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Old 01-30-2012, 02:17 PM   #1 
atrieisan
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Advice?

My oldest betta, Shibuya, is a 1 1/2 year old. He's been relatively healthy with little to no health problems since I got him. However in the last few months I've been watching his fins with a careful eye due to mild deteriation along the edges. I dunno if it's tail bitting or mild fin rot, but I figured I'd ask for advice.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 70 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None, he has a neighboring tank with another betta. (not those cheap divider tanks! Two separate tanks)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Every other day, and at the end of each week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% water change every other day, 100% water change every week.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta Safe(brand) Conditioner

Food
What type of food do you feed your fish? Flakes for bettas, frozen bloodworms.
How often do you feed your fish? I feed him on Tuesdays and Fridays, and a small snack of bloodworms on Sundays.

This was a pic of him I took this morning:


He's missing part of the top of his tail, and down along the ridges. The largest point on the end of his tail is where it normally was.

He did seem relativey sick back in November... I went back to college for the semester, and left him with my younger sister. Of which when I returned for thanksgivign break I found she hadn't cleaned his tank since I left three months ago! D:< I immediately gave him a 100% water change and scrubbed every inch of the tank, silk plants and pebbles to remove any algea, etc. Of which he recovered within a few days.
Because of my sister's lack of fish care, I braved taking him back with me on the windy 5 hour drive back to the college, to ensure his care firsthand. (I left him the first time because I feared he would not survive the trip).
Overall, he seems to be in good health now, the neon green coloring showing, instead of him looking brown. He also seems much better now in 70 degree water than what he was back home. I have a wood fire stove as the source of heat back home, thus resulting in the house being around 60 to 65 degrees. Waaaay too cold for a betta. In attempts to keep him warm I'd put him on the table near the fireplace.
ok.. I'm getting off topic....
his fins..
He doesn't seem to have any red or black rims to his fins. So I'm figuring it's possibly tail biting? Unsure of what it was, I've been doing 100% water changes, and using a few drops of Melafix, and a few drops of "Betta Revive"(Neomycin sulfate <10%, methlene blue) which have helped from keeping him getting infections. I also placed his tank next to my new betta in attempts to keep him from being as bored. But I still wanted the advice from those with a bit more experience.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:50 PM   #2 
SnowySurface
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It will be easier if I simply qoute you and add my 2 cents here or there. XD

Quote:
Originally Posted by atrieisan View Post
My oldest betta, Shibuya, is a 1 1/2 year old. He's been relatively healthy with little to no health problems since I got him. However in the last few months I've been watching his fins with a careful eye due to mild deteriation along the edges. I dunno if it's tail bitting or mild fin rot, but I figured I'd ask for advice.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 70 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None, he has a neighboring tank with another betta. (not those cheap divider tanks! Two separate tanks)

The proper temperature for Betta fish is 78-80 degrees. while 70 degrees is better than 68 degrees it is still 8 dergees too cold. If the tank can't get higher than 70 degrees alone you need a 25W heater.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every other day, and at the end of each week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% water change every other day, 100% water change every week.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta Safe(brand) Conditioner

Food
What type of food do you feed your fish? Flakes for bettas, frozen bloodworms.
How often do you feed your fish? I feed him on Tuesdays and Fridays, and a small snack of bloodworms on Sundays.

Bettas should be twice daily with 1 day for fasting. For example, I feed once in the morning before I go to work, once at night before I eat my own dinner, and then fast on Sundays. Also pellets are healthy than flakes for bettas because most flakes are plant based. If algae is the main ingredient for your flakes then they aren't good for bettas (even if it says it is good for bettas ).

There are tons of food suggests you can find throughout the forum. I use New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula (which is a bit pricey ) but 2 thumbs up for tossing in frozen bloodworms for variety. Giving bloodworms once a week is good but you need to feed his main food more often than twice a week.

This was a pic of him I took this morning:


He's missing part of the top of his tail, and down along the ridges. The largest point on the end of his tail is where it normally was.

He did seem relativey sick back in November... I went back to college for the semester, and left him with my younger sister. Of which when I returned for thanksgivign break I found she hadn't cleaned his tank since I left three months ago! D:< I immediately gave him a 100% water change and scrubbed every inch of the tank, silk plants and pebbles to remove any algea, etc. Of which he recovered within a few days.
Because of my sister's lack of fish care, I braved taking him back with me on the windy 5 hour drive back to the college, to ensure his care firsthand. (I left him the first time because I feared he would not survive the trip).

When I have to travel with fish in winter, I crank up the heat to keep my car as warm as possible. I will also wrap them up in a towel so the darkness can keep them a bit more calm. Just an FYI for any future trips to and from campus.

Overall, he seems to be in good health now, the neon green coloring showing, instead of him looking brown. He also seems much better now in 70 degree water than what he was back home. I have a wood fire stove as the source of heat back home, thus resulting in the house being around 60 to 65 degrees. Waaaay too cold for a betta. In attempts to keep him warm I'd put him on the table near the fireplace.
ok.. I'm getting off topic....

That wasn't off topic at all. The cold temperatures are adding to his illness.

his fins..
He doesn't seem to have any red or black rims to his fins. So I'm figuring it's possibly tail biting? Unsure of what it was, I've been doing 100% water changes, and using a few drops of Melafix, and a few drops of "Betta Revive"(Neomycin sulfate <10%, methlene blue) which have helped from keeping him getting infections.

Clean water and a heater is all he needs to fight off infections. Even when he is sick you should use Melafix and Betta Revive together in random amounts. It should one medication over the other according to the directions. You do more than enough water changes to keep your betta healthy. Even if he does have true fin rot, the fins will grow back in clean water if the tempurature is increased with a heater.

I also placed his tank next to my new betta in attempts to keep him from being as bored.

That could cause more harm than good. If your sick betta is a bit of a whimp, he could get stressed out by being next to a dominate fish. Once he's healthy you can put him next to another fish. For now, he needs his own space more than he needs entertainment.

But I still wanted the advice from those with a bit more experience.
Let me know if there is something I'm missing. But that info should help nurse him back to health.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:46 AM   #3 
atrieisan
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Ah, thank you Snowysurface. That was very easy to follow.

I took another look at him and it seems like the ends of his fins are very very slightly scraggled, with little bubble sized holes, which I don't think he can do with his teeth. So I'm guessing he's got fin rot. -.-;
I was wondering about the melafix, cause I've heard rumors about it being bad for bettas, etc. But I've used it before with no signs of a problem, so I dunno?
And whaddya know...... the flakes do have algea in them, but the base ingredient is fish meal... Problem is, he's such a picky eater... he turned his nose up at the pellets. The only other reason I feed them so sparingly is because my first betta died from over feeding..... heh
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:08 PM   #4 
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Melafix is considered bad because it can do damage to a betta's Labrynth organ. Since bettas are one of few fish in captivity to breath air from the surface, it's safe for the majority of fish most people keep as pets. Some people use it on bettas with no problems while others see a negative reaction immediately. Bettafix is a more dilute version of Melafix that is designed to be gentler on the labrynth organ if you have the money for a replacement medication. But it would still be hit or miss depending on the betta.

I also should have been a little more specific when I said fish should be the main ingredient. ^_^; Fish meal doesn't mean much nutrition wise because it's a mush made out of fish left overs. You don't want to know what's leftover for factories to use as cheap (and in some cases moderately priced) fish food. When I check for fish as the main ingredient I look for the name of an actual fish or shell fish on the label. Using New Life Spectrum as an example, their food is expensive because the main ingredients are krill and herring. The only way to feed your betta healther food than that is to make it yourself from scratch. XD

Since I jumped from meds to food, I will end with my two basic rules to help prevent over feeding of my bettas and how I deal with picky eaters.

1) amount of food
Small fish pellets (0.5mm) - 5-6 pellets twice a day

Standard betta pellets (1mm) - 2-3 pellets twice a day

This feeding schedule works for most averaged size adult male bettas. Adjustments may be needed depending on the fish.

2)getting bettas to eat
1-add pellets to water
2-watch to see if betta eats
3-if betta doesn't eat, just leave it
4- feed at night as if betta is eating
5- Clean uneaten food from tank before you go to bed
6- repeat until betta eats out of starvation (can take 4-7 days depending on stubborness)
7 - Roll your eyes and say "I told you so" when he's begging for food he snubbed for a week straight. -_-
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:49 PM   #5 
callistra
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I think it's biting and not fin rot because fin rot has blackened/red/brown tips and I see no sign of actual rot on there just missing fin.

Melafix is no good for bettas. Even the manufacturer knows this so they have come out with Bettafix which is diluted Melafix, but even then it contains the same ingredient that causes harm so it's best to just avoid.

Biting can be due to a number of things but in his case it's probably because he's freezing. Your water changing practices are good and he's in a good size but you really need to invest in a heater to keep him warm enough. Bettas should be kept in temps from 76-82 F and ideally in the 78-79 range. A good adjustable heater like a $20 Marineland Visitherm 25w would work well in there. Just make sure to acclimate slowly and I would also invest in a very cheap glass in tank thermometers as the sticky kind don't tend to be all that accurate.

To acclimate first put the thermometer in to know exactly what the temp is. From there set the heater to a few degrees below what the tank is and slowly click it up one degree until it turns on. This is how you know the difference between the actual temp and the heater setting as they are typically a couple few degrees off. Every hour or two raise the temp by a degree or two until he is solid in the 78-79 degree range. This will be slow enough as not to shock. With a tank that small the heater will heat quite quickly so you must do it this slow way.

This may be enough to help him quit biting, but if his fins continue to deteriorate, it stars moving rapidly, you see actual black or brown rot or it gets down to his body then you could treat with medicinal aquarium salt at 1 tsp per gallon (fully dissolved before adding to the tank. This is safe for up to 2 weeks. Live plants do not like salt so he may need to be moved if you tank is planted.

I would also not feed flakes. Have you tried Omega One Betta Buffet or New Life Spectrum Betta pellets? These are higher quality pellets and he may really like them.

Last edited by callistra; 01-31-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:07 PM   #6 
styggian
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Seconding the New Life Spectrum. All my bettas (and the ghost shrimp) love it. Even my plakat boy, Ares, prefers them to frozen bloodworms and daphnia! He won't eat anything but NLS pellets.
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