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Hello members,
First time poster, often reader to find advice on this site. I really hope I can get some help for our betta! His name is Cornie. We bought Cornie in December 2017 from a local vendor. He was approximately 5 weeks old, coming from a breeder in Thailand. Please find the information below.

How many gallons is your tank? 6 gallons (24 L)
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What temperature is your tank? 26 degrees celsius
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? One snail for cleaning

What food brand do you use? New Life Spectrum, small fish formula. 0.5 mm sinking pellets
Do you feed flakes or pellets? pellets
Freeze-dried? Occasionally some blood worms (once a week, 3-4 worms)
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Pellets: 3-4, once a day, except when feeding worms

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 20 %
What is the source of your water? Tap water, treated and heated
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Seachem’s prime, flourish potassium, flourish nitrogen conditioners / supplements. Once a month: seachem’s stability

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? This is tested with the Hagen’s Nutrafin testing kits for Nitrite, Ammonia, and Nitrate (no pH test). Tests are done once a month to once every 1.5 months.

Ammonia: 0 mg/L
Nitrite: 0 mg/L
Nitrate: 5 mg/L
pH: not tested
Hardness (GH): not tested
Alkalinity (KH): not tested
I’ll happily buy extra kits if these parameters can help.

Symptoms and Treatment: (I’ll call this Problem):
Cornie’s fins split, from the base. We don’t think it’s a disease, as there are no signs of fin rot or any change in his usual behaviour, eating habits or anything else.

It started about a month after we got him, which would mean early January 2018, and it’s continually been getting worse and worse. We think it’s because he flares a lot, but he doesn’t flare by opening his gills, but all his other fins get opened wide. Thinking back, we realize it’s something he does since he got into the tank: he flares at everything that he, for lack of a better word, studies. For instance, he’ll flare at a piece of gravel, at the snails, at the small snails that have started appearing (but we control), at the wood. Anything and continually. So, all in all, repeatedly over the day. It was first his front top fin that started splitting or rupturing at the base, and slowly it ruptured so much that he no longer has a front top fin. This week, the rupture started appearing at the base of the rest of the top fin (the chunkier one).

The tank has natural plants, drift wood (2 pieces), gravel at the bottom and a cavern-castle thing. He loves passing in tight spaces despite having so much tail, so at first we thought that he was ripping his fins on the wood, but spending a lot of time observing him, we realize it’s probably more the flaring.

With the larger fin starting to rupture at the base, we’re worried his whole top fin goes. The thing is, none of his fins seem to regrow.

We’re extremely careful to keep the tank clean and not overfeed him so not to change its balance. We want to make sure he doesn’t catch any disease considering the fins splitting are open wounds, but we are wondering if there is something else we should be doing to help him heal?

I’m posting pictures, but he is such an active little guy he is hard to capture well. He is also a tiny guy, compared to the 3 other bettas we’ve had before, but he eats well and doesn’t seem to be hungry so we think it’s mostly due to him being overactive. I believe the third pictures shows best the new splitting. The first two show the front fin now being gone :(

Adding: I should say that he's bitten his tail before (right in the middle), over 2 months ago, and that has not healed/regrown again. He seems to bite when he's left with no stimulation (eg we went away for a few days while leaving natural light for him, and feeding was done by someone passing once a day), and once he bit because of stress (loud noise of something falling close to his tank).

Any advice is welcomed!


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