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Old 01-31-2013, 11:39 PM   #1 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Damaged tail and dorsal fin?

I have a male crowntail and today I noticed that his tail seemed shorter than usual. Upon further inspection, I could tell that the tips of his fins looked like they have been breaking off. I thought he must be biting the tips of his tail off, but then I noticed that a couple of the strands from his dorsal fin have broken off, too.

I don't think he would be capable of biting his dorsal fin, but I'm no expert. I've been researching fin rot, and I'm honestly not sure if that's what it is or not. It doesn't look dark or any more reddish than it naturally does at the tips, though his tail looks a bit like it has a white film of sorts on it. I just want to know what's wrong so I can start helping him as soon as possible. I currently have him in a 1 gallon bowl that I clean every couple of days (I cleaned it yesterday), though I am shopping for a bigger tank (probably closer to 5 gallons as I do not have space for anything larger) and I have some marimo moss balls on the way to aid the water quality a bit. I'm also thinking about picking up some aquarium salt, as I have read that it helps to fend off infections and promotes fin repair.

Here is a picture of him when I first brought him home from the pet store (his coloring was much lighter then, he's sort of a blackish blue grey now):

Here is a picture of a happy, healthy fish just a few weeks ago:

Here is a picture of him today:

His tail is obviously much shorter, and a few of the strands from his dorsal fin are gone. His tail looks somewhat whiteish, which is abnormal.

Honestly, looking at these photos, I'm wondering how long the tail shrinking has been going on, as it would appear that he had no shorter dorsal strands when he was younger and his tail was longer still.

I'm just hoping someone can tell me what's wrong with him so that I can treat it as soon as possible.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:30 AM   #2 
Maddybelle's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alabama
Looks to me like he has fin rot. Or maybe his rays are "melting", which sometimes happens with crowntails in hard water. The first is easily treatable with clean water and aquarium salt. Not sure what to do about the second...
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:10 PM   #3 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Today I bought a heater and some aquarium salt.
Should I change his water more frequently while trying to cure fin rot, or should I still just do it every couple of days?
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:34 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Carolina
that happens often with CTs. their rays are SUPER picky about water quality i've had some who's rays have broken off like yours, melted off, curled up like piggy tails.... nothing you can do, from my experience. try giving him more light than usual. my King Steve lived in a 10 gallon who's light was on almost all the time, except for at night, and his rays were PERFECT. some breeders, from what i hear, keep theirs in direct sunlight.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #5 
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More info please:

Actually that happy healthy fish pic is extremely clamped which means he was very stressed and/or ill even then.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:15 PM   #6 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Oh, sorry.

What size is your tank?: About 1 gallon (looking to upgrade soon)
What temperature is your tank?: As of yesterday, 78-80 at all times
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 so far

What type of food do you feed your betta fish?: Aqueon Betta food
How often do you feed your betta fish?: a couple pellets, two times a day

How often do you perform a water change?: full change 1-2 times a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?: 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?: Water conditioner and as of yesterday, aquarium salt

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

I've never tested my water

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?: Tail is shorter and somewhat white-ish, some trailing fin bits look like they're ready to break off, a few strands on the dorsal fin are gone
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?: It hadn't really changed, though now that he has a heater in his bowl (I bought/installed it yesterday), he is much more lively
When did you start noticing the symptoms?: About 3 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?: Yes, I added aquarium salt to his water when I changed it yesterday
Does your fish have any history of being ill?: Not that I know of. He came from petco, and they don't have a track record for outstanding betta care or anything.
How old is your fish (approximately)?: I bought him at the end of the summer, I don't know how long he'd been at petco. I've owned him for 4 months, I think.

Really? That's generally just what he looks like when he relaxes, he tends to alternate between an open tail and a limp tail. I didn't know that meant anything.

I changed his water yesterday and added a teaspoon of aquarium salt. (I let the water heat up, took a cup of his water out, mixed the salt into it completely and then poured it back in. After that I added the water conditioner and placed King back in his tank.) He perked up pretty quickly with the temperature change and has been swimming around pretty constantly ever since.

I read somewhere that fin rot can be caused by poor water conditions, i.e. the water being too cold. When I bought him over the summer, my room was always in the mid to high 70s (we don't have air conditioning) and so the temperature in his bowl was never a problem. However, in the last month or so, it's hard to keep my room at even 70 degrees. I'm assuming that his decline in health was caused by the coldness of his water, as I make sure that his water is very clean. I'm hoping that the rot will clear up with the new heater that I installed (an Aqueon 50 WATT submersible heater, which is working beautifully. I was a little nervous, since it's recommended for 5-20 gallon tanks).
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:21 PM   #7 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Today his coloring has lightened significantly, almost to the point that he is colored the way he was in the very first picture I posted of him. He is swimming with his pectoral fins clamped shut, which I have never seen him do before. He doesn't seem any less active, but this seems odd.

The water has become cloudly, and it's been less than 48 hours since I cleaned his bowl thoroughly.

Is there something else I'm missing here?
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #8 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
I see two issues:

(a) So before yesterday, the water was in the the upper-60s to low-70s? And today, it's at 78-80?

How quickly did you raise the temperature?

Before, he was cold. (Which you knew.) But if you raise the temp too quickly, it could cause stress. The suggestion that I've seen on this forum is to raise the temp no more than 1 degree per hour, with a maximum increase of 5 degrees per day.

(b) The quick addition of salt could have caused another shock to his system. During water changes, you need to acclimate slowly. And whenever you add something new to his tank (such as Aquarium salt), you need to use the same acclimation process.

To acclimate properly during a regular water change (with nothing new added):
  1. Note the temperature of the water.
  2. Using a plastic cup, scoop him, along with some of his water, into the cup.
  3. Clean out the tank. Refill with water at the SAME temp.
  4. Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min.
  5. Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
  6. Let his cup float for about 10 min.
  7. Remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7, until about an hour has passed.
  9. Gently release him into the tank.

To acclimate him when something NEW is added (such as Aquarium salt), I would slow this process down even more. (Each time you add a small amount of new water into the cup, I'd let him sit for more like 15 minutes. And I'd let the process continue longer than an hour.)
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:55 PM   #9 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Would it take a couple days for that to kick in?

When I added the heater, I only heated it a couple degrees at a time. The salt, however, I added all at once. I only added about 3/4 of a teaspoon rather than the 1 teaspoon that I've seen everywhere that is recommended for curing fin rot.

However, the day that the temperature/salt were changed, his fins were open and he was swimming around actively. The same was true yesterday (the day after the changes were made). I came home today and his fins are all clamped shut and he's less active. No changes have been made between yesterday and today. His water has become slightly cloudly.

Is the water getting cloudy simply because he is living in such a small container and it needs to be cleaned, or is it clouding up because of a health issue with King? I intend to clean his bowl again today, as well as order him a new, larger tank within the week.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:59 PM   #10 
blu the betta
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Yakima,Washington
he has fin rot. it looks like that to me.
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finrot, fins, sick, tail biting

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