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Old 08-15-2011, 08:26 PM   #1 
fuzzlyzoo
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Start of fin rot?

I left my betta in the care of my boyfriend for a week while I was on vacation. He didn't get a water change the whole week. When I came back I noticed a small hole in his dorsal fin and some raged edging on his caudal fin. The first attached picture is from the day before I left, the second is from this morning.

So is this fin rot? And how do I treat it?

Housing
What size is your tank? 5gal
What temperature is your tank? 80ish
Does your tank have a filter? no
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

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley's
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 pellets per day, occasional days off

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? usually every 5 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? around 1/3
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? none

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? no

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? small hole in dorsal fin, slightly raged edge of caudal fin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? none
When did you start noticing the symptoms? yesterday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? not yet
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? unknown
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:51 PM   #2 
Comet1993
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Your betta is beautiful! =] Do you have any plants in your tank that could have caused the hole on the dorsal fin? Also, this may just be me, but the change on the caudal fin looks kind of like a betta-shaped mouth mark... Maybe he got depressed or something while you were gone and bit his tail? I'm not sure, though. I hope everything goes well with your betta; I'm sure you'll get some good advice!
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:57 PM   #3 
hmckin20
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wow, he's gorgeous! i'd keep an eye on the fins for a bit, see if it progresses any. you should use some kind of conditioner when you do water changes- and for a five gal without a filter 50% changes twice a week is recommended.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #4 
fuzzlyzoo
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Thanks for the complements, I'll pass them on to Shrink. :)

I don't have any plants yet. The only thing in his tank were two plastic cups, which he's been fine with thus far. I'll take them out and check them again for catchable edges.

I usually do interact with Shrink, so it's possible he was bored when I wasn't around. I'll keep an eye on him for more tail biting. Is there anything I can do to help it heal? Or should I leave it be unless it gets worse?

I was filtering his water with a britta filter for his water changes, however I did get some conditioner while away. I will up the water changes though. When I get plants, will that change the water change schedule?
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:23 PM   #5 
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I can't tell you much about live plant care; I don't have any myself. My fish's fins were recently injured, and it was suggested that I just do more frequent water changes and watch closely for any signs of fin rot or infection.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:56 AM   #6 
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Update: Over the past two weeks, the small hole in dorsal healed up, and the mouth hole looked less ragged. However he kept biting his caudal. All of the mouth marks started to look like they were healing within a few days.

Last night I noticed he made a mess of his caudal and dorsal fins. They look shredded, as well as another small hole in the dorsal. I think he caught it on a decoration which I've removed and will inspect before putting back in.

I also noticed that his dorsal fin has slowly been deteriorating as well, but with how he normally holds his fins, I didn't notice. (Now can't tell due to shredding)

Because he's a dark blue, I can't tell if the edges look black or not.

My question now is, how do I make sure he heals up properly? I have some bettafix now and wont be able to get to the store for anything else until this weekend.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:15 AM   #7 
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I think he may be tail bitting again...that looks like how my blue hm's tail looks, except mine now looks like a CT

I wouldnt use betta fix as I heard its bad for them. If it were me, I would do a round of aquarium salt treatment with stress coat as the conditioner and 100% water changes while he is getting the salt treatment. 1 tsp a gallon i think is correct and it can be used for 10 days.

The AQ salt will help fight infection and fin rot if he has it and stress coat will help with fin regrowth
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:34 AM   #8 
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Hi Fuzzlyzoo,

What a beautiful DTHM you have there! After looking through your sticky answers, I think that at 5gal unfiltered, every 5 days water change of 30% is not frequent enough. The ammonia will continue to build up with time. I would strongly suggest one 50% and one 100% per week if you want your baby to thrive.

Looks like he has been acting out seeing all the damage to his fins now. Much earlier you were concerned about the pinhole in the dorsal, I just want to say that it is usually not cause by an object unless you have something obviously pointy in the tank that pierced it. The little holes like that can actually happen if they were just "thrashing" around a bit and a hole can blow right through. With super clean water, a healthy beta will patch that up in 24 hours.

I understand that HM bettas have the tendency to tail bite for reasons we don't know. The only thing we need to worry about is bacterial or fungal infection. Ideally it may be easier to manage if you have him in a 1 gal QT to see how he reacts to a smaller surrounding. This is what I would do:

1) pre mix 1 tsp of AQ Salt with 1 gal of conditioned water to ward off infection
2) add API Stress Coat or Seachem Stress Guard to promote growth
3) IAL if you have any, crushed few leaves to steep for 30-60 minutes, this provides a calming effect as well as anti inflammatory properties.
4) change water daily with the above steps and observe for 5 days for change. Salt treatment should not be more than 10 days consecutively.
5) feed high protein diet like frozen blood worms or brine shrimps to promote fin growth

Hope he will stop torturing his fins and you! Good luck.

Cheers
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:14 PM   #9 
fuzzlyzoo
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Thanks! He was sold to me as a HM, I didn't know he was a DTHM.

I have increased water changes since the sticky (now 50% every 5), but I know I still need to do more. And I'm adding live plants within the week, which will help with the ammonia.

The thrashing makes much more sense, as there has never been anything that pointy in his tank. The first one did heal up quickly.

Thanks for the steps on the salt treatment!
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:00 PM   #10 
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Well, I am pretty bad at identifying Bettas, as I can't even tell what mine is. But yours looks like a DT to me. So you got a great deal! lol I wish we have something more "exotic" than a VT here..oh well, out of luck.

Great to hear you are doing more frequent changes The unfortunate thing with water quality issue is that it usually takes a long time for the fish to accumulate the "bad" before it exhibits symptoms and so most people just thought if it was working before, how could it be broken now.

Live plants is a good idea, Just make sure you watch for any decaying matter and probably should check your water parameters to get an idea and confirm your water change schedule works for you and your betta

Good luck and keep us posted.
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