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Old 12-21-2010, 01:07 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: BC, Canada
Question Small bit of white on end of tail = fin rot?

What size is your tank? 10L (about 2.5g)
What temperature is your tank? Approx. 72F
Does your tank have a filter? No
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? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day (so far)


How often do you perform a water change? Planning to do twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? One 50%, one 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? NutraFin Betta Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Very miniscule bits of white on the end of his tail. I'm wondering if it might be the beginning stages of fin rot. I'm an EXTREMELY new betta owner so I don't know what is normal or not.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? I bought him a new tank yesterday (moved him from the betta cube he came with), and it's heated now, so he's actually a lot more active than he was in the past couple of days. Before that, he was in a 1/2 gallon room temperature cube, and was very sluggish and lethargic, but I think that was because of the cold.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last night, though I wasn't sure.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet--I don't know if what I'm seeing is fin rot, and if so, what is the best way to treat it.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not sure
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for just three days (like I said, I'm a very new owner!!)

The white I'm seeing is such a tiny patch that I can barely make it out, but it's definitely there. I'm hoping that if it is fin rot, I can catch it ASAP. Then I can go to a pet store today and get treatment. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:19 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
If it's just bits of white coloration on otherwise normal looking fin tissue, I think he's just coloring up for you since he's been home. This is not unusual. If the texture is somehow different, for instance, if the area is fuzzy or fluffy, then it might be cause for concern. Otherwise, I think he's fine. :)

Fin rot occurs (usually) when the ammonia level is high enough to burn away the delicate edges of the fin tissue. The wounds caused by the ammonia burns become infected by bacteria and turn gray or black with a crusty texture. New healthy growth often shows up as clear to whitish, and is a good sign.

You should consider returning your heater and exchanging it for a better one. If it is one of those non-adjustable pad heaters or a pre-set heater, it's not going to be good enough. You need one with an adjustable knob because the one you have now just isn't cutting the mustard--bettas should be kept between 77-83 degrees. They are cold-blooded, so being kept in cool temperatures can cause circulation problems, digestive issues, lethargy, and a crippled immune system.

I use and recommend this 25 watt heater: -- when/if you do get a new heater, it's important to set it just above room temperature initially, then slowly turn it up a degree at a time about every hour until it's at the desired temperature.

As far as your water changing schedule goes, I'm not sure that it will be enough. General rule of thumb for a tank near that size is a 100% change every 4 days--if you got some live plants like java moss, for instance, you could stretch that a bit. Since you're new to nano fishtanks, it might be a good idea to either purchase your own home test kit like this one: or take a sample of your water to a local pet store once a week for a few weeks to make sure that your routine is really getting your tank as clean as it needs to be.

You should also consider switching to a high quality pellet brand instead of flakes. Pellets are generally higher quality and are easier to digest than flakes. I recommend Atison's Betta Pellets, Ken's Betta Crumbles, Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets, or New Life Spectrum. All of these are good brands, and it's good to alternate between a couple of different pellets, along with frozen foods that are available in the freezer in the fish section of most pet stores. Variety ensures that your betta gets proper, more complete nutrition and fiber.
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #3 
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Oh, ok, cool. I hadn't thought about new growth, but I guess that would make sense if he's now in a new, better environment.

And I'm definitely considering getting a better heater...the one I have doesn't seem to be heating enough anymore, even though it's a huge step up from his old container! It looks like they're not overly expensive, so maybe I'll go buy a better one later today. Hopefully after I get my initial set-up finished up, I won't have to spend too much more money! :P
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:43 PM   #4 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
I hate to break it to you, but purchases in this hobby add up very very quickly. If you do research on each item before purchase, such as comparing prices and looking up reviews, you tend to save yourself a lot of frustration. Shopping online is also something I can't emphasize enough--pet stores have a LOT of overhead between paying their rent, utilities, taxes, employees.. they have to jack up their prices to cover all of it. You'd be surprised at how much you'll save by purchasing all your products online at a store that offers flat rate shipping. Good luck with the new heater!
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:50 PM   #5 
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Thanks! Unfortunately I just found out (through research! :P) that the pet store I bought the first heater from does not have a good return policy at all (as far as I can tell, all sales are final, which is ridiculous). I'm planning to go to the PetSmart in the next town to check out what they have, since I've heard they have a much better return policy. Then I can put the new heater in sooner! Is 25Watt going to be ok for a 2.5g tank, though? Will it not be too hot? Or does it only matter that it's adjustable?
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:57 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Hawaii- Go Diamond head!
25 watts should be fine, it's what I use in my 2.5 watt heater, and I live in Hawaii! So, if a tank wont over heat in a hot place like Hawaii, it shouldn't overheat in Canada.
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