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Old 02-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #1 
Sagat
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What is this? It looks like his fins are stuck together

Housing
What size is your tank? 20G long
What temperature is your tank? 79F
Does your tank have a filter? HOB, with no charcoal
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
Inhabitants? Betta (1), Otocinclus (5), Assassin Snail (2), Harlequin Rasboras(5), lots of Malaysian Trumpet Snails

Food
What type of food do you feed your fish? New Life Spectrum Growth
How often do you feed your fish? Once to twice a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? As little as possible, but averaging about one a month
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Added StressCoat+ for the betta's fins

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.5


I've been vigilantly watching my bettas fins since we got him and theythey just seem to keep getting farther and farther away from the beautiful fins he had when we bought him... :(

It looks like his fins are fused together. The problem is, I can't get him to flare for anything, so I can't be sure what's going on. If I strain really hard, I think I can see a fuzzy white patch on his anal fin, but I really have to do some unusual things to see it (LED Maglite, shown from above, at just the right angle).

His ventral fins have been turning kinda dreadlocky for awhile now, but they've been getting longer, so I didn't give it much thought.

Then, about last week after he came out of quarantine for aggression, I noticed his anal, caudal and dorsal fins all exhibiting the same characteristics.

I'm completely at a loss, so I'm just going to include pictures of him shortly after we bought him 2.5 months ago, 3 weeks ago and today.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:13 PM   #2 
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You need to be doing a minimum of 25% weekly changes using a siphon to vaccum areas.. it looks like you have some live plants.. so around the plants. Don't disturb them.

Can you share a fuller picture to have an idea of how planted your tank is?

What kit are you using to test ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

At this point I would do a series of 2-3 50% changes over the next few days to see if he doesn't perk up.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:33 PM   #3 
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Looks to be fin melt.

Fin melt is one form of advanced fin rot. It can occur in situations of chronic bad water or a sudden change resulting in shock.

I cured my VT's melt with clean water and IAL (indian almond leaf) in about a month. I kept him in a reduced 3 gallon for that period with changes every 2 days, clean warm water seemed to cure Ludendorff.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:38 PM   #4 
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That is what clamped fins look like. This happens when they are ill. It looks like he's had some color changes as well. Shine a flashlight on him and see if you see any gold or rust colored dust or (if it's really bad) a gold or rust colored coating. This is velvet, and will need to be treated asap. Velvet is already present in the water, and many pet store bought fish already are infected with
it. It will spread quickly when a fish's immune system is compromised - it usually happens because unclean water conditions are taxing his health.
And as pp stated, you need to be doing more water changes. Were you using any other type of water conditioner before the stress coat?
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:30 PM   #5 
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Three things that might be relevant:
  1. My tank is a naturally planted tank with medium lighting and relatively healthy plants (they're green and growing, just not as fast as I'd like).
  2. My betta was harassing his tankmates, keeping them herded into one corner and building a bubblenest. My three livebearers eventually all ended up dead, which I'm attributing to stress since two of them were had no obvious wounds or signs of disease.
  3. I quarantined him for 24hrs in a large dip-n-pour floated in another tank to try and mitigate any territorial aggression. After I reintroduced him to the tank, he stopped herding and chasing his tankmates, but also stopped building a bubblenest, patrolling whenever the lights and actually resting from time to time -- Before that he was always, always moving.

@Callistra:

Yup. Included is a pic of my tank from 3 days ago. I'm using the API liquid test kit and I've got a testing log that's been zero since I started the tank, which I'm told can be normal with a naturally planted tank.

I've been trying to stay as close to what I've seen recommended in Walstad's and the only place I've deviated is water changes (I've done more than she's recommended). Vacuuming it is a big nono, since it removes all the nutrients that are supposed to feed back into the plants.

@Laki:
I was worried about fin rot, because of my inital thread:
New owner questions - My betta has split, raggedy fins :/

Can it be fin rot if his fins have grown? His fins have grown longer (by maybe .5" judging by the first and second pictures. That dark line under his anal fin in the last picture is the end of his dorsal and his ventrals look to be almost 2x the length they were in the first picture and have white tips on the end, which were previously pointed out to me in a thread as new growth (he has some nice white clean growth at the end of his anal fin as well).

@sainthogan:
I think a lot of the color changes are due to the camera and tank conditions than his body. The first tank was a minibow with nothing in it, the second is a heavily planted tank with tons of tannins from the driftwood in it.

On top of that, I'm starting to suspect he might be a marble and not a multi-color, because the dark spots on his head and body seem to be changing.

No additives were added to the tank water prior to the stresscoat.

Water changes are only done with conditioned tap water that's been sitting around for multiple days and the occassional RO.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:49 PM   #6 
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Forgot the picture of my tank.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:01 PM   #7 
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okay 1- I am just in LOVE with your tank!! I want this in my house!!!

Secondly, no. The tail will not regrow if it's under rot. The link you provided looks like his was biting his tail. (Also, he looks exactly like my VT Lude, who had melt!) I think your fish bit his tail, or lost it in the filter, and then it re-grew but the ends scrunched up. Maybe it's a bit of fin melt, because I can see his rays bent at the ends. This is what my VTs tail looked like when it grew back, it looked like he was pinching the ends together like clamped fins but it was different. He even swam differently.

Honestly, I don't understand parameters so I don't know what to tell you about that. But clean IAL water should clear it up.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:53 PM   #8 
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Thanks :) I've been meaning to post a thread with the progress on my tank, but have been too busy to.

More pictures of my betta, using my phone and an LED maglite to get a better look at him.

The white spot on the first picture isn't on him, it's a snail or a copepod or something.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:19 AM   #9 
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(Missed this section somehow when I copied the form)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins clumping together
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Less aggressive, lays on the bottom of the tank more, less active
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Clumping has been slowly happening to his ventrals as they grew out. The rest of his fins followed suit about 6 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet. I wanted to get advice before I did anything.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None, but a history of fin biting or accidental ripping: Click here
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1

-----------------------------------------
After my tap water's sat out overnight, I'll do a water change and see if that helps. 50% change seems scary, though.

Won't that suck out something beneficial? I pored through my copy of Walstad's book and she doesn't mention anything about water changes, except to control nutrient spikes in the first 6 weeks or so.

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:47 AM   #10 
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Do you use water conditioner?? You mentioned aging your tap water, this process does not remove nitrogen very quickly ... Or is it chloramine? Here >> http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=46801

You need to use water conditioner anyway.
a 50% change would be great- I actually suggest that high of a change to remove or dilute a water problem like ammonia or something. Could you move him to a smaller tank like 1-2 gallons while you moniter him?
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