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Old 04-13-2013, 07:40 AM   #1 
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Question Clamped fins but no other symptoms?

Hello! Recently I purchased a veiltail betta fish from chain pet store. He was admittedly not kept in the best conditions, having sick bettas in the compartments next to him, however he looked healthy enough so I bought him. Not long after him I noticed his fins were clamped up and he wasn't swimming much (I assume because it is difficult for him to swim with his fins clamped). I've examined him as much as possible and he seems fine other than the clamped fins. He's happy to eat and I feel as though he wants to swim but its difficult due to his fins so he just rests a lot. I thought it may be because of the filter stressing him out but that's been off for a few hours now and there's no change. I've been told that fin clamping is a symptom of something more serious but I can't work out what it is and I'm worried he'll suddenly deteriorate and I won't be able to do anything. I should mention that this is my second betta. I had one in this tank about 2 months prior who died for reasons I'm not entirely sure about. However I've replaced the gravel and ornaments and washed the tank thoroughly with hot water.

What size is your tank? 20 litres (about 5g)
What temperature is your tank? 26.5 degrees celcius (about 80 degrees farenheit)
Does your tank have a filter? Yes (currently off)
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

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? Two pellets twice a day

How often do you perform a water change? I was going to do 25% weekly but because he looked sick I did 25% yesterday and 25% today.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water ager/dechlorinator, KH buffer, aquarium salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? N/A don't have a testing kit


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His fins are clamped, he also looks a little bloated but he may have been like that when I bought him, I didn't really notice.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He doesn't swim around much, just rests at the bottom.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 2 days 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)? I've only had him for about 4 days
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:59 AM   #2 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Do a water change every day. 5-10% don't stress him out that much. Add some bettafix if he still has clamped fins. Don't forget the love!!!!!
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:09 AM   #3 
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i wouldn't add any meds unless you figure out something concrete is wrong with him. if it's only been four days he could very likely still be stressed out by the move to a new environment... it would help if you could post a picture of him, just in case other people might recognize something they've seen before. when i first got my betta i used api stresscoat plus as my water conditioner for a few weeks, which is supposed to be good for new fish. you could try that instead of whatever water conditioner you use now. aquarium salt is not good for bettas longterm, so if you're using it for some kind of treatment now make sure you don't use it for more than two weeks. you also say he looks a little bloated? what color is his poop? is it long and stringy or in little clumps?
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:48 AM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Is he clamped or are his fins "melting"? Try putting a mirror up to him to see how he will flare. If the fins are "melting" that's a form of fin rot. My go-to medicine these days is Maracyn Two. An Indian almond leaf added to the water can do wonders but they are not readily available. Bettafix is not a good medicine unless you only use it for a day or 2 (IMO).
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:22 AM   #5 
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Welcome to the forum! It doesn't sound to me like he has any major issues. I feel that there are two causes to his current problems:

1) Did you acclimate (introduce) him slowly to his new home? The water in the store can be very different from your water, so you need to give his system time to adjust.

2) I would stop using aquarium salt. Bettas are sensitive to it. It causes their kidneys to work harder, and if used long term can cause kidney damage. I would only use aquarium salt to treat a specific external issue, such as fin rot that isn't cured with clean warm water.

3) The bloating can also be caused by the aquarium salt. It causes fluid retention in fish (just like it does in humans).

4) Is there a reason you use KH buffer?

With regard to the acclimation process, and water changes, There are many ways to do a water change and acclimate (reintroduce) your fish back into the tank. Here is one variation:
  1. Note the temperature of the water.
  2. Using a plastic cup, scoop him, along with some of his water, into the cup.
  3. Clean out the tank. Refill with water at the SAME temp. Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
  4. Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min.
  5. Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
  6. Let his cup float for about 10 min.
  7. If the cup starts to fill too much, remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7, until about an hour has passed.
  9. Gently release him into the tank.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:29 AM   #6 
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I'll stop using the salt as soon as he looks better! I didn't realise it was harmful in the long term O_O. I've increased the temperature to about 83 degrees (I did it slowly don't worry). I haven't actually seen him poop but I'll see when I vacuum his tank. I'm pretty sure it's just clamped and not "melting" however he prefers to hide from his reflection as opposed to flare at it! ^_^ I'm hoping it's just because he's still adjusting! I'm also not entirely sure how to post pictures here! Sorry!! :(
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #7 
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4) Is there a reason you use KH buffer?
Ehm not really. The people at the store just recommended I use it, and I've been using it in my larger tank with tetras with no problems so I assumed it could only be good.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:36 AM   #8 
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I feel like I should quickly update incase anyone was curious. I did a 50% water change yesterday evening and didn't add any salt. For a few hours he seemed worse, sitting at the bottom and not really moving except for a few trips to the surface. This morning I was in a rush to get to school so I didn't get a chance to check on him but when I got home I was so happy to see my little fish swim up to me freely with his fins unclamped. I don't know if it was the salt or he just needed to adjust but he's very active now and he looks great! ^_^
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