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Diagnosing help fin curling and black/red gills

619 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Nox
I got Colonel Fish five days ago because he looked quite pitiful at the pet store. I could tell he wasn't in the best of shape, but I was going to take him home for that very reason. His dorsal fin is severally curled. I haved been able to find out anything like this when I scoped the internet. Is this just how he looks or does he have an issue with that fin. The skin around his gills is really dark and red and his bead looks shriveled and uneven. Is this from bad water conditions while he was at the pet store? My main concern is are the look of his fin and gills just how he looks or is there a bigger issue I should be concerned with.

How many gallons is your tank?
3 this is temporary housing and I plan on getting him a 5.5 like I have for my other betta fish
Does it have a filter?
yes and no, I was giving him lifeguard all-in-one as a procaution against any sicknesses he would be coming home with. today was the last of five days on it and i put in an old bio bag from my other betta tank. I was hoping the bacteria from this bag would help out the tank.
What temperature is your tank?
not sure but to the touch it feels the same as my other betta tank with reads between 72-74F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
I have a tetra whisper filter and that makes a lot of bubles and waterfalls into the tank if that counts
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
What food brand do you use?
I don't remember the brand, but it is just some dried blood worms, not the frozen kind the kind that come in a salt shaker looking thing
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? i feed him twice a day, morning and night, 2 blood worms that i soak in some water first

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
I got him from a pet store 5 days ago so before that I am not sure how often his water was changed I have done a 20-30% water change everyday that I have had him and today I did a 60-70% water change
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
I syphon the water out into another container. I use the tube I syphon with to root around in the gravel as I empty the water
What additives do you use?
for the past five days I have been adding half a tablet of life guard all in one and aqueon water conditioner to the fresh water before I put itinto the tank

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you.

Nitrite: 0.0-.25 ppm
Hardness (GH):N/A
Alkalinity (KH):N/A

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
I got my betta this way
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
He actually looks better than when I first got him. when I first got him his gills and the surrounding area was almost completely black
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
his behavior is the same he quit active and roams his tank
Is your Betta still eating?
he eats like it is his job. If I followed the feeding instructions on the label I would have a super bloated fish because he would eat his body weight in 3 minutes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
I just stopped using life guard all in one
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? N/A
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she a rescue?
I have had him 5 days. his tank is brand new the gravel is new and the one decoration he has was an old one from a tank my sister had years ago that I cleaned up


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1 - 6 of 6 Posts
The only thing I know to tell you is to make sure his water stays as clean as possible. You said he looks better now than he did at the store, so it's probably a result of his previous water conditions.
A temperature bump would probablg help him immensely. Warm water is essential for thier metabolism to run efficiently. Ideally it should be at 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. He will recover quicker in warmer water.
I think he just has ammonia burns (the black gills). The curled fin is probably also caused by ammonia damage from his time in the store. He looks to be in pretty good shape to me.
Since you finished the life guard I would suggest you use a low dose of aquarium salt for a few days. I would do 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. Dissolve it in a cup of tank water and add it a little at a time over around 15 or 20 minutes. Then when you do water changes replace salt according to how much water you tane out, so if you were to take 2 gallons dissolve 2 tspn in the new water add your declorinator and replace.
I also suggest you get him a high quality pellet food and save the bloodworms for a weekly treat. New Life Spectrum and Omega One are bith easg to find and have few fillers.
Your Betta will heal faster with quality food and warm water.
thanks everyone. I moved him to a 5.5 gallon planted tank and plan on getting him a new heater. The one I have says it can work for 2-5 gallon tanks but I don't really believe it. When I make it to the store this weekend I will look for the food you suggested. I have had him for about 2 weeks now and his curl is still there so I don't think that is going to go away very quickly, but I think it gives him more character. Thanks again for your advice.
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