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Old 11-12-2011, 10:34 PM   #1 
Lost in a Jungle
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New Betta with Ragged Fins/Fin rot?

I posted about my betta, Bertram, in the photos section (trying to ID what type of Betta he might be), but he has a fin issue and someone suggested asking for help in this board.

Basically, I bought him about two weeks ago from Petco, and since joining this board and seeing a lot of photos of other Bettas, have kind of thought his fins looked really ragged.
They were like this when I purchased him, but I've also had a pretty rough plant in with him, and I'm afraid maybe it made it worse. I took that out this morning and found him a softer one, just in case.

What can I do to help his fins heal? Or do I need to do anything? Someone in my photo thread mentioned fin rot, but I'm not totally sure how to identify it... I'd assumed the black edges were natural, but now I'm afraid it's fin rot.

He's also my first betta, and I'm kind of acting like a new parent.

Here's a pic of him:



Housing

What size is your tank? 10 gallon but only has about five gallons in it
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Beta Bits and freeze dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? every other day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aqua Safe

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? It hasn't, I purchased him like this.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I don't know. I've had him about 2 weeks.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:38 PM   #2 
Bombalurina
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That definitely looks like fin rot to me. The cheapest solution is to do daily water changes and raise the temperature to 82 (speeds up his metabolism, which speeds up the healing process). Since his tank is unfiltered, you may wish to move him to a smaller container to do 100% changes more efficiently. (On anything over 5 gallons, filtering is usually a good idea to avoid the necessity of 100% changes.)
If you can afford it, AQ salt or StressCoat are good things to add to promote healing. However, I don't use these myself (I've always combatted it with just clean, warm water) so hopefully someone skilled in their use will come to give advice. :)
A high protein diet will always help. :)

Don't waste your money on BettaFix or any of its cousins (Mela or Pima Fix).
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:10 AM   #3 
Myates
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Handsome boy, looks to be a pineapple or mustard gas coloration. As far as tail type.. hmm possibly delta by the way he is holding his tail.

It's hard to say if that is his regular coloration or rot- as a lot of times the yellow type colors have darker edges around their fins. Not always though..

We'll go ahead with the conservative treatment for him in case it is rot.
1 teaspoon of AQ salt per gallon (dissolve it completely before adding your guy to it, also use your regular water conditioner), daily 100% water changes for no longer then 10 days. If by the 5th day or so, and there is no improvement (IE black is spreading, etc) then you can increase to 2 teaspoon/gallon.
You can also add in Stress Coat (you can use this instead of your regular water conditioner for this if you wish) to help regrowth of fins and fix the tissue.
You will see clear fins on the edges- that is new growth.

If nothing seems to of improved by the 10th day, let us know and we can try something different. I don't recommend medication at this point other then the salt- something tells me this may be a case of fin biting rather then rot- since all his fins have the dark outlining- and with rot, not every single one will have it.


My educated guess is that it is more of him biting and pulling out his own fins rather then rot. But I will go ahead and recommend the salt treatment just in case.

Good luck and keep us updated.

Last edited by Myates; 11-13-2011 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:24 AM   #4 
Lost in a Jungle
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Thanks so much for the help! I really like this little guy, and I hate the thought that he might've been sick this whole time.
The only thing that makes me wonder if it IS rot or just his colorization is that in all the threads I've read about it, they've talked about it spreading. The pic I posted is from about 5 days ago, and he looks pretty much the same this morning. The black edges haven't gotten any different/worse.

I'm still going to start the AQ salt when I have a chance to go get some (probably later today), but the other thing I was curious about is that I read in another thread about fin rot about using water seeped in oak leaves in their water changes? Would doing something like that help him out, too? Or should I just stick with the salt?

Thanks again, everyone! I really appreciate the help!
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:48 AM   #5 
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Tannins are great for them- ill or healthy. I use oak leaf tannin myself.
Dried, naturally fallen oak leaves free of pesticide is what you are looking for.
16-18 of them, rip them up in a water gallon jug with water conditioner. Let it seep for roughly 30 mins. Then use it when you do a water change. You don't have to use all of the water in the jug, just some. I also throw in a full leaf in the home tanks, they love to make bubble nests under them.
It will turn your water a brown color- but the bettas prefer it, sometimes the owners not so much.

He may have a smidge of the rot since the coloration is on the edges of the missing sections- so the salt should help clear it up. (I had to think about it for a minute.. but the dark coloration wouldn't be on the edges of the missing sections if it were just fin biting.) Sometimes rot isn't fast moving, sometimes it is.. so can't really count on that. Some rot will take weeks to a few months before hitting the body.

Hopefully you will see some improvement after the salt treatment. If not, wait a week while doing daily partial water changes to see what it looks like before we go into medicines. That way he has time to get the salt out of his system before we bombard it with something else. Clean water is the best treatment for rot- with between the changes with the salt, and afterwards for the week it should clear up.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:45 AM   #6 
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Hi Lost - I followed you over here to see what your boy might have (or not have) :) I see that some folks think it might just be his colorations and some think it's rot. That's why I always take the conservative route and come over here to check for sure. Because of his black-tipped coloration, you never know if it's rot or not. Fin biting opens them up for infection and you never know how long he sat in that nasty cup before you saved him. Always good to try a conservative approach, even if he isn't sick. Keep us posted!
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:02 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
Hi Lost - I followed you over here to see what your boy might have (or not have) :) I see that some folks think it might just be his colorations and some think it's rot. That's why I always take the conservative route and come over here to check for sure. Because of his black-tipped coloration, you never know if it's rot or not. Fin biting opens them up for infection and you never know how long he sat in that nasty cup before you saved him. Always good to try a conservative approach, even if he isn't sick. Keep us posted!
Exactly, I would say he naturally has a black tip coloration, but what makes me wonder is the areas where the fins have been removed have black edging to them as well. So I rather play it safe then sorry and the AQ salt, if done properly by the recommendations, won't hurt him.
But do keep an eye out to see if he loses any more chunks- so we can tell if he's fin biting or not that is causing it.

I'm also going to check out a few more things with him- he has the red lines (wondering if it's saprolegnia fungus with pseudomonas or aeromonas bacteria) as well as his face seems pale. Could be his coloration with the face, but unsure. Does it look like he is missing scales on his head? Also, was that picture taken after he was fed, or is his belly usually that rounded?

Last edited by Myates; 11-13-2011 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:49 PM   #8 
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Lost - can you post those other two pics that you posted in the other thread? You can see those red lines really well. I didn't know that could be a sign of a health issue!
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:01 PM   #9 
Lost in a Jungle
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Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
Lost - can you post those other two pics that you posted in the other thread? You can see those red lines really well. I didn't know that could be a sign of a health issue!
You bet! I had no idea the red lines could be a sign of health issue either, I just assumed they were veins!

I took all these first two pics the same day as the first one I posted, and I'm sorry to say I don't remember if he'd eaten or not. It was about a week ago.





I figured some fresh images wouldn't hurt, and took these about five minutes ago. He hasn't had anything to eat yet, if that helps you any.







I'm not sure what I'm looking for as far as the rounded belly and missing scales go.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:19 PM   #10 
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Those are beautiful photos. Looks like the AQ treatment that Myates suggested would do well. Looks like a little bit of rot has started since he's bitten his tail. I'll let her respond though. She's the medical person - I'm just the layman!!
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