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Old 03-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #1 
whoiam
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Please help! Betta fins shredding/curling

My betta had what I'm guessing was fin rot a while ago. The tips of his fins were turning black and falling off. I followed advice and treated him with epsom baths and kept his water super clean.

He seemed to recover, and I figured it was a matter of time for regrowth.

In the meantime the tips of his fins started to curl a little (he's a crowntail). I was advised to get his water temperature up (it was stuck around 75 and now it's at 80) and get him more space and exercise (also done).

His fins are not turning black or red or white, but they look shriveled and curled. He's not what I'd call listless really, but he does just sorta appear to be floating near the top of the water a lot (nothing topsy turvy).

His water is clean. He's eating and pooping regularly. He's in a 2-gallon hospital tank while I cycle my 6-gallon tank, but that shouldn't be so small it causes problems, right?

Please please help--any suggestions will be much appreciated!
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #2 
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he does just sorta appear to be floating near the top of the water a lot (nothing topsy turvy)
Fwiw, he has a betta "hammock" and used it once but never after that. He doesn't seem to be struggling at the top of the water. (I've seen SBD and that's not it at all.)
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:25 PM   #3 
yumekon
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how long ago did you start treating the fin rot?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:54 PM   #4 
earthworm88
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Hi whoiam,
If it is truly a case of fin rot, you should be using Aquarium salt to treat, and not epsom salt (perhaps it is typo on your part). How long was the treatment and dosage?

If the fin tips are shriveled and curled now, are they also getting shorter? Fin curls were speculated to be due to hard water condition as well as genetics. I think if they were susceptible to fin curls, then hard water may hasten the process as they grow? I am really not sure about this as I haven't found any solid evidence or research. Mine unfortunately also have some curling to all their fins (when long enough), and my water cannot be any softer as it is desalinated water. My CT has a few rays not going in the same direction as the rest, and one on top of the dorsal fin is actually screwy as it grows, but I saw that when I first bought him. So on the same fish, I have rays curling and rays straightening, so this can't be due to water or environment right? So I would interested to find out how to make those rays all nice and uniform too

When you say floating, do you mean really at the top of the surface? listing to side slightly? or just appear to be hovering near the top? Were the pectoral fins moving during this floating or were they stationary?
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:03 PM   #5 
whoiam
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how long ago did you start treating the fin rot?
It was a 2-3 weeks ago and seemed to stop. He was improving and there was no more blackening or tips falling off; I even thought I was seeing regrowth.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:09 PM   #6 
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When you say floating, do you mean really at the top of the surface? listing to side slightly? or just appear to be hovering near the top? Were the pectoral fins moving during this floating or were they stationary?
He's not tipping at all! But the pectoral fins are clamped until the minute I get close and he starts fluttering them and being friendly. He may just be sleeping, but I'm new to this and it seems odd. :)

I actually did mean epsom salt. I read a lot about using it instead of antibiotic meds that can do more harm than good. BUT it's really interesting because it does make for hard water. He's not in it now, but I wonder if that is related.

I may just need to give him some time--I tend to panic, but I'd rather catch a problem quickly if these are signs of things more experienced people would recognize. That's why I need you, so thanks as always!
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:11 PM   #7 
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If the fins are just curling and not blackened, melting, or getting shorter. This is usually harmless and a result of the way the ray(s) healed. There isn't really a lot you can do for it. I unfortunately have a veil tail with the same problem. Not curling but his fins looked shredded and ragged around the edges from having damaged rays. It is common for CT to heal with curled rays. On the floating as long as he can dive and swim without struggling to stay where he seems to wants I wouldn't worry.

As long as he has good color, eating, and acting alert I wouldn't suspect anything wrong. It would be great to see a picture of the guy.

A note on the Betta "hammock" watch it around the suction cup and the spine of it for rust and splits. These are nice in theory, but the craftsmanship of them is sub-par for being submerged in water.

Last edited by freemike; 03-03-2012 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:28 PM   #8 
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He's not tipping at all! But the pectoral fins are clamped until the minute I get close and he starts fluttering them and being friendly. He may just be sleeping, but I'm new to this and it seems odd. :)
Oh ok. That's nothing to worry about. Some bettas nap that way instead of lying down on the floor on perching on the plant. I suspect he was just playing hooky until you caught him in the act

Quote:
I actually did mean epsom salt. I read a lot about using it instead of antibiotic meds that can do more harm than good. BUT it's really interesting because it does make for hard water. He's not in it now, but I wonder if that is related.
For future reference, epsom salt is for bloating/constipation/SBD and aquarium salt is for external infection such as fin rots, slime coat issue. Yes, ES does increase water hardness. But I don't think the treatment period was the main culprit of his curling fins.

Quote:
I may just need to give him some time--I tend to panic, but I'd rather catch a problem quickly if these are signs of things more experienced people would recognize. That's why I need you, so thanks as always!
I am that way as well. Rather be safe than sorry With time, you will know more and more about the personality of your betta and know what is the norm for each and everyone. As long as he is eating well, socializing normally, and no physical ailments, I think he is one happy betta.

Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:57 PM   #9 
whoiam
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A note on the Betta "hammock" watch it around the suction cup and the spine of it for rust and splits. These are nice in theory, but the craftsmanship of them is sub-par for being submerged in water.
Yeah, I'll definitely part with it when I move him from the hospital tank you recommended. I just wanted him to have something besides his little house and the heater in there. I did feel it and I've worried about the tip, but it would pass the "pantyhose" test for now. I have only silk plants for the new aquarium (obviously not ready for real plants yet--trying to figure out the fish!).
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:01 AM   #10 
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I totally understand that about the plants lol. Yeah i went to the dollar general and bought some coffee cups for houses for my hospital tanks. Cosmo my red Betta is confused by it and sleeps on the house lol. I should rename him Snoopy. Mystic my blue boy inspected his very closely all over and inside. Then he chilled out in it for like an hour so I guess he likes it lol.
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