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Old 02-20-2011, 02:39 PM   #1 
lydiastephen
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Location: Worcester, MA
Reoccurring fin rot?

Hi - I have two male bettas, Goliath and Gallimimus. Goliath is a crowntail and is 10 mos old, Gallimimus is a normal (there is probably a specific name, right?) betta and is about 7 mos old. At the end of August, Goliath's fins became raggedy and trimmed in white which I treated as fugnal fin rot using melafix. Gallimimus, almost since we got him, had weird spots on him and his fins were short and curly at the ends. We also treated him for fin rot. Goliath came back strong. Gallimimus' coloring is much better, but his fins are still short and curly on the ends (except for his tail fin, it is looking much better.)

Here is the info you'd like me to include:
Housing (Their tank set up is pretty identical.)
What size is your tank? About 3.5 gal each
What temperature is your tank? Normally between 74 and 76F.
Does your tank have a filter? No.
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? A pot for hiding and some silk plants. Nothing living.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets and dried bloodworms, alternated. Gallimimus has only recently began liking the bloodworms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1x a day, usually in the AM before I go to work or class.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 50% 1x/week, 100% 1x/week (Wednesdays and Sundays, generally.)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Aqua Safe Water Conditioner.

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

Ammonia: 0-.25ppm (it's not quite either on the color chart.)
Nitrite: unknown
Nitrate:0ppm
pH:7.0
Hardness: unknown
Alkalinity: unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Ratty fins. Gallimimus had a big dark spot on his top fin (now gone) but now Goliath has the same thing going on (but on his tail fin - it's less visible since he is dark blue and Gallimimus is pale pink.)
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not much - Goliath is still friendly and Gallimimus is a total wimp.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Since we brought Gallimimus home, in September, and Goliath had one bout of fin rot in September but had been fine for months until the middle of last week when I noticed a spot on his back fin. He's looking rattier again since then.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I used Melafix successfully with both, treating the water with the correct dosage on the bottle.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not other than fin rot.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Less than a year.

So my questions are:
1) Does this sound like reoccurring fin rot, or am I missing something?

2) Are there more steps I should be taking / not taking in order to get their health to stabilize?

3) What is up with aquarium salt for bettas? Some sources tell me it's necessary, others say forget it. Thoughts??

Thanks. I know you all hear about fin rot all the time, and I found that info helpful, I'm just worried about why this keeps coming back.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:14 PM   #2 
mynameiskcdc
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Howdy! Welcome to the forum. I'm going to try and offer some assistance.

1) Does this sound like reoccurring fin rot, or am I missing something?
It certainly could be reoccurring fin rot. Though, you said your one fish, Goliath, had raggedy white edges? He is a CT, so raggedy edges are pretty common. My avatar is my CT with the fin rot he had when I bought him. His was in a black form. Though, you've had him a while, so you should know what his fins are supposed to look like by now. Sometimes white edges mean that the fins are growing back. I think pictures of both fish would be helpful. It seems like your water is fine, so I'm not sure why this is reoccurring.

2) Are there more steps I should be taking / not taking in order to get their health to stabilize?
On to question three for my opinion on this!

3) What is up with aquarium salt for bettas? Some sources tell me it's necessary, others say forget it. Thoughts??
I use aquarium salt for treating most betta illnesses. There are mixed opinions on salt. Some say to always put it in the water to prevent your betta from getting sick. Others say to only use it to treat illness. You should use your best judgement on this matter, but I definitely think the salt is much healthier for your bettas than the Melafix you are using. I have used Melafix to treat fin rot, and it does do the trick, but it also can have harmful effects on your fish. I believe Melafix is responsible for giving my CT a short bout of pop eye. It just irritates the fish. Try putting 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon in the water and see what this does for you. I would stop using the Melafix and see what happens.

Good Luck, and post pictures if you can : )
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #3 
lydiastephen
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Now with pictures:

My guys were thrilled you asked for pictures... the only way to get them to hang out in one spot is to offer a bloodworm... four or five delicious, crunchy snacks (each!) later I had the pictures I needed. I am the worst photographer :)

Their set-up:


Goliath (on Left in the Pink House):


And Gallimimus (in the Green House):


Gallimimus, when he flares all his fins, only has half of the one that goes around his head. He doesn't seemed bother by it, and it's never gotten worse or better, so I haven't worried about it.

I'll give a try with the salt treatment. Should I start that with a fresh change of water? I could go pick some up tomorrow; it's a holiday and I won't have class or work.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:53 PM   #4 
mynameiskcdc
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Hmmm, yeah I see the spots you are talking about. Pretty fish! The veil tail (Gallimimus is a veil tail betta, btw) looks like his fins could just be growing. I'm not entirely sure though. Some VTs just have naturally curly fins. It's odd that the CT's spot is already right beside his body, as fin rot typically starts at the tips and works in.

Go ahead with the aquarium salt treatment. Yes, you should start it with a fresh change of water and stop using the Melafix for the time being. Keep their tanks at around 76-78F and continue with your usual water change schedule adding the appropriate amount of salt each time. Be sure to mix the salt in the water before you add the fish. I just add mine with the Aqua Safe and mix it up really well. Keep us posted! : ) You should, hopefully, see a difference soon. If you don't want to continue with adding salt to your water, then you should ween them off of the salt. Like one week add 2 teaspoons instead of three and then only one the next week etc. until you are not using salt anymore. Drastic differences in water will stress the fish. Good luck!
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:57 PM   #5 
lydiastephen
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Thanks so much. I'll post back when/if we see results :) I'm assuming that all aquarium salt is generally equal, but if there's a particular something I should avoid let me know?

Again, thank you. I'll post back in a week or so with a progress report :)
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:06 PM   #6 
mynameiskcdc
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Yeah, if it says aquarium salt, then it should be the right stuff. I'll be looking out for your report.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:38 AM   #7 
lydiastephen
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no luck

Even with the salt, Goliath's fins are worse; lots of holes and there are definitely parts missing from his bottom fins. :(

Gallimimus is about the same; nothing looking worse or better. They're both still active, eating, swimming around, etc.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:28 PM   #8 
mynameiskcdc
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Hmmm, that is strange... Maybe he's a tail biter?
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