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Old 03-06-2013, 07:39 PM   #1 
BettaNovice
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Question Possible Tail/Fin Rot?

Aries, my red/white veiltail male, has some torn and ragged dorsal and tail fins. The tips of all of his healthy fins are bright white, which is how I figured that something is wrong with the dorsal and tail fins. His dark red color makes it very difficult for me to tell if the ragged tips of his ill fins are bloody or just torn. He does have a history of illness, see below. Given that fact, I want to make sure that since he's recovered from his last bout of illness, I want to get his fins treated and back to normal as soon as possible so he doesn't become septic. His tank decorations include silk plants and standard gravel. I opted away from the plastic plants since they can more easily tear fins, but I don't know if the silk plants he has are exacerbating his problem since he had already torn fins when he came home. I've reduced the number of plants to two relatively short ones so he hopefully won't catch on them while he heals.

Housing

What size is your tank? 3.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78F
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

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Spectrum Life pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets twice daily, 1 fast day per week

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% once a week, 100% once a week, 3-4 days apart
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress Coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Had a water change last night, haven't tested this morning

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? ragged dorsal fin, half to 3/4 of the way towards his body in long strips, tail fin starting to look a little ragged
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? None, still eats like a pig and zips around the tank.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Came home from the pet store torn like this about 3 months ago,
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Started approx. 1 gal water changes daily to make sure that ammonia/nitrates/nitrites and dangerous bacterial levels don't get too high to impede healing.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Also had major fungal infection, constipation, bloating, and broken side fins when he came home. The side fins have since regrown completely, no bloat or fungal infection anymore, is not lethargic like he was when he came home. His other post-pet store symptoms have long since disappeared, but his dorsal and tail fin have stagnated or begun to look ragged.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Post-pet store 3 months, I don't know how old he was when I bought him aside from an adult.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #2 
soady
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You should heat her up to 82F-84F for a while. Their fins are microscopically thin and they work much better in warmer environments. A degree or two can sometime mean a lot to the ends of the fins which shrink and widen at most delicate water temperature change.

If you choose to accept my advice, know the following:
I keep my bettas at 80F at all times with no oscillations. For this to work you would have to gradually increase the water temperature by 2F a day, or if you really want to be careful 1F a day. When it reaches about 82F keep it like that for a week and then slowly lower it to 80F. Then keep it steady and see what happens. You can even keep it at 82F, a lot of people do, but 78 seems too low.

Hope I helped!

Last edited by soady; 03-06-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #3 
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I'll give that a try. Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:50 PM   #4 
soady
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You're welcome, but expect more advice from more experienced people as well! :)
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:51 PM   #5 
callistra
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Well it sounds like you're doing okay.. just test anything in the tank (remove it) with women's panty hose to see if anything catches.. drag it through not just over. If it catches it will catch your betta's fins. If it doesn't, it won't.

Can you share photos?
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:13 PM   #6 
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Callistra,

You were one of the people who helped me get Aries past his initial fungal infection post-pet store. He's a lot more active now, thanks to you!

Here are a few photos of his fins, attached below. The first one is the best since he kept zooming around trying to say hello to me. His dorsal fin is shredded into filament-like strips, and the upper half of his tail fin is ragged, and suddenly shorter than the lower half. His pectoral fins always had the fringe and long, thin bits below. They don't look ragged in person.

While the second and third photos are a little blurry, you can see how his dorsal fin has degraded into different levels between the long filaments.

Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:23 PM   #7 
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Other than the fins, he looks healthy.

The photos show some black tips in a few places.. is this just the photos and not from what you are seeing?
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:25 PM   #8 
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I can't tell in person whether they're black-tipped or not. He is a very dark red, almost burgundy. That's what makes me nervous because I know if they're black or bloody that it's a sign of an infection, but his coloration makes it very difficult to see anything.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #9 
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There's a couple spots I'm concerned about. Why don't you try aquarium salt for 10 days.. 1 tsp per gallon predissolved. You only need to readd salts along with a water change, then only add back as much salt as water you actually replace.

Stress coat at 1 ml per gallon and/or vitachem at 1 drop per gallon will also help with regrowth.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:29 PM   #10 
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I've been doing the stress coat for a few days now. I'll give him the aquarium salt dosing. I've got some in his supplies stash. Thanks a bunch!
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