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Old 05-13-2011, 04:49 PM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2011
Sick Betta/Damaged fins

I'm on a road trip and brought my betta so he didn't starve to death in my apartment but I forgot to bring the water treatment solution. I used tap water when changing Gustav's water yesterday, but I kept half of his old water so I thought it would be okay if i didn't have the drops for the water... about 4 hours later, he was drastically different: very pale, not moving, floating at the top (not dead or on his side of course but his little forehead was slightly peeking out of the water almost like maybe he could breath better up there??). Then I noticed his poor little fins started to shrivel and even started turning bright blue (he's dark blue) like they were getting bleached or burnt??? I rushed to the nearest pet store and bought tap water conditioner and 5-1 water testing strips. When I tested the water, the Ph was honestly not too bad, like around 7.0, but the water was super hard. The KH (Carbonate Hardness) was 240 and the GH (General Hardness) was 180...

What in the world did this to his fins?? Was it the chloromine?? I've heard the Ph can burn the fins off, but like I said, the Ph wasn't really that bad, so what the heck was it?

He is better today I GUESS, but his long back fins are definitely damaged. They're all shriveled up and he isn't swimming with them at all like he's either in pain or paralyzed or something. (I doubt he's paralyzed but he's seriously not usinig the back half of his body at all).

Will his fins grow back strong and colorful?? Will they heal?? Was else can I do?? I'm afaid to change the water or remove him since he's in such a delicate state.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:10 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
It was most likely the chlorine and chloramine from the tap water and not the pH......hopefully not too much damage was done to his gills...but if it affected his fin to that degree.....ouch.....

Since you are on the road and using all kinds of different source water....I would find one brand of bottled water to use until you get home....start making some 50% water changes daily and use the dechlorinator based on the full volume of the tank not 50% that you changed...also, if you can get some IAL or dried oak leaf to steep in the bottled water and add to the tank-this will help too.......good luck and keep us posted.....
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:50 PM   #3 
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Join Date: May 2011
Okay. I already got a couple dried oak leaves outside. I'm going to remove half the water, pour in the bottled water after I steep the leaf, and keep using the dechlorinater. Thanks for your prompt, helpful advice.

Long live Gustav!!! :)
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:21 PM   #4 
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Two days later, Gustav is doing GREAT!!! I continued to treat the water with the drops, added a couple dried oak leaves, and added bottled water to the tank. The shrivled parts of his fins fell off and he looks good as new. In fact, he has a new bubble nest!!! He's swimming around and has his old personality back.

I definitely think is was the chloromine. Lessoned learned: as hearty as betta fish may be, tap water is far too harsh and must be treated every time!!! Thankfully I caught it in time. I really think my little buddy would've died if not for me treating the water when I did.

Thanks for your help!!
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damaged fins, sick, tap water, water change

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