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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just rescued a blue male betta from PetSmart two weeks ago. He arrived with somewhat raggedy fins, either from biting them in his horrible little pet store cup or from something else. The fins have never had any black or grey edges, though. Ever since I got him I've been keeping him in a 79º three gallon tank with a filter, and keeping the water absolutely pristine with regular changes and testing.

Today I noticed some very faint reddish streaks at the end of his caudal fin, near the ragged parts. Not bright red, just pinkish, and small so far. I wasn't worried about his tail before now, since I *thought* it was growing back. Some webbing is starting to appear where the tears were. His behavior has been consistently healthy since the day after I brought him home - he is active, eating well, and very inquisitive, and he builds bubble nests every day. However, I've been worried that the ragged edges were either because of fin rot or have since gotten infected, and now that the red streaks have started to appear, I'm very concerned.

......But I also know that blue bettas can change colors, especially once they're in healthy environments, and he does have other red on his body; his ventrals are red, and he has red markings on his gills and face. He's also developing a bit of red along the base of his fins at his belly, but that looks just like his coloring to me, since they're not near any tears.

So my question is: is this fin rot or his natural coloration coming out? I'm very attached to this little guy and don't want him to suffer. :-(


What size is your tank? 3 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 79º F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon betta pellets 5 days a week and freeze dried blood worms one day a week (with one day of fasting)
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets twice a day


How often do you perform a water change? Once or twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 15 - 25% depending on frequency
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API stress coat plus

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water?
Yes If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: trace amounts

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Since I got him, much more colorful, head darkening
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Has had ragged fins since I got him, noticed reddening today
Have you started treating your fish?If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Only had him for two weeks
How old is your fish (approximately)? I'm not sure; whatever is average for a pet store betta. He builds bubble nests, so I know he's mature.


#1 Close up on the red at the end of his fin (I know he's in front of a pink plant, but it's always that color, even when he's swimming in front of other things)

#2 Whole body

#3 From four or five days ago, fanned out while swimming

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, thanks for your input. I guess I'll just keep a close eye on him for the next few days and keep his water clean. I'm going to add a bit of aquarium salt, too. If it gets worse, I'll start him on some antibiotics.

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I would skip antibiotics... I think there may be some splitting, but no rot. He needs crystal clean water, with Stresscoat (whadda ya know about that!!) and tannins for a bonus!

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Yeah, keeping a preventative level of salt in a new fish's tank is a good idea no matter which it is. My mom has gotten freshwater fish to live for years with a teensy bit of salt in the tank. It can help keep them from getting sick, not just treat them after the fact (although you use a lower dose than if he were already sick).

I don't see anything too drastic in your pics. From what I've heard, I think he'll heal up pretty quickly in warm, clean water, even if the ammonia's been harsh on his fins in the past. He also might be coloring up, as you suggested. Either way, don't worry too much.
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