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Old 12-28-2012, 10:13 AM   #1 
itamag
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Betta fish fin rot! HELP!!

Hey. I'm quite new to betta raising this is my first betta and I got it after my sister didn't want him :( . My betta Max was always happy, until I left him at my grandma's house when I was abroad and she HEAVILY overfed him. That was three months ago, but he still hadn't bounced back. I keep him in a betta bowl of about 3-4 liters. He doesn't have any heating or any of that stuff. I know these aren't ideal terms for him but I wasn't aware that betta fish even need that!! I believe he was depressed but recently, after buying him some live plants and changing his water more frequently he was more active, playful and responsive. He still swims at a somewhat weird angle and many times swims very fast away from me as I get closer. Well, a few days ago I started seeing fin rot. It was very light. After a bit of research I went and got him Tetra General Tonic. Since about 8 hours ago, when i gave him the med, and now, I believe he got more "splits" in his fins. Also, he is much less to almost not responsive at all. I am very worried and I feel so guilty!! What if he dies or will be heavily injured? What if the meds won't work and the rot will reach his body? He's red so it's hard to tell. The edges of his fins seem almost broken, if you will. He also has very little white fuziness on the edge of one fin, but I believe it is reducing since the meds were put. What can I do? I read so many horrible things online about fin rot and swim bladder disease (which I suspect he has because of his weird swimming and him being much less active) HELP!!!
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:19 AM   #2 
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Considering your tank is a 1 gallon with no filter, I would say the minimum amount of water changes is 3 times a week all 100% changes. This is because your betta's ammonia will build up fast and will make him prone to disease and prompt/encourage fin rot to occur. It would be better to get a larger tank; for example with a 5 gallon you would only have to do 1 water change per week of 50%. However for now, it would be mandatory to do 3 water changes per week. Also you definitely need a heater. Even if your temp is at 78 during the day it could be cold at night. With a heater, it will maintain a constant temperature perfect for your betta. It will also help defend against fin rot.

Also it might be better if you held off the meds until you get a heater and also clean his water likeyou have been doing lately. Don't feel bad about this either; I also came into bettas, without knowing much, but I had my little guy in a less than a gallon tank. I soon upgraded him to a nice 10 gallon and immediately he was very active and happy and he lived a very good life. :)

Good luck and I hope he gets better.

Last edited by LeoTheLakerBetta; 12-28-2012 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:26 AM   #3 
itamag
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If he makes it I plan to buy a plastic 10 liter with a 25W heater. How can I see if he's improving? How can I help?i'm so worried about him ending up with no fins.. The poor guy was building nests more than I could count.. If I see white to transparent parts - are they signs of deterioration or healing? I think it is possible he was getting better by himself, because his behavior changed lately. I really need help at what can I do now?? I can't think about anything else. He barely responds right now and just floats there.. I can't see it
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:33 AM   #4 
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If its white or clear it is usually a sign of healing but if it is healing he wouldn't be acting like that. If you can, try to get that 25 watt heater today and put it into his tank. Don't worry it shouldn't overheat his tank, Apart from that there isn't much you can do. Clean and warm water is the key to healing fin rot.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:38 AM   #5 
itamag
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I wouldn't be able to but it until Sunday. How can I put it in a small fish bowl? Could his behavior be a reaction to the meds and is reasonable?

Edit: I checked again. He's more responsive now, almost as before, perhaps I was just interrupting his sleep before. I put him in a dark room to reduce stress. This is him. He has more splits than visible in the picture. He has many curly parts in the end. Are they related to the rot or the healing?
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Last edited by itamag; 12-28-2012 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:44 AM   #6 
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No its probably the temperature. Meds don't have any reaction that much besides no response or they show signs of healing or getting better. My first betta was in his little small bowl for a week and a half without a decent heater. The first day he was hangin almost vertical and very lazy. So despite my dad's protests, I put a lamp that I know gets pretty hot facing his tank. It would heate up the tank, but it was very inconsistent, and would often heat it too much. But it kept him alive until I got him a bigger tank. If you want to heat it safely, you can fill some plastic baggies with warm water and place it around his tank. Maybe you can even float one. It will keep his tank warm; once the baggies start to lose thier heat, change them out with more warm water. If you want his fins to heal up, change his water soon.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:59 AM   #7 
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Some photos showing the condition of the fins and especially the fuzz would be really helpful.

In the meantime be looking out for some good antibiotics like Kanaplex, Maracyn Plus or if you can't find those Furan 2. Also find some epsom salt - pure magnesium sulfate with no additives per the ingredients label. Once you do a 100% water change (see below on how to do that without shocking) you will thoroughly predissolve 1 tsp of these in a little cup with water. Pour this very slowly, over the course of a full hour, into his bowl.

A 1 gallon can't use those larger 25w heaters. They make the water temperature jump around too much because they heat it too fast. The only thing I'm aware of that fit and works in those bowls is a lower watt unadjustable heater that is set to simply click off when the water hits a certain degree. However, those are really unreliable and a lot of times they overheat the water so you need to be very careful. Never use a heater without also using an in tank thermometer to monitor it, something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Marina-Floatin...na+thermometer

I agree though that unless your house is kept at 80F+ your guy is cold and needs a heater. Normally you want your guy about 78-79, but since this is a bacterial infection we dont' want to jump start it in warm water so just for right now I would only get him in water about 76 and no higher, if you can. Unfortunately nonadjustable ones won't let you do that so you'll just have to deal with what they put out. If you can get him in a 2.5g+ then you can use a good adjustable heater like a 25w or 5 gallons+ you can get a 50w adjustable. He really needs to be in the 2.5g minimum to keep him healthy in the long run. It is very important to give your heater a test run in a container your betta is in for at least 24 hours before subjecting him to it. The reason is because they can be so unreliable and overheat the water. Also the betta must be acclimated to the warmer water very slowly. You can put them in a plastic cup and float them in the warmer water for about an hour to acclimate. Or if you have a good adjustable heater then check the water with your thermometer, and set the heater BELOW what the thermometer says. Slowly click it up one degree until it just turns on. After that, click it up one degree every 1 until you do this 5 times and give him a break. He shouldn't be subjected to more than 5 degree temperature change per day. Continue clicking up the next day until you reach about 76.

He doesn't need 3 100% changes a week on a normal basis, but at this point with him being so sick it wouldn't be a bad idea to do at least a 50% change followed by a 100% alternating. Up to this point you should have been doing a minimum of 2 (but ideally 3 50-50-100) weekly changes of 50% and 100%, with the 100% including a thorough rinse of the bowl and everything in it.

This is how you do large water changes without shocking your betta, which is very important

Quote:
to do a water change, use a little cup like a plastic solo cup - this cup must be only for him and have never been used with soap or other chems. Scoop him up in this cup (keep him in the cup about 1/4 full of water - it doesn't need to be much because he won't be in it for long) and leave him in the cup while you change his water. To do the 50% use a turkey baster - dedicated only to him that has never seen soap or chems - and drag it through the gravel and try to suck as much of the poop out as possible, in addition to 50% of the water. Use a thermometer under the running tap to get it to be the same temp as the water that is normally in his tank. When the thermometer says the flowing tap is the right temp, fill back up his tank. At this point, add the conditioner (dose for how much water you change - if you change half the water you add half gallon worth of conditioner, If you do a 100% water change dose for the full gallon change). Float his plastic cup with him in it in the new water. Slowly add a couple tablespoons of the new water into his cup every 10 minutes for at least an hour. Finally, dump him in gently but try to get as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. When you do the weekly 100% you will do mostly the same thing except empty his tank fully and rinse everything in it very well under warm water but never use soaps or chemicals. Once it's fully cleaned/rinsed you can refill it and repeat the cup/acclimate phase.
----------
Right now:

* Clean his bowl and up his water changes (be careful about acclimating)
* Get him heated up (acclimate)
* Use the epsoms
* Look for the antibiotics
* Get us some good photos

Last edited by callistra; 12-28-2012 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #8 
itamag
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These are from a couple days now. Max seems happier now, moving around and poking the bottom. One split is on the top fin, half a centimeter from his body! I' worried!
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:51 AM   #9 
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Your little guy is really skinny.. in addition to the above, what is your feeding routine? What are you feeding? How much and how often are you feeding? What does his poop look like?

Are those plastic plants? He could be splitting his fins on those.. take them out of the tank and drag some panty hose across them. If they catch the hose they'll catch your bettas fins. Most plastic plants aren't good for bettas, though some are soft enough.

He just looks skinny and clamped.. so increasing water changes, getting him warmed up and getting him in something larger may be all he needs but I want to address the weight/feeding before I'm sure.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:58 AM   #10 
itamag
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Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Your little guy is really skinny.. in addition to the above, what is your feeding routine? What are you feeding? How much and how often are you feeding? What does his poop look like?

Are those plastic plants? He could be splitting his fins on those.. take them out of the tank and drag some panty hose across them. If they catch the hose they'll catch your bettas fins. Most plastic plants aren't good for bettas, though some are soft enough.

He just looks skinny and clamped.. so increasing water changes, getting him warmed up and getting him in something larger may be all he needs but I want to address the weight/feeding before I'm sure.
He usually get 3-5 pellets a day. I will buy him a 25w adjustable heater with thermometer and a 10 liter aquarium on Sunday, but I'm really afraid! I compared photos from 3 days ago and now and it seems that he lost a bit of the upper fin. The plant is a live plant, not sure which. He became quite still again. If I'll get my hand close to him he'll respond and move and watch me, but he wants to rest. I don't know if he usually sleeps in this hour. This is his food. It is possible that the plants are causing the splits, but he still had curly parts in the ends of the fins, the white fuziness, and the fin reducing that worries me. Could it cause his death? Is it possible that the Tetra General Tonic won't help and he'll end up with body rot or no fins? I don't know what I'll do if it'll happen god forbid Food ingredients: fishmeal, yeast, wheat germ meal, soya meal, wheat flour, spirulina, astaxanthin, vitamins and minerals
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Last edited by itamag; 12-28-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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