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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there!

I'm wondering if there is a way to tell whether my little guy has fin melt or if his fins are just clamped?

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 5.5
Does it have a filter? No
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 80-81 degrees f.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? None, though I would like advice as to what fish or shrimp may make him happiest

Food:
What food brand do you use? Hikari and Aqueon
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Aqueon Pellets and Hikari Bio Freeze Dried Bloodworms
Freeze-dried?
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Every other day - he has been eating about 2 pellets before refusing others, so I feed him a few little bloodworms until his belly looks slightly round.

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Every day
What percentage of water did you change? 20%
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? No vacuum, just "turkey baster" style removal
What additives do you use? Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus

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.


*Waiting on my test kit in the mail*
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Two days ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Fins appear clamped, but it occurred to me this morning that it could be something more serious?
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Not sure - I have only had him for a few days
Is your Betta still eating? YES. I am pretty sure he would eat endless bloodworms if I let him.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Unsure.
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she a rescue? Bought from LPS three days ago.


I have been doing water changes and treating with Aqueon Plus so I am hoping that this will not be an issue. I am at work at the moment and plan to bring my water to be tested once I get out and can post some pictures when I get home. Today I did a 50% water change. Is it possible to be too frequent with those? If his fins are just clamped from the stress of transitioning to a new home then I don't want to over-do it. Any advice on telling the difference between fin melt and clamped fins would be much appreciated!

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)


Hi again,
The store closed so I was not able to test the water tonight. Here is a picture of his fins. They appear no better or worse than yesterday. His behavior is not super active, but I wouldn't describe as lethargic by any means. He flares when presented with a mirror, though his fins stay stuck, and moves around his tank using two long, transparent pectoral fins which for some reason don't appear in this photo. Any ideas? Please help!
 

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The way to tell is that if a fish has his fins clamped up they look a lot like a fan, all folded up into a little wad. but fin melt will look just like it says on the label, as if the mass of flesh is stuck to itself with none of the lovely definition, they can look kind of gross and shiny instead of that faintly material fishy fin texture.

Since he is a new man I would say hes just not fully adjusted to home yet, bettas clamp their fins for the same reason we will fold our arms, because we feel shy, uncomfortable, tired or ill. If you keep up his great care he will warm up to you and show you that lovely tail.
 

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though I would like advice as to what fish or shrimp may make him happiest
Bettas prefer to be alone, Shrimp are food, Some Bettas are Ok with tank mates some are not, They will even kill snails, Most Bettas will eat shrimp some wont. What works today may not work tomorrow, Be prepared to rehouse tank mates at a moments notice or they will die. My betta started killing Rasboras I had to take them out as soon as I saw what was happening, she killed 2 and was stalking a 3rd.

Here is my advice.

1 Lots of clean warm water.
The water should be treated with a product like Seachem Prime, and heated to the same temp as the tank.


2 Good quality pellet like New Life Spectrum and a verity of Fresh and frozen food.
My betta never eats the same thing 2 days in a row, Blood worm, Brine Shrimp, small crickets and what ever else I can get frozen.

She also gets, live small crickets ( I buy these and freeze them after 3 or 4 days ) live earth worm ( I have a small worm farm in the back yard ) small maggots ( I just pop a spoon full of dog food in a old tin cam and hang it in a tree in the park across the road for a few days. ) and sometimes a live moth when I can catch one.


3 Lots of plants including floating ones and I mean lots , Silk are OK, But I prefer Live Plants because they also help with water quality.

I know live plants are expensive buy them small they will grow. and with things like water sprite buy a bunch cut it into 3 bunches and in no time you will have more than you know what to do with.

Unless you want to spend lots of money go low light tank, Things like Anubias Swords and Valis. For floating plants Water sprite and Riccia are great, I also have duck weed but that's a personal choice.

4 Indian Almond Leaf,
I always have a large leaf or 2 in my tank.

Now this is optional.
Easy Life Fluid Filter Media. I have used it for about 2 years now and swear by it, I do not know what's in it, But I can tell you this, a few months ago I ran out and couldn’t add any to the tank for 3 weeks, I noticed my fish was not her self, Anybody who has had the same fish for a while just knows something is not right, the water is fine and all that, Its just the fish seems off a bit. 24 hours after I added 2 cupful’s to the tank fishy was back to normal. Oh yes it took 9 hours for the water to clear up after I added Easy Life.

Easy-Life fluid filter medium — English
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bettas prefer to be alone, Shrimp are food, Some Bettas are Ok with tank mates some are not, They will even kill snails, Most Bettas will eat shrimp some wont. What works today may not work tomorrow, Be prepared to rehouse tank mates at a moments notice or they will die. My betta started killing Rasboras I had to take them out as soon as I saw what was happening, she killed 2 and was stalking a 3rd.






She also gets, live small crickets ( I buy these and freeze them after 3 or 4 days ) live earth worm ( I have a small worm farm in the back yard ) small maggots ( I just pop a spoon full of dog food in a old tin cam and hang it in a tree in the park across the road for a few days. ) and sometimes a live moth when I can catch one.


3 Lots of plants including floating ones and I mean lots , Silk are OK, But I prefer Live Plants because they also help with water quality.

Unless you want to spend lots of money go low light tank, Things like Anubias Swords and Valis. For floating plants Water sprite and Riccia are great, I also have duck weed but that's a personal choice.

4 Indian Almond Leaf,
I always have a large leaf or 2 in my tank.

Now this is optional.
Easy Life Fluid Filter Media. I have used it for about 2 years now and swear by it, I do not know what's in it, But I can tell you this, a few months ago I ran out and couldn’t add any to the tank for 3 weeks, I noticed my fish was not her self, Anybody who has had the same fish for a while just knows something is not right, the water is fine and all that, Its just the fish seems off a bit. 24 hours after I added 2 cupful’s to the tank fishy was back to normal. Oh yes it took 9 hours for the water to clear up after I added Easy Life.

Easy-Life fluid filter medium — English
Thanks so much for your responses! I'm feeling much better knowing that this is normal and that I haven't done anything horribly wrong (unless the water is for some reason off, which hopefully I will sort out ASAP). His fins look slightly more loose today and he woke up very quickly this morning for food.

I do have Anubis Sword as you can see in the picture, but I am definitely excited to get more advice on other low light plants as they aren't even labeled at my LPS. Do you find that the duck weed is hard to control? I read that sometimes it takes over much of the surface of the water making it hard for Bettas to get to the surface. I actually ordered some indian almond leaf last night , so it's good to hear that advice. Do you have a filter in your tank or do you just use the Easy Life? Have you ever heard of any other brands? Their website says that it's just natural minerals so I wonder if it really does anything aside from enrich the water (though that's an important quality and well worth trying out). Do you use it in conjunction with other water conditioner?

Have you heard bad things about Aqueon? I read the ingredients on the back package and they seemed comparable to the other brands that my LPS carried, but I am definitely open to hearing about them. I really like their water conditioner as well as the heater I have from them - it keeps the tank very consistent. Have you heard anything bad about the water conditioner?

Sorry for so many questions!! I Impulse bought a betta fish before Cosmo III and I am still regretting my lack of preparedness, though I have learned a LOT since then. Still, I want to be a good fish caretaker :oops:

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The way to tell is that if a fish has his fins clamped up they look a lot like a fan, all folded up into a little wad. but fin melt will look just like it says on the label, as if the mass of flesh is stuck to itself with none of the lovely definition, they can look kind of gross and shiny instead of that faintly material fishy fin texture.

Since he is a new man I would say hes just not fully adjusted to home yet, bettas clamp their fins for the same reason we will fold our arms, because we feel shy, uncomfortable, tired or ill. If you keep up his great care he will warm up to you and show you that lovely tail.
Thank you! I feel so much better
 
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