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Old 10-25-2011, 10:16 AM   #1 
muskingumohio1311
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Sick Betta

Hi everyone! I'm new to the site and a semi-new Betta owner. We have had our male betta, Merlin for going on 4 months now. When we first got him, he was a very active and friendly little guy. Because we loved Merlin so much, I decided to create a female betta sorority of 5. I've had my girls for a month now and they're great! However, the girls are not what I am concerned with. My finance decided to move Merlin from a 3 gallon tank to a 5 gallon tank over the weekend. In this 5 gallon he added 6 cardinal tetras, 2 ghost shrimp and a snail, against my wishes and knowledge of course because I was out of town. This is when Merlin went downhill. He became aggressive not only with the tetras (he killed 2 of them) but also with both of us. I came home from school last night and went over to his tank to check on him and it took me basically bribing him with blood worms to get him out of hiding. When he came out, his top fins were completely gone and his bottom fins were changing colors. I took him and the other fish out of the tank immediately (we're actually giving the remaining tetras to a friend this evening) and put Merlin in his old tank. I woke up this morning and his body is turning a brownish color, but he is more friendly and active now that he is away from the other fish. I was just wondering if anyone has had an experience similar to what we are having with Merlin and if so what was the cause/ were you able to help your betta. I was almost wondering if moving him to a new tank with new fish was a stressor on him and he just went kind of crazy, or if this is the dreaded fin rot that I've seen so much discussion on. Just to kind of set things straight, his fins were perfectly fine before we put him in the new tank, no holes or shredded fins at all. Or is it possible that the tetras maybe nipped at his fins or are carrying a disease that he contracted? Any info you can give me would be great! Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:23 AM   #2 
GreenTea
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Hi, and welcome to the forum.

The first issue that comes to mind is that your husband filled a tank to the absolute max, every creature in that tank was probably in a constant stressed state. It is completely possible the tetras tore up his fins. Bettas should not have tank mates other than a nail or a few ghost shrimp in anything less than a 10 gallon in my opinion. Many tetras are nippy and territorial, and bettas are slower with their long fins.

To best take care of your betta now, keep him in conditioned, warm water with aquarium salt if you have it to keep his fins from getting infected. Aquarium salt dosage 1 tsp/gallon. There was also a lot of ammonia in the overstocked tank which could have damaged him. Clean warm water and time in the dark will help him relax again. He's not aggressive with you because its you, he was super stressed and in constant fight mode.

I hope he gets better. I'd recommend reading the stickies and maybe making a post in the diseases section with a photo if he doesn't :)
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:29 AM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems....it sounds like the results of an overstock/poorly stock tank and both the Betta and Tetras lost.....

The Bettas fins most likely were nipped by the Tetras...good that you got him in QT and the Tetras rehomed.....

I would start with fresh-like temp dechlorinated water treatment for now....make 50% daily water changes and 1-100% weekly in the 3gal unfiltered tank you have him in-for 1 week-then twice weekly-1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality and fin health....watch for secondary infection-fin tips looking crusty......if they start to look crusty he may need aquarium salt treatment in a small QT container

Can you post a pic....
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:09 PM   #4 
muskingumohio1311
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Thank you for all of your help and advice. I was actually at school when I first posted. I just got home and unfortunatly, Merlin went to Betta Heaven :( I almost wonder if there may have been something wrong with the tank because not only was Merlin gone when I came home, but the tetras and ghost shrimp were as well. The only survivor of the tank was the snail. He got the tank at Petsmart over the weekend at a discounted price because the box had been broken open. I wonder if someone else who had had sick fish had returned it and the illness spread to our fish that we put in there? Has anyone heard of that?
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:34 PM   #5 
GreenTea
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It's more likely they all had ammonia poisoning or their immune systems were weakened by stress, overcrowding an the sudden tank changes. Im sorry for your loss.
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