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Old 08-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Unhappy I can't beat my betta's fin rot! Please help!!!

My betta has had fin rot for over a month now and I've tried different meds and changing the water, but nothing helps. I've read it can take time, but it's only getting worse. I don't know what else to do and the pet store has not been any help! I've answered your questions below the best I could.

Also, I had two Mollies in the same tank before the betta but they died. I washed out and cleaned the tank before getting my betta, but could it be possible there is something from the other fish? The store said they had Molly Disease.

Please help!

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallon

What temperature is your tank? Averages 75-79
Does your tank have a filter? It did, but my betta kept getting stuck so I took it out. He was constantly fighting the current.

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No

Is your tank heated? No

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon, Betta Food

How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x/day, 3 pellets


How often do you perform a water change? Initially it was every 2 weeks, but now it's 2x/week

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 75%

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? 1/4 tsp of aquaium salt, "Pime" water conditioner, and that fin rot medicine, m elafix.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
No. I was told by the petstore that the water conditioner would even everything out and there was no need to worry about testing it.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He's a little darker in color, and his fins are continually getting shorter. Lately I've noticed white stuff on his fins as well, but it looks more like they're dissolving rather than it being a growth of some type. He's a crown tail betta, if that helps.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He lays around a little more, but not much else has changed.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? A little over a month ago.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes. Changing the water 2x/week and 2 different medications. The first was powder form of Mardel's Myacin, but then was recommended the liquid form of Melafix.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not except for this. He was happy and healthy, until this hit, and it won't go away.

How old is your fish (approximately)? About 3 months.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:22 AM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta isn't well....are you sure he is not tail/fin biting....can you post a pic.....

What I would recommend right now...stop all medications and start fresh/dechlorinated water treatment for 2 days and then QT and start Epsom salt 2tsp/gal(Not aquarium salt), tannins along with 100% water changes for 10 days.

In the 2.5gal unfiltered tank-start making 50% water changes every hour for 2 hours today and tomorrow make 100% water change-using only like temp dechlorinated water.......then the following day....

QT in a small container that can be floated in the heated tank..your goal temp is 76F
Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlroinated water-Add Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL or dried Oak leaf...let the premixed treatment water steep for 30min-1hr to allow the tannins to release and salt to dissolve...shake well before use......use this premixed water for 50% water changes every hour for 2 hours...then the next day start 100% daily water changes for 10 more days......

Nutrition- use several different type of food...the more varied the better...feed small amount several times a day....nutrition is really important for fin growth and general well need to work on his immune response with diet and quality water....

Over treating and using a lot of different products in the water can make the fish toxic and why he needs a couple of days out of all the products before you start the Epsom salt treatment

If he is not biting-you should start to see new growth within 4-6 days.....depending on how bad the fin-he may never look the same.....full re-growth can take weeks to months depending on the cause, genetics, age, nutrition....

Good luck and keep us posted.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 08-12-2011 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:45 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Thanks, I'll definately try that and will keep you posted!!! One question, what are tannins and would PetsMart have it?

I've attached a picture but he's not fond of cameras! haha! :)
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:59 AM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
He is a lovely fella.....

Tannins-usually you can't find them at pet shops.....I use Oak leaf from my oak trees...naturally dried and fallen from the tree...10-12 crushed per gallon of can usually get IAL (Indian almond leaf) online....
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:11 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Hi! I'm sorry to bother you again....

I had a heck of a time finding oak leaves so tried one more treatment (Myacin2), but that didn't work either. I finally found some leaves and got some salt but have couple questions about your recommendation.

1) Do you leave the crushed leaves in the water with the betta when you change out the water?

2) I use the treatment water for the 10 days, correct?

3) From everything I read, fin rot should be easy to treat. Do you think it could be something else or I just got a stubborn case?
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:50 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA are not bothering us......ask all the questions you need......

Did he perk up after the clean/dechlorinated water changes for a couple of days without any medications/products other than the dechlorinator....

How are the fins looking now-still getting shorter or has that stopped......did you rule out fin/tail biting

Fin tips-do they look black/discolored, crusty, ragged...can you see any clear or white color on the tips of the fins

In the premixed jug of treatment water with the crushed dried Oak leaf-its not uncommon for some of the leaf bits to fall in the QT container when changing the water...this is fine...nothing to worry can sometimes be something for them to play with and even be seen hiding under or grazing on microorganism that may be on them.....

When using Epsom salt-this is safe to use long term-I give treatment time-lines so you will have a goal and not over treat or treat any longer than needed, however, you don't want to use aquarium salt longer than 10 days-14 days max without a 2 day break before it is re-started....

I recommended Epsom salt to help clean his system due to all the products/medication you had used...over treating can sometimes be worse than under treating in some cases....

Epsom salt also has the antibacterial/fungal properties like aquarium salt that can assist with fin issues...along with the tannins-this adds even more helpful properties that can encourage healing, ease stress, toughen scales, lower pH a tiny bit...etc......

Can you post an up-dated pic....
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:15 PM   #7 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Thanks for making it comfortable to ask questions! :)

Yes he did perk up and blows bubbles a bit when there is no treatment in the water so I've been giving him a few breaks here and there! :)

I just did the 50% change to acclimate him to the salt/leave treatment about an hour ago and he seems to be doing ok...

How do you rule out fin biting? I've been watching and the fins keep getting shorter and have dark/black tips, but I can't tell if they're crusty. A couple do look a bit jagged (going at 90 degree angles or look like they're about to fall off), and others are shrinking w/ the dark tips. Also, some of his intitial fins are gone and I'm worried whatever it is may be close to getting to his body. You can see it a bit on the front of his dorsal fin. :(

There also is a white residue/thin coating on the bottom half of the long fins, but that comes and goes and it's not on all of them.

One last thing I've noticed is very small white tips on a couple of the front ones. They don't appear on the picture and are very small, but I was told to look at that as possible regrowth. Is that true? If so, should I not use the treatment?

I'm sorry it's not the best picture, but thank you for your help!
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:37 PM   #8 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
The white on the two ventral fins is most likely normal pigment and part of his normal coloration.....usually with new growth you will see the once frayed edges appear clear or white before they color up and depending on the Bettas base color the dark or black edges can be normal coloration.....the frayed crusty appearance is what you want to look for..

It can be really hard to catch them in the act of tail biting...often the fin will look like a bite has been taken out, you may see fin pieces laying in the tank, jagged looking or irregular edges-but this can be much harder to tell with CT since their tails are already kinda

If he is overall acting his normal self and eating-sometimes its a good idea to stop all treatments and give their system a rest and just do clean/dechlorinated water treatments....50-100% daily for a week to 10 days and then re-eval...unless they get worse or symptoms change before that time frame.......sometimes you have to rule out things one at a time as a cause.....
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