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Old 01-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #1 
zenninja
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Tail rot? Something else?

I'm having no luck with this tank so I figure it's time to turn it over to the experts.

Housing
What size is your tank? 20 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes (although I have it turned on low so it doesnít cause too much extra water movement)
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 4 neon tetras, an otto and a pepper cory catfish

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets and occasional freeze-dried bloodworms. Iíve just added daphnia to the diet (once or twice a week). He usually manages to steal some tropical crisps from the neon tetras as well.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once or twice a day. Iíve cut back his food in the last week because I think I was overfeeding him. I fast him roughly once a week.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Usually 25-30%. I do 50% changes every couple of weeks.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Api stress coat as water conditioner

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:20(safe) I promptly did a water change after testing to get rid of this
pH: 7
Hardness: 150
Alkalinity: 120

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Tail appears more ragged than when I got him.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Behaviour seems normal
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When the tank had ich in December. I thought it was a result of the ich at first and only got concerned now that the fins do not seem to be healing
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Started treating with melafix 3 days ago, it does not seem to have helped yet
Does your fish have any history of being ill? he had ich right before I noticed these signs and has been having constipation issues recently (although that seems to have been resolved now)
How old is your fish (approximately)? Adult, got him from the pet store in november; my best guess is somewhere between 6 months and a year old.

Other than his ratty tail fin I donít see the signs of disease on my betta so much as I do on his neon tetra tankmates (who have ratty fins with missing pieces and white patches at the edges, that are beginning to look blackish when the light is off), but I figure if they have something (Iím thinking maybe fin rot?), he likely does too as my best guess is it took hold while their immune systems were compromised when they had/were recovering from the ich.

If it IS fin rot, Iíve heard some of the treatment options available are hard on some catfish and/or plants, and I donít want to harm my plants (an anubias and a moss ball) or pepper cory. I donít have a quarantine tank and since the majority of the fish in the tank seem to have this thing, Iím more inclined to just temporarily remove the ones that are sensitive to the treatment and treat the whole tank than I am to isolate all the sick ones. If I had to do that and put the plants in with my other betta in his 5 gal for the time being, is there a possibility of transferring the disease to him?

Can anyone confirm what this mystery disease is for me? Any suggestions on how to deal with it would be appreciated too. Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #2 
AyalaCookiejar
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Usually fin rot causes black tips and is caused by poor water quality and i see no issues there... Most of the time, that "ratty" fin look is caused by tail biting. Some bettas bite there own tails, but I wonder if you don't have a fish in there that is getting a little aggressive with the others.

However, I may be wrong. Pictures may help, as well.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #3 
shellieca
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I completely agree with Ayala. I think you have a or multiple fish who are not being nice to their tank mates.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #4 
Jake3698
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Quick bit of advice, discontinue Melafix. It can cause damage to the labyrinth organ in your Betta.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:05 PM   #5 
AyalaCookiejar
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Thank you for pointing that out. I forgot to mention it. Melafix, bettafix... Pretty much anything with "fix" on the end contains tea tree oil. Over time, it damages the labyrinth organ meaning it will literally suffocate your fish.

Either do several large water changes or put carbon in the filter to get rid of the melafix ASAP. For treatment, I would up the water changes for a bit and observe closely for aggressive behaviors. Clean, warm water should help clear it up, and add an extra dose of stress coat to promote healing as it contains aloe Vera.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:47 PM   #6 
callistra
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Tetras really should be kept in schools of 6+ and since you have the tank size for I'd go for it. They are far less stressed that way, will stay healthier and more likely to leave your betta alone. They might bite your betta's fins if they're feeling stressed.

Cordydoras are also schooling fish and should be kept in schools of at least 3, but 6+ again is ideal.

I would also keep ottos in at least groups of 3. Make sure you give them algae wafers or something as they usually can't just live on whatever algae is present.

As for the fins.. Can you share photos?
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:55 PM   #7 
zenninja
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Update and photos

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I really appreciate all the replies :). I will definitely be discontinuing the melafix ASAP!

I managed to take some photos finally!

betta when I got him; nice full tail
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him this morning; tattered tail
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as best a shot I could get of the damage to one one of the tetra's fins that's worrying me
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As for adding more neons, ottos and cories, I would love to! I've been planning on getting at least two more cories and some more neons for a while, but a)I don't want to put them in a tank that might be unhealthy and b) I'm a little afraid of them making the tank sick since I'm fairly sure the ich they all just recovered from came from the 2 neons I added in December (I wish I had a quarantine tank, but sadly I don't ). As soon as I'm sure this tank is alright and I find some healthy-looking specimens I will surely be adding them :)

And yes, I feed my otto :P
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:59 PM   #8 
AyalaCookiejar
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I would wait to see what Callistra says about the tail...

For QTing... If you have a local deli nearby, you can go and ask if you can have some unused cups... I got 6 with lids for free at my local walmart deli to QT my females for my sorority. You can float these in the tank for a few weeks to keep them warm.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:03 PM   #9 
callistra
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He's definitely being chewed on.. either by himself or the tetras. Also I see he's lost a lot of color and is bloated.. That top fin also.. is it becoming transparent and turning black? It looks like it. And that is fin rot.

Also do you have plastic plants? It looks like they could be ripping his fins too. Have you used panty hose to thoroughly test to make sure nothing snags? Usually silk plants are better.

The tetras fin is hard to see anything.. but it could be your betta bit back or it could be fin rot.

I'd fast him a couple/few days and monitor poop during that time. Stress coat at 1 ml per 1 gallon will help with fin regrowth. He may need to be floated in QT and do some salt for that rot.. 1 tsp per gallon predissolved. You can use an acrylic 2 gallon bowl or critter keeper filled half full to float in the tank for warm with daily 100% changes plus the readdition of stress coat and salt for up to 10 days.

Last edited by callistra; 01-18-2013 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:49 PM   #10 
zenninja
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About the bloating, he's being fasted today actually, and he's a LOT less bloated than he was a couple days ago. don't worry; I'm keeping an eye on it and that situation seems to be improving at least.

As for the top fin, you can't see as much black looking at him but it does look like it's going really black in the picture, I might do the salt QT for him just in case.

I'll have to check out those plastic plants, I thought they were soft enough but I've never heard of the panty hose trick. I'll have to go test them and take them out if they fail.

Never thought of the critter keeper/deli cups idea, I'm sure I've got a few of those kicking around to use.

thanks for all the tips guys, I'm off to go try some of them!
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