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Old 11-16-2012, 03:14 PM   #1 
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resh2rei's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Exclamation I'm almost 98% sure it's fin rot.

Hey guys,

So I told you I got Firecracker Wednesday afternoon. Well, it's Friday afternoon, and all day yesterday he was hiding and wouldnt eat. Today he ate a pellet, but his fins were VERY clamped, like my last betta who passed away, so I freaked out. Since he spat out all his food secretly (so I couldnt get it out of the tank) yesterday, I figured I should do a 100% water change.

When I finally got him out of the tank, I noticed there were MANY tears in his fins. It was then I realized that it was ALMOST like that when I got him. I'm almost sure it's fin rot, but after 2 days!? What do I do now? That means he mustve had it a bit in the store no? I'd appreciate your opinions and help on this guys.

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallon bowl
What temperature is your tank? was at 76-78 F (fluctuating)
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, a spongefilter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? Yes, by a pad at the bottom
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Bio-Gold Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day, 2 pellets

How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week, but I've only had him for 2 days so I havent gotten to do this.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime Water Conditioner - 2-3 drops

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
Fins are clamped close to body, when he moves around though he lets them out a bit. There are edges gone off, and it is jagged on the top and bottom fins, not the big one at the back
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
He hides all the time. Sinks to the bottom and rests sideways on the gravel. Swims only to chase food (50% of the time he wont chase it) or to go to another hiding spot or resting spot. He is at the top hiding in leaves, or at the bottom on the gravel, each about 50-50 though. I put him in a cup to do the water change and he's FREAKING out though, twitching and swimming like crazy, like when I first got him! I dont know what to make of that.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Im doing a 100% water change right now.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I dont know
How old is your fish (approximately)? I think he's an adult

Thanks a lot guys!
I mean, I really dont want anything to happen to this little guy. It's 4pm here and I can run over to Big Als until 9 to get medication hopefully, if that's what you think he needs.

PS: In the pictures from today, he's flared out a bit because I moved him to a cup (where the picture was taken), while I was cleaning out the tank.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:51 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Philadelphia
I am afraid that it a little bit more serious than fin rot. The way his fins look on the picture will not make him to behave the way he is. His fins not that bad at all. The way that you described that he is swimming like crazy (darting) and twitching can be internal or external parasites.
Did you see his poop? Take all gravel out and try to see his poop. If it internal parasites he would be bloated and his poop will be white, clear looking, stringy wormy shape. Bloating can happened later though. So watch for poop so we can rule out internal parasites. If his poo is brown then we can think that he don't have internal parasites.

Do you have aquarium salt and epsom salt? I would have both of it. Aquarium salt for ext parasites and epsom salt for internal parasites.

Meanwhile since he is not bloated and we don't know his poo i would start him on aquarium salt. Pre mix 2tsp/gall in the one gallon jug. Or just pre mix it in the container. Are you able to make temperature about 84*? Temperature over 82 will speed up the parasites live cycle and help them to fall faster. Do daily 100% water changes. When you change him make sure you introduce him slowly to new water by adding new water in his changing container. Let him adjust for about 3 min and do it about 3 times so he can get used to the new water.

I would rally buy medications in case you need to use it if he has internal parasites. You always can return them if you don't use it.
Can you find you can find meds by Seachem or API, look for Seachem Metro or API General Cure. Or try to find medication with metronidazole in it. or Jungle Labs Parasite fizzy tabs, General Cure would be the better choice.

Even if i am mistaken and he hopefully don't have ext parasites aquarium salt will help since he is acting sick.

Last edited by ANHEL123; 11-16-2012 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:07 AM   #3 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Philadelphia
i am wondering if you disinfect the tank and everything that you use for that fish?
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #4 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Hi resh. Firecracker sure is a handsome boy!

I don't think he has fin rot but something is definitely happening with his fins. First, being a halfmoon, his fins are going to be extra delicate and prone to tearing and ripping for no apparent reason. What we could be seeing is normal wear and tear from a fish who hasn't settled into his new home yet, or we could be seeing some fin biting. Hard to say. For the moment, I would agree with Anhel and try him in 1 tsp of AQ salt per gallon. The salt will help balance his electrolyte level and encourage the production of slime coat, which will in turn help protect him from infection and infestation of parasites.

Don't want to try him on meds just yet. I'd rather see if the salt does anything. But it never hurts to have the meds Anhel mentioned on hand. General Cure is a very helpful med to have in case of emergency.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:54 PM   #5 
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Hi Guys!
Here's an update on Firecracker.

He's much better now!!!
I think he just needed some time to adjust, bc remember I havent even had him for a week yet!

I did disinfect everything with bleach in the way BettaCare instructed - sunlight removed any traces of it afterwards. I did this because I didnt know from what my last fish died, so it was a precautionary measure against a parasite or infection. I rinsed everything with steaming water as well. His poop is normal and not white. And he's not bloated :D. So I dont think it's parasites.

The fin symptoms, he's fully extended most of the time now since I did a 100% water change 2 days ago. I realized from looking at pictures, that the tears were there from when I first got him... So maybe it was fin rot but with clean water he is doing better? Or he could be biting his own fins, but I havent seen him do it and it doesnt seem to be getting worse which is good news!
I see some patches as well that seem to be new fin growth :).

He's eating now! I just fed him 2 pellets that he didnt throw back up yet, and other than that he's been eating one per day, which is good!

Obviously when I take him out of the tank for water changes he flips out a bit and gets anxious, but other than that he's an active little guy now! Anhel, I took your advice and raised the temperature of the tank from 76 by putting a heated lamp beside it, and turning it on and off to try to maintain 82 degrees F. At this new temperature he's going out and about, having a good time around the tank instead of lying on the gravel and hiding! I know that temperature fluctuations can be fatal, so I'm trying to keep it stable. I have a pad heater as well as this heat lamp - should I take out one?

Heres the thing: the heated lamp is not a legit heat lamp - its a lamp with a bulb I wasnt using because it didnt emit much light and got SUPER HOT really quick, and putting it beside the tank heats it up a couple degrees over some hours. The pad heater is also in there, but its not working very well and keeps the tank at 76, at which Firecracker will get lethargic and just lie down. Other than this I dont have a LIGHT for the tank, so I end up switching light bulbs from the super hot one to a fluorescent one all the time, which gets annoying :(. Should I buy an incandescent bulb, so it provides heat AND there's light?

Other than the light issue, everything seems to be fine! I've adopted a schedule of 1 50% water change during the week and 1 100% water change on the weekends till he gets better (fin-tear-wise) and then I'll drop it to 2 50% water changes per week. Sounds good?

ALSO: I dont believe this is velvet, maybe it's just his own iridescence, but he seems to have mostly a goldy sheen to him everywhere when I shine a light on him. NOT orange or rust, it is very light gold. It's not velvet right?


PS: I shall take the AQ salt advice, so that he doesnt get fin rot or popeye anyways, and make a trip to Big Al's later this week to get it and the general meds:). Good tip thank you for that!

Last edited by resh2rei; 11-19-2012 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:04 PM   #6 
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Location: Fremont, CA
If you don't have a real heater get one, a light will only work when it is on, at night he can get cold. Also the lights won't heat that much either. I would recommend getting a Hydor Theo heater, if you can;t those preset Tetra heaters could work.

Don't skimp on this part, your way of heating s not a stable way, heating the water directly is the best way possible.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #7 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia
I bet fin nipping. Maybe stress from the changing temp.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:33 PM   #8 
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kfryman: I do have a real heater, it just won't go up to 80 degrees because I live in Canada and my room is cold. It keeps the water at 76, which isnt bad but it's still low. To keep it up to 80-82 i generally leave the light on for about 8 hours, and it's been staying that way for about 6 hours after the light is turned off.
How big are those heaters you mentioned? I *might* be able to return my heater and filter bc I bought warrantee - I believe the filter is messing with his fins a bit - he's been stuck near it countless times just today even, and it's a low-flow sponge one! And I'd prefer not to have to manage the heat myself to work AROUND the heat pad's inadequacies and just get a better one as well.

I have a 2.5 gallon tank, that's why I'm concerned about size.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:37 PM   #9 
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Location: Virginia
It might be a problem from where you got him.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:11 PM   #10 
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Resh: I have two bettas, each in their own 2.5 gallon tank. I use the Marina betta heater (a completely submersible, 8 watt heater with suction cup attachment...about $12 online, plus shipping). This heater states that it is to be used with no larger than a 1 gallon aquarium, but it keeps both of my tanks at a constant 82 degrees, which my fish love! I didn't have heaters in their tanks when I first bought them, but decided to get heaters when winter rolled around and I couldn't keep the house warm enough for the fish...and what a difference it has made...they are way more active and visibly happier!!!
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