Treating fin rot

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Eskielvr

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Last night before bed I checked on my Betta (I always watch him for a while before going to bed) and he looked great. This morning I turn on the light and his tail is split completely from the tip to the base. He's a veil tail that now looks like a split tail. The edges are ragged looking also. I'm currently treating my 20 gallon with Tetracycline from API, and it says to use 1 packet per 10 gallons (powder). Problem is I don't know how to divide the powder packet evenly for my 5 gallon. I do have some ParaGard left, and it mentions fin and tail rot, but I've had it since '01 or '02. One lfs said it didn't expire though. It contains malachite green. Would this be good enough or do I need to make another emergency run to the pet store to get a different med? (I also have a snail in the tank now so I need a med that won't hurt it.)
 

chickadee

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Here is the easy way. You take a disposable or some type of cup that you use for fish (clean of course) and put 10 ounces of water in it. Dissolve one packet in it and measure out 1 ounce of each gallon of tank size. (5 gallons = 5 ounces) Unfortunately the remainder will not keep as Tetracycline is not a med that keeps over so you will have to use a new packet for each dose. That is the easiest way unless you want to pour out the packet on an envelope and divide the powder into two equal sized piles and use one of the piles for each 5 gallons. Pour the other pile into an envelope for the next dose. If it is not precisely down to the last grain even do not worry, it will be close enough.

Hope this has helped a bit.

The Tetracycline will not hurt your snail.

Rose
 
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Eskielvr

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Oh thank you so much Rose! That helped a lot! Gee, why can't I ever figure this stuff out? lol Now I can go ahead and start treatment right away.
 

Phloxface

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Is his tail split or does he actually have finrot? A split fin does not always develop finrot. If his tank is cycled and you keep it VERY clean with 25% water changes every second day and keep the gravel vaccumed his tail should heal on it's own.  I don't like to medicate unless it's really needed. I don't want them to develop a resistance to meds by over-medicating.
My females had badly split and torn fins from fighting with each other (I had them together for a few days and when they started fighting I separated them). One fish had almost no tail left from the others chewing and shredding her. I kept their water very clean and didn't medicate. I watched for any signs of finrot. Most of the split fins healed completely in a few days! The fish who lost most of her tail took a little longer but her tail grew back nicely with no finrot.
My advice would be, if his tail is just split give him time and see if he develops finrot. He may not need meds. You should try to figure out if something in the tank like a plastic plant or rough rock/ornament tore his tail and remove the object.
 
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Eskielvr

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The tank's not cycled yet. In fact, I did an ammonia test right before I changed it and it was pretty high. The test says to wait 5 minutes, and I forgot about it so it was closer to 10 minutes before reading it and it was between 1 and 2ppm.

His tail has been fine, he's by himself, and the tail was split completely from base to tip. The tips are also ragged, along with some other less dramatic splits, and it looks like the tips are starting to be eaten away.

I'm not one to opt for "natural" healing methods. I've found by experience that there is a reason there are medicines out there, and they work a lot better than the natural stuff. Treating sickness and disease is so hard with fish. Only once have I been able to treat successfully. I'm sure this is fin rot and I want to catch it and treat it as early as I can.
 

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As long as you think it has already developed into finrot then yes, medicate. However, meds, especially antibiotics are so overused, even with humans, that many bacterias have become resistant. Unless you are really sure a fish needs it, medicating constantly when clean water will do can seriously harm them and make the medicine ineffective in the future when they might REALLY need it.
You will need to do daily 50% water changes and compensate for the loss of meds if the tank is not cycled. Finrot will not heal with ammonia levels that high.  If you have other tanks that are cycled use some filter media to help seed the tank with bacteria.
 
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Eskielvr

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According to the Tetracycline, I'm not supposed to do a water change until the day after the second dose (which would be Saturday), and I'm only supposed to do a 25%, and then repeat the treatment.

I don't understand why (after the treatment is over) I'd need to do daily 50% water changes? My previous Betta was kept in a 1 gallon bowl and I'd do a complete water change once a week. Then I got to where it might get changed once a month or so, and he was in perfect health. This Betta is in a 5 gallon tank with a filter and water temps between 78 to 80 degrees and he's getting sick. It just doesn't make sense. Why did my other Betta do so well in such a small bowl, and this one having problems in an ideal tank? ??? I know the bowl never got cycled, esp since I'd completely drain it and put him back in after a 15 minute float.
 

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Your bowl Betta was just lucky he never got sick, but that doesn't mean he was happy or comfortable in water with ammonia. Test the water and you will see, the ammonia rises to a bad level in less than a day even in a 5 gallon tank. In a bowl even faster. Once a week water change in a bowl would leave the Betta in some pretty strong ammonia. He must have had some discomfort or pain even if he didn't show it. Ammonia burns their skin and gills. Imagine if a person were in a bathtub and forced to pee in it every day. How bad would it be after a week?
You should cycle the tank he is in (this will take up to 6 weeks) and then do about 25% water changes every week and vaccum the gravel every second week. Once a month water change, even in a cycled tank is simply not enough.
 
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The tank has been cycling for about 3 or 4 weeks now. I add some Stress Zyme once a week also. When I checked it last, it had no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates. Oh crud. I forgot. The ammonia test I used had expired (about 2 years ago) and I just bought a new ammonia test this week. I bet that's why it never showed ammonia amounts until now.

Can I still test and get accurate results with the Tetracycline in the tank? I'd like to test the Nitrite and Nitrate levels now too. After I'm done treating the tank, do I do 25% water changes every week with the gravel cleaning every other week like you said? Or do I wait until the tank is done cycling first before I do that? How much/how often should I do after the treatment is over? (After every 2nd dose I'm supposed to do 25%, and then after the fourth and final dose I do one last 25% change.)
 

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The Tetracycline will have no effect on your testing.. That is one thing about it, but it can affect your cycle temporarily. Just be aware that the filter cycle will probably be slowed or you may get a surprise with the testing. If you get ammonia readings do not worry, it is the medication and will straighten out. Just do the water changes as suggested.

Rose
 
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Eskielvr

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Ok, that's good to know. I did a 50% water change and retested for Ammonia last night (after adding the third dose of treatment, per instructions) and it came down to about 1 ppm. That's still pretty high but I can't change it again until tomorrow. I'm supposed to only do a 25% water change but with the ammonia so high, I did a 50%. I checked the other perimeters too and had no Nitrites or Nitrates, so it's still not cycled.

After the treatment is over, I'll do another 50% water change. After that, how often will I need to change the water and how much? (50% every other day until the tank cycles?)
 

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hi! I am dealing with the exact same thing as you - tank not cycled, fin rot - how to treat? I am also doing the water changes every day, just started medicating yesterday with fungus eliminator ( now have yellow water) and can't get accurate readings on my ammnia.

I also ask everyone who helps me how come my friends bettas live for years in dirty water that never cycles and never have a disease. it is hard toa convince people not to use bowls and vases, when you do all the right things and end up with a sick fish. this is my first betta so I am trying to learn as I go from those who have experience.

I almost wished I would have started using cycle or something like that ( no access to Bio Spira) and the tank would be cycled and we could just enjoy our fish!! I think too much medication is as bad as too many chemicals!

I will follow the progress of you and your betta friends as I struggle along with mine. All the best! Val
 

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Eskielvr said:
The tank has been cycling for about 3 or 4 weeks now. I add some Stress Zyme once a week also. When I checked it last, it had no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates. Oh crud. I forgot. The ammonia test I used had expired (about 2 years ago) and I just bought a new ammonia test this week. I bet that's why it never showed ammonia amounts until now.

Can I still test and get accurate results with the Tetracycline in the tank? I'd like to test the Nitrite and Nitrate levels now too. After I'm done treating the tank, do I do 25% water changes every week with the gravel cleaning every other week like you said? Or do I wait until the tank is done cycling first before I do that? How much/how often should I do after the treatment is over? (After every 2nd dose I'm supposed to do 25%, and then after the fourth and final dose I do one last 25% change.)
The Stress Zyme is probably why it's taking so long to cycle. Products such as "Stress Zyme" and "Cycle" do NOT add the same bacteria as BioSpira and will only slow down your cycle. Once you start using them you have to keep using them forever. Best to stop and let your tank cycle normally. Also, make sure the water tests you use are the liquid tests (made by API) and not the test strips which are very inaccurate and more expensive. (for the same price the liquid test gives you 180 tests and the strips give you only 25) If you can't afford the Master Test Kit at least get Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate individual tests.
 

chickadee

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I know that those of you from Canada pay a fortune for the Master Test Kit, but here in America if you purchase the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate tests; you have already spent more than a Master Test Kit will cost at .

I totally agree about the use of the products you have listed and others like them. They are only effective as long as you use them and then they quit and you have to go through the cycle anyway.

Rose
 

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Eskielvr said:
Ok, that's good to know. I did a 50% water change and retested for Ammonia last night (after adding the third dose of treatment, per instructions) and it came down to about 1 ppm. That's still pretty high but I can't change it again until tomorrow. I'm supposed to only do a 25% water change but with the ammonia so high, I did a 50%. I checked the other perimeters too and had no Nitrites or Nitrates, so it's still not cycled.

After the treatment is over, I'll do another 50% water change. After that, how often will I need to change the water and how much? (50% every other day until the tank cycles?)
How often you do water changes depends on your ammonia readings. Ideally, the ammonia should not get above .25 ppm. How much of the water you change may range anywhere from 25% to 75%(for super high ammonia only) depending on how high your ammonia is. There is really no set guidelines...you just have to go by your readings. A lot of people have to do daily 50% changes though.

It sounds like from your description that he tore his tail on something, and then it became infected due to the ammonia. Is there anything sharp in the tank he could have torn his tail on? (pointy decorations, sharp plastic plants, etc)

And I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but I believe turning the temp up to 83 or so will help the fins heal faster. The higher temp will also help the cycle go faster as the bacteria like higher temps. And yeah Stress Zyme is pretty much a waste of money...
 
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There is one tiny plastic plant in there, but other than that, no, there's nothing really for him to catch it on. Yes I know about the higher temps. I try to keep it at around 80.

I've gone through enough trouble and spent enough money trying to get the Stress Zyme that wasn't frozen, so I'm not going to just through it out after all the hassle I went through to get it. If it doesn't do anything, fine, but I'm going to use it up. I can't afford to spend $40 bucks for 1 oz of Bio Spira. I'm already going to have to get a new Python, since mine broke the other day and soaked me and my bathroom.
 

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The health of your fish should be more important than the cost of a bottle of StressZyme. This product is only going to prolong the cycling process and increase the stress on your fish. You can let it cycle naturally and just do daily water changes. No one said you have to buy the BioSpira. It's up to you though...

Your sig says you have another, I assume cycled, tank. Why not use some used filter media from that tank. Your tank would cycle fairly quickly as long as you stop the StressZyme. I did that with my 3rd and 4th tanks and they cycled within 4 days.
 
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My other tank has a Penguin Bio-Wheel filter, and the filter media get tossed about every 2 weeks. The only thing I have I could put in there would be the Bio-Wheel, and my other tank needs that. Right now there's no filter media in it at all since I'm treating them with the same medication.

So, what happens when you put the Stress Zyme in an established tank then? I've been doing that as well. I remember before the Bio Spira came out, people always used and recommended Cycle. How come it was good enough then but now it's not?
 

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You can use a handful of gravel from the other tank. Just don't rinse it with tap water or it will kill the beneficial bacteria. You can place the gravel in a small clean dish if you don't want to mix it with the other gravel.
The problem with StressZyme and Cycle is that it does NOT contain any live bacteria such as you'd find in BioSpira. They are products designed to make money for the companies that produce them because you have to continue using them forever.
I also used Cycle with my first tank and had nothing but problems until I stopped using it. It took 2 1/2 months for that tank to cycle properly because I slowed it down so much with the Cycle product. My second tank took only 2 weeks to cycle.
 
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Eskielvr

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So how long do you think it'd take for it to cycle once I add some of the gravel from the other tank then? Keep in mind both are being treated with Tetracycline right now, and about a month ago I lost 8 tetras and some shrimp due to an unknown cause. I'm just a little leary of transferring things from one tank to the other because of all the sickness I had going on.
 
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