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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My blue male veiltail, Azure normally has long, flowing fins and tail. In the last 2 days, I've noticed they look frayed. My son noticed that they've shortened, as well. Upon closer inspection, he's right. Azure has lost at least a quarter of an inch of length. He isn't quite as aggressive at feeding time, either, and he's seeming just a bit tired. He lives in a 10 gallon decorated tank with one large live bamboo, and 2 algae eaters, each less than an inch long. I've never seen any aggression from them. I was going to leave him solo after the ADF debacle, but we kept having a huge algae issue, which the little guys resolved. The tank water is clear and 80 degrees. I never change water, just add tap water treated with Stress Coat when needed. I'll get the water tested today. Any ideas? If this is finrot, how do I treat him in his current environment? I've read ten different methods. This is the only site I trust. Thanks a bunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I just had his water tested. Everything was high exept the ph. The store advised 25% water changes monthly, along with vaccuming his gravel and changing his filter. They advised Betafix by API, then aquarium salt after completion of medication. Is all that correct? Added is a photo of his tank, minus the large bamboo I added about a month ago.
Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallons.
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, baffled with pantyhose.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Two small algae eaters

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega Betta Buffet in the morning, frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp in the afternoon.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? None as of yet.
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? Add Stress Coat when adding water.

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

Ammonia: High
Nitrite: High
Nitrate:
pH: Low
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Ragged, shortening fins/tail.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Seems slightly tired, hangs out on his silk plant, less aggressively feeding.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Two days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? Not yet. If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea for sure, but maybe a year or less.
 

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Looks at the sides of his face. Does he have red streaks on/by his gills? I have attached a picture to help you see what you're looking for (that's if you can see it in my picture. Tell me if you can't and I'll go in and circle it). You should definitely do a water change. I would suggest doing a rather large one, at least 50% at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks at the sides of his face. Does he have red streaks on/by his gills? I have attached a picture to help you see what you're looking for (that's if you can see it in my picture. Tell me if you can't and I'll go in and circle it). You should definitely do a water change. I would suggest doing a rather large one, at least 50% at this point.
I see what you're talking about. No, he's perfect except for his tail and fins. They just look shorter and ragged. Last night they looked like they had threads hanging out of them, trailing the fins. Today those are gone. There doesn't seem to be any discoloration anywhere. He's a very dark blue fish. The first picture is distorted by the flash. He has no green or teal at all.
 

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Since this isn't a heavy planted tank-one of the biggest problems is the water quality due to lack of water changes. The tattered fins and eroding fins are most likely due to water current that cause an opening in the tissues and secondary infection related to water quality and lack of healing and progress of symptoms due to compromised immune response.

What I would recommend-Qt him in a small container that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-78F range and start a salt and tannin treatment along with good nutrition.

for the tank itself-I would start with small volume water changes-10% daily for 3 days-then increase by 10% every 4th day until you reach 50%-Then make 50% for 2 days. Vacuum the substrate every 3rd water change.
Then get on a regular water change schedule of 50% weekly with vacuum in all places you can reach without moving anything.
Rinse/swish the filter media in old tank water or dechlorinated water a couple of times a month to maintain good water flow.

Good luck...
 

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Is there any gray/black edging? I can't see any in the pics, but sometimes you can see it in real life where as it does not show in pictures. This is a sign of fin rot. It sounds more like biting to me. I've personally felt every one of those ornaments that you have in that tank (not those exact ones...but you know...lol), so I doubt it is ripping from the ornamentation. Also, I very highly doubt that the algae eaters would be nipping at your boy's fins. Fin rot is something that you have to watch for with a fin nipper. One of my male bettas is a fin nipper. They do it for many reasons, though. Sometimes their tails feel too heavy, sometimes they're hungry, sometimes they're bored, and I'm sure there are other reasons too.

I really suggest doing a water change, though. The high ammonia is what causes those red marks that I was trying to get you to ID before, which are ammonia burns.
 

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How high is high? Are we talking ammonia and nitrite being high?

25-50% change weekly with siphon is needed for a fully established tank, however cycling can take up to 2 months to complete. You need to be testing daily with a reliable drops kit for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time you see either. In addition to this a weekly 50% with siphon

First you will see ammonia, then nitrite. Eventually, hopefully, you will see ammonia fall and stay at 0 even after a week of no water changes, and finally nitrite. At this point you will be left with only nitrates after a full week of no changes and these can be kept <20ppm by weekly 25-50% change w/ siphon

If you change your fitler you should only change one type of media monthly.. hopefully there is more than one type in your filter.
 

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You have to do at least 25% water changes weekly. When you just top it off, you are only adding water and not removing anything. Ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites do not evaporate with the water, thus leaving it to build up. Do not use bettafix. Heck, avoid all chemical medicines if possible. What he needs is clean water and aquarium salt at 1tsp/g predissolved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While awaiting responses, I vacuumed out 50% of Azures water. The ammonia and nitrites were really high, according to the store. I treated the water with both Stress Coat and Betafix. The water I vacuumed out was smelly, like sewer water, and yellowy brownish tinted. He has Indian Almond leaves torn up in his tank, as well, and I add new ones every few weeks. He doesn't seem stressed, despite his tank maintenance. I had no idea I had to change water in a tank that size, but will be doing so, along with routine vacuuming regularly. His filter is carbon based, with pantyhose as a baffle, so there's very little current at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You have to do at least 25% water changes weekly. When you just top it off, you are only adding water and not removing anything. Ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites do not evaporate with the water, thus leaving it to build up. Do not use bettafix. Heck, avoid all chemical medicines if possible. What he needs is clean water and aquarium salt at 1tsp/g predissolved.
Why no Bettafix? Will it harm him? It's already in his tank. I was told the salt won't kill the bacteria, only soothe the wounds. I'm getting so much conflicting info. We're extremely attached to this little guy, and will do anything for him. We just don't know what's the right answer. It's frustrating.
 

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I wish you hadn't used Bettafix. This won't help anything.

Letting IAL decompose in the tank will lead to ammonia spikes. You should replace the leaves before they break down. OFL told me weekly.

If it was very high he may need 3 or even 4 50% changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I wish you hadn't used Bettafix. This won't help anything.

Letting IAL decompose in the tank will lead to ammonia spikes. You should replace the leaves before they break down. OFL told me weekly.

If it was very high he may need 3 or even 4 50% changes.
He didn't give me a number on the ammonia. Just very high. I'll start switching out IAL weekly. The Bettafix won't help. Will it harm him? That's what I need to know now. And if so, how can they sell it as a Betta product? If I don't use that, what do I do?
 

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It probably won't hurt, but it does contain an ingredient that has the potential to coat their labyrinth organ and cause them to suffocate. It probably has to be in higher doses than bettafix contains.

If they didn't give you a number I would do 3 50% changes an hour apart with same temp water and conditioner added before you add it to the tank, and then go get a testing kit. Might do more changes after you test. I would also get Prime as your conditioner as it helps by temporarily converting ammonia and will makes the spikes less harmful, though you still need to test and keep up on changes.

I agree with OFL about QTing him out of the cycling tank.
 

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Bettafix can harm him. It is watered down Pima/melafix, which can coat the labarinth organ and effectively suffocate him. Sena Hansler had two bettas die from it. I would do another 50% change today and then another tommorrow. It will help get rid of the ammonia and nitrates/ites and take out the bettafix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just took out 2 of his 10 gallons and replaced it to reduce the amount of Bettafix. I'm afraid if I keep messing with his environment I'm going to stress him to death. What should I watch for in terms of him being in any kind of trouble?
 

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Doing these series of 50% changes should be virtually stress free. You can leave him in the tank, remove half the water, fill up your changing bucket/jugs with same temp water by using his in tank thermometer to match the running tap, add your conditioner, mix it up, then add to the tank.

Stress comes from change in water parameters, which should be non existent if done this way, especially if you only do 50%s an hour apart.

The ammonia on the other hand can be lethal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's how I've been doing it. He seems interested in the vacuum, but not scared by it. After the changes he lays on the bottom and rests, unless Chuck or Sarah, the algae eaters swim by, then he chases them. I'm just really concerned for him. We are ridiculously attached to this little guy.
 
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