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Old 02-23-2013, 12:34 AM   #1 
Mdez
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Fin Rot, Dropsy or Contipation! What am I doing wrong?!

Hi,
I have a 5 gallon tank for my betta (Percy) the ammonia is less than 0.02ppm, pH is at 6.2, the temp is at 80 degrees, he has 4 plants he adores and swims in, and a filter. The tank does have a hood also. I know he has fin rot and I have been treating him with Melafix from Petco for about 4 days now, the bottle says to treat for up to ten days then do a 25% water change (I also do those weekly anyway). The carbon is out of the filter because it will filter the meds. I don't know if he has Dropsy or if he is just constipated, how do you tell the difference? I am attaching images of him up close and his tank setup. Please any help would make a difference, I just don't understand what I am doing wrong.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:17 AM   #2 
AyalaCookiejar
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Dropsy causes raised scales. He's constipated.

Melafix can harm him or kill him. I'd remove it ASAP. It contains tea tree oil that can coat the labyrinth organ and suffocate him.

Fin rot can be treated with aquarium salt (predissolved at 1tsp per gallon) and you should fast him until his swelling goes down.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:41 AM   #3 
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Should I put the carbon back in my filter too? Or no? And thank you! The lady at petco told me that would help, but apparently melafix is an issue.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:45 AM   #4 
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The lady at Petco told you what would help? Generally, pet store employees aren't too knowledgable and they aren't trained. I've heard the most ridiculous things from them. Carbon won't remove the salt so you can put it back in. It will also help remove the melafix.

Aquarium salt should be added slowly and used for no more than ten days but it is MUCH safer than melafix. Aquarium salt can only be removed by doing water changes and it should always be Pre dissolved. You can also use 1-3 tsps per gallon but I'd just start with one and add more if necessary.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:18 AM   #5 
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Yeah pet store people are usually pretty crazy, she gave me the melafix and said it would help. But I will definetly go and get some aquarium salt today! How long should I fast him for?
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:31 AM   #6 
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He is fin biting.. that isn't fin rot. No sign of rot on him at all.. just the common chunks taken out from biting.

He doesn't have dropsy, and unsure where got the idea he is constipated? He looks normal to me, body wise.

Melafix can be deadly to bettas if not VERY careful and you don't dilute it. There is an ingredient that can coat the labyrinth organ and cause suffocation easily in these fish.

I would remove 50% of the water today, add in the carbon filter, tomorrow remove 25% of the water, the day after tomorrow another 25% and then start on your regular weekly water changes. That should help clear out the Melafix.

He does not need salt.
He does not need medication.

He just needs clean water and good food..

Find out why he is biting his fins - could the filter be causing too strong of a current and making it difficult to swim? Sometimes they will bite off their fins to create shorter fins to make swimming easier on them - especially if they are new to larger tanks.

But he doesn't have rot, and he doesn't have bloating/dropsy and unsure why you believe he has constipation - just because you don't see the waste, doesn't mean it's not there.. the filter hides it in the substrate (why vacuuming each week is important).
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:44 AM   #7 
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I guess I can't clearly see the picture..

I still think he looks constipated, but not severely. Some fish always look like that but its usually CTs.

It looks just like my CT who has chronic constipation. Slightly swollen.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:23 PM   #8 
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As far as I can tell the current is barely there and he swims around his tank all the time with no issues. He is very pale at times though to the point where I can see through his fins
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:48 PM   #9 
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Tail biting usually takes out U-shaped chunks. Fin rot usually has discolored (dark or black) edges. Based on what I see in the first photo, it look like U-shaped chunks with no discoloration.

They tail bite for any number of reasons. It could be the filter's current, it could be the Melafix bothering him, it could be just about anything, actually. It could even be that he's decided to give himself a 'haircut' since he likes short fins.....

But as long as he continues to tail bite, keep his water very clean, so that it doesn't get infected.

@Ayala - could that dark spot be his pectoral fin? At first, I thought he looked bloated, too. But then I looked closer, and I thought it might just be his pectoral fins moving quickly, making a darker, blurred, effect.....
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:42 PM   #10 
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It could be... I'm on my phone so its hard to tell.

He looks rounded in the last picture. My CT looks like that when he's bloated (he also gets buoyant, though, so its an issue). It could possibly be natural but it would not hurt to fast him for a day or so and see if it goes down after he poops.

Of course, he could have just ate right before those pictures were taken. That could do it, too.
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