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Old 02-22-2012, 10:35 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Torn Fins and White Spots

Hi All!

I've read the forums for a while and I'm sorry to say that it's a sick girl that prompted me to register.

Scarlett is has some oddities and I don't know if they're related. Sunday night, my husband noticed that Scarlett's rear fins appeared to be torn off about halfway down. Thinking that she was being picked on by the other girls (we had 3, including her, in a 20 gallon), we moved her to the hospital tank. Her being picked on was odd because she was the alpha female and everyone seemed okay with that.

Today, when I was doing water changes in the tanks, I noticed a couple of white, bubble-like sores near her tail. I went through the disease sticky and the closest I could find was ick.

So, we started raising the temperature in her tank and went to get some aquarium salt. But, before I add it, I'm second guessing myself :( So I figured I'd ask here.

Answers to the questions in the sticky:
What size is your tank?
Main: 20gallons
Hospital tank (where she currently is): 5gallons
What temperature is your tank?
Currently 84
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Main (20g) Yes
Hospital (5g) No
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
2 other female bettas, at this time are symptom free.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Pellets 1x a day
Brine shrimp/bloodworms 1x a week
Bit of pea once every 2-3 weeks

How often do you perform a water change?
1x a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
appx 20%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: I haven't checked this but will if needed!
Hardness: s/a
Alkalinity:  s/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
Other than the missing/torn fin and the two sores mentioned above... no change.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
No change really. She still demands attention (pictures of her side were almost impossible because she kept turning to me :D), and bumps my hand like she always has when I feed her.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Torn fins, Sunday. White spots, today (2/22)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
All I've done is alter the water temperature until I know for sure what's going on.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
She had pop-eye about a month ago that she fully recovered from  with no loss in vision (that I noticed).
How old is your fish (approximately)? We got her full grown so it's hard to say. Less than a year.
This is the picture that shows the torn fins and bubble-like sores the best:

The flash sort of drowned it out here, but you can still see the two "bubbles" by her tail:

Her tank is currently on my desk, and when she gets better, I don't think I'm going to put her back in the main tank :(

Also! Question... how do I do 100% water changes? Do I take her completely out of the water, do the change and put her back in? Do I do it in 50% intervals?
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:35 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
It's definitely not ick.

It looks more like lymphocytisis. Good on separating her because it can infect other fish if it bursts.

Keep her water clean and warm, and do a thorough gravel vac should you notice the bumps have burst. Aquarium salt treatment is optional should they burst, but clean water should do the trick. She might have been being picked on since she is ill.

Keep an eye on your other two girls since they'll most likely be more aggressive towards each other now. Ideally for a sorority it's 4 or more girls, but sometimes 3 works out just fine.Just be watchful of them.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:50 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Thanks Pataflafla!

We were in the market looking for another girl when we noticed her tail being torn. And since we dont' want to add fish when things aren't well, we put it off until we knew for sure what was going on.

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of lymphocytisis. When I do the water change tomorrow, i'll include the salt (1tsp per gallon if I'm reading right?).

A quick google, came up with this page: which says its one of those things that will eventually just run its course. Also, it mentions it opens the fish up for aggressive behavior... which leads me to believe her torn fins could be a reult of the bullying? Or do you think it could be something else?

And yes! Definitely watching my other girls just in case.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:19 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
You don't have start the aquarium salt until after it bursts (And that's if it does) since 10 days is usually the safe limit on use. you'll be fine with separation and clean water.

She could have been bullied since she was displaying a deformity, or she could have started the bullying. Either way, it isn't good for sick fish to be in a group setting with other aggressive fish. Hopefully she'll be easily reintroduced after she's all better.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:22 AM   #5 
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Awesome, thanks for the clarification.

And thanks for alleviating a lot of confusion and worry and panic :)
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