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Old 02-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #1 
nicolexmarie
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Help with treating fin rot

I noticed today that my betta's back fin appears to be much shorter and a tad "choppy" around the edges. I went to a petstore immediately and they diagnosed him with fin rot and suggested I buy melafix and do some research. I've done a lot of research and I keep getting mixed reviews on the melafix. I have cleaned his tank (waiting to put him back in) and don't know whether I should see if the clean tank helps him heal naturally or if I should use the melafix or some other treatment. Please help!

PS. I haven't noticed any behavioral changes!
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:08 PM   #2 
shellieca
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A little more info will help. What size tank? Filtered? Heated? Does he have tank mates? Have you tested the water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates & Ph? If so what were the levels? How long has the tank been set up? How long have you had him? Can you post a pic? What is your normal water change schedule & how much water do you change out? Fin rot is usually due to poor water quality & is typically remedied with clean, warm, conditioned water. Some people will add Aq salt. What you're describing sounds like damaged fins rather than fin rot.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:39 PM   #3 
callistra
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More info please: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:55 AM   #4 
nicolexmarie
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Housing
What size is your tank? 1.5 gallons (I live in a college dorm and would love to get him something bigger but do not have the space/am not allowed. Plan on getting a bigger tank when I move out next semester)
What temperature is your tank? Typically around 70-72 degrees.
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? No.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon "Betta Food" pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, 5 pellets.



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? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Back tail appears shorter and uneven.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not changed at all.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I cleaned his tank yesterday 100% and added the first dose of Melafix
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None
How old is your fish (approximately)? 5 months

This is him after I first got him in September:
http://www.bettafish.com/album.php?a...ictureid=34954

This is him now:
http://www.bettafish.com/album.php?a...ictureid=34953

Last edited by nicolexmarie; 02-16-2013 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:41 AM   #5 
shellieca
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Yep that's fin rot. His water temp needs to be 78-80F so a heater is needed ASAP. A 1.5g is a small volume of water & needs to be changed more than once a week. You can do 2 50% & a 100% each week. You can add some Aq salt if you want but the main thing is going to be CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN WARM water.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:09 AM   #6 
callistra
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Do not use Melafix. It contains an ingredient that is known to coat their labyrinth organ and cause them to suffocate. I would do another 100% change to remove it.

He is suffering from low temperatures and chronically poor water conditions which have resulted in fin rot.

2 gallons is also minimum to keep betta's healthy long term as ammonia builds so quickly in anything less it is difficult to keep betta's healthy long term and they seem to live on average about 2 years compared to twice that+ in larger tanks. In this 1g I would do two days of 50% water changes and a 100% change on the third day, while he is healing. Hopefully you decide to upgrade his bowl but a healthy betta should get water changes as shellieca said.

No matter what you get he needs a heater and an in tank thermometer to monitor temperature. Unfortunetly in a 1g you can only get a non adjustable heater which tend to overheat, fail, and/or just not keep a steay appropriate temp between 78-80F like he needs. In a 2g you can just a good adjustable 25w heater like Marineland Visitherm or Jager. Any new heater should be tested for 24hours in similar size container with thermoemter to assure it will hold a steady good temp. Then your betta must be acclimated to the water water either by adjusting the heater to incease his water no more than 1 degree per hour and 5 degrees per day, or by floating him in a cup in the already fully heated water for an hour before releasing.

Anytime you do a water change you should use his in tank thermometer to match the temperature of the new water, fill up changing jugs or buckets (if you don't have one you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store - clean by rinsing in hot water and no chems), adding your conditioner, and then using this for the change. If you're doing 50% you can leave him in and just use a turkey baster to suck poop off the bottom along with half the water, then add the new water. If you're doing a 100% he should be scooped up with a plastic solo type cup (not net) and set aside while you rinse the bowl thoroughly and full with same temp water and conditioenr. Then float him in the bowl for at least a half an hour while you do a series of 50% water changes using his new water in the cup before releasing him. Or you can be even more careful to float for an hour, adding only a few tablespoons of new water to his cup every 10minutes before finally releasing him.

He should be fed 2 small meals a day with a fast day a week. I would break those 5 pellets up to 3 am and 2 pm with a fast day a week.

To treat the fin rot I would add 1 tsp per gallon aquarium salt, predissolved. Treat for 10 days along with the frequent water changes as outlined above. Only add as much salt as water you change.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:25 PM   #7 
nicolexmarie
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He has had two doses of the melafix so far and seems to be doing fine. No changes in his behavior whatsoever. I'm having a hard time deciding on what to do since I get so many mixed reviews on the medication process. I feel like changing his tank size and getting a heater could cause him a lot of stress. Is there any way to treat him before upgrading him? I really would hate to spend all the money and then him not make it. Also, since I have only performed 100% changes, with a 50% change, does the water need to be "conditioned" separately before putting it into his tank? This is my first time owning a betta and I really do care to help him out. I plan on getting a heater in the future, but if it is essential to his healing process I can get it now. What do you all think?


Basically, if he seems to be doing okay with the melafix, is it okay to continue or should I clean the tank and immediately start the aquarium salt? Along with getting a heater, how essential is it to the healing process?
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:37 PM   #8 
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Even if you don't get him a bigger tank, do get him a heater. Warm, clean water is the absolute best treatment for fin rot. Remember, they are tropical fish and thrive best in warm water and the warm water will help heal his tail if you keep it clean as well.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:41 AM   #9 
shellieca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolexmarie View Post
He has had two doses of the melafix so far and seems to be doing fine. No changes in his behavior whatsoever. I'm having a hard time deciding on what to do since I get so many mixed reviews on the medication process. I feel like changing his tank size and getting a heater could cause him a lot of stress. Is there any way to treat him before upgrading him? I really would hate to spend all the money and then him not make it. Also, since I have only performed 100% changes, with a 50% change, does the water need to be "conditioned" separately before putting it into his tank? This is my first time owning a betta and I really do care to help him out. I plan on getting a heater in the future, but if it is essential to his healing process I can get it now. What do you all think?

Basically, if he seems to be doing okay with the melafix, is it okay to continue or should I clean the tank and immediately start the aquarium salt? Along with getting a heater, how essential is it to the healing process?
Melafix is controversial, I have used it in rare instances for very short periods of time BUT never for for fin rot. Continuing its use is solely your decision as you have researched it & heard both sides. Fin Rot typically gets better with warm clean conditioned water & more frequent water changes. I don't even typically ad Aq salt. I would invest in the bigger tank & heater, definitely get a heater even if you don't get a bigger tank, if for some reason he doesn't make, fin rot rarely kills, then you'd have a better set up for a different Betta. If he's too cold his immune system/body is not functioning as optimally as it should be hence hindering his healing. Yes the water should be conditioned before it goes into the tank, you dose for the volume of new water.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:51 AM   #10 
nicolexmarie
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Thank you so much for your help. I am going to the store today to pick up a heater and possibly a bigger tank. I will be removing the melafix. How do you suggest I alter my water changes? I think you mentioned 2 50% a week and one 100%. Does this carry over even after he heals?
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