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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! My beta fish is not doing well. His name is biggie smalls and we got him from pet smart about 7 months ago. We keep him in a 1 and a 1/2 gallon tank, a filter, a plant, and two hiding places. We very rarely clean the tank. He was never very active or crazy. About 2 months ago I noticed that his tail was looking droopy and shredded, I was confused but decided to move on. I upgraded his tank, got decor and a fake plant in hopes that he would become “happy”. My family does not keep very close watch of him. It’s more of a chore to feed and clean the tank. We need to fix that. So... I researched and came to a conclusion that he might have fun rot, his tail is shredded. I’m hoping that the internet can help me save his life, and make him heathy again. Here is some pictures of him. As you can see he doesn’t look good...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 1.5 gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? I’m not sure (probably not)
What temperature is your tank? I’m not sure
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
No
Food: two different kinds. Small pellets and crumbles
What food brand do you use? Pellets: Tetra Crumbles: Top Fin
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets and crumbles
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Once every day. A tiny pinch of crumbles or two or three pellets

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Every three weeks (I know it’s badddd)
What percentage of water did you change? All of it
What is the source of your water? Tap water (dechlorinated)
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Dip out and wipe down with a napkin
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner?
Only comditioner: Zoo

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. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.
I’m not sure
Ammonia:N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness (GH): N/A
Alkalinity (KH): N/A

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? About 2 months ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Color has faded, tail and fins are shredded
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? A little... he is less active but he never really was
Is your Betta still eating? Barely
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No :(
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? 7 months ish
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Apologizing in advance for the lengthy answer but I like to be thorough; some call it "wordy." :)

A weekly half-gallon water change and vacuum will be easier on you and your boy will be less stressed and much healthier. Wal-Mart has airline tubing for cheap that you can use as a siphon and to vacuum around the glass. Or, you can remove the glass which will make vacuuming easy peasy. It would also add a bit more water volume to his tank.

Temperature can the difference between health and not-so-much. As Tropical fish the best temperature for Betta is 77-82 degrees. Any less and they become sluggish and stressed and their appetites will slow down. Lowered appetite can lead to lack of proper nutrition and eventual death.

I mention stress because it is thought to be one of the main reasons for fin biting. Looking at the photos, that appears to be what he is doing. Even though it's not fin rot, biting can lead to rot. There is bacteria that is constantly in the water. It is harmless unless a fish is stressed or injured. Recommended is the use of Indian Almond Leaves or plain, decaffeinated Rooibos Tea for their antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can float a leaf or tea bag in his tank or brew a strong tea of either and add to his tank until the water is the color of the tank below. Replace with every water change.
Flower Plant Nature Leaf Botany


Until he is healing, his water must be kept as clean as possible. For now, remove any feces or detritus every day. This will keep his water clean so a weekly water change and vacuum should be okay. However, if you skip a day or two you will need to do an immediate 50% with vacuum. Before you start the weekly, you can do one more 100% so his tank is cleanest.

Because of the stress involved, the above 100% should be the last. Other contributors are tanks that are too open and/or too bright. If this were my tank, I'd remove one of the ornaments and replace with bushy silk plants. Betta need plants to rest on for shade.

Hope this helps. It's great you are reaching out.
 

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You can test the temperature of the water, including the water that's added during changes, with a clean dedicated kitchen thermometer.

Also, you'll want to start gradually feeding him more, twice a day and eventually as much as he wants in about 60 seconds.
 

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In addition to what Russell and Mpboppy recommended (water changes being the most important thing for getting him healthy in my opinion);

My guess is ammonia is very high from the infrequent water changes, but you can test your parameters for free at most pet stores. Just bring in a small container of water.

I would definitely invest in a thermometer for the tank they’re usually only a dollar or two, and if it’s below 75F, a heater for sure (78-80F is ideal). a preset heater or adjustable would be best as they monitor and adjust to the current water temperature. I recommend the tetra 50 watt or hygger mini https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08GFNBBTR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.
Good luck 👍🙂
 

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If you're looking for an adjustable heater make sure it is small enough. You don't want a preset if you can avoid it. Hydor is a good, adjustable heater that I have used for several years in various tanks from 2.5 to 20. The 25 and the 50 watt are the same size (about 7"). As they are only $1.00 or so apart, I'd go for the 50 watt so you won't have to buy a new one if you go to a larger tank.

While I haven't tried them, the Hygger mentioned above has had some positive feedback on the Forum. They are smaller than the Hydor, too.
 

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If you're looking for an adjustable heater make sure it is small enough. You don't want a preset if you can avoid it. Hydor is a good, adjustable heater that I have used for several years in various tanks from 2.5 to 20. The 25 and the 50 watt are the same size (about 7"). As they are only $1.00 or so apart, I'd go for the 50 watt so you won't have to buy a new one if you go to a larger tank.

While I haven't tried them, the Hygger mentioned above has had some positive feedback on the Forum. They are smaller than the Hydor, too.
I would recommend the hydor except I wasn’t able to find it anywhere when I looked (except used on eBay)
 
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