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Old 12-25-2012, 09:51 PM   #1 
smarchitect
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Exclamation help - fin rot not responding to anything!

Hi all, I am a newbie here, but my poor fish is losing his fins so quickly once again that I was hoping someone here would have some ideas. Started him in a 10 gal tank, eventually added a snail, a few weeks later he got fin rot, and I've done a mix of AQ treatments in a quarantine tank,2 cycles of tetracycline in the 10 gal (without the snail), more QT and the rot is slowed at best.

Four days ago I bought him and snail a whole new 5.5 gal tank, and today noticed major pieces of his fin gone :(

Housing
What size is your tank? 5.5 gallons, 1/2 gal QT tank
What temperature is your tank? 75
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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? 1 snail

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? biogold pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x a day, 3 pellets each time

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week in 10 gal, daily/every other day in QT tank
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25% in 10 gal, 100% in QT
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stresscoat and AQ salt

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.2
Hardness: very soft
Alkalinity: 120

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? tattered fins, receding
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No...swims a lot, good appetite
When did you start noticing the symptoms? has been going on for 2 months
Have you started treating your fish? see above
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Bought him at Petco, full grown, in early October

The 'nice' photo is from the day I bought him, the other (sorry for blurriness...he is fast!) is from tonight.

Any ideas what could be the problem and what I can do? I thought it might be living with the snail for some reason, but I've had issues with him in the QT tank as well. Right now I put him back in QT with AQ and Stresscoat.

Thanks in advance, I am so anxious to get him better!
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:04 PM   #2 
callistra
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Bettas won't get fin rot if kept in clean water. Did you do a fish in cycle with your 10 gallon? It's common for fish to get fin rot during the cycle process as they will be subjected to various levels of ammonia over a long period of time.

IF I were to guess I'd say this was the result of him going through the fish in cycle process and now you're just dealing with the residual effects.

Unfortunately, the tetracyline will have completely crashed your cycle and you will have to cycle it all over again. Is the snail still in the 10 gallon? He will help you cycle while your guy is in qt. Use the fish in cycle method (snail is your fish) http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838 Once your cycle is reestablished changing 25% of the water weekly should be good. The snail is pretty dirty though so if you wanted to increase a little bit in the 10 gallon it wouldn't hurt, or at least check levels at the end of the week before you change and see if it might be necessary.

You can only treat with aquarium salt for up to 10 days. Stress coat is fine to use as long as you wish to help with the fin regrowth. If it's past 10 days on the aquarium salt and his fins are still disappearing it's time for some antibiotics.. I suggest Kanaplex by Seachem, if you can find them. If you can't try Maracyn Plus. I would go ahead and do this for one to two weeks - until you see the fins stop melting away and actually see a little regrowth. Then you know he's well on his way to recovery.

Also as a side note, 6 Hikari pellets can lead to some constipation issues pretty easily. Some bettas do okay on 6 pellets, but that's a lot, especially for that type of pellet. I highly suggest another pellet. Hikari used to be a very good pellet but they've changed their forumla and now they are mostly wheat which isn't good. You want a protein based pellet like Omega One (can feed 3-6 like Hikari) or New Life Spectrum Betta. Because NLS are smaller you can feed 5-8 split up into smaller two or thee meals. One fast day a week is also needed to keep your guy regular. Just make sure he's pooping and if you see issues or he seems to be getting too round try cutting back to 4 pellets instead of 6 or in NLS case cut back to 6 instead of 8.

Last edited by callistra; 12-25-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #3 
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Thanks callistra, but i feel i've tried these things already. I haven't been able to find anything but Tetracycline around here...is it very different from the other meds you mentioned?

The 10 gallon tank was not cycled, neither is the current 5.5 gallon. However every check, all the levels in the tank were good. I was fairly diligent about water changes, adding conditioner and AQ also.

Do you think after ten days with salt I could try putting him back in his 5.5 gal tank if all the ammonia, etc. levels are coming back good?

Thanks for the info on the pellets. I monitor him pretty carefully and have not noticed any problems. I also fast him or give him blood worms every once in a while, but not on a fixed schedule.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:23 PM   #4 
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I'm wondering if you might have a tail biter on your hands. When I see ratty tatters, like if the webbing had been eaten away, I think tail biting.

However for fin rot or tail biting, good clean water is what's needed to heal up.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:43 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfang View Post
I'm wondering if you might have a tail biter on your hands. When I see ratty tatters, like if the webbing had been eaten away, I think tail biting.

However for fin rot or tail biting, good clean water is what's needed to heal up.
Do you know how quickly he could have bit his fins? One day he was fine (as in, not getting worse) and the next morning there was a significant difference.

I have not noticed anything getting worse since putting him in QT. I wonder if there is something in the tank that is aggravating him to bite his fins? I put a piece of sponge in the filter to lessen the current in the water. But he's never seemed to have a problem with it in general.

So many variables to think about! And then I know people who keep their bettas in tiny bowls with infrequent water changes and have no problems!
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:58 PM   #6 
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I had a fish just like yours, with the webbing.. Same exact shredded look less than a month later. Water specs were good... Very frustrating
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:04 PM   #7 
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Tail biting is from stress or being bored. It's possible it could happen overnight and look devastating. It's common in heavier finned betta, such as yours.

Is there any decor or plants in the QT tank he is in? Do the pantyhose test on any decor your put in your tank. If it snags the pantyhose it will tear his fins.

Just because some fish have no problems with fewer water changes doesn't mean it's okay. It only takes one tear in sub par water to create a massive infection and finrot. Just because they can survive in an extreme of small space, no decor, no heat and poor water quality doesn't mean that it's much of a life.

Try to get a better picture, use a desk lamp to shine some light on him. It's very hard to tell finrot on a dark colored fish but even harder with a dark picture.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:04 PM   #8 
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Biting will be distinct u-shaped chunks.. not thinning shredded fins. That's rot.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #9 
Silverfang
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I have had two biters. They would always bite the webbing between the spines. Which is what I can see in that top photo. A betta can obliterate their fins in a matter of minutes. Ask Sakura what happened with her worst biting incident. She laid down for a nap, when she woke up he was a body with a few rays.

From the picture I can't tell if there is rot, if it is biting, or blow out, it's just too blurry to be certain. If you can get a better picture it would help
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:59 PM   #10 
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here's a photo that is a little more clear
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