Sick betta, please help!!

Sarinaobrien24

Hello, can someone help me identify what my betta is sick with and how to help him!! I've had my betta for a couple months now in an established 5 gallon tank that's been set up for at least 6 months. It is a cycled, planted aquarium that has a sponge filter and a heater that stays around 80 degrees F. I regularly test my parameters around every 2 months and they never really change much. PH is around 6.8 , ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, and nitrate is 5ppm.

About 3 months after I got him he developed 2 weird white patches on his scales but they were small and didn't seem to effect his behavior and he still seemed happy and healthy. It didn't look fluffy like columnaris but I was still concerned so I started giving him aquarium salt baths about every other day but it never really did anything. I stopped the salt baths and was looking into what it might be and how to medicate him but he still seemed fine. Eventually before I was able to figure out what it was I was dealing with, it just went away on it's own and I stopped worrying about it. About 2 months later he developed fin-rot and i started giving him salt baths again to help but it only seemed to slow it down. I had been busy with school and haven't had time to properly do enough research where I'm comfortable medicating him for his fin-rot and since it wasn't progressing I wasn't that worried.

About two weeks ago he looses a lot of his fins. Then about 9 days ago he comes down with dropsy. I've experienced this before and I was prepared for it. As soon as I noticed his pineconing I set him up in a 4 gallon hospital tank in a bucket with a heater and added kanaplex and water conditioner. I gave him an epsom salt bath to help with the bloating and pineconing. He honestly wasn't pineconing that bad and was still eating but he was a little lethargic and slow. The next morning he seemed a lot less lethargic but he had about the same amount of pineconing.

While giving him his salt bath I noticed little white hair like fluff on different parts of his body (not his fins, mouth or gills) it was only a little bit and must have developed that night. I did one 100% water change after 48 hours on kanaplex, redosed and then did another 100% water changed and I changed his medication. I figured what I saw was fungal (now I think it may be columnaris) and started him on Jungle Fungal clear tablets. The next 2 days the little white spots cleared up a whole bunch but after more research I thought that what he had was bacterial and not fungal so I switched back to kanaplex after 48 hours on the fungal medication. He's had a total of 4 days on kanaplex, then I changed him to jungle fungal clear for 2 days and then back to kanaplex for 2 days. I've also been doing an epsom salt bath everyday since I noticed he's been pineconing. I also added API stresscoat plus to help his slimecoat because of all the recent salt baths.

Over the span of the last week he's improved a lot and I honestly thought I was going to lose him the first couple days. The pineconing is very minimal but still noticeable which concerns me but he's eating, swimming and not acting lethargic but is still kind of slow (not sure if that's just because he's recovering or if he's just uncomfortable being out of his usual tank). He swims with the bottom half of his body more angled towards the ground and doesn't really swim with his tail. I can tell he's uncomfortable and definitely not back to his normal happy self and still has clamped fins. You can barely see but there are some tiny, tiny white spots.

I honestly don't know what to do at this point. He's acting a lot better but the minimal pineconing really concerns me because I know dropsy can advance and be fatal very quickly. I did a complete water change on his usual tank about 4 days ago and added his usual filter back and I just tested it today and it's cycled and ready for him. I'm not sure if I want to keep medicating him because he's already been through about 9 days on meds and If he's looking better I don't want to make it worse, but I don't want any of his symptoms to bounce back either. I think he would be much happier in his usual home though. I'm wondering if his warm, clean tank with some stresscoat plus and tannins would be better then pumping him full of any more meds. I don't even know what medications I should use next because he's already been on kanaplex for about 6 days total and I'm not totally sure what he's suffering from. Can someone help me figure out what he has and what my next step should be? I added some pictures but you can only see the severity of his fins and his pineconing. The white spots won't show up on camera and honestly I don't think many people could see it with their eyes either because it's so small.
 

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Purplemermaid

Aw poor boy. How long is it usually between his water changes (before he got sick and currently), and how much water do you change each time?
 

CindiL

Hi, I’m unable to see the pics, they appear to be PDF instead of GIF. Pineconing is a sign of kidney failure as I’m sure you know and is very hard to cure unless caught early on. Dropsy will usually be fatal if untreated and sometimes even with treatment it’s hard to reverse the damage done to the kidneys.

Kanaplex dosing is 3 doses done every 48 hours. The active ingredient in jungle clear tabs is nitrofurazone which is often recommended as a dual treatment with kanaplex for severe dropsy. Because you’ve already done 2 doses of kanaplex? You could do one more dose of kanaplex and the recommended dosage for the jungle tabs. Neither will hurt the bio-filter in his tank so you should be able to dose them in there where he’s more comfortable.

I’d continue with epsom salt baths also and after finishing medication if he still has dropsy you can add a small amount of epsom to his tank. I think 1/4 tsp per 10g Is the recommended dosage.
 

Sarinaobrien24

Hi, I’m unable to see the pics, they appear to be PDF instead of GIF. Pineconing is a sign of kidney failure as I’m sure you know and is very hard to cure unless caught early on. Dropsy will usually be fatal if untreated and sometimes even with treatment it’s hard to reverse the damage done to the kidneys.

Kanaplex dosing is 3 doses done every 48 hours. The active ingredient in jungle clear tabs is nitrofurazone which is often recommended as a dual treatment with kanaplex for severe dropsy. Because you’ve already done 2 doses of kanaplex? You could do one more dose of kanaplex and the recommended dosage for the jungle tabs. Neither will hurt the bio-filter in his tank so you should be able to dose them in there where he’s more comfortable.

I’d continue with epsom salt baths also and after finishing medication if he still has dropsy you can add a small amount of epsom to his tank. I think 1/4 tsp per 10g Is the recommended dosage.
I have a mystery snail as well as multiple ram horn snails in his usual tank, I was wondering if it was okay to medicate kanaplex and jungle tabs with them in there? I've finished his 3 doses of kanaplex and plan on moving him back to his usual tank later tonight. Should I continue with another cycle of Kanaplex since he's still pineconing? I will continue the epsom salt baths until his pineconing has gone down all the way. I would prefer giving him baths instead of putting it directly into his tank with the snails. I heard that fin-rot and dropsy together most likely mean it's bacterial, does that mean I should stop medicating him with the fungal tabs? Any other medications I should look into and make sure I have them on hand?
 

CindiL

I heard that fin-rot and dropsy together most likely mean it's bacterial, does that mean I should stop medicating him with the fungal tabs? Any other medications I should look into and make sure I have them on hand?
Nitrofurazone is an antibiotic, it’s confusing they call the medicine Jungle Fungus tabs I know. They are also often recommended together for columnraris. Kanaplex is a very strong medicine so I’d hold off on it I think and just use the tabs. They can be used for a couple rounds with a large water change in between.
Those two meds are your best bet for dropsy.
 

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