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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i recently went on vacation for just over a week and left my betta in the care of my family. When i returned my mom said she just cleaned the tank. Meaning it had not been cleaned in over a week. I went to go look and my mother had thrown out all of my gravel and my mossball because it smelled. Not sure if it was just normal aquarium smell or if something was wrong with the tank because i wasnt home at the time. When i looked closer i realized my bettas fins were very stringy about half way through the length of the fins. The picture was taken one day later and most of the stringy tail has since fallen off. I was told it is possibly fin rot but wanted to see if anyone had any ideas as there is no darkening and with a red fish its hard to tell if there is redness. HELP.
 

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It could be biting - but I don't like how even the spread is. I'm not seeing the ragged U shaped chunks I usually see with biting. That said, I'm not seeing some of the hallmarks I would normally see with rot either.

The good news is the treatment I would recommend to start is the same. Aquarium salt at 1tsp per gallon for 10 days, and daily water changes. How big is your tank? This will tell me if you need to do 100% for these 10 days or you can get away with partial changes.

....Actually, could you fill out the following questionnaire? That would answer a lot of questions that I need to know.

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Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Housing
What size is your tank? .5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? dont have a thermometer but it stays at room temperature
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No other fish

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Currently doing daily to try to nip the fin problem in the bud but before i did it once a week but as stated in my post my family left it so it was probably left for 2 weeks withoit being cleaned
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? Water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Never been tested

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Tail has become shorter. Color has not changed.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Daily water changes and .5 of a tsp of salt each time i chanhe the water
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him about a month ago. Not sure how old they are when they are sold.
 

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Whether it's rot or tail biting, I think it was probably brought on by water conditions, and treatment will be the same regardless.

Fish release ammonia through their waste and their gills. The smaller the tank, the faster the ammonia builds up. Half a gallon is really not an adequate size to keep ammonia from building to dangerous levels. You will need to upgrade his home as soon as you can. The absolute bare minimum size for a permanent home is 1 gallon, though the water parameters at this size are still hard to keep stable. I highly recommend going with a 2.5 gallon or above. The larger a tank is, the less frequently you'll need to do water changes, so a bigger tank is less work for you and also less stressful for the fish. :) If you upgrade to a 1 gallon tank, you'll need to do water changes every other day. If you get a 2.5 gallon, you'll need to do changes two or three times a week. Until you can get a larger tank, continue with daily water changes.

Bettas also need warm water because they are tropical fish. Their temperature requirements are 76--82 degrees F. Room temperature is very cold for a betta. This is another problem with very small tanks: it's really difficult to find a heater that will heat them adequately without *over*heating them. You have plenty of options of heaters if you get a 2.5 gallon tank, though (look for a 25 watt heater, adjustable is best).

It is strange that the fin loss is so uniform, but I don't really see any sign of infection. In any case, whether an infection (rot) is present or not, it's a good idea to do an aquarium salt treatment (which will help prevent infection if there isn't one present). Premix 1 tsp aquarium salt per gallon of conditioned water, and use this for your daily water changes. Don't use aquarium salt for more than 7--10 days, because it can lead to resistance to infection if used for too long.

Whenever there are any open wounds, including torn tails, clean, warm water is the most important thing.

With good water conditions, he should heal. If he does look like he's developing fin rot, come back and let us know so we can advise on a more aggressive (i.e., using medications) course of treatment.
 

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It really looks like biting to me. I have a Betta, Dexter, who bites his fins any time we go out of town. :-(

If you can afford it ($15.00) and have a PetSmart nearby I would suggest you spring for this tank:
http://www.petsmart.com/supplies/aq...36-catid-300065?var_id=36-16838&_t=pfm=search

And ASAP, a 15W or 25W adjustable heater and thermometer. However, a preset is better than nothing.

And Seachem Prime. It is the best water conditioner out there and cheaper in the long run because you use two drops per gallon.

Welcome to the Forum! Sorry it has to be because your boy is having problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you both, you were really helpful :) i will definitely continue with my water changes and salt treatment and hope it was just a one-time problem be it bitting or rot. my setup is definitely not ideal at the moment but im working to improve it slowly, school has managed to rob me blind :/ i was actually just looking at that tank earlier! when i initially got him i had to borrow the .5 gallon tank he is in as i didnt have the room for a larger one but that tank looks like it would work nicely! Again, thanks for all the help- i will definitely continue to use this forum. everyone is so helpful and knowledgable.
 

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You are more that welcome. :) I like that tank because of its footprint which gives fish a lot of swim room. Plus, it allows you to slowly add the equipment you need.

For reference, www.drsfostersmith.com has both the Azoo Palm filter and Thor Hydor 25W heaters that so many like. If you know someone who might need supplies, you could go together and receive free shipping (at $49.00).
 
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