View Full Version : My Rantings on Fish Forum "Experts" and My Finrot/Tetracycline Experiance As Example

12-22-2014, 06:07 AM
For the purposes of satire I've put what many seasoned fish owners would often reply in italics; even though us new guys sometimes mess up I hope this guide will be a decent help to people experiencing the same problem as me: lack of patience and no access to any fish store except petsmartco.

Ideally I would have: Caught the fin rot early, used some mild aquarium salt and changed water in the 2.5 gallon, heated, cycled, QT tank everyday and cured him. Or, if it was moderate I would have used Tetracycline in my cycled, heated, QT tank.

In reality I: caught the fin rot late, panicked and put him in my 0.5 gallon backup bowl that is not filtered, heated, or cycled (Obviously). Betta heresy my friends! But what novice keeper is going to spend 20+ dollars on a decent heater [its got to be the Hydor adjustable or it will explode in your tank], 20+ on a decent tank, 20+ on a filter, and cycle and maintain a QT tank when our new betta probably won't get sick until he's ready to kick the metaphorical bucket? No novice I know of.

Here is a barebones guide to how I attempted to cure some fin rot and bacterial infection. I had moderate success and we shall see if my buddy makes a full recovery in the coming weeks.

My betta developed a weird combination of fin rot and a red bacterial infection that I misidentified early on as discoloration due to stress. He started nipping his fins and they got infected, whatever, this isn't important. So now he has fin rot and I've put him in an unheated [gasp but bettas cant survive unless the water temp is exactly 78.4 degrees; I've kept bettas for 55 years and I'm right] 0.5 gallon quarantine tank hoping frequent water changes would cure it. Failed. Aquarium salt, [Oh, but INTHEMOUTHZ bettas actually don't like aquarium salt and it's a stressor and is awful] despite what I've heard, managed to slow the fin rot. Betta Fix [gasp this ruins their labryinth organ lolz why is it marketed to bettas I'm such a smart veteran you must buy 50$ antibiotic and have a 10 gallon QT bettafix is corporate murder] also didn't work on him, I didn't see any change at all. It also didn't kill him like many veterans swore it would- but I thought it was worth a shot. So now I've ordered some API Tetracycline from Drs Foster and Smith.

So I've got him in a 0.5 gallon tank thats unheated but the house is about 71 degrees, so he won't die but this isn't ideal. Aquarium salt and Bettafix, contrary to the carpings of many more experienced than I, had not made my betta explode, but they also hadn't healed him. I finally caved and spent about 15$ getting some Tetracycline shipped since I couldn't find it locally- you can get Triple sulfa I've heard almost anywhere for about that price locally.

How to mix this curious powder that is pre-measured for 10Gallons in my 0.5 gallon tank? Would my betta get horrible fish cancer like some skeptics said? Would my aquarium become a yellow foamy goop mixture like some said? There's so much conflicting info out there since this stuff isn't exactly scientifically tested- each tank is different, each owner is different, and each fish is drastically different.

I bought a 5 gallon bucket from Lowe's [You MUST get food grade or it will leach chemicals into your water and your betta will grow a second head] and I poured roughly half of the mix in for the first dose. I know this isn't exactly scientific, but whatever, you can dose up to 4 total packets in a 10G (So two total in my 5G). I then scooped out a half gallon and changed fish's water.

He didn't seem to mind it, I'd heard it could bother their kidneys but after a full round he's going stronger than ever. I refilled the 5G bucket with a fresh gallon, and the rest of the packet. So we're roughly under two doses of T/C since it's a half gallon and I essentially diluted it by replacing the half gallon I filled with clean water. Repeat until I'm at two full packets and a little bit more to make up for the stuff I poured out when I put in fresh water. I always poured out the gallon he's been swimming in rather than putting it back in the bucket for dosing.

He's been noticeably more active despite the temperature being sorta low. I'm hoping that the medicine will lead to a regrowth of the fins, at the least healing of the open wounds so I'll keep him much longer. He's 100% normal other than that for the time being, no damage from any of my meddling in his little world.

It's a shame that there's so much conflicting info out there that just sort of puts us new guys in a paralysis, afraid to do anything to hurt our fish. I know I was just floundering (pun) for a week or more trying to google everything I could to get rid of fin rot. Yeah, the temperature being at 72 degrees probably will hurt them in the long run, but is it worth getting on a forum and scaring everyone with a sob story about how your betta will go into shock and go belly up if the tank isn't 78 degrees and never fluctuates? Probably not. They're fish- they're resilient living things, they would like ideal conditions, but I just did my best and I don't think we should condemn people for being normal fish owners and only having a small tank that isn't textbook perfect for their betta. [Bowls for bettas are poison death traps and we should storm petsmartco and break everyone!] Use a bowl if that's all you can afford/handle but know you'll need to keep up with changes and you've gotta make sure that it's fairly warm in the house. Call me crazy, right?!

I kept my betta with fin rot and some red bacterial-infection patches in a 0.5 gallon, unheated, uncycled, filterless, tank and didn't use a freakin balance to perfectly measure in the Tetracycline medicine. Call me the devil, call me a bad owner, but I did what I could to get my guy better with the limited time, effort, and money that I had available. He has been doing well and I think I did my part for my fish- it's certainly better than dying in one of those small cups at petsmartco.

Aquarium salt didn't make my fish get crazy and stress him out- I even think it may have arrested the progress of fin rot [gasp!]. Bettafix didn't fry his lungs and kill him, but it also didn't help the advanced fin rot [double gasp!!]. Tetracycline antibiotic was what I decided on and it made the water yellow and may have foamed if I had a filter running, but who cares? Probably not the betta.

12-22-2014, 06:50 AM
I'm sorry you've experienced so much mayhem with your betta.. Betas do not require a heater and can be kept in a mason jar seeing temperature changes from 50s-90degree in a day.. They require no nitrogen cycle for quick filtration of fish waste. (Use airline tubing to siphon out the debri when necessary and replace water) A simple moss ball would be beautiful to take in the nutrients of the fish waste. If you got really into it add in some substrate for an anaerobic nitrogen cycle and toss in some $3 low light plant.. I keep anacaris in my bowl under a counter top with light on now and then depending on house traffic really.. Use a detoxifying conditioner like Seachem Prime so the betta isnt exposed to toxic ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates (moss ball is great again...).

I know I just said buy things but I didn't say toss $20 on unneeded items.. Betta don't like water turbulence so low flow or no flow is ideal. I have put drift wood in front of outtake to manage turbulence. Sponge filter is ideal. Filter or heater is really not necessary though...

Besides betta and paradise fish few can live under these conditions though.. To flourish and see a magestic betta with vibrant colors and attitude having more space, stability, and decorations make for happier living.

12-22-2014, 07:14 AM
yeah and a betta's life expectancy is 5 months before they die of old age.

12-22-2014, 02:50 PM
+ to TD. While a betta can tolerate extremely poor conditions, as a responsible owner of one, why would you not want to give it the best environment possible? Why buy one in the first place if you're not set up to accommodate it?. Just because it can survive a multitude of sins against it, doesn't mean it should.
I hope your betta recovers completely. And I hope you can provide it with a decent sized tank that is not the equivalent of a human living in a bathtub.

12-22-2014, 03:01 PM
1. Are you a troll?

2. As serious fish keepers, we always try to aim at providing the animals in our care with the best conditions reasonable, instead of the bottom line approach you seem to be advocating. Sure, as you said, fish are resilient. They will take some pretty terrible treatment and still live. They won't be at their best though.

12-22-2014, 03:03 PM
This post is very angry. I'm not sure who exactly you're so angry with, and I'm not sure what you hoped to accomplish by making a new account on this forum just to launch this tirade against your strawman.

We do often tell new fishkeepers that what they're doing is wrong. We only do this because we assume that fishkeepers want to get the maximum enjoyment out of their fish, which usually means setting them up to live long, healthy lives. Most of the time new people had no idea that you can get five times the lifespan out of a betta by actually giving it a filtered, heated tank, or that adding a couple of those brightly colored fish from the "mixed cichlids" tank at the pet store is going to spell problems for their tank full of tetras and guppies. That's kind of the entire point of these forums.

12-22-2014, 03:09 PM
I've picked up a blip on my troll-dar...heading S/SW at forty knots....

12-22-2014, 03:35 PM
I don't think he's a troll. I think he's a self important jerk with a God complex. .

12-22-2014, 03:42 PM
I don't think he's a troll. I think he's a self important jerk with a God complex. .

Sometimes those traits go hand in hand....

12-22-2014, 03:51 PM
If you think a betta's life expectancy is 1-2 years you are all set. Keep up the great work....
However-if you would like a betta to be more than just a throw away pet-then you have to care for it, like anything worth having. With proper care (research on the fish’s needs/environment, right size tank, cycled tank, proper filtration, a heater, proper diet, water changes, etc...) my bettas have lived 5, 7 and even 8 years. I had 7 tanks set up at one time and each one was for a betta, each one was heated, cycled, had filters and were over 3 gallons with live plants.
No living thing should be an impulse buy...have you taken time to read the posts here???? Many have taken the time to get their tank up and running, to cycle it properly, to get money to properly equip their tanks with the tools to give their fish the best homes. If you don't have the funds right off the bat, then the fish is the last thing you buy...if it takes a month, two, three then that's what it takes. To just "buy" a fish and then criticize the advice you received from a site(s) that you went to and ask for because you feel your way is better, is a childish way to prove you are doing it the "right" way. Our advice is based on personal experience, research, and listening to others advice; not making fun or bashing what they say as stupid and wrong. Last time I checked we don't get a paycheck from offering our help or supporting any special brand or not supporting a brand (like betta-fix, which I have not used as I use diluted mela-fix instead with no issues as of yet).

Happy holidays to you and I sincerely hope your fish won't suffer in the future for his current care.

12-23-2014, 12:58 AM
I just love it when Home Depot has a good sale