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Old 12-29-2010, 01:13 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Exclamation No Heater and possible Fin Rot?

Hi everyone. I have a bright blue Betta named Tristan. I am going to try and explain what is going on without a picture, and I hope to get a picture for you soon.

What size is your tank? A few gallons(a bowl)
What temperature is your tank? Unsure but I put it next to my warm computer for now so it can warm up a little bit
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? And no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta fish pelets and occasionally freaze dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day, 3 pellets per feeding


How often do you perform a water change? Once every 5-7 days or so.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? All of it, 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None at this time

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

~I have not tested the water at all


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? For as long as I can remember the betta's fins, the front fins have shown signs of thinning. My Betta is all blue and although the fins are still there, they appear thin and see through. He has trouble swimming, but still gets around.
How has your Betta fish's behavior changed? None really, he seems overall fine.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Oh quite along time ago. This has been going on for months.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, not at all
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, he has been fine.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure. I got him from a pet store months ago, and he has been doing fine sense.

~I know this is not much information, and for that I really am sorry. The tank feels to be slowly warming a little by my computer and I hope to raise the temperature enough so when I put him back on the dresser he can stay warm for the night. The reason I can not leave him down is because of my cat. Ironic, I know. Thank you for any input, I will try to get a picture posted soon.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:59 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
I do not think you are changing the water enough. Since you don't have a filter or live plants or anything capable of removing the ammonia the fish is producing constantly, it's likely his troubles are all related to the ammonia building up in the water between changes. You should take the time to measure how much water you've been putting into the bowl--if you have a measuring cup, 16 cups = 1 gallon, and you will able to tell that way.

In an unfiltered, unplanted bowl, I usually recommend that one gallon containers be changed every other day, 2 gallons changed every 3 days. You should really get yourself a heater--bettas are cold blooded animals, they need access to heat in order to keep their organs functioning and to keep their immune system strong. I recommend a 25 watt adjustable heater like this one: cheaper heaters without the adjustable dial are not advised because they can underheate or overheat the water, and they still allow the water temperature to fluctuate.

I think if you make these changes, you should see a huge difference in your fish. You might want to move your fish away from the electronics--they may heat his water too fast and once you turn them off he will only get cold again. For now it's most important that the temperature is stable.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:15 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Thank you for your help. This morning I now see the first real signs of Fin Rot. The outer edges of the fins are turning black and crusty. How do I treat this?

Listening to your advice, I just changed the water in hopes this will improve his condition. At this time I do not have enough money to buy a heater, but as soon as I get the money I will try to buy one. I think my take is 2.5 gallons, but at this time am still not sure. Although I just changed the water I did not have the time to measure how much I was putting into the bowl but will try to do that next time.

If I can I will try to take a picture of his condition today but until then I will post a picture of what he looked like yesterday.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:23 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Picture of Tristian

Here is a picture attached of Tristan and what he looked like yesterday. Looking at him closer I can see the first signs of Fin Rot, even then. I am going to try and take a picture of him today and put it up if need be. But to me it looks like he has Fin Rot. Treatment idea's?
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:19 AM   #5 
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What he looks like today

Here is what Tristan looks like today.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:33 AM   #6 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Arizona
1. Buy a heater (25 watts) and get the temperature between 76F-82F

2. Buy Aquarium Salt (not table salt or sea salt..) and use 1 teaspoon per gallon of water for 7-10 days

3. Do 100% water changes for the entire treatment time. Make sure you treat the water before you add the fish back into the tank, and acclimate him appropriately to the salted water. You can do this by floating him in his heated tank in a cup, adding a little of the tank water to his cup and siphoning the water in the cup out every 15 minutes, then slowly tip him in after the 2nd or 3rd time.

4. Remove any spiny looking plants that may catch on his tail fin and rip it

5. After you are done with the 7-10 day treatment, keep his water pristine (very, very clean).

EDIT: Also, buy some water conditioner to neutralize chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals. Many suggest Prime because it lasts a very, very long time and is well worth your money. Untreated water will, as you've noticed, slowly make your fish sick. In fact, chlorine is poisonous to fish. Get water conditioner.

Double EDIT: If you only have a 1-3 gallon tank, you need to be doing more water changes. Fin rot is usually caused by poor water conditions...noting that it looks like it's bacterial, it certainly is the case. Do at least one 50% water change and one 100% water change a week (2 cleanings a week) after treatment.

Good luck.

Last edited by Tsuhei; 12-30-2010 at 03:36 AM.
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