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Old 04-28-2015, 10:51 PM   #1 
Pintomare11
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Fin Rot or Tail Biter?

Based on the fact that my other 2 bettas in the divided 10gal are perfectly fine, I originally dismissed by blue betta's damaged fins as tail biting. However, over the last couple of days, I've noticed that he's extremely listless and has trouble swimming. He still eats, though. He is missing a lot of fin. Almost his entire dorsal fin is gone! He's never really had the best fins or been a super active guy but this is an all time low, I'll see if I can get pictures uploaded. There's been a couple times where I thought he was dead. There's no filter flow on his side of the tank.
I wonder if this is related, though. A few days ago I got back and realized my roommate had turned off the AC before she left for class. Unfortunately, my heater was plugged in so when I got back, the temperature on my thermometer was capped out at 87*. I'm sure the actual temp was higher. I unplugged it immediately and the temp has been steady around 74-76 since then. Is it the reduced temperature to account for his decreased activity? But then what about his fins? Is he listless just because he's having so much trouble swimming? I'm just frustrated.

Sorry if that's long and confusing- it's finals week and I'm exhausted. I'll try to get pictures in the morning.
Also, when he does swim, his orientation is vertical or diagonal, never horizontal.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:59 PM   #2 
Pintomare11
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Also, the area around his gills and face is turning from dark blue/black to reddish/copper color. I'm setting up a qt tank now in case I need to move him. My only problem with moving him to qt is that is will not be heated and I am also moving out of my dorm this weekend, so I would be worried the cold and 2 moves would be too much stress on him.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:31 PM   #3 
FinnDublynn
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From what I know, when they fin bite, it's usually on the Caudal fin, because that's the one they can reach best... I'm not sure if he could bite his dorsal enough to nearly remove it. Without a picture, nothing can be confirmed tho...
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:31 AM   #4 
jarabas
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Can you try to answer as many of these questions as you can? It will help us to get an idea of what is going on. Close up photos will also help.
Good luck with exams!

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
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?

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

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:55 AM   #5 
Pintomare11
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I'll answer those questions while I'm waiting on those photos to upload on my college's crappy wifi, because that's more fun than studying for finals.

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gal
What temperature is your tank? was around 80, unplugged heater last week and stays around 74-76 now
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? sometimes, depends in room temp
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 other bettas, divided of course. ghost shrimp. Some snails (ugh)

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? generic betta flakes. Not the best, I know.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2x a day, 3-4 flakes

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Not nearly as much as a should, being completely honest maybe once every 2 weeks.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50-75% depending on how long ago the last change was
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? dechlorinator

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Nope. Sorry, I'm a college student.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Lost fins, color changing to dull
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Listless, laying around on bottom or in plants. Doesn't orient horizontally, only vertically or diagonally.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? a few days ago, though it could have been longer, I've been SUPER busy with school
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Divider came down when I was transporting home last November, got in a fight with a smaller betta. Fins never grew all the way back out on this one but both made a full recovery. The other betta (Elliot), had much worse damage and his fins grew back out.
How old is your fish (approximately)? My sister got him from Walmart for Easter 2014


Other Random Info to include until these photos load:
This tank is pretty heavily planted with Windelov and regular java fern in addition to java moss for the shrimp. 3rd, currently unnamed betta was added a couple of weeks ago. All of my Bob(betta I'm seeking advice for) was given to me by my sister who kept him in a 1 gal, unheated tank and never changed his water until September 2014. My sister gave him to me when I mentioned she wasn't taking great care of him, got a 2.5 gallon and a heater for him. Bought Elliot on a whim from Walmart because he was gorgeous, divided the 2.5 and upgraded to a divided 5gal a month after that. Broke down my 10gal community from back home in March after my parents managed to kill off all my fish and brought it to college for the boys in March. Got the 3rd, now unnamed betta a couple weeks ago from a girl who gradated and was moving, but had taken excellent care of him. I didn't qt him before adding, which I'm now regretting. He is doing fine and enjoys flaring at Elliot through the mesh.

Wow, this post makes me sound like a horrible fishkeeper- I just kinda got one dumped on me and I couldn't even afford the proper stuff for that one so of course I just got more... Anyway the photos won't upload so I'll try again.
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:07 PM   #6 
Pintomare11
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Name:  IMG_4598.jpg
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Name:  Bob Now Laying.jpg
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Apparently 2 pics uploaded. If you want any specific picture requests, I unfortunately have to wait until tonight.

Pictures of Bob in September for comparison
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Name:  Bob September 2.jpg
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Close-up of Bob after his fight in November (Yes I learned my lesson, my bettas get transported in cups now). No, the dorsal fin never completely regrew but did heal. The hole in the caudal fin- the fin fell off where the hole is and on the areas above which never quite fully regrew but DID heal. All fins mostly regrew after this. I guess what I'm trying to say is his fins never got as LONG as they were in September but they did come back and heal. I included this so you can get a close up look of how his fins used to be
Name:  Bob November.png
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His color has dulled but it's not quite as drastic as these pictures make it look.

One more thing- there's nothing in this tank that he could cut himself on. I know this sounds crazy but could ghost shrimp eat his fins? I recently put more in there, I have to "replace" them every so often.

Last edited by Pintomare11; 04-29-2015 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:42 PM   #7 
Pintomare11
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It's been about a week and I definitely think something is wrong. He's still alive but getting worse. Any advice? I've done a ton of research and can't quite put my finger on it.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:55 PM   #8 
NorthernLights
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You can get your water tested at PetCo or PetsMart or met fish stores for free if you bring them a cup of it.

I would guess that the water quality is an issue since having 3 bettas in a 10 gallon is like having each betta in a 3.3 gallon. Those need a 50% water change twice per week usually, but with lots of live plants it might be different. OTOH, you also have snails, which contribute to the bioload. I think with your 10 gallon set up, you could probably err on the side of caution and do 50% twice a week to be safe.

Just out of curiosity, do you live in an area with extremely hard water? Or any other unusual water quality issues? I ask because he looks exactly like what happened to my bettas when I lived in a very hard water area, even though their water was very clean. Also, what water conditioner do you use? There could be ammonia in your tap water, which most water conditioners can't remove (although Prime will neutralize it temporarily).
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:42 PM   #9 
Pintomare11
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Yes, I do have hard water. It's been more of a recent thing but that could be it!

He's laying around a ton. I would suspect water quality, too but exams are over so I did a 50% change Saturday, 25% Sunday, had 3 final exams on Monday so skipped that day and I'm moving out today so there's about to be a 100% change. There's been absolutely no change. I know it could take some time but he's gotten worse since then and the other 2 bettas are fine. Also, ghost shrimp are extremely sensitive to water quality and I have a couple and they're fine. I try to get rid of the snails whenever possible... I'll take a cup in tomorrow and get it checked out. I actually thought he was dead this morning but he moved when I went to net him out.
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