Fin And Tail Rot

Posted by: brandi Posted on: Mar 24th, 2002, 2:38am
Hey guys,

Some of my bettas have recently become infected by fin/tail rot. A betta I bought apparently had it and it spread to several of the others…probably because I STUPIDLY used the same net on them. Anyway, I’m treating with Bettamax, but it seems to be working only very slowly. What medications do you all find work best on fin & tail rot? Tonight I bought some MelaFix, would it be okay to use that in conjunction with the bettamax? I just thought it might help heal the fins faster. I want to knock out this problem as quickly as possible…I HATE seeing their beautiful fins deteriorate. And yes, their water is kept meticulously clean.

One more question…is there something I can buy to disinfect their nets and tanks? Someone suggested bleach but I’d rather use a product made for disinfecting fishnets, etc. I can’t find any at my local petstores, or any stores for that matter.

Posted by: katie Posted on: Mar 24th, 2002, 6:04am
Brandi, I have not had much luck with Melafix, It seems to work slowly on finrot, and then the finrot returned later, more than once. And I believe I change the water as often as I should. I have heard bettamax will do the trick and is better than melafix…Well here is what I did, I put in a tiny drop of coppersafe, to speep things up as I was really getting frusterated…and with the salt-and obsessive water changes, they seem to be looking great now….but I fear they will always be suceptiable (sp) now….You know it is Blinky and Marduk I am having this problem with-and I had wondered why they were both getting it, and the others weren’t -hmmm the net(never would have thought) but this goes to show, that some bettas are much stronger than others I suppose.
Well keep me updated, I would like to hear how it went with the betta max.
Thanks katie
Posted by: Lois Posted on: Mar 24th, 2002, 9:21am
As far as nets–I bought a product called Net Soak by Jungle. Active ingredients are benzalkonium chloride and methylene blue. Says to keep the nets in the solution between uses, solution to be discarded if it gets cloudy. Also says no rinsing needed. Lot of “it says” there, but haven’t actually used it. I got it a LFS, but it is available on line. Not generally available in my area, just this one store. Hope goes well for your fishes. My first fellow, Mr. Fishy had ratty, disappearing fins kept coming back for quite a while, but no fungus edge or red edge. Not absolutely sure it was fin rot, but could not figure what else it was. He was otherwise fine–good appetite and color, etc. Did finally clear up with BettaMax. He has since occasionally gotten what I think is just tailfin tears when he started spending time under a particular ornament. That clears up well with Melafix. Good luck!
Posted by: Chopin Posted on: Mar 24th, 2002, 9:59am
Good to catch fin/tail rot right away. I’ve had good luck with Maracyn II…it is about a week for the full course of treatment. Also–making sure there is salt in the water (aquarisol or something similar) has been good for keeping my Betta beautiful. What are you conditioning the water with? Certain water conditioners can cause problems from what I understand. Good luck with the treatment!
Posted by: Chopin Posted on: Mar 24th, 2002, 10:06am
oops–typo there–I meant to say AQUARIUM SALT not AQUARISOL
Posted by: Margaret Posted on: Mar 24th, 2002, 10:20am
Hi, Brandi,
Hope this finds the bettas getting betta! To add to what everyone is saying–Like Chopin, I had luck with Marcyn II for treating fin and tail rot… for the size of my tank I had to cut the tablets into slightly less than 1/4 of a tablet, dissolve the piece in water, and treat, I think, for 5 days. If Bettamax is an antibiotic, then I don’t think you’d want to switch to Maracyn II right away, or you’d have to do it carefully. Let’s see if anyone knows what to do about that… You might want to check out the petfish archives. I think I recall reading a case where someone switched antibiotics in the middle of treatment–I think I searched under “fin and tail rot” in the archives. I learned a lot from reading what other people went through. Also–aquarium salt at the rate of 1 tsp per gallon (some would say less) is usually helpful too. HOpe you have good news for us later on! Margaret
Posted by: Leslie Posted on: Mar 24th, 2002, 4:55pm
Fin and tail rot on any fish is best treated with Maracyn II or Tetracycline. I have found the best to be Maracyn II, then Tetracycline, then Bettamax. Melafix and Bettafix are way too slow and fin/tail rot is not something you want to see deteriorate even moreso while waiting on medication to kick in. This is a bacterial condition caused usually by poor water quality, probably why you think one of your bettas brought it in. Melafix is tea tree oil. Some people have luck with it, but I would assume in only the mildest cases. Maracyn II will heal your fish in no time. All of the Mardel products have my thumbs-up! As you’re already doing frequesnt water changes, just add the medication and salt, but it’s best not to mix medications. If you’ve already started the Melafix, try it for a few days with the salt in the water 1tsp per gallon. If the infection doesn’t get any better or worsens, do a water change and switch medications. I have a large dalmation molly who had a terrible case of tail rot. I medicated the tank with tetracycline and in 36 hours she was cleared of it.
Do you know what I use to disinfect my nets? Hot salty water or a solution of Melafix (it’s the only thing I’ll use the stuff for!)
Posted by: brandi Posted on: Mar 25th, 2002, 12:32am
Thanks for all the replies…they were really helpful. It seems like a lot of you have been getting results with Maracyn 2. I just have to figure out how to switch from Bettamax to Maracyn 2.

I use Stress Coat….I hope it doesn’t affect the bettamax.

Posted by: Leslie Posted on: Mar 26th, 2002, 7:27am
Stresscoat will not harm the maracyn 2, neither will salt nor carbon if you’re running a filter. Do a water change, wait one day, then start the maracyn 2 if he’s not any better.
I will give you one other option before you buy more medicine. Take a one quart container (or close to that) and fill it with de-chlor’d warm (80-82) water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt (it does not have to be complteteely dissolved). Put your fish in for no more than 2 minutes, then return him to a clean, de-chlor’d tank/bowl with the usual amount of salt for the tank’s size. Wait one day and if the fin/tail rot is no better, start the maracyn 2.
Good luck!
Posted by: Leslie Posted on: Mar 26th, 2002, 7:33am
Brandi, I forgot to tell you to remember to put in that stresscoat after the salt bath since that much salt will wipe out his slime coating. It sounds like a harsh treatment, but I’ve never had any bad results from it. If your fish is acting really weak from the rot, decrease the salt to 1 1/2 tblsp. The salt bath will kill any infection at the site of the rot, such as bacteria, fungus, or protozoal.
Posted by: doug Posted on: Mar 28th, 2002, 1:07pm
twice now I have bred My Male Fireball with two different females. In both cases, I have conditioned the pair with
live brine shrimp and frozen blood worms for a couple of weeks prior to spawning them. Then I placed him in a
tank for acouple of days, set up with a few inches of water, a heater, a half of a syrofoam cup and a cycled filter turned off. After a day, I introduced the female in hurricane globe. After he built his nest and they showed interest in one another, and she started swimming nose down, I released her. They spawned and the bubble nest was
filled with eggs. Both females, after spawning ate a few eggs, and after witnessing this I removed the female. So far so good.

In both cases, Fireball tended the eggs for the first 24 hours, picking them up and putting them back in the nest.

In both cases, overnight, he ate the majority of the eggs and destroyed most of the bubble nest. What am I doing

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Clint Posted on: Mar 28th, 2002, 5:23pm
Thats a common problem, male eating fry. I would try leaving the light on 24 hours for the male with fry.
The theory is that he forgets they are his after a night in the dark.
There are so many things that can go wrong with a Betta spawn, it’s really a wonder we can spawn them as much as we do.
Posted by: doug Posted on: Mar 28th, 2002, 6:53pm
Thanks, actually tried that second go around. Perhaps he just got a taste and is no good for Spawning.
WIll just have to get a younger let hungry male!

Posted by: brandi Posted on: Apr 5th, 2002, 11:54pm
Thanks so much, everyone, for all your replies. Here is an update on the status of my fish who have been afflicted with fin rot. I was using BettaMax, which seemed to help alleviate the symptoms. However, there was still a slow deterioration of their fins….the Betta Max was just working too slowly. I hated watching their beautiful fins deteriorate. So….I tried the “salt bath,” an idea given to me by Leslie’s post. I wasn’t sure if it had completely stopped the rot or not (since it had been progressing slowly after I started Bettamax). So, I waited a day and started Maracyn 2. I am about to go give the fish their 2nd to last treatment. I’m also adding a little aquarium salt. I don’t *think* I’m seeing more deterioration, but I’m not seeing new growth either. I hope the Maracyn 2 does the job. I just want to see those fins grow back I’ll keep everyone updated.
Posted by: Leslie Posted on: Apr 12th, 2002, 9:16am
Glad everything seems to be going ok. As long as you are not seeing more rot, then your betta’s tail will grow back. It seems some fish can regrow a tail in 2 days, but others, especially long-finned ones, take a lot longer. Remember that your fish has had a lot of strong medications and his body has to rid itself of that first then he’ll start to heal. I had a dalmation molly with the most disgusting tail rot I’ve ever seen. In 2 days of Maracyn 2 she looked completely well, and in 4 days you never would’ve guessed she had just had a rotten tail. I had a betta (my poor Rainbow) who lost some of his lower finnage in a fight. He had a salt bath, there was salt in his regular tank, he went through Bettamax (I thinkk it’s too slow, too), maracyn 2, and still everytime that fish moved…I mean everytime he even swam a bit, his fins were flaking off all over. It was horrible. His brother, Blue, was very sick and both guys were getting old. Blue was also in a state of agony. These 2 bettas were huge…the biggest betta boys I’ve ever owned, and well, they did eat a bit more than the other bettas. Blue stopped eating never to start again. They were in a divided tank for most of their lives….”true brothers”…..and I swear Rainbow was depressed about Blue. These were 2 guys that would always flare at each oher, look at each other, and never got tired of each other the way my other’s have done. So, it was time for Blue to go, and I sent Rainbow with him. Blue went immediately to sleep and Rainbow fought it a little, but I think it was really more a more of a nervous system reaction than anything else. They were blessed with holy water as all my favorites are when they die, and buried side by side. That was on March 2nd this year and do you know that everytime I go by that tank, which is occupied by 2 hateful bumblebee cichlids, I still expect to see Rainbow and Blue in there. I always used to to say “hey, boys” everytime I walked by. Of course, I sill miss my sweetest betta, Dominic, who died 9/17/01, and the best female betta ever (Miss Personality), Miss Plumb, who died 1/18/02. I guess sometimes you just never get over something that touches your heart. But that’s why we try so hard to make them well when they’re sick. I hope yours turns out ok. Give him awhile for the tail or fins to start growing back. Once you see that new little nub of growth, it doesn’t take long from there.