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Old 07-30-2013, 12:49 PM   #1 
PanActress
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Fin Rot or just Tearing?

Hey there!

I've noticed a considerable change in my betta's fins and, concerned, I came here to check what I could do to fix it. After exploring and reading a LOT, I've come to realize that there is a lot that I may need to fix about my care. I'm going to fill out the questions and state the housing/care problems which I can fix and the ones which I may not be able to because of my own situation.


Housing
What size is your tank?
2 gallons
What temperature is your tank?
I'm unsure. Like I said, I'm planning to fix a lot of betta care issues, but wanted to know exactly what I need to pick up at the pet store before making a trip.
Does your tank have a filter?
No. The filter my tank came with was a bubble filter and I was told that bettas wouldn't like the agitation. I housed a betta in a similar tank without a filter for 2.5 years, so I thought I would be ok without one.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
No.
Is your tank heated?
No. This is another thing which I hope to pick up at the pet store. I would say it hasn't been cold enough in my apartment for the water to be TOO chilly, considering it's NYC without AC.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Hikari, thought I read that New Life Spectrum may be better so I am going to look for it.
How often do you feed your betta fish?
Twice, as much as he will eat (between 8-10 pellets).

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
Once a week, %100. This is something which I am going to start doing differently after reading this site. I always did %100 changes on a similar schedule for my previous betta so I thought this would be plenty. Before I knew about ammonia burning, etc!
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
%100
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
Aqueon Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Haven't done this. Again, very inexperiened.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
I'm pretty sure he was a delta tail and now, his back fin is ragged and nearly gone completely.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
This has not changed much. He still seems active and healthy. Still eating.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
I'm really ashamed I haven't noticed this sooner. But I realized just how bad it had gotten the past couple of days.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Not yet. That's why I am here!
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
No.
How old is your fish (approximately)?
I've had him since mid April.


If it is fin tearing, the culprit may be my decorations. I have a crocodile skull which he enjoys hiding in and a purple leaved silk plant that has some spikier cones that I plan on removing next %100 water change I do.

The reason I'm having trouble diagnosing this as fin rot is because he is a very dark fish, and has always had black/semi-transparent fins. Maybe a more experienced eye can tell me for sure?

LIST OF THINGS TO GET:

Heater
NLS Betta food
Thermometer
Aqua salt?

PS: I know 2 gallons is on the small side. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed anything bigger per my lease. The pet store employee I spoke with tried to convince me to get a smaller, simpler tank because "a betta doesn't need that much," but I got this one because of good experiences in the past with the same model. So I'm hoping not to be lambasted with "You need a bigger tank." I would just like to help my fish.

Thanks for any advice you can give me!

PICS:





And I'm ashamed to post this before image:


I know it's really bad... no need to tell me... >.< That's why I came here for help!
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:59 PM   #2 
BettaLover1313
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It's hard to tell with the photos, but are the edges of his fins naturally black? If not, he may have fin rot, he's certainly lost quite a bit of his tail.

Are the plants in your tank plastic? That could be another cause of the fin tearing.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:25 PM   #3 
PanActress
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That's why I'm having so much trouble! He has always had black/transparent edges on his fins.

The purple leaved plant has some plastic spikey cones which I plan on removing next time I do a water change. They're pretty, but I'd rather have a pretty, healthy fish, than a pretty plant! Everything else is silk.

I think I read the best way to promote fin growth is good food and warm water, so I'm for sure getting a heater and NLS food if I can find it. Should I get some Aquasalt just in case it is fin rot? Would stress coat help?
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:27 PM   #4 
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Welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place to get help on bettas.

Now onto the advice: Your tank size is fine. You need a thermometer for your tank so you can make sure the temperature in the tank is reaching the appropriate temp for a betta which is 76 degrees F to 82 degrees F. Filter is not needed as long as you are making the correct amount of water changes which is 3 to 4x a week. No heater needed just the thermometer unless the water in the tank isn't reaching the right temperature then you will need to buy a heater. New Life Spectrum is great. Check the expiration date on the container before you buy it. First stop feeding your betta 8 to 10 pellets. Feeding him twice a day is fine but he only needs 3 or 4 pellets each time 2x a day. A betta's stomach is as big as their eye. Water changes need to be done more frequent than once a week. 3 times a week up to 4 times a week at 100% each time is ideal. Water additive is fine. His fins look like he has nipped them. Unless his fins show black where the missing fins are then just some API stress coat and a little amount of aquarium salt to start off but no more after that. The crocodile skull could be causing it. That is my advice.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:53 PM   #5 
PanActress
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Thanks so much for your advice! I'm feeling very optimistic about becoming a better betta owner (alliteration!) Maybe I'll make another post as his fins start growing back (here's hoping they will.)

I'm getting:
heater/thermometer
NLS food
Aquarium salt
Stress coat
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:56 PM   #6 
txbettaowner
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His fins will heal just will take some time.
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:04 PM   #7 
PanActress
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Thanks again for your advice!

So I searched through some of the topics tagged fin rot/regrowth and couldn't find a straight answer, so I'm just throwing this out there. Got the thermometer/heater/etc and the therm says 79 degrees now which is about the middle of the ideal range. How much warmer does the water need to be to promote fin growth? If I put the heater in, will it make it too warm?

Sorry for all the newbie questions. Now that I know how to care for a betta, I want to make sure I do it!
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:39 PM   #8 
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79 is a great temperature. 79 to 80 maybe 81 is just fine. make sure to add some aquarium salt to start but only use it the one time and put extra stress coat in his tank after each water change. No need to put the heater in the tank as long as the temperature doesn't fluctuate too much.
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