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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning,

I've had this betta for a few months now and over the past couple of weeks I've been having some issues. Hoping for some expert advice, so thank you in advance.

Housing​
How many gallons is your tank? 5 Gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes, Top Fin "Small" Filter Cartridge
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 78*f
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Just the filter
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Golden Mystery Snail until a few weeks ago

Food:
What food brand do you use? Omega One Super Color Flakes, Omega One Frozen Brine Shrimp, Zoo Med Micro Floating Betta Pellet Food
Do you feed flakes or pellets? I mix it up between the three listed above. Brine Shrimp usually 1-2x weekly
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 2x pellets or a small pinch of flakes once or twice a day,
smaller than a pea-sized scoop of thawed brine shrimp 1-2x per week as a treat (in place of flakes or pellets)


Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? 1 gallon, 4-5x weekly
What percentage of water did you change? 20%
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Top Fin water conditioner, 14 drops per gallon

Water Parameters:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 6.8

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 3-4 weeks ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Fins got a little straggly at first, and began noticing what looks like a yellow/golden powdery covering, especially around the head. His head is black and he turns blue, it was more noticeable against the black but eventually was noticeable against the blue as well. Over the past 3-4 days his tail fin has lost it's shape and now looks like it was cut flat at the end with a few strands remaining beyond the edge.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Not really, at least not that I notice
Is your Betta still eating? Yes, like normal
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Shortly after noticing the powdery looking coating I did some research and determined that it might be "velvet", so I isolated the snail and over 4 days added aquarium salt (completely dissolved) with daily water changes, gradually increasing the amount but staying under the recommended dosage. By the end of a week with the salt it seemed to clear up completely, the snail had died (unrelated, I assume, since it was on it's own in unsalted water) so I went back to normal water changes. Two or so weeks later I began noticing the fin issue and the powdery coating began coming back, now am going back on the aquarium salt routine and the velvet (?) seems to be clearing up, but the fins are getting worse
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Only as described above
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Bought from Petsmart 2 months ago, he appeared to be healthy and energetic which is why I picked this fish

I have trouble getting clearly focused photos through the glass but videos turn out a bit better. Short video clip can be seen here in addition to the pictures attached to this post. Photos were taken 2 days before the video, so you can see the change in his tail fin :frown2:
 

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It looks like velvet me as as well but I'm not sure since I don't have any experience with it. As for the fins it looks like finbiting and/or fin tearing. I'm wondering if the filter would play any part in the fin damage. Maybe some panty hose/ fish sponge would help if it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It looks like velvet me as as well but I'm not sure since I don't have any experience with it. As for the fins it looks like finbiting and/or fin tearing. I'm wondering if the filter would play any part in the fin damage. Maybe some panty hose/ fish sponge would help if it is.
Thanks for the reply!
He ripped the top of his tail and it split in two, but it was like that for a while. It's possible that he somehow ripped his tail or maybe bit it but I have never seen him bit himself.

I have a sponge zip tied where the water comes out of the filter and it slows the current down considerably, and the intake doesn't seem to draw him in when he hangs out near it so I don't think it's the filter. I won't rule anything out though so I'm curious if anyone else thinks that might be part of the problem as well.
 

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I think he is fin biting.


Feeding him 2 pellets once or twice a day is not enough. It's better to feed him twice a day until his stomach is slightly round. One of the members pointed out this in another thread. "He is biting fins because he is hungry."


I'm not sure about velvet though.
 

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In order to see Velvet you turn the lights off and shine a flashlight on your Betta. This is Velvet:

Fish Fish Forage fish Sardine


I agree with ryry2012: He needs more food. Counting pellets is probably the worst way to determine how much to feed. Betta should be fed until their stomachs are gently rounded. Some pellets it takes three; some seven. It depends on the size of your Betta and the size of the pellets.

While stress is generally agreed to be the No. 1 cause of fin biting a definite reason for that stress has never been established; there are just a lot of theories from boredom, to hunger to fins to heavy...the list goes on.

However, based on what we see on this forum there are two overwhelming factors consistent in a majority of fin biters: Lights too bright (especially when the substrate is light-colored or white) and planting that is not dense enough. Betta are shade-loving, closed water fish. When a tank is too bright and too open they are stressed. The best way to describe a good Betta habitat, plant-wise, is you should never be able to glance at your tank and instantly spot your Betta. You should have to look for him.
 

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Feed him until his belly is gently rounded a couple of times per day. I would make his main diet the pellets and frozen and use the flakes as a treat. You can feed him one meal of pellets and one of frozen. I feed a variety of frozen foods and only feed pellets when I'm lazy. But I have Betta-based community tanks so I go through a cube really fast.

You can thaw a bit of frozen in the fridge in a small medicine bottle. Frozen will stay good up to a week. When kept this way you don't have to let it get to room temperature as it will immediately warm on hitting the tank water.
 
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