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Old 08-20-2011, 12:06 AM   #1 
Pucky21811
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Hole in Dorsal: It looks terrible!

My poor Puck, my CT, has had fin rot for almost as long as I've had him... Unfortunately I only discovered this about a month ago (new and was naive to Betta care). The only reason this was brought to my attention was because of a hole in his dorsal fin. It has progressively gotten worse despite treatment and I'm very concerned!

Housing
What size is your tank? 1.5 bowl (I am trying to get a 3 gallon Kritter Keeper asap)
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Not at the moment, but it has a heater
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Freeze dried blood worms flakes and pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? flakes and pellets once a day, and bloodworms 2-3 times a week (Bloodworms only bought 2 days ago)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner, 1/2 tsp of API aquarium salts (only 4 days of treatment)

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? The hole in his dorsal fin, caused by more than likely serious fin rot, has not healed and in fact gotten worse. Even though his fins are making rapid improvement, this hole seems to be getting uglier by the day.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not at all; since I moved him to a bigger bowl 2 weeks ago, gave him higher protein food, heated his tank and added a toy this past week he has been so happy!
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Fin rot: 3 weeks ago Hole becoming worse: this morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 100% daily water changes, 1/2 tsp API Aquarium Salt with changes
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for almost 4 months

Four days ago I bought him the Floating Betta Log toy. I did a nylon test on it and it passed. Puck loves it, but since the hole in his fin is there, could it still be snagging since its probably really sensitive?

Pictures below: Some are from the recent past:In order:
1. July 30: when I noticed how bad the hole was. He was in a tiny bowl, which is why he was so down
2. July 31 (I moved him into a bigger bowl, and he was already happier! This was, what I thought would be, the worst of his hole problem)
3. August 4th (His hole decreased incredibly!) Note: On August sixth, I went on a trip out of state I couldn't avoid, and the person who took care of my pets went out a bought Bettafix for him and used it for a whole week on him. They mentioned Bettafix to me but I didn't do any research on it. Now I know he's lucky to be alive!
4. August 13th: after I returned from the trip. His hole looked a little bigger, but I didn't think much of it.
5. Today: it seems that two holes have merged into one and is being held on, literally, by a thread of his fin. Note: between pictures 4 and 5, I bought API Salt, a heater, a thermometer and the floating betta log.

Thank you so much!
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:23 AM   #2 
Pataflafla
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Up the dosage of aq salt to 1 tsp/gal. If it hasn't cleared up in 5 days, up the dose again to 2 tsp/gal. Keep up with your current water change schedule.

Also, you may want to cut back on the freeze dried bloodworms to a once a week treat deal instead of what you're currently doing now. I think with it being freeze dried, it's equated to junk food for us. Feed a majority of pellets because flakes can cloud the water pretty quickly as well as cause more bloating issues.

Otherwise I think you're doing good. In a 1.5 without aq salt I think you can get away with 1 75% water change and 1 100% change a week instead of 100% every day.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:37 AM   #3 
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Thank you so much Pataflafla!

I'm on the fourth day of treatment; I read somewhere that its not a good idea to do a salt treatment more than 10 days. The fins have started to grow back, but the hole seems to be getting worse. Should I up to 1tsp or 2 next water change? And, in case I find I need to do another salt treatment in the near future, how long should I wait before treating him again?

About the bloodworms: thank you for telling me that. I fed them to him for the first time last night, and I noticed this morning he was a little bloated. When I saw him down to normal size this evening I figured the food was richer than he was used to, that must be the case then. I will only do once a week then. Just in case, however, would it be safe to do an Epsom salt treatment, if necessary, at the same time as AQ salts?

It's also a relief to know how often I can do water changes after the treatment, so thank you. I will be heading back to school in one week and it will be easier to do water changes less than daily, so thank you. Especially until I get my 3 gallon Kritter Keeper, which will make me and Puck, I'm sure, so much happier.

Thank you so much!
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:43 AM   #4 
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At the dosage you're using, it's not really considered an effective treatment. For now play it by ear and up the dose next water change. See how he is after a day with that dose, and if it's getting better continue with that until it's either gone or the 10 days has been reached. It should be gone fairly quick with a treatment dose.

I'd personally, wait a week before treating again, but be sure to keep the water clean. Too much salt is bad for them, so it doesn't need to be a constant thing.

As far as epsom salt goes, I don't use it together simply because I view it as a lot of salt at once. Since he only gets minorly bloated and the water is a good temp for him, just try flaring him for a few minutes. That usually helps them poop. Fasting for a day may also solve the problem. My crown tail Ratchet bloats pretty easily since he's squat, so I usually feed him small meals throughout the day and fast as needed.

Only use the epsom salt if he hasn't pooped for a few days and is still bloating. Dosage is the same as aq salt. 1 tsp/gal for general, and up for more severe cases. Water change requirements are pretty much the same for it as well, but it's safe for long term use if needed.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:54 AM   #5 
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Thank you so much! Such a great help! Everyone on this forum has been so helpful and quick to respond, and have really nursed my obsession with Betta. I can't stop talking about Betta fish to my friends and family, and even my mom looked at me the other day and said I seemed happiest when I'm taking care of the fish. Puck alone is my favorite hobby right now, and I definitely plan on saving more from Wal Mart and Petsmart once I have the necessities and betta care down really well, in case another betta I obtain is a little more needy than Puck. Thank you guys for my new addiction!!!
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:56 AM   #6 
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No problem. Let us know how he does, alright? Hopefully it isn't a persistent rot and will go away quickly.

Good luck getting that kritter keeper too. They're definitely wallet savers and good tanks.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:40 AM   #7 
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Hi Pucky, sorry to hear that your betta puck hasn't been doing well.
Sat on this too long and forgot to send....
looks like you are in good hands!

Last edited by earthworm88; 08-20-2011 at 01:43 AM. Reason: sidetracked
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:19 AM   #8 
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Hey earthworm!
Thank you for the kindness! I always like to hear second opinions, agreements and/or other suggestions. Thank you guys again! I'll keep his progress posted :)
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:21 PM   #9 
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Hello again everyone!
Puck's hole has not been improving with the two days of the 1tsp of salt daily. In fact, his hole has been getting so much worse. It looks like his dorsal is barely controlled by him anymore. The rest of his fins are healing wonderfully from the fin rot, and they became more rapid when I started doing the 1tsp a day treatment. From the other day when I posted the picture of the hole being held on by a thread. When I woke up this morning, I was in complete joy to see another ray had attached itself in the hole to start sewing it together. Sadly, when I stupidly put the mirror up against his bowl for his daily flaring exercise, he got so excited, or anxious, that he broke both "connections" to his fins. Any advice? I'm worried that eventually his dorsal might just fall off....
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:25 PM   #10 
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If it's still getting worse, then you could try upping the salt to 2 tsp/gal with 100% changes every day. Hold off on the flaring and feed him a high protein diet. I've found that bettas love chunks of sun dried krill. They're very high in protein but do cause a bit of constipation.

If it's still not looking better after a few days of this dose, I'd look into getting some medication to help fight of the infection.
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