His tail and top fin are the only two that are being affected by what ever it is. His tail's been healing very well and I wake up to find it's going back to what it was. As you can see comparing my avatar(when I first got him) to what he looks like now, something's going wrong....
I change his water weekly, I add aquarium salt to it afterwards. He's showing no symptoms, he's eating normally, he's acting like his normal self, and does not swim in circles to chase his tail.
Your fish could be fin-biter, if hes not showing signs of lethargy, hasn't got blackish edges to his fins, and seems otherwise well. You can up the water changes to twice a week, keep his water pristine, and feed a good high-protein diet with live foods - this will help prevent infection.
Do you add salt to his water all the time? How long have you used it? How much do you use? Long term use/excessive use of AQ salt can also cause fin melt.. but as only those two fins are affected, I'm inclined toward fin-biting as the cause.
What size is your tank? 5.5 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 82 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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? A pleco that I did not know would outgrow my tank which is soon going to be gone.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? HBH Betta Bites, and Aqueon Betta Food.
How often do you feed your betta fish? I feed him twice a day, once when I wake up, again before his light goes off. He gets 3-4 pellets each feeding.
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? The water level drops due to evaporation since he does not have a solid lid on the tank, 30-50% water changes with using a gravel vacuum to suck up the waste.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aquarium salt, and a cap full of Seachem Stability, and have been doing so every water change.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I share an API Master Water Testing kit with my girlfriend whom is moving in with me next week, so I don't get to test the parameters every change. I do not have it with me, but will post it when I do.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Dorsal and tail fin seems to be ripped with a couple small holes. Both fins have become shorter due to the ripping.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Has not changed.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A little bit more then a month ago I began noticing it, he began to recover and his tail was healing and it is happening again.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? None as of yet, waiting for advice on what to do.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for about 2-3 months now, not sure how to tell how old he is.
Okay. Using the salt every change isn't great - it can lead to kidney damage, among other things. Use it as a medication only, and for no more than 10 days at a time.. 14 at very most.
I'd say off the bat your water is a major problem - the pleco will be adding piles of ammonia to the tank, and your water changes need to be upped to help your fish heal (though I still think biting may be a part of issue here..). Clean water, good food - those are the best preventative medicines.
So yeah - remove the pleco, increase your water changes. Do a 100% to flush the salt out - it may be fairly concentrated by now if you're adding it every change and not doing 100% changes..
Why are you using Stability? Are you also using a dechlorinator? Cause Stability isn't one..
A plain dechlorinator like Prime might be better - prime has antibacterial properties among other good things.. and takes care of heavy metals as well as chlorine/chloramine.
I am waiting for a day where I am not busy and I will be giving the pleco to someone who will have a better tank for it, secondly the water change I can do. I am buying a 29 gallon tank which I will be splitting for him and another male betta.
I will be stopping the use of the salts, I apologize for the ignorance of its use. I have been always using a conditioner... I thought that was a given but I will be changing it to Prime. I use stability after every water change because it says to add some every water change.
I am also going to be adding a bunch of live plants to this new tank that I am buying like java moss, hornwort, so amazon sword and some others as well. I was also thinking of buying some Seachem Matrix filter media to help with the water quality.
Don't feel bad about the salt. :) You were doing what you knew to do to care for fish.. and your pleco wasn't harmed by it, apparently they are a bit sensitive to salt, so I dare say there's no harm done.
It sounds like your fish is very well cared for.. I'd be interested to see some updates after the pleco goes, as well as whether you ever catch your betta nipping his fins.. so do please update us once you've made those changes.
So it is a 29 gallon tank: 31.5" wide, 16" tall, 12" deep. It came with a Topfin 40 filter. It comes with a hood with a light, and a large ornament. I need to buy the divider then I will be posting pictures.
So absolutely NO CLUE what happened, but I left for the day this afternoon I came back and found he was like this:
I have no idea why so I did an immediate water change... I feel so terrible that his fins just disappear! I never see him bite his fins, and there doesn't appear to be any pieces of fins in the tank at all... I'll be putting him in his new tank on Wednesday... I hope he survives until then... because I have no idea what's going on with him.