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Old 02-09-2013, 12:23 PM   #1 
tisburylane
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Exclamation Weak/torn dorsal? Missing scales?

Lol, Finnick and I were doing so well. After his tail becoming increasingly worse while at the dorm, and then healing once I brought him home, I have not brought him back to the dorm yet. The bad news is that I can't watch him from day to day.

He has ripped his caudal fin, which is no big deal to me, although I think he has chewed on the top of his rip. The kicker, though, is his dorsal fin. It seems to have become weaker, almost thinner, and now it is torn. I can't tell if the current has just torn the weak tissue or if it's fin rot. Because of the way it is torn I don't think it's from his environment. When I look at them at just the right angle in the light, they have the barest clear edge.

He is also now missing scales on the top of his head. Note that he scavenges for food on the bottom of the tank, and he has a house he likes to swim though. I know this has developed over the past two days.

What do y'all think?

What size is your tank? 2-2.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80-82F
Does your tank have a filter? yes
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? Aquaeon betta food (pellets)
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3-4 a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aquaeon water conditioner or StressCoat+

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? There was a rip in his caudal fin, and I think he munched on the top part of the rip. His dorsal fin, however, seems to be become weaker and thin, and is now torn. Missing scales on top of head.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No changes, although he seems to be staying closer to the front of the tank.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? The caudal rip happened two weeks ago, the munching last week. The dorsal seems to have been slowly building over time, but no obvious signs of fin rot.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet, but I will do a large water change and perhaps add some AQ salt. Depending on the responses I may entice my parents to do water changes while I am at school.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? We fought with fin rot/tail biting (I don't know if we ever decided which) last fall.

How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea

I'm sorry these pics will probably be so big.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:58 PM   #2 
callistra
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He's got rot and the white spot on his head is a big concern.

What filter are you using and how do you maintain it?

You're not doing frequent enough water changes. Something that small is it very difficult if not impossible to build a substantial enough biofilter not to do weekly 100% changes. Most people would tell you not to even try but even if you do succeed cycling will take up to 2+ months and then a twice weekly 50% change with gravel cleaning using small siphon/baster or stir/dip method is needed. Before then you should be doing daily tests for ammonia and nitrite using a reliable drops kit and doing an additional 50% change any time you see either show up, which could be many times per week in something so small. Ammonia would spike first, then nitrite. Ammona would hopefully stick to 0 even after a week of no change, followed by nitrite, leaving only nitrates and the need for the two 50% changes to keep those <20ppm.

I would treat with aquarium salt predissolved at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon and alternate 50% and 100% water changes every other day for 10 days and see how that goes. I would scoop him into a small plastic cup like a solo cup and not net him during changes. I would make sure to match the new water to the old water using his thermometer under the running tap and add conditioner in mixing jugs/buckets before adding it to the tank. For the 50% I would leave him in and the 100% I would include an acclimation period of either a series of 50% changes in the cup over a half an hour to an hour, or to be even more careful you could float in the main tank and add a couple tablepoons of new water every 10min for an hour.

Last edited by callistra; 02-09-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:46 PM   #3 
tisburylane
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I don't know what kind of filter it is... the water is pulled up through a covered tube, goes through a filter in that black housing you see in the pics, and then is pushed back out. I make sure the tubes stay clean and change the filter when it's time.

The white is from missing scales. It does not have any sort of appearance of a growth.

Also forgot to mention that I will be moving him out of my room and into the kitchen next to the other betta's tank soon.

Is there any need to start pulling out the TC Tetracycline, or will the salt be enough?
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:56 PM   #4 
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So what kind of media is in your filter? For example, my filter uses three types of media.. a sponge, a bag with carbon and also little pellet bag that they call a biobag. Hopefully you have at least two types because the problem with replacing all media in your filter at once is you restart your cycle every time.

I would never use Tetracycline on a fish. It's very stressful on them and it's generally ineffective anymore due to overuse.

I think salt, cleaner water and time will clear this up.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #5 
tisburylane
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It's one of those spongy things with carbon in the middle.

I don't like TC either. It didn't seem to do anything last time I used it, it's annoying as hell (especially with a small tank), and it just changes water color.

Do you think maybe it could be heater burn, like if he runs into it? He's a nut sometimes. I've never really seen him hang around it, but I know that my heater is a little warmer than most tanks. I've gone through three heaters and this is only one that really makes an effort and hasn't roasted and/or froze him,
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:02 PM   #6 
tisburylane
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It's one of those spongy things with carbon in the middle.

I don't like TC either. It didn't seem to do anything last time I used it, it's annoying as hell (especially with a small tank), and it just changes water color.

Do you think maybe it could be heater burn, like if he runs into it? The scales, I mean. He's a nut sometimes. I've never really seen him hang around it, but I know that my heater is a little warmer than most tanks. I've gone through three heaters and this is only one that really makes an effort and hasn't roasted and/or froze him.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:12 PM   #7 
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I see.. dual sided pad? If instead you could replace it with a couple of cut up aquarium sponges you could simply rinse them in old tank water once a week and not have to replace but once a year.. then you could replace them a month or two apart and never break down your cycle like you have to now. As it is, I'd still be doing 100% weekly water change with the filter. If you can mod it like I described I would get the drops kit and test and cycle off safely. I would not worry about cycling and do the extra water changes above while he's sick though

Nah, the heater should never get warm enough to burn him.

I would be more concerned the cave thing in the middle might have a rough spot.. Maybe inside where you can't see.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:26 PM   #8 
tisburylane
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I have some filter sponges, I'm just worried because they are not very dense, and I'm afraid they really won't catch anything...

He's just had that cave for so long it's weird to think it would hurt him now.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:30 PM   #9 
callistra
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The purpose of sponge filters is to build the biofilter so that it eats ammonia and nitrite and allows you do do less than weekly 100% changes. This cycle is what really keeps your water safe: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838 The mechanical filtration is not necessary to fish health. You don't necessarily need to change filters but I would try to modify the one you have to a different insert/set of inserts.

As far as particles in your tank, you really shouldn't have to worry about that without live plants and as long as you are cleaning your gravel properly during water changes.
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