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Old 05-23-2013, 04:16 PM   #1 
Haleigh
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His Tail Looks Shredded!? Help!



I went to check on my betta, Pontus Rex, after work today and found him with shredded fins! I had him in a 2.5 gallon tank, but I didn't run the filter because he didn't seem to like the current. After a while, I noticed the top of the water would have a murky scum from being stagnant. Also, his fins have looked a bit crumpled and folded over on top (I check on that earlier, it wasn't fin rot, just an aesthetic issue). I decided this past weekend to start running the filter, hoping he would just adjust, and also to start using Stress Coat as a water conditioner, since it has such a great reputation. I was really hoping that his would clear up his previous fin issue and just improve his overall health.

I go to check on him after work today, and see that the top half of his fins look like they've been run across a cheese grater! Why is that happening? Could he have been sucked into the filter? Could he be tail biting because he does not like the filter? What are your recommendations to stop and fix this fin problem?

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
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? No

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum and Omega One
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, six pellets and a blood worm

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%, once with a gravel vacuum
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I have two in tank monitors.
Ammonia: Safe <0.02
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: This one seems to be wearing away, despite being purchased Saturday! Could that perhaps affect the water? Anyway, the pH seems to be 7.4
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His fins look shredded!
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He seems very disgruntled over the filter. He keeps swimming against the current.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today, an hour ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, his fins have never been that great, probably because hes in a smaller tank. Hes never had an actually disease though.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him on 12/22/12. Im not sure how old he was when I bought him.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:17 PM   #2 
Haleigh
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My avatar shows a picture of his tail at its peak, as it should be.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:28 PM   #3 
Tubert
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First of all Hes a beautiful Betta, Secondly it may be the filter both my bettas struggled with the filters and i just had to forgo them and watch the water for changes. That is all i know. I am not an expert.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:48 PM   #4 
LostxinthexMusic
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The black tips lead me to think it's fin rot; my delta tail's tail looked very similar a few months ago, and it was a pain to beat. Have you always been doing the twice-a-week changes? It surprises me to hear about scum on the top... Treating with aquarium salt and warm, clean water will most likely help if that's the case.

The problem may also be too much current from the filter. Rather than remove it, I'd suggest baffling it to decrease the current.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:58 PM   #5 
lilnaugrim
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Yeah that's fin rot.

Do not get rid of your filter or anything, just use a Sponge baffle if you want. here's a link on how to keep it on: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=56100

To treat his fin rot, it might be easier to great in a 1 gallon tank if you have it. You can use 2 teaspoons of dissolved salt to treat this.
  • Get a cup of some sort and put a little of his tank water in it, measure out your salt with a teaspoon and put it in the cup.
  • Stir the salt around until it is completely dissolved.
  • If you keep him in his 2.5 gallon (5 teaspoons) then slowly add in the salt over a period of about half an hour so he get's use to it.
  • Everyday do a 100% change on his water, always acclimate him!
  • Scoop him out with a cup if you can (make sure it's never seen soap).
  • Change the water, keep the water almost the same temperature, treat with conditioner and add in your salt (dissolve it first).
  • Float your guy in his cup, in the tank and add in a tablespoon of new tank water to his cup every few minutes or so for about half an hour and then let him in.
  • Do this for 10 days or until you see no more black.

Do not use Aquarium salt for more than 14 days because it can harm their liver and kidneys but it's perfectly good for treating things like this :)

Salt won't heal his fins, but it will get rid of the rot. And then keep using Stress Coat like you've been doing to heal them up, along with a filter Baffle he should be good in a month or so.

The scum could be from a high protein diet like the BW's especialy since used everyday. It could also be from the oils in Stress Coat, it's very common and nothing to worry about.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:33 AM   #6 
Haleigh
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Tubert, thank you for the compliment. He is absolutely beautiful.

Lost and lilnaugrim, thank you for the diagnoses. I'm shocked to hear that he got fin rot. What could have caused it? Has it been there all along and just now it's gotten very bad? I've been extremely consistent about cleaning his tank, and keeping his temperature in the correct range.

Lilnaugrim, I do have a 1 gallon tank (it doesn't have a filter though). I've set water out and will let that settle overnight so I can begin changing his water everyday. If I use the one gallon as a quarantine tank, would it be safe for me to eventually add him back to the 2.5 gallon? I'm just afraid he'll catch fin rot again. I want to make sure that once I beat this, it will not return.

Thank you guys for all your help. I really appreciate it!
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:02 AM   #7 
lilnaugrim
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Fin rot will sometimes just come out of no where, even if you do keep up with water changes. And of course the filter could have certain shredded his fins in the first place and then the rot sets in when they don't heal up sometimes.

Once he's rid of the rot though, he'll be fine to put back into his 2.5, it may come back but you would just have to treat it again is all. It's not something that just one tank has and it wouldn't matter where he is, if he's in water, he could get fin rot.

It would be easiest to use the 1 gallon, you don't need a filter though while treating him since that's only going to make it worse. You'll be doing 100% changes everyday so whatever debris that is in there will be removed with your water change.

Make sure you baffle that filter though when he gets back into his 2.5, you don't want him to shred them again from a current.

And if you've got Stress Coat Conditioner, you don't need to age your water, actually you don't have to age it if you have any water conditioner as that is what condition is for.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:15 AM   #8 
LostxinthexMusic
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I would also suggest, while you've got him in quarantine, to clean everything in his 2.5-gal tank, mainly rinsing and/or boiling the gravel. The bits of fin that fell off in there will be buried in the gravel and make it very easy for him to get it again, and rinsing/boiling would be much more effective at getting rid of those infected bits than your gravel vacuum would. Best of luck to you and Pontus!
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:29 PM   #9 
Haleigh
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Lilnaugrim and LostxinthexMusic, thanks again for all the tips! I really appreciate your help. Pontus, "Ponty," is now in his 1 gallon tank. I have him set up in the kitchen, as it will be much easier for those daily water changes. I will be sure to thoroughly clean out all out his 2.5 gallon tank, the decorations, and the gravel.

Despite the fact that his fins look awfully painful, he is acting perfectly normal. He's actively swimming around in his tank. As I was cleaning some of his supplies in the sink, he kept swimming to the side of the tank to watch me and get my attention. Also, I gave him a blood worm as a treat, which he immediately devoured. I'm relieved that he's still the happy, piggy, little boy he was before. Hopefully that's a sign that he's still fairly healthy and will make a quick recovery.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #10 
LostxinthexMusic
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Glad to hear he's still happy Fin rot typically doesn't change their behavior much; you'd think they didn't even notice! Good thing you caught it early; I didn't know much about bettas when I first got my little guy, and I let the fin rot go for a few weeks before I even thought something was wrong :-/ Ponty should be perfectly fine, though.
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