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Old 02-01-2012, 04:42 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Not sure if it's fin rot...

I bought a male red VT about 2 weeks ago. The first week, he seemed to be doing fine, but the second weekend I left him in the dorms while I went home Saturday. I returned Sunday and did a 100% water change (I had done two 50% the week before I left) and I noticed that there was a black outline at the edge of his anal fin and his caudal fins were tattered (no black edges though). I started doing 100% water changes starting Monday but the edge of his anal fin is still black and I keep finding pieces of his tail while emptying the water.

What size is your tank? 1.5G
What temperature is your tank? around 74 degrees
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? No

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets/flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day


How often do you perform a water change? 3 times a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% twice, 100% once
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra BettaSafe Water Conditioner

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Black at anal fin edge, tattered caudal fin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Sunday (1/29)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 100% water change daily
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure (I've had him for two weeks)

Some pictures (I apologize for the quality of my iPhone):
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The space in the fin is from a water droplet.

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Because this is my first betta, I'm having a difficult time deciding whether or not this is fin rot. Should I take the next step and try the aquarium salt treatment? Interestingly, when I came back to my room today I found a small bubble nest around one of the plants in his tank (adding to my confusion).

Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:31 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Okay, first off- go ahead and make some hot chocolate, it sounds really good right now for some reason ;)

If you see it deteriorating and pieces of the fins on the bottom of the tank then I would say it's safe to go ahead and assume it's fin rot. You are doing more then enough water changes- in fact, you can cut down the regular water changes to 1 50% and 1 100% per week, as the water can actually become too clean.

Go ahead and start the AQ salt treatment at 1 tsp per gallon, pre-dissolve it before adding him into it, water conditioner, daily water changes for no more then 10 days. If by the 6-7th day it's only gotten worse then up it to 2-3 tsp per gallon for the remainder of the treatment. Hoping that it's not a tough one to beat, as having fin rot when you are doing great at the water changes is not common. Which leads me to think he probably had traces of it prior to you getting him.

I see the black edges on the tail fin, it could be coloring, but add that with the flaking of fins I'm going to just recommend the salt treatment to be on the safe side.

Hope it helps him- you'll see clear to white coloration on the edges of his fins, which is a sign of fin regrowth and that is a good sign. It may take a couple weeks or so to see it though.

Good luck to the both of you, he's a handsome boy, love classic red VTs.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:53 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Thank you so much for your reply! I'm actually driving to an interview tomorrow, so I'll pick up some aquarium salt as I come back.

A question about the treatment, though. How long do I keep my betta in the treated water? Also, should I acclimate him or simply return him to the water after the salt dissolves/conditioner is given time to spread?
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:24 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
I would do no longer then 10 days, but you can do the treatment for up to 14 days safely.

Dissolve the salt first- I usually measure out what I need and place it into a glass and add in a small amount of water and stir the heck out of it to dissolve it, or place it in a half gallon plastic container from a juice drink and shake it to dissolve then add it into the tank with conditioner. You will want to do that daily, 100% water change with new salt.

If you are using his home tank, float him in the water each time to adjust to the temp, remove some water from the cup and put in some from the tank. I would say do that once or twice, floating him for about 15 minutes total.. that way he will adjust to the temp and the new chemistry.

But the first time you are adding him into the salt, and when you are removing him, float him for roughly 25-30 minutes, and remove water from the cup and place water from the tank into the cup 4 times (about 1/4 of the amount of water removed/added). That way he slowly acclimates to the salt/no salt.

Hope all that makes sense.. as I'm very tired and heading off.. good luck!
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