Serious case of Fin rot or tail biting, advice appreciated!
Hello everyone I am a newcomer here and am also a first timer at keeping Beta's. I have a male beta that I purchased from the pet store (petsmart) unfortunately unknowingly i got him from a large chain store, which is apparently a bad thing too do, since most of them come sick or already dieing I have been told and I honestly think that's whats happening to my Beta currently.
Since the moment I got him I have done it by the book to the best of my knowledge thus far in terms of keeping him. I Bought a 2.5 gallon tank, 2 small confection vine plants (plastic), regular fish tank gravel and a small filter (the filter cartridge has remained empty thus far) which I all rinsed in warm water for a few seconds to try and get any germs or debris off. I then filled the tank and put in Beta water conditioner to help him get used to the tank without shock, I also let the water set to room temperature.
After a few days I noticed his tail disappearing so I did some research and discovered fin rot and biting. To be honest I think this is the WORST case of fin rot or biting that I have ever seen (judging from the pictures and videos that ive seen on the net soo far) I went out and purchased Kanaplex by Seachem as I heard that Betafix can be bad for the Beta. I did a water change and tryed to keep the Beta out of the harm of the net and shock as much as possible. He is currently being medicated with Kanaflex as per its instructions.
I feel really bad about his condition, and most likely due to a combination of some very bad tank/conditions at the pet store and my inexperience combined have probably let this get this bad.
Here is Apollo, after 6 days. When I first got him his tail was almost full! PLEASE HELP!!!
It's kind of hard to tell from the picture do you have one of his side? it would be easier to tell for me but other people on here might be able to tell from that pic. and is he a crowntail or a veiltail?just wondering since it's hard to tell from the picture.
That picture really isn't detailed enough for me to be able to say with certainty whether he has "fin rot" or not. You should be able to tell by the outline of the fins--if the area is infected, it will have a black or gray crusty or fuzzy outline. If the fin is outlined in clear, white, or red tissue, and is ragged in appearance, the fish has likely been biting it.
From the sound of it, you don't have a heater, and though the tank is filtered, I'm inferring that the tank is not cycled. I would recommend getting a 25 watt heater with a thermostat and an adjustable dial ASAP, I use and recommend these: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...8&pcatid=11368
Bettas are tropical fish, and need temperatures of 78-83 degrees to be comfortable, healthy, and active. Giving him adequate heat will help him heal and give him a boost.
In an uncycled 2 gallon tank, you should be changing 100% of the water every 3-4 days. Since his fins are damaged, definitely try to keep up with changing the water every three days--if you're concerned about matching the temperature of the heated water, I would get a thermometer and draw water from the tap at the same temperature as the tank. Dechlorinators these days only need a few minutes to work, so just draw water of a matching temperature from the tap, add dechlorinator, and stir like hell for about 20 seconds, then drain the water from your tank and clean everything in it out with hot water. By the time you are done cleaning the tank, the water you've drawn from the tap will be safely dechlorinated and most of the nitrogen will have outgassed from the stirring and the pouring.
I would also stop running the filter at this time. If the tank isn't cycled, it isn't really doing your fish or his water much good--the current can be stressful for a betta, and might be triggering his tail biting.
Once you have gone through with the treatment of kanaplex in the instructions, I would stop treating him with any medication. Typically in these cases, medications just put more strain on the fish's immune system, making them even more vulnerable to infection.
Thanks everyone for the replies. Here are some more pics, they are the best I could do so I hope they are good enough to tell... But by what you had said about the condition of his fins Adastra, it would seem they are all very ragged, and reddish tissue in appearance. According to what you stated previously this might indicate biting, but to be honest the reddish ragged rear fin of his is literally eaten almost down to the rear of his body... Would he even be able to bite himself that close???
I currently do not have a heater but I will definitely go out and find one, it's a 2.5 gallon tank so I'll have to find a very small one, and also a thermometer.
Now here is the issue I have with any instructions I read, to be honest I'm a very visual learner when it comes to such things, I can somewhat grasp your idea of a dechlorinator so I can only immagine that it's a water conditioner of some sort???
Next, when you say drain the water from your tank, how much water am I taking out? Am I leaving the fish in the tank when I do this? I do have a gravel vaccum, though im no very good at making it work, I can never seem to get enough suctions going through it. BUT my main question is SHOULD I be leaving the Beta in the tank with say 15% water, gravel vaccum it (to clean the gravel of course), take out the 2 confection decorations, rinse them with warmer water, let them sit for a bit and then put them back in? OR should I be taking him out of the tank somehow? What is the best way without damaging, hurting or causing stress to the fish? I do have a 4" net and could easily put him in a cup if need be, IF of course this is the proper way to do it.
I stopped the filter, so hopefully he won't be stressed out by the running water anymore.
1 more treatment needs to be done with Kanaplex and that will be it, once the treatment is complete he will have been in the same water for 4 days, so I will change it right away after treatment is complete.
Any further advice is highly appreciated, thanks!
Last edited by Shocktech88; 08-11-2010 at 09:25 AM.
Reason: Forgot picture
You should be removing 100% of the water from the tank during changes and rinsing out the tank and all the decorations with hot water. During 100% changes, I put the betta in a cup--you'll find that if you can get your fish to swim to the surface, it's very easy to catch him safely if, rather than a scooping action, you push the cup down into the water horizontally behind the fish so that as the water rushes in to fill the cup, the fish gets sucked in as well. Since your boy is feeling sick, it might be hard to get him to come up to the surface for you--in that case you may have to net him.
You definitely need to use a dechlorinator when you do your water changes--tap water contains chlorine and heavy metals, and it's also become popular for companies to add chloramines. Chlorine can evaporate overnight, but the heavy metals and chloramines take weeks to dissipate, if at all. I use and recommend this product: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...57&pcatid=4057
Because it's concentrated, you get the most product for your money and it lasts longer than others.