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Old 08-15-2013, 10:37 PM   #1 
Librarian
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Fin rot or damage?

Hi everyone :)

Last year my partner and I bought a little betta fish for his mother who is slightly disabled and suffers fatigue. She named him Happy, and she really loves him but she can't take care of him anymore so she gave him back to us last week (9 days ago exactly).

Happy has never been an overly active fish. I know she had a lot of trouble getting the PH right etc. We've spent the last week getting the PH down to 7.0/7.2 from about 7.8. I've also just now added a small heater to get the temperature up to 27C (about 80F).

Because he's never been active (I think because his conditions have never been quite right) and has always just sat down the bottom of his bowl, I've only just this morning discovered this:





(Sorry for the size, I was hoping to show detail)

Is that fin rot? or damage from the plastic plants (I'll be replacing this afternoon...) I also wanted to check that the red spot on his head looks like normal colouration and not a bacterial thing? Not having had him since he was a little tyke I don't know what's normal for him :(

I have added API's Bettafix and PimaFix (which my partners mum gave to us with Happy) to the water per the instructions, though I've read mixed reviews on the net; a lot of people who don't know much like me say it worked for their Betta fish fin rot etc, but I've read in several places API doesn't test their products properly for adverse reactions, PimaFix contains clove oil and no actual anti-fungals and so is more of an anaethetic. Should I look into other medication alternatives if this is fin rot? (If it isn't I'm obviously not going to continue any treatments)

He is in a 12L tank (2.75gallons) with an airstone but no filter. He had a 100% water change 9 days ago and I did a 25% water change 5 days ago when bringing the PH down.. He hasn't been eating.

NO2: 0
NO3: 0
PH:7.0/7.2
Temp: 27C/80F but only as of about an hour ago.

I used aquarium salts and Seachem Prime dechlorinator for all water changes. I used Seachem Neutral Regulator initially to bring the PH down but our water is ridiculously high KH and GH, so we used Seachem Discuss buffer and Neutral Regulator in tandem to reach 7.0. This was over a course of 7 days. We followed all the instructions.

Please any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Librarian; 08-15-2013 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:37 AM   #2 
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I don't believe that's fin rot, does the fins get shorter and shorter everyday? I know that AQ salt is good for curing fin rot (and some other diseases), but you have to do 100% changes every day to get rid of the salt. You can add stress coat to help him regrow his fins.

Don't put AQ salt in all of the water changes, since overtime it will hurt the fish. And medication should be the last resort, you can try to see if the AQ salt and stress coat treatment helps first, here's instructions taken from DarkMoon17:

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.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:51 AM   #3 
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Thanks :)

I just noticed this this morning since he hides so much (am hoping that's just a temperature thing...) but as you can see in the first picture, theres just not much of that fin left. It doesn't however look like it's 'rotting', no red streaks or blood present, I couldn't see any grey although it's tricky to get a clear look.

So I'll keep an eye on him of course, and see what happens... all his other fins look fine I think. If it isn't fin rot, what else could make him lose the fishy flesh between his little fin bones then?

I've taken all the plastic plants out of his tank and replaced them with silk ones. I also got him some freeze dried blood worms to try and get him to eat but he's not interested.

I'll buy him some stress coat tomorrow, or maybe this afternoon.

I just want the little guy to live up to his name :(
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:11 AM   #4 
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What kind of food do you feed him? Try and get New Life Spectrum for small fish, I heard there's natural garlic in there and bettas love it, it's also a high grade food with little fillers, if not, you can get Omega One, it's also another good brand, don't feed him too much freeze dried bloodworms ok? And take out uneaten food so it doesn't dirty the water

I'm sure he'll be fine, considering he has such a good owner (: keep us updated~

Edit: You mentioned plastic plants, I'm pretty sure his fins just got caught in those, a way to check if the plants is safe for bettas is to run an old stocking through it to see if it gets caught, but I'm sure he's fine now since you took them out

Last edited by Twixies; 08-16-2013 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:29 PM   #5 
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He's always had the Hikari Betta Bio-Gold. I'll keep an eye out for NLS food :) He also has AquaOne colour enhancing food which I tried just in case he fancied it enough to eat but he's not interested in anything!

Raising the temperature hasn't made him any more active at this stage either :(

I want to do a 100% water change today because I don't want him in with any Bettafix/Pimafix anymore; I've read more on it and it's just too questionable whether it's worked for others or not, and it's made the water curiously bubbly like I put dishwashing liquid in there or something. I hope it won't stress him out too much!
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:11 AM   #6 
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Yea, hikari brands aren't too good since they have a lot of fillers, I just looked up aqua one color enhancer pellets and I noticed that it also have a lot of fillers, but I'm glad you're trying to get better quality food for your little guy. And yea, defnintely stop with the medication treatment, don't worry, give him a little time to adjust to his new home, and be careful, don't raise the temperature too high, the temperature you were at was just fine, unless you really think he's sick
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:59 AM   #7 
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No no, he's not over 80F. He was initially in quite cold water I think. But it's good now.

Yeah I saw that Hikari has a lot of wheat and rice meal etc in it. We'll definitely change his food. Is that the reason he's not eating do you think? He never comes up from the bottom of the tank.
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #8 
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I'm sorry, but I'm sure why he's not eating or why he isn't swimming around, he's in really good conditions, we're going to need some expert advice on this, or maybe I'll go look around the forums for some answers
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:46 AM   #9 
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Thanks so much for all your help and advice so far though :) I really appreciate it. I've been reading what I can and I'm not sure why he's so lethargic, I think I just have to observe him over the next few weeks and see what happens.
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:53 AM   #10 
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What did you use to lower the pH in his tank? A change in pH can really stress them out if they're not acclimated to it properly and ph lowering chemicals can be dangerous to put in. If your tapwater is 7.8 he will do fine in that, unless youre planning on switching him to bottled water or something that he will be getting every time he gets his water changed. From what I learned, it's better to have a pH that is a little too high that to keep changing the pH. Mine is also 7.8.
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