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Old 08-07-2011, 11:09 AM   #1 
fishcurl
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Concern with Flambé's Tail

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80F but I turned the heater down a notch today
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Gleep the moss ball

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? mostly NLS Betta Pellets with frozen brine shrimp/bloodworms as occasional treat.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets in the morning, 2 at night. Fast on Mondays.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Whenever ammonia reaches .25 ppm or once a week. In the last two weeks I've done 3 changes.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Usually Prime, but today's change I added API Stress Coat. I also use API Leaf Zone.

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.3-ish, was hard to tell
Hardness: ?
Alkalinity: ?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
Flambé is a crowntail. A few days ago I noticed the tip of one of his caudal "rays" was looking a teensy tiny bit ratty - like little pieces were missing here and there. I looked for red or black lines and didn't see anything. I thought perhaps I hadn't noticed it before and he might have just come like that.

Late last night I noticed something cottony trailing off the tip of a caudal ray. It was tiny, maybe 2 mm long? It was too late to do anything so I left it till this morning. This morning the cottony thing is gone. I did the water change and added Stress Coat because I heard it helps regrow fins.

I flared him just now with a mirror and the tips of some of his caudal rays are looking translucent. I can't see the ratty fin anymore but that doesn't mean much - he wiggles so much that I can't get a good look. I also noticed that two rays look stuck/clamped together. The rest of the caudal fin looks fine.
All his other fins seem fine, too.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? So far, nothing out of the ordinary. He's still swimming around, exploring, eating well.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Two days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? API Stress Coat
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not since I've had him
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea. But he's big so he must be an adult. I've only had him 2 weeks.

Here's hoping this isn't anything out of the ordinary and I'm just being paranoid. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #2 
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I managed to get a picture of him. Sorry it's not as clear as it could be because he's a quick little dude.

I've circled the translucent tips, the area of the caudal fin that appears clamped, as well as a something on his dorsal fin.

The bit on his dorsal fin was there when I got him. It's whitish/translucent-ish. I thought perhaps it might've been an old tear? I've been monitoring it closely and it seems to be improving. It's just not going away though.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:55 AM   #3 
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So if I'm right, this appears to be fin damage? I'd start him on aquarium salt, 1 tsp per gallon until someone else with more experience can help. Sorry I wasn't much of a help!
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:31 PM   #4 
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Thank you for responding :)

Is that what it looks like? Fin damage? I wasn't sure what with that cottony-thing that was attached to his fin at one point.

So if I do the AQ salt treatment, do I take him out and put in a smaller tank? Or do I treat the whole 5 gallons?
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:43 PM   #5 
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Does anyone else have any thoughts? I don't want to over treat him but I don't want to let it get out of hand if it is the start of something serious.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:02 PM   #6 
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The clear or whitish/clear tips sound like new fin growth. However since you saw something cottony and white, then there is still a problem that needs addressing... I'm just not sure what it is, or how to help, sorry.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:00 PM   #7 
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Thank you, Silverfang.

I've been suspecting the same - new fin growth - but I'm a worried mother hen when it comes to these things. The cottony stuff hasn't appeared since. No idea what it was or where it went.

At this point I'm starting to think I'm just a paranoid new fish mom. I'll continue to keep a close eye on him and if the UCO (unidentified cotton object) appears again, I'll try to get a pic.

Thanks everyone for your help and thoughts. I really appreciate it :)
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:26 AM   #8 
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To be clear, the cottony object was on his fins, not his body? It could have been a bit of excess slime coat sloughing away, or a bit of fin tearing off. Is he acting normally otherwise? All his other fins look good to me and any translucent spots are new growth. Check his decor to make sure there is nothing sharp he can snag his fins on.

Stick with the Stress Coat for now, watch him closely. If the cottony thing comes back, definitely try to get a pic.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #9 
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Thanks for taking a look, Sakura :)

Yes, that's right - it was just a teeny bit of cottony fluff trailing from the tip of one of his fins. Nowhere on his body. I can't see any trace of that one ratty caudal ray, whatever it was must've healed up. When I set up his tank I made sure his decor was silk plants, rounded stones, and sealed away the rough spots on the inside of the arch.

He's still acting fine and inquisitive this morning.

Though I noticed that there's a distinct rounded bump on his body near the anal fin. Does this mean he's constipated? :o
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:01 AM   #10 
Sakura8
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Does that rounded bump look anything like the bump on my fish in my avatar? If so, it's perfectly normal. I just learned recently from Fightergirl that it's the caudal peduncle. I always thought it was the, uhm, sperm bank.
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