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Old 10-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #1 
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Very mild fin rot, bloating?

Recently I adopted a male half-moon betta fish from someone who was too busy to care for him. I'm very nearly a first-time betta owner (had one betta when I was little), so I've never really seen a sick betta, but after looking at some pictures and reading some stories, I'm worried about the little guy.

It looks like the tips of some of his tail fins are a bit ragged and maybe a little whitish. His pectoral fins are kind of tattered looking, and little white tips along the veins are sticking out. I don't see anything extremely bad and I'm not sure what he came like.

Then it also looks like he's bloated. His stomach's protruding, but I'm not sure if it's because of his previous feeding schedule (2 times a day) or possibly something else. He's not pine-coning or anything.

I'm also a little worried about clamped fins because his dorsal fin is usually down and he only raises it when stressed; I'm not sure if that's okay or not...

He's currently in the fish bowl his previous owner had him in because I'm still trying to cycle his future one. I decided to take him in now because I was concerned about the condition of his water and because he doesn't have a heater and it's getting cold at night (my friend's roommate doesn't like to have the heater on).

I've attached some pictures. They're a bit blurry, but it's the best I can do. Is he fine and I'm overreacting? Does he look like he might be sick with some of the aforementioned ailments? If so, what should I get to treat him? I am a college student on a budget and with only access to Walmart and no pet stores nearby...

Thanks in advance for help!

What size is your tank? Roughly .5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 76 degrees F
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, but I monitor temperature.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None; he's all alone.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqua Culture Betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? He was on a diet of two pellets twice a day, but I'm putting him on a 3-every-other-day diet.

How often do you perform a water change? He hadn't had his water changed in anywhere from two weeks to a month when I got him. I immediately did a 100% water change and rinsed everything (no soap, of course). I plan on doing one every other day until his other tank's ready.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Conditioner (treats chlorines and chloramines)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I only have a nitrite test and an ammonia test...

Ammonia: <1 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Maybe some more ragged fins, he has a top fin, but he only lifts it up when he's stressed.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's not energetic, but he's not lethargic either. I've seen him rub against the glass a few times...
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Approximately 12 hours after I adopted him.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure, probably anywhere from 7 months to a little over a year; he was bought at Walmart a little over a month ago.
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PrincessSeyshells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 07:43 AM   #2 
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I think his bulge might be getting bigger...I still haven't fed him.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:59 PM   #3 
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His fins got a little shorter and whiter at the tips too. So after poking around a bit, I went ahead and did a water change and added 1/2 tsp. epsom salt this time, hoping to at least help the bloating. I dissolved it beforehand. He seems to be breathing hard, did I add too much? Will he settle down?

Also, I just found out my town has a little under 1 ppm of ammonia naturally in the tap. I don't really forsee this being a problem once he's in his cycled tank, but for now, I'm not sure it's the best thing...I saw some "betta water" at Walmart in a bottle. Would that be better, or should I s tick with plain old tap and de-chlorinator?
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:04 AM   #4 
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He seems to have settled down this morning, but now I can tell he definitely has a little white fuzzy on one of his "swimming" fins. And it looks like his mouth has thin, white crusty lines around it. IS that from the salt, or is this something else happening?

Oh yeah, and when he's resting, I noticed he holds one of his swimming fins against his body.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:28 AM   #5 
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Okay, so I took three more pictures of him. Seriously, I can't tell if he's just old or if he's getting sick or what. You can see the tiny little white fuzzies on his swimming fins in one and the stuff around his mouth. It could be nothing, but I don't think it was there when I took the older pictures. He's also had a few gray streaks on his head that come and go. To be honest, I'm a little worried about columnaris, but I'm not sure because I've never seen it before and he doesn't look nearly as bad as all the pictures I've found of it. But if it is that, or even something fungal or whatever, I need to know very soon because I'll have to order any medicine I'll have to treat him with--aqarium salt included!

So does anyone have any second opinions on him or anything? I really hope I'm overreacting, but like I said, I've never really had or seen a sick betta before so I don't know.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #6 
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The white stuff looks more fuzzy now. Someone help! Should I go ahead and order a treatment for columnaris? Which kind's the best?

Or could the white fuzzies have something to do with fungus or temperature or ick or something...? It's hard to keep the temperature in his tank constant, could that be the cause?

Last edited by PrincessSeyshells; 10-12-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:43 PM   #7 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
It sounds like normal reaction to bad conditions that compromised his immune response, however, since you did your research and what sounds like-doing the correct thing. IMO/E it is a matter of time-you might want to get that temp up a tiny bit-but no more than 78F. If you have a small container-like the one some Betta are sold in-Use that or something like that to use for a QT that can be floated in the heated tank (attached so it doesn't sink).

White tips are usually a sign of re-growth unless they are fuzzy, clamp fins could be from too cool temp and/or stress-the flashing or rubbing on object on occasion can be due to the mineral/metal content of the source water making him feel itching, this usually will resolve on its own over time-If he is flashing frequently then it could be due to parasites. Not using a fin could be due to injury, general weakness. Not holding his top fin up all the time is normal-usually they erect or flare the fins to show off-to make themselves look bigger...etc.....Droopy tail fin can be due to weight of the fin, weakness..etc....Extended abdomen-sometime the abdomen can look bigger due to the body shape/build-Enlarged tummy doesn't always mean a problem-unless they have other symptoms and since your is not in tip top shape due to past poor care-it is something you need to watch.

Right now what I would recommend-QT in something that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-78F range-Cover the top of that QT with plastic veggie wrap to help retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ and start Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) and tannin treatment-along with good nutrition.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and a tannin source if you have one. Either IAL (1 lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) Let this steep for 30min-Shake well before use.

Using this premixed treatment water make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today.
He needs to stay in the covered small QT floating in the heated tank-In the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period of 14 days.

Tomorrow-using the premixed treatment water start 50% daily water changes.
If you added a tannin source to the 1gal jug-the water should look darker every day and this is what you want.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals-If you have access to live mosquito larva-offer several rinsed a couple of times a day to boost protein intake to support the immune response.

Since you have ammonia in the source water-I would use Prime brand dechlorinator or any of the dechlorinator that cover ammonia-several on the market, however, you usually will still test positive for ammonia since the test products can tell the difference between ammonia and ammonium that the dechlorinator will convert it to.

Often with neglected Betta-that are older like yours-sometime no matter what you do-You can't save them, however, you don't want to give up either because these guys can really surprise you. I just don't want you to feel bad if he doesn't make it. Once the immune response is compromised due to long term poor care-like what you rescued him from-often it can be hard for them to recover.....

Good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:44 PM   #8 
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Hi I wish I knew how to him your fish but I am just unsure what all problems he might be having. I am sure someone how knows more will come along to help so hang in there okay. He looks so much like my blue CT and yes he must have had some fin rot for them to be so short on his tail fin and the white tips on them might be where they are trying to grow back. Just for now be sure his water is extra clean and if you could get some Prime water conditioner that would be best cause it detoxifies ammonia for 48 hours . Its 2 drop per gallon.

His tummy is rounded but I would not say its bloated, he really needs a good brand pellet to help him get better, New Life Spectrum would be great for him as he needs something with lots of protein in it.

Good luck and hang there for more advice !
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:12 PM   #9 
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Thanks for your reply! I know I'm probably overreacting as a new fishy mom, but I want him to be healthy as can be. I've heard a lot about prime, and I'll have to see if I can get a hold of some. Problem is I still have to go through my parents, and they've spent so much already...but I'll try and see if I can buy any! And aquarium salt, and maybe even maracyn, at least for emergencies that may pop up.

So should I continue with his 100% water changes, even though they stress him out? Any thoughts on continuing his epsom salt bath? I just discovered I had freeze-dried daphnia, so I went ahead and fed him a few bites, and now he's more active. My little boy. x3 I also plan on going oak leaf hunting on campus today, there are plenty around. Also, his mouth doesn't look nearly as bad now that I've fed him. I have no idea why, but it's a good thing! o.O

And okay, last edit: just took a flashlight to him, and his gills have some red a little bit in from the edge. I can't tell if that's his coloring or not, tho'.

Last edited by PrincessSeyshells; 10-12-2012 at 01:30 PM. Reason: New information!
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #10 
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I explained the treatment in my first post, however, I only recommend natural treatments. I don't use or recommend antibiotics-I am not critical of those that do-its a personal choice.
I have found that natural treatment work better-especially since so many different things can cause antibiotic to be ineffective or cause toxic and resistant issues from improper use.

I don't recommend 100% water changes for treatments-especially with a compromised Betta.

Live plants are another thing you can use when you have ammonia in your source water-Hornwort and water lettuce are great for that since they are floating plants.
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bloating, clamped fins, fin rot

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