Can Changes in PH cause Fin issues? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Can Changes in PH cause Fin issues?


So I seem to have the worse luck with betta's fins. I just got a new betta and this morning I noticed a few small fin splits. The tank is very natural with real plants.... Nothing to rip fins on. The flow doesn't seem strong.... although he does enjoy swimming through the minor current.

What I THINK is the problem for me is the PH. I got him unexpectedly and kept him in a 2-2.5 gallon tank for 2 weeks prior to setting up his new 5 gallon home. I have extremeeeely soft water from my faucet... very little KH out of the tap. PH is a 7.0. Over the course of time in the small tank... the PH dropped to what looked to be about a 5.8. I know. Scary. I think it's because I added the Dr Tim's Nitrifying Bacteria and I've read the beneficial bacteria getting started could eat up KH. I started changing water ever day to try and get the PH up and to avoid it going down any further. It didn't really do much though... very odd considering the tank was so empty.

On Saturday I got his 5 gallon final home set up and put him in on Sunday... but obviously the PH was different with the new tap water... about a 6.8-7.0. I was super scared to change him over to that extreme change. I ended up drip acclimating him for hoursssss..... to slowly bring his PH up. I tried to make the change as easy as possible.... Either way.. he went from being in what looked like a 5.8-6.0 for 2 weeks to a 6.8 PH. It seems the PH in the new tank is staying stable. Also, there is no Ammonia.

Since being in the new tank I noticed his fin edges getting a little... transparent looking.. and then this morning I saw a few splits. Do you think it was the PH swing? If the new tank stays stable (which is looking good so far), I think they can heal. I never hear people mention PH swings and betta fins... they always seem to blame dirty water. That is definitely not my cause. I test water parameters like crazy and I am very consistent with my weekly water changes. The only thing I can't change is whats not in my control.. my water source... which really stinkssss.

Has anyone else experienced this? This happened also with my last fish when I tried to stablize the PH by adding equilibrium and acid buffer combo. I've tried adding things to my water to bring up the KH... all it does is hardly do anythinggg at all to the KH and make the PH sky rocket up.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 01:42 PM
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I have never had any problem with a higher or lower PH reading, unless it was a very rapid change. If you jst set the tank up Did you introduce him into the tank as you would any other fish? If you didn't then there could be a problem. If you took the time to introduce him to the tank and the water change very slowly over a few hours there should be no problem even if the PH went from 5,8 to 7.8 Although this would be very stressful for your betta but over time he would get use to the new Ph reading.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply. Yes, I did introduce him to the tank. I drip acclimated for hours and then as the final step I floated him on top for temperature match and then let him lose. I think regardless of how long I acclimated... the change from being in such low PH for about 2 weeks to suddenly getting back to a normal PH would be shocking.

I can't think of what else could have split his fins. I very carefully set up this tank to have no objects to get hurt on for this exact reason.

Well I added a little stress coat this morning.. hopefully it was just a adjustment change and they'll heal up? He has also been glass surfing a TON since being in the new tank (its only been 2 days) which I know could indicate stress. So I'm hoping he just needs time to settle in and his fins will heal and he'll stop the glass surfing. I find glass surfing sooo irritating for some reason lol.. anyone with me on that? I feel like my fish is a little mental patient! He's not seeing his reflection or anything...I've tested it out in a few ways... he's just glass surfing unfortunately.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:04 PM
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Can you post a picture of his tank and his fins?
The translucence is in all likelihood regrowth on his fins, but the tearing is the question.

There are also many ways to stabilize your pH. One common way is to get your KH up by adding crushed coral to the tank. There's also the baking soda option, but it's another thing that you have to remember for each water change.

I used to play with my Saffron while he was glass surfing. He is a little shy one, so whenever I put my finger on the tank in-front of where he was glass surfing, he'd freeze until I removed my finger. It was like playing the stoplight game. If he's new, give him time to settle in.

Last edited by Veloran; 10-01-2019 at 03:07 PM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply. Below is a picture of my tank. I actually don't have a picture of his fins as I just noticed it this morning and had to leave for work. It was just 3 slits at the edge between the rays. I've heard that they could rip their fins just by flaring a lot? He was flaring a lot the first day I put him in. But even when he's not flaring, he generally swims very "puffed up"... meaning his fins spread out wide.. the little guy is a show off ;)

I thought about the possibility of growth actually with the translucency.. I feel as though the fins on his bottom have actually grown (his anal fin).. maybe its a combination of growth plus spreading them out? His fins actually were split a tiny tiny bit at the edge when I got him.. and then they healed up within a day. So i feel like there's been a lot of growing/repairing, etc.

Yeah I was distracting him a bit last night too to get him to stop glass surfing. I'm not super worried about the behavior since he is so new to the tank.

I just don't want his fins get all ripped up bc he's so pretty =) I also put a picture of him flaring.
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File Type: jpg Caspers Home.jpg (64.1 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Casper Flaring.jpg (59.7 KB, 3 views)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hey All.. Just found this article online... perhaps this is what happened to my fish...

They are calling it Fin "Blow out". and it looks like slits at the end in the pic. That's what happened to him. He was swimming veryyy stretched out the last two days. and it looked like it could've been new growth.

I'll keep you posted on if they heal up over the next few days or if anything gets worse.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 08:42 AM
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Hi, it's very possible it could be fin blowout, it depends on how much he has been flaring.
His tank does look a little sparse and with him being under the bright lights, he can get stressed. You can supplement the tank with some silk plants and replace them as you go, these little guys like to swim in a little jungle. It would help him calm down a lot if he had someplace to hide when he wants. A small terracotta pot on it's side can make a good hide (just be sure to plug the hole in the bottom). I also made a coconut cave, but that's just because I wanted to try.

You will also have to just try and see what works for your betta, there's no telling what they will like and use. I've given mine cups, terracotta pots and the coconut caves and they use it sometimes. My Saffron currently would rather stuff himself behind the sponge filter than use the cave. Here is he, instead of using the pot, he chose to hide under the IAL that sank ontop of the pot.

Your fish is a beautiful little guy.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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hahaha Aww... Love the pic! Bettas are so cute! Its true.. their behavior is unpredictable.

I added a betta leaf hammock in there. Hope he uses it. My last betta loved his. I do have a fake plant that I'll considering adding. If the plants I have in there do well, I may get another plant.

He was still glass surfing yesterday, but it does seem to be diminishing.

Also, his fin splits seem to be healing up already!.. so I think he just over stretched his new growth. I got a picture last night of the slits. They were larger in the morning and are closing up. They really look like hardly anything at this point.
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File Type: jpg Casper Fin Splits.jpg (29.9 KB, 2 views)
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