My first Betta, Lorne, is a blue HM from the LFS. He was my very first Betta (6 mos ago). I kept him in a 1g until I learned (from this site) that I should get him into a larger tank (5 mos ago). While his current 5g Chi was cycling, he got fin rot. He seemed happy, blew a bubble nest, and promptly went downhill.
Since then, he has alternated between healing, tail biting, and fin rot. I treated initially with tetracycline; when he got it again I used Maracyn I & II; he got it again, recently, and I have used Maracyn I & II. He seems to be healing again (but it is hard for me to tell the difference between healig & rot other than whether or not the translucent edge is going in the right direction). It also appears that he starts tail-biting right at the end of a course of antibiotics (day 5).
I don't know what I can do to break this cycle.
His current home is:
5g Fluval Chi
Lorne the Betta
Otto the oto
I generally add 1t/gallon of Aquarium Salt. All of my fish seem to like it. I have not yet tried dipping him, or any of the more extreme treatments (e.g. painting his fins with hydrogen peroxide). I am hoping that it will not take these steps.
Welcome to the forum and what a lovely Betta you have.....
Need some more info-
In the 1gal-did it have a filter, live plants, water temp, additives used, tank mate, appetite/food/feeding and how much and how often did you make water changes.
In the 5gal-it is filtered-what kind of filter and filter media care, type of substrate, decorations. You have live plants correct, how are they doing.
All additive used, water temp is 80'sF and you have a single Oto-correct.
How much and how often are the water changes. What type of testing products. What is the source water-well water, city supplied tap water...etc.....
To understand-you have treated him 3 different times with antibiotics in the 6 months you have had him...correct....
Can you describe the fin rot and any other health problems if any.
The info we need is on the Betta you posted about-unless the others are also having issues. The past and current history and husbandry. Need to figure out the cause-otherwise the treatment might not do much good for the long term.
need water change schedule-how much and how often, filter, filter media care, additives, source water info and nutrition info...etc....
I will say this-you are overstocked and poorly stocked as well as the use of long term sodium chloride with this species and possible over treatment and toxic issues.
In the 1gal-I tried a filter but it was too strong (even when baffled). I had 3 stems of bamboo that he loved to swim about. Initially, the water temp was variable, but I quickly added a heater that kept the temp at 78-79. In the beginning, I added a bunch of different "Betta additives". I quickly realized that I should just use Prime, which I use to this day. I have primarily used Maracyn I & II, TC Tetracycline, and sparingly, bettafix/melafix. He has lived with panda cories (with which he did not get along), shrimp and snails (which he ate) and (less than a week ago) an oto (which he loves!). Twice a day, I feed him one of the following: 3-4 soaked pellets; a pinch of flakes mixed with freeze-dried bloodworms; frozen bloodworms; frozen brine shrimp; freeze-dried mysis/daphinia/bloodworms that have been soaked; a pea once a week; and nothing once a week. Before I moved him to a filtered tank, I did a 100% water change every other day (this stressed him out). I now test every other day and change the water 25-50% 1-2x a week (the higher frequency recently is due to the introduction of the oto and his eating everything in the tank).
I have used both API and Nutrafin test kits, and have had them checked by the LFS.
I have treated with antibiotics 3x in the last 6 mos - initially TC Tetracycline, then shortly after Maracyn I&II. Then he went into a fin-biting cycle, where I didn't want to treat him, as he was recovering, then he'd bite it off. Recently, I noticed that the "healing" was receeding, and therefore finrot (as opposed to biting which looks like a popsickle stick, or missing chunks).
BTW the first time finbiting happened, I was watching him: he grabbed a vane of his fin, twisted, and I watched him eat a 1" piece of his tail (it took him a while - he'd chew, spit it out, chew again, attack, and finally it was gone).
He is now in a 5g Fluval Chi, which has a slow-trickle filter. It is sufficient to allow him to create a bubble-nest in the corner (which he did just before tail-biting again). I rinse the filter weekly, it is a fully cycled system.
I have the tank partially planted, with smooth black gravel and Fluval substrate in containers for the plants (which are doing well).
I am using tap water, treated with Prime (and for a brief period Prime Betta).
The fin rot seems to be the only problem from a health perspective. Again, he's blowing bubbles, active, eating, etc. He just seems to be a biter, and then getting fin rot (finally, he was almost healed a week ago!).
I would really appreciate any help that can be offered.
I am new to the forum, and I was asked about my tanks - the last post was general, not specifically related to this post.
I understand that the Edge is overstocked. Once the QT and IM are running, these issues will be resolved. I know that daily maintenance is the only thing that is saving me on this issue! On the other hand, am I overstocked with 4 bettas EACH in a 5g+ planted tank (+ 1 otto) - if so I would appreciate suggestions. BTW the "baby platties" are a maximum of 1/2" - they will be moved, but Darwin seems to have let them survive.
Thanks for your welcome re. indicating that my tanks are poorly stocked: in which way? Perhaps you have misunderstood my inexperience with Betta issues & being a newbie keeper. If you have further criticisms, that are not directly associated with my question, please contact me directly.
I am certainly interested on the dangers of long-term sodium chloride use and other toxic issues. I continue to do weekly or bi-weekly water changes (or more often if needed). Their water should be very clean (I test at least every other day). I also do not add medications beyond their suggested duration. While I have treated Lorne 3x, it has been for a total of less than 3 weeks (because the last course hasn't come to a finish). Apologies if I was a bit snippy earlier, but I pride myself on really taking care of this bunch.
Lots of ways to keep this species successfully and this is just MY opinion/experience.
By poorly stocked-I mean keeping a social species (Oto) alone, keeping a pleco in a 5gal as well as keeping any fish species in a 5gal along with a Betta. I can't speak for the Platies-but I would think they are fine in the 5gal except for the pleco.
With overstock/poorly stocked tanks-this can cause stress and this stress can cause a compromised immune response- which in turn can cause problems for all the livestock. Not to mention water quality and feeding issue-but it sounds like you are on top of that.
With some long fin males the water movement can be the cause of fin damage and stress that can sometimes cause neurotic behaviors. The stress compromises the immune response.
Use of sodium chloride long term in this species can cause internal problems-especially the kidney and it can cause resistant issues.
It is a great product to use short term for treatment for the right reason, dosage and duration.
Overuse and misuse of antibiotic can cause resistant issues, impede immune response and cause toxic issues.
I don't use or recommend the use of antibiotics, however, I am not critical of those that do-Its a personal choice. I have found over the years that the natural treatments to work better with this species-Too many variables that cause antibiotic to be ineffective.
With your Betta with the fin damage and tail biting-what I would recommend.
Aquarium salt 2tsp/gal and tannin treatment for 10 days.
Best to QT in a small container that can be floated in a heated tank to maintain temp and to premix the treatment water to use for water changes.
Premixed treatment water:
Using a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add Aquarium salt 2tsp/gal and a tannin source-either IAL (1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) Let this steep for 30 min. shake well...
Using this premixed treatment water make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today.
He needs to stay in the small QT in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period of 10 days.
Tomorrow-start daily 50% water changes using the premixed treatment water.
If you used a tannin source the premixed treatment water should look darker each day and this is what you want.
By using a QT and premixing the treatment water-this gives you more control and provides the proper dosage with partial water changes.
Both the salt and tannins have antibacterial/fungal properties. The tannins also help to ease stress and toughen scales/fins.
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 immune response and healing.
I don't recommend soaking fish foods since it can cause nutrients and water soluble vitamins to leach out. Lacing/rolling them in fresh garlic juice is fine.
Once the treatment is completed-I would keep him in a 1gal unfiltered-alone. With tannins in the water and live plants. Water changes of 1-2 times weekly 50% if you have rooted active growing plants or floating plants. Without live plants make twice weekly of 1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality.
With a fin/tail biter biter, sometimes not a lot we can do except to prevent a secondary infection. Sometimes we can figure out the triggers-but often we can't-IMO-this neurotic behavior can sometimes be related to water movement, larger spaces that they don't feel secure in, tank mates, reflection and/or seeing other Bettas.