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Old 02-12-2010, 11:27 PM   #1 
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Unhappy Francis' tail is getting very bad, and I don't know what else to do.

Hello! I posted awhile back wondering what was wrong with my fish's tail. Here's the link to my previous post, where you can see pictures of what his tail was like.

Well, this past month or so its been getting really bad. He seems to be loosing his dorsal fin (radially, not from tip to base. Take a look at picture one to see what I mean). He also got what looked to be little blisters under his skin (they looked like little ball bearings, maybe 3mm in diameter) I saw another picture of a betta that had almost the exact same thing, and someone said they were tumors. I thought that was what they were. However, they started expanding, and getting a bit 'ichy' looking, meaning they didn't quite look healthy. Then, these 'tumors' or whatever they were turned white and expanded into each other so that there is only one white blotch. And now his caudal fin is actually starting to tear away from his body where the white part is.

The weird thing is, besides the gaping tear in his fin, he acts perfectly normal. He swims around, flares at his reflection, and eats like a pig. Although, that is another thing I should mention. He eats and eats and eats like a typical betta, but he still seems pretty skinny. I feed him mostly pellets, but with flakes and the occasional dried bloodworm/flightless fruit fly. He's probably eating 8 plus pellets a day, and is still pretty skinny.
But anyway, back to what I was saying. His other fins are perfectly fine. He acts like he's quite happy and it doesn't seem like he's in discomfort. Which is weird, because his tail looks horrendous.

I'm just about ready to tear my hair out in clumps. I treated the tank with melafix for two weeks, and saw no changes. Then I treated the tank with Tetra "Lifeguard:All in one treatment" (active ingredients1-chloro-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-4-imidazolidinone). I've been doing daily 50% water changes for three weeks. Nothing has helped at all. I tried to find some more powerful antibiotics, but the only thing I've been able to find is melafix, the lifegaurd that I used, and something called "Maracyn-oxy" by Mardel. <---that is me, not at all happy with the lack of good medications.

Here are his tank parameters.
~He's in a 5.5 gallon tank.
~The decorations are all betta safe: I've kept bettas before in this tank without tail rips
~The temperature is 80*F.
~He has a filter
~He is the only fish in the tank
~There are two live java ferns

Here are the pictures.
Picture 1: A drawing a made to illustrate his tail loss. The dark color are the fins he has, the pale coloring are the fins he has lost. When he flares, this is what he looks like:

Picture 2: A real picture of his tail.

Picture 3 : very similar to picture 2, but a bit closer up.

Any help is welcome. He fin is actually tearing away from his body, and I don't know what to do. He doesn't seem to be in discomfort, but if could just be that he's good at hiding it. It looks really painful, and I just want to help him. (and that icon is not an exaggeration. I am actually crying a little right now.)

So, in closing (to make this post even longer, if that's possible) please give any advise. I don't care if its just a hunch, its better than what I've got now. I better close this post before I write a novel...Fin.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:30 AM   #2 
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i'm not sure if it's just me, but i can't see the lat 2 pictures. i'm sorry about your buddy i know a couple people on here have had some pretty tough battles with fin rot. the only thing i really can think of is that he has some sort of internal parasite if he isn't gaining weight. would you be able to get him a smaller hospital tank? that way it's a lot easier to clean daily than a 5.5 gallon. you can get a 2.5 gallon kritter keeper for relatively cheap, i got mind for $9.99. and if you're able to do that, instead of doing daily 50% changes, you can try daily 100% changes.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:52 AM   #3 
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I agree with Sunkissed. Get a small 1.5 gal. tank (like the Tetra whisper). You can keep a small heater in there and a silk plant. That way you can change the water every day. Add a little aquarium salt with each water change (not much in that small amt. of water).

I have a friend who is going through the same exact thing with her boy who was in a 5 gallon. He's doing tons better now since she's put him in the small tank and doing 100% water changes each day.

Good luck.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:13 PM   #4 
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Okay, thanks. I actually have a 2.5 gallon tank, so I'll move him into that.
I fixed the pictures. You can view them below. I'm kinda confused, because I have no idea what this is. Doesn't fin rot usually eat the fins from the tip to the base? And why is the area around the tear white? What were those 'tumor' things?
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:26 PM   #5 
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Those pictures made me cringe. That looks terrible. I'm not familiar with a lot of fish illnesses. I know people have said that Lupin (a member here) knows a lot about fish and illness. Maybe PM him and direct him to this thread and your pics? Sorry I can't help more then that. I hope you find an answer.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:18 PM   #6 
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I have never seen anything like that. It looks pretty awful to say the least. I wouldn't know what to do other than move him and keep the water super clean until you can find a way to treat it. Do you have a good local fish store that knows something about fish?

I'm so sorry about your poor little guy. Hope he makes it.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:32 AM   #7 
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Thanks for the advice. Yes, those photos are very cringe worthy. He has to be in a lot of pain.

Unfortunately, the only petstore in may area is a PetCo, and they don't have any good medications. I might be able to bum a ride off of someone to a PetSmart though.

I was reading online, and I think those 'tumor' things are ulcers, which actually fit is with this being really really bad fin rot.

Urgggg.....I feel so bad for letting him get this sick. :(

Last edited by Nauriel; 02-14-2010 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:23 AM   #8 
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You never mentioned your water parameters. What are they? What test kit do you use?


Test both tank water and tap water and post the results as above.

If you don't have a test kit, I suggest investing in API liquid drops to test your parameters.

Where are you located? I am assuming you're in UK. Is that correct?

Tetra Lifeguard has an active ingredient, Haloshield. I would never use that as a cure-all product. It may claim it does but it also destroys your biological filtration. The inclusion of viruses, bacteria and parasites as those that can be killed by haloshield only suggests that your beneficial bacteria will not be spared at all. Get activated carbon and filter it through or do plenty of water changes to remove it completely.

Please do NOT use Melafix. Melafix has 1% concentration of melaluca oil which can suffocate your betta. Bettafix has less than that but I personally think both products are absolute rubbish. Water changes can rectify any issue that Melafix can fix. I've never been a fan of herbal meds personally. Do not even bother using stresscoat to your bettas. The stresscoat does promote slimecoat production but not in controlled amount in which case the excess will definitely choke your fish to death.

What filter do you have?
What decors exactly do you have?
What is your maintenance schedule?

I am failing to see the blisters you are talking about. Google "gas bubble disease". Is that it? How are you changing the water? Oversaturation of gases can cause microbubbles which slide under the epidermis of the fish. This is a very painful process and can kill your fish. Aerate the water with an airpump to lift off the gases saturated too much underwater.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #9 
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Ok, here are the water parameters.
At the moment there is no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, and the pH is about 7.5.

However, this is probably because i put him in a new tank last night, with fresh water. I tested the water about four days ago, when he was back in his 5.5. There was no ammonia, no nitrite, and about 10ppm of nitrate. The pH, like it is now, was around 7.5.

And no, I am not in the UK (although I would like to take a trip there...) I'm from the US, in southern Illinois.

Yeah, I didn't think the lifeguard would do much, but there wasn't any other mediation that would treat bacterial infection. Bad idea, huh?

I also heard the same thing about melafix, that it can suffocate bettas, so I changed the concentration of it to be the same as betta fix. I had some people tell me that it works wonder, and some tell me that its absolute rubbish. I am now on the "absolute rubbish" side.

Well, I put him in the 2.5 last night so from now on I am planning on doing 100% water changes. But when he was in the 5.5, for the past three weeks I had been doing 50% water changes. I would do that by siphoning the water into a 1 gallon bowl, and would do that twice (the tank is a 5.5, but with gravel, filter, heater, and decorations, there was about 4 gallons of water in it). I would then replace the water.
Before that, I was doing 25%-50% water changes every other day.

The water conditioner that I have comes with a stress coat in it? Should I still use it?

I have a 8 gallon tetra whisper in tank filter. It has a carbon filter.

For decorations, in the previous tank I had this ornament:

a couple of these types of plants:

and two live java ferns.

In the new 2.5 gallon tank, I have two of the same plants that were in his last tank. For an ornament, I have this:

I googled "gas bubble disease", and that's not what those blisters looked like. I found a picture on-line of what it looked like:
However, the person who posted this picture was told that the bump was probably a tumor. The reason you can't see the bumps on Francis is because the bumps expanded and turned white. I did some research and think it might be ulcers? Does that make sense?
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:39 PM   #10 
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Nauriel, I'm so sorry that your little guy isn't well. :(

Super sorry if this is against forum rules/etiquette (I'm so so new to forums) but can I recommend you join another betta site that seems to be pretty big and have a lot of info/knowledgeable members about diseases?

The site is and I've found it to be really helpful with disease-type topics when I can't find the info here.

Again, if it's not appropriate for me to recommend other sites, please remove this post and accept my apology.

Best of luck with your little guy, Nauriel! :)
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