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Old 06-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #1 
tangt88
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Not sure: fin rot / fin loss?

I got a new betta from a large chain petstore 2 weeks ago. He's very active, flares when I put a mirror up, gobbles up anything I give him quickly, swims around when we come home or watch him in his tank. He doesn't even hide in the silk plants or cave I bought him. He just likes to swim around the side of the tank closest to where me or my boyfriend are sitting.

Problem is his tail looks like it's degrading slightly at the edges. I noticed it the first 3 days or so that we got him but I wasn't sure if it would just go away. His tail originally had a perfectly smooth round edge and now it has a kind of "scalloped" look. It hasn't lost any length and his fins don't seem to be affected at all though. I tried to take a few pictures but they aren't very good quality as he doesn't stay still long enough! His colouring is still the same.

If you guys could help me figure out what the problem is and what I can do to help him get better than would be wonderful. I have aquarium salt (there's maybe about 1/2 tsp in his 5 gallon now) and an ich medication that as NaCl+malachite green (haven't used it) at home.


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Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees far.
Does your tank have a filter? yes. submergible Elite Stingray 5
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? yes. adjustable heater.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none. can I put a mini golden clam in there with him?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? betta pellets + freeze dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 pellets twice a day. bloodworms 2-3 times a week as a treat.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? weekly (twice so far)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutrafin Aqua Plus tap water conditioner, Nutrafin Cycle**, Nutrafin Betta Bowl Cleaner
**(I plan to stop using Cycle once I run out-- I just wanted it to start his aquarium because it wasn't pre-cycled)


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

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: <5ppm
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? smooth tail edge to scalloped edge
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? no
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 1.5 weeks ago (a few days after getting him)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? a bit of aq salt in his tank
Does your fish have any history of being ill? don't know
How old is your fish (approximately)? don't know. took him from pet store 2 weeks ago.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:53 PM   #2 
Silverfang
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The clearish to the fins makes me think that might be new growth. Of course it could also be his natural coloring. I'm wondering, you said they don't appear any shorter, is it possible that this could simply be some new fin growth? It could be the colouring, but I'm wondering if at one point he had chewed up his tail, or had some torn fins.

I might be way off base, but if you are really concerned, just give him some extra water changes. Yes, water changes, the cure for everything. In seriousness, he looks okay to me, but if you are worried about rot, or torn fins, clean water is your best bet to both cure it up, and prevent infection.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:30 PM   #3 
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You know... I never even considered new fin growth. That would be wonderful!

But I'm afraid it might not be the case. I'm not at home right now to look at him but this morning I think I saw one of the wavy edges had gotten deeper so it's started to look like a very short slit in the top of his tail. It was a bit gloomy when I saw him this morning but I THINK i may have seen a slightly darkish tinge to the ends of the "waviness" now, whereas before they were perfectly clear. His tail was perfectly round when I bought him, he was just very small and in dirty water.

I'm wondering if the filter might be bothering him? It doesn't cause too much current in most parts of the tank but there are a couple of spots that if he swims through his fins sway to one side (think tall grass blowing in the wind) Is this too strong of a current? I've already wrapped a piece of thin exercise shirt over the intake of it in an attempt to weaken the flow.

Also: could someone recommend a water change schedule to me? Loung (named after my dad lol) is my first fish and I want him to be clean and happy. Am going to buy him some more plants from the petstore upstairs to see if it can keep the water more still.

Last edited by tangt88; 06-27-2011 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:45 PM   #4 
HarlequinBBRM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangt88 View Post
You know... I never even considered new fin growth. That would be wonderful!

But I'm afraid it might not be the case. I'm not at home right now to look at him but this morning I think I saw one of the wavy edges had gotten deeper so it's started to look like a very short slit in the top of his tail. It was a bit gloomy when I saw him this morning but I THINK i may have seen a slightly darkish tinge to the ends of the "waviness" now, whereas before they were perfectly clear. His tail was perfectly round when I bought him, he was just very small and in dirty water.

I'm wondering if the filter might be bothering him? It doesn't cause too much current in most parts of the tank but there are a couple of spots that if he swims through his fins sway to one side (think tall grass blowing in the wind) Is this too strong of a current? I've already wrapped a piece of thin exercise shirt over the intake of it in an attempt to weaken the flow.

Also: could someone recommend a water change schedule to me? Loung (named after my dad lol) is my first fish and I want him to be clean and happy. Am going to buy him some more plants from the petstore upstairs to see if it can keep the water more still.
I have a 5 gallon and I do two 50% water changes with one good gravel cleaning per week. Another way to baffle a filter would be to attach an aquarium sponge to the outtake, as this will decrease the current without stoping it. I have had great success with this method so far.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:18 PM   #5 
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Bought a gravel vac yesterday and did a 100% water change. I also put about 1 tbsp aq salt in there as per the instructions on the box. I fill it to about 4gal. Is this okay? The splitting has moved in maybe a half millimetre or so since those pictures so they look more like slits rather than wavy edges Hopefully over the next week or so they won't get any deeper. How long does fin-regrowth usually take?

The weird thing is his other fins are in perfect condition. Just his tail is looking a bit ragged. I'm driving myself a bit crazy trying to figure out if his tail is degrading or growing now!!!

I read somewhere that soaking betta food in garlic juice is good for their immune systems so i tried that today. Crushed a fresh clove and soaked up the juices with a couple freeze dried bloodworms. I held them above the water and he jumped for them (new trick I discovered, yay!). The first one he ate, it looked it gave him a little mini siezure. He practically VIBRATED for half a second then spat it out.. But then he went after it again and ate it. He ate another 2 garlicy bloodworms with no problems/siezures. Did I hurt him? Was the garlic flavour shocking? Do fish even HAVE taste buds???

Thanks guys. Doing my best to keep Loung happy and healthy.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:12 AM   #6 
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I'm not sure about the fin siuation as I am experiencing a similar situation this right now with my fish (except it is his dorsal that is thinning and what not...). I remember from some thread that garlic could be used as a means of stimulating appitites in fish, but I'm not sure if it will boost their immune system or not. He probably was excited and intrigued about the taste, and it may have caught him off guard.

I would do 100% changes during the salt baths, and would only do the salt baths for 10 days max. You will probably get more info and ideas on what to do from other more experienced members (like Oldfishlady).

I am interested to see what others say, as it will probably help me too

Good luck with your fish!
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:14 AM   #7 
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Also doing salt baths in a quarentine container that you can float in the main tank to maintain temps would make the 100% changes easier, as well as mixing the solution in a container before to make sure all the salt is disolved and make the correct measurements (i.e 1 tsp per gallon).

And fin growth typically takes about a month or so for full recovery (but each individual fish is different!)

Last edited by HarlequinBBRM; 06-29-2011 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:29 AM   #8 
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Hopefully i can timeline this right in pictures :)) I think your guy is getting new growth as well! It sounds similar to how mine did. I will show you in pictures the best i can...
The day i got him, dull, and small fins..

But healthy... About a week after getting him he started to get clear tips to his fins, unfortunatly i didnt capture a good picture of this but they were thin, transparent and whiteish. In the only pic i have you can see the tips of his tail are very thin, showing the color of the background through them. but looking like your pics in person. This is towards the end of the white tips coloring up, i wish i had pics at the beginning but you can see the obvious size growth in a few weeks time.

About a month into having him the white tips got color in and had a dark edge to them, I worried it was finrot but it wasnt THAT dark, it ended up being a natural dark coloring that brightened to a blue tip... His body also became extremely vibrant two months in (this is getting long now sorry!) ..

Even now i see a tad bit of transparency to his fins yet again, But when they were transparent they were easily frayed but quickly healed, hopefully this is all thats going on with him, hes coloring up and growing his tail out because of good conditions! Keep with your water changes, your doing things right :)
(sorry about the length, im a visual person so i figure maybe a pic-by-pic might be helpful.)

Last edited by Punki; 06-29-2011 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:03 AM   #9 
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Both of my red girls have the faintest black bordering on their tails that's normal for them. I was super worried for a long time but the tails never changed and now it's the only way I can tell them apart, as one girl has a break in the black where her ripped fin grew back. I'd definitely say that with the clear and then the black that it's new growth. Fin rot black is pretty definite and the fins would be a ragged mess by now, too. He would probably be a bit lethargic too and not feeling so good.

And with the garlic, you probably just surprised him with the new flavor the first time. His mini-seizure was probably like "Mmm, this is GOOD!" The garlic will definitely help with his immune system.

He's a handsome, dashing fellow, kind of looks like an action hero with a red cape.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:11 AM   #10 
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it looks like he's been nipping his tail to me. Ichi has a thin, blackish border to his tail, but that was his normal coloring. it's different when it's rot. it looks dead and crusted, i think, or just.. not... right. x: the clear fin, is new growth. means, if he DID have rot or has been nipping, he's growing fin back. just keep his water extra clean for a few weeks. if you have Indian Almond Leaf, add one to his tank. :p
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