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Old 03-24-2012, 11:51 PM   #1 
Sea Dragon
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Fin Rot and future course of action?



Around 2 weeks ago, my betta Gibbs developed some black blotches on the edge of his fins. At first I didn't think much of it because the trimming of his fins are naturally translucent black, but seven days later, the edge of his top caudal (he's a double tail) started to look slightly shredded. Right now, his dorsal fin has a dip in it and the rot has progressed from his top caudal to his bottom caudal. The rot progresses little by little everyday and the salt treatment doesn't seem to be slowing it down. I started using Tetracycline two days ago so I'm not sure if that's helping yet.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 74-75 degrees (It used to be 80 but I was an idiot and broke the heater...)
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, unless a temporary desk lamp counts.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes and dried blood worms, peas once a week.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, fast one day a week.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Before the sickness, 50% every three days. Now I change everyday.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Used to be 50-75%, now it's 90-100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Splendid Betta Complete Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I had Petco test my water. They didn't give me any specific levels, but they said the water was nice. I did use a pool strip to test a sample though.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH: 7.8
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Tail fins are deteriorating bit by bit each day. I haven't been able to find any pieces of fin on the bare-bottom though.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Was skittish earlier, but he's normal now. He still bites me when I get close enough ;P
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A little over a week ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, last Tuesday with 1tsp/gal of salt. I upped it to 1.5 tsp/gal of salt today and I plan to do 2 tsp/gal of salt with tomorrow's water change. I also added Maracyn-TC (Tetracycline) to the salt treatment two days ago. Today is the third day of treatment with the medicine.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, but I've only had him for a month.
How old is your fish (approximately)? A little under your typical pet store fish age? His body is only about 1.5 inches long.

If I progress with my current treatment, when should I begin to see results? :( Does fin rot normally progress with treatment before stopping and getting better? Right now I have no more money for meds and I'm worried that I won't be able to cure something as simple as fin rot.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:40 AM   #2 
Pataflafla
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For aquarium salt you can go as high as 3 tsp/gal safely.

I'm not sure you'd want to mix that high of a dose along with medications however.

Continue with 100% daily water changes. If you plan to switch off the medication, be sure you complete its full course before doing so (If you end it early, bacteria can build up a resistance and make the medication less effective next time you use it).
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #3 
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Pataflafla, thanks, I'll probably go for 3 tsp/gal once the 5 days of medication are done.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:37 PM   #4 
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If the rot doesn't show any signs of stopping in the next two days, should I wait longer with the salt treatment until the 10 days are up (this Thursday)? Or should I use the hydrogen peroxide treatment? If the H2O2 treatment, then does anyone know a good set of instructions save for bettatalk?
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:31 PM   #5 
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I'm unsure about the peroxide method.

Definitely give the salt treatment until it's full 10 day course, but try and get him up to 3 tsp/gal in the mean time.

you might have to look into a different medication to try if other methods don't work.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:14 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dragon View Post
If the rot doesn't show any signs of stopping in the next two days, should I wait longer with the salt treatment until the 10 days are up (this Thursday)? Or should I use the hydrogen peroxide treatment? If the H2O2 treatment, then does anyone know a good set of instructions save for bettatalk?
I really wouldnt recommend it if you dont have a steady hand at doing things... a slip of the hand can be quite detrimental. Its like one of those "use at your own risk" things, and probably only recommended if all else fails and the rot is threatening to eat the entire fish. There are other great remedies for rot out there that are not as dangerous.

But if you want to know, Ive done it before and it works really well, it does nuke the rot straight away.


I did it when my betta just showed the beginning symptoms of a case of rot. Although it was just a black edge to his tail, i was a new fish owner and didnt have any meds on hand. I did have hydrogen peroxide! After i read bettatalk ( I didnt have any of her red stuff) I used a wet paper towl and folded it over the top half if the fish and gently held him down. Then I was left with just one hand. took an eye dropper and used conditioned water to spread his fins out. I then took a qtip and swabed the rot with hudrogewn peroxide... had to be really careful not to get anything anywhere nearrrr his gills. I then rinsed his fina off really well and plopped him in new water with double dose of stress coat and 1tsp/gal salt. I kept up with 100% water changese everyday along with salt stress coat tannins and 82 degrees water until I was sure that the rot is not coming back.


My fish is fairly mild tempered ( until he sees another fish or my finger which he thinks is food), he stayed still for me for the entire treatment. if your fish doesnt calm down and stay still then definitely dont go ahead with any hands on procedure oO

Hope that was o some help
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #7 
Sea Dragon
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@Pataflafa: Okay I will definitely see this salt treatment to the end. I really hope it works.

@Aokashi: Thank you for the info!

I do draw a lot and a recurring compliment I get is how steady my lines are :) I hope that helps haha... Although my betta is young and pretty hyper. While I haven't actually "handled" him, he bites me whenever he gets the chance and he constantly swims around (even with tail rot), so I hope that doesn't translate into a restless fish :/

Either way, I have my fingers crossed that salt+tetracycline+stress coat will help with the rot. H2O2 is a last resort here.

I know that H2O2 kills the cells while the nerves are killed by the fin rot (supposedly), does that mean the H2O2 itself is painless to them? (No doubt the procedure itself must be stressful)
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:54 PM   #8 
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Im doubt that they have pain receptors on their tails seeing that some bite of their tail by the chunk. you could do anlittle research into that. no doubt its stressful, but mine has been a rather forgiving and hungry fish, a little food bribe and he forgets everything, including the time i dumped him in cold water after he hopped right out of my hands during a wc, a tasty pellet later and he was happy. leads me to think that it was probably nothing compared to the abuse they got in the pet store.. right now he's super spoilt...
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:08 PM   #9 
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Mabe the api stress coat which will help regrow the fins & the api salt should stop the fin rot....
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:05 PM   #10 
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Im assuming my betta loves food even more than your usual bettas :) He eats absolutely everything. Hopefully he'll be just as forgiving if the need arises...

I hope the AQ salt and stress coat will solve the problem soon. I stopped the tetracycline treatment today since the directions said so and I upped the salt to 3 tsp per gallon. I tasted the water and it tasted a little salty o_o I hope I didn't accidentally add too much.

Right now it's hard to tell if the rot is progressing, but the fin looks less stringy. I mean it's still rough-edged (like torn paper) but not as stringy as what you see in the photo above. I'll take a new photo when I get the chance.
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