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Old 11-10-2011, 03:47 AM   #1 
aleph
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Location: Ontario
fin / tail rot

I recently went on vacation and when I came back I noticed that one of my fish has fin rot. I guess I didn't notice before because it was gradual? I think I got him WITH fin rot though and it's just been progressing. I caught it on Saturday or Sunday and started treating with daily 100% water changes and aquarium salts.
during this whole thing, I moved the filter from one side of the tank to the other (split 10G) and left it overnight. When I woke up the next day, the other fish had bitten his tail and did some damage. SINCE then the tail biter has had some regrowth but the one with fin rot... I don't think he's improving.

is there anything ELSE that I can do to help him? I feel really bad and saw a picture of what I think that he's supposed to look like. Compared to that picture he's. not too great looking. I also feel like a horrible fish mom.

also, how long before I start seeing signs of improvement? This is all stressing me out a LOT.

Housing
What size is your tank? 10G split
What temperature is your tank? it's been a bit higher than normal with the water changes but in the "green area" of betta preferred temps.
Does your tank have a filter? yes
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? one other betta in a split tank.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? pellets and brine shrimp
How often do you feed your betta fish? one or two pellets when I eat

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? recently, daily. Before recently I don't think I changed it enough :(
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% daily right now.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? conditioner and aquarium salts since diagnosis.

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fin rot :(
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? not very much... he's still active and seems as happy as a betta can be.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? when I look at pictures of him when I got him, it looks like he already had mild fin rot so it's progressed slowly and I only noticed it really badly recently.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Daily 100% water changes and aquarium salts.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? a few months?

Last edited by aleph; 11-10-2011 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:12 AM   #2 
Myates
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Is there a way you can post a picture to verify it is rot?

Rot will have black edges that are crusty and flaking off, the other form of rot is white cottony puffs at the edges.

I would remove the guy with rot and put him in his own QT container- whether it is the cup you got him in, or a tupperware free of soap residue so you can float it in his home tank to keep him warm.
Daily 100% water changes, 1-2 teaspoon of AQ salt, pre dissolved, and your regular water conditioner. If you have a gallon water jug you can use that to premix everything to make the daily water changes easier. Don't use the salt for longer then 10 days straight.

You don't want to be doing 100% daily water changes in a filtered tank that size- it could cause your chemistry and cycle to go screwy, as well as stress out your other betta and put him in the salt needlessly. Using the salt on a fish that isn't being treated will cause him to build up resistances to the beneficial properties of the salt- not to mention putting him through it and potentially harming his internal workings and causing problems such as kidney failure.
Best to always QT a sick fish. So after you QT the one with rot, start doing daily 50% water changes in the 10 gallon for a few days to work out the salt from the water.
The filter being moved and the stress of so many water changes is probably why your other guy is now biting his fins- the filter may be too strong if it isn't turned down or baffled, and now your other guy has to work harder to swim, therefor taking off some of his tail to cause less drag and less strain on him. I would put the filter back on the other side, and if you can, turn it down and/or baffle it to prevent any other tears and stresses.

For a 10 gal, filtered you would want to be doing 1 30-50% water change per week, siphoning included to keep the water condition ideal. Rot normally happens when a fish will tear a fin and the water is dirty (even a little is enough), and the bacteria sets in.

So you are doing the treatment right with the salt and 100% daily changes- just need to do it in a separate container as to not harm your other guy.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:38 PM   #3 
aleph
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ok thank you so much. I moved the filter back (it is baffled) but I probably screwed up the tank cycling with all this mess. I'll get him a little QT cell ASAP and I think that I live around some oak trees so I may be able to get some leaves to make a tannin bath out of.

the only time the other one bit his tail was when the filter was in his side. What a strange fish.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:58 AM   #4 
Myates
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Some are just picky. I hope he gets well soon.
With the oak leaves, try to get 16-18 of them (dried and naturally fallen to the ground- can't be ones still on the tree) and soak them in a jug of conditioned water for about 30 minutes to let them steep. Then you can use some of that water when you do the daily water changes. It will be brown in color, but it's okay because bettas tend to like the coloration, and the healing properties are worth it.

You can crush up the leaves in the jug, or push them in whole. I use an open container to make mine, and I will put a leaf or two in the home tanks. They love to lay on them and make bubble nests under them.

If there is no change by the 8th day of his rot, and he continues to lose his fins, let us know and we can start another treatment. But you should see it stop from getting smaller, and soon you should start seeing new regrowth- clear on the fins.
Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #5 
aleph
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we just put him in a pitcher last night (the only thing that hasn't had any soap in it) in the tank. He seems pretty pissed off but it definitely has less space to swim around in and less water movement.

I think that the rot had started to slow down and possibly get better. It's hard to say since I mostly just sit there and obsess over it all. I'm hoping that by tomorrow or the next day I will see a big enough change that I will feel better about all of this.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:34 PM   #6 
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Hehe.. yeah, they don't like being put away for treatments, but it's better then the alternative.
You may or may not see a big improvement at first, but as long as he is getting the treatment, he is getting better. It will take a little bit before you see new fin growth, but you should in a little bit of time. If you can, pictures will help you, and us, see his progress to make sure it's going smoothly, or if we have to do some tweaking. But the AQ salt and daily water changes should be enough. Good luck and keep us posted on him :) And if he gives you the stink eye, give it right back to him! hehe
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:11 PM   #7 
aleph
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okay so I managed to get a good picture of him today. The crusties on his tail weren't that dark or crusty looking until today, really, so I can only assume that it's like a scab that's about to fall off. He's also looking a little bit perkier and more red.


Last edited by aleph; 11-13-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:44 PM   #8 
aleph
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also, he's super fiesty and shows no obvious discomfort.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:22 PM   #9 
aleph
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okay so we continued his treatment for 10 days and he's looking way better with some regrowth and a definite reduction in dark edges but there are still some. Is it just a matter of waiting a bit longer or should I be worried still.
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