Have previously noticed my betta, Bilbo, with chunks missing in his back tail, but assumed it was him biting it. It grew back, so I didn't worry about it. Admittedly, I had gotten bad about his water changes (going 2 weeks in between 100% changes, with no changes in between), so I may have exacerbated a fin rot situation. On Sunday, I did a 100% water change, and noticed what seemed to be very clear fin rot. I accidentally left out the water conditioning, which I did not realize until Monday night, when the light dawned as he was acting weird. I added conditioner immediately, and then did a 100% water change, adding conditioner this time, and reacclimated him to the tank. Pre-water change, his lower fin was very closed up and melted looking. His tail fin was all chopped down (but still there- looks like about a half-tail loss situation). I researched fin rot and was planning to QT Bilbo outside of his normal tank and treat him with Aquarium salt. I went to PETCO and they told me to use the Bettafix treatment. I've begun doing that, but am now reading that it won't solve the problem. So, I need to be sure what to do next. I have live plants in Bilbo's tank. No other fish or aquarium mates. He is acting normal- hungry and eating normally. Swimming around. Flaring for me when I come up to the tank. Etc. I've noticed that his head has some white, cottony spots on it and his left gill seems to have a pinhole in it, too (so am not sure if he has a fungal infection, too?!?).
I guess the questions I have are:
1. Do I get a small .5 gal tank to QT Bilbo in, with no plants, to treat him for the next week. Will my existing tank heater be usable in this smaller tank? Do they make a really small heater I can use in such a small temporary tank?
2. If I QT Bilbo to treat him, do I treat only with AQ salt (and do I treat for mild or moderate fin rot?)? Do I treat with something for fungal infection, too? Will the AQ salt handle both issues?
3. If I am able to treat/heal him, when I return him to the tank with the live plants, what treatments can I continue in his planted tank? Will more frequent water changes ensure that the fin rot doesn't come back?
My details are below:
What size is your tank? 3 gal. cube
What temperature is your tank? 76-78 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? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None. Only Live Plants
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x's per day. Approx 5-10 pellets each feeding.
How often do you perform a water change? (I admittedly got bad about this recently, not changing water except for biweekly 100% changes. Since discovering my error with the water and his likely fin rot, I've done 100% water changes every 3 days.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% (when Bilbo is healed, will return to a 50% change + 100% change, twice per week).
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None.
Have you tested your water? Not since doing the most recent water changes.
If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins damaged and now missing, melted looking bottom fin. Tail fin may be growing back in, as it has a slightly see through appearance at the end (unless that is the sign of damage/rot still in process); cottony spots on his head and gills. More drab color (Bilbo is a scarlet betta with the purple undercoat color).
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is acting normally now that I'm not killing him with chlorine. Even have a few tiny bubbles, though not his usual fullsized bubblenest yet.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Probably noticed the first tail damage a month and a half ago, noticed the more severe damage on Monday night.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes. Using Bettafix. But am planning to get AQ salt and quarantining Bilbo away from the planted tank for up to 10 days to treat the fin rot and perhaps fungus.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him in October 2012. No idea how old he was at the time (pet store fish).