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Old 07-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #1 
Haleigh
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Fraying/Curling Fins

First off, let me start by saying that I worry...a lot! There probably isn't anything wrong, but I figured I'd post just to make sure. I have owned my betta fish, Emperor Catullus, for nearly two weeks now. He is a rose tail, and I just recently noticed that the ends of his tail are beginning to fray just a tad. Could this be an on-start of fin rot, or perhaps my high pH? The plants in his tank are silk and the decor isn't rough, so I doubt his fins got snagged. Is there any way to treat this? I just want him to be healthy.

Here are some pictures:










Housing
What size is your tank? 5.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80.2
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum Pellets and Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, six pellets

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week with gravel vacuum
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat + water conditioner

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.6
Hardness: n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fraying fins. My other betta fish, Pontus Rex, also had this problem. Could it be the high pH?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Tonight
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)?3.5 months
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:24 PM   #2 
darkangel
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I read curling is from hard basic water but its suppose to be harmless. I think he looks healthy so probably not a big deal?
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:35 AM   #3 
Narny105
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Your pH is completely fine, so don't even worry about that. Bettas will be fine with a pH from 7.0 up to 8.2. The main thing is that it's stable. And if it is stable, I wouldn't mess with it at all

HM's are definitely culprits of nipping, and every HM I have ever owned has nipped at some point, whether only once, or prolonged over a period of time. My red HM is currently a full time nipper, and has always been, although he has settled down now.

That being said, assess the tank set up, make sure it is nice and planted for him- this will provide a sense of security, and help improve mental stimulation, and see how he goes.

You can also increase water changes to a few times a week if there is a little infection going on, although to me it just seems like a good pair of healing fins that he has nipped a bit. It takes only a few seconds to a minute for a betta to do some terrible damage to their fins, which is often why we never see it.

Hard water doesn't cause curling, though. That's just something thrown around online- my water is quite hard

All the best :)
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:50 PM   #4 
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I have four plants in there now, but I'll add two more to see if that helps. I have a hard time thinking it's nipping. The fins seem to be fraying quite lightly; if he was nipping wouldn't there be chunks missing?

I didn't cycle the tank before I got him. I just added API Quickstart. This week, I noticed a bacteria bloom in the tank. Could that be irritating his fins a tad?
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #5 
Narny105
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Nipping can really look like anything, from chunks, to fraying. My betta frays his fins when he nips.

In terms of cycling, if you have a tank with some cycled media in it already, just transfer some over :) It might be irritating his fins a little, so I'd just keep the water nice and clean for him.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #6 
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Ok great! Thanks for your help. I'm doing a 50% water change tomorrow and adding two more plants for him.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:42 PM   #7 
Narny105
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No problem! Good luck :)
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:18 PM   #8 
lilnaugrim
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I actually have to disagree with Narny for once about nipping. Nipping will always have a U shape to it, sometimes smaller than other's but it will be there.

Since he is a FT his fins will always look a bit raggedy like that, but I actually see white at the edges of his fins which indicates new growth so it's due to his fins growing. And yes you are right, sometimes fins grow unevenly, even on the same fin and because he is so young, he still has about 3 or so months of growing left to do Now if you start seeing chunks of U shapes being taken out, that is fin nipping. Or if you see black edging where the white edges are right now, that would be fin rot which I know you've experienced before

As to the pH level, I have to disagree with Narny once again, sorry hun. Betta's are naturally in soft acidic water right down to 5.5 pH so naturally they tolorate anything from 5.5 to 7.5 but can survive in higher pH levels.

And again with the hard water, it is not all about the hard water but it is more likely to happen in hard water. I had a betta in 6.0 water and his fins curled and nothing I could do about it. Also high ammonia content will cause fin curling as well. CT's are most prone to fin curling though, HM's usually aren't as much with their caudal. Also you can have hard water and not have a high pH level so those two as I commonly see people say (including myself at some points) do not go hand in hand. Usually it is said that the high pH level causes curling, it may not help much but it's certainly not the culprit.

Anyway, yes, keep the water fresh. You can do twice a week changes at 25-50% and he'll be fine since it's all new growth. FT's look like that all the time though, they'll never have clean edging and if you find an FT that has clean edging I'll quit the Betta trade lol
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:05 PM   #9 
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I am so relieved to hear it is from new fin growth. I have no problem with his fins looking a tad ragged as long as he is healthy! I'll be sure to watch out for his ammonia levels and start doing water changes twice a week. Thanks to both of you for your advice!
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:17 AM   #10 
Narny105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
I actually have to disagree with Narny for once about nipping. Nipping will always have a U shape to it, sometimes smaller than other's but it will be there.

Since he is a FT his fins will always look a bit raggedy like that, but I actually see white at the edges of his fins which indicates new growth so it's due to his fins growing. And yes you are right, sometimes fins grow unevenly, even on the same fin and because he is so young, he still has about 3 or so months of growing left to do Now if you start seeing chunks of U shapes being taken out, that is fin nipping. Or if you see black edging where the white edges are right now, that would be fin rot which I know you've experienced before

As to the pH level, I have to disagree with Narny once again, sorry hun. Betta's are naturally in soft acidic water right down to 5.5 pH so naturally they tolorate anything from 5.5 to 7.5 but can survive in higher pH levels.

And again with the hard water, it is not all about the hard water but it is more likely to happen in hard water. I had a betta in 6.0 water and his fins curled and nothing I could do about it. Also high ammonia content will cause fin curling as well. CT's are most prone to fin curling though, HM's usually aren't as much with their caudal. Also you can have hard water and not have a high pH level so those two as I commonly see people say (including myself at some points) do not go hand in hand. Usually it is said that the high pH level causes curling, it may not help much but it's certainly not the culprit.

Anyway, yes, keep the water fresh. You can do twice a week changes at 25-50% and he'll be fine since it's all new growth. FT's look like that all the time though, they'll never have clean edging and if you find an FT that has clean edging I'll quit the Betta trade lol
No need to apologise :D I keep mine at 8.0 just because it's stable, and they do quite well, but I'm sure they'd prefer a much lower pH. I just can't provide it without having fluctuations.

In terms of the curling in CT's with a hard pH, mine would curl from occasions, and I once also assumed that it was due to my high pH, although my water hardness was pretty mild, and his fins would sort themselves out. The mineral content of the wate is also something people will factor in, but I don't really know how that could be measured. I tried tropical salts (those blue ones sold by aqua something?) and my CT would still curl from time to time. It's a hard call to make, but with delicate fins like they have, who knows! They must have bad fin days from time to time lol

Last edited by Narny105; 07-03-2013 at 01:22 AM.
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