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Old 01-26-2012, 02:41 PM   #1 
underdebate
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New (possibly sick) betta at home

Hi all, first time poster here, but I've been lurking around these forums for quite a long time and as a betta enthusiast they've been immensely helpful to me in the past. :)

Recently I just 'adopted' a betta from someone I (vaguely) know through one of my classes, who (apparently?) bought it for his girlfriend, but then found out she didn't want it. I have a feeling the little guy would've been either mistreated or flushed otherwise, so I offered to take him. From what I can tell he's only been out of the petstore for a few days, and I have very little information past that.

Problem is: as soon as I got him, I found out this little guy has tiny holes all over his back fin, and a little bit of a hole-shape at the end of his bottom fin. The edges of his fins seem to be fine, and there isn't any discoloration on his fins or his body. The holes don't look 'ratty'-- they're all maybe about a millimetre in diameter, and there are about seven or eight of them, but they don't look like bits of his skin are falling off (as it looked in the last case of fin rot I had to deal with).

Besides the holes, though, he's very lively, perky and responsive. As I mentioned, he's not discoloured-- he's a very beautiful blue colour-- his gills don't look red or swollen, his eyes are clear, and overall he seems very happy. He's in a clean, conditioned gallon-and-a-half bowl for tonight (we had some water already aged for water-change purposes-- this was sort of a last minute decision!), but he'll be moved to a five-gallon tank with some nice silk plants and a heater tomorrow morning.

So: thoughts? Is it fin rot? Did he get into a fight? Tail-biter? I've had some very bad experiences with fin repair medicine and am reluctant to use it again, so really I'd just like to know what you guys think it might be, and whether I can heal it without stressing him out.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
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? None

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? We're going to try 25% every two days once he's in the tank, and then about 50% once a week after that.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? see above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Conditioner

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:00 PM   #2 
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Sounds like it's possible there was something in his previous environment that was ripping up his fins. If you don't see any black chunks falling off, it isn't fin rot. A picture would help us evaluate him better, but if he seems healthy and active I would just keep a close eye on him and see if it gets worse. Congrats on getting your new fish! I'm sure he appreciates you rescuing him, especially since you seem to be a lovely owner! (:
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #3 
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Thank you! It doesn't look like anything's falling off-- fingers crossed he was just banged up a little and he'll start to heal up now that he's in clean water.

It's getting darkish and I don't want to stress him out with the flash from my camera, so I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow (once he's in his tank which, conveniently, also has a light!) and post them up here. :)
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:06 PM   #4 
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Yep clean water is definitely the best medicine! Is this your first betta?
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:23 PM   #5 
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No-- I've been keeping bettas on and off since I was a kid. :) We recently (and by recently I mean 'about a year ago') got two cats, and shortly thereafter my beautiful purple-blue betta Shaundi's health started to decline (unrelated to the cats! thank god). Despite my best efforts she passed away, and after that I decided to just focus on the cats for awhile. I was given a very lovely new tank for Christmas, though, which was what inspired me to get back into bettas. :)

(Unforunately we've had a very bad string of luck since then-- there's nothing that really could've been done, but I lost one beautiful boy, Dove, quite literally just this morning and have been sort of a mess since then. Getting a betta that might've already been sick probably wasn't the best decision in my current emotional state, but I couldn't just leave the poor thing. :( )

Update: I have a picture! It's still sort of dark and unclear, but I tried to lighten it up a little. 'Six or seven holes' might have been a bit of an underestimation, but he's been swimming around so much I hadn't really gotten a good look at them until now. (His fins look more jagged than they actually are in this picture-- that's just pixelation. But you can see the holes in his tail quite clearly, and the little bit of damage at the back of his bottom fin.) I'll try to post a better one tomorrow.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:29 PM   #6 
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So sorry for your loss! I just lost two boys within the span of two weeks...the second one was the first fish I've ever had to put down. That wasn't a fun experience! He looks very pretty...the jagged edges scream fin rot but if there's no black, I'm fairly certain it's not fin rot. I've never seen anything quite like that. Someone else might have a better idea, but to me it just looks like ripped fins. Do you have any idea what his last home was like? Any rough decor or nippy tank mates?
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:37 PM   #7 
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Oh, yikes, that's terrible, I'm sorry. :(

I'm going to keep looking at it, especially once he's in the tank-- he's a dark colour to begin with so I just want to make sure I'm not seeing any black. There isn't a single hole in any of his other fins, though, aside from that one weird bit on his bottom fin, which is sort of reassuring.

I'm fairly sure he was being kept alone and in a bowl, but I don't know what sort of decor he was kept with (the guy I got him from wasn't exactly someone I knew-- I just happened to overhear the conversation during class. SIGH.)
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:39 PM   #8 
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Personally, this does look light finrot to me, I have had a few of my rescues who came home with pinholes that slowly grew to look like your boy.... best treatment... CLEAN water.... keeping him in a small tank (1 or 2 gallons is best) with constant 100% water changes everyday will help
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:50 PM   #9 
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That sounds doable-- I have two bowls that are about 1.5 gallons each (one of which he's in now), but I'm just worried he'll be stressed out by it.

How soon should I expect to see regrowth, if I wanted to try that?
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:02 PM   #10 
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It will depend, I have had rescue boys who had new growth the next day.... some it took months... and one of my rescues, Grendel (he had pinholes from finrot), though the ends of his fins came back perfectly, the pinholes never healed (he has since been rehomed and lives in a 10 gallon community tank), it really depends on the betta tohugh I tihnk most of the time, they heal fast and easily
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