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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I just got my first betta fish on Sunday from Petco, who I've named Chai. I have him in a 1/2 gallon travel tank temporarily until I get a larger permanent tank for Christmas. On the first night, he seemed very lethargic so I now have a heater in the tank that I keep about 78 degrees. I read that for the size of my tank, I should do water changes every day. However, other sites said to change the water twice a week. So I'm a little confused on that. I've changed his water once so far and he really, really did not like being netted and moved, so I don't think doing it every day would be the best for him. I don't want to cause him any unnecessary stress.
In addition, I am concerned that he may have fin rot. His fins are kind of thinned out in some places and look frayed on the ends. I read that aquarium salt helped with mild cases of fin rot so when I changed his water yesterday, I added 1/4 teaspoon into his water before acclimating him. Today, his fins look worse and I'm not sure if it was because of the stress of changing his water or if the fin rot is just naturally getting worse. Could someone please confirm that this is fin rot and/or give any suggestions on what I should do about it? I am a very concerned fish-mom. :sad:

Below are some pictures of little Chai.

 

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No, it doesn't look like fin rot. Its symptoms usually are bloody tips, stringy rays, blackened edges, lethargy. In my experience, it might be that since you just bought your betta it could be the water quality he experienced at the pet store. He may have also damaged his tail in the past and it healed oddly. In time you should see an improvement in his fins. What I would do is not use AQ salt, and just keep his water clean.

Tank should be changed at least every other day, if it's that small.
 

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Betta fish are very hardy, when i do my tank water changes I do not do 100 percent I do 30-40, leave him in the tank and fill the water up with new water and make that new water close to the same temp as the water in his tank. Adding Indian Almond leaves I think they are called would be very helpful for his health to! I wouldnt change his water everyday I would do once a week so you dont stress, also get frozen foods such as brine shrimp and blood worms he will love u
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you guys for your help. I'm really relieved that it isn't fin rot. I want to start doing 50% water changes every day. Would that be enough? Also, how do I do 50% water changes without freaking him out? Do I just turn off the heater, dump out half the water (being careful not to pour him out), then refill back to where it was and turn the heater back on? When do I put in the tap water conditioner? Is it safe to add it while he's in the tank? Thank you!
 

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You can use the cup that you got him in or a small disposable plastic cup and gently scoop the water out. 50% should be fine for the time being, but you may want to do a full water change every few days. Putting in conditioner with him in the tank is fine, it won't hurt him.

He's a beautiful little guy, and welcome to the betta adventure :)
 

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No, it doesn't look like fin rot. Its symptoms usually are bloody tips, stringy rays, blackened edges, lethargy. In my experience, it might be that since you just bought your betta it could be the water quality he experienced at the pet store. He may have also damaged his tail in the past and it healed oddly. In time you should see an improvement in his fins. What I would do is not use AQ salt, and just keep his water clean.

Tank should be changed at least every other day, if it's that small.
I am curious to know why you recommend not using aquarium salt in this situation? It would help the fish build back slime coat likely caused by a high ammonia level from the pet store. The fish would likely breath better with improved osmo regulation as well as lowering the toxicity of the free ammonia. The aq salt is also helpful dealing with nitrite which the fish has almost certainly been exposed. The added protection from bacteria and reduced stress level can help the immune system function at a higher level. The aq salt would is the first remedy I would use in this situation myself. jmho.
 

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Beautiful fish! I agree with Fleet. Looks like he may have bitten his tail or did have some rot at one time, but what you are seeing is the tail healing up. Warm clean water should help his continued healing.
With the size tank you have him in daily water changes are a must. Instead of netting hin (if thst's what you do) cup him in some of the tank water and then clean the tank, be sure to acclimate him before releasing him into clean tank.
My suggestion is to get him into something like a 3g tank as soon as you can that will accomodate a nano filter. Once you have that, the tank will eventually cycle and you won't need to do full WCs, only partials on a regular basis.

salt on a regular basis can cause damage to kidneys. So I would forgo the salt.
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

First, he is one gorgeous Betta. I know you will enjoy him.

I am not a "schedule" water changer. I would suggest getting an an Ammonia Test Kit (strip or liquid but liquid is cheaper in the long run). Test his water every day and if the Ammonia is above 0ppm do a 50% water change. You can use a turkey baster to remove feces or left over food and a cup to remove water.

Treat the water *before* you refill the tank and refill it using a cup.

There's nothing wrong with keeping him in the .5 gallon until you can get him a larger home as long as you keep up the water testing and changes. Long-term, as you know, something 2.5 gallons or larger would be better. I always recommend getting the biggest tank you can afford and for which you have room. Personally, I like 10 gallons because they are easier to maintain and if you ever want another Betta it can be divided.

Good luck!
 

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salt on a regular basis can cause damage to kidneys. So I would forgo the salt.
Technically you are correct, but the dose of 1 tablespoon per 5g the salinity of tapwater is raised to about 1 ppt. I found it hard to find any scientific study that shows anything under 3ppt is harmful to betta. Bacteria hates salinity. In fact from my own experience it helps organ and gill function greatly when used at the proper dose. Most breeders in North America and Thailand use this level as a baseline. There are a few freshwater fish that don't do well at this salinity level but many the vast majority including betta benefit.

I used to believe that a little salt was bad myself, however since changing my fish have been much, much healthier with no fin rot, columnaris, velvet ich or parasites to deal with like before. If using salt at the right level caused kidney damage I would have seen it appear by now with over a year time and hundreds of betta fish to study. I can provide a bunch of links to back this up if required but no need to hijack a thread here.

I just don't use it unless i have to .... I thought it was bad to use it too much.
It is bad to use too much. Just like many other things in fishkeeping dose is important. Used correctly and at the dose recommended by API which is 1 tablespoon per 5g it can be used safely with betta fish on a permanent basis to help with osmoregulaton, stress and bacterial control, this is considered a preventative dose. Ive often seen aq salt recommended at 1 tablespoon to 3 tablespoons per gallon which is very high and should only be used at this strength in a container outside the aquarium as a salt bath. These baths should last only a few minutes but are very effective at killing external pathogens. This strength is considered therapeutic and should be only continued for a short period of time.
 
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