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Old 03-05-2012, 07:25 PM   #1 
OMGemily
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Repairing fins??

i just bought my betta, Antione, last friday. he was flaring a lot in his cup at the store as he could see the rest of the crowntails on the shelf and i noticed a couple of his rays on his anal fin were short/...broken off? anyway i got him home and he hasnt flared until today, just a minute ago and i saw his anal fin again and it looks like he might be missing more? im not experienced by any means but i feel safe saying its not fin rot.

he also hasnt eaten yet, and he seems to just float in one spot until i come up to the tank and he swims around really fast. and sometimes hell swim around leisurely or quickly when im not around.

also, theres this stuff on the surfaces of my tank, i can only actually see it on the bottom, but i feel it on the sides as well. it feels like a spoon after you get done stirring jell o before it chills... kid of hard to explain.

so here are my questions:
How can i help his fins grow back?
Is melafix really that bad for their labrynths?
How can i get him to start eating?
Can i do it without buying live food?
What kind of care/work is required for live food?
What is the stuff on the side of my tank?
Is it the "good" bacteria?
Should i clean it?
Is the not eating/somewhat laziness due to still getting accustomed?
How long does it normally take for them to build a bubble nest?
How long does it take for them to start eating normally?
Should i get more plants?
Should i have a substrate?
Should i clean the substrate if i do get it?

sorry there are so many questions but i figured id get them all out there. there are so many helpful people on this forum! :) if you can answer even just one or two id appreciate it :)

Last edited by OMGemily; 03-05-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:42 PM   #2 
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You should post a picture and state the size of the tank so that we get a better picture of what you "should have more" of.

As for the questions, I'm still new to bettas so I'll leave them to the experts.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:47 PM   #3 
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hes in a 5.5 gallon, there are 2 plastic plants and a betta hammock (leaf) also there are littl eclear marbly things to hold up one of the plants, but i couldnt afford to get enough to cover the bottom of the tank at the time, theres still a little gravel from when i had it in there but i cleaned most of it out after my last fish died... ill try to get a picture up now. all the plants are fake
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #4 
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ok so the first picture is his tank. 5.5 gal
second pic is the stuff on all the surfaces as best i could get it
third kind of shows how stringy/scragly his crown tips are
and the last two show the gaps in his anal fin
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #5 
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I would suggest that you get him something to hide in, like: a pot, mug, hollowed log, or a hollowed decoration.

Other than that you can either get more substrate or remove what you have(I personally find substrate more for aesthetics than functionality) Always clean the substrate before you put it in the tank: run it through water to get rid of dust and debris in the substrate. You can put it in immediately after you do that, no need to wait on that.

Your boy looks healthy. I won't put too much worry in that gap, it will heal.

New bettas could be stressed and wont eat for a while, keep trying and whatever he doesn't eat you should clean it up if it is sitting for more than a day.

It's all up to the betta whether or not he/she wants to start eatting so again just keep trying. As for bubble nests, not all bettas males build one. It's just a happy surprise when you get to see one. :)
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:25 PM   #6 
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do you think the gap will make him more prone to infections like fin rot? can i use an old mug thats been used and washed as long as i rinse it out really well? and have you ever seen stuff like in the second pic on a tank?
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:40 PM   #7 
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do you think the gap will make him more prone to infections like fin rot?
As long as you have clean water he should be fine.
can i use an old mug thats been used and washed as long as i rinse it out really well?
Yes, just rinse it out with really hot water and it should be good
have you ever seen stuff like in the second pic on a tank?
I personally only see a slight discoloration, if you're concerned enough, take an aquarium scrub brush to it and suck up whatever comes up.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:46 PM   #8 
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Cute boy you have..

How can i help his fins grow back?
do you think the gap will make him more prone to infections like fin rot?

For repairing fins, time, clean water and high protein diet is all that is needed. Splits tend to fuse back within a day or two, but missing pieces can take weeks to grow back. If more are missing since Friday, most likely he is biting his own fins. Possibly due from stress of the move, feeling exposed and scared in a large new tank without much cover, or the filter isn't baffled and the current is causing his fins to feel heavy and drag.
Any damage to their fins makes them prone to fin rot- keep up on the weekly water changes of roughly 40-50% in that size tank per week and he should be fine. Keep an eye on it though just in case.

Should i get more plants?
Should i have a substrate?
Should i clean the substrate if i do get it?

You don't need substrate, but if willing to vacuum it when you do water changes, it's good to have in a cycled/filtered tank as it will hold beneficial bacteria- not a whole lot, but a good amount that will help keep the tank from recycling if you have to replace the filter for any reason.
More plants and hiding places may make him feel more secure and not so exposed, and will reduce his stress and help him adjust faster.

What is the stuff on the side of my tank?
The stuff on the surface looks to be either protein (which is common in tanks) or dust from the house/air vents. If it's thick, you can use a paper towel to gently scoop it out. It may come back- but if it's just protein then it's harmless.
(Is it at the surface or on the bottom?)

Is melafix really that bad for their labrynths?
Yes, it has a tree oil ingredient that has potential to harm it, and has been known to harm it in many cases. Bettafix is the same thing, just watered down. Best to keep on hand is AQ salt for external problems, Epsom Salt for internal problems. General Cure and Marcel I & II are generally medications that, along with a salt, will cover more common and not so common ailments.

How can i get him to start eating?
How long does it take for them to start eating normally?

It's up to him and his stress level.. it can take days to weeks before they may eat healthy. Just continue to offer food a couple times a day until he eats- removing any uneaten shortly after eating to avoid it from rotting in the tank.

Can i do it without buying live food?
Live food is great for them, but is not needed.

What kind of care/work is required for live food?
Depends on what live food you are wanting- for free and generally safe live food you can place a bucket outside with leaves, a little bit of dirt and wait- even in winter daphnia will reproduce in it, and still water will attract mosquito, where you can then use a shrimp net or possibly a small fish net to capture the larvae, gently rinse under a soft running tap and feed.

Is the not eating/somewhat laziness due to still getting accustomed?
Possibly- but have to keep in mind that since we don't know the history of fish we buy at stores, we don't know if they come with illnesses. Also keep in mind the breeders don't always feed their betta a day or two prior to shipping, and a lot of stores won't feed them, or feed very very little, while they are on the shelf to help reduce the risk of the water going too bad before being purchased.. so between the stress of the moving, and moving into a larger home they have the added stress of not eating regularly, so sometimes their systems have to get back into the "habit" of eating once more and looking for food.
The lethargy could be due to stress and feeling exposed.

How long does it normally take for them to build a bubble nest?
Not all bettas will build a nest.. it varies for a lot of reasons. The top reasons (we believe since we can't get into their heads) is for mating, territory and a weather system coming through. Generally males will make most of their nests under a leaf that is floating at the top of the water- or anything really that is floating up there, as it's sturdy and it's their natural instinct to do so. You can't force them to do so, and it's not a sign of happiness, as they will build them in the small cups when they are on the shelf next to other males.

Hope this helps and answers some of your concerns :)

Last edited by Myates; 03-05-2012 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:46 PM   #9 
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the discoloration is just my camera but theres like... almost kinda slimy stuff? its really weird to explain but i dont know if its the bacteria that changes ammonia to mitrite and what not
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:54 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMGemily View Post

also, theres this stuff on the surfaces of my tank, i can only actually see it on the bottom, but i feel it on the sides as well. it feels like a spoon after you get done stirring jell o before it chills... kid of hard to explain.
Re-read it, sorry.. it could be dirt/dust if the tank wasn't properly cleaned before setting it up- generally want to use an aquarium sponge to scrub it before you set it up.

How long has the tank been set up?
Did it just pop up or was it there since you set it up?
How long do you keep your lights on in the tank, in case it's brown algae (which is common in newly set up tanks as they are trying to establish a cycle).
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