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Old 12-03-2012, 08:24 AM   #1 
LittleFish2012
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Question Shredded Betta

Hey everyone,
Alright, it seems my half-moon male is having some sort of issue an I can't figure out what is wrong or why he's not getting any better. One day, I found him pale and shredded. Normally I would say "oh, he chewed his fins" but they do not look very chewed. It kinda looks like he went through a shredder.
I am concerned because he shredded himself so badly that even his pectoral fins are in tatters- which doesn't seem possible since his head shouldn't be able to reach them.
There is nothing in his tank that could cause his fins to tear. I use smooth ceramic ornaments with no sharp corners or edges.


Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gallon.
What temperature is your tank? Somewhere between 77-82 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? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? A variety. New life spectrum betta formula (pellets), occasional frozen brine shrimp.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Pellets monday-Friday (once a day), shrimp on Saturday, skipped feeding Sunday (for digestion).

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 80%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta Safe water conditioner (to soften my tap water).

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No.

Ammonia: --
Nitrite: --
Nitrate: --
pH: --
Hardness: --
Alkalinity: --

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins have become shredded, body paled slightly (at first, but not since I began treating him)
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not as active. It's not uncommon to find him laying on the bottom (although lately he has not since I moved him to a new tank). He used to be very agressive and I would say he gave off a "proud" vibe.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Maybe a month now. He has had little improvement.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, I've moved him to a tank where I can treat him easier. I started using epsom salt and BettaFix, assuming he chewed his fins. There was no progress (actually, his fins did not heal one bit). I stopped with the BettaFix and switched to Maracyn Plus, thinking there must be an internal problem. I still use epsom salt. Still no progress.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not to my knowledge.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him July 2012.

One other thing I think is worth noting: when I changed his tank, I noticed there was black "dust" on the bottom and the water smelled kinda like dirt. It's not like I let his water sit stagnant for weeks on end. I actually keep it rather clean.

If anyone has advice, suggestions, or any information about what could be the issue, please help me out. His situation isn't "urgent! On deathbed!" but I am concerned that he is not healing (and I made sure he did not get fin rot).

The top picture is him now. The bottom picture was when he was healthy.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:58 AM   #2 
sainthogan
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It kind of looks like tail biting to me. Does he have lots of decorations, inside and outside the tank to keep him entertained. Boredom will cause tail and fin biting. Also, does he have plenty of places to hide, feeling exposed can cause stress which can paling in color and tail and fin biting as well. Also, for the decorations and plants he does have, do they have any sharp edges that can cause tearing?
As far as water changes, for a 1 gallon, you should be doing at least 2 a week - although, it doesn't look like water condition issue, but poor water quality can stress which again can lead to paling of color and fin/tail biting.
As far as treatment, clean, warm water is the best. You can add aquarium salt to help speed it up, but only for a maximum of 10 days. Epsom salts are for bloating, constipation and swim bladder disorders and generally don't help much with fin reqrowth. Bettafix contains tea tree oil which can coat the labyrinth lung and cause breathing difficulties, so it's good that you aren't using that anymore. I don't think it's an internal problem, it looks more like tail/fin biting to me.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #3 
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That looks like some BAD BAD BAD tail biting, i mean.... Woa.

AQ salt may calm him and heal his fins. it will also help if its fin rot.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:33 PM   #4 
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is the thrashing around at all? is his poop normal or stringy and white? if you could test your water maybe. or have lfs test it for you.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:46 PM   #5 
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Omgosh..that looks like just what happened to two of my bettas..they were in a divided tank..one of them died, and one is on the mend..I still don't know what caused it...but, it seemed their fins just shredded overnight, they got pale, listless etc. sigh...
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:59 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandybottom View Post
is the thrashing around at all? is his poop normal or stringy and white? if you could test your water maybe. or have lfs test it for you.
Yes! I am so glad you mentioned that- I haven't heard him thrashing lately, so I forgot about that. He has/had been thrashing around insanely. That's when I took out his ornaments just in case.
As for stringy white poop... I would say no. Sometimes it's floating, but not white or stringy whatsoever.
I can only test the pH- I don't have the means to test anything else.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:04 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sainthogan View Post
It kind of looks like tail biting to me. Does he have lots of decorations, inside and outside the tank to keep him entertained. Boredom will cause tail and fin biting. Also, does he have plenty of places to hide, feeling exposed can cause stress which can paling in color and tail and fin biting as well. Also, for the decorations and plants he does have, do they have any sharp edges that can cause tearing?
As far as water changes, for a 1 gallon, you should be doing at least 2 a week - although, it doesn't look like water condition issue, but poor water quality can stress which again can lead to paling of color and fin/tail biting.
As far as treatment, clean, warm water is the best. You can add aquarium salt to help speed it up, but only for a maximum of 10 days. Epsom salts are for bloating, constipation and swim bladder disorders and generally don't help much with fin reqrowth. Bettafix contains tea tree oil which can coat the labyrinth lung and cause breathing difficulties, so it's good that you aren't using that anymore. I don't think it's an internal problem, it looks more like tail/fin biting to me.
Bettafix has tea tree oil as well?? I thought that was only Melafix! :O
The tank wasn't filled with things to do, so boredom could absolutely be a factor as to why he chewed himself up. I typically tried to keep him in the center of attention. There was nothing sharp that could harm him.
So AQ salt instead? Sure thing, any recommendations regarding how mug I should use?
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:55 PM   #8 
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anything that ends in -fix has tea tree oil in it. I've never used Aquarium salt (just frequent water changes to help heal), so I'm not sure the amount you should use, but, it should say on the container. I do know they sell it in different size containers/bags, so for a small tank, you should be able to use a small bag.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #9 
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2teaspoons per gallon of AQ salt.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:08 PM   #10 
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My guy did that in his 2 gal hospital tank, he only stopped when I moved him to a larger tank...not saying that's what you should do, I know sometimes It's not an option but if it continues it could be worth a try.
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