Very Stubborn Fin/Tail Rot Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Kivstev, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Kivstev

    KivstevValued MemberMember

    Convict fish has been in a hospital tank for 10 days. This fish has had frayed fins for at least months and possibly years apparently (fish was a rescue). Have treated with 1TBS salt per 5 gallons with daily dosings of M1/M2 and every other day 80% water changes. Water temp turned up to 84F. Have given the fish twice daily methylene blue baths as well. There has been absolutely no improvement in the 10 days. ???

    Need opinions for the next phase of treatment. Thank you.

    Attached Files:

  2. ray_sjValued MemberMember

    Fin rot is bacterial, so the high temp is probably helping them multiply faster. I would lower the temp back to normal levels and stop the methylene blue baths also. These may be stressing the fish, preventing him from fighting off the fin rot.

    Keep the water clean, as well as the gravel and filter media. I had very good results with the MelaFix/PimaFix combo. Feed them well, and supplement with Vita-Chem if you have some.

    The key is finding out what the stress is, and removing it. The fish can then recover and fight off the fin rot infection.

    Hope this gives you some ideas. Good luck! :)
  3. OP

    KivstevValued MemberMember

    Thanks for responding.

    Let me give a bit more info:

    Apparently the fish is fine except for the frayed fins. He has spawned numerous times and since I've had him the water had been changed 25% every single week - parameters have been 0, 0, 5-10 for months. I'm thinking that possibly the fins are damaged and can't grow back, or maybe it is fungal? The fins get no worse and no better and is otherwise a very healthy fish.

    The idiot that had the fish before me did not do water changes - just replaced the evaporated water. :mad:

    I've tried Melafix with this fish in the past with no luck, but not Pimafix. Maybe this is incurable at this point?

  4. ray_sjValued MemberMember

    I don't have any experience with convicts, but I would think that they should be able to grow back. It doesn't look too severe in your pic. But, fin rot can sometimes be stubborn.

    PimaFix was helpful for me when there was a whitish edge on the fin rot. If the tail is just looking ragged, it might not help too much.

    I suppose if he's otherwise healthy, you might just have to let him be. Hopefully other members might have some more ideas to try!

  5. OP

    KivstevValued MemberMember

    Getting Worse

    After a week out of the hospital tank, the Con's tail rot is now getting worse again. I'm not sure what else I can try at this point. His regular tank water is 0-0-5 and he is breeding with his lady friend.

    I put him in the hosp tank with some Jungle Fungus Eliminator which should cover bacteria and fungus. Hopefully someone has some more ideas should that fail.

    Convict Tail.jpg
  6. ccb04

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Jungle fungus clear is pretty good.

    Also, as mentioned by ray_sj ... Pimafix and Melafix can be quite effective as well. Other healing aids to consider would be Stress Coat+ and/or Fish Protector. As ray_sj also mentioned, Vita Chem can be beneficial for fin regeneration.

    If the Jungle Fungus Clear doesn't work, I would try the following course of treatment:

    - Melafix (basically an antiseptic that helps tissue heal)
    - Pimafix (primarily helps treat fungal infections)
    - Stress Coat+ (lab proven to speed tissue regeneration)
    - Vita Chem (useful for fin regeneration)
    - Jungle Anti-Bacteria medicated food (treats both internal and external bacterial infections to include fin rot)

    Best of luck.

    * Stress Coat+, Melafix, and Vita Chem help tissue to regenerate.

    * The Anti-Bacteria food will cover the bacterial aspect ... while Pimafix will cover the fungal side of it.
  7. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Kiv. So sorry to hear and see that your fish isn't feeling up to par.

    I would like to suggest that you add a drop or two of Garlic Juice to his food and even into the tank itself. Garlic is an immune system booster (not just for fish but humans too). You can use the juice from minced garlic, in a jar, from the grocery store or even fresh garlic, smashed, will work. You can also purchase Garlic Guard from Pet Stores.

    My choice of treatment would be Pima Fix and Melax Fix as well. I recommend stopping the salt and all other chemicals. (Please note I've never used any of the medications you've mentioned.) Pristine water conditions is crucial right now so be sure to keep up with your water change schedule.

    Reduce your temperature back to about 78 slowly.

    Best of luck and please keep us posted.
  8. bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    Who are his tankmates? I've found with my cons, that once I find out who the troublemaker is and remove them, the con's tails grow back and they are happy again.
  9. OP

    KivstevValued MemberMember

    Thanks very much for the responses.

    I should have mentioned that I had previously tried Melafix for 7 days with no positive result. I have yet to try Pimafix. I'll add it to my list.

    The Con's only tankmates were the female Con and their fry. In that second pic it does look like a bite was taken out of his fin, but he is def the boss in that tank. They always seem to get along.

    The temperature is now @ 78F. I do have some Kent Garlic Xtreme Jungle Anit-Bac food on hand. I'll pick up some Vita-Chem and Stress Coat +

    Another question for those that have used Jungle Fungus Eliminator: The bottle says to redose in 4 days. I am tempted to redose after 2 days with a 50% WC before the redose. Opinions?
  10. bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    Hmmm...I have very little experience on medication. Convicts do have "marital disputes" on occasion. IME, the aggression occurs when I'm not around. I'm not saying that's definitely what's going on, but I wish I could help you figure out what's causing it since I can't help with curing it.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  11. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Aw, I am sorry you are having trouble with finrot. It is caused by an injury to the fin/tail or poor water quality. Yes, it is stubborn. Speaking from experience. i had to deal with it on my Angelfish for weeks. It can be difficult to get rid of as you see. I used Pimafix and Melafix together and it helped. I did lots of water changes. With half dose of aquarium salt. We all have our own opinions on aquarium salt. The only thing about finrot is that you have to treat the main tank. Pimafix and Melafix don't kill off the beneficial bacteria. Be patient is all i say, it may take a little while. :)
  12. OP

    KivstevValued MemberMember

    Just to follow up on this.

    I've had the Convict in the hosp tank on Jungle Fungus Eliminator and have been topically applying Bacitracin. I'm finally starting to see results after a good week on that regimen. The little white puffs on the tail are about gone and the tail looks healthier. I don't believe the tail is growing back yet, though.

    I'll keep the treatment up for another few days at least and then go with the pimafix/melafix and pristine water.
  13. theshiftys_jmValued MemberMember

    Maracin (sp?) blue and the jungle fungus eliminator together in a hospital tank with no filtration is what I used for one of my betta's that had fin rot. I'd let it set in the tank for about three days, then 100% tank clean and start regimen over again. It took about a week for the fin rot to go away, but I kept up with the same care for about 3 weeks. The fin rot never came back.

    It worked for me, so that's my two and a half cents worth!
  14. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Glad to hear its going well. His tail will grow back. :) Vitachem is good for fin regeneration.
  15. OP

    KivstevValued MemberMember

    Thanks. Keep trying to find VitaChem around here with no luck. I found the marine forumula, but not the fresh water version. I'll get it online if I must.
  16. OP

    KivstevValued MemberMember


    Finally starting to see some real results after very slow progress. Surprisingly the JFE did not do very much after about 10 days. I had tried applying antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin and Neomycin) to the tail once a day for about 5 days, but that did nothing. I was getting ammonia spikes in the hosp tank which may have held back progress, so decided to put the Con back into the 20G and feed the fish meds.

    I then started to feed the fish Kanamycin laced pellets for about a week, and keeping the water pristine. 25% PWC every 48 hours while dosing with Melafix/Pimafix. I started to see progress.

    I've seen the greatest improvement after topically applying Potassium Permanganate in the form of Jungle Clear Water a couple days ago. I did this once and don't plan on doing it again. The white crap on the tail did not totally disappear until that treatment. The tail is starting to grow back ever so slowly.

    12-15 Convict Tail sm.jpg

    The small white spot on the top is part of the fin itself, not the infection. This was 2 days ago, and he is a bit more improved since then. I'd take a more recent pic, but some woman I live with seems to have 'borrowed' my camera and left it at work. :;smack

    To summarize:

    Not helpful
    Topical antibiotic (neomycin, bacitracin), Jungle Fungus Elim, Maracyn1 and Maracyn 2, Melafix.

    Jury is out

    Kanamycin in the food. Potassium Permanganate solution topically applied.
  17. ray_sjValued MemberMember

    Glad to hear your fish is better!

    Just curious, but how do you apply ointment, etc. topically on the fish's tail? Doesn't he move around while you're trying to apply it?
  18. OP

    KivstevValued MemberMember


    What I did was remove the Con by net and very gently placed him in a thick cloth that was soaked with tank water. I wrapped him up loosely with his tail sticking out and placed him on a tray. The tray is on the floor in case he decided to flop. It was tight enough where he wasn't going anywhere, anyway.

    He rarely squirmed at all one I placed the cloth over his head. I then took a Q-tip that was dipped in Jungle Clear Water (which is close to a 3% PP solution) and applied it to both sides of the tail. I focused on the white areas as well as the damaged tips.

    I would simply turn over the cloth with him in it when I needed to 'paint' the other side. I then would pick up the cloth and put him back in the tank. I've read that some put the fish into a container of clean water before putting fish back in the main tank when using PP - but I did not do that as I was only treating once and had to do a PWC anyway.

    I did the same procedure with antibiotic ointment maybe a 1/2 dozen times as well. He was surprisingly docile when covered up.

    The fish was probably out of the water 90 seconds or so each time.

    I should mention that it is extremely important not to get any of the PP near the fish's eyes or gills when applying it at this strength as you can permanently harm the fish.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  19. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Glad to hear you are havin progress. :)
  20. ray_sjValued MemberMember

    Thanks for sharing that, Kivstev. I always wondered how people applied topical treatments! :)


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