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Old 08-30-2012, 03:55 PM   #1 
ameliagypsy
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Unhappy clamped fins

Hey there! Long time reader, first time poster! To the point... I purchased a double tail male betta from petco August 3rd that looked in good condition i.e. active, good fins and color. I put him in my 5 gallon cycled tank that already had two otos and at first he was doing fine. After about two weeks I began to notice his fins were becoming a big ragged. Gave it a closer look... didn't look like fin rot so did some research and thought it might be the powerful current from the filter pump (Eclipse hex 5g) and the powerful air pump stressing him out. I picked up some Bettafix (I already know many of you have mixed feelings about this treatment) and I modified the filter pump to disperse the water so there is way less of a current. I also added an adjustable air valve to the air pump to decrease bubbles. His fins looked better for a few days, new white spots growing in but in the last few days his fins have clamped and he doesn't have much of an appetite however his color has not changed. The rest of my tank info is in the questions below... I'm a little stumped! My first thought was ammonia but the first water test turned up 0... over a week and a half I did two water changes and another water test turned up 0.25. Should I be doing more water changes? I'm afraid at this point it may stress him out worse?

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? constant 78 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes - eclipse hex 5 gallon
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes - topfin 5 gallon with an adjustable air valve
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 otos, they don't pay attention to each other

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? he's been a bit picky... was feeding him Bettamin flakes - wasnt super into them. got omega one betta buffet pellets - wasnt super into them. so far all he really likes is blood worms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% weekly changes, once a month gravel vacumn (75% WC)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? stress coat, nutrafin cycle

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0.25... test water weekly ammonia never goes over 0.25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
pH: 7.0
Hardness: do not have test
Alkalinity: do not have test

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? ragged fins, clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? less active, not a big appetite
When did you start noticing the symptoms? week 1/2 ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? i've done two water changes (50%), adding a teaspoon of aquarium salt and one teaspoon of bettafix
Does your fish have any history of being ill? only had him a month
How old is your fish (approximately)? not sure... i would assume 6 months to 1 year?
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:11 PM   #2 
lvandert
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its your otos. In a 5 gallon tank the only tank mates for a betta should be shrimp, snails and plants. You need at least a 10 gallon for otos and they are community fish, there for should be kept in groups of 4+. remove them, stop the med treatments and change the water out (so the medication is gone) and he should be good to go in a week or two.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:11 PM   #3 
ChoclateBetta
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Lower ammonia your tank is overstocked a 10 gallon is what you need also sounds a little stressful more hiding places he might be tail nipping if he is doing that decorations would help or a bigger tank some plants might help your fish some treats might help the Otos might be doing it some will attack fish. P.S. hopes he recovers welcome to the forum. My two Otos are calm and peaceful with my Betta female and pals in a twenty gallon.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:38 PM   #4 
ameliagypsy
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Thanks

I have otos in my bigger tanks and can transfer. I had the otos in the 5 gallon to help with algae. So an alternative would be a snail? Would my tank still be overstocked? What kind of snail would be appropriate for my size of tank?

Regarding plants, he has an abundance of fake plants along with an arch he can hide under. Some of the plants are plastic and not silk... while there are no rips in his fins I've been contemplating removing the plastic and replacing them with all silk plants. Thoughts? Also, is there such thing as having too many plants?

Regarding water changes... should I do a 100% or several 50%s over time? Also, its about time for a vacumn... should I wait for him to recover a bit before doing so?
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:02 PM   #5 
ChoclateBetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliagypsy View Post
I have otos in my bigger tanks and can transfer. I had the otos in the 5 gallon to help with algae. So an alternative would be a snail? Would my tank still be overstocked? What kind of snail would be appropriate for my size of tank?

Regarding plants, he has an abundance of fake plants along with an arch he can hide under. Some of the plants are plastic and not silk... while there are no rips in his fins I've been contemplating removing the plastic and replacing them with all silk plants. Thoughts? Also, is there such thing as having too many plants?

Regarding water changes... should I do a 100% or several 50%s over time? Also, its about time for a vacumn... should I wait for him to recover a bit before doing so?
Plastic plants damage Betta fins and an apple snail would be okay your two otos would love to be with your big school I commend you for being so great with the advice. Live plants would be better like Marimo and anarchis but the silk will not hurt your fish.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:20 AM   #6 
ameliagypsy
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Update

Hi there! So tonight when I got off work I went to PetCo... and listened to an associate tell a customer that bettas don't need a heater, that three african dwarf frogs and a betta will do fine in a three gallon tank all while gritting my teeth and trying my hardest not to interject. But that is besides the point... anyway

I went to Petco to pick up some silk plants. When I got home I replaced all the plants that were not silk and did a 100% water change. I also took the two otos out and put them in my other tank with my other otos. I treated the water with Stress Coat and 2 teaspoon of aquarium salt. Hopefully he perks up and starts feeling better! Thank you for the advice!
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:19 AM   #7 
lvandert
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good to hear it! I would've said something... I'm actually going to lay into petsmart today lol. but there is a different thread about that lol
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:12 PM   #8 
ameliagypsy
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Update

Before I took the otos out and did a water change my betta was hanging out at the bottom. I removed the big arch because I think he was getting stuck in the hollow part and replaced all plastic plants with silk plants and there are quite a few. I also shut off the air pump to reduce the current even more because I read some where because bettas get oxygen from the surface they don't need air pumps? Can anyone verify that fact? Now he is hanging around the top in one place and while he doesn't have the best appetite, he will eat blood worms. His fins have gotten worse and I'm wondering if he indeed has fin rot. What should I do from here?
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:12 PM   #9 
lvandert
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a picture to confirm the fin rot would be helpful but if his fins look blackened/red and "rotting" away then yeah thats fin rot. They don't need the bubbler (they do breathe air from the surface) so your fine there.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:12 AM   #10 
PaintedOaksOki
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Bettas have an organ called a Labrynth Organ which acts as a lung for them, so they don't usually use their gills in breathing, if you get what I'm getting at.
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A picture like lvandert said would be great to help us determine if it is fin rot or if's just snagged his tail, or if he's been biting it.
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