My fish got fin rot from scraping his fin against a plant that ended up having sharp edges on the branches. I did the sat treatment for the maximum time and just recently began using API stress coat as well. He looks better than he did before I began treating him but his fins are still damaged. I don't want to put medicine in as the damage is very little. I'd like to know if I continue to clean his tank every day with stress coat without the salt if it would heal that way, if I should wait a few days and go back to salt or use strong medicine. I was also thinking that it might be healed but it will just take a while for the fin to look like itself again. Right now he's in a 1 gallon tank and I'd like to move him back to his 2.5 but I don't want to change things around if he needs to be medicated again.
The best way to treat torn fins is by keeping them in warm, clean water.
I would *not* use aquarium salt or medications. (He doesn't appear to have an infection, so it's not needed.)
Since you said that he's looking somewhat better now, I would just go ahead and put him back into his 2.5 gal tank. Then, just give it time to heal. Using API Stress Coat as your water conditioner is fine. It contains aloe, which is soothing and can help promote healing.
What's the water temp in the 2.5 gal? Do you have a filter? How often do you change the water in it?
Thank you for your help. The sharp plant (that I bought because it has soft leaves; no mention of sharp edges) is long gone. The temperature in the 2.5 is 78. It's a bit lower where he is now as the tank he's in is too small for the heater. He's currently in 72. I don't have a filter in the 2.5 yet, but I'm planning on getting one in the near future. I figured it would be safest to continue doing a full change every day, do you think it would be okay to do half changes instead? I normally do half changes every other day and full changes once per week.
If you can keep the 2.5 gal at 78F degrees, that would be a great place to keep him. They're tropical fish, so they prefer warm water in the range of about 76-82F, or so. 78F is a great temp for him.
Don't worry about the filter. OldFishLady's (OFL's) water change schedule recommendation for 2.5 gal unfiltered tanks is to do one 100% and one 50% water change per week.
More frequent water changes are OK, but I wouldn't bother with them IF the fins continue to get better, and the water changes seem to stress him out.
I have a betta who bites off his fins. I keep him in a 3 gal tank (filled to between 2.5 to 3 gal), with water at 79F. At first, I did 100% water changes every 3-4 days. His fins started to heal up, so now I do one 100% and one 50% water change each week. His fins stay healthy with this routine.
As your guy's fins heal, you may start to see clear or white edges. This is fine, as it indicates healing. If you notice discolored edges (black, gray, red, etc), then let us know, as it can indicate a secondary infection. But as long as bettas are kept in clean, warm water, their fins will heal pretty quickly.
@Snoeflayke - Are you treating your fish with aquarium salt or meds? If not, you could just let him back into the 2.5 gal. If he's getting meds or salt, then yes, it makes sense to keep him in the 1 gal hospital tank, if it makes it easier to treat him.
Luminous, I agree with LittleBlue. There is no point having him in the one gallon when you could treat him just as easily in the 2.5, particularly if he is the only inhabitant. :) Just keep using StressCoat and warm, clean water. The warmth and stability of the 2.5 will be much better for him at this point.
I agree on not needing to medicate him - his tail actually looks pretty good, considering. :)
Snoeflayke - OK, it makes sense that you're using the 1 gal tank then. Glad your guy is getting better!
Luminous - I still think you should put your guy back into the nice, heated 2.5 gal tank. 78F is a good temp, and the larger tank means the ammonia and toxins won't build up as quickly as they will in the smaller (1 gal) tank.