This was my sister's fish. About four weeks ago I moved him into his new 24L tank and he was doing fine. A week later I started getting serious algae buildup (50% change every two days and 100% every 4-6 days) so I got talked into getting a bristlenose catfish to help with that, which it has a lot. All was fine until about 6-7 days ago the temp has dropped and he became very lethargic so two days ago I got him a heater. I was told that he'd be fine without one From what I've read, I'm guessing the temp change to 80 deg from around 68 (eek!) as well as the stress of the new tank has caused this? I initially thought that the catfish might have introduced it.
Since yesterday he has been a lot more active but that's when I noticed his fins. Today he's been looking great apart from the obvious visual appearance.
He went dull and silver underneath before I noticed his fins. You can see that he's still pretty dull but a lot of the silver has gone back to light blue under his head.
This is his new tank mate. Kenji (my fighter) hasn't seemed too fussed with him but I think that might be a chunk missing? Sorry, the photo's not very clear.
This is his new tank. BTW is it normal for these guys to sleep in really weird positions?? Here he's jammed himself under the ship! He's always slept in weird ways. Yesterday he was between the glass and the heater for four hours!
Anyway, I'm new to this so any help with treating what's wrong with him will be great
I've never had a fish with fin rot, but from the picture I'd have to say that's it. Daily water changes with similar temperature conditioned water. I believe aquarium salt can help, but I'm not sure on the dosing. You might want to put him in a quarantine container for now, since I'm not sure on the conversion of liters to gallons. A one gal container is what is commonly used for quarantine, that or a small plastic container floated in the tank. This makes it easier to change just a small amount of water, and keep him nice and warm.
I believe higher protein food, especially live or frozen can help with regrowing damage, I'm not sure if it's helpful during the curing phase.
Okay i'll try that. Looks like 1 US gallon = 3.7L. I have another tank set up but it doesn't have a heater and the water is only 64 deg F so I'll try floating a smaller container in the main tank to keep the water warm. I've got frozen bloodworm and granules so I might try giving him just the bloodworm instead
I'm On my phone right now, so when I get on my computer ill go more detailed, but yes, that is rot.
Please put the fish into a "quarantine" container of about a gallon. Change this water every day, aclimating the fish properly each time. Every day and for every change, add in 2tsp/gallon of aquarium salt. Normally, the dose is 1 tsp/gallon, but this rot appears severe. Allow the salt to dissolve before adding. Use conditioner.
float the container in the big tank to keep him warm.
Do not dose salt into the big tank. The bristle nose will be harmed by it.
Your tank is roughly 6 gallons, which is perfect for a betta!
However, it is NOT enough space for both a betta and a bristlenose!
Bristlenoses can get far too large for your tank to hold, especially with a betta in there. Also, they dont like temps of 27' (80ish'F), which is what youre at. These fish produce a good amount of waste, which, combined with your tank size, has maxed out the tank's bio-load. This creates levels of waste that can begin to case fin rot. So, yes, in a way, your fish did get fin rot from the catfish, but not directly.
They may or may not also need at least one other catfish friend, which is out of the question in your tank size.
I highly suggest you remove your catfish, for both their health!
As said, putting the fish into QT for no more than 10 days with aq salt and clean water will cure him. Keep the lights all but off, and if you can, keep the temp in the 76-77' range to prevent bacterial growth.
If you want another great algae eater, consider nerites. You can have three in your tank (theyre small and require about 2-2.5 gallons each). They wont eat plants and dont breed. They stay very small, too!
Where I live we only have one pet/aquarium supplies store and it turns out that they only have aq salt in massive bags (30kg). The only other thing they had was Melafix which says: "Add 5ml for every 40L of aquarium water. Repeat dose once daily for 7 days. After 7 days make 25% water change. Treatment can be continued if necessary."
I can move my catfish into my other tank which is the same size but made of plastic (it's been sitting for three days with no fish in it, hasn't got filter, heater or air pump). Could I then just treat the fighter in his tank once I've moved the catfish? Also, do I treat him as per the instructions or have you got any other suggestions?
Also, I never really knew about those little snails until yesterday and I'm pretty sure the pet shop's got them so I'll def have to get some :)
Only get some if you remove (perminantly!) the catfish.. he really cant live a good life in a 24L tank, especially with another fish. He can get 7inches long!
Id say that just putting the betta into a smaller container is your best idea. You really need 100% water changes to help his fins regrow and to keep bacteria growth at bay.
If you cant get AQ salt, you can use NON-IODIZED salt. Salt like morton brand is non iodized. If you cant figure out 100% if its non-iodized or not, DO NOT USE IT!!! Itll kill the fish!
Take care the cat fish is not exposed to the salt.
As for the melafix, dont use it. Save that sort of treatment for more serious, harder to treat diseases. Melafix can damage a betta's labrynth organ when used at full dose, so if you ever use it, use half or less (better yet, 1/4) the recommended dose.
Salt and clean water will set him right, I promise!
And like PewPewPew said please move your pleco, they poop so much it's unbelievable O.O my 13" pleco was in my 48g and I was siphoning out a huge pile of poo everyday just from him. It's such a releif not that my friend is baby sitting him for me (while I baby sit her little 5" pleco) in her moms 70g until I get a larger aquarium.
Be careful whenever you move the bristle nose that you watch out for the little spines that can cut you. It helps if you wear gloves when you need to catch them (all pleco's I know of get horribly tangled in nets)
Everyone else has already recommended the aquarium salt and already given you good suggestions. I just wanted to add that I know OFL (OldFishLady) has mentioned ice cream salt works as well when someone was having problems finding AQ salt. Here is her exact quote that can hopefully help you find something that will work: "I use kosher salt, ice cream salt....generally Sodium chloride....you want to avoid salts with the anti-caking agents as these can be toxic to fish with long term use...the trace amount of Iodine in most table salts are not harmful its the anti-caking that is toxic......."
You would probably need about a 10 gallon for the BN catfish and betta to live comfortably. The BN does get big but typically I haven't seen full grown BNs bigger than 5". There are the ones that just happen to grow bigger than that but it is rare. I will attest that they poop a ridiculous amount though. My husband had 7 little ones in his 135 gallon and the poop would just pile up. Fortunately it somehow ended up all in one corner so it made for easy cleanup but it was ridiculous.