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Old 05-18-2013, 03:10 PM   #1 
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Fin rot, septicemia, or stress? Help!

I just purchased my betta on Monday from a local Petco. He was one of the rare bettas they had in a tank with other fish. Wednesday night I noticed a tear in his anal fin. I immediately changed his two gallon tank and added aquarium salt and water conditioner. I woke up to find his anal fin completely torn in half and one of his pelvic fins completely torn off (or so I had just noticed but I'm almost positive it was like that when I bought him) I changed his water again and got him a heater and added bettafix but took out the filter because I felt it was too strong. He eats fine and seems a little bit lethargic but I don't really know his normal behavior that well being I've only had him for a few days before this happened. My question is, does my fish have fin rot, septicemia, or just stress from a new tank? The tear is on his anal fin has a red streak so that makes me think septicemia and if this is true, should I be adding another medication to the water? The picture I'm attaching shows his the first day I got him (top) Wednesday night when I noticed the tear (middle) and today after two days of adding the bettafix to the water (bottom)
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:38 PM   #2 
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First up, stop using BettaFix, as I understand that it contains an oil that can coat the labyrinth organ, and hinder the Betta's ability to breath..

I cant see any red in the photo's, so I cant advise on septicemia.. He does however look like he could have some minor finrot, or he could just be gaining some colour in his fins as many Betta's do when they are being well cared for.... (I have dragon that has yellow fins, with a black edge all way around..)

Personally, I would try keeping him warm and in clean water by doing daily 100% water changes, and adding Stress Coat to his water.. If he seems to be getting worse, or the finrot appears to be spreading, then try adding 1 tspn of aquarium salt per gallon of water.. Dont forget to re-dose the AQ salt after every 100% water change.. Stop the salt treatment after 10 days..

Treatment taken from the sticky's in the Emergency thread..

Tail rot or fin rot
•Symptoms: Betta’s fins and/or tail seem to be getting shorter and shorter or they seem to be falling apart and dissolving, Black or red along the edge of the betta’s fins/tail, Bloody tips, Behavior may not change
Treatment: Conservative: Treat with Aq.Salt at 1 tsp/gal. Increase water changes to 100% daily. Replace accurate amount of salt following water changes. Add Stress Coat to help repair tissue. If there is little to no improvement within the first 5 days, you can increase the salt dosage gradually to 2tsp/gal but do not continue any salt treatments past 10 days. Medication: If Conservative treatment is ineffective use API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR API Erythromycin. Also add Stress Coat to help regrowth. Continue until fins/tail stop receding and start showing some new growth.

Advanced Fin and Tail rot
•Symptoms: Fins and or tail start rotting away, usually starting from the edge, but sometimes it starts at the base of the fin (especially dorsal) and attacks the body directly. Diseases progresses rapidly as the tissues are being eaten away. Once fins have been consumed, rot will proceed onto the body. At this stage the disease is hard to reverse although the betta might continue to live for months if treated properly. If not treated, it will die promptly.
•Treatment: If the rot has advanced onto the body, skip conservative treatment. Do 100% daily water changes. Use a combination of Fungus Eliminator and Tetracycline. Continue until fins/tail stop receding and start showing some new growth. It may take up to 4 weeks to work, so don’t give up.

Septicemia(Red Streaks)
•Symptoms: Bloody red streaks across the body and/or fins, lethargic, loss of apetite, clamped, gasping for air, bloated, ulcers.
•Treatment: Septicemia is caused by an internal bacterial infection. From what I’ve read, it can be due to compromised digestion as a result of rapid drops in temperature. Since Nitrite poisoning can also cause red streaks, check for that first. I do not know if it can be treated conservatively as I have never tried. Though it is not contagious, isolate sick fish. Perform daily 100% water changes. Treat with API Tetracycline, API Erythromiacin, Mardel’s Maracyn II OR Jungle’s Fungus Clear/Eliminator. If you are treating with something that does not contain Metronidoxole then combine the treatment with Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets. During treatment, use 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt and Stress Coat (as directed on bottle) to help prevent secondary infections.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:13 PM   #3 
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Ahh thank goodness you told me to stop using bettafix, I was about to buy more!! The pictures I uploaded have a closer look of the red streak. The only reason I believe its septicemia is because he is a little bloated and lethargic as well. I skipped feeding him today because I thought maybe he was constipated. I'll change his water today and add more salt though. Should I use the stress coat and water conditioner or just the stress coat? I'm new to the betta world and still learning :)

PS- do you see the little white spot in the top left of the one picture? Am I just being a new paranoid betta parent?
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:39 AM   #4 
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I noticed the little white spot in some of your other photo's, but I wasnt sure if it was a bubble, something on your camera lens or on the tank, or if it was some ich/ick/white spot starting to appear.. I would keep a close eye out to see that he doesnt get any more spots appear, and that he doesnt start brushing himself up against ornaments etc in the tank..

Here is the treatment for White Spot or Ich or ick (whatever you want to call it.. lol.)

•Symptoms: Betta has white dots (looks like he was sprinkled with salt) all over his body and head, even eyes. Lethargic, No appetite, Clamped Fins, Might dart and scratching against decor
•Treatment: You can treat Ick either conservatively or with medication. Ick is a parasite. Because ick is contagious, it is preferable to treat the whole tank when one fish is found to have it. Ick is temperature sensitive: Leave your betta in the community tank and raise temperature to 85 F. Then you can choose to treat with salt or medication. Conservative: Add 1 tsp/gal Aquarium Salt 3 times, 12 hours apart so that you end up with 3 times the normal concentration. Perform daily 100% water changes to remove fallen parasites before they can reproduce. Replace the water with the right amount of salt. Do not continue this treatment for more than 14 days. If it fails or you do not want to use salt, treat with Jungle’s Parasite Clear, API Super Ick Cure, or Kordon Rid Ich Plus. If your betta lives in a jar/bowl, then it can be difficult to heat the water. There are heaters for smaller containers, but you can also float the quarantine container in a larger heated tank during treatment. Do a full water change every day and add an appropriate amount of medication to the water.
•Alternative Treatment: Personally, I have not found Ick medications very effective. I prefer to use PP to treat all external parasites. In the past, I have used 3 or 4 different ick medications unsuccessfully, and every time I resort to PP which works like a charm. Do lots of research before using PP as it is a more dangerous chemical than most.

As for the fin rot, red, or bloodied edges can be a part of it (if you read the sticky info), so it may not be septicemia, just fin rot.. Again, given his body colour, the dark edges on his fins could just be him changing colour, then again, it could be fin rot..

Personally, I would keep doing the 100% daily water changes and keep a very close eye on him for a few days, and take note of any changes in appearance, and his fins.. If his fins start to look like they are disappearing, then by all means start treating with AQ salt (if you havent already) for a maximum of 10 days.. I would also buy one of the meds listed in the sticky info. for treating fin rot.. It is better to have the meds and not need them, than to need them and not have them.

Sadly I'm no expert when it comes to fish (Betta) diseases, and find that the diagnosis is often the most difficult part of the problem.. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in and confirm your diagnosis..

I see in your first post that you have a heater now... From personal experience, I found that the biggest cause of illness is dirty water, and insufficient water temperature (too cold) or major temperature fluctuations (usually between night and day) within the tank.. Just make sure that the heater is keeping his tank at a constant 80 deg F.

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