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Old 12-11-2011, 10:45 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
please, help me out a bit (w/ large photos)

so this is my first time owning a betta, outside of when i was around 7 years old with that poor little one in the glass vase with a plant in it.

he looked like this when i got it from walmart,
awesome looking crowntail

ive had him for around 2 weeks now, and in that super small little .5 gallon tank. i changed the water 100% 4 times a week. my mom kept badgering me not to spend money yada yada you know the deal with people who just go buy betas and throw them in tanks. so, i came here and researched more.

yesterday, i put him in this larger tank because his fins were falling off and it seemed like common sense to put him in a tank that is big enough to swim freely in.

sadly, here he is now and i do not know whats wrong.

What size is your tank? 4.7gallons
What temperature is your tank? 74-76
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? bettamin flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day, one tweezer pinchfull

How often do you perform a water change? every other day until yesterday
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? last was 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner/stabilizer

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
i have not tested them, but before in his old tank im sure the ammonia was extremely high.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fins deteriorating and falling off from the base
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lays at the bottom, swims slowly. lazy, although he was never too energetic at first.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 4 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? i put him in the larger tank, and changed the water 100%
Does your fish have any history of being ill? ----
How old is your fish (approximately)? who knows, i got him 2 weeks ago

obviously it doesnt look good, right now he is at thetop and is upright. a while ago he was laying on his side, flopping and turning up for air when needed. i dont know if it is chemical levels in the water, or if maybe he has been snagging on rocks/fake plants.

i leave it to you all.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:36 PM   #2 
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Location: Detroit, Mi
Well i'm not going to attempt to daignose just yet as i'm not sure what i'm seeing. Is there fuzz growing on his fin tips there?

other than that a few things. Most people around here suggest pellets over those flakes. I'm not saying don't use them tho.

Water changes for a tank your size would be 1 50% and 100% a week with a gravel siphoning on one of those days.

74 is low for a betta, 78-80 is usually the range we want to keep them in other than for specific treatment reasons. A heater is a good idea But i would advise staying away from the tiny "preset" heaters. You would want something adjustable, about 25 watts.

Your fake plants... are they plastic or silk? sometimes their fins will catch on the plastic ones.

I hope he feels better soon.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:40 PM   #3 
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Location: Dubai
Hi Gintoki,
Welcome to the forum! I love the first photo! What vibrant color and beautiful CT he was with a cute yawn lol You do take great photos!

Looks like it could be due to poor water quality that is causing his fins to deteriorate. The second photo shows clearly the fuzziness on his fins. We need to make sure the infection is not spreading to his body.

I am glad you were able to upgrade him to a larger tank. For your previous small tank of .5 gal, the water should have been changed 100% on a daily basis. And for the 5 gal tank, you could change 50% of water mid week, and 100% end of the week.

For now, let's try the conservative way to treat your betta. If you have a QT of about a 1 gal, or if you put a 1 gal of water in your 5 gal tank (hopefully it is not overly shallow), then dissolve 1 tsp of Aquarium salt in the 1 gal conditioned water, make sure the water temp is the same as his old water. Once everything is dissolved, put your betta in. After 24 hours, repeat the steps above for the next few days. During this time, just observe for any worsening of his symptoms, if the fin rot continues, we may have to increase the dosage to 2 tsp/1gal. If the AQ isn't doing any good, then meds have to be considered. It is easier if the QT is bare bottom, make sure you take out any live plants if you have as AQ will kill them. Do not treat with AQ past 10 days.

It's also good to have API StressCoat or SeaChem StressGuard to help. Also as for the food, flakes are ok, but they tend to muddle the water, or makes it hard to fish out if left uneaten, so you may want to consider switching to pellets at one point. If you can get your hands on frozen bloodworm, frozen daphnia or brineshrimp, they will help to make his fins grow back too. So varied diet of pellets and high protein meals will help with the regrowth.

Good luck. I am sure others will chime in if I left out anything.


vv what Sakura said >.<

Last edited by earthworm88; 12-11-2011 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:45 PM   #4 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
With the fins deteriorating and falling off, I suspect fin rot. Because your boy has dark coloring, I won't ask if he has the typical blackened edges that you see with fin rot but if you think he does, let me know. I do see what look like bloody tips at the end of some of the rays, all which say fin rot to me.

For fin rot, it's best to start out with 1 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon and then go from there. If you have live plants, then you'll want to remove your boy to a different tank because AQ salt kills plants. You can get AQ salt at any pet store and it's not that expensive. I also recommend you pick up a product called API Stress Coat. This is very good for fin regeneration.

You may find that you need to change the water more often if you feed flakes, because flakes dirty up the water faster than pellets. Pellets are easier for bettas to eat also so if you're open to the idea, some good brands to try are Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets and New Life Spectrum Betta Formula pellets.

The key to controlling fin rot is clean water. Be sure to keep up with the water changes or even change the water slightly more often while he has the rot. Dirty water breeds the bacteria that causes fin rot.

Also, if you can, an adjustable heater is a very good investment. Good brands that work for small tanks are Cascade, Hagen Elite, and AquaClear. I use the Cascade heaters. You'll be looking for 25w.

Hope this info helps you.

EDIT: Posted just after Earthworm. Basically, what Earthworm says. :)
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:15 AM   #5 
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Location: Livermore, CA
hmmm i dont believe it is growing fuzz, it looks more tattered and receding than growing fuzz.

tomorrow i am going to head out to the store, to pick up pellets and dried bloodworms. ill look into heaters, hopefully ill be able to buy one with incoming money soon. along withthat, how much do you think it costs to run a heater for a tank this big a month?

the plants are plastic, i assume that is not good. ill go get some better plants with soft edges and bends probably ones that are shaped large and leafy for him to rest on, i dont know if it is any harder to keep real plants maintained though, would it be much harder at all?

:edit: ahah. i took a while to reply and i see 2 more have posted. i really appreciate your help.

it is 10pm right now and i cant seem to find any of my old 1gal-2gal tanks i had from years ago. ill be sure to grab one. do you think i would use epsom salt instead of AQ salt? as i have that on hand already and dont knowif ill be able to buy AQ salt along with the other items >_<

Last edited by Gintoki; 12-12-2011 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:39 AM   #6 
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Ep. Salt is for treating a different ailment and is a different mineral altogether. Don't use that.

For the bloodworms the freeze-dried ones aren't the greatest and can cause constipation. get some frozen ones instead if you can, and glassworms are also a good treat.

Here's a write up on alternatives to aquarium salt, but some people might not agree on using some of these, and some might disagree to anything but salt specifically labeled for aquarium use. I'm not saying to use these, but i'm putting the info here for you to make your own choice.

Which salt to use? Well, aquarium salt (such as Aquarium Pharmaceutical's Doc Wellfish brand) is readily available in any fish store, and a box goes a long way. Table salt contains additives which you may not want in your tank. Most opponents to table salt cite the addition of Potassium Iodide to the salt, but I do not believe this is a concern. However, many brands of salt contain anti-caking agents such as Yellow Prussiate of Soda, which contains Cyanide. Yes, the dosage is quite small, but why would you WANT to add something potentially harmful to fish when there are readily available alternatives. If you should happen to live, say, 30,000 miles from the nearest aquarium store and you have no telephone with which to order salt from one of the mail order companies, then you can use Morton's Rock Salt, or Hain's Sea Salt, readily available from your supermarket. Kosher salt is frequently recommended. Unfortunately, Morton's Kosher Salt contains Yellow Prussiate of Soda, so I do not recommend its use. If you can find it, canning salt also makes a good alternative; it's usually additive free.
Editing to add that most people, including those that don't disagree with most of these salts, disagree with using anything iodized (aka most table salt).

Last edited by EvilVOG; 12-12-2011 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:51 AM   #7 
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alright, sounds like ill be picking up

pellets and maybe frozen bloodworms although i dont know how that would go down in the freezer with the parents lol

AQ salt and a 1gal QT.

plants with no edges to catch the bettas fins on.

water testing kit.

thanks for the help guys, ill let you know how it goes tomorrow :D
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:56 AM   #8 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Good luck, Gintoki. And welcome to the forum. :)
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:02 AM   #9 
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the plants aren't necessarily catching his fins you may not have to toss them. there's a trick where you take an old pair of nylons and rub along the edges to see if they snag.

And he doesn't have to have plants, i've seen terra cotta pots, and coffee mugs as hiding places.

What's most important right now is the salt and a heater. Especially since he's already sick. If you're low on spending cash, it's best to use it on that first. Get him healthy before you spend on decorating his tank.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:09 AM   #10 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
I agree with Evil. Salt and the heater. I mean, I have plastic plants in some of my tanks and they're okay but I'm also careful not to buy any plants that may be spiky.
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