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Old 11-16-2012, 02:09 PM   #1 
pittipuppylove
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Ragged Fins/Pale Coloration

Hi all,
Two or three weeks ago, I had an issue with my 10 gallon divided tank where my SeDT boy would jump the divider and be with my HMDTPK. We resolved that issue, but the plakat hasn't been quite the same since. His color has paled dirastically and his fins have become increasingly ragged. The tears look clean and there's nothing that I can see that looks like a black line or fuzzy stuff around them. The decor consists of live plants and terracotta pot.

To make things worse, the tank currently has a cyanobacteria outbreak where I have to do more larger, more frequent water changes and feed less per the instructions of some of the people on TFK. The two bettas pretty much ignore each other (at least when I'm around), but I'm wondering if just having the SeDT there is stressing him.

I currently have no medications, but I can pick some up from Petco/Petsmart tonight or this weekend if needed. I also have a .5 gallon Critter Keeper that I can float for quarantine should medication be deemed nessicary.

Here's the tank's info:
Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallons, divided in half with craft mesh and report cover spines. PK is normally on the side with the filter, but switched him to the side with the heater today.
What temperature is your tank? 78*F normally, upped it to 80*F today
Does your tank have a filter? Yes. AquaClear 20, set to lowest output and baffled with part of a pop bottle. Intake is covered by a pre-filter sponge. Tank is also moderately planted with live plants.
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 SeDT male on opposite side of divider.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 pellets once daily, they are fasted over the weekend if I go home for the weekend (I live in a dorm)

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Typically once weekly, twice weekly with the cyanobacteria.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Normally 50%, 75-90% with cyanobacteria. Fish are cupped durring larger water changes and completely reacclimated afterward.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Normally Seachem Prime, switched to StressCoat yesterday. Also add .8ml Flourish Comprehensive 1-2 times weekly, not on the same day as water change.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I'll add in the other test results later today after classes.

Ammonia: Unknown
Nitrite: Unknown
Nitrate: Unknown
pH: 7.8
Hardness: Unknown
Alkalinity: Unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Yes. Has paled dirastically and fins are torn/ragged.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Slightly. Seems to rest more than normal.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Two-three weeks ago after encounter with tankmate, thought fins would heal on their own and color would return as long as water was kept clean. Fins have gotten increasingly worse (especially over past day or so) since and color is still very pale.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Started using StressCoat at .2mL StressCoat/1 gallon water at water changes, increased temperature from 78* F to 80*F.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No. Has a kink in spine close to the base of his tail. Doesn't seem to affect swimming, feeding, or other behavior.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Unknown. Purchased from Petco in August of 2012.

Thanks in advance for any help!
Leah

Last edited by pittipuppylove; 11-16-2012 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:24 PM   #2 
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And I just tested the water using the API Master Test Kit:
pH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10-20ppm
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:15 PM   #3 
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Hmm, I'm not sure on this one. I would try removing one of the fish and see if he perks up.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:54 PM   #4 
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Okie dokie, so I had him floating in a second container until last Wednesday and saw little improvement in his condition. I then had to go home (three hours away) for thanksgiving break and figured that the water perameters would stay safer in the main tank, so I let him back in there after adding a second divider and planting the middle section with lots of Anacharis so that there's no way they can see each other. Today, I got back to my room and found that he has a small patch of fuzzy looking stuff (fungus, I presume) ringing his left ventral fin about halfway down. He's still very pale and his fins still haven't healed at all. How should I treat him?
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:06 AM   #5 
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Update: I noticed right after I posted earlier today that the part of his ventral fin below the fungus looked rather shriveled and unhealthy. Tonight, I noticed that he seems more lethargic than he had been. I've set up a 2.5 gallon hospital tank and am currently slowly acclimating him to the new water, which is treated with .9mL/gal API StressCoat and .5tsp/gal aquarium salt at a rate of 5mL old water removed/5mL saltwater added per 5 minutes. The fungus, and any fin below it, has fallen off, probably when I had to cup him. The heater is currently set at 80*F - is this appropriate? I read somewhere on this forum to decrease the temperature when dealing with fungus, but I worry that doing so would stress him so much that it would do more harm than good
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:02 PM   #6 
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I really hate bumping threads, but I could really use some help here. My little guy went through the ten day aquarium salt treatment with little to no improvement, although I haven't seen any fungus after he lost part of one of his ventral fins (which still hasn't grown back). After the ten days, I did a 100% water change and slowly reaclimated him to regular water treated with 1ml/gal of StressCoat. He's been in there since and I am seeing no significant change. He still eats well, but still seems to tire easily. His color is still extremely pale, to the extent that he's partially transparent and I can see the shadow of his internal organs.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:37 PM   #7 
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Guys, I really need help. He's just been sitting on the bottom of the tank until I bring out food, which he'll still eat. His color seems to be getting paler by the day.

I hate feeling so helpless about all of this - he's just wasting away and there's nothing I can do about it. I don't want to medicate unless someone who knows what they're doing will help me because I have no idea what's wrong with him and would probably do more harm than good.

It's beginning to feel like I'm just talking to a brick wall. I just wish that someone would help me help my fish.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #8 
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Looking at your 10 gallon, it was in need of a water change. Nitrates shouldn't ever be over 20 so you're at that limit.

He needs to be fed more. Those NLS pellets are tiny and he needs a minimum of 5 a day (split up feedings) with a fast day a week. Even then he will be slender. You're starving him on his feeding regiment. The kinked back can be from malnutrition, which I would say getting 5-7 NLS pellets a WEEK is definitely on that level.

He needs antibiotics. Look for Kanaplex by Seachem. 1 level (use something flat to shave it off) measure is for a 5 gallon so you'll have to mix it up for the size you have. If he's in a 2.5 gallon you take 5 tablespoons of his tank water into a little cup like a solo cup or something, put the full measure of Kanaplex in there. Mix it up until it's totally dissolved, then take 2.5 tsp of the mixture and put it in the tank. Toss the remainder you don't use. Dose every other day for up to 3 doses - this is one round. You can do it a second week if you think he's improving but isn't quite there. I would continue with the stress coat.

Last edited by callistra; 12-16-2012 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:04 PM   #9 
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I agree with callistra. He is probably malnourished, I feed my betta 4 - 5 NLS pellets twice per day and I do not fast him.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:33 PM   #10 
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Thank you so much for the reply!

The perameters I listed were actually taken right before a water change, so they aren't usually that high.

He had a kinked spine when I brought him home, actually. I've increased his feeding to 6-8 pellets per day since he's been in the quarantine tank - the only reason he wasn't getting as much was because I was advised by the people of TFK to cut back from 5-7/day while treating for the cyano and that doing so wouldn't harm the fish, but I'll increase it for the betta currently in the 10 gallon as well.

I'll go out to the pet store tonight, pick up the antibiotic you recommended, and start that treatment tonight.

Again, thank you so much for your help!
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