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Old 07-29-2013, 07:15 AM   #1 
Starfish1
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Can tail biting turn into fin rot?

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78-80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No, but will put one in if I start medication.
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every 5 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
Was doing 50%, the last 2 mos 70%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API water conditioner

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH: 7.8
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Started with obvious bite marks in his tail that appeared one at a time, but now has raggedy edges that look too small to be bite marks.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Has not changed.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a week ago but wasn't sure if it was just bite marks or fin rot
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)? About 11 mos

Will post picture later on. It started with obvious u-shaped bite marks in his tail and somehow his bottom fin but I have noticed additional jagged edges. He looks paler than usual but acts very healthy and has a huge appetite. I don't know how this happened because I change about 70% of his water every 5 days and his tank is cycled. I remove waste daily from the bottom of his tank with a baster.
I have kanaplex here, should I just go ahead with that? I can do another water change later on also. I had good sucess with kanaplex before with another fish who had septecemia. I know a lot of times it is recommended to start with daily water changes and aquarium salt but im worried that it could get worse quickly if I don't medicate him so I am wondering what I should do. I will post a picture later on when I can, I know it's hard to tell without seeing a picture of him.

Thanks for your help :)
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:50 AM   #2 
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If the tank is cycled and you're cleaning 50-70% per week there's slim chance of him getting rot. If he's of the heavier finned type, he may be biting to make his weight lighter for swimming due to there being not enough foliage/leaning spots or because of the filter. He may do it chronically as a result. He might also be biting out of boredom, see above on plants/dec.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:42 PM   #3 
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I was thinking the same thing! All my others are on the same water change schedule but no filters and they are fine. He's a giant plakat so I have no idea if it's because of the filter current or what. Here's his picture, as you can see there are some obvious bite marks but also lots of jagged edges around them. I was keeping a good eye on him and each bite happened one at a time, overnight but then the jagged edges started to appear next to the bite marks..


what do you think, should I medicate him? I see a little hole in his top fin..
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:19 AM   #4 
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Going to treat with aquarium salt is this ok?

Ok so I've decided I'm going to do 10 days of aquarium salt and frequent water changes. I did my first one today, about 85% and put the aquarium salt in. Do I need to do daily water changes for this to work or can I do every other day? He is a giant betta so more waste but he's in his own cycled 10 gallon.

If it has to be daily changes that's ok, I'll do whatever I need to in order to get him better.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:58 PM   #5 
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I don't know but I think salt might disrupt your cycle so daily water changes would be a better idea.

He does look kinda beat up :< I don't know if he could have bitten the fin right under his belly like that though. Are there any decorations in the tank that he could have snagged on?

*ETA* I look again and I see that plastic plant behind him in the pic is probably the culprit.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:21 PM   #6 
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Thanks for pointing that out I didn't even think of that! :) I actually took out the filter and I'm just doing every other day water changes and salt for 10 days. I don't think I cleaned it enough cause it looked terrible when I took it apart.. I posted about it on another thread on how often people clean their whole filter out..

I'm worried that it could be fin rot now that I realized his filter needed to be cleaned badly but I'm watching carefully and one of the holes in his top fin has filled in and looks much better and he hasn't gotten any worse at all. His appetite is great and he's very active so I'm happy about that. I have medication here if I need to use it but for now I'm just doing the water changes and salt and watching really carefully.

Those ones on the bottom do look the same shape as the plant don't they? I see what you mean and I don't know how he would be able to reach that bottom fin.. but how would the plant just take chunks like that out as he swims by? They appeared overnight one at a time with the other ones on his tail that were the exact same shape.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:16 AM   #7 
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If you cleaned the entire filter, you probably crashed the cycle. A cycle works by having a constant thriving BB population in the filter media. I'm not sure for a 10g but you could probably clean the filter in the SAME tank water you remove during a water change every month or so. Only do this after the tank re-cycles, this means the media will be slimy and dirty and might tank a month to fully cycle with frequent small changes. You have to swish the dirty filters in the tank water (separate bucket during a change) because tap water will kill all the BB.

I don't think you should go ahead with meds yet. If he's active and eating then we should wait it out for a bit first. You changed the filter so do a small water change every 2 days to keep the ammonia down, test it frequently and wait for it to re-cycle.

Also, remove the plastic plant, believe it or not but I believe he did swim past it and it snagged his fins. They're very delicate. When you remove it and dry it, run a piece of paper towel/panty hose gently along it and watch it hitch. Silk plants can be pretty cheap if you buy them at a craft store in bulk :) And live plants, while they can get expensive at pet stores, can be pretty cheap/free if you scour classified ads online and locally.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:00 PM   #8 
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Yeah I know :( I wasnt happy about it but it needed a good cleaning so I'm gonna start over and then once my tank is cycled again I'll swish the filter media around in the bucket of old water and just clean out the the plastic part to make sure there's no brown sludge in there. I'll restart the cycle when he's better for now I'm just doing large water changes.

Good news though, he is getting some color back and is more active so it's a good sign. I've just been doing every other day water changes and
10 days of aquarium salt.

Ok will check the plant with some pantyhose thanks :)
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #9 
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Keep us updated :) I bet he'll be showing regrowth in a couple days.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:52 PM   #10 
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Yay! I will keep an eye out for it and let you know how it goes, thanks for all your help.
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