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Starting A Dropsy Treatment

jfeld

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So, I went to the local Petsmart to pick up as much stuff as i could. I know that dropsy is a symptom, not a disease, so i got the widest spectrum of treatments i could find. I now have:
- Maracyn
- Maracyn II
- Epsom salt
- Aquarium salt
- Water test strips
- And a new silk plant as an investment in hope.

Now, I have read mixed things. Some say aquarium salt is bad during dropsy, and should only be used as preventative or when the fish is on the road to recovery. I couldn't find Kanacyn and I don't have anywhere else to find it (I kinda live in the middle of nowhere), so the Maracyns will have to do.

I read somewhere that I can treat with both types of Maracyn at once, since the cause of the dropsy is uncertain. Is this unsafe? I'm going to start with a few grains of epsom salt, do some more research, and wait to hear from you kind and helpful souls. I'm also going to post this on the emergeny forum.
 

ileopard

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Maracyn (erythromycin) and Maracyn-Two (minocycline) should work, but I'm not sure what the potency is of Maracyn and Maracyn-Two unfortunately. I believe it is a bit less than kanamycin sulfate, but I hope it is powerful enough to treat your fish in this case. http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/killer.htm has two people who successfully used Kanacyn (kanamycin sulfate - sold as Kanamycin) for bacterial dropsy.

I would recommend using Maracyn and Maracyn-Two combined with epsom salt (3 tsp. should be fine for a 10 gallon). Also, are you using the powder Maracyn/Maracyn-Two or the tablets? The PetSmart near me sells only the powder, which is a lot easier to administer than the tablets. And are you using a 10 gallon hospital tank?

Good luck!
 

jollysue

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My experience with Mardel is that they are not as strong/effective, but they are much safer. RandomWitkor uses them and recommends them for use with Bettas. I have had success with various Mardel products. When it comes to the Mardel antibacterials I have on occasion had them work temporarily but then had the infection reappear weeks later. I did not stop the treatments too soon, and I was using what a tech at Mardel recommended. I was eventually able to get rid of the disease (an advanced very resistant by that time case of columnaris) buy hitting the tanks so hard that it killed the more sensitive fish and the weak ones.

Mardel is also very expensive compared to other products. But you don't have to stop the filter and it won't kill all your good bacteria.

Oh! Yes! You can get a shipment of Kanamycin or any other antibiotic on the web. But it will take a few--possibly weeks at this time of year. It is always advisable to have a good stock of the emergency meds.
 

ileopard

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In my experience, the most effective antibiotic available is kanamycin sulfate (sold as Kanamycin and possibly some other brand names that I am not aware of). It is the same drug that used to be in a product called Kanacyn (manufactured by Aquatronics which went out of business).

I have also had success with Mardel products (Maracyn and Maracyn-Two), but yes, it is a known fact that they are not as potent as other over-the-counter drugs. Also, I believe Maracyn-Two (minocycline) is absorbed internally, but I'm not 100% sure on that. An antibiotic that kills bacterial dropsy should be absorbed internally, as dropsy is an internal condition. I know Kanamycin is.

I would recommend using Jungle Anti-Bacteria Medicated Fish Food (about $6 at PetSmart) as well as your current antibiotic treatment if she's still eating. PetSmart sells this (that's where I got mine). It is absorbed internally (as the fish has to eat it), so it is effective at killing a lot of internal bacteria. It is also claimed to be effective at external bacteria, but I'm not sure how accurate that it since it's an internal medication, not an external medication. You also will need to crumble it up into smaller pieces.

Since you appear to be treating dropsy in the early stages, I believe you have a good chance of a successful treatment, and I wish you the best of luck!

By the way, aquarium salt probably shouldn't be used for a fish that has dropsy. Aquarium salt makes the fish draw more fluids in (just like regular table salt does), and right now, you want to draw fluids out, so it makes no sense to add aquarium salt.
 

jollysue

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I have had to break up the Jungle fish food. It is very hard and difficult for me to break up let alone for the fish. You might try soaking it first and then breaking it up unless someone knows better.

We are pulling for you and your Betta. I'm really glad you have someone that has experience and success to help you.
 

ileopard

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It is hard to crumble up since they are so small. I wish Jungle made one specifically for bettas or smaller fish that can't eat huge pellets. I used an eyedropper to cut it up, but it still wasn't the best option.
 

jollysue

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Other than soaking, maybe a pill cutter....? I cut up a bunch at the same time: Chop! Chop! Chop!. Jungle food all over! Very unsatisfactory, but it got it done.
 

ileopard

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I've got one, but I can't cut the pellets with it. Maybe trying another medicated food would be a better option, although I'm not sure of any other ones (at least other ones that PetSmart sells).
 

jollysue

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I have a whole variety stock of GelTec medicated gels. But so far the only one I have used effectively is the ultragro one with fry.

I say take a mallet to them! :lol:

Random uses them effectively with Betta.
 
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jfeld

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She is in a 2.5 gallon unfiltered and heated to 80 F. I've put a black sweatshirt around the tank so the light doesn't bother her; she seems to prefer. I did a 100% water change yesterday (as soon as i noticed she had dropsy) and plan on doing another one tomorrow.

The medication I'm using is in a powdered form; i took the advice of an article at healthybetta.com on how to break it down gallin for gallon:
dissolve 1 packet in 10 tsp water. on the first day, add 1 tsp of the mixture per gallon; on subsequent days, add an extra tsp. I am doing this with both medications and have added a little epsom salt (afraid of doing too much; this same website recommend only 1/8 tsp for 5 gallons, which means 1/16 of a teaspoon for me!)

Would an epsom salt bath help? would this stress her out too much, and how can i do it safely/effectively?
Also, do any of you know how for how long i can safely keep up this medication regimen?

Again, thank you all SO MUCH for your advice and support. I wouldn't have been able to diagnose and help her at all if it weren't for this forum.
 

ileopard

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Adding epsom salt to the tank permanently should be okay. You might also have to repeat the dose of Maracyn and Maracyn-Two, which is okay. It will take several days to show any improvements, so don't think it's not working until the 10 days are up (2 5-day treatments).
 

jollysue

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You can use the pre-dissolve method with the epsom salts too. The only problem with the pre-dissolve I have all the time is that the water evaporates and so the measurement gets off. I suppose it would help to use a container with a cap.

We are all rooting for you.

:sad: I just noticed Friday that my Miss Kinky looks a little clamped. I think I will have to move her. she is out of the loop where it is warmer. <<<idea!!>>> I think I will put her in one of my critter keepers where she can have a heater and get more attention. -_-
 

RandomWiktor

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Sounds like you are doing everything you can... some aquarists would tell you not to bother since the #1 cause of Dropsy is organ failure, but I say "always try." I have had a fish bounce back from Dropsy, and do believe that some cases are the result of infections causing fluid retention rather than strictly organ failure. The only thing I would add to your treatment protocol is GelTek's medicated feeds, esp. if the fish turns down Jungle's. GelTek has a medicated gel food specific to dropsy; I'm blanking on which one it is, but it is what I fed my male that recovered, so I'm a believer in it.
Best of luck with your poor little gal - do keep us posted!
 
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jfeld

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OK, I'm on my 4th day of treatment; yesterday i did a 100% water change, added .5 tsp of epsom salt, and 2 tsp of each medicine. Today I added another 1 tsp of each and will do another 100% water change tomorrow. Her condition seems the same, but she seems kind of - well, out of it. Less interactive, and she's started refusing food or not even noticing it when i put it right in front of her. Does anyone have any advice on how to get her to eat? I ordered Geltek's antibacterial water additive, which says it has "fish pheromones" in it to encourage feeding. Does that have any chance of working?

RandomWiktor, I can't seem to find the medicated feed you were talking about.
 
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jfeld

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Today, Wendy's scales look worse and she's acting pretty sick. Sometimes she seems okay and swims around, but most of the time she either floats kind of diagonally, or even vertically with her face at the bottom of the tank. It looks like things are getting pretty bad and I want to be prepared for the worst.

Can anyone tell me, how can i know if she's in pain? If it looks like she's not getting better, should i just give her clean water and let nature take its course (ie, will this be more pleasant for her than continuing the medication)? And if things get really bad, could someone explain the clove oil technique? Thanks a lot for all your help...
 
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