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Old 04-07-2011, 01:43 AM   #1 
xx420blazexx
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Fin rot mystery

I have been treating my betta for fin rot on and off for about a month now. The symptoms started developing right after i first got him from petsmart (about a month ago.) He had a rim of black on his back fin and the black got slowly larger and the fins started to become ragged. I started a salt treatment for about 7 days and he showed definite improvement. The fins grew back together and so I took him out of the quarantine container and put him into his new tank. (I had a 2.5 gal from a previous fish that I had him in, and then i bought him a 3gal marineland acrylic tank and a heater.) So about a week later, his fins start to become ragged again. Back he goes into the qt container and into salt. He improves. So i put him back into the main tank. Again, a week later, fins become ragged. I bought some Tetra Blackwater extract in hopes of helping him heal faster. This was about 5 days ago, and he was still in the qt tank. Yesterday I put him into the main tank and his fins almost immediately become ragged. So i figure, okay, obviously its something in the tank that is causing this. I have a rock formation with some small leaves coming off of it, and a plant with several types of leaves on it. They are both fake, but are fairly soft. I left the rock formation in, and took the larger plant arrangement out. I also completely washed the tank with scalding hot water and everything that goes in it. I thought maybe some type of residue got into the tank so thats why i washed it. Meanwhile, Kratos was in the qt tank. After i washed all this, i put him back into the tank. Again, his fins become ragged. I cannot figure this out. I thought maybe tail biting, but it looks identical to pictures of finrot. Its like hes fine in a small container, but as soon as he goes into the 3gal, his fins become messed up. Any thoughts on this?
Also, the area where the fish was at (my girlfriends house) water quality is not so great. I tested the pH with a kit that only goes to 7.8, it was atleast the maximum. So i bought some spring water in hopes that it was just the water. It has not made any noticeable difference. So i ruled out the water for now.
Any help or suggestions would be very much appreciated by myself and Kratos. I will answer the basic questions in another post. And i will try to upload pictures of the set up and his fins.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #2 
xx420blazexx
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Housing
What size is your tank? 3 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? around 78 to 85max
Does your tank have a filter? yes, the one the kit comes with
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes, heater is not adjustable however, says that the factory setting is 78
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqeuon pellets and sometimes Omega one flakes(rarely)
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day, about 5 pellets

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? atleast once a week
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? Seachem Prime, and just started to add Tetra Blackwater extract

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? Well, sort of.. I bought a seachem ammonia plastic tab thing that suctions to the side of the tank. I know that i need to buy a master kit(reccomendations?)

If so, what are the following parameters?
Ammonia: .02ppm
Nitrite: ?
Nitrate: ?
pH: Around 7.8
Hardness
Alkalinity: ?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? his fins keep becoming ragged once i put him in his 3gal. He heals in the qt tank though.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not at all that i can tell. When i first got him though he would go a little nuts( i guess he wasn't used to being in so much water) But now hes calmed down. Not in a lethargic way, just not so spazzy.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 3-5 days after i got him(over a month ago) he had a black border on his fins.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Every time i notice his fins get ragged, he goes into a 1tsp per gallon salt treatment container. This has occured about 3 times.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no, this has been his only issue since ive gotten him
How old is your fish? I'm not sure.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:10 AM   #3 
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Would be good to know nitrite and nitrate. 7.8 pH seems high.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:19 AM   #4 
xx420blazexx
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Okay here are some photos. These were with my phone so they're not the best quality.
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This is the plant arrangement that was in there until today. He liked to rest on the flat leaf areas.
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Current setup.
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Pic of his fins. This was the best one i could get just now


I should also mention that the day before yesterday(while he was in the qt tank) I noticed a filmy type of "slime" on the 3gal tank and sand. I believe it was on the tank walls and plant areas, it was a clear translucent sort of film. I think it came off when i did a water change and sort of knocked it off the surfaces? Maybe that has some significance.. Thanks to all who reply in advance. I know this has all been sort of long, but i wanted to be thorough so that it is easier to diagnose. I also have the filter off and without a cartridge(maybe the calm water helps him heal?, just trying to rule out variables)

Last edited by xx420blazexx; 04-07-2011 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:19 AM   #5 
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Hmmm. Fin rot sucks, I'm fighting it right now too. How often are you changing the water in the QT tank? Is the max you've done aquarium salt for 7 days? I was told to do 10 days (in QT) to help with fin rot. You may want to try adding Indian Almond Leaf or Oak leaves as they probably are much better than an extract. Also I'm not 100% on this but if the water's too warm, that may help the bacteria/fungus grow more, but I can't remember. How does the water temp compare between the tank and QT? How do the water stats compare between the QT and the tank? For water testing I use the following kit: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2754034 . Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:26 AM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trono View Post
Would be good to know nitrite and nitrate. 7.8 pH seems high.
I have a higher PH as well (7.6-7.8), right out of the tap. Apparently it's the standard PH for our city's water. I was advised that because "this is the way it is with our water, and the environment Harley is used to", I shouldn't mess with it by constantly adjusting it with outside products. Of course if its high for another reason, its still a concern to worry about.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:51 AM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley View Post
Hmmm. Fin rot sucks, I'm fighting it right now too. How often are you changing the water in the QT tank? Is the max you've done aquarium salt for 7 days? I was told to do 10 days (in QT) to help with fin rot. You may want to try adding Indian Almond Leaf or Oak leaves as they probably are much better than an extract. Also I'm not 100% on this but if the water's too warm, that may help the bacteria/fungus grow more, but I can't remember. How does the water temp compare between the tank and QT? How do the water stats compare between the QT and the tank? For water testing I use the following kit: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2754034 . Good luck!
When he is in the qt tank its changed daily. It might have been 8, but it was atleast 7 days. I kept him in there until his fins looked alot better. I could try 10, I just don't want to keep putting him in salt. If it wont harm him at all then its worth a try. The qt is floated in the 3gal, so the temp is the same. Its the same exact water mixture going into both.

Does anyone know anything else i can try that they have had success with?
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:54 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xx420blazexx View Post
Housing
What temperature is your tank? around 78 to 85max
Does your tank have a filter? yes, the one the kit comes with
85 is a little high, in my opinion. I keep my quarantine tank at 80*-83*. Usually 78-79* in his regular housing. Try lowering the temperature, which may be attributing to the "slime," and might be stressing him out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xx420blazexx View Post
Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqeuon pellets and sometimes Omega one flakes(rarely)
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day, about 5 pellets
If your fish is suffering from fin-rot, he's gonna need a high-protein diet. I would switch to a food that has a high protein % on the back. I fed Ulmo nothing but wingless fruit flies when he had finrot. I got 'em in a plastic jar in the Reptile section of Petco. Try feeding smaller meals throughout the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xx420blazexx View Post
Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? atleast once a week
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? Seachem Prime, and just started to add Tetra Blackwater extract
Do more water changes in his permanent home. In a 3 gallon tank, shoot for a 50-75% water change twice a week. Blackwater Extract does nothing but change the water color.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xx420blazexx View Post
Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? Well, sort of.. I bought a seachem ammonia plastic tab thing that suctions to the side of the tank. I know that i need to buy a master kit(reccomendations?)
Your filter isn't baffled, try baffling it so he's not fighting the current as much, or being thrown into plants. I use the same master kit as the previous poster and it does well. Generally, a liquid kit is much more reliable.

Do the salt baths for at least 10 days. I also had luck using fin rot powder in my quarantine tank, it made the water super-green. I'll post the brand name later today. In the quarantine tank, do a water change very often.

The slime concerns me. I have semi-"slime" on the tank I have, but mine is algae starting to grow. I'm concerned that yours is on the sand. Can you post more about the slime? Was it thick?

Good job on getting rid of that plant. It's hard. Generally, if a you were to run a nylon against a plant and feel it would get caught, then don't put it in your tank. ESPECIALLY if your fish is sick. That plant is definitely gonna catch the fins, and deter from your fish's healing.

Try turning of the lights and giving him some space, too. It's all about relaxation.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:22 AM   #9 
xx420blazexx
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Torat:(the multi-quote wasnt working for some reason)

85 is the max that gets up to. Generally its around 80.

Maybe i'll try feeding him some wingless fruit flys. How many did you feed per day?

Well on the extract bottle it says it has: Vitamins B2, B6, B12, nicotinic amide, panthenol, biotin, and peat extract. So i thought it would be beneficial..

Yeah, for now i have the filter off so he doesnt have to struggle against any current.

Well, i think it was just on the sand because it was rubbed off the walls. It was just a clear, translucent, thin "slime" type of thing. Its like it was coating the walls and when i knocked it off it was floating around in there. It then settled on the sand. Yesterday I washed everything with very hot water, so its not present anymore.

I suppose ill go ahead and put him in a salt bath again. What type of stores carry the IAL? Are they any better thank oak leaves? If not, then I would rather just use free leaves i can find on the ground, haha.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:14 AM   #10 
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IAL is supposed to be better than oak leaves but both have benefits to them. Go with IAL if you can. If you can't find it at you LFS then try online (all the pet stores I tried hadn't even heard of it before). You buy it dried. There are different grades of IAL available too. Just google it, there's a lot of info out there. Someone here can probably recommend a place too.
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