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Old 11-29-2012, 01:57 PM   #1 
lauritastlouis
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Exclamation impossible fin rot

I have a seemingly incurable case of fin rot.

First of all: male betta currently alone in tank. 10 gallons. About 80 degrees. Current ammonia, nitrite and nitrate 0. Ph 7.8 (tap water is above 8.8 and doesn't register on high range ph test fyi) currently use API mater test kit. Have had him 8 weeks or so

Got bad advice from a specialty fish store and was told not to change water at all until tank was fully cycled. We cycled with fish in tank. Ammonia never spiked above .5 ppm. When ammonia dropped to 0 (5 weeks in) nitrite peaked at 3.0 ppm before going down as nitrates raised to 20 ppm. 2 days after this all occured came home and his tail was torn up. Treated for 5 days wish maracyn. Left in charcoal cartridge cause it was over 8 days old per instructions. Fins were almost healed. Did 25% water change cause water was really cloudy from meds. Changed cartridge too. His was 4 days after final does of maracyn.

Next day ammonia spiked back to .5 ppm and bit nitrite and nitrate back at 0. Maracyn was not supposed to affect Ben. Bact. 2 days later (day before thanksgiving) tail was completely shredded with 4 half inch long slits. Was fine before I went to work at 5 pm Tuesday (was closely monitoring fins) and shredded at 2 am when I got off work. Called several stores and got conflicting info. Got referred to a local vet trained specifically in aquatics. Was prescribed 250 mg flagyl daily with 20% daily water changes.

By Friday morning had lost over half inch of tail. Was told to add maracyn and maracyn 2. Did all three 5 days. Then discontinued maracyns. Water nasty cause I had to take out cartridge while running meds since it was new. But still did the 25% change daily.
Increased amount of change due to additional meds.

Yesterday he had a rough day. My kid dumped unknown amount of aq. Salt in tank directly. Caught him in he act so I put him in a cup and did 95% water change since I didn't know what was added. Was slowly acclimating him to new tank water. Only majr difference was the ph. Am not sure how tank ph is so much lower Hthan out of the tap (24 hours later new tank is now 7.8 again). Fish already stressed I'm sure. Was replacing 20% to cup with tank water every 20 minutes with intent on xfering when ph levels were similar. Right after 2 change to cup husband knocked it over and poor fish went spilling out into kitchen counter. Caught him before he slid off between counter and stove and rushed to tank.

So far he's still swimming actively and eating well has been through entire ordeal. Rot seems to have slowed or stopped but I have no idea if its healing and have no idea how to id new fin growth. 1week before first round of rot his pectoral fins turned white in he tips. They are still white. Right one a bit curled. Is this a sign he still has it? Basically what now folks?
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:07 PM   #2 
shellieca
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Poor fish & poor you. First I would stop all meds. IME fin rot will go away with clean water. From the description you gave, he did not have fin rot, it usually starts at the edges & is black. What you describe sounds like he got them caught on or in something, such as your filter intake (?). You had a problem with your cycle because you changed out your filter cartridge, that is where most of your BB is & changing it out can cause a mini cycle, FYI for future. Have you tested your taps Ph after letting the water set out for 24 hrs, stirring it occasionally? This will be your taps true Ph. It is normal for the Ph to drop in the tank but it shouldn't be a drastic, sudden drop, that can cause problems. You want the Ph to stay pretty stable. Personally, I would cease all meds & do weekly or twice weekly 50% water changes with temp matched, conditioned water. If he is behaving normally & eating I wouldn't stress over the fins unless the get worse. New growth is typically white or clear. Sorry if this reads like a ramble, hopefully it makes sense. The best medicine, IME & IMO, is keeping the water clean.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:10 PM   #3 
gemsbok
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Wow, sounds like you had a rough ride. Are you sure he wasn't tailbiting or ripping his fins on decorations instead? Curled and white-tipped pectorals are (in my experience) related to hard water and healing respectively. New fin growth usually looks transparent.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:17 PM   #4 
lauritastlouis
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Thanks for the replies. The filter intake is capped on the bottom with the water being sucked in via grates on the sides. I am not sure if he got stuck in there or not. The filter can't be turned down and does 80 gph. I know hats a bit high for a Berta now. It came with the tank kit. So far the current itself doesn't seem to bother him. He has never hung out towards the bottom. Occasionally I have seen him swim up to the filter and let it shoot him backwards across the front of the tank. Then he does a few laps and starts over. I assume he likes it because he seems to be doing it on purpose. Quite funny to watch. I guess it would make sincethat he may have gone too close or something.

I am pretty sure it developed into fin rot though because the edges and slits turned black quickly and then I started seeing chunks of tail. The edges of everything are tipped black still though. Also the dorsal and anal fins did start getting chunks missing before the damaged seemed to retard. I am afraid of stopping thevflagyl since he's almost done with it because I would hate for there to be resistant bacteria that attack worse later if something else happens but I am not going to give the other meds any more. What are your opinions on aquarium salt? I saw one online how to that suggested putting a betta with fin rot in a 1 gallon bowl and doing daily 100% water changes with 1 to 3 tsp salt depending on severity and keeping this up for a few weeks.

The main reason I did so many meds was that he was losing 1/4" of his tail in chunks every day. I know I got bad advise from the fish shop I talked to when I was told no water changes til it was cycled. My poor kid is so worried that his fish is going to die and I feel awful for the fish and for him. Just so u do know my filter comes with this hard mesh sponge thingy that is attached to the sleeve the charcoal cartridge slides on. I think gay this is meant to be the biomedia.

Once he is healed I plan on getting a new filter that is better suited for bettas. It still has to be strong enough for a community tank (I know I know. Some people swear bettas must live alone and others do not. We plan on adding only a couple of Micky mouse platys a frog and a snail until we can get a bigger tank. ) I read somewhere hat undergraval is best but somewhere else said hey ere a danger. One place said ceramic filters are he way to go others said stick to charcoal. It seems that there is NO consensus on tropical fish care whatsoever lol. What filters would you recommend?

Also if ammonia and nitrite are at 0 its supposed to be cycled. Should I consider this to be true if nitrate is always 0 too? I have switched to a conditober that detoxes ammonia as well as chlorine and chloramine. Our water uses chloramine so I know treating it does increase he ammonia. Our water tests 1.0 ppm before conditioner and 2.0 ppn once he ammonia is separated from the chloramine. The conditioner I use is not supposed to make it undetectable just not toxic. Supposedly the Ben bact. Should still be able to break it down but I'm not sure since the nitrates never seem to increase.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:13 PM   #5 
shellieca
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My nitrates stay below 5 in my tanks so the fact you have none isn't a problem. My filter intakes are the same as yours, I've put pre-filter sponge inside it so the fins don't get sucked in & it slows the output considerably. If you want to finish the current med treatment then do after that I'd get the water cleaned up & see how it goes with normal water changes. Double check your decorations & plants to make sure they can't cause damage. It's unfortunate that LFS employees are not more knowledgable. I've learned to do research 1st then when I talk to the people at the LFS I'll know if they know what they're talking about. He'll heal up I'm sure, it'll just take some time because of how bad it got. We've all gotten bad advice so don't knock yourself.
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