How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 21201
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi. I would like to request Dr. B (nekovet) because she has

This answer was rated:

Hi. I would like to request Dr. B (nekovet) because she has already been helping me with my betta, but I would like to start a new question. =)
Good morning,

Of course, I will help as much as I can.
Though I am sorry to hear that the treatment regime hasn't gotten us any further but at least it sounds like perhaps we are treading water with Turboberry.

Please do post that photo when you can.

Otherwise, how's the Ich situation?

When you say nothing has changed, do you mean he has been stable or has there been progression?

Can you confirm the active ingredients in the Focus?

As well, the dose/brand of the Kanaplex (the dose is typically going to be 36mg per gallon of water)?

How's his appetite?
Feces look normal?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He's about the same: stomach is white, fin rot, popeye the same. His scales may be poking out a little now, though. But good news is, his fins are better. (Cameron said it was the new silk plant i got him. I trimmed off half the leaves and the shredding stopped. I reread your responses tonight and realized you said to take out his plant, too. I can't because he has to sleep on it. It seems too inhumane. =( I hope that'd okay. It only has like three broad leaves.)

Other good news is that the ich has stayed gone. The holes on his face aren't healing but a couple were there before the ich started. So yes, he is treading water (i keep thinking you mean it literally =). I just woke up from my third nightmare about him dying and checked to see if you wrote so i am on my phone and will have to send the pictures in the morning (its 4:48am now) from a computer.

Both medications are Seachem brand, i guess...? KanaPlex is 180mg/20 liters. I believe it can be put in the water directly, and i can try that for now, but wanted to check with you first. And of course bonding it to his food would be more helpful. =) The Focus supposedly does that. Its an "antibacterial polymer" ("ingredient says "polymer bound nitrofurantoin 0.1%"). Iried mixing the two the other day and soaking his food in it for a minute but he was very suspicious and just let it fall.

Today he ate great. Did some hiding though, but he fell asleep for the night on his plant. =)
Hi again,

Thank you for confirming the medication (I had suspected Seachem but wanted to make sure. But in that case we will need the dose I noted before -- 36mg per gallon of water). I have had a wee peek at the Seachem Focus and it would be useful if he would eat feed with it (nitrofurantoin is decent against gram negative bacteria) as it would be ideal if he would eat the kanamycin. But if he's suspicious and not keen, then water treating with the kanamycin will still be necessary. And would be the next step.

Now I appreciate that he does still have a lot going on; but we do need to consider the positives. While he is the 'same', we have to also appreciate that he is making some positive steps and under the circumstances he is doing quite well to maintain when he has to fight against so much. And under the circumstance this stability is positive because the Ich is abating (though remind me of your tank temperature & how long he has been Ich cyst free --since we do need a post-visible infection treatment to make sure its gone for good.). As well, the fins are improving (the fewer leaves sounds to be a reasonable compromise as long as there is not further fin damaging going on) And of course, his keeping up a good appetite is clearly a positive that we have to appreciate too.

Hopefully, as the Ich is stamped out and the fins are recovering, then his immune system will start to be able to turn its attention to the internal bacterial infection that is causing the pop-eye/dropsy and get to healing the lesions on his face. Especially if we are now able to get the Kanamycin going here to tackle any Maracyn resistant bacteria. So, all things considered, his being stable is more positive then you might have realized. He is still in a precarious position because of everything that has gone on, but all things considered he has come through a lot already and its a case of persevering with him at this stage.

So, I would advise initiating the Kanaplex with him and as always keep a good eye on water qualities and his eating.

Talk to you soon,

Dr. B.

Dr. B. and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX for the encouragement. Yes, he is a trooper, and I'm thinking the fact that he's lasted so long is a good sign, as dropsy seems to progress rapidly, and he seems to be stubborn in not allowing it to. =) I feel very bad for him. I appreciate your medical help, too.

Re soaking his food, what measurement do i do? The guy said to get "a cup of his aquarium water... Well, not a cup, you know... But some..." And I'm thinking, i need exact measurements. =) And mix five parts Focus to one part KanaPlex in with his frozen rid or paste. I explained that he only eats this brand of pellets, and he said that will be harder, but if i can get him to eat it then he needs about five soaked pellets a day. So, if i do try soaking them, what measurements do i use? I mixed the parts i just mentioned in a tablespoon amount of water, and it was a yellow mess, and the food kind of just mushed up and got soggy and he that's when he wouldn't eat it. If you have an idea like how to get him to eat the paste, whatever that is, then i can try it.

Re adding it directly to the water - do i add the kanamycin directly to the water and STOP the Maracyn treatments? Not treat with both methods simultaneously, right?

Is there a certain amount of time that i need to leave between treatments, if so? Or can i go ahead and mix the kanamycin and put it in his water today? And then get info from you later re "paste".

Also, do i put the Focus in the water too? I can't tell if its just used for adherence to food or if it might help with the infection, as well.

Hi again,

Focus is a preparation for binding drugs to the food, so I wouldn't use it as a water treatment. The active ingredient itself does come in a water treatment form but this wouldn't be a preparation for that. Furthermore, we would not treat with the Maracyn's at the same time of the Kanamycin (we'd even want to do a major water change before starting the Kanamycin).

In regards XXXXX XXXXX the diet, this is a wee bit complicated without knowing his exact weight and having a gram scale. Therefore, it would be easier to just follow the drug's recommendation on this. Specifically, the Kanaplex instructions state to blend 1 treatment dose measure with about 1 tablespoon of frozen food paste. This should then be mixed in well and the food may be refrozen do that it is a solid material when used to feed. Otherwise, with soaking, we'd usually mix the meds with water, to then spray or mist it over the flake, let it dry again, and then feed it (and in this case he'd need 0.05 grams antibiotic per gram of his body weight --the average half moon being only about 8 grams themselves). So, I'd suggest following Seachem's suggestion but you can try the water based soaking if you do want to.Or water treatment if he is too suspicious of the food.


Keep up the good work,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Access Denied

You don't have permission to access "" on this server.

Reference #18.ecb1160.1371858244.a517412



Can't send picture because of above error.

How very strange.
I have never seen an error like that before. If you cannot post the photo due to some strange wee technical glitch, you can contact customer service (HERE) to have them either post the photo here or pass it on to me directly.

Dr. B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It worked. Here is the pic.





I guess my question is really, how much water do I mix the five parts Focus and one part KanaPlex in? Before then putting on his food. A teaspoon? Tablespoon? Or what. And then the guy who sold it said to treat about five pellets per day.


In the meantime, do I really wait and treat every other day? That means I skip today.


Which brings me to this: I have a new question. I have migraines and fibromyalgia and am a single mom. I have to come to south Texas for help with kids. Therefore we travel about two times a month, so both ways makes it four times a month. The reason I'm giving you background is to say that I take my two older cats, my dogs, and TurboBerry with me so that I can care for them.


I have been pretty diligent with changing his water, so I think that maybe his health issue re: immune system isn't just due to water quality issue (although that might very well be why) but may also be in part having to travel with him about twice a month. I don't think it's stressed him out before - I've been doing it for months - but I think adding the live plants did it, perhaps pushing his immune system over the edge?


Anyway I need to leave for the weekend. I would normally take him with me. I am worried though because he might not travel well because he's sick. The worse alternative, though, would be that no one would be here for two days, and I think he will be sad (he watches me a lot when he's awake; I'm not thinking I'm overly important, just that being sick, he might be more affected by being alone suddenly). And I wouldn't be here if he takes a turn for the worse. At the very least I would want to be with him if he passes. I think dying alone is heartbreaking (and hopefully it won't come to that). But I've already had nightmares about him dying and I think coming back to find him already passed would just increase those nightmares. Worse, I won't be here to give him the KanaPlex tomorrow (it says to treat every other day for three times total). Should I treat tonight, even though it will only be a little over 24 hours since yesterday's initial dosage? Or should I take him so that he doesn't feel abandoned?


I can ask someone to come put the KanaPlex in, but he doesn't really like animals and I can never really trust someone who doesn't like animals. That sounds awful but it's true. We will be back Sunday (in about 48 hours). I could skip tomorrow's dosage then dose Sunday, but he's pretty bad off and I don't know if I should skip. I could pre measure the KanaPlex and put it in a little cup and see if someone could dump it in here tomorrow maybe.


I'm just not sure if traveling would be more stressful than being alone/confused/potentially ill with no supervision/no dosage. Just thought I would ask. Sorry that it's so long but I wanted to make sure you have all the information. =) I hope you're doing well today.

Good morning,

Turboberry's photo looks fairly stable in comparison to the previous one. There doesn't look to be any change to scale angle and the eye looks much the same as before in the photo. Is that what you are seeing s well

With the Kanaplex it is a medication that is given every other day because the antibiotic has a longer duration of action then some. So, you do need to skip a day when dosing. And because of that, we'd not really want to move a dose up to risk overdosing him. And while we'd not really want to skip a dose while we are trying to treat him, that may be the safest choice.

For mixing with water, its literally just enough to get it mixing. So, start with a teaspoon and if it needs more you can more by drop to get the right consistency.

The frequent travel is quite a concern because even if he appears to tolerate it well, there will be an element of stress for him because it is an 'environmental change'. And as I am sure you appreciate, stress causes the release of stress hormones. The side effect of stress hormones being that they can dampen the immune system to allow opportunistic infections to take root. So, it is possible his lifestyle is an underlying factor and under the circumstances In any case, I'd not be keen for him to travel at the moment when he is so compromised.

So, if there is no one to stay with him and the potential caretaker is not trustworthy, the only suggestions is that you can either skip the next dose to avoid over dosing. Or you could perhaps the local pet store you have worked with might be able to hold on to him while you are away. That way its likely a shorter trip and he'd be somewhere where they know what is wrong and how it needs to be treated. Otherwise, you can try an automatic fish feeder (example) on a timer to add the next dose when its time. But in all cases, while it may end up not being a choice, I'd advise it would be best for him to avoid traveling when his body is already so stressed with these health issues.

Dr. B
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. That's exactly what i was asking. Okay i will leave him here and figure something out. =)

Do you know what the holes are?
You are very welcome.
(Apologies for the delay in reply, was away from computers today).

In regards XXXXX XXXXX wee holes, I am quite suspicious that they are ulcers from where the Ich parasite latched onto his skin. Often it does take time for skin ulcers to heal for fish; even more time with so much else diverting his body resources. The key is avoiding secondary infection with water based bacteria. And the fact Turboberry hasn't had any cotton/fluff material on those ulcers tells us that secondary bacterial infection is not present in those lesions a this time (Which with the treatments we are using are likely helping with that and hopefully will continue to do so).

So, I do suspect the lesions are secondary to the Ich having traumatized his skin and that these will heal with time. Its a case of keeping them free from opportunistic infection and supporting him against his other issues to give his body a chance to deal with those wee sores.

All the best and a lovely night,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay thank you. I went out of town this weekend but came back the next night to make sure he is okay. He seems fine. He ate the most last night than he has in weeks. =)


He has a salt-grain looking spot on his left side of his face last night, so I guess that might be a new spot of ich, but I don't know. I am continuing the water changes and salt, of course.


I did the third dose of KanaPlex last night. Do I not give anymore even though his stomach is swollen and bright white, has popeye, etc.? Or do I wait till tomorrow and try Maracyn, etc. again? Should I try epsom?


Thanks for your help, as usual. =) He seems to be hanging in there, still doesn't have the tell-tale pineconing so I'm hopeful.

Good evening,

Oh dear on that 'salt grain'. I would concerned that it could be Ich as well. But I am glad that you are continuing treatment because that is the best course of action to make sure that we totally clear the parasite and spare Turboberry from them as much as possible.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX other signs, the appetite is a positive step forward. Since he has had such a severe dropsy, I do think we should continue the Kanaplex every other day for at least two weeks in total. I wouldn't restart the Maracyns and I wouldn't use the epsom salts if we are using aquarium salt already.

Overall, it is a case of persevering here and the kanaplex is the best treatment option for him. He sounds stable and hopefully his appetite will continue to improve and we will see these signs start regress with prolonged treatment. As well, hopefully this is just some anomaly 'salt grain' on his cheek because we really don't want that Ich coming back and countering all your hard work with Turboberry.

Take care,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay, thank you. I will continue the KanaPlex.


How long should I continue the 3 tsp/gallon aquarium salt treatment for the ich? I am hoping it isn't ich, too. I am glad the other ones have fallen and stayed off. He can't eat normal pieces much anymore so I am breaking them into a little smaller. Ironically he also won't eat them if they are too small. So I use a lot of prayer and try singing to him while I feed him because I don't know if they are like babies and can stand to have interaction when eating to encourage them if they are feeling puny. =)


As I noted before, we want to keep treating against Ich until we have not seen it for about 2 weeks after we have seen the last Ich to make sure we have caught them all. Now I don't think it has been two weeks yet since we appeared to have reduced Ich numbers, so it may just be that this is the next generation. If it is, then its good that it is small because it tells us that we are getting this in hand. And hopefully by the next generation, there won't be any left.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX feeding him, if he eats for you then it is what we need to do. And I do think they like to interact with us.

So, keep up the good work.
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. Yes, I forgot about treating for two weeks after it's gone. Do I restart each time I see a white spot?


Re: the cottony looking stuff - it is now growing on his fins, and he has started losing little bits of them again starting today. I am worried because the cotton stuff is free floating but these I saw tonight are actually attached to the edges of his fins, it seems. Also the fins in addition to being frayed worse all of a sudden are also pink on the end kind of like bleeding. Do you know why this would be? It hasn't happened before. Is it a side effect of the KanaPlex?


Also, can I restart him on LifeGuard?


On a separate note, this is the second day for him to have a great appetite still and is actually swallowing some of the food versus balancing the pieces on his nose like a really sad seal. =)


(I just want to apologize again for forgetting things you've said sometimes. We have exchanged a lot of information, and it tends to run together because of my memory problems, but I want to make sure you know that it isn't intentional or moral carelessness on my part.)

You are welcome.

No worries on forgetting, with all his issues I have had to bombard you with quite a bit of information. It'd not be easy to process for anyone.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX the Ich, rather then restarting when you see it, you want to be treating for those extra two weeks to make sure its all stamped out. If you see any appear, then that final two weeks has to restart after you clear the one you have just seen. We don't want to pause without being sure its gone, otherwise the parasite population will just resurge.

The cotton (likely columnaris making another grab for him) is not a positive to see. Therefore, it sounds like we still need to be hoovering what you can and what is on the fins we will hopefully keep in check with the Kanaplex. So, I would monitor but if the fins are starting to bleed/inflame then we might have to swap back to Maracyns afterall. But you can add the Lifeguard in the meantime with him and if it doesn't settle then we may have to swap back to Maracyns (or go for broke and just use all three).

So, the appetite is a positive but the potential resurgence of the Ich and reappearance of columnaris on his tail are worrying that we may be losing ground to the infectious agents. But if he is still eating and fighting, then we got to keep doing so alongside him.

Take care,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

There was a half inch long string of his fin in there today that had blood on it. So, I'm not sure that waiting for the KanaPlex to work is going to work. How long are you thinking I should wait for it to work? It's been seven days, I think. It seems to be progressing really fast (the columnaris). If I add the Maracyn to the KanaPlex, do I add it at the same time, use it the opposite days of the KanaPlex, or what?


How long do I continue to use the KanaPlex before adding or switching back to Maracyn? I have been worried about him this whole time but the addition of blood is really bothering me. That can't be good. =(


I do agree that the 'blood' (which is likely blood vessel inflammation from the bacterial infection spreading) is concerning along with the columnaris. They are both signs that we are losing ground against the bacteria and I am concerned that this will be a negative prognostic indicator for him if this continues. So, I would use the Maracyns on opposite days from the Kanaplex to give us the best shot of covering for all the agents.

Dr. B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay. I've done a major water change today in anticipation of your answer in case you said to try the Maracyns again.


Can you tell me how much water to change out each day now that I will be alternating between medications? Do I treat a container of water with Maracyn, and then another separate one with KanaPlex; then when I change out the water in small amounts each day, add clean water from that day's treated water? (So basically, I will have a mixture of pre-mixed Maracyn and pre-mixed KanaPlex? And then each morning, start with the next medication-mixed water?)


What percentage of water should I be going through each day? I refill from a four cup glass container that is easy to measure medicines into and I then pour two cups in at a time. He can't breathe with much more. (By the way, I read tonight that a city water that is high in pH and hard can contribute to betta problems, so I'm going to see how to find out if this water is like that, and get bottled water tomorrow to start using.)


I know this is complicated, and I just want to thank you again for your time.


I do apologize for the delay in reply, some how I didn't get a message that you had sent a note. But I have seen this now, and therefore hope this reaches you.

I just hope we can get Turboberry back from this slide back to the brink. In regards XXXXX XXXXX water change, I'd plan to do a 25% each time. If the water is quite hard, then bottle water would be a good substitute. (You can even test it with your kit prior to use). In regards XXXXX XXXXX drugs, I would not advise pre-making the medication if possible (since we don't want it to age or break down before we are using it). But this may not be practical depending on the preparation type for the Maracyns (as opposed to the Kanaplex which is flexible for dosing).

Take care,
Dr. B
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. My friend got "Crystal Geyser Natural Apline Spring Water" last night when I asked for plain bottled water. I know bettas can't use distilled water, but I'm not sure about this kind of water. Is it okay to use?


I've stopped using the Maracyn 2 for a few days, as it had no effect on him, and it was making him sick. He wouldn't eat or swim, and my son said he would rather the fish be happy and eat and swim and pass away than be on medications that weren't working and making him sicker. I said okay. Maracyn doesn't have obvious side effect of misery, plus it's indicated for columnaris, so I'm continuing him on that plus the LifeGuard. The bleeding stopped later in the day after starting the LifeGuard again. He has lost a few strings of fin but nothing like that one day. Plus they are not bleeding, which doesn't mean that's GOOD but at least there's not open wounds. Also, I am doing the Kanaplex still.


Also, I talked to the fish guy at Texas Tropical last night re: the stuff floating everywhere in the tank and being impossible to control, and he said I can put in a very small filter that has floss only, no ... carbon?... whatever it is that absorbs medicine. But he said I could put in a plain filter just to pull out the crap that's floating in the tank everywhere. No matter how often I change his water, the stuff reproduces at an alarming rate. The stuff that is stringy is what I think got attached to him because usually it just falls off of him but whatever got to his fins stuck and is eating away at them. That's what seems to have happened, anyway. So I'm going to see about getting a little non-treated filter just to get the mechanical part done and see if that helps any.


As long as the water doesn't have any additives or altered mineral contents, it should be fine. A small filter without carbon would be ideal, but I'd be concerned using one because you had noted before that he'd been sucked into your last one. If you can get a smaller filter system then what you had (which I'd imagine was small since he does only have a wee tank), then it would be something to consider. But again it is the carbon that you don't want in the filter just now while you are medicating since that is what will absorb the medication out of the water. But if it is possible to get a smaller filter then what you had and it has a cover or low flow rate to avoid sucking him in, then that'd be just fine for getting the tank bacteria under control.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX therapy, I am glad that bleeding had settled since that was quite a negative sign for him and a real step back in our treating him. In regards XXXXX XXXXX Maracyn 2, with his lack of treatment response to it, it is fine to try him without it if it is making him less keen to swim and eat for you.

Now I must say that I am concerned that we have tried two courses of appropriate therapy for his signs and do not seem to be making much head way. As I know you are aware, we have been dealing with multiple severe advanced health issues for him that did have quite a head start on us. And if we are struggling to make progress over this period of time, we may consider our long term prognosis for wee Turboberry is becoming poor. Therefore, as your son has hinted, we have to consider treating for palliation and to keep him comfortable if we are not going to be able to get this in control for him. This means that if the Maracyn2 is negatively affected im, then we need to stop at this stage. Otherwise, I would still consider continuing the Kanamycin and Maracyn and trying a small filter with him.

Finally, I must say though it pains me to do so regarding wee Turboberry, that if you do get to a point where you think he is suffering then you may need to consider ending his suffering for him. And if you do find yourself in this position with him, then I do want to make you aware of how to do so. (LINK--using clove oil). Hopefully this will not be necessary but I do want you to know what to do if he deteriorates any further.

So, if you can find a smaller filter without carbon, then it is worth a try for him. And if the Maracyn2 is upsetting him, then this can be halted at this stage. Hopefully, we will see him at least tread water with us for a bit longer but if you do think he is suffering then we may need to consider addressing that for him by letting him go.

Please take care,
Dr. B.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. =) I agree re suffering. He hasn't built a bubble nest in weeks, so that's how I know he hasn't been happy per se, but he wasn't really miserable till the Maracyn 2. Now that I've stopped that, he should be relatively more comfortable. Today he has been eating and swimming and been resting on his leaves (usually he hides behind his heater during treatment, as you know.)


Speaking of which, guess what I just discovered?? He just swam by with a big string of the stuff flying behind him, like a feather boa, and I was thinking, now where did THAT come from?? So I looked, and saw him jump over his heater suction cup (I didn't even know he could jump over something or that he could fit all the way behind there - I should have started a fish circus). I pulled it up to clean it and stuff went flying EVERYWHERE. It was gross. So I started suctioning it of course, and added four cups of the bottled water. I am so glad I have finally found where it was hiding, because suctioning the water wasn't working very well on its own.


Thanks re advice for filter. Yes you're right that the last filter wasn't big at all but was still enough to start the fin damage, probably. So I will go see what they have, and put some panty hose over the filter to keep his fins out, if they do have one that will fit.


Also thanks re clove oil. I have heard of that. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I appreciate your honesty. Hopefully, whether he makes it or not, at least I know now not to use the Maracyn 2 so at least he will be more comfortable, and I can't keep him from passing, but I prefer to adopt a kinder treatment since, as you said, he is not responding to the treatments much. But he isn't pineconing or getting that distended stomach that some fish with dropsy have, so I know that your help has been a big improvement over what I was doing before I wrote in. =) I hope you are doing well.


You are very welcome.

It does sound like is still quite active despite everything that has been accosting him. And as you have noted with the lack of dropsy progression, it just seems that we continue to tred water in this stable position but just can't seem to settle everything completely. Admittedly, it is frustrating as we have used everything we could and should to tackle each of those many issues. But it just seems that there has been so much attacking him at once that we haven't been able to make better progress then we have.

So, as I said before, it is a case of keeping him comfortable while trying to treat in the least bothersome (to him) means possible. Hopefully, if a smaller/safer filter is available the bacterial bloom can be managed. And perhaps if that population is lessened, then we can see less external effects on him and let his body once again try and tackle the internal infection. Overall, it is a case of taking it day by day, supporting him, getting him to eat, and seeing if this can be settled. And if we cannot and goodness forbid he gets to a point where he is suffering, then you do have the means to prevent that for him (though hopefully it won't get to the point) too.

Take care,
Dr. B.