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3 Posts
Hi all,

I decided to keep bettas again, found a gorgeous boy and brought him home to a little cycled heated 1 gallon "efficiency". He's been happy as a lark and busy as a bee, flaring and swimming and eating like a champ, and his water chemistry has been nothing but perfect.

However, in the five short days I've had him, his dorsal and ventral fin rays have started to bend and warp. I've had this happen to bettas in the past (though never this rapidly), and could never find a consensus on the cause or treatment. Some say hard water is the problem, but one person said she has curling too and keeps her fish in soft water; others suggest sunlight and vitamin D deficiency, but he couldn't possibly have developed that over five days, especially since he's now getting a varied, high-quality diet.

I know one gallon isn't large, but everything about his environment has *improved* since he came home from his cup at Pet Supermarket, where his fins were in perfect condition. Still, I feel the problem has to be related to something environmental - what else could affect him so suddenly?

I would really like to nip this in the bud or stop its progress before he goes full-blown Free Willy on me... it doesn't seem to bother him in the least, but he's such a pretty boy!! <3

PICS: The first three show him in his store cup and at home with perfect fins, the next three show bending rays (#3 and #4 make for a great comparison - note crazy bent dorsal ray angle in #6)

How many gallons: 1 gal
Does it have a filter: custom sponge filter
Does it have a heater: yes
What temperature is your tank: 77deg
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration: yes
Does your Betta have tank mates: no

What food brand do you use: Betta BioGold
Do you feed flakes or pellets: never flakes, sometimes the pellets mentioned above
Freeze-dried: no dried foods, also feed froz blood worms, raw salmon/tuna, etc...
How often do you feed your Betta: 1/2 pellets morning, 1 bloodworm in the evening or similar

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change: about once a week
What percentage of water did you change 30%-50%
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water: vacuum
What additives do you use: Prime 2dr/gal

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: <10ppm
pH: >7.2 but less than the next level
Hardness (GH): Don't know this/need to buy a test kit (using Broward County FL tap water)
Alkalinity (KH): Don't know this/need to buy a test kit (using Broward County FL tap water)

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms:
about two days ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed: dorsal fin rays and pelvic fin rays are bending
How has your Betta’s behavior changed: not at all
Is your Betta still eating: eagerly
Have you started treating your Betta: purchased vitachem and fed two soaked pellets this PM
Does your Betta have any history of being ill: no
How long have you owned your Betta? : brought him home on March 17 (five days ago today)

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3,838 Posts
If you get Indian almond leaves and put a small square in that normally will help with uncurling and keep fins straighter. I had a crowntail that had corkscrews in his crown and they straightened out eventually with IAL's.

A little info on them. If you don't know this already you will want to change your tank at least every other day with a one gallon.

Gorgeous fishy!

295 Posts
How interesting. I heard it happens when the water PH is too high but yours is at a normal level. I actually have a crowntail currently in quarantine since I found him in a ghetto pet store in a mini cup filled with his poop and his fins are fine. My pH is 7.6 and all of my bettas are fine. Beautiful boy btw. I hope you figure out how to straighten back out.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much for the responses


I have used IAL in the past with bettas, not crazy about the tea colored water, but if it has straightened fins for you I'm certainly willing to try it. I heard anecdotal evidence about Vita Chem straightening fins, which is why I bought it...

Re: water changes, since the tank is cycled with stable parameters as mentioned above (and I do weekly 50% water changes for nitrates) I don't see the need for more frequent water changes. Am I missing something?

I appreciate the info about the sale... If it applied to Fluval Edges and Specs, I'd be all over it :cool: He's a small fish, and really does seem to have plenty of room to run in his "apartment":

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