail, but I really worry about his mobility and pain with the significant dorsal fin damage/loss and potential for it reaching his body!!!

I have been intermittently using an airstone to help oxygenate the water especially after adding the JFC. I haven't slept more than 3 hours straight this week/have alarms set up for every 25-45 minutes (obv overslept some to get that 3 hours in! :p), to turn on the air stone on for a few minutes, then off because it's just too powerful for him... I ordered a valve that should be here tomorrow and hopefully will help with that. I also am checking to make sure temp is steady because of my fluctuating apartment temp/heat, and turning the heater on or off if needed. Thankfully it has been consistent between 77-79. I also added a large floating lotus leaf today from his main tank so he can rest on it and be closer to the surface.

The question I have, considering how bad the dorsal is looking is, how soon is too soon to start a 2nd dose/treatment? I would like to keep doing salt w/ 50% wcs every other day (it's pretty low dose atm only 1 tblspn w/the water change today in 2.5 gall tank), and wonder your thoughts on salt during "rest week?" I worry about things moving to his body, and it's unclear right now if there's a halt to the progression/ if the fins are melting away because they were going to anyway/were already blackened, or if this is still actively progressing. I also have Maracyn 1 & 2 on hand if that would be advisable vs another round of the Kanaplex/JFC. I really am unsure about the JFC, because prior to adding that to the mix, he had more energy and was more "himself." Today would have been a day to add more of the JFC if I did a full water change. I opted for 65% as I can still see the coloring from the JFC in the tank. Adding the JFC is the main difference this time from when I previously used Kanaplex alone and he fully recovered from fin rot (though it was much milder then). It just seems the Kanaplex & JFC together are too much for him, seeing his super low energy/activity with both + heavy breathing. But maybe it's not enough, since the fins look worse today... :( Thoughts?

I've also called the only local emergency vet listed online as taking fish, but the exotic doc was out for the day & receptionist was unsure if she sees fish/said the one that did left last year. :/

I appreciate any help you can offer as far as next steps... maybe I'm just impatient? But I do worry about the further dorsal fin loss shown today. If you have insight on whether or not fins that have blackened are bound to fall off anyway or not, that might set my mind at ease some! Thanks in advance!!
Posting pics first 3 are 7/17, next 3 are from 7/19, last 3 are from today


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  • #2
So do I understand correctly that in that 2.5gl tank there was one 65% WC at day 7, no other WC was performed, plus medicating the tank?
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
So do I understand correctly that in that 2.5gl tank there was one 65% WC at day 7, no other WC was performed, plus medicating the tank?
Correct, as he went into a fresh, hospital tank at day 1 and the medicines required no WCs in between. He barely ate or pooped in that time & I turkey basted it when he did poop + did water tests.

I'm really freaking out like this is do-or-die time... I'm thinking either add the additional tablespoon of aquarium salt that would be 2 tblspns for the 2.5 gall, (tank is filled just a little lower than I'd usually fill it bc I wanted him to not have to work so hard to get to the top) as the lightest option, OR use Maracyn 2 now?!? Or 3rd option being a 4th dose of Kanaplex... (Monday afternoon was 3rd dose) I did see someone suggest another kanaplex round after wc for persistent fin rot... There are def JFC remnants in there and possibly a smidge of kanaplex, as that supposedly stays in for 48 hours, but it's been 55 hours since last med now. 35% of med water remains w/fresh water w/the 1 tblspoon of aq salt. I think he's just deteriorating rapidly and I gotta do something
On hand I have: Kordon methylene blue, kanaplex, maracyn 1 & 2, JFClear and aq salt
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Update: I've given another kanaplex dose after reading on Seachem's site that back to back doses are alright for bad cases. There's been more dorsal fin loss though still... he's active, but that fin is not looking good at all, what's left is mostly blackened. :(
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  • #5
Improvement today in Cyrus's behavior and activity. I gave him a bath in methylene blue & planning to continue 2nd course of kanaplex. Possibly give him JFC tab tonight. I won't waste much time on updates here since no one really replied before. Thank you Fishproblem for your response on other post!! <3 Today's pics. (Looks wacky in background bc I attached beach/sea calendar pics on all sides of tank so he doesn't see his reflection)


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  • #6
I think that your are far down the road of medication, and as fishlore members are limited in their advice other then to call a fish vet. I am sorry that you have to go through this heart ache, and I hope that he will survive and get better.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I think that your are far down the road of medication, and as fishlore members are limited in their advice other then to call a fish vet. I am sorry that you have to go through this heart ache, and I hope that he will survive and get better.
Thanks, the earliest I can get to see the visiting vet is Wed, so set up a tentative appt. He's actually very lively and in good spirits/mood. I bumped up the salt to 1 tblspn per gall bc I do now think the whiteness on his fins is columnaris, it seems to have spread ever so slightly and I'm not taking any chances. JFC dose in the afternoon and prob will do kanaplex tonight (would be 2nd dose of 2nd round, last one 48). He's really got a strong will and giving me hope, so I'm trying to stay positive! I appreciate the reply!! :)
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Update - Cyrus had begun getting the white saddleback look and was diagnosed by mobile vet with columnaris on July 28th. Vet suggested I do a 3rd round of the kanaplex/JFC combo along with the methylene blue baths I had begun, but to mix the kanaplex/JFC into food instead of in water column (had given final dose of round 2 of this combo with food). We also discussed giving kaolin clay baths per my research with this being effective against columnaris in catfish (kaolin is actually being sold under some brand name to fisheries for this use). The vet seemed to think it was worth a try and suggested dosage. I did not give JFC for a third round, but did 2 more doses of kanaplex reduced to food serving dosage size over 3 days and continued methylene blue baths daily or every other day. I combined methylene blue with a small pinch of kaolin clay in bath and Cyrus tolerated it well. The following day he showed great improvement, so I repeated this 1.5 days later and again a third time (kaolin clay/methylene blue combo bath), each time leaving him only in for 1-3 minutes. During this time, he also had aquarium salt in his quarantine tank at approx 3/4 tablespoon per gallon, which I knew he could tolerate as he had done so earlier in the year fighting off the first bout of fin rot. Water temp was kept low between 75.5-77 to stave off further spread of the bacteria. I did water changes every 2-3 days, at first adding salt back in to replace, but then kerning that back to just conditioned water (using Prime, Stress Guard & 16-22 drops of Dark Water IAL extract each time) without the salt.He also has an IAL leaf in the tank with him. He continued to improve and all the white spots/areas on his back and fins have started to regain his normal coloring, fins have regrown and he's doing quite well! I haven't really read about too many people "curing" columnaris once the saddleback shows up and wanted to share this treatment I used in case it helps someone else. I'll update with before/after pics soon.

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