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Old 11-12-2010, 06:22 AM   #1 
small fry
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Texas
Long term betta illness?

Hello, I am relatively new to betta keeping. I still have my first and only betta, Tony. He seems to have some sort of finrot or something like that. Occasionally he gets 2 holes in his fins that grow back within a day. I just want to know whats wrong. Here are some pics
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What size is your tank? 1.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 75-76*F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? n/a

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes, occasionally freez dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? O.nce to twice daily.


How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Approx. 15 - 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? De-chlorinater, aquari-sol.

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

Ammonia: 0.0ppm
Nitrite: Unknown
Nitrate: Unknown
pH: 7.6
Hardness: 75
Alkalinity: Unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? About 3 months ago, yes.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 3 months ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Just WCs
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Unfortunately, YES (you wouldn't believe it)!
How old is your fish (approximately)? Maybe 1, don't really know.

Now that I have filled out the form, how ofter can I do a WC without sending Tony through a mini-cycle? I want him to get better.

Any help would be apprecieated, Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:08 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
In a 1.5g filtered tank I would increase the water changes to 50% twice weekly-if the water flow is too strong that may be part of the fin problem as well, also those large glass stones that are in the pic-I have used those in the past and they were part of the fin problem with some of mine-by snagging/pinching the fin and causing small rips/tears
You also may want to up your temp a tiny bit-some can be more sensitive to water temp than others-76F is the lowest I keep my Bettas.

You can make all the water only changes you need to without causing a mini-cycle-but over cleaning the substrate and filter media can cause mini-cycle-however, in small tanks you will get a cycle but due to the number of needed water changes to maintain water quality the cycle is moot
Oldfishlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2010, 02:19 PM   #3 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
At first glance this looks like a healthy, vibrant and active fish. There's nothing wrong with him health-wise, but I think it's likely that he's blowing his tail out trying to swim against the filter current and/or flaring too much. The pinhole damage pattern is almost always associated with too much stress on the tail rather than ammonia burns, tail biting or other types of fin damage.

Personally, I would just remove the filter--it's likely knocking him around and it's really not doing you all that much good in a tank this small because the concentration of ammonia rises too quickly for the bacteria to really be able to take care of it, and the colony will always be unstable. If you want to have a cycled tank, I find it easiest to do so in tanks that are 3 gallons or larger.

Since you seem to have an ammonia test kit, I would try to form your water changing routine around the results you get from your test. That would be the best way to really determine how often and how much needs to be changed--test every couple of days for a couple of weeks and average how often ammonia begins to show up. The average amount of time ammonia begins to first show up tells you how often you need to be changing the water. I highly recommend adding one 100% water change per week.

If you change 50% today, and 50% tomorrow, technically this adds up to 100, but you did not change 100% of the water. Inevitably, some of the fouled water is left over plus whatever your fish added to it between changes. So over time, partial changes become less and less effective. You can do partial changes in between, but your schedule should still involve at least one 100% change and a rinse to get rid of all the ammonia, ammonia residue, feces, and uneaten food.

Overall, though, your fish looks great--no need to be worried about him having any kind of disease.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:16 PM   #4 
small fry
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Texas
I am useing the Tetra Whisper 1-3g filter. Thier doesn't seem to be any kind of a current. Just a steady tiny stream of water falling no more than half an inch. When the water is stirred the yuck rises up and then falls rather slowly. I would be really nervious about removeing the filter because when he didn't have a filter, he got major fungal infections. I will remove it if I need to. Anything for Tony.

If anyone has ever used a low flow filter that they would like to recommend, I would be happy to consider it (given that I will actually use a filter, I am not sure that I will, though)

About the "substrate" (that probably is not what it is called but I don't know what esle to call it), it is actually plastic "jewel stones" (penn-plax). I am planning on taking that out and putting gravel, but that might not be the easiest thing if I am doing 100% water changes.

Thanks for the advice so far!
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