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Old 12-15-2012, 11:54 PM   #1 
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Unhappy Fin rot came on very suddenly, help?

Hi, I'm new here, my name is Elysia, but online I go by Jayoen, so call me Elysia, Jayoen, Jay, El, Shasha, whatever floats your boat.

My betta fish Giovanni, who I believe is a plakat, he was labeled as 'king' at petco, is huge, but a rather strange thing happened the other day.

I have only had him for a couple of weeks, and I went to do a partial water change, but when I poured the water in he started swimming around spazzmatically, as if in pain. Then I noticed his dorsal fin was suddenly blackened and clamped, as was half his tail. I quickly netted him out, and thinking it was something wrong with the water, did a complete water change, and put him back in the tank once the temperatures had adjusted. He seemed to calm down after that, but still kept his fins clamped.

Day 2 comes and his poor fin and tail are hanging by a thread, and look very irritated, so I started him tetracyline to help treat the fin rot I could see was forming. Otherwise normal acting and eating.

Day 3 and he's back to acting normal, though still missing parts of his fins obviously. Active and still sassing and begging for food.

today was day 4 and I did a complete water change again as instructed in the directions on the Tetracyline. Used water conditioner and waited for temperatures to be the same before reintroducing him to the tank, he still remains acting normal and like a piggy.

I'm just curious, am I using the right thing? I've heard about using aquarium salt can help too, and how would you go about using that? Could I use both at the same time? or would that hinder instead of help?

He looked completely normal before, it was not a progressive thing. What might have caused it? And his fins do not look very large compared to some other plakat I see, is it perhaps because he's young? I know he's huge right now probably about two inches long, I'm wondering if he'll get bigger if he's a 'king'.

Here are some pictures:

When I first got him:

immediately after the incident:

And today:

And here's a video from today:
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:36 AM   #2 
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His tail started to blacken as you were pouring the water in? I am a little confused.

I am unfamiliar with the medication you are using, but I would not use salt and medication at the same time. I personally don't like using chemicals if I can avoid them. I pretty much always try salt treatments first. But yes, AQ salt is commonly used for fin rot at 1tsp per gallon to as much as 3tsps per gallon. If you can get ahold of stress coat, I would use that as well. It is a water conditioner that contains aloe vera and is used at twice the recommended amount to promote healing for things like this.

Did you make sure the temperature of the water you were using for the water change was the same? Did you use water conditioner? Have you tested your tank and tap water for ammonia? What temperature is the tank at? What kind of conditioner are you using?

I'll admit, when I looked at the second picture I immediatly thought that it could be the mystery disease, but seeing that it has lasted for three days, I highly doubt it. Does the rot seem like its getting worse? I am worried that it may reach his body and at that point, well, it isn't looking too good for him.

Hopefully someone will have had experience with something like this and will be able to help more than I.

In response to the size of his fins... Some other plakats you may have seen could have been halfmoons. Their fins may look bigger because they are at a 180 degree spread. Plakats have shorter fins like he does, unless he is a she (if so, there would be a white egg spot right under the ventral fins).

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 12-16-2012 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:46 AM   #3 
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The water temperature was the same, and I did use conditioner in it.
Last time I checked temperature it was at 73 or so Fahrenheit, not Celsius.
I haven't checked for ammonia levels, what might be the easiest way that I could do that? I'm assuming maybe the pet store sells kits that could help me with it?
Luckily it does not seem to be spreading any further than when they freakishly fell off.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:00 AM   #4 
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Yes, the pet store will sell kits. I suggest the API master freshwater liquid test kit, but it is around $30. It will last you awhile, though, because it includes over 800 tests. You also could take a sample of both your tank and your tap water to the store. Most of them will test the water for you... but don't take just "good" or "bad" for an answer. Ask for specific numbers.

It's easier to just get your own test kit. Usually, when something goes wrong with your fish physically or behaviorally, the first thing you will want to do is test the water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:03 AM   #5 
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Okay, and what would ideal levels be?
Apologies if they seem silly questions, I'm new at Betta.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:10 AM   #6 
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If you want, Amazon have those test kit for a lot cheaper.

And I'm also dealing with the same problem, going to see if I can put him in a Hospital tank, since I bought him some AQ salt.

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:20 AM   #7 
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0 ammonia and nitrites. 0-20 nitrates. pH between 7 and 8 but they can adjust as long as it doesn't exceed 9..
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:08 AM   #8 
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Here's some stickies on water changes and cycling (if you have a filter):

Also he's freezing.. I'd take a read through this forum in general:, and especially the general info sticky You're using conditioner right?

I would not dare mess with a salt only treatment when body rot is in play, which you can see at the tail.. that doesn't happen within seconds, sorry... you want something strong and quick. I'd try my very hardest to get Kanplex (1) or Maracyn Plus (2nd choice and not to be confused with Maracyn or Maracyn II)
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:58 AM   #9 
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How much salt did you put in and was it disolved before you added it.
It looks like a chemical burn OR the mystery disease but if that was the case, he would be been dead witin 24 hours.

I am unfamiliar with the medication you are using
Tetracycline is a pretty popular medication for fish but from what I have read at another forum, it should not be mixed with salt and it is not effective in water with a ph over 7.2

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Old 12-16-2012, 03:15 AM   #10 
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Isn't this the "mystery blue disease"?

Mycobacterium infection that CopperMoon mentioned in Sakura's thread last week?

Read it yourself & decide.

I've had bettas with fin rot & other type of betta inflicted damage before, but NEVER seen anything like picture #3.

Good luck.
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emergency, finrot fin rot, injury, plakat, treatment

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