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Old 03-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #1 
fiky95
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Exclamation Tail rot? Sick fish, fin issues, please help! Photo and video heavy!

Hi, I'm new to the forum and I'm definitely not very pleased that my first post must be an emergency post, but I'm afraid it's necessary.
I got my fish for my Birthday (got him on the 8th 2012, my Birthday is on the 9th) as a bit of an unplanned rescue - he already had fin rot, his fins were clamped, he wasn't eating very much and seemed overall really stressed. Admittedly, I did not plan on buying a fish and the information provided by the pet shop was rather shocking, but it was all I had since bettas aren't very popular fish to keep here, he is my first fish and the information both in literature and online was pretty poor in my native language. Thankfully, I found your forum, which I'm unbelievably happy about and I'm very thankful for finding out about you. Anyway, all of his issues were treated with warm water and better conditions very promptly and he had seemed like a happy boy till about 3 weeks ago.

What size is your tank? 20l (5.5 gallon)
What temperature is your tank? 27°C (80°F)
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, with a sponge as prefiltration, so I'm hoping it's not the filter causing the issues. It's also on the lowest flow.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No, it doesn't. (Should I consider one?)
Is your tank heated? Yes, I have a heater with thermometer with the constant temperature.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Photos are included down below, but I feed him with Sera Bettagran, Tetra Betta and Dajana Betta. I fed him twice with Tropical Betta Granulát, but that's when the problems started, so I stopped feeding him that.
How often do you feed your betta fish? About twice a day. I try to feed him as often as I can the tiniest amount I can (ie one pellet), but most often, I feed him 3 pellets twice a day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
I usually follow OldFishLady's recommendation - 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? Also posted below - I use Dajana Chlor Stop (obviously to remove chlorine from the water) along with Dajana Start Plus (lowers nitrine levels, keeps the pH nice and stable etc.) and Amazon (IAL extract)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: n/a
Nitrite: n/a
Nitrate: n/a
pH: 6.6 (constant)
Hardness: 9
Alkalinity: 0

My local pet shops didn't have the tests for Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate at the moment, but I will try to hunt them down as soon as I can (I'm afraid all the ladies at the pet shops around me remember me now).

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
My Dad wanted to buy him a hiding place (picture below), which he did not approve at all and I caught him fin biting, so the "decoration" had to go. I did a water change and thought it's going to be enough for him to get healed. At the time, I started feeding him with the Tropical food. The day after that, his tail seemed to have grey to black-brownish (with a yellow hint) edges, some of them were even red, rather ragged. I decided to go with a 100% water change and follow that for 3 days without any improvement. I followed with 10 days of aq. salt treatment, which seemed to help at first, but the symptoms started getting even worse about 3 days in (fins falling off). After that, I started using Sera Baktopur, which helped tremendously and he seemed completely healthy till today.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? His behavior hasn't changed at all. He's such a nice fish - he swims towards me, is very playful, jumps for food and is overall a lovely guy.:)
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 14th of February.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? See above - first 100% water changes, then 10 days of aq. salt treatement, later on Sera Baktopur.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, he was ill when I bought him and he has one of his fins in front missing since the start, it's never grown back? His fins were also "ball shaped" on the end, which he did recover from very soon tho. He aslo had one little pin hole in his top fin.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I have had him since 8th of October 2012 from a pet shop.

I caught him fin biting today again (I wanted to go back to fasting him one day at a week, which I did not follow when he got sick, because I was afraid he might not have enough protein to assure nice fin growth - his fins were growing back very quickly), which stopped after I got him 3 pellets, so I feel like he was kind of blackmailing me.

His fins now have ragged appearance, which is obviously from the biting, and they seemed discolored at first, but now they seem "just" ragged.

The bottom of the tank is covered with sand (I changed all the sand when he got sick), 3 silk plants from Marina Betta (photos below) and he used to have glass beads, but I took them out for now.

I'm so sorry that I can't provide the results about nitrogenium, I'll try to get them asap - my Dad is a Physicist tho and he claimed he can't imagine the nitrogenium levels going high with all the care, but I'd say you never know.

I'm sorry about such a long post, but I'm not sure if I'm doing everything right, I'm also not sure what to do now, because I want to put him off the Baktopur tomorrow and add Biofilter to get the good bacteria going again, since this obviously killed it all.

My guess is that the food started the issue, but I'm not sure if that's even possible. I have not tried removing the plants (he seemes to be stressed even when I just move them), but I did try to check for any rough edges and there are none. His tank is also lighten.

I would like to ask you about your opinion on what is going on? The lady at the pet shop basically just told me that "it's just a fish and if I don't want to buy a new one instead of spending all the money" - WELL, EXCUSE YOU, but no, I don't.

I hope I haven't made any terrific mistake, I promise I'm doing all I can and thank you in advance for all your help.

I'll try to insert the photos down below ↓

1. a photo from when the symptoms first started

2. the anti chlorine + stress coat I used to use when I first got him

3. what I use now to keep the water in tact (the pH levels and hardness have been constant the whole time, btw)

4. the tests I have used so far

5. the aq. salt I have used

6. +7. + 8. the food I feed him

9. the "problematic" food

10. the gravel/sand vacuum cleaner I use

11. the decoration that strated the fin biting problems

12. a few of the beads I used to have in the tank (planning to put them back when he's healthy again)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXh6oKvfV7Y

the video of him yesterday (when he seemed doing fine without any greyish edges or tears) - please ignore my stupid talking :)

13. + 14. + 15. a photo of him today right after the fin biting

16. a photo of him a bit later

17. the Sera Baktopur

I hope you can see that I keep him very clean, he also keeps building bubble nests, which I'm happy about. I have ordered some actual IAL from Amy (on your recommendation), which should arrive in the next few weeks.

I can provide even more photos if you needed, but I didn't want to spam you all too much.
Thank you so, so much in advance.
Attached Images
                  

Last edited by fiky95; 03-03-2013 at 03:55 PM. Reason: a typo :)
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:41 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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What a lovely fella-dang him for being a tail biter....

You might need to remove the filter all together-sometimes-some of the Long fin males can have problems with the current and it can result in tattered fins and added stress that can compromise the immune response and cause neurotic behaviors-like fin biting, glass surfing, going off food...etc....Sometimes, the space alone can be an issue too.

What I would recommend at this point-move him to a smaller container-1gal and start tannin water treatment along with good nutrition.

I see that you have the Amazon IAL extract-While this is an okay product-some can contain Sodium chloride and due to how processed-It may lack the antibacterial/fungal properties. If you have-just the Indian almond leaves themselves or some Oak trees near by to use those leaves-it might work better for a tannin treatment, however, if not, what you have will help. I would try to get the water a dark amber color and start making every other day 50% water changes-using heavy tannin dechlorinated water for the next 7 days while he is in the smaller unfiltered QT container-maintain water temp in the 77-78F range.

Then re-eval-Watch for tail biting and see if the unfiltered and smaller contain will stop this behavior. If the fins seem to be eroding more during this time-not related to biting-he might need a full treatment-IMO/E-less is best at this stage, plus we got to stop the cause-otherwise it will be an ongoing issue.

Good luck and keep us posted...
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:51 PM   #3 
fiky95
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Thank you so, so much for your advice! You're sort of my "betta keeping" idol, really! :) So informative and lovely.
Anyway, that's exactly what I was thinking - I originally got the extract to keep the pH levels in tact, yet I do think it lacs the antibacterial properties, which obviously makes it much less beneficial.
I used to have him in a 1gal before and he didn't really fancy it, especially lacking the filter seems to really upset him, but I will definitely try it again.:)
I was thinking that I should maybe try to get some java moss meanwhile to sort of fill up the space in his tank, but that's a bit of a topic on its own.
Thank you so, so much again and I apologize for such a long question, but quite honestly, I don't even want to try to ask for advice at pet shops anymore.
I will surely keep you posted! :)
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:17 PM   #4 
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He definitely has fin rot.. maybe it started with biting but I can see the dissolving/graying tips.

How long has this tank been set up?

Cycling takes up to 2 months and during this time you should be testing daily for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time either show up. In addition to this a regular 50% weekly change with siphon/turkey baster is needed. First you will see ammonia spike, then you will see nitrites. Eventually, even after a week of no water changes ammonia will stay at 0, then finally nitrites. At this point you should be left with only nitrates, which should be kept <20ppm and the lower the betta by a weekly 50% change with siphon/turkey baster.

If you haven't been doing this then the likelihood of him getting fin rot was very high. At this point he's not fit to be used to cycle and needs to be fully recovered before placed back in a cycling tank.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:06 PM   #5 
fiky95
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For precisely 3 months. (since December)
I will definitely try to get my hands on the tests - I have no idea why they are so hard to get here, I have been trying to get them for quite some time (that's what you get for living in the middle of nowhere :). I may try to order them online, but I haven't had the best experience with that either (I've already tried to order them, but they contacted me back with not having them and so on). I promise I'm very dedicated, I'll try the last pet shop in the area I have not tried to go to.
I must say that it is partially his coloring as well (please excuse my English, it's obviously not my native language, but when he flares, the part "in between his fins" has always been greyish colour) and it had seemed like a new growth to me (transparent edges, not ragged at all) until today. It has never progressed near his body or anywhere but the tail, so I'm hoping that's a good sign, although I do obviously realise that the situation is serious.
Thank you very much for all your input, I do appreciate it and I will do the best to my ability to follow it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:44 AM   #6 
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Hi, I'm here with an update :)
So I had gone to literally every single pet shop here on Monday and none of them had the tests (the one I usually go to will have them on Friday), so I decided to order them online and see if I will have more luck this time. Thankfully, the tests have arrived today, which I'm very happy about.

Ammonia: 0 taking my pH into consideration
Nitrite (NO3): 10 mg NO3/l
Nitrate (NO2): 0

I tested everything with an actual kit instead of strips. (I also tested the NO3 three times to make sure)

The leaves haven't arrived yet (they should be here soon) and I can't get any oak ones, because it's still freezing here and the trees are completely bare, but I did add more of the extract, so the water is now more of an amber colour. He hasn't been biting since the day I made the post (he seems to always bite on his fast day, I'm kind of hopeless about that) and the fins are showing signs of new growth. I don't see any fin rot, he seems to be doing really well, so I'm hoping everything is back on track again.:) I also asked about the smaller containers and they didn't have any, so all I have is the Marina Betta Kit, which is 2l (half gallon), I think. Not sure if I should move him there?

Thanks so much for your input again.:) I'm very thankful for it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:09 PM   #7 
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Nitrates are no3, and nitrites are no2.. your levels look good.

If he's stopped biting and you're seeing new growth i wouldn't move him.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:02 AM   #8 
fiky95
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Thanks so much! I always confuse them, because the Czech terminology is obviously completely different, it's actually the other way around here. *facepalm*
I will see if we will survive the fasting day without biting. Maybe I'll give him at least one pellet to make sure.
Thank you again and now I'm going to fix to post, so it's not confusing anymore with NO2 and NO3.:) xD
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:05 AM   #9 
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Ammonia: 0 taking my pH into consideration
Nitrite (NO2): 0
Nitrate (NO3):10 mg NO3/l
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:22 PM   #10 
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Good Luck with ur little guy! Hope u are able to get his tail biting sorted out :)

And, btw... I can tell how much u care about ur little guy, so no worries... We all have stuff to learn, that's what everyone is here for! :)
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