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Old 12-29-2012, 01:37 AM   #1 
Ezzie
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Ripped, torn fins. Fin rot or simple damage?

Hey guys, Im in need of some more expertise help with my fish Patrick.
Within the last few months (about 1-2 months) his fins have been looking rather shredded, and i am totally lost with what to do, or even what it is!
Heres the questionare:

Housing
What size is your tank? 3.4 gallons (13 liters AUS)
What temperature is your tank? Currently 77 degrees fahrenheit
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? Betta pellets (cannot remember the brand or name!) and frozen blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily, 4 times a week blood worms, the other 3 days pellets.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 2-3 times a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? One 100% (with rocks, plants everything cleaned) a 50% and if i have time, another 25% throughout the week.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API stress coat

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

Ammonia: .50
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH: 7.6 or more
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His fins have all become torn and shredded looking, There is NO black edging of the fins that i can see. He is suppost to be a half moon but is looking more like a crowntail with the shredding
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? None at all, he is still very active, eats every single time we feed him and is never lying around or lethargic
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Maybe 1-2 months ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I changed all the plants to silk ones, and after speaking to the local fish shop the guy believes it is fin rot, have started adding the reccomended dosage of PROMETHYASUL to the water each change (this is into the second week of treatment) I have also upped the water changes to the above 3 times a week to keep the water as clean as possible.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Never, this is the first time we have had problems
How old is your fish (approximately)? Hard to say, MAYBE less then a year.

I cannot work out why the ammonia is so high even with the water changes, could the fin rot medicines be throwing out the readings?
Could this be simple shredding from plants or tail biting? I have never seen him go for his tail but it cannot be just biting because ALL of the fins are ripped..

I will get pictures up ASAP for you guys to have a look.

Thanks in advance and any advice will be great!
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:41 AM   #2 
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Ammonia is a big problem. With 3 water changes a week you should not be seeing those levels of ammonia.. Unless maybe a lot of the food you try to feed him ends up rotting away at the bottom. Also test your plain tap water and see if there is ammonia in it..

I'm guessing all that ammonia has caused rot but photos would be helpful.

Blood worms are like feeding candy. It's fine but shouldn't be fed over pellets. I wouldn't feed him those more than once a week and even then just one or two worms (in those frozen cube things you can defrost a pellet size piece). One day a week he should be fed nothing. Also those frozen cubes can be messy and a lot can end up decomposing at the bottom unless you feed him bite sized pieces. Make sure anything he eats actually gets eaten and remove anything that falls to the bottom. I find a turkey baster works best for this.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:41 AM   #3 
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Here is the clearest photo I could get of him and one when I bought him fora comparison.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:44 AM   #4 
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Here's one of his shredded fins (sorry if the pictures are large in posting from my phone)
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:08 AM   #5 
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Here's another one but from the other side of him... I feel
So terrible looking back at the pictures when he was new and now, his fins look terrible and I don't understand how they got so bad dispite my best efforts to keep everything clean
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:35 PM   #6 
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The ammonia is causing that. .5ppm ammonia should never be seen in your tank and it will cause fin rot. We got to figure out a way to stop that or his fins can't heal. Right now I'd do a 100% water change and add stress coat at 1 ml per 1 gallon. Also I would add 1 tsp per gallon predissolved aquarium salt. The salt will not evaporate, will only be removed with your water changes, and will need to be replaced along with them as well. You can use this for up to 10 days or until you see the fins stop decreasing and start seeing the little white tips start to show some regrowth. Then you know you're in the clear.. but new fins are so sensitive and that ammonia level won't let them grow so you need to be diligent in testing the water and keeping it clean. I have some more ideas below..

Does your tap water have ammonia in it? Test the plain untreated water straight from the tap for ammonia.

Also are you using an in tank thermometer to know the temp of the heater? What heater are you using?

The three water changes you're doing should be enough, so we have to figure out why he's creating such a mess. My guess is all those blood worm frozen bits are mucking up the water. Unless he has ammonia in the tap, I bet switching to primarily pellets (and making sure none go to the bottom) and only feeding a pellet's size blood worm once a week as a treat will help this. Never put in like 1/4 cube and let him gnaw on it. Can you look to see what pellets you're feeding please, so I can help give you an idea how many to give him and make sure they're not wheat filled byproduct stuff?

I also see a lot of plastic plants.. have you done a thorough nylons test on everything to make sure they can't snag/catch his fins? Generally speaking, most plastic plants are not good for bettas because they will tear up their fins. Silks are better but even some of them have plastic parts.

Last edited by callistra; 12-29-2012 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:16 PM   #7 
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Thanks for the reply, I did a 100% water change and like i stated above i have bought full silk plants for all the fighters and replaced all the plastic ones.

I dont have aquarium salt and being christmas/ new years the fish shops not open but i will get it ASAP.
Should i continue with the fin rot treatment or just with the stress coat for now?

The main reason i was feeding blood worms was to try to give him a bit of a growth spurt, hes so tiny! I even think he hasnt grown at all since i bought him and so i thought the protein packed meal would help that, but obiously not. I will stop with the blood worms and continue on the pellets (which i still dont have the name of, i threw the packaging away and put the pellets in a small air tight container)

I tested the plain tap water and it was .25ppm I dont know if thats normal or healthy for even me to have!! But it could most definately be contributing to the issues were having..

Should i be upping the water changes to maybe 30% every 2 days to help or just stick to the 100% and 50% and if i have time 25% weekly?
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:29 PM   #8 
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Since your tap has ammonia you'll want to switch to a conditioner that neutralizes it. I suggest prime and I suggest a double dose - 4 drops per gallon instead of 2 drops per gallon. Test it out and see but I imagine this will take care of things.

Since you have ammonia in your tap you might do best to try to cycle out a tank for him. That way the bb will eat away at your tap ammonia too and he'll have to deal with less toxins.

But in the meantime I'd try three water changes a week.. 50% 50% and 100%, along with the prime.

Using stress coat along with prime just while his fins are healing is fine. Once his fins are healed you won't need stress coat anymore.

I don't really have any experience with promethyasul except I know it's antibacterial and supposed to be very gentle because discus keepers use it..

ETA: It's malachite green - which will do you no good as that's for parasites. It also has Mafenide hydrochloride which I have no experience with and Aminacrine hydrochloride which I have never heard of... IDK quick good search has a few positive mentions and no negatives, but that's all I can tell you... seems to be specific to Australia drug.

Last edited by callistra; 12-29-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:08 PM   #9 
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I did a test of his water again today and again were at .25-.50ppm, i only cleaned his water YESTERDAY!

Im going to see if the fish shops open today and ill pick up some neutralizer and some aquarium salts if they stock it. Would bottled water work instead of tap water?
What if i boiled it?

Edit:
My other two fighting fish share the SAME tap water and the SAME stress coat when i change water and neither of the others have any problems! (Just Arthur who has taken a chunk out of his tail) Which is why i was thinking he was just fragile. Can ammonia affect one fish more then others?
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:59 PM   #10 
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You must have a lot of ammonia in your source water.. I'm sorry that really sucks. Makes things a lot more complicated. Ammonia can definitely effect one fish different than another. Some are much more sensitive than others and some you won't see any symptoms for a long time, while one might bite his tail under stress, and a third might have constant fungal infections or prone to dropsy. It just depends on their own individual immune systems and personalities.

Well some say that the prime will be enough to detoxify the ammonia in the source water. I don't really have any personal experience with this.. I just know that's how a lot of people choose to deal with it and how some of the mods on this forum suggest dealing with it.

If you use bottled RO water that makes things also very complicated because then you have to deal with buffering the kh to prevent ph swings and adding necessary electrolytes in the form of things like Equilibrium by Seachem or Kent's RO right in order to make it even hospitable for fish. You can do it.. I do it.. but I wish I didn't have to, believe me. It's a lot of testing and constant monitoring.

Last edited by callistra; 12-30-2012 at 09:02 PM.
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