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Old 05-29-2013, 02:18 AM   #1 
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Fin rot or something else?


A few weeks ago my fiance decided to get me a fish tank for my birthday, I've had 3 before with relative success and I've always had a Betta in the tank. This is the first time I'm having problems with one and I hope someone can help me out.

What size is your tank? - 126 Litres (33 Gallons)
What temperature is your tank? - Steady at 26 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? - Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? - No, the filter is fairly strong so I just have a socket on the outlet of the filter that distrobutes water across the surface. Before I had an attachment that would draw air into the outlet and had that blowing across the tank, however I think the current may have been too strong for the Betta?
Is your tank heated? - Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
20 x Neon Tetras
2 x Plecostomos (still really small, about 4cm each)
2 x Dwarf Gouramis
2 x German Rams

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - JBL Novo Bea for fish 1cm - 5cm
How often do you feed your betta fish? - At least once per day, usually twice in smaller amounts.


How often do you perform a water change? - Every 2-3 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? - At least 30% if every 2-3 weeks. 20% if weekly
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? - Conditioner, PH adjustment to lower the PH to about 7.0 - 7.2

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

Ammonia: Haven't tested
Nitrite: Haven't tested
Nitrate: Haven't tested
pH: 7.2
Hardness: 8-10
Alkalinity: Haven't tested

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? - It was fully purple, the back part of it's fins have turned black and slightly frayed and it has spread up to the back of its body.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? - As of today it stopped moving around. I found it stuck against the filter this morning so I turned the filter off and made some tank adjustments along with cleaning the gravel and changing water.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? - A couple of days ago, we only got him 4-5 days ago from the time of this post.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - Not yet, I've been trying to do some research. Apart from the changes I have done today.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? - Not sure as he's still quite new.
How old is your fish (approximately)? - Not sure, the shop we got him from is fairly good though so I don't think he would be old.

As I say I thought maybe the current was too strong so I did make filter adjustments, we got a couple of baby guppies by accident when buying our last batch of fish and following the filter changes they no longer seem to be swimming in hurricane water conditions...

I have cleaned the tank quite thoroughly today along with conditioning the new water added. The gravel was fairly dirty at the bottom but the tank is only just over 3 weeks old.

All the fish in the tank were added over the course of 2 weeks. The Betta was the last to be added along with the 2 Dwarf Gouramis.

I'm home every day so I've been keeping an eye on the tank, for the past couple of days I've been checking for fin nipping and have not found anything to lead me to believe he's being pestered.

After looking around now he does seem to be more active moving around the tank, certainly better than he was before the water / filter changes...

Please let me know what you guys think.

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Old 05-29-2013, 02:23 AM   #2 
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You have a tank that is way overstocked for how new it is. You have not purchased test kits or tested the water. You have no idea then what the parameters are. You should not be over cleaning the tank at this point either, but again I stress this tank is way too new for this bioload. The ammonia or nitrites could be off the charts. I suggest you go and get the titration test kits today, and see where the parameters are. I also suggest you consider a separate tank for the betta. The rams or gouramis and even the little guys could be harassing the betta.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:49 AM   #3 
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Forgive my ignorance, what are the reprocussions of overstocking the tank? I didn't add all the fish at the same time and spread it out, but what would be a better time period for adding fish?

I have tested the Ph and Gh. The ammonia and nitrites should not be that bad since I've been treating new water with - - The tap water conditions where I live are apparently fairly good for aquarium fish too.

I'll take it easy on cleaning the tank and get a testing kit that covers as many things as possible.

The Betta isn't being harassed at all. I've been watching it most of the past few days, the only fish currently harassing others is the Betta who attempts to eat the runt Guppies. The Rams are completely peaceful, the Neon Tetras are schooling and don't interfere with anything else and the Male Dwarf Gourami is active around the tank but not causing any trouble. The Female just swims around the plants mostly. I'll get something separate for the Betta, at least while it recovers.

I've always kept a Betta in a community tank and generally ensure there's no fin nippers, I know the Gouramis and Rams can cause trouble but the Betta hasn't bothered them and vice versa, they completely ignore eachother and mind their own business. This is the first time I'm having any problems.

Is there any othe possible causes I should look into? All of the other fish seem to be thriving without any problems what so ever
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:04 AM   #4 
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The repercussions of overstocking a tank this new is a healthy colony of bacteria has not had a chance to grow. This is what processes the ammonia to nitrite to nitrate. This is called cycling a tank. Treating the water with prime is good, but testing the water is paramount.The prime is not made to handle the waste produced by the fish. The good bacteria colony does this. You have no idea what the ammonia or nitrite is, assuming it is fine is the wrong way to do this. Please purchase titration test kits and see where the parameters are.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:30 AM   #5 
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Thanks for all the help

And sorry I also added for a week before adding fish. However I put live plants in the tank straight so I put a UV light in as well. I did try to limit how much I left the light on in order not to kill the bacteria but do you think I should leave it off for a while?
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:38 AM   #6 
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Light will not kill good bacteria, but too much will affect algae growth. You should have the lights on a timer, and depending on what type they are, how much wattage is over the tank, how big is the tank, will determine how long to leave them on. Most planted tanks shoot for 8-10 hours a day.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #7 
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I am glad you are here and want to learn! Welcome!

Your temp is 26 degrees centigrade and that's 78.8 degrees farenheit. That's good!

There are several things to keep in mind:

One, this is a VERY big tank. Bettas are usually raised by breeders in very small containers and kept in very small containers in pet stores. Your betta may be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the tank and especially the distances to the surface of the water. It may be that he will adapt eventually, but going from a small container directly to a 33 gallon is a HUGE change.

Two, the water parameters are a big concern. That many fish in a relatively new tank can easily cause issues. Prime does neutralize ammonia, but only for 24-48 hours. After that, it doesn't do that any more, and all those fish are putting out ammonia every time they breathe or excrete.

You need to purchase a liquid water testing kit (not the paper strips, they are NOT accurate) as soon as possible. The water parameters could well be very problematic. "New Tank Syndrome" is very hard to prevent until the tank is fully cycled, which can take many weeks. All the water conditioner and tank prep solutions in the world cannot replace true cycling. Unfortunately, the fish pet trade industry likes to try to convince people that their products will avoid all those's not your fault that they confused you.
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