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Old 09-25-2011, 11:45 AM   #1 
AS91379
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Tattered Fins, Nothing Helps

I bought my little betta fish, Elliott, a year ago from an awful pet store. His fins were tattered and had a crinkled appearance from the start, and some chunks were also missing. Since then, nothing seems to fix them. I have given him a medicine for fin rot and a broad spectrum. I thought he might get better with time, but he hasn't.
Living Details:
Five gallon tank
Small heater (tank is currently at 80 degrees F)
Plastic plants that came six months after I got him
Eats roughly four to eight pellets of Aqua Culture pelleted food
Water change every Saturday (25% to 50%, depending on the tank)
Light stays on roughly eight to ten hours a day
Filter recently removed
Tetra Aquasafe Plus is his de-chlorinator

I'll try to get a picture later.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:54 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum...

Can you post a pic...are you sure he is not tail/fin biting....how is his behavior overall....any changes, normally an active fish, good eater...etc....

In the 5gal filtered (now unfiltered) what kind of substrate are you using and type of additives used, tell us about your source water-tap, well, R/O and if tap water-does it go through a home water soften unit or anything like that (not recommended) do you know the pH, KH/GH of the water, do you have a test kit, if so, what kind(no worries if you don't) any tank mates or live plants...has the fins ever gotten better or have you seen any new growth....when was the last time you treated him and what with..... any other health problems besides the fin issues.....
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:15 PM   #3 
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I'm almost positive that the damage is not from tail biting. His behavior has changed some since I moved. I think it is because I have a cat that likes to watch him. He used to be at the very top of a computer desk. I had to keep his tank on the floor while I found a place to put him. However, he has been moved to a higher area, and the cat does not seem to be able to get to him very well. He was staying only in one corner and not eating. Now, he's moving around a bit more and eating. He used to blow enough bubbles to fill half his tank.

Anyway, back to the tank. I've always had trouble keeping the nitrate/nitrite levels down. Right now, they are slightly too high. Nothing seems to keep them as low as I want them. The pH is 7.0. KH/GH looks to be about 80/75. His test strips are the 5-in-1 kind. He gets his water from the bathroom shower. His filter was one of those carbon filters, and it got changed every two weeks. He once had live plants, but when they got sucked into the filter, they would often rot and pollute the tank before I would notice. He has never had any tank mates.

I have seen new growth, but as soon as his fits start looking a little better, the new growth will fall off, or his fins will split all the way to his body. His fits have also started to look knotted, and he has a white spot that keeps growing larger (it looks like the fin is just really thin there). He hasn't been treated in about six months, and I'm not sure what he got treated with last, to be honest...

Whew... I think that's everything. Except the picture. Once the boy holds still, I'll have one of those.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:58 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Since you removed the filter-that may help-often the space along with water movement can cause fin damage to the long fin males and so can the substrate and other items in the tank....when they drag those delicate fins over too rough substrate it can tatter them and getting them pinched between larger objects-like the intake of the filter, the heater, large stones and especially those glass stones that are often used in Betta tanks...not to mention plastic plants that can snag the fins......

Right now I would start a good water change schedule on the unfiltered 5gal tank- of twice weekly 50%...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate vacuum and make 1-100% monthly now that you have removed the filter....I would keep it off until you have intact fins and re-eval everything in his tank as possible cause too.....

If the fins are in really bad shape-I would do a 10 day aquarium salt 2tsp/gal treatment in a small QT container-bare bottom and add tannins to the water as well......I would premix some treatment water to use for the 100% daily water changes that are needed for the treatment and this will make correct dosage and water changes much eaiser....

Premixed treatment water-use a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add aquarium salt 2tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL or dried Oak leaf-let this Tx water steep for 30min to release some of the tannins and salt to dissolve....Shake well before use and use this Tx water for 50% water change every 15min for 1 hour today and start 100% tomorrow for 10 days while he is in the small QT container-you can float the QT in the heated tank to maintain the water temp in the 76-77F range-attach it to the side so it doesn't sink and be sure and have a lid on it too....the small temporary cups some Bettas are sold in work great for a QT container......

Nutrition is really important for fin health and regrowth-you want a good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals-one of the meals needs to be high protein....if you have access to mosquito larva-feed these for one of the meals a day....

Look forward to pic...they can be a challenge to get on a moving target....lol.....
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:30 PM   #5 
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I'm just about to upload pictures. Before I do, I have a question about the mosquito larva. Would larva from a fountain outside work (we have quite few), or should it be from a pet store?
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:45 PM   #6 
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Okay, it doesn't seem that I know how to upload pictures for you...
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:52 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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I have never seen mosquito larva sold at a pet shop...I get all of mine from rain barrels I have setup outside.....collect some and rinse well and offer one at a time...feed about 4-5 large size ones each day-depending on how big they are.....some are tiny and you may need to feed more....

To post a pic-you need to have a host...like photo bucket.....I am not the greatest to help with computer things so hopefully someone will be along with better instruction....sorry.....
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:54 PM   #8 
BettaMiah
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He could be a Rose tail or a Crown tail...
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:00 PM   #9 
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Elliott Images

Okay, I'm doing this weird attachment thing. Here's to hoping it works...
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:35 AM   #10 
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I woke up and checked on Elliott, and I got the shock of my life. There is something swimming in there with him. There are only two of them, for now. They are tiny, white, and swim by twitching. They could be mosquito larva, but I haven't fed him any yet, so I don't know how they could have gotten in there. Any ideas?
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