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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Diagnosis and Treatment Help (Finrot Maybe?)

Hi everyone,

I am new to these forums, so please excuse any lack of knowledge I may have about how things work here.

I need some help diagnosing and treating my first betta, Animus. I suspect it to be fish rot because I let his water get pretty bad due to a spontaneous busy schedule. I know this is no excuse, and I really want to help him recover.
He has the classic symptom of jagged fins/tail, but he has a white coloration to the edges which I haven't seen much of during my research. I want to make sure I am diagnosing him right, and I also want to make sure that he is treated correctly.

I have started BettaFix yesterday and Aquarium Salt today. I mostly want to know if this is the best treatment for him. If there is anything else I should do, please let me know.



Housing
What size is your tank?: A 1-gallon bowl with a few large smooth rocks at the bottom and a plant.

What temperature is your tank?: Not sure, I don't have a thermometer.

Does your tank have a filter?: Yes, but I have removed it for medication and space reasons.

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?: No

Is your tank heated?: Not currently. I do have a heater though. I made the terrible mistake of thinking I would only need it for the colder months, I recently removed it since it's warmed up. (shame on me, I know) I intend to put it back though.

What tank mates does your betta fish live with?: None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?: TetraBetta Floating Pellets

How often do you feed your betta fish?: 1 pellet a day. I let them soak in water first and then give it to him. They end up to be about the size of his eye if not bigger.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?: Once a week usually. However, I will be honest and have slacked off greatly lately which I believe to be the cause of the fin rot. (If that is what it is.)

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water
change?: 100% and I rinse off all the rocks and plants

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?: Tetra BettaSafe

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I haven't.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?: His tail/fins are jagged and the edges appear to be white. He also lost some scales during a transfer incident. His previous bowl had a tray at the bottom to catch uneaten food and such. I removed the rocks and left him unattended and he somehow managed to get under it... How he managed that I still don't know. He lost some scales on his side.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?: His behavior has been the same.

When did you start noticing the symptoms?: About a week ago.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?: I got him a new bowl and a filter. I started treating him with Bettafix yesterday, but after some research, I've learned that is a big no-no. I got some aquarium salt today and added a dissolved teaspoon to his bowl.

Does your fish have any history of being ill?: No, this is the first health problem he's had. Granted, this is the first I've slacked on replacing his water so badly..

How old is your fish (approximately)?: I've had him for about a year now. Maybe a little less.

Here are some pictures of Animus.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gd70poqh1dugnq4/2015-03-17 19.49.12.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i49i4z42mnu8i9p/2015-03-17 19.50.00.jpg?dl=0
 

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OK - I have good news for you! This doesn't look like rot, it looks like your boy was biting and his fins have started to grow back. The white looks more like regrowth to me.

However - you *DO* need to keep up with his water changes to prevent those injuries from getting a secondary infection and *becoming* fin rot. In a 1gal tank, water should actually be changed every day. Smaller tanks build up waste more quickly - and maintenance on these tanks is actually much *more* work than a larger tank would be. Picture a cup of water and a gallon of water - and you add a tablespoon of salt to both. Which container is more salty? It's the same principle. If you have the chance in the future, I'd recommending upgrading that tank to something 2.5gal or larger - it would be less work for you and a better environment for your fish. To keep with a 1x per week water change cycle though (and really - you shouldn't do less than this) you would need a 5 gal tank or larger.

Also, please get the heater back in the tank and get a thermometer for the tank. You can usually get thermometers at pet stores or Walmart for under $2. This helps you to be sure that your heater is working properly and that your tank is at an appropriate temperature for your little guy. The temperature in the tank should be kept stable - between 78-82 degrees F.

If you have the chance - replacing your water conditioner for Seachem Prime would be a good move also. It will lock ammonia into it's harmless form for 24 hours, so it can help keep your tank safer between water changes. (It's not a replacement for water changes though - those still have to be done regularly.)

What brand of pellets are you feeding? 1 pellet per day is actually probably a bit low. This may be contributing to the biting you're seeing. I'd bump that up slowly. Start with 1 pellet 2x per day, and I'd even bump it up further to 2 pellets 2x per day from there. That still may not be enough - but it's a start. Every fish is different. When feeding, look for a gentle bulge just under your boy's chin to show (his stomach). Once that gets *GENTLY* rounded - your boy's had his fill.

A high quality pellet is important too though - you want one low in fillers. New Life Spectrum or Omega One are the better options out there. Aqueon is OK - not great but not terrible. Hikari, Tetra, Top Fin, and anything that has more grain than fish in it's first 3 ingredients is something that should be passed over.

Good luck with your little guy! Welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it.

I definitely intend to buy a thermometer to keep his water at a more comfortable temperature. I also will be replacing his water more often and with the re-installment of his filter I'll make sure this doesn't happen again. With a filter, will I still need to replace the water everyday?
Also, I feed him Tetra pellets, and I intend to feed him more. I might look into buying him a different brand. The reason I keep it to one is that the pellets get pretty big when they are all soaked up.

What seems weird to me though is that he only has started to exhibit these symptoms recently. Again, I've had him for a year now and haven't really changed anything drastically in his care, including his feeding. The only thing being letting his water get pretty bad. Is it normal for a betta to start biting out of the blue because of this. I also never have caught him biting; his nature has also been a less aggressive and more docile one since I got him.

In terms of helping him heal, should I continue my BettaFix and Aquarium Salt treatment, or should I do anything differently?

Sorry for another bombardment of questions. I just want to confirm his problem and make sure I understand what I need to do to be better. My main concern was the white coloration of his fins/tail, so it's a relief to hear that infection might not be the case.

Thanks again in advance!
 

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Bad water quality could stress him out which could encourage biting. Its hard to say for sure.

And yes, even with a filter you would still need frequent water changes in a 1 gal tank. With a filter, I'd say every 1-2 days.

I'd stop using the bettafix. It could cause other problems. Aquarium salt is fine to continue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)

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Just an fyi. My first betta, Rubbie, just recently started biting his tail after no change in care or really environment (other than being moved from his own tank to a divided tank) Basically it can start at any time, and you may never find the real cause.
 

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Welcome to the forums! I notice you didn't fill out the water params/didn't test them. I highly recommend picking up an API liquid test kit. It's something that I didn't understand the value of years and years ago and now I'm kicking myself for skipping. I figured water was water and I was doing 100% changes anyways so whatever, right? Well, not to the fish it isn't. I had the money, I should have bought it! =P

Some bettas eventually get bored and start biting their fins. A tank upgrade would give you the room to add some new decor, see if that helps. Easy-care live plants are also a great addition to small tanks because they'll help with water quality. As others have said, bigger tanks are less work, too. Might be something to look into. I wish you guys the best. =)
 

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I didn't read any of the replies so I may be restating something Greenapp1es has said twice, but here's what I have to say:

Definitely not fin rot. It's ribboney and looks like biting. Biting can be caused by factors of stress and/or boredom. The white cooouuld be colmnaris but I'm unsure of that. Columnaris is white and cottony, it is hard to tell from the pictures. Does it look cottony? Columnaris also tends to eat away at the fins rapidly.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it's the way you're currently caring for him. Welcome to the community, we're here to steer you in the right direction.

First of all, a 1 gallon bowl is much too small. You need something at least 2.5 gallons for one betta, you can get a 5.5g at Petco for $15 if you're short on money :). Heating is also important, remember to read the box to get the right size heater so you don't overheat or underheat your tank. Also a thermometer would help tons, unless you have an adjustable heater I strongly recommend you get one.

If it's a 1 gallon bowl, like Greenapp1es said, water changes are important! If you have trouble with water changing, get Prime like she said as it neutralizes heavy metals, or get a larger tank so you have to do them less.

I hope this helps, and I hope he pulls through!

Also, what's his plant made out of? If it's plastic-that can rip his fins.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bailmint -

Here are some better pictures I took this morning:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ilaloatlmd...29.27.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dvhq82farz...29.29.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lx7q4f29a1...29.34.jpg?dl=0

In person, It doesn't seem to look cottony at all. It more looks like it's part of/the edges of his fins. His ventral fins have some pretty long white tips. I don't know if that is anything. I may just be over analyzing him.

Just to recap -

Housing:

I can't really upgrade his tank any larger unfortunately due to space restrictions. (college dorms) I upgraded his tank to the 1 gallon while I was at home for spring break and take him back today. However, in combination with the filter I got him, I intend to do 100% water changes every or every other day.

I'll also be giving him back his heater! That was a huge mistake on my part. I left the heater at my dorms so that will be reintroduced today. I'll also invest in a thermometer.

Remove his plant just in case that is the culprit - It is plastic.

Food:

I'll be giving him more food. I'll try increasing his diet to two pellets first and see how he responds. In the future, I might change the brand I feed him.

Maintenance:

Invest in Seachem Prime

As for his healing treatment, I'll discontinue the BettaFix but keep the AQ salt.

I don't think I can afford getting a water test kit at the moment, especially with the other expenses I've made lately with Betta upgrades. However, that may be something I invest in in the future.

Am I good to go?
 

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You should be. Maybe try talking to the person that is in charge of the dorms though and ask if you can have a 2.5 gallon tank and show them how small it really is because it sounds like a lot to uneducated people.
 
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