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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What size is your tank? 1 gallon bowl
What temperature is your tank? Between 78-80°F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Not directly. It's in a well heated room.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top Fin Betta Bits (first 3 ingredients are fish meal, shrimp meal, and soybean meal) and occasional dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily, 3-4 pellets depending on size

How often do you perform a water change? Daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Betta Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Ammonia: ~0.25ppm*
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.6*
Hardness: --
Alkalinity: --

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Tattered fin appearance
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No negative changes that I can tell. Seems happier and more active since starting treatment, but no noticeable improvement with his fins.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 8-11 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes. 1tsp/gal Aq. Salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No idea.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Definitely no idea.

I hope I'm doing this right. This turned out to be long, I'm sorry! I'm a little stumped. I've recently come to own a blue VT betta with a red wash (is that the right term?). I think he has a mild case of fin rot, but I've only been his official owner for a week and never planned to become a fishkeeper, so my knowledge of bettas is still pretty basic.

I noticed his fins were looking tattered, and I didn't see any obvious signs that pointed to some other illness. I've been treating him with 1 tsp/gal Aq.Salt with 100% daily water changes in a 1 gallon hospital bowl. Today is day 7, and I added a tiny pinch extra salt during his last water change. I don't have a heater in the bowl (I've read even the heaters designated for small bowls can be dangerous. Is that correct?), but he's in a hot room and his water seems to be holding pretty steady between 78-80 degrees.

His color and behavior seem good to me. He's MUCH happier now that he's in a bigger bowl with better water quality, and he eats like a pig and poops like a champion. His fins don't seem to be getting any better, though, and might actually be worse. Am I doing something wrong?

The day he came home from the pet store it looked like a strip of his right ventral had rolled up; it's still there, and from above it looks like a lump. His dorsal and anal fins each had at least one significant tear. Now it looks like there are two relatively new tears in the anal fin, and each strip has a bit of curling/clumping at the end. The edge of his caudal fin seems pretty solid (no obvious chunks missing like I would expect from tail biting) but very uneven with a thin, dark edge, and a section that sticks out past the rest of the edge like a chunky arrowhead. It seems like the distance between the tip of that and the rest of the fin's edge has grown, and along the edges of his caudal/anal fins there are little pockets that look almost clear.

I've been lurking around these forums for a few days to absorb as much information as possible, but I barely know what I'm doing. I'm terrified that my inexperience will end up hurting or killing him. :-( I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed. I have so many questions!

There's a chance I may be projecting some of my hypochondria onto him, so I could use some more experienced eyes here. Are these things indicative of fin rot or some other illness? Or is this normal betta fin stuff that I'm blowing out of proportion? If it IS fin rot, should I discontinue/change the salt treatment and try to get my hands on something like API Tetracycline or Triple Sulfa? (And where should I buy medicines like these online if I can't find them in my local pet/fish store?)

These pictures aren't great on account of Colonel Fishsticks being frisky and living in a bowl that distorts the view, but I hope you can see what I'm talking about!

Cobalt blue Blue Violet Purple Electric blue

Colonel Fishsticks!

Purple Textile

Here you can see how ripped up his fins look. I have some silk plants in his bowl, but I can't find any spots he could really cut himself on.

Blue Violet Purple Cobalt blue Feather

Blue Cobalt blue Purple Violet Electric blue

The translucent spots/arrowhead-shaped part I mentioned.

Blue Purple Violet Electric blue

A closeup of the weird rolled up strip on his right ventral.

Sorry again for the length. Any insight or advice would be very much appreciated! :)

*I don't know if this is relevant, but I'm no longer putting my betta in tap water alone (treated of course!). I started mixing it with bottled spring water a few days ago in the hopes that I could lower the ammonia (which is coming out of the faucet at 1.0ppm at least, possibly as high as 2.0ppm. Is that even safe for ME to drink?) without causing a dangerous drop in pH.

I'm not really sure how much of a drop is too much, though. It's down from 8.2 out of the tap to 7.6 with the bottled water, and Colonel Fishsticks doesn't seem bothered in the slightest. He actually started blowing bubble nests for the first time after I switched to mixing the water. Should I take that as a good sign?

Even the bottled water seems to have ammonia in it. Am I correct in thinking the safest and most cost effective way to keep the ammonia down is through cycling his 10g tank?

2,237 Posts
That is actually a good thing! Your little boy is having a growth spurt and those are the new tips and finnage coming in.

new fins on a betta go= spines first (which are white) then see through fins, then color fills in later.

Likely your boy wont ever have completely straight fins and always have a few little curly bits. Its a throwback to crowntail genes that some veils have (mine looks remarkably similar to yours)

95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh wow! It's seriously just new growth? :grin: I hadn't noticed any white tips on his fins except for his ventrals. Maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention.

I feel a little silly now, but it's good to know I'm not dealing with fin rot! I guess he's a pretty young fish. Could the growth spurt be the reason his fins have gotten new rips in them? And could his young age explain why he's not very good at making bubble nests? :razz:

Thank you so much for your help! :smile: I guess now there's no reason why I shouldn't try to get him into his big tank.

2,237 Posts
Some boys never make bubble nests but then again others learn later, trial and error most likely. If you want to encourage him to try float something like and IAL in his tank, it acts as an anchor and starting point.

Fish fresh from stores are usually just old enough to get their adult color but not so old that they are full sized, That initial growth spurt can be scary because all the wierd fin marks can look like rot from a distance (I had the exact same panic attack).

Rips in betta boys can be for all sorts of reasons other than fin rot, A big one is a flare blowout where they flare their fins so hard they cause a split or run as if they were pantyhose. These will be easy to see and have no darkened or icky edges to them and will heal on their own with clean water.

Glad to see everything is doing well and cant wait to see pics of his new home!

95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you!

I had no idea they could rip their fins just from flaring. :shock: Such excitable little guys! Thanks again for all your help. You've really set my mind at ease about this, so I'll be moving him into his permanent home this evening. :-D
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