I have an EE half moon betta, Asta. Boy does he have a lot of fins! He lives with live plants and 2 Amano shrimp. I have been blown away and delighted by the shrimps' amazing algae control abilities. But they're ravenous all the time, and are even eating healthy plants. I discovered yesterday that Asta had a little hole in his tail and a tiny hole in his pectoral fin. There's no red margin, and he doesn't appear ill. Though he is constipated. I tried giving the shrimp supplemental algae pellets, but Asta gorged on them and now he's constipated. I'm dealing with that, but I'm wondering if the hungry shrimp are going to pick on him.
Has anyone here seen Amano shrimp nibble bettas? I haven't seen them do it, but I don't know where else Asta could have got those holes. I've filed down every bit of plastic in there, and he's only got live plants.
Thanks. I started treating him with Kanaplex on a hunch yesterday morning, and the two little holes are already gone.
Be careful treating him with such a hefty antibiotic. He didn't need an antibiotic to treat his fin rot. He only needed warm, clean water and if it got worse aquarium salt treatment. Exposing him to Kanaplex for little things like this is going to make it harder to treat him if he really gets sick and needs it. It also helps encourage the growth of superbugs that are immune to antibiotics, and potentially creates problems down the road for all fish hobbyists.
I welcome the care and concern very much, and I'd be concerned, too, if I didn't know me. Don't worry. I have decades of experience with diagnosing and treating sick animals of many species, including fish, and am a PhD marine biologist/aquatic ecologist/environmental scientist/vertebrate biologist/herpetologist, among other things. Well, I was, before I became disabled. I didn't use Kanaplex on a whim. I don't medicate anyone on a whim, but of course you didn't know that. When I said "on a hunch," what I meant was "based on my experience and observations, I determined he had an infection, weighed my options, and picked the treatment most likely to treat all symptoms." I just didn't elaborate on all the details and history, because I have very little energy for computer use. His water is always warm and clean. I like being part of the community here. :) I'm returning to the hobby after a 10-year break due to crippling illness. My confidence was devastated by illness (which I still have). The illness has deeply affected my cognitive function. I like having validation from others here as I rebuild my confidence. :) So keep those comments and suggestions coming. I know I've forgotten stuff, and want to remember/re-learn. I like that people here care so much about bettas. :)
Wow. Those are quite the credentials. Did you major in one and then have minors in others? Or are you a PhD in all of those (that must've taken forever!)? In high school I wanted to go to UC Santa Barbara to study Marine Biology. But, my lovely college adviser did not get my application sent in on time. . But, he did get me a free ride on an academic scholarship to another school in a different program. So I can't be too mad at him. I ended up heading in the direction of social sciences, but rediscovered my interests in biology during my study for my MS in Sociology. I focused on classes that work with the Ecofeminist inside of me though (pretty much a sole focus on Environmental Science and Agricultural Biology).
Those are the things I trained in most extensively during the course of getting a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. Herpetology, especially turtle biology, is my biggest specialty, and the one I tell most people about. I was in undergrad or grad school for 23 years. So, yes, it did take a while. I know a little bit about a lot of things, and a lot about some things, but I know I'll never know a fraction of what there is to know. Some of my education has slipped away, and I'm bummed that I'm having to relearn some pretty basic fish stuff, despite decades of fishkeeping. Oh, well. Use it or lose it, it would seem.
Speaking of not remembering, I don't remember what causes betta's fins to curl. I thought I read that poor water quality can do it, but I don't remember what water quality parameters can do it. Or does infection cause it? Or do halfmoon betta fins curl naturally, and I'm just being a worrywart? He's only 5 months old, so he's still growing. They've been curling for the past few weeks. I keep close tabs on water parameters, and I make sure he always has 0 nitrates, nitrite and ammonia. I modified the Spec III filter to have a much bigger chamber for Matrix, a chamber for Chemipure, and some of the Spec stock sponge for mechanical filtration. When I added plants, I started having trouble with pH dropping too low. Last week, it kept dropping to 6.0. And I started having big algae blooms (I run the Fluval CF13 for 11 hours a day). So I replaced the Chemipure with Polyfilter to control phospates to curb the hair algae (it will also control dissolved organics, ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and many other things), dumped half the plants and one shrimp to reduce organic load and the effect of photosynthesis on pH. His water is always crystal clear and beautiful. And 79*F. The dips in pH and fin curling seemed to coincide. When I started medicating him 2 days ago, I removed the polyfilter. Of course, the hair algae is really happy about that. The fin curling is still happening, even though the pH has smoothed out in the past couple days after removing some plants and a shrimp. Any ideas what could be causing it?
people usually say curling fins are supposed to be caused by hard water, but maybe large swings in ph in either direction can cause it? i wouldn't be surprised.it doesn't hurt the fish, anyhow, so i wouldn't worry about it too much as long as the ph is stable now.