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Old 01-11-2012, 02:16 PM   #1 
EKandRJ
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Fin shrinkage- rot?

Hello, it has been a long time since I've posted here.
I have been noticing for a while and wondering why Pontos's fins (mainly the tail, maybe the others a little bit) seems to have shrunk. Could this be fin rot? He looks otherwise healthy and not significantly different from before, except the size of his fins. He is not behaving differently either.

Housing

What size is your tank? 2 or 3 gallons, i think.
What temperature is your tank? unfortunately, still no heater, though I am thinking of buying one now that I have been working for a while.
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? he's alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? the round pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 4 a day, usually all in the evening.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? sigh. used to twice a week. now it's more like once a week at best. I know I need to improve this. I think I will try to go back to making it a routine twice a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50-75% typically
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I'm pretty sure it's a dechlorinator (i'm not at home to look at it right now) it calls for like 2 drops per gallon. Sometimes i don't add it if the water's been sitting out long enough for the chlorine to have evaporated away.

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

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

I don't have testing equipment.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fins (mainly tail) smaller
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? nope
When did you start noticing the symptoms? maybe a month or two ago when it was very slight.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? Was a year in late November 2011.

So, like I said, I know I have to make a couple improvements already:
Need to get back to changing the water more regularly
Should try to get a small heater for this tank. (about heaters- my other tank is only one gallon. do they make heaters small enough for that? oh, and these are both plastic tanks.)

Should I get something else to put in the water or feed him to help the fin problem, or might it just grow back if I improve my general habits?

Thank you for your patience!
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:15 PM   #2 
callistra
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You're right, you really need to increase the frequency of water changes. Your betta is living in ammonia and it is burning him (burning his fins off and maybe has developed a bacterial infection on top of it but can't know without photos) and wearing down his immune system. Eventually, it will lead to his early death. Since your tank is so small and uncycled it needs 100% water change every 3-4 days. If you do a couple 50% water changes through the week you might be able to do the 100% only once a week.

The 1 gallon needs a 100% change every couple of days.

You need to take a sample water to your fish store and ask what the ammonia level is. I suggest actually asking them for the reading and not just their interpretation of it (it's fine or it's not fine). Also hopefully they aren't using strips. Or you could do this yourself by buying, preferably, a drops kit.

You -always- have to add dechlorinator to the water. It removes more than chlorine and I'm really surprised your fish isn't a lot more sick.

Photos would be helpful, but from the sound of things what he needs right now is clean conditioned water and a medicinal dose of aquarium salt.

Last edited by callistra; 01-11-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:34 PM   #3 
EKandRJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
You're right, you really need to increase the frequency of water changes. Your betta is living in ammonia and it is burning him (burning his fins off and maybe has developed a bacterial infection on top of it but can't know without photos) and wearing down his immune system. Eventually, it will lead to his early death. Since your tank is so small and uncycled it needs 100% water change every 3-4 days. If you do a couple 50% water changes through the week you might be able to do the 100% only once a week.

The 1 gallon needs a 100% change every couple of days.

You need to take a sample water to your fish store and ask what the ammonia level is. I suggest actually asking them for the reading and not just their interpretation of it (it's fine or it's not fine). Also hopefully they aren't using strips. Or you could do this yourself by buying, preferably, a drops kit.

You -always- have to add dechlorinator to the water. It removes more than chlorine and I'm really surprised your fish isn't a lot more sick.

Photos would be helpful, but from the sound of things what he needs right now is clean conditioned water and a medicinal dose of aquarium salt.
Thanks for the tips. I will continue using the dechlorinator all the time then and get my act together with changing the water more often.
I have been told that doing a 100% change can shock the fish, though, and that that should be avoided. (?)

I will try to take a photo or two and post them. There doesn't seem to be any discoloration on his fins, but he is dark in color to begin with.

How much do the water testing kits tend to cost, and how often do you test the water?
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #4 
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:05 PM   #5 
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I read the threads about cycling here. Would taking the fish out and trying to do a cycle in the tank help?
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #6 
Sena Hansler
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It shouldn't really be because of an uncycled tank. I've had bettas in cycled, uncycled, and cycling tanks zero ammonia burns.

Might want to check how many gallons you really have. Use a measuring cup. It is 8 cups of water = 1 gallon. When you figure this out, we can help you with finding a proper way/amount to clean the tanks per week.
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