Please forgive my fish ignorance. I am a dog person, a Mammal person! But I'm also a compassionate person, so when I go to PetsMart for dog stuff, I avert my eyes from the poor liitle fish in the cups. I can't say why, but just that once I did'nt. I peered into one particularly filthy cup and made eye contact with a little whitish, reddish fish. I'm sure yall have heard it all before, " I'll rescue you, tiny dude " I said to the fish. I bought a 1 gallon bowl, a plastic plant, water conditioner, gravel and betta flakes. The sales lady assured me this was a fish for begginers. I believed her of course, after all, if he could live in that filthy cup, surely he would be easy to care for. Ha! The sales lady said I had all I needed - piece of cake.
I first went on line because he kept spitting out his flakes. That's were I learned that he needed heat ( my house is cold ), so I wrapped a blanket around his bowl and rushed to the PetsMart for a bowl heater and thermometer. Got some pellets and dried worms too. He began to swim lopp-sided, back to the forums were I learned about over feeding and CONSTPATION! Seriously? I rushed out for green peas, then back out again for a new turkey baster to suck out uneaten peas. Yay! He pooped and swimming like a champ...but Oh NO, his fins are knarled up! Back to forum to learn about amonia, bacteria, water changes ( DAILY! ) and FIN ROT! I rushed out to buy a 2.5 gallon set-up with filter, melefix. No good, he gets tossed around by the filter! Back to the store for 5 gallon set up, tall silk plant ( to block the little filter) and aquarium salt. Oh, better heater with thermostate to keep temp stable. SO, all this in a months time. Alot of drama for the little guy ( AND ME! ). He looks awful. His fins and tail are vanishing at an alarming rate. He eats and swims fine. How do I get rid of this rot? Is melefix enough? My big question is this.... how do I carry out his treatment and water changes without stressing him further? It was his bad luck to be " rescued " by a person ignorant of his needs! He's been through so much. So sorrOne day ago with
Little Perry is NOW in a 5 gallon tank with built in mini filter. Heater set to 79. All new water 1 day ago, added 1/2 teaspoon aquarium salt. He has a two story " cave " that was in his original 1 gallon bowl ( could it be contaminated? I rinsed it in hot water- no soap ). I feed him two or three Hikari pellets ( soaked in his water first ) twice a day. 1 or 2 worms for treat. Added 1/2 teaspoon melefix today. Stopped filter per bottle instuctions ( is that right? ) HELP! PLEASE!
Last edited by willabean; 08-01-2011 at 12:46 AM.
Reason: add info
Hello there and welcome to the forum and I'm soooo sorry that you're having such a hard time!!! But it sounds like you're doing all you can for him, and that's the important thing!!! First off, stop using the melafix, its actually harmful for bettas and it won't do much for the rot. Quarantine him in a small container (the container you bought him in is fine) and float it in the heated 5 gallon to maintain the proper temperature (you can tape the container to the side if it won't float, or clip it with any kind of clip). If the rot is mild, you can do an aquarium salt treatment to get rid of it. 1 tsp per gallon should do the trick. If its severe, then you may want to medicate. Petsmart sells a medication called Maracyn, and that should do the job. It may also be worth your while to pick up Stress Coat + while you're there. Its a special water conditioner that helps promote fin regrowth. Keep him in the cup until the rot clears away and you start to see new growth on his fins. Also remember to change the water in the cup everyday until he's ready to go back in his tank. Good luck, and let us know if you have any more questions!
If you put him in the cup or a QT (quarantine tank) one way to make sure you dont over do the aquarium salt is to mix every thing in a clean 1 gal milk jug and yes get stress coat i love it! like indyfishy said do the salt treatment, just premix it for the cup, and keep him warm, what i do is i add alil of the stress coat to the water in the jug with the salt, that way the water is conditioned, also a tip for pre-mixing add maybe 1/4 warm-hot water in the jug, add salt then shake or swirl just to dissolve the salt then add rest of water. petstore fish can be prone to issues like this due to the conditions they live in, i hope this helps you!
Also, don't stress too much!! It's going to be okay, fin rot is a common thing and its fairly easy to get rid of!! We can figure all this confusing stuff out together and then everything will be alright =)
Maggielynn is 100% right, premixing the treatment will help you out alot when doing the water changes!
Willabean, welcome to the forum, we're so glad to have you. First, I agree with Indyfishy. Don't stress! You're doing great! In fact, you're doing super because you've done research and you've gotten all the things you need (heater etc).
Bettas are really good beginner's fish, they just require a little more than they tell you at the pet store. Good rule of thumb: don't believe anything they tell you in pet stores about bettas. Chances are it's wrong.
On your little guy's fins, do they have black edges and does it look like large chunks came off in days? Or does it look like maybe somebody took bites out of them? If you're stressed about all the changes, it's possible your guy was a little stressed too (not your fault, it was all for the best for him) and maybe bit his tail and fins a bit. If the edges are not black and ragged, it may not be fin rot.
I would definitely recommend using aquarium salt. Start with 1 tsp per gallon for now. Follow MaggieLynn's advice and dissolve the salt in a 1 gallon jug of dechlorinated water. Fill up his little container with this and set him in his heated tank. Do daily water changes using the water in the jug, make up a new mixture as needed. If, after five days of this treatment, his fins do not look better, you can try upping the dosage to 2 tsps as GunsABlazing suggests. Continue this treatment (with daily water changes) for another five days. If his fins still look awful, then it's time to start a medicine. Post back and we can talk about a good one to use.
I really hope all the info everyone has provided helps little Perry and don't worry, you're doing great. Perry is waaaay better off being rescued by you than wasting away in his filthy cup. Hang in there!
So if I restart the filter will it remove the Melefix? Should I clean the whole tank out while he's in his cup? His fins first just looked ragged, then SHORT! Sorry to sound hysterical, but it's so gruesome to watch him get whittled away by bacteria! Aghhh! I saw the pix of a fish with no fins or tail left and I would HATE that for the little guy. If anyone had tried to tell me a fish could be charming, I would have laughed and thought he or she was crazy, but Perry really is! He's clever too. He seems to get more excited when he sees the can of blood worms which he likes more than the nuggets. It's very hard to resist his begging, I will though because the pea thing WAS stressful!
Thanks again to all for the warm welcome. I'll put the new "plan" to action immediatly!
Yes, I believe the filter should remove the Melafix. You can also hurry the process along with a water change if you feel up to it. If there's no black on his fins, he probably was biting a bit. Also, if he had fin rot, he probably would show other signs of not feeling well like lethargy and not eating.
A lot of bettas do tailbite when stressed and it's not just the tails. They're surprisingly flexible and can bite pretty much any fin they want except their pelvic fins (the cute little flappy ones). Here's my guy Crichton who bit off everything after a major scare (cat fell in a tank next to his and kicked his tank).
I know, it looks awful, doesn't it? But despite how he looks, he doesn't have fin rot. He's been in AQ salt for five days now and is showing new growth, which you'll recognize as a clear film at the ends of his fins. It's amazing how fast the fins do grow back. I'm showing this to you to give you hope that Perry's situation may not be as bad as it looks, so take heart. The two of you will get through this.
I know, doesn't he? I guess a cat falling in the tank next to his totally wore on his nerves 'cause I took a nap and when I woke up two hours later, he looked like this. I thought I was still asleep and having a nightmare, haha.