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Old 03-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #1 
Snoeflayke
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Question Fin Rot! Please double-check my plans!

Housing
What size is your tank? 5.5g
What temperature is your tank? 81*F
Does your tank have a filter? yes, not yet cycled
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? Aqueon Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? once daily, ~4 pellets, fasting sundays

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? every other day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50%, 100% change yesterday
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Seachem Prime, but switched to Stress Coat+ and Aquarium salt today.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? (keep in mind, i just changed the water, but in the past week, my ammonia got as high as 0.50ppm.)

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 7.6
Hardness: unknown
Alkalinity: unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? some bare rays in the dorsal fin, darkened edges and increased arching between rays on the anal fin, possibly a tear in the anal fin as well.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? no change
When did you start noticing the symptoms? yesterday, although in the past week, I noticed a few small holes in the same fins.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? switched to Stress Coat+ water conditioner and Aquarium Salt at 1 tsp/gallon.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? not that I know of (have had for 3 weeks)
How old is your fish (approximately)? 6 months?


Phew, now that that's out of the way, I can explain what's been going on. Sir Reginald Fitchface seems to have developed a case of fin rot! I moved him from a tiny tank to a shiny new 5.5g tank exactly one week ago, and have been carefully monitoring as I set up a fish-in cycle. I've been doing frequent 50% water changes when I see ammonia, and I removed a plastic plant with a few hidden rough edges (that i didn't noticed until he started sleeping inside the plant!).

3-4 days ago, i noticed 3 pinpoint holes in Fitchy's fins, which I thought may have been from a plant, or from overflaring. Now he's got some rot in those same spots.

I started treating (as outlined above) today, with a series of 1 gallon water changes containing the newly treated water.

My biggest question is, I sprained my elbow a few weeks ago. I'm not able to lift his tank for a full water change without re-injuring myself. Is it okay to proceed with water changes this way, replacing only the salt that I take out? I use a siphon, and stir up the gravel.

Three pictures attached, the first is pre-fin rot, taken a week ago, and the second two are from today.

Any help and advice would be much appreciated!
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:28 PM   #2 
callistra
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I think his tips are naturally black.. but yes I do see some issues with the dorsal.

Unfortunately, bettas cannot heal from fin rot in tanks that are cycling. He really needs to be quarantined and treated until he is recovered. You can buy a 1-2 gallon acrylic bowl or kritter keeper, fill it half full and float that in the main tank for warmth. In this you can do 100% daily changes for 10 days along with the redosing of aquarium salt, predissolved at 1 tsp per gallon and the stress coat at 1 ml per 1 gallon. At that point he can return to the tank and keep feeding your cycle.

Also if you can find it vitachem at 1 drop per gallon will make him heal faster too. You can also dose the main aquarium when he is in it to keep him healthier.

While he's in the QT I would stop siphoning or doing water changes and just let the cycle run and climb as it needs. However before you add him back you will need to test and adjust all water so that you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and as low of nitrates as possible, definitely under 10.

This is how I suggest cycling to avoid fin rot, instead of doing changes every other day..

Quote:
Cycling could take up to 2 months. You need to be testing daily with a reliable drops kit for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time you see either. In addition to this a weekly 50% with siphon is needed to remove poop and other debris from the gravel. It is not enough to just scoop water off the top ever.

First you will see ammonia, then nitrite. Eventually, hopefully, you will see ammonia fall and stay at 0 even after a week of no water changes, and finally nitrite. At this point you will be left with only nitrates after a full week of no changes and these can be kept <20ppm by weekly 50% change with siphon.
Also what filter are you using and how do you maintain it? Some filters for smaller tanks have some fatal flaws that will never let the biofilter fully stabilize without some major modifications.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:36 PM   #3 
Snoeflayke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Also what filter are you using and how do you maintain it? Some filters for smaller tanks have some fatal flaws that will never let the biofilter fully stabilize without some major modifications.
I'm using a Top Fin 10 HOB-style filter. It came with the tank.
It's got a carbon filter, and two sponges in it (one is huge, used as a baffle).

The only other smaller tank I have is a 0.5 gallon (left over from a long time ago...), and I think my boyfriend would literally leave me if I went back to the store for another tank... I know it's a little small, but would that be acceptable as a QT?

And yeah, the black may be part of his coloring, I was just concerned that the fin didn't seem as full...
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #4 
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That's great. No issues with that filter, except I would add a prefilter sponge to the intake.. sometimes bettas get caught in them and can get hurt really badly. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...efilter+sponge The sponges you only need to replace ever 6 months to a year. The carbon will need to be replaced monthly. As long as you only replace one type of media within a month of eachother, you should have no problems with your cycle breaking down again once it is established.

If you can float it in the main tank to keep him warm, that would work. If you have to fill it half full to float I would do twice daily 100% changes - one am and one pm. I would leave bare bottom to control poop better, but adding plants to help him feel safer is good. If you can fill it full one daily 100% change will probably be ok.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:48 PM   #5 
Snoeflayke
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Thanks! I'll get the little tank cleaned out tomorrow (no soap!) and get it to floating!

I just needed some reassurance, because he's my first fish in a long time...
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:49 PM   #6 
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I think you're doing a good job.. no worries :)
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:15 PM   #7 
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Smile

Day two:

Put the 0.5g inside the 5.5g, and am treating in the small tank, with heater and filter running in the "big" tank. I feel bad about cutting down his space so much, but I think I can already see some new growth between the rays! Or maybe it's just wishful thinking...

Anyways, some pic spam...

1. His tank(s).
2. His rays.
3. "I know I left a pellet here somewhere..."
4. His true tail colors!
5. I love the way this one turned out...
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