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Old 01-23-2012, 06:42 PM   #1 
Isadorabelle
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Finrot??

Hello! This is my first post in this community and I'm very happy that I've found it. A friend of mine, a fish enthusiast, gave me the bug and now I've got one betta and am gearing up to expand into another tank with more fish.

Right now though, I'm having a little situation with my betta. I've had him for about a month now and I 'liberated' him from Wal-mart. It seems so mean that they sit on shelves like stock!!!

Sol Invictus behaves very healthily. He's very active, he has a good appetite, and his visible waste isn't stringy or discolored. Sol loves it when I get near the tank too, he gets all excited because I feed him, watch him eat and we just kind of hang out watching each other after.

His bowl is 1.5 gallon. It is smaller than I like and I'm probably going to be upgrading soon to a bigger tank with a heater. His bowl doesn't have a heater or a filter, however I change about 25% every week and do a full change every two weeks. In between these I siphon old waste water off of the bottom and replace it with distilled water so that I can keep the amonia levels down. The room temperature is usually in the high 70's and as I said, I regularly keep an eye on the water as well as his behavior.

Sol seems really energetic. Though, I've noticed something that has me worried. His fins seem to be getting smaller. I didn't think it was finrot because I didn't see any darkening and they don't look ragged, but he's also a crowntail and his fins kind of look scraggly anyway. Given that he's red and I'm not overly experienced with fish, I'm not so sure now that I'm not just overlooking the signs. There's nothing in the bowl that he could scratch or amage his fins on, nor anything to nibble at them. He's alone in the bowl and the decorations are smooth.

I'm also kind of concerned that he's a little constipated because his stomach seems slightly bloated. I was worried too about dropsy, but after looking at the list of symptoms on nippyfish.net, I'm not as worried. His scales aren't pineconing, he's not lethargic, no color loss and my boy definitely has an appetite. He loves to eat. After looking at diagrams I'm not sure that he's not just naturally like that, but if anyone has any input about this, please let me know.

The nicest picture is the one I took a few days (or the day, I can't remember) that I got him. The other one I took about an hour ago with a month's difference.

Anyway! Here are both pictures of my feisty boy. I can update this on the Ph levels tomorrow when I pick up a new kit.
A Month ago:
http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/...olInvictus.jpg
Today:
http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/...6/S6304399.jpg
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:22 PM   #2 
chrissylee13
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from my experience it looks like it could be fin rot, but also looks as if he may be tail biting, but i can't tell from the photos very well. although, when my fish have gotten fin rot they've stopped eating.

either way i think you need to up your water changes. a 1.5 gal is a little small and can build up ammonia/nitrate levels fairly quickly even with just taking out the waste/left over food. it's also a good idea to do it more now since he has either come down with the fin rot or is tail biting. don't need it getting any worse! but i would reccommened getting aquarium salt and using 1 tsp/gal to treat him anyways. also API stress coat+ will help heal his fins back.

i looked up distilled water because i don't use it and this is what i've found on it, "
Distilled water.I do not recommend using distilled water EVER. Yes, distilled water is “pure” in the sense that it does not have any harmful chemicals in it. Matter of fact it has NOTHING in it. And that is the problem. See, bettas need some essential minerals which they get from their water. And distilled water provides none of that. It is also way too soft and acidic and not suitable. It is also expensive. If you are currently using distilled water for your jarred betta, please switch him to something else (see below) BUT DO SO VERY GRADUALLY like over a period of two weeks or more. (see below on how to switch water)" i got it from this website http://www.bettatalk.com/water.htm

hope i helped a little!
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:24 PM   #3 
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oh! and also, because he's a crown tail he sort of naturally always looks a little bloated after eating because of his body shape. but it doesn't hurt to not feed him for a day to see if it goes down.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:04 PM   #4 
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Yeah he's quite bloated.. What and how much do you feed and does he get at leat one fast day a week? From your post I wonder if you are overfeeding.

Fin problems could definitely be due to poor water quality. A 1 gallon should be changed 100% every 2-3 days max, but in my experience even then your boy will always live with ammonia. You could alternative 50% followed by 100% to reduce fish stress. Might even be able to do two days of 50% followed by 100% and keep the ammonia well down, but it depends on how much waste he is producing.

Also those bubbles, although I'm sure they look cool, are not a good thing. They can form inside your boy causing problems. It means you are using unaged water. I suggest keeping a couple gallon milk jugs and rinsing very very well in hot tap water and then filling water and letting it set at least a full 24 hours before water change but letting it sit two or even three days is not a bad thing.

Distilled water is not good. RO is ok so long as you test the ph and make sure it's not too low. Some RO systems make the ph very very acidic because of their softening system. Otherwise your plain old tap water plus a good dechlorinator like prime or stress coat (aged of course) should be just fine unless you have really really bad water.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:09 PM   #5 
Isadorabelle
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Oh my gosh, yes thank you! I used to use distilled water because another fish friend suggested it, but after a while it got too pricy, so I just started using tap water + conditioner and doing a little distilled water in between. The conditioner declorinates as well as helps with the slime coat.

I'm planning to get him a 5 gallon tank in a few weeks, sooner if I can afford it. (those kits are surprisingly expensive!) I debated getting a filter for this one but after doing some reading and some suggestions from a friend of mine with years of experience, I decided against it. It seems like most of the filters receive a lot of reviews about being too powerful for the size. But, when I get him the 5g, I'll get the whole little kit with a filter and probably a heater just to be safe. He seems comfortable with the temperature, but better safe, right?

The conditioner I use is 'AquaSafe' by Tetra. It says it: Dechlorinates & Conditions, Replenishes protective slime coat for all freshwater aquariums. Is this the same thing as the "API stress coat+" you mentioned or something else? I'm good with buying more if I have to, I just want to make sure I don't end up buying something I already have. I've been using the AquaSafe with water changes too, so my boy hasn't gotten straight tap water.

I'll try to get a better picture tomorrow when there's better light so that you can see the fins more clearly.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:22 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Yeah he's quite bloated.. What and how much do you feed and does he get at leat one fast day a week? From your post I wonder if you are overfeeding.
Yeah, he does fast once a week now and I've cut down on the amount I feed him. Though, this is more recent that I've begun doing this so it might just be that it hasn't gone down yet. I've read that giving him a skinned, 1/4-1/2 pea would help. Do you recommend that as well?

As far as what I feed him it is BettaMin: Tropical Medley a small pinch once a day and freeze dried bloodworms once a week. Both are by Tetra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Fin problems could definitely be due to poor water quality. A 1 gallon should be changed 100% every 2-3 days max, but in my experience even then your boy will always live with ammonia. You could alternative 50% followed by 100% to reduce fish stress. Might even be able to do two days of 50% followed by 100% and keep the ammonia well down, but it depends on how much waste he is producing.
I knew that the smaller the tank meant more changes, I guess better up those! I didn't think I needed/should do more because of stressing him, but I guess he's stressed anyway, so he should at least be in clean water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Also those bubbles, although I'm sure they look cool, are not a good thing. They can form inside your boy causing problems. It means you are using unaged water. I suggest keeping a couple gallon milk jugs and rinsing very very well in hot tap water and then filling water and letting it set at least a full 24 hours before water change but letting it sit two or even three days is not a bad thing.

Distilled water is not good. RO is ok so long as you test the ph and make sure it's not too low. Some RO systems make the ph very very acidic because of their softening system. Otherwise your plain old tap water plus a good dechlorinator like prime or stress coat (aged of course) should be just fine unless you have really really bad water.
You'll have to forgive my ignorance, but what's RO? I have city water, not well water or anything. I'm assuming that that's okay. Haha, or at least I'd hope so! I do have some plastic and glass jugs that I'll be able to age water in. I'll do that tonight.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:44 PM   #7 
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I use peas occasionally. Put a small amount of tank water in microwavable cup. I use frozen organic. Nuke for 10 seconds in microwave, shell, and cut in teeny tiny pieces. Most people on this forum don't seem to like it but I find it highly effective and have never had a problem with it. You really got to make sure to get all the extra bits out of the tank or ammonia spikes quite quickly. You can use epsom salts at .5 to 1 tsp per gallon for up to 2 weeks to help too, alternatively to pea. I've used both. Just make sure to fully dissolve the salts outside the tank (bit of tank water) before adding.

I would not feed flakes as this can cause bloat. Get a good high quality pellet like New Life Spectrum Betta or Omega One Betta Buffet. Your occasional blood worm is fine. How many varies. A good place to start would be maybe 4 a day.. two am and 2 evening.

The stress from large water changes has to do with shifts in water parameters. If you are careful and keep water temp and ph constant, this will cause no stress. I am pretty ocd about making sure my guy stays in 100% constant temp and ph when I change water and when I do a thorough job he shows no signs of stress. If I screw up, he lets me know.

RO (reverse osmosis) water is filtered but not fully distilled.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:34 PM   #8 
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Alright! I have my water aging (it'll be 24 hours in about 5-6 hours) and I went out today to get some aquarium salt and food pellets. As I didn't get to walmart I did check my k-mart and grocery store. The fish selection was horrible! They didn't have any pellets nor did they have aquarium salt. I don't drive so I couldn't demand my transportation take me somewhere that would, like Walmart. They did have epsom salt though and I went ahead and bought it so that I'd have it. But, before I use it, I'd like to once again draw from everyone's knowledge about it. Is it a reasonable alternative or did I waste $1.68? I read that coarse sea salt doesn't have iodine in it, would that be a better alternative? If neither of these work I can do a regular water change and hope that that helps until I can get to the pet store. I'm going out again tomorrow an I know for sure that I'll be passing a pet store, one specifically for fish, so I can ask my ride to stop.

On the good side though, as far as I can tell the bloating did seem to go down a little. It might just be the lighting and the fact that when I come over, he stares me down so few side views, but it seems to have gone down some.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:14 PM   #9 
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An update on Sol Invictus: He's still just as active as he's always been. I did a water change and put in the correct dosage of aquarium salt (I got epsom salt too, but I didn't look at the forum before and put in that instead, thinking that aquarium salt was what you said! Ugh. Just shows that you shouldn't trust memory!). I also got him a new food, Omega One Betta Buffet, though they didn't have pellets, only flakes. I'm looking online for the pellet product. The pet store I went to is a strictly fish and reptile store and that was all they had, so I'm figuring that I'll have to be shopping online for that. I thought that in the meantime, I'd get the next best thing.

I'm not sure about the tail biting yet, I don't think there's been enough time. He still has quite an appetite though and is just as energetic as he was before.

He's still bloated, but I'm hoping that with the water treatment (I'll switch to epsom salt at my next 100% WC if that's not too much of a drastic change for him?) new food, moving him to a new place...I'm hoping that the bloating will go down and the tail biting will stop.

Bettas have such a reputation for being healthy and hearty. And, he's behaving so energetically, he's responsive and curious as usual, he's not having any trouble swimming. I'm hoping that I'm just being a little paranoid and over protective because I have encountered and had sick fish before, fish that I got sick, and he's nothing like that.
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