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Old 10-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #1 
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Exclamation Advanced Fin Rot / Sudden expression of marble Gene

Hi Bettapeople,

What size is your tank? < 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 73 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? Was not / Now is
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? N/A

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon betta food for most of his life. Recently some freeze dried brine shrimp.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x per day / not on weekends.

How often do you perform a water change? Originally 1x 100% per week. Presently 25% 2x/d 100% once a week.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Aqua Bettasafe

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins have diminished, colors have changed dramatically
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Had a swim bladder problem that seemingly almost killed him. He would float constantly. Now his behavior is back to normal, but new coloration has remained.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 1 month ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Originally with Bettafix / AQ salts / frequent water changes. Now with amoxacillin / fungicide.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? N/A
How old is your fish (approximately)? 6 months since purchase
Angelo as a healthy Youngin:

I am very sad to say that I was a bad betta owner. Maybe I was just uninformed, but ignorance is no excuse.

I purchased my betta approximately 6 months ago. He lives in a small bowl (<1gal) with rocks and a fake plant. He was entirely white, save a few specks, with a full and healthy tail. Over time his tail began to become more ragged. I did not know about fin rot, and simply thought that this was part of betta maturation. At the time I was doing a full water change about once per week. I now know this to be insufficient to sustain a clean environment. Appr 1 month ago, a friend of mine pointed out what he knew to be "Fin Rot" and I started treatment with Bettafix (also now know this to be no good) and AQ salts.
The rot seemed to slow with the treatment (1 wk), but the weather was getting colder, and so was Angelo's water (65-68F). I purchased a very small 7.5W heater "pre set" specifically for bettas. I placed angelo in a larger 1 gal vase with the heater to slowly bring the water up to temp. I came back the next morning to the horror of finding angelo floating, without movement at the top of the tank. I checked the water temperature - 95 degrees! ARGHHH. I cursed myself for not experimenting with the heater, but I was desperate to save my poor fish and in doing so had probably killed him! His breathing appeared very difficult, possibly because of the DO at 95 degrees...Possibly because I had just fried his brain. I took the heater out and allowed the water to slowly approach room temperature.
1 day passed... still floating with labored breathing... won't eat food, eyes don't appear to be moving much. 3 days pass and he still floats, refusing to eat. Occasionally he tries to swim to the bottom, but floats right back up to the top.
I visit my girl on the weekends, and will have to leave Angelo for 2 days... I place him back in his old habitat where he was happy, assuming it will be a hospice stay. He wedges himself between two rocks at the bottom, tail pointed towards the top of the tank. Breathing is still very labored. I can't bear to look at him.
To make his home a little warmer I placed the heater in glass of water and wrapped a towel around both, keeping it fairly dark and ~75 degrees. He still won't eat, so I do one last water change and head out.
Monday afternoon I slowly approach what I though was surely my poor fish's coffin. I lift a corner of the towel and see frantic movement. Happy movement! He was alive! I was so happy I took the bowl out into the light of the room to look him over... Was this even my fish? His coat had changed colors dramatically... It had turned quite black. in his sickness, the rot had returned and claimed much of his rear fin and I wondered if it had started to ravage his body.
I immediately fed him some brine which he gobbled up. Then I dosed with a fungicide, and amoxicillin. I have continued this treatment for 3.5 days now and he has remained very happy and active with a ferocious appetite. The rot seems to be gone, and new growth has started - but I would love some confirmation / diagnosis from the experts.

His current colloration / Fin Condition Contrast was bumped way up to hilight any anomalies (he looks terrible I know, I'm so sorry):

And a closeup of the fin:

His coloration changed dramatically just over the two days I was away... I have looked very closely and it does not appear to be rot / growth... just looks like pigment.

Video of current behavior:

The guilt of this whole ordeal had me order a 8 gal filtered tank last night. I'm hoping to give him a great home now that he seems to be on the road to recovery.

I would appreciate any and all advice as to what to do in the meantime. I will continue the antibiotic / antifungal regiment for two more days, and will frequently change water (except weekends) until the tank has arrived / been cycled / tested.

Thanks, and all the best,

TLDR? A friend pointed out rot on my betta, my treatment almost ended up killing him. He has apparently come back from the dead with a new technicolor raincoat.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:55 PM   #2 
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Experts, please, I just want to know; Is this (the coloration) a disease? Or is the shift an expression of the marble gene, brought on by acute stress?

Secondly, does the closeup of the fin look like new growth? Or just weakened tissue?

Finally, will the fins regrow (and to what extent) with proper care?
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:02 PM   #3 
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i am sorry about your little guy, but glad to know you and taking care of him better :)

Maybe i can help a little. New fin regrowth is clear, and depending on how bad the tear/rip is, it could take a week to a month for full fins to grow back. But yes, they will grow back. Plastic plants or large pebbles/sharp decorations could be getting his fin stuck teared and torn. Stop the anti-fungal, it is not needed, and if you diagnose wrong or add more chemicals to the water, it can actually make your betta worse.

If you go in my albums, you will see how dramatic my VT (veitail) 's color changed.

So people on this site have expriecned the sam thing. It can happen as they age, and is certainly not uncommon. He is still beautiful! It could also be stress, just be sure to properly acclimate him to his new home! Thanks for treating your betta like family, and not a pet! :)

Hope he gets better,

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Old 10-03-2012, 10:15 PM   #4 
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Thank you for the response. Following your advice, I've removed the plastic plant. It does have some sharp edges, and he tries to nestle in it quite often. The rocks currently in with him are large, but quite smooth.

Thanks again,
I've grown quite fond of the little guy.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:17 PM   #5 
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No problem! Glad you have solved one of the problems haha!

Yes, they do become part of the fam!
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:07 AM   #6 
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So until I get Angelo into a properly cycled aquarium, the best course of action would be to - frequently change water and treat with? Small amount of AQ salt and Betta Safe water conditioner?

Is there a type of food which will promote faster healing? I'm currently feeding him 3/4 Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp, 1/4 Betta pellets.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:23 AM   #7 
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Cut back on the shrimp and more pellets. I feed my guys Omega One Betta Buffet. Anything with fish as the first 3 ingredients is a good pellet.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:23 AM   #8 
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Yes, what u described is fine. Some good Betta foods are pellets. Some of the best foods are omega one Betta buffet, and new life spectrum pellets. 4-6 pellets a day. Bloodworms and shrimp should only be used as treats as they are like chocalate to bettas.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #9 
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Marbles often get darker over time, so that may explain some of the changes in coloration you are seeing. They can also get paler when stressed.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:20 AM   #10 
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Have been doing 25-50% water changes daily - replacing with treated water. (Ammonia < 0.25 ppm, PH 7.2) However, after removal of the anti-biotics the fin rot has re-emerged. >_<

Have just given him a rather aggressive salt bath to see if it would help.

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fin rot, recovery

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