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Old 08-28-2011, 12:22 AM   #1 
ErrantWhimsy
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Exclamation Severe Fin Damage on Crowntail!

I joined this forum just to ask about this. I have had betta fish on and off for about 8 years. Every time I get one I research them to remind myself about their care. Their aquariums have gotten significantly more complex as time goes on and I learn more. I am not free of mistakes, but my goal is always the best possible care for my pets.

Right now I have two betta fish, a beautiful crowntail male named Roshan and a little veiltail female named Aloine. They are in a split 5.5 gallon tank with filter and heater.

I had to leave the state for the summer, so I left my fish in the care of my family. Turns out not only did the filter die, they only changed the water once. So I came back to an algae covered tank and this.
I think it may be fin rot.

This poor fish has had awful luck with his fins. When I first got him, he was grey and pathetic looking and his fins looked awful. With real food, and a decent tank, he turned out to be iridescent purple, blue, silver, and red.

Then my roommate's pet rat knocked down the barrier back when I had another male in the divided tank, and the entire crowntail edges of his fins were eaten off. (About a year and a half ago) Just when he had nearly his full gorgeous fins again, they appear to be breaking off.

I intend to go to the pet store tomorrow to get him his own tank to heal in. Does this look like fin rot to you? If so, what should I do to help his fins grow back to their full gorgeous crowntail glory?

I should mention I had plastic plants in the tank as well, as I did not know they would tear the fins. He likes to sleep on them, so I think that contributed to the problem.

So my shopping list for tomorrow:
-New tank setup
-Live or Fabric plants
-Fin rot meds?
-Hiding places that won't hurt fins (suggestions?)

Last edited by ErrantWhimsy; 08-28-2011 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:36 AM   #2 
Micho
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First off, welcome to the forums. Yeah it looks like fin rot. I can't really see because of the picture quality but if there is black or red on the edge of the fins/tail, it's probably fin rot.

To treat it you'll have to use AQ (Aquarium) salt, this isn't regular salt, and you'll have to buy it at your pet store. Be sure to not confuse it with Epsom salt. With AQ salt add 1 tsp/gal it's easier if you get a one gallon jug and mix it in the jug and pour it into your quarantine tank. Also 100% water changes everyday, add Stress Coat to help speed up the repair of the tissue.

And about the plastic plants, basic trick to see if they'll rip/tear your Bettas fins is to take some nylon and run it across the plant, if it snags/tears the nylon, it'll probably snag/tear your Betta fins.

Also about hiding places for your Betta, caves would be good. Make sure the entrance to the cave is smooth and not rough so it won't hurt your Betta.

Keep up updated!
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:39 AM   #3 
ErrantWhimsy
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AQ salt

I actually consistently keep AQ salt in their tanks, so hopefully that will help him heal. It does cause an obnoxious film to form at the top of the water, but I just strain it off. That's a nice trick about the nylon.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:13 AM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErrantWhimsy View Post
I actually consistently keep AQ salt in their tanks, so hopefully that will help him heal. It does cause an obnoxious film to form at the top of the water, but I just strain it off. That's a nice trick about the nylon.
You shouldn't consistently put AQ salt in their water, since Bettas are freshwater fish. It could damage their organs. >:
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:21 AM   #5 
ErrantWhimsy
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Arg

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Originally Posted by Micho View Post
You shouldn't consistently put AQ salt in their water, since Bettas are freshwater fish. It could damage their organs. >:
Well that is the last time I listen to pet store employees. So I should only use it until the fin rot goes away?
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:30 AM   #6 
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Originally Posted by ErrantWhimsy View Post
Well that is the last time I listen to pet store employees. So I should only use it until the fin rot goes away?
Haha yes most employees at pet stores usually know nothing about what they're talking about. Even if they have a good heart.

Anyways, it's recommended to keep your Betta in a quarantine tank, something around 1 gallon, it makes it easier to do 100% changes everyday. Keep using the AQ salt, if there is no improvement in 5 days check back with us. Also AQ salt treatment should not be carried out for more than 10 days.
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:51 AM   #7 
earthworm88
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Hello ErrantWhimsy,

Sorry to hear your guy has been having fin troubles. As Micho advised, pre-dissolve 1 tsp of AQ in a 1 gal jug and pour into the QT, add conditioner of course and Stress coat/guard if you have any, mix well before putting your betta in.

From the photo, it is difficult the confirm the fin rot. However, I suspect that your betta may also be a tail biter as the torn part could easily be bite marks as well as the fact that fin rot alone probably won't give you such uniform symmetrical patterns. I am not sure how visible Aloine from next door was to him, but he could have gotten frustrated too not being able to get near? More detail or brighter photo would probably help to see the extend of the fin rot etc.

As for long term AQ treatment, you will find two schools of thoughts. One group condones salt treatment (smaller dosage of course) preemptively to keep certain organisms away, but I am in the opposite camp. Logically, these are freshwater fish, and their kidneys do not work the same way as humans, so long term usage will likely damage their kidneys and possibly ineffective when you really need it to work or may require higher dosage which could kill the fish altogether.

Plastic plants are perfectly fine if they have smooth edges which you could try using panty hose for a snag test as Micho suggested. If you don't want to deal with live plants, silk plants would be the next option.

I don't think you will need any fin rot meds as AQ and stress coat/guard should be sufficient. Most importantly is the super clean water, make sure you change the water daily, feed him high protein diet such as frozen bloodworm or brine shrimp etc will help the fin regrowth quickly.

Good luck.

Cheers! :)
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:26 AM   #8 
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i've heard that CTs won't grow their rays back the same way they were before, but i found that to be false with a CT i saved from walmart. he had fin rot pretty bad, but now he has the biggest, prettiest fins ever.

if you can get some Indian Almond Leaf, or other form of tannins, that'll help his fins grow back pretty. :3
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:16 PM   #9 
ErrantWhimsy
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So when I first looked at his fins about a week ago (when I changed the water) they had little black dots along the edges, visible only really with a flashlight. I took a flashlight to look at them again today, and I see no black or red along the edges!

Does that mean he is starting to heal?
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