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Old 03-21-2013, 05:42 AM   #1 
Starfish1
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Fin melt/disapperaing fins and hard water?

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
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? pellets & bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? every day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? every 4 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: slightly off white barely pink but way, way under 20 (hot pink) which is considered "safe" according to the strips
pH: 7.2
Hardness: looks to be in between 75 and 150, closer to the 150 side
Alkalinity: in between 120 and 180

This was 3 days after water change, they get changed tomorrow

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? crowntail's tail getting shorter but no black or discoloration or jagged edges or raggedy looking fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? not at all
When did you start noticing the symptoms? a few weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? less than a year


Has anyone ever heard of hard water causing your crowntails fins to slowly over time get shorter or look melty?

They just start getting shorter and shorter fins but it doesn't look like fin rot, no discoloration, no black or darker colors at all. No jagged edges or raggedy looking fins whatsoever. It's hard to even notice unless I look at old pictures of the fish from a few months back and think hmmm his fins were longer here. No sign of stress to the fish and I always do 100% water changes every 4 days, keep the temp at 80 degrees, etc. This has happened with 2 crowntails and 2 veil tails, but never happens with my plakats or HM's. From what I've read online it happens with crowntails and the veiltails get a "melty" look to their tails. I'm confused as to what it is, or what could be causing it other than this because I can't think of anything different that I could even be doing to make them healthier. I tried medicating when this happened last year but nothing changed. The bettas all look fine and are active, eating, bubble nests, etc. I can't do water changes any more frequently than every 4 days and even after 4 days their ammonia & nitrite level is still at 0. The only thing I can think of is hard water.

Anyone have anything like this?

Last edited by Starfish1; 03-21-2013 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:57 AM   #2 
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OK trying to figure this out so I dug around in my fish supplies box and found Jungle test kit with 2 strips left..

nitrate 0-5 ish?
nitrite 0
ph 7.2
hardness: a little above 75
alkalinity a little above 120 (120-180 says ideal)

so i guess this would be ok? anyone notice a slight variation in test brands?

if my water is ok could it be possible that he nipped at his tail? that would make sense if it only happens to the longer tailed bettas because the plakats wouldn't be able to reach their tails.. he is my only longer tailed betta that i have right now all the others are fine they are all short tailed bettas...
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:04 AM   #3 
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can you get a picture? sometimes tail biting is mistaken for fin rot. x:

BUT! i DO know, from experience, that unless your water is JUST RIGHT..... CT fins do all sorts of crazy things. i've had some that just got ragged looking, some that melted away(but was NOT fin rot), and my favorite CT ever had his rays curl up like piggy tails.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:15 AM   #4 
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hmmm okay so i'm not the only one to notice this sort of thing then :)

I'll get a picture of his tail, I think you're right though because it really just does not look anything like fin rot at all to me.

thanks, that helps a lot :)
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:23 AM   #5 
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no problem! that's the main reason i don't buy CTs. my water is just horrid to their fins. but, i've heard sunlight helps....? idk how truthful it is, but it's something i've heard.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:39 AM   #6 
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Oh okay I can try that! Thanks!

I think crowntails are my favorite... bettas are so addictive lol

If you don't mind me asking, do you have hard water or does yours come up fairly normal like mine?
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:30 PM   #7 
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Luimeril is definitely right. CTs are the most sensitive to water hardness and the water usually has to be very, very soft for their fins to stay pristine. Your hardness is about a 7.5 on the GH scale, if I'm doing the conversion correctly; this is moderately hard. CTs like 0-2 on the GH scale.

As long as your guy is eating and acting normally in all other regards, it's the hard water and he should adapt.

A few safe ways to soften your water are to add Indian Almond leaves, add a piece of driftwood, or use a proprietary blackwater extract.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:59 AM   #8 
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Ok thanks!

I looked up Indian almond leaves and I'm reading that it changes the ph? How would I use these without lowering it too much or too fast?

Or would you recommend just leaving the water since he's not sick at all? I'm worried about changing the water parameters too fast and hurting him.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:27 PM   #9 
Sakura8
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The IAL does change pH but pretty slowly and gradually. In their native habitats, bettas have things like IAL in the water so it's natural for them and as long as any changes are carried out gradually (like in the course of nature), they will adjust.

IAL won't hurt him and it has some known antimicrobial properties that can help ward off diseases so if you do want to go ahead and use them, it would be just fine.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:20 AM   #10 
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Thanks Sakura! :)

Ok so I would be putting the almond leaves in a 3 gal tank non cycled with no filter. Normally I do 100% water change every 4-5 days. This would be bad right, because the ph would change over the course of the week then when I change the water it would go back to the ph of the tap water right? Should I move this betta to a larger tank with a filter and cycle it where I can just do small water changes and not mess up the ph every week?

Do you think his fins will start to grow back if I do this?
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