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Old 11-01-2011, 12:05 PM   #1 
lcaley
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Fin damage - Double halfmoon

Hey guys, I'm new here and new to bettas, but I have other aquariums, and while I'm not advanced by any means, I do know my way around a little.

I got this guy from my local pet store, and he's beautiful. He has a couple of things that are worrying me though. As you can see, there are several holes in his fins with dark coloration around them. Transportation to the store seems to have been a little rough on him. And also, the camera seems to have pulled it out more, but there are some white/pinkish stripes on his body. Now, he's new, so it could just be his coloration, but I've never seen stripes before. Is that something I should be concerned about?

His setup is not ideal right now, but its much better than that sad plastic cup he was sitting in at the store. I went looking at the store to see their selection and couldn't stand to pass him up. I've never seen a double halfmoon at any of the pet stores in town before. Right now he is in a 1gal bowl (plastic wrap on top with air holes) with lots of rocks and plants. I had to order his 5gal and heater from Amazon (will arrive tomorrow). The idea is that I wanted to get the rocks in there with him to get a head start on cycling my tank when it arrives tomorrow. They didn't have any small heaters, so I've been using a lamp and closely monitoring the water temp. Also, not ideal, but temporary. Right now he is at a cozy 78 degrees. However, he doesn't seem to like the light, so I went ahead and planted (live plants) it so he would have some shade. He loves the plants.

He's only been here for a little over a day, almost two, so I don't expect to see much change, but I just wanted to make sure I was on the right track. I dechlorinated his water with Stress Coat to help with the fins. Also, the lady at the pet store (much less helpful than she thought she was :P) recommended BettaFix to help the fins. Since then I've been reading this might not be the best approach as sometimes BettaFix causes more problems than it fixes? Anyway, I also have some Aquarium Salt, but I haven't used it yet because I'm not quite sure how to go about it. I've been reading 1tsp/gal, but the box says to be careful with live plants, and I don't really want to kill them.

Any advice on the fins and or the discoloration? Thanks everybody.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:28 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....

And what a lovely fella...nice find...this is mainly what I keep and breed...doubletail halfmoons......

The number one medication...fresh dechlorinated like temp water from water changes..... along with good nutrition.....

If he is otherwise acting okay-as far as swimming, eating...etc....I would just do water changes for now....in time the hole will heal up with the clean water treatment.....

In the 1gal unfiltered with live plants-(this is the perfect setup in my opinion)-water changes of twice weekly 50%-once you see the plants actively growing......the first couple of week you may want to make 50% 3 times a week and feed small frequent meals of good quality varied diet...if you have access to mosquito larva...offer some rinsed for a couple of the meals a day....

The pinkish stripes-he may have marble in him-it looks more like normal pigment.....just watch the area for any changes in texture....

If the area start to look worse he may need a 10 day salt treatment or if he has a change in behavior....

Keep us posted....
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:05 PM   #3 
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Ok, I'll do that. Thanks so much. Do you think I should do a 50% tonight or just wait until the new tank comes in tomorrow and have 100% clean water? I know the move will be stressful to him, so I don't want to change too much at once to the little guy.

He is swimming ok, and he finally did start eating this morning when I fed him. He wasn't eating the pellets before, but I hear that is pretty common until they get used to their new home. I'll keep an eye on it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:45 PM   #4 
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I would leave him in the smaller unfiltered tank until he heals up....often the larger space along with water movement can make the fins worse.......

With the long heavy fin males-often they have never seen water volume more than half gallon (usually less) and the larger water volume/movement can be stressful on them and he may not have muscle mass to function well...yet....he should...depends on how old he is and over all condition.....every Betta is different in their tolerance to water volume and movement....some can't tolerate it and some with really delicate fins can't keep them intact...some will even develop neurotic behavior like glass surfing, tail biting and the like....not all.....but some can-not saying yours will either....lol.....sometimes they need to be slowly moved to larger spaces in steps with lots of cover...live plants work great for this and the active growth helps with water quality....so all is good....lol
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:53 PM   #5 
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Ok, so I'll just leave him in the bowl to heal while the tank cycles. I guess I'll look around for a heater, this lamp has gotta go.

I've noticed him laying ON the plants near the top of the tank for extended periods of time, is that normal? Sorry, I'm new to this lol...
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:23 PM   #6 
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Understanding a little about them can help tell you a few things-since they are an ambush feeder, nest builder with upturned mouth and labyrinth organ..... this tells us that this species by design-will establish territory or a home base, surface dwell and feeder...waiting for food and a mate to pass by-tolerant of still/stagnate-low oxygenated water...knowing this about the male will tell you about the female....they are more active since they go looking for a mate-she gives the eggs to him to tend and leaves....lol.....

Being a tropical fish-a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range with warm humid air above the water....too cool dry air can be harmful to the labyrinth organ.....

This is a very interesting species to learn about.....
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:41 PM   #7 
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he certainly is a cutie! i adore Doubletails so much, and own two females of my own. one day, i will own a male! lol

that fin rot often looks worse than it is, in my personal experience, and just clean water will treat it. my current tail biter, my delta named Ichi, had a small touch of fin rot, but it's cleared up now, and i didn't add anything like salts or tannins to his water.

just keep an eye on him while you treat him, and keep us updated!
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:28 PM   #8 
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Just as OFL had mentioned about them being top dwellers, they do tend to like to lay around on broad leaves close to the surface. Some like to hide in caves (I have one that loves his cave) while others prefer to be sleeping up top. I put in naturally dried/fallen oak leaves in there whole as my boys like to make bubble nests under them and sleep on sections that have bent down into the water. So yes, it's normal and he's comfy =)
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:00 PM   #9 
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Ok, thanks :)

Did a 50% change tonight a little while after he'd had a nice dinner. Glad to see him finally eating. I'll post here with progress as his fins grow back.
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:49 PM   #10 
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Wanted to give an update -
The hole in his dorsal fin and top tail went ahead and tore through, I assume from the increase in his swimming around. I do think it looks a little better in general though, the black tattered edges are mostly gone. The pink stripes are also gone, whatever that was.

Got the 5gal in yesterday and got it all set up, it's empty and cycling at the moment. Also, yesterday, I did ~80% water change in his 1gal to try to keep some plant food around while still keeping him in clean water. This morning I tested the water again and found the ammonia at ~.25ppm, so I'll probably do another 50% or so tonight. While I was at it, I also tested the ph, and found it much higher than I expected. It was ~7.6... I don't know what my tap water ph is, but my 10 gal never has ph issues (however, it is cycled and stable for 3+ years now). Any ideas what could be causing the high ph? The only thing the bowl has in it is ~1.5 lb of regular aquarium gravel, a small heater (all thoroughly rinsed in very hot tap water first), 2 live plants, and the betta.

As always, thanks for everything.
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