Very sick Betta. Bacteria? Fungal?

Tazzy90

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I have a betta that had been in a 5 gal cycled tank his tail fin started to look ragged-aquarium salt and water changes didn’t change his tail condition, he was still eating, swimming. I used Fungus Cure. I had cycled a 10 gal tank over about 1-2 mths. Tested water frequently and did partial water changes so I moved him to the new tank. pH was 7.6 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 5. GH and KH were both 6. Within a few days he started to act lethargic, tail fin looked worse, not ragged but smooth where it fell off. I moved him to a 2.5 gal tank m, started Kanaplex and added Jungle Cure (he developed white around his mouth looks like he drank milk) two days ago. Tomorrow is third dose of Kanaplex (every other day). I am adding seachem prime on the in between day since it is a 2.5 gal tank (filled only 2 gal full because he is so weak and I want him to be able to get to surface) with a sponge filter (rigged with an air stone inside. I do a 50% water change every other day before adding Kanaplex, and did redose the Jungle Cure when I changed water yesterday. There is no improvement in him. He stays at the bottom of the tank, like he wants to fall over, if I put my hand in the water, he swims very spastically for a second or two and drops to the bottom of the tank again. Needless to say he isn’t eating (hasn’t eaten in about 1 week). He has a heater in tank set to 78F. Now what? I bought Betta Revive. Do I switch medication or wait?
 

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Colin_T

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I don't know what is in the Jungle Cure but you shouldn't mix medications because you can poison the fish.

The white around the mouth looks like excess mucous, which is probably caused by the chemicals/ medications in the water.

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How much salt did you use?
Normally to treat fin rot, you use salt (1 or 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres of water), and do big (75%) daily water changes for a week or two.

Antibiotics should be used as a last resort because they contribute to and can cause drug resistant bacteria that kill things. If the fish has a drug resistant bacterial infection in the fins, then there is no hope for it.

I would probably stop adding chemicals/ medications and do 75% water changes every day for a couple of weeks. See how he acts in a week and maybe try salt at a higher dose if you used less than 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres.
 
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Tazzy90

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I don't know what is in the Jungle Cure but you shouldn't mix medications because you can poison the fish.

The white around the mouth looks like excess mucous, which is probably caused by the chemicals/ medications in the water.

----------------
How much salt did you use?
Normally to treat fin rot, you use salt (1 or 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres of water), and do big (75%) daily water changes for a week or two.

Antibiotics should be used as a last resort because they contribute to and can cause drug resistant bacteria that kill things. If the fish has a drug resistant bacterial infection in the fins, then there is no hope for it.

I would probably stop adding chemicals/ medications and do 75% water changes every day for a couple of weeks. See how he acts in a week and maybe try salt at a higher dose if you used less than 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres.
Hi. My mistake, the medication is API Jungle Fungus Clear ( Nitrifurazone) and is safe to use with Kanaplex. I was using a teaspoon of aquarium salt in 5 gal. so it was less than a tablespoon. I am thinking about switching him back to the 5 gal tank, at this point nothing is cycled so it wouldn’t matter except for the fact he could stay in the his tank during water changes which would be less stressful than removing him (if I’m doing 75%). He hasn’t eaten in a week. I tried frozen brine shrimp since they sink but he didn’t want them or his Hikari pellets.
 
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Colin_T

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SALT

Using Salt to Treat Fish Health Issues.

For some fish diseases you can use salt (sodium chloride) to treat the ailment rather than using a chemical based medication. Salt is relatively safe and is regularly used in the aquaculture industry to treat food fish for diseases. Salt has been successfully used to treat minor fungal and bacterial infections, as well as a number of external protozoan infections. Salt alone will not treat whitespot (Ichthyophthirius) or Velvet (Oodinium) but will treat most other types of protozoan infections in freshwater fishes.

You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 
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Tazzy90

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SALT

Using Salt to Treat Fish Health Issues.

For some fish diseases you can use salt (sodium chloride) to treat the ailment rather than using a chemical based medication. Salt is relatively safe and is regularly used in the aquaculture industry to treat food fish for diseases. Salt has been successfully used to treat minor fungal and bacterial infections, as well as a number of external protozoan infections. Salt alone will not treat whitespot (Ichthyophthirius) or Velvet (Oodinium) but will treat most other types of protozoan infections in freshwater fishes.

You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
I have stopped the medication, am doing the 75% water changes and have added aquarium salt. He is still sitting on the bottom of the tank, and I have noticed that he is pointed face down when he swims away and then rests (from me doing the water changes) or else has a hard time not starting to fall over. Could this be swim bladder involvement? Should I have done an epsom salt bath to begin with? I did look at his mouth and the white has mostly gone away. I really want to help him if I can, I don’t want him to suffer.
 

Colin_T

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Epsom salt baths help to draw fluid out of fish but don't do much else, and don't treat diseases caused by microscopic organisms.

It's unlikely to be a swim bladder problem. I am guessing and saying he is ill and needs time to recover. See how he goes over the next few days and keep us updated.
 
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Tazzy90

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Here are a few pictures of him. He is not able to “sit” at the bottom of tank like he used to. His nose touches the gravel and the rest floats upward. He only moves when I change the water and it’s spastic swimming, then he sink back down sometimes off balance (lists sideways) before being face downward in the gravel.
 

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Colin_T

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Fish floating up to the surface when they stop swimming can be a swim bladder issue or air in the fish's intestine. Air in the intestine is the most common cause and occurs when fish eat dry food or food from the surface. they ingest small amounts of air that travel through the intestine and eventually get farted out.

To test if the problem is air in the intestine, stop feeding dry food for a week and give the fish frozen or live foods instead. If the problem continues after a week without dry food, then it is a swim bladder problem. There's no cure for swim bladder problems.
 
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Tazzy90

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Fish floating up to the surface when they stop swimming can be a swim bladder issue or air in the fish's intestine. Air in the intestine is the most common cause and occurs when fish eat dry food or food from the surface. they ingest small amounts of air that travel through the intestine and eventually get farted out.

To test if the problem is air in the intestine, stop feeding dry food for a week and give the fish frozen or live foods instead. If the problem continues after a week without dry food, then it is a swim bladder problem. There's no cure for swim bladder problems.
Hi. He hasn’t eaten in almost 2 weeks. I’ve tried to feed him pellets and frozen brine shrimp but he won’t eat. 😞😢 Should I try epsom salt and if so how often or do I still just wait to see if he gets better or is the a lost cause and I should end his suffering?
 

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