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Old 06-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #1 
peridotclover
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Desperate for fin rot advice

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? ~80 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes - just a sponge filter, no carbon
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? None. Well, a moss ball.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day, 3 pellets each

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Everyday
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Alternating 50% and 75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress Coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? Ammonia and pH are okay.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins keep deteriorating; black / bloody at tips (hard to tell with the bloody part - he's dark red.)
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Hasn't really - he likes sitting on top of his heater. Still bubble nests.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He's had fin rot since I got him 7 months ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've tried AQ Salt, Maracyn 1&2, Tetracycline, and Jungle Fungus Clear. All to no effect.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Starting to suspect it might be long-term fin rot... :(
How old is your fish (approximately)? 7 months since pet store purchase.

My questions: WHAT am I doing wrong?? I've tried everything I can think of! What else is left to try? I'm DESPERATE here. I love him, and want him to live a long happy fin-rot free life.... Somebody please help.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:07 PM   #2 
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Gah - poor you. And poor fishy, too.


I'm thinking chronic fin rot would've given him other signs of illness by now, lethargy/weight loss/bloat.. does he have any of that? How's he eating? How's his breathing/gills?


And I have one just like this. Months! Of raggedy fins! I'm so frustrated..

I've treated him with everything, to the point where I've stopped all that for fear of it all doing him more damage than the fin problems. I put him in a smaller tank with a ton of java moss for security and am changing 100% water every 2 days, using stress coat and Prime to condition, and giving him high protein foods. I am FINALLY seeing a little regrowth..

My fish is a chronic fin biter.. it took a long time to figure out why none of the meds were working. He'd heal.. bite.. get an infection (he's a weedy little over-finned runt to begin with) and off we go again. Not only do some fish bite 'chunks' out of their fins, apparently some also like to strip the fin back to rays among other interesting ways of maiming themselves. See if you can catch him nipping at himself..

And maybe see if super clean water/stress coat on its own for a few weeks helps, and perhaps keeping him out of high-traffic/stressful areas. My fish bites when NOT distracted by lots of passersby and fishy neighbours, though, the booger.. heaps of plants helped, too - it's a matter of figuring out what sets him off, if your fish -is- a biter.

Or... could he be dragging his fins in the heater?
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:14 PM   #3 
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Thanks for replying!
No, I don't think there's been weight loss or anything. He still gets mad at me sometimes when I get close to the tank, and swims around investigating when I walk into the room. And he loves eating! No trouble swimming either.
I thought about the biting thing (because he is a HM, and I know they're notorious for biting), but I can actually see the process where his fins thin, become transparent, get holes, then split. So I don't think its that. And his heater is all rounded - so don't think its that either.
More plants! This sounds like a good idea. Do you think maybe i'm doing too MANY water changes and stressing him out??

Here's a pic of my boy on his heater :) his poor fins. :(

Last edited by peridotclover; 06-16-2012 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:34 PM   #4 
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My fish is the blue version of your fish.

Only Dem is weedier. But yeah, the way his fins are damaged is precisely how Demyx's look, sort of 'melting' between the rays, while other parts seem to be trying hard to heal (I do notice a fair bit of healthy regrowth on your guy's fins there..).

Tons of java weed will help with water quality as well as fishy security. It's done positive things for Dem, so worth a try. Also, my fish can't tolerate any ammonia at all...

One thing I know - this is NOT normal fin rot/fungus. My fish is really healthy and bright, like yours, eats fine (he's just very small-bodied). The treatments did nothing but clear up a secondary infection - it didn't stop the fin deterioration itself, which continued with no sign of rot at all. I think biting isn't helping.. but I also suspect some underlying issue.

I just can't find info on anything that sounds like this. It's not ammonia! I'm way on top of that. It's not fungus/rot, those are secondary infections to what's going on here..

So what could it be, if not 100% biting? I have been able to find no answers, and I have -looked-!

ETA: Oh, one other thing I've found that's maybe a help - he gets a little exposure to 6500K plant-friendly lights every day now (shared with my other betta's tank). I'm wondering if a little UV or whatever light helps the plants grow might be helping Demyx out.. I'm not seeing massive improvement, but I'm not seeing further deterioration for the first time since April.

Last edited by Aus; 06-16-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:41 PM   #5 
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Yes! I -thought- it must be fin rot, just because I have no idea what else it could be - but i've tried the salt, medication, and water changes. Also, this has got to be the slowest fin rot ever, if thats what it is - its been months and months.

So the only things I could think of are:
1. some kind of water parameters besides pH and ammonia are off?
2. by doing water changes a lot i'm stressing him out instead?

I've posted before and people are like "He looks fine! Don't worry!" but I can see his fins melting!
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:58 PM   #6 
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Easier to reply in a quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peridotclover View Post
Yes! I -thought- it must be fin rot, just because I have no idea what else it could be - but i've tried the salt, medication, and water changes.

Me, too!!!

Also, this has got to be the slowest fin rot ever, if thats what it is - its been months and months.

Haha, yes - and fungus/rot does not creep like this, not for months on end.. weeks, yes, not months.. and with no other co-morbid health issues.

So the only things I could think of are:
1. some kind of water parameters besides pH and ammonia are off?

Good thought! I don't have a master test kit. May take my water for full testing, both tapwater and tank water, next I'm at the LFS. Though my other bettas are in exactly the same water and are fine.. but they are a female and a plakat, not these froofy-fins!


2. by doing water changes a lot i'm stressing him out instead?

It's lose/lose for those in my case - the smallest amount of ammonia, and his fins actually do get rot.. so clean, clean water is a must. It's stressful, I'm sure.. but necessary >< The next thing I'm trying is a planted tank, NPT/Walstad, hugely planted.. see if that helps cut the ammonia exposure to nil at all times, without the stress..

I've posted before and people are like "He looks fine! Don't worry!" but I can see his fins melting!


Yeah, I know that feeling! And it's not 'just biting', either - though this is probably not helping, as I said. Hopefully someone who is familiar with this and its causes will happen along.. and might know what's working to stop/slow it in my case (plants/lights/lots of w/changes) as well as why it happens at all.. though I've never let him sit in his own pee, the ammonia levels have never been over 0.25, ever, and it wasn't even at that for very long so I truly don't think it's ammonia damage.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:04 PM   #7 
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Haha, I know this is mostly not helping, but its nice that SOMEONE else has the same problems I do at least! And this is helping in that i'm thinking i'll go get some more plants for him.

Same here! I have a little blue female in water treated the EXACT same way, and she had fin rot when I got her (Walmart rescue) but she's beautiful now!

Yes, i'm really hoping someone more senior at this will help us haha :)

Oh, and do "blue" incandescent lightbulbs work? My tank has a 15W yellowish incandescent, and he gets really agitated and flares whenever I turn it on.

Last edited by peridotclover; 06-16-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:13 PM   #8 
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I'm using small Dymax blue/white LED lamps, designed for reef tanks (I have an IQ5 nano tank for my other betta).. the blue light never gets used (it just causes algae growth in freshwater..) but I have seen a real slowing of the problem since he's had the plants/lights, and the plants are flourishing without added ferts, so I dare say they are providing the correct light for proper growth (in my small tank, anyhow). The improvement -might- be coincidence.. but then, it might not. ><

ETA : My lamp's adjustable too, so I can dim it.. love the thing. And some floating plants might help your guy tolerate the light a bit better if it freaks him out and you can't increase light gradually on the light itself.

Last edited by Aus; 06-16-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:23 PM   #9 
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Sounds like I need to go light / plant shopping! :)
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