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Stubborn betta fin rot, advice needed!


alli789
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Hello, new to the forum! ūüôā¬†Wish it was a more lighthearted first post...

My betta has been struggling with fin rot for months now, and I haven't been able to get anything to really vanquish it. I tried aquarium salt and catappa leaves for two weeks, followed by two weeks of daily water changes to filter the salt out. He had some new growth, but as soon as I finished the daily water changes, the new growth fell off and his fins started to get worse again. Now I am just finishing two rounds of Maracyn 2 treatment. I am once again seeing small amounts of what appears to be clear growth on the two largest splits/tears in his tail. However, after what happened upon finishing the salt treatment, I'm skeptical if his fin rot is really gone. He still has dark edges around the tears in his fins (photo included). I don't know if those take time to go away or if this means his fin rot isn't gone. I'm afraid that as soon as I do the final water change tomorrow, the progress will be erased and his fins will continue to retreat. As you can see, the main tear is getting kinda close to his body and I don't want body rot, as I know that's nearly impossible to cure. 

 

Tank basics:

10 gallon tank, HOB filter (adjustable with very slow flow), heated around 79 degrees

Ammonia and nitrite have been steady at 0 throughout the salt and Maracyn 2 treatments

Nitrate is between 10-20

Very hard water (high gH and kH) but I do my water changes with half distilled water to lessen that

Silk plants in the tank

Usually I have red root floaters and moss balls in there as well, but they've been temporarily removed so the meds don't affect them.

The tank is fully cycled with at least one water change a week, 25-30%. 

No tank mates

 

The fish is active and seems happy, and has a normal appetite. He really shows no symptoms other than the torn fins and dark edges. 

I have two ideas here:

1. Finish the Maracyn 2 treatment and water change tomorrow as planned. Plant the tank (I have live plants ready to replace all silk ones) and hope that his fins continue to improve with the plant filtration and increased oxygen.)

2. Try another medication. Maybe Maracyn 1? I think it's more effective against fungal infections, and I thought my betta's rot is bacterial, but I'm very new to this hobby so I'm not sure I suppose. 

Or if anyone has other advice, that'd be great! I could of course plant the tank and try maracyn 1 together, but I'm concerned about killing all my new plants.

Advice from experienced fish keepers is greatly appreciated! I'm curious if you guys think his fin rot is healing or if it isn't fully.

(excuse the fuzzy looking stuff floating on the surface in the pic, it's from the maracyn 2!)

IMG_5409 (1).jpg

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That seems weird, the fact that your fish has it in the first place mean there's something weakening it's immune system. It is hard to know what it is without looking at the tank in person. The med I use for stuff like fin rot is erythromycin, there is quite a few products that all have erythromycin, for example maracyn, and they all should work. I would recommend you use salt though, because it can cure a lot of stuff in case we miss diagnose.  But you have to find the thing that is stressing out your betta, otherwise it will just come back. If you are using test strips they can be incorrect, and so I would recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Maybe you could post a video (I am not sure if you can on this forum) of your tank and maybe we could spot the stress factor. It would be a long shot though. Hope your fish makes it. 

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5 minutes ago, FriendlyLoach said:

That seems weird, the fact that your fish has it in the first place mean there's something weakening it's immune system. It is hard to know what it is without looking at the tank in person. The med I use for stuff like fin rot is erythromycin, there is quite a few products that all have erythromycin, for example maracyn, and they all should work. I would recommend you use salt though, because it can cure a lot of stuff in case we miss diagnose.  But you have to find the thing that is stressing out your betta, otherwise it will just come back. If you are using test strips they can be incorrect, and so I would recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Maybe you could post a video (I am not sure if you can on this forum) of your tank and maybe we could spot the stress factor. It would be a long shot though. Hope your fish makes it. 

Thank you! I do use the Master Test Kit. I suspect that the fin rot was caused by high tap nitrates (around 30ppm). I now do water changes with half or 2/3 distilled water to dilute those, and added floaters to help suck up nitrates. Another cause could've been my filter, which until a few weeks ago was too strong. I wonder if using salt now that I've changed the filter would be more effective, but again, I already tried it and it didn't fully heal the rot. I could probably try it again, it was back in December-early January that I did it before starting antibiotics.

Edited by alli789
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