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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
about two weeks ago, i bought a beautiful doubletail betta from petsmart. it was new arrival day for fish and i spotted him while refreshing our betta water. i was instantly captivated and had to snatch him up! i'd been doing tons of research on betta fish prior and had everything ready to care for him.
the first thing i noticed was he wasn't eating. i assumed it was because he was in a new environment and that it would probably take a few days or so for him to care about food again, but it's been so long now and i still have yet to see him keep something down. he'll take a pellet and spit it out immediately and he does the same with any other food i've tried, like freeze dried or frozen bloodworms.
every day his fins started looking worse and worse, almost like melted plastic. the tips were stuck together, creating a point and now it's like they're shrinking more and more. they're very stiff when he swims.
lastly, he isn't lethargic at all. he's active and alert, swimming around (though not darting frantically, just casual investigation and such). he flares normally and i can't find any strange lumps or spots on his body. he does have some slight redness on his gills, like two small vertical stripes on each side, but they were there when i first bought him in his little cup.

i'll post the information template, thenpics.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 76 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes (modded for a soft flow)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no.
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? omega one betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice daily, two pellets at a time

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? every day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? national geographic betta water conditioner

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: between 0 and 20
pH: 7.2
Hardness: 25
Alkalinity: 80

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? shrunken, melted-looking fins, slight color dullness
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? no change
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? not that i am aware of
How old is your fish (approximately)? less than one year, maybe about 8 months

this is ramsay BEFORE he started declining:


here he is AFTER:




here's a photo of his setup:
 

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He looks like he has clamped fin. This is caused by stress. Dull coloring is also caused by stress. Try the following:

-get prime conditioner. It removes chlorine, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and almost anything.
-turn off any lighting in, on, or near his tank, lights can stress bettas out
-turn off the filter, this can also be stressful to bettas
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He looks like he has clamped fin. This is caused by stress. Dull coloring is also caused by stress. Try the following:

-get prime conditioner. It removes chlorine, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and almost anything.
-turn off any lighting in, on, or near his tank, lights can stress bettas out
-turn off the filter, this can also be stressful to bettas
i have aqueon betta bowl prime conditioner that i was using previously but i switched to the nat geo brand when it came out. it's the same thing, just in pre-measured tablet form. unless you mean another prime conditioner?

i'll definitely tinker with his lighting situation.

i know filters can stress these little guys out, his was initially WAY too strong even though it was "fitted for betta fish". yeah, right.
anyway, i inserted a large cell filter sponge into the tubing to slow the flow of water. it's barely any kind of flow, so little that the top of the water hardly moves at all. he can swim right through the flow and it doesn't move him.

i'm wondering if it was from the filter being initially too strong..? i turned it off completely when i saw how much it was freaking him out and i fiddled with it. perhaps it was me moving him around during this change that stressed him out more? it just concerns me that it seems to be getting worse as the days go by.
 

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It's called prime and it's in a err bottle. It says prime on the bottle and it removes almost anything that can be harmful to your fish.
Yes, I'd turn off all lights, and turn off the filter completely. I would do larger water changes less often, such as a 50% once or twice a week, everyday water changes also can be stressful.
 

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i have aqueon betta bowl prime conditioner that i was using previously but i switched to the nat geo brand when it came out. it's the same thing, just in pre-measured tablet form. unless you mean another prime conditioner?

i'll definitely tinker with his lighting situation.

i know filters can stress these little guys out, his was initially WAY too strong even though it was "fitted for betta fish". yeah, right.
anyway, i inserted a large cell filter sponge into the tubing to slow the flow of water. it's barely any kind of flow, so little that the top of the water hardly moves at all. he can swim right through the flow and it doesn't move him.

i'm wondering if it was from the filter being initially too strong..? i turned it off completely when i saw how much it was freaking him out and i fiddled with it. perhaps it was me moving him around during this change that stressed him out more? it just concerns me that it seems to be getting worse as the days go by.
Prime by Seachem is what they are referring to. If you can't find it locally Amazon sells it (that's where I buy it). And it's super concentrated so is often a better value than other conditioners.

Sadly I've no insight to the clamped fins. I hope you can get him fixed up.
 

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A note on Prime - it's a great conditioner, I love it.
BUT it DOES NOT just MAGICALLY remove all the nasties in the water!! It TEMPORARILY binds with ammonia, but unbinds after 24-48 hrs.

Your care looks great. Are you using test strips? Is the thermometer accurate? Has ANYTHING in his little fish life changed in the past few days? Clamping is a sign of stress, as is not eating... but it can also be a sign of something a lot worse.
 

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A note on Prime - it's a great conditioner, I love it.
BUT it DOES NOT just MAGICALLY remove all the nasties in the water!! It TEMPORARILY binds with ammonia, but unbinds after 24-48 hrs.

Your care looks great. Are you using test strips? Is the thermometer accurate? Has ANYTHING in his little fish life changed in the past few days? Clamping is a sign of stress, as is not eating... but it can also be a sign of something a lot worse.
+1

Btw I never meant to say that prime solved all issues, was just clarifying the product name.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A note on Prime - it's a great conditioner, I love it.
BUT it DOES NOT just MAGICALLY remove all the nasties in the water!! It TEMPORARILY binds with ammonia, but unbinds after 24-48 hrs.

Your care looks great. Are you using test strips? Is the thermometer accurate? Has ANYTHING in his little fish life changed in the past few days? Clamping is a sign of stress, as is not eating... but it can also be a sign of something a lot worse.
i am using test strips for the basics and i did a strip and liquid test for ammonia. his thermometer is accurate, i double checked with a digital one.
the only big change he's had recently is i gave him a bit of java moss for more coverage because i thought maybe he didn't have enough places to hide.

i checked on him today and he's still acting pretty normal, just swimmin' around. his fins look a bit more shrunken and he's still not eating, but i see him creep up and snap at some of his plant roots.

it's quite strange to me.
 

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This does look like the start of Fin Melt, you can use Triple Sulfa to help him although I'm not certain about dosing him in a planted tank. Best to stay safe and dose him in a QT tank so the plants are safe.

Prime binds with ammonia(NH3) to become ammonium (NH4) but it doesn't unbind after 24-48 hours, it immediately starts to decay after you put it in and slowly releases it after the 24 hour period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This does look like the start of Fin Melt, you can use Triple Sulfa to help him although I'm not certain about dosing him in a planted tank. Best to stay safe and dose him in a QT tank so the plants are safe.

Prime binds with ammonia(NH3) to become ammonium (NH4) but it doesn't unbind after 24-48 hours, it immediately starts to decay after you put it in and slowly releases it after the 24 hour period.
i have t.c. tetracycline available to me today, is this something i can use for this?
 

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You can start with the Tetracycline right now, finish one whole treatment while you get the Triple Sulfa. T.S. is the only one I've seen that works against Fin Melt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can start with the Tetracycline right now, finish one whole treatment while you get the Triple Sulfa. T.S. is the only one I've seen that works against Fin Melt.
alrighty. thank you so much for the information, i really appreciate it. i'll start treating him today and i'll post updates soon.
 
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