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Can a Betta recover from Fin Melt?

5411 Views 40 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Sena Hansler
Hi... I have a male betta named Sushi. I have had him for about 6 months (have had my previous betta, Baby, for several years.) This morning, his top and bottom fins (fans) look liked they had melted. I immediately went online to do research and found a warning about BettaFix (along with Mettafix, I believe)and how it can cause fin melt and even death in labrynth breathing fish, such as bettas. I have used BettaFix (along with aquarium salt) every time I change his water and used it on Baby too. Apparently, some bettas tolerate it ok, but others cannot. I immediately changed his water and threw the BettaFix in the trash. He is acting like his usual frisky self and eating, with the exception of his fins. I tried to see if Bettas recover from fin melt but haven't found anything. If anyone knows if they recover or if this can be fatal, please let me know. Thanks so much.
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ummmm o.o... Bettafix should not be used as an additive, and neither should salt. Those are meds only!!

AQ salt can do the same damage as bettafix, and yes, fin melt included!! I suggest ONLY using tap water conditioner (if you don't already) which neutralizes chlorine, chloramine, and a few other things such as metals. This can help with keeping fins from melting, along with avoiding overuse of medications which commonly have been used for additives which can be dangerous - sometimes lethal. Water changes help too :)

I'd say, CLEAN WATER, and GOOD FOOD. Don't add any meds to him, and his fins may never be as they were but you can prevent further damage and infections by just maintaining a healthy, med and salt free environment, and good foods for the fella. :)
Thanks Sena.... so I should not use the salt now... since the AQS, combined with the BettaFix may have caused the fin melt? I have gotten so much conflicting advice from the pet store, fish store, on-line... it gets confusing. I had read another post on this board that said to use salt for fin melt and change the water every day for 10 days???
Truthfully you don't need medications for everything. Minor fin rot, blown fins/torn fins, chewed fins, and fin melt don't need to be medicated.

"I have used BettaFix (along with aquarium salt) every time I change his water" do you mean you use it as an additive or used it to help the fin melt? Just want to make sure!

Because I think you meant it was an additive, both have been doing damage to the betta...Some betta's fins are more thin, or fragile, than other bettas which is why his melted. Over use of medications (as additives) can cause such problems...Including internal...which you can't see.

If you were to use AQ now, as a med for the fin melt ater using it as an additive, he probably grew immune to the affects, and it may or may not make him sicker.
Yes, I was using it as an additive when I changed his water, which was 2-3 times a week. Several years ago, when I got my first betta, Baby, I was on another betta website (can't remember which one) and they said to add a pinch of salt as a preventive measure to keep the fish from getting fin rot, etc., along with a couple of drops of BettaFix. Baby lived several years and I think he was older and his fins were thicker. Sushi was tiny when I purchased him and has grown quite a bit and I guess that's why he was affected by the combo. Thank you sooo much for the info. I changed his water as soon as I read your post and only used water conditioner. He is acting and eating like normal, so I am hoping it didn't do too much internal damage. I wasn't using a lot, but it apparently was enough to cause fin melt. Thanks again... I love him so much... he has such a great personality, and was devastated when I saw his fins.
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Yyyyeah.... it's basically like saying to humans "got a cold?! Take this pill!" "Take all the flu shots!" "take all the pandemic/epidemic shots!" "go to the doctor every week!" It's overbearing and so unneeded.

The "a pinch of salt to help avoid diseases" is more for fish like brackish water mollies, or fish who can stand a little salt. Betta fish are 100% strictly salt free fish! With the acception of medicating of course. It's a rather common mistake, and you'll find people who fight to the end of the world to say "NO you HAVE to add this this and this!" But for the most part 98% of us here will say something and that means it's probably more correct that pet stores :lol:

Fin rot is caused from stress, or bad water. A pinch of salt won't help bad water! Columnaris is usually bad water quality, ich is from stress/cold water/dirty water... Basically if you keep your fish stress free, in warm water, with good foods, and clean the tank appropriately you don't need to delve into the fanatics of adding the unneeded meds. Again I'll compare to humans - don't wallow in filth, you'll be just fine. Let their immune system take care of it. :)
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Thank you again... in fact, when I was told to add the pinch of salt... I thought to myself... they are fresh water fish... why add salt to the water... should have researched it further. Well, I make sure he always change his water regularly, he doesn't seem to be under stress and he has a varied, healthy diet... just have to hope his fins recover and he doesn't have internal damage. From now on, this will be the only place I come for advice!!! Thanks again. :)
No problem :) we're here to help! And we have an "other fish" section to help with other fish too if you ever get or have other fish :)
Hi and welcome!! Sena has you covered on everything above :) Just backing her up. She knows her stuff.
Don't feel bad about the confusing and often contradictory info.. Everybody will say something and back it up with "well I had a fish live for -- and he was fine!" or pet store employee's will tell you what they;ve been told etc.. It's ultimately up to the owner to find resources that they trust :)

(*ps, you found the right one!! *) lol
:lol: But the better life you give a pet, the happier they are <3 Some dogs live 10 years in awesome conditions, some can live 15 years even in terrible conditions. It's not the life span that matters, it's the life they were given :)
Very true, Sena! Ok... yesterday and I changed his water and only added conditioner/dechlorinator, and he was fine. Today, while he was active this morning and ate his breakfast very enthusiastically... this afternoon, he has periodically been darting around his tank eratically. He then stops and kinda rests at the top. Granted, his fins are still melted, although the long ones that hang down from his stomach, do look better than they did.

Could this be because he is now in water (for the first time) without AQS and is adjusting to the new water?
Yes, he will have to adjust of course - And watch if he is swimming into/against things, it could lead to cuts so clean water is a must of course :)
Thanks again. And now another question! I changed his water yesterday and only added conditioner/dechlorinator. This morning, he was acting fine and ate his breakfast very enthusiastically. This afternoon, he has darted eratically around his tank several times, only to stop motionless at the top. He also sometimes rests on the bottom. I don't know if something else may be wrong, or is he just getting acclimated to the water without the AQS and BettaFix added?
Also... his fins still look melted, although the long ones under his gills look better than they did yesterday.
No problems will be gone overnight, the fins may take a while to heal fully however some may never be able to go back to the the glory they were before they melted.

As for the irratic behavior, it's hard to know. Some betas "dart" when they have ich, some bettas do this after treatments or something that tends to make them more sluggiesh (or I find), and some bettas do it especially when they are weak swimmers.
Hi all... update on Sushi... He is not doing well at all... I have been changing his water 100% and stopped the AQS and threw out the BettaFix (think this caused his fin melt.) I removed his plastic plant with a live one (fern that was suggestd here). The water tests normal for all criteria and the temp is at 79 degrees... however, he has buried himself under two stones. He stays there all the time except to come out every once in a while when he goes to the top, gets some air, and goes right back down under the stones. He is breathing heavier than normal. Other than the fin melt, I do not see any other signs of problems. My concern is that the BettaFix damaged his labrynth organ or kidneys to the point where it's too late. I did add a little Maracide to his water yesterday. He did look like he had some pale gold under his gills and wasn't sure if this was velvet or something else. This morning, he didn't even come over to me, like he always did. I haven't tried to feed him yet today, but he did eat yesterday, with no problem. Don't know what to do next....
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The pale gold usually on faceplates, would be ammonia burns. Or chemical burns - as with over use of medications that can be caused, and both are rather common.

Velvet, would be powdery and with a flashlight it would most probably be all over his body. If it IS velvet, I literally cannot help you there I have never encountered it oddly enough!
That makes sense since I was using the AQS and BettaFix in his water...not much, but apparently enough on an ongoing basis to cause the fin melt. I just did a 50-60% change of his water. Levels are reading ok. He actually is now at the top just floating near the heater... water tep is around 79-80. He saw me and acted like he was hungry, so I fed him 3-4 thawed blood worms, which he ate very enthusiastically. I did put in a little more Maracid, since that treats Ick, Velvet and other external conditions. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Would you recommend me putting something in for bacteria as well, or see if the Maracid makes a difference? Thanks again.
I'm not even sure if it is velvet... Can you show a picture? Really, velvet glimmers in light changes, but not to be confused for burns (faceplate/gills).

Anyways, considering he is acting better, just keep an eye on him :) I wouldn't add more meds especially if all it's going to do is make his immune sysem stronger against the meds - or make an unknown disease immune! Never treat for something that isn't there, or you are unsure of :)
I tried taking a picture but he couldn't get one of him sideways. He is back under the rocks now. As I said... he still has melted fins and after looking at his gills almost looks like his coloring... he is dark blue. Also, not sure if it's me just looking for something, but on his belly, it almost looks like it has lightened or more grayish instead of the dark blue... then again... it might be my eyes or lighting. When I checked him with the flashlight, his body looks normal... no spots, ulcers or anything...
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