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Old 03-23-2013, 07:10 AM   #1 
bettathanyou
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Early signs of fin rot?

Okay, so I've had my Betta since Tuesday and he's been fine. I cleaned his tank on Thursday (as I'd had it running a few days before I got him) and I wanted to change the gravel.

However, last night I checked on him and I noticed there were a couple of small holes in his anal fin, it looked slightly torn. I have a feeling this might have been caused by accidentally startling him - when I went to my room to go to bed I turned on the light and looked into the tank to have a look at him, I think he was asleep but noticed me and started darting around like I'd scared him or something -but I'm not sure.

This morning I checked on him first thing and he seemed excited to see me and fed well (if I pinch a pellet between my fingers and have them near the water he jumped for them today!) and it looked like there were less holes and I think the tears looked like they were healing. BUT I noticed at the tip of the affected fin near the tears that it was slightly orange/red in colour. I've read that redness on torn fins could be ulcerations caused by fin rot?

His water is very clean and the temperature is almost always 27C/28C.

Do you think anything serious is going on?
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:31 AM   #2 
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Sorry, caudal fin I mean!
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:29 AM   #3 
shellieca
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Have you tested the water for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates with a liquid test kit? That's the 1st thing I'd do. Just because the water looks clean it can still have toxins in it. Sounds like you are doing a fish IN cycle so testing the water daily is very important. If you don't have a heater to keep the tank at a steady temp then I would get one, big fluctuation in temp can cause health issues. In most cases clean, conditioned, warm water will typically heal up tattered fins. If you can post a pic we might be able to help better.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:17 AM   #4 
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Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
Have you tested the water for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates with a liquid test kit? That's the 1st thing I'd do. Just because the water looks clean it can still have toxins in it. Sounds like you are doing a fish IN cycle so testing the water daily is very important. If you don't have a heater to keep the tank at a steady temp then I would get one, big fluctuation in temp can cause health issues. In most cases clean, conditioned, warm water will typically heal up tattered fins. If you can post a pic we might be able to help better.
I do have a heater (temp is always between 26C - 28C) and a filter. :)

I don't have a digital camera and the area of redness is so small that my phone's camera doesn't pic it up.

I read on here it could also be biting.. I'll see how things go - I think the tears are healing - but if the redness continues I'm going to have to buy salt or Melafix and increase water changes.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:16 AM   #5 
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HI! 26-28C is a great temp! He's warm. What size tank are you trying to cycle? Anything smaller than a 5g, there's no point to have a filter.

I would do an immediate water change and add a little more conditioner. Save your money and DON'T buy melafix/bettafix or any of the other meds with "-fix" because they contain tea tree oil which can harm the labrynth organ on the antabids (bettas, gourami's etc). Warm, clean water should be suffice to heal his fins.

Fin rot occurs over a period of time in rotten water. If you've been keeping up on water changes he shouldn't have fin rot. Maybe just some holes caused by over-stretching.

When they bite, the ends of the fins are chopped up giving it a ragged, ripped look but you can see square shaped chunks missing.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:03 AM   #6 
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Hi!

I took note of what a few people said on here but also searched about what the cause could be and what to do on other sites too.

I'm glad to say that Sunshine's fins have started to regrow (almost fully now, except the colouring hasn't properly matured yet, its still slightly translucent)!

This is what I did:

1. I cleaned his glass gems, his Greek arch, rinsed the java fern, wiped the tank after filling it several times with really hot water, and then did 100% water change
2. I removed the filter
3. I turned the temperature up to 30 degrees celcius
4. I ordered some Melafix (I know some people urge others not to use it but I was desperate!) online and it arrived a few days later, Sunshine's fins hadn't improved but hadn't got worse either by the time it arrived
5. Every day I put about 1ml of Melafix into his water (I did this for 5 days)

Observations:

After 2-3 days I noticed that some of his fins had started to grow back and that the tears were healing. The redness around the tears of the fins had also gone.

He also became a lot more active and flared a lot more often (before I used Melafix on him he was very placid)

After 5 days (today!) his tears had almost fully healed and likewise his fins had almost fully regrown so I decided that Melafix had done its job and stopped using it. I did a 100% water change (as the Melafix had caused a translucent scum on the surface) and it was due its weekly clean anyway. He seems fine now.

Theories regarding what caused the fin damage:

I'm a betta novice, but I don't think it was fin rot. I clean the tank weekly and have 100% water changes, I ensure the water temperature is at least 25 degrees celsius (in fact, its almost always 27 - 29). I use water conditioner when I do the water change and I also clean his glass gems and his arch in hot water.

My theory is that my betta had noticed a little flag I have near his tank. The flag has a shiny golden 'ball' at the end of the 'stick' that it is on, and the 'ball' does have a mirror effect. I believe that eventually he had started to notice this 'ball' and it had frightened him. I tested this theory, I put the 'ball' up close to his tank as soon as him he flared immediately and showed his fins off and followed the 'ball' as I moved it round in front of him. I'd never seen him act so aggressively before. So I think that he'd seen the golden 'ball' and possibly seen his yellow tail from turning or after seeing his reflection and thought that his tail and the ball was another betta and as a result started biting his tail.

Since this discovery I've moved the flag and like I say he has almost fully recovered. I know this theory probably seems unlikely but I believe it was the cause.

I occasionally do show him the 'ball' so he can flare once in a while but it really does get him going!

About the filter. The filter didn't really cause the water to move round much and I don't believe it was pushing him to swim against a current. However, as the water fell from the filter back into the water it cause some sizeable bubbles to fall deep into the water and back up although I didn't see him go near them very often.

Last edited by bettathanyou; 04-01-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:50 PM   #7 
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Glad to hear he's doing better. However, melafix is a stronger concentration with the tea tree oil than is Bettafix and I would therefore discard it unless you have non-antabid tanks. Bettafix would have been a better solution if you insisted on getting any of them due to it's diluted nature. If you "must" use melafix again, dilute it to a third or so of it's original state and change the water everyday. This stuff can seriously harm bettas and other labrynth organ fish.

The flag thing is funny :) Bettas sure are quirky things.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:52 AM   #8 
bettathanyou
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Originally Posted by Laki View Post
Glad to hear he's doing better. However, melafix is a stronger concentration with the tea tree oil than is Bettafix and I would therefore discard it unless you have non-antabid tanks. Bettafix would have been a better solution if you insisted on getting any of them due to it's diluted nature. If you "must" use melafix again, dilute it to a third or so of it's original state and change the water everyday. This stuff can seriously harm bettas and other labrynth organ fish.

The flag thing is funny :) Bettas sure are quirky things.
Yeah I used only the smallest amount (which following the guidlines with the size of my tank was really just the smallest of 'drops').

He seems healthier than ever now, I'm amazed, especially considering I started to fear the worst when I saw tattered fins. His colour has improved a lot, he's getting a blue tinge on his back tail and his pelvic fins have gone like a pearl colour at the tips!

Also, today I woke up to his first bubble nest and he's become incredibly territorial over it!

The only concern I have now is that he's had a tiny, pinhole-size hole in the middle of his anal fin for a few days.

Last edited by bettathanyou; 04-03-2013 at 08:56 AM. Reason: hole, not whole!
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