Here's a brief overview of my situation, for the TLDR crowd:
My halfmoon betta, Fawkes, had major tail rot. After some false starts, I treated him to arrest and cure the rot. It's been more than a month now since the tail rot has been gone, but I have not seen any significant regrowth.
I've had to treat for fin rot before (not for Fawkes, but for other bettas I've had in the past) and have never seen a fin that just refuses to regrow, even after the rot is gone. Any ideas?
Now here's all the details:
I was out of town over the summer for about six weeks for some graduate field work. I made the profound and terrible mistake of assuming that my roommate could take care of my bettas. Oy vey. When I got home, one of my bettas, Fawkes, had absolutely horrific tail rot. In a nutshell, my roommate had been overfeeding dramatically and had done only ONE water change for the ENTIRE six weeks that I had been gone.
Here are the pertinent details and results from the water test I did when I got home:
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Yes. (It's baffled)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Omega One betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish?
I feed once daily, 2 pellets. But my roommate said she was feeding twice a day, 4 or 5 pellets, for some idiotic reason, despite my explicit instructions.
How often do you perform a water change?
I do it normally once a week. But my roommate did ONE water change over a period of six weeks while I was gone. ONE.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus, occasional salt (1 tsp).
less than 20 ppm
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
A massive chunk of his tail fin was missing, right in the middle. Slight blackness around frayed edges.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
He was less active than usual, but no big dramatic behavior changes.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
None, until then.
How old is your fish (approximately)?
A bit more than a year.
Here's a before
picture of magnificent Fawkes:
Here's what he looked like when I got home at the end of August:
It made my soul want to just curl up and die.
Somehow, Fawkes was the only one who was in trouble. My other two bettas were as perfect as ever. Thank god for small favors. So, naturally, after a fight with my roommate, I started treatment for fin rot.
I did four days of conservative treatment (daily 100% water changes with aquarium salt).
After no improvement with this, I went to Tetracycline. (Since the damage was so severe, I did more than a full cycle of this -- I think it was eight days of treatment, following instructions for treatment that I found on this website, with water changes and everything).
So here's what he looked like on September 4, the last day of the TC treatment. The black edges were gone, and there was some minor but noticeable regrowth.
I did eight days of treatment because it amounted to two full cycles of the TC, and I was just starting to see regrowth. I certainly didn't want to overdo it, so I stopped as soon as it looked better, while still finishing out the second cycle of the TC.
So I spent the next month doing near-complete water changes every day, with aquarium salt to stimulate regrowth. I also added occasional BettaFix to further stimulate regrowth. (I know BettaFix is sorta controversial, in terms of how it affects the labyrinth organ, so I didn't want to add it too often, but I thought its antiseptic qualities would be helpful).
So that brings us to today. After this month, I've seen no noticeable regrowth, not even any of that transparent-looking film around the edges that is a hallmark of regrowth.
Here's what he looks like now:
And here's my readings and such as of today:
: less than 10 ppm
As for his behavior, he's very active and happy. He's been building bubble nests like a champ every day for the last few weeks, he's eating well, seems very happy, and there's been no recurrence of the fin rot.
So why is his tail fin not regrowing?
Like I said, I've had to treat bettas before in the past for fin rot, and I've never had so much trouble getting the fin to regrow.
Is it possible that Fawkes' tail will just be like this forever? Should I be worried?
Or is it just regrowing so incredibly
slowly that I can't notice the progress? Should I be doing anything else? (Other than getting a new roommate who's not such an idiot, of course).
Advice is very much appreciated. Hopefully the pictures will work. If not, I have all the pics in an album on my profile in order of dates so you can see the changes.
Thanks, guys. I come humbly seeking your wisdom.