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Old 12-19-2011, 03:38 AM   #1 
SageMyster
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Betta in Misery ):

In August, I helped choose a beautiful black halfmoon for a friend as her college pet. I taught her how to carefully handle him and do tank changes, etc. However, as I visited her dormroom every now and then, I noticed that he was continuing to shred his fins. Since she is transferring to a school in Minnesota, I have now inherited "Muffin", and I am deeply concerned.

Muff has virtually no fins at all, other than his pectoral fins, which he relies on to swim (when he so rarely does). He lies at the bottom of the tank and hides behind a plastic plant... ALL DAY. I stroked a finger by his tank to make sure he was still alive today and he flipped out and swam faster and more frantically than I've ever seen a fish do. I think this fish has PTSD. I later found out that my friend had been scooping him out for each water change, which I assume is the reason he began tearing his fins.

His water chemistry is perfect. His temp, although not perfect, is bearable (I'm in the transition of getting him a new heater). I give all my fish regular water changes. Salt treatments have not worked on him. He lives in a 1gal tank, and his setup, along with water temp and chemistry, are the exact same as my two babies, Harlot and Merlotte, who are incredibly active and happy Bettas.

Muff, on the other hand, struggles to swim. I put a hammock in his tank in the hopes that he'd use it to get air more easily, but he refuses to move from behind the plant, and even when I get him to move, he goes back and just lies there at the bottom, burying himself into the pebbles. When he so rarely comes out, he seems to float on his side and even upside down. I know the signs of Betta diseases, and he does not possess any of them.

My question is, what do I do? Is he beyond hope? Do, I dare say it, put him out of his misery? I don't want to have to! But this fish is clearly miserable and traumatized.

Last edited by SageMyster; 12-19-2011 at 03:47 AM.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:05 AM   #2 
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He has also stopped eating.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:17 AM   #3 
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Do you know if your friend kept up with the water changes? I am thinking if she did not then he may have severe fin rot and/or ammonia burns OR he is a tail bitter. You said AQ salt did not work so I am thinking he is bitting his fins.

Do you have a clear picture of him?

He floats upside down? Could he have swim bladder disorder? other then that, I am stumped.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 12-19-2011 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:46 PM   #4 
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Yes, she kept up water changes, and as I watched his progression, I saw no signs of fin rot or any other ailment. I wish I could post a picture but the little guy won't even move from his spot... but I'll try!
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:11 PM   #5 
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It's terrible picture quality, but here he is:

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Old 12-19-2011, 05:13 PM   #6 
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If you see no blackened edges that are flaking off, or white cottony edges.. then he may be a fin biter- but the dorsal wouldn't be completely gone (hard to tell in the picture).

He could of had rot when she picked him up, not knowing.. and with just weekly water changes it may not of taken care of it- as you would need to do often water changes to rid rot.

I would suggest going ahead and do the AQ salt treatment to make sure that there is no rot/bacteria.. since he is dark and may be hard to see.

2 tsp of AQ salt per gallon (dissolve prior to adding him in it - don't forget water conditioner), daily 100% water changes for no longer then 10 days.
That should be enough to stop it.. in time you will hopefully see new regrowth (clear coloration) on the edges of the fins. I am hoping the rot hasn't started attacking the body yet, but without a clear picture it is hard to say.
So will stick with the conservative treatment and see if that helps. If you see the fins continue to recede, let us know and we can recommend medications.

He may be a fin biter- but the tail and dorsal look too small, imo. So going to play it safe for now with the salt as a precautionary step.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:39 PM   #7 
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Unfortunately I've already gone through two rounds of salt treatments and 100% water changes, and nothing has changed. There are no signs of regrowth at the tips of his fins, as there usually are when Harlot nibbles at his tail. ): On top of that, this fish is just completely traumatized and unhappy. I don't know whether it's torture to keep him alive any longer. ;___;

EDIT: by rounds, I mean 5-day periods
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