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Old 08-01-2011, 03:10 AM   #1 
Christie
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Stampy's fins

I'm kinda new to the beta world so I'm not sure about the lingo but I have a beta named Stampy. He is a half moon or full moon beta. His fins were beautiful and smooth edges when I got him. His fins started looking tattered. I put him in a 5 gallon tank with a filter and heater that I keep around 79F. I use fresh ready water from the pet store because the water conditioners don't seem to be good enough for the crappy water quality of the city. His fins kept getting tattered so I read that it could be fin rot. I don't want his fins to disappear. I read that you can add aquarium salt to the water to help fighting bacteria. I have done this and I know when I add water not to add more salt because salt doesnt evaporate. I do know when I vacuum I need to put salt in the water being added. Some days I think his fins are getting better and other days I think not. What can I do for him to keep the water healthy and bacteria free? I am really worried about his fins. I have tested the water and it seems fine. I change the filter. I have live plants. What else can I do? I want him happy and healthy.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:34 AM   #2 
Christie
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I want you to see him... Is there a way to post a pic on here from my iPhone?
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:08 AM   #3 
Sakura8
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Hi Christie and welcome to the forum. Uhm, I'm not sure if there's a way to post a pic from an iPhone. Do Stampy's fins have black edges on the bottom and is he missing large chunks of his fins? If so, it could be fin rot. If not, it could just be the way his fins are. Halfmoon bettas are really prone to fin tears because their tail shape is the biggest and most fragile of all the tail varieties. First thing to do is check and make sure there's nothing in the aquarium that he could be catching his fins on, like sharp plastic plants or decor. If he still gets little tears and rips after you've ruled out plants, then it's probably just the way his tail is. My halfmoon's tail is always looking a little tattered no matter what I do.

You can use aquarium salts but since you have live plants in your tank, you'll have to take Stampy out of the big 5g and put him in something smaller like a 1 gallon bowl or a small cup. The dosage of aquarium salts is 1 tsp per gallon and you'll want to dissolve it first with a little bit of tank water before pouring it in. Keep him in the salt for 10 days. While he is in his little QT container, do daily water changes and redo the salt mixture. It helps to mix up the salt mixture in a big 1 gallon jug, like the kind you can get spring water in. Then you can just pour it in for the daily water change.

Also, what kind of water conditioner were you using? If you use a conditioner like API Stress Coat or Seachem Prime, most city waters shouldn't be a problem. Those are very good conditioners.

I hope this helps you. Keep us posted.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:52 PM   #4 
Christie
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Thank you!

I really don't remember the water conditioner but I remember when I tested it it said the water was very hard so I didn't want that to be the problem so I had started buying ready water. I will go get one of those conditioners you mentioned today because it is getting really expensive changing and adding this ready water as often as I am. I DO have a coral decor thing in his tank. It's very pretty and I thought maybe entertaining for him BUT if that could be part of the problem I won't put it in there. Sometimes his fins look a little black on the edges and honestly, sometimes white on the edges. When they are kinda white I think they are growing back because they start looking better. Then it just comes back. He is in the tank with a Cory cat but they seem to get along just fine. They leave eachother alone. I was only using 1 tablespoon of aquarium per 5 gallons. That was the box recommendation. I am a little worried to put more salt in for the Cory (named Chum) but I do have another tank I don't use so I'll just separate them and have NO coral or anything rough. Thanks for your tips. It is very much appreciated!
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:23 PM   #5 
Christie
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Aaaaahhhh! Ok I have two Fluval 5 gallon tanks so I isolated him from the coral, the plants and treated some water and added the salt. Now he keeps jumping out!!! He jumped out twice. The second time I was gone. I can get a new tank with a lid BUT I want to make sure he isn't jumping out because he doesn't like the water? Is that a reason they might try to jump out?
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:10 PM   #6 
Sakura8
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Is he twitching a lot before he jumps out? Can you cover the tanks with cling wrap? Poke holes in it so there's air. He never tried to jump before even though the tank was open? It's definitely possible he might be reacting to the salt water. :/ Some do. If you think that may be the problem, go back to non-salt water and see if he keeps trying to jump.

One way to see if the coral decoration is sharp is to take a pair of nylons and run them over the decor. If it snags, then it's too sharp and can snag fins too.

If you do get a tank with a lid, maybe try and get a 10g. Then you can get 3 more cory cats because they really love being in groups. Plus, they're a lot cuter in groups, too.

One other question, how often do you change the water and how much do you take out?
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:43 PM   #7 
Christie
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I generally try to change out 1 of the 5 gallons. Once in a while I do a complete change out if his fins look too bad. I do the 1 gallon change maybe every 10 days or so? Is that bad? He was kinda twitchy. Almost like he was attacking the glass. In the past the only time he has ever jumped out is for food. I kinda made the mistake of making him jump and giving me kisses for food. It's really cute but now I see it's kinda irresponsible. He is probably trying to attack my my face for food rather than give me kisses but it looks like he is giving me kisses. He over shot my lips once and fell in the floor and I stopped doing it because it scared me. I had salt in there before but just the one tablespoon per 5 gallons. Maybe the teaspoon per gallon was just too much for him? I'm going to the store again to just get the ready water and add the small amount of salt. I just hope he is ok. :/
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:42 PM   #8 
Sakura8
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Yes, maybe the teaspoon per gallon WAS too much, not all bettas can tolerate it. Twitching is definitely a sign he was NOT liking the salt. If you want, you can try the tablespoon per 5 gallons for 5 days and see if that helps him.

Well, it sounds like another reason Stampy's fins are a little torn is because of the water quality. For a 5 gallon tank that has a filter, you'll want to do one 50% change a week. If the tank doesn't have a filter, it's two changes a week, one 50% and one 100% (it doesn't have to be 100% per se, it can be 95% if you want to leave Stampy in the tank). You can also do two 50% a week. Unless Stampy is sick, like he is now, the only thing you'll ever need to add is the Stress Coat or Prime.

If you get on a schedule of weekly water changes, then I think Stampy's fins will begin to heal up quickly. The poor water quality means there's a lot of ammonia in the water that can burn his fins and gills, that's probably why his fins are shredding.

Bettas are really quite trainable, aren't they? Although you're right, Stampy probably was thinking food when he went for your face, it's still cute that he could be trained to do that. However, it's more incredible how easily our bettas can train US. They wiggle and give us the "look" and we just melt and want to feed them. It's hard to resist but it's for their own good that we don't feed them whenever they beg, haha.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:03 PM   #9 
Christie
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Ok, can you tell me exactly what you put in the water when you do a full change out? I just don't think I'm doing it right. My fish are just not happy when I use tap water and the conditioner. I don't want to have to buy ready water every time I change water. This last change out I used nutrafin tap water conditioner and nutrafin biological aquarium supplement and the tablespoon of salt. Is that a problem? I feel so stupid but I'm trying to do the right thing. Thank you for all of your help.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:28 PM   #10 
Sakura8
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Don't feel stupid, taking care of fish is a constant learning process. And all of us were once completely new to fish care, too.

When I do a full water change, I only put in my API Stress Coat Water conditioner. That's it. The Stress Coat detoxifies chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals as well as neutralizing ammonia. Nutrafin is a good brand, too, so you can continue using that if you like. You don't need to add in the biological agent, those don't do anything at all and will actually screw up the cycle of your filter. And you don't need the salt either. If you use salt on a constant basis, it's possible your fish will develop an immunity to it so when you NEED to use salt for treatment, it won't work. Also, long-term salt use can damage the kidneys.

And that's it. Just the water conditioner, that's all you need. Since you have a filter, you only need to do one 50% change a week to keep the water clean.

Can you describe how your fish act when you just use tap water and conditioner? It is possible you may need to slowly switch your fish from ready water to tap water so they are not shocked.
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