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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've had my betta, Arthur, for a little over a month now. He is currently in a 1 gallon hospital tank kept at 78 degrees, no filter. He has been on 1 tsp aquarium salt/gallon for the past seven days, with 100% changes every day.

Not long after I got him his tail split, and then more fraying began to appear along with signs of mild fin rot. Seven days ago I began treating him for it with aquarium salt. Everything was going fine and the tears were starting to heal (though I've noticed that since I've gotten him his fins have curled a bit - his dorsal fin is curled over and doesn't really straighten out, even when he flares). The other day some new tears appeared. Today I went to check on him and the dorsal fin has a couple of new holes (seriously appeared overnight, I checked him when I did his water change last night) that are ringed with black and have some white spots.

Since I've already had him on salt, what can I do to try to fix this? I have not tested my water, but I'm planning to do so soon because the curling is starting to worry me. I have roommates who use the same water with the same conditioner and don't have the curling issue.

He appears to be otherwise healthy.

I attached a couple of images (I hope they show up!). In the first you can see his tail and how it's healing (the bigger slit used to be twice as long, it's healed super fast) and how the strands are curling at the ends, and in the second you can see how his dorsal fin is curled. It really doesn't change from that position much.
 

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as long as you dont see blackened edges he will be fine...
change the water often - 100% every other day
and drop him off salt...

try to refrain from scrubbing his tank walls
 

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curly fins lead me to believe that you have hard water.
Unfortuantely fins regrow slower in hard water. Have you tried stress coat?
I'd take him off salt, I never found it to be of any benefit to soft water fish :/
additionally what are you feeding him? If you can feed him a good diet, this will speed up repair...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have not tried stress coat, but I'm thinking that might be the next step. Is there a particular brand that I should look for? And would it be safe to use in addition to the conditioner?

I'm currently using API Betta Water Conditioner, and it has Aloe Vera and Green Tea Extract. It sounds pretty similar?

I feed him 2-3 pellets a day, pre-soaked in tank water.
 

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it is pretty similar ^__^ I think stress coat is a little stronger, Also by API. while you're at it, order yourself some Indian Almond leaves...they will come in handy in the future
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much! I'll give the stress coat a try. And I've heard lots of wonderful things about IAL, so I'll check those out, too.

Oh! Should I move him out of the hospital tank, as well? I think he's getting a bit bored with the small space.
 

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The API Stress Coat is a water conditioner, so u would just use that instead of the conditioner you've been using :) Good Luck! I have heard if u can't get the IAL right now, then u can use oak leaves (as long as u wash them well, and there are no pesticides on them)

The stress coat is good stuff... I've been using it, and it has helped (plus regular water changes) my guy recover from the fin rot caused by the cup water he came in (that had some serious amounts of ammonia in it!) Ammonia was at around 6ppm!
 

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I use the Stress Coat and Stress Zyme by API (in conjunction), and they are fabulous products. The first time I used them after a water change, and the water in my bettas' tanks were a millions times clearer looking! They sold them as two one ounce bottles in a sample pack for about $3.50 or so, if you want to try that before you get the really big bottles. There's also another product made by API that specially targets the healing of skin and fins in bettas, if you'd like to keep an eye out for that!
And yeah, if he's in a 1 gallon, you should probably change it every 3 days, or if decaying food is really a problem you could buy a water siphon. Or try a feeding ring! I have one for my blind betta, and since it's all in one place he finds it more easily; maybe your guy could make good use of one too, if he's grown sluggish due to age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks! I'll be sure to look for that when I go today. I've heard a lot about Prime as a water conditioner, for once I take him off of the stress coat. Mine has pretty much run out with the week of daily water changes. Do you guys use it?

I never had too much of an issue with excess food - he gobbles up as much as he can get. He gets so excited when he sees it coming that he actually jumps to try and grab it off of the spoon. He always misses :)

Update: I moved him to the larger 2.5 gallon last night and took him off of the salt. I have never seen him so happy! He was always an active little fish, but now that he's got the new space he's practically dancing. His dorsal fin has uncurled slightly (maybe it was partly because he was cramped? he's gotten pretty big), though the rot is clearly still there and is easier to see with his fin more open. At least it hasn't gotten worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hate to open up this thread again, but I don't want to start a new one as it concerns the same issues with the same fish.
Arthur was doing great, the rot seemed to go away and his anal fin and tail have almost completely healed. I switched him from Stress Coat to Prime last week. That was when he started getting really hyper and bored. He spent over 24 hours glass surfing, swimming in the same circle non stop. I figured he was bored, re-arranged the inside of his tank and the stuff outside, and he settled down.

Then this morning I went to feed him and he had torn up his dorsal fin. It looks like he even broke some of the rays. There were pieces of it sitting on the leaves of his silk plant. It also looks kind of blackened, like it was burned or something, but I don't see how that's possible. And I doubt that fin rot could overtake the frayed ends within a matter of hours... could it?

I then noticed that the hole in his dorsal (that had shown signs of rot before) had gotten a bit larger, and now has a whitish outline that looks like it is a bit raised. I can't tell if it's fuzzy or not - he's so hyper that he won't sit still long enough for me to look.

I've switched him back to Stress Coat in the hope that that will help. I have some IAL on the way (won't be here for at least another week though). Is there anything else I can do for him?
 

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Can you share photos?

Please provide more info: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

Does the tank have a top? I'd start by doing a couple of 50% water changes followed by a 100% change and add back stress coat, as a start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I took the best pictures I could. The first shows the damaged fin - you can see the bare rays. They're dark, but I think it might just be his coloring now. The second two show the hole in his dorsal. Yes, his tank has a lid with a light. He's in the Aqueon Mini Bow 2.5, if you're familiar with it at all.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? No (his filter started these fin issues! I got rid of it a long time ago)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One Buffet
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets, twice a day (total 6 pellets a day)

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? One 50% one 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Conditioner (was Prime, switched him back to Stress Coat+ today)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I have not tested my water.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fin damage, hole in dorsal w/ possible fin rot
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's become much more active, glass surfs on occasion, and has been spending more time flaring at random objects around his tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He had damage before, I treated him with AQ salt and Stress Coat. His fins healed. This week he began to act more hyper, then this morning he had torn up his dorsal
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Nothing beyond the regularly scheduled 100% change for today using Stress Coat
Does your fish have any history of being ill? See the rest of this thread - it details it quite well
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him nearly two months - got him at PetCo, so not sure how old he is... probably 6 months to a year?
 

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Have you tested everything in the tank with a pair of women's panty hose? You would remove any plants and ornaments and drag a pair of hose, over and through everything. If it catches, it's too rough.

Are there actually any gray or black edges to his fins? I can't tell but it doesn't look too bad yet
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have tested everything, it seems to be fine. And this time I can tell that he's definitely doing it to himself.

It's not too bad, it's really just that hole on his fin. It's bigger than it was (I had assumed it was healing because the rest of the affected spots healed - so the fact that it's bigger worried me) and there are grayish/discolored edges to it. I'm just worried because it's gotten worse, and he's had some problems with that same spot in the past. Not to mention his odd behavior.
 

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What color is his poop? Sometimes bettas bite from internal parasite infections.

As far as stopping biting.. it depends on what is causing it. However, I have never seen biting cause graying fins.. this is an infection, sorry to say. Since salt failed, imho it's time for antibiotics. But also vitachem at 1 drop per gallon will help with the regrowth as well. I'd continue stress coat too. You don't need to switch to it.. you can use prime and stress coat as each serve their own separate purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
His poop is light brown, pretty normal I think. The hole itself is not from biting. I think it developed when his dorsal was curled up a few weeks ago.

I'm leery of medications :/ What would you recommend?

Also, if I combine Prime and Stress Coat, would I reduce the amount of each?
 

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Nah, full dose of each of Prime and Stress Coat is fine. Ingredients are different and don't conflict.

Well I use Kanaplex for fin rot, but my understanding is most people can't find it. A lot of people do Maracyn 1 and 2 in combo and its' easy to find because Walmart carries it usually. API meds that are good are Triple Sulfa. Also Maracyn Plus is easily found it seems. I always treat a minimum of one full week but treating for two if you're not completely in the clear with real regrowth at that point won't hurt. The problem with stopping early is it always seems to come back and then it's not as effective the second time because what's left of the infection is the stubborn strains.
 
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