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Old 03-27-2013, 07:06 PM   #1 
nursethalia
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What's wrong with Wheatley's fins?

I've been very sick for the past week, so my husband has been feeding my fish every day for me, so it's been several days since I've actually seen Wheatley up close. I just went to go feed him now that I'm feeling better, and I saw *this:



I've never seen his poor, beautiful tail and fins look like this before! His tail is normally much longer than that! Is he sick? What can I do to help him?

Here is his info:

Housing

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons. His plants are all soft with no wires, minus the hammock shown, which he doesn't use.
What temperature is your tank? 81-83F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
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?
Bio Gold pellets: 4 per meal.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
Every other week - the filter keeps it very clean and he never drops his food.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%. I've tried doing 25% changes, but even the small hose I has sucks out too much too quickly if I want to clean the gravel thoroughly.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? A teaspoon of aquarium salts and Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus (a water conditioner)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water?
No.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
His tail is shorter and appears shredded.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not at all. He is still active and seems happy.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A few minutes ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Nothing, I'm very inexperienced and don't want to try anything without getting the best information I can first.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I have no idea. The pet store I bought him from didn't have that information.

*The pinkish red face is normal; he's looked like that since I got him (his head is semi-transparent and you can see his brain, so that's why it looks pink).
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:07 PM   #2 
LittleBettaFish
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Looks like he is biting them to me. Some males can be buggers for that.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:10 PM   #3 
nursethalia
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This is how Wheatley's fins looked when I first got him a few months ago... goodness, I didn't even notice that he's gotten much more blue! Is that normal for a betta? His face is far more pink than I remembered, too. I hope you guys can help me with his treatment!

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Old 03-27-2013, 07:16 PM   #4 
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He is a marble so it is totally normal for him to change colour. He may eventually go completely solid blue as that is what most of my marbles did that were his colour.

Tail biting is something some males with larger fins do. Sometimes it is a one off thing, sometimes it can be compulsive.

Stress, misdirected aggression, lack of mental stimulation and excessive finnage are all possible reasons for why males bite.

Clean, warm water and lots of high protein food will help him heal. You can also use Indian Almond Leaves or aquarium salt if you are overly concerned but they are not necessary.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:41 PM   #5 
nursethalia
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I've never seen him bite, but then again I don't keep an eye on him all day so it's definitely possible. I hope he's not stressed! I don't think he's bored - I try to play games with him every day (following my finger... so I guess game, not games, since that's the only betta game I know!) and I put in a lot of plants for him (you can see a photo of his tank in my aquariums tab) that he loves to swim through, and I slightly change the position of the plants about once a month... what are other ways I can mentally stimulate him?

I keep him in my kitchen so that he can see what goes on in the house. I figured it'd be the least boring spot for him. I add a teaspoon of aquarium salts with each water change; should I add a bit more to aid with healing?
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:44 AM   #6 
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Don't add AQ salt with every water change. Prolonged exposure to AQ salt (more than 10 days) can lead to kidney failure..
He probably got bored in the few days you were sick, but that definitely looks like tail biting to me.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:48 AM   #7 
nursethalia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorWhoLuver View Post
He probably got bored in the few days you were sick, but that definitely looks like tail biting to me.
Poor little guy! I'm really glad it's not fin rot or some other sickness, though.

I played 'follow the finger' a bit with him this morning after his breakfast and an hour later I came back to see he'd started blowing the start of a tiny bubble nest (usually he always has a large bubble nest, but while I was sick, there wasn't a bubble to be found in there). I'm going to shop around for some new tank decorations, too. Maybe if I switch up some of his toys/decorations between each water change, he'll be more excited.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:20 PM   #8 
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He may even have got stressed because his routine changed. He's used to seeing you, and interacting with you.... And then you weren't there for a few days. Once you go back to your regular routine, he may be fine.

As DoctorWhoLuver said, don't add salt to his water. Bettas are sensitive to it, and it's not needed for them.

Also, be sure to keep his water very clean until his fins heal. A 50% water change every other week, is not enough, even though you have a filter. Water can look "clean" but still contains toxins such as ammonia. The only way to remove it is by doing water changes. It's especially important to keep the water clean now, as the torn-off fins can be prone to developing a secondary infection.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:04 PM   #9 
nursethalia
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Thanks LittleBlueFishlets. I changed 50% of his water (no salts) and bought him a few new toys on Amazon. I've made sure to spend a few extra minutes with him whenever I'm in the kitchen and he seems far more pleased than he was last night :)
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:26 PM   #10 
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Ha! Who said fish don't have personalities? They've never met our bettas.
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