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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, first-time betta owner as of Feb. 11, 2014 (name: Alcibiades, affectionately called "Fishheh"). This is my first post here, but I've been reading this forum for a little over one year. I am looking for pics and will post them once I have them. I wrote a lot and hopefully it will be helpful in the mean time:

Housing

What size is your tank?
1 gallon (I know, I'm in a dorm, decided to treat the 1 gall. as a quarantine tank and move him to a 3 gall. when he's better...but now I'm wondering when that will be)

What temperature is your tank?
Usually between 79 and 82 Fahrenheit. (because of the crazy winter we've had here, it's peaked at 84 before and stayed between 82-84 for a few days)
(doing a water change right now and it's at 78 :/)

Does your tank have a filter?
Yes, but I switched it off after about three days, because I was afraid it was shredding his fins. I use the Tom mini filter on the lowest setting with a spray bar. The filter is still in the tank because I thought it would be helpful for "beneficial bacteria" to grow, but now I'm worried that it is somehow making things worse.

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
I have no clue what that means. My tank has no lid (I use the hard plastic craft mesh if I feel like he needs a lid, but there are about 3-4 inches between the water's surface and the tank's edge.

Is your tank heated?
Yep. I use the Hydor 7.5 watt mini heater. It's annoying that I can't adjust the temperature manually, but I use a thermometer and so far, so good.

What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
His reflection :oops: (another thing I don't know how to control)

Food

What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Top Fin "color-enhancing betta bits" (mini floating food pellets)
Top Fin Betta Bloodworm Treat (freezedried)

How often do you feed your betta fish?
Mini Pellets-- 3 mini pellets 2x/day for the past week
Bloodworm Treat-- once a week after the fasting day (Sunday)
I'm still figuring out how to properly feed him. After my first week with him, I bought bloodworm treats and fed him according to the direction (as much as he can eat within 3 mins). Big mistake! He gobbled them up, started burping some of them (and trying to eat them again). I distracted him before he could attempt to squeeze the uneaten ones and burped ones into his stomach and removed them. Since then, he hasn't been pooping every day like he did the first week, so I cut back on the pellets until he poops. The second week he didn't poop until day 4 :shock: and now he poops every other day. I'm still worried


Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
Twice per week as of Feb. 25. From Feb. 16 - Feb. 25, it was every day (see below).

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
As per OFL's guidelines in this forum somewhere, 50% once a week and 100% once a week for an unfiltered tank that is 1-4 gallons. I just finished the conservative treatment for fin rot using salt water and daily 100% water changes (Feb. 16 - Feb. 25). Today was my first water change stopping.

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
API Stress Coat and Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner (because everyone else in treating fin rot uses Stress Coat and Prime, even though Stress Coat apparently also treats chlorine and chloramine)

Water Parameters:

Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
API Freshwater Master Test Kit says

Ammonia: 0 ppm (what I removed was in the 0.25 ppm range)
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 7.4
Hardness: ?
Alkalinity: ?

Symptoms and Treatment

How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
When I bought him, the tips of his back and belly fins were red and curling, but I was told the fins would get better with more water and better water quality.
On about the third day (Feb. 14), I noticed his back fin (the one on top) had a split in it, and I started freaking out.

On Feb. 15, I noticed his tail fin (the one on the end) also started splitting, so I didn't bother waiting for the order I'd placed to arrive and went to the store and got what I needed to start the saltwater treatment. I did my first water change that weekend (I think Feb. 15?) and cried a little when I saw shimmery bits in the water I assumed were his fins :'( I shut off the filter and it's been hanging out, without being used, in his tank since.

Within a few days, his tail fin healed completely (and now just keeps growing!), his back fin started to straighten out and get less red, but the split remains as I write this (and possibly is worse than before?). His belly fins (underside) don't look shredded anymore and generally have a straight, healthy looking edge, until you get closer to his tail fin, which is where his belly fin starts curling at the tips.

Over the course of treatment, his size and coloring changed, which I assume is because he must have been young when I got him, and his fins overall look better. BUT I am still worried because his back fin's split is still there and I can't tell if it's just not improving or actually getting worse because it's so darn clear. His belly fin tips are also still curled, and I don't know if I should try medication for him or if I should just take a chill pill.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?

He's gotten calmer, but I think his erratic behavior before was because of being moved from tiny petstore cup with poop to relatively big 1 gallon tank with no poop. He no longer shrinks away from me, and will actually wiggle around when he thinks I'm going to feed him. He also flares when I put my finger or face up close to the tank. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Within the first day.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Yes--conservative treatment for fin rot: 100% daily water changes for 10 days with 1tsp/gall. AQ salt and added stress coat. I stopped the treatment at the end of 10 days on Feb. 25.

Does your fish have any history of being ill?
Not sure. I assume yes because I bought him at a chain store? :(

How old is your fish (approximately)?
about 2.5 weeks with me. I have no clue how old he is, but I think he's still growing, so maybe the teenager/ young adult equivalent for betta?
I bought him from the local petsmart on Feb. 11, at which point he was pinkish/ clearish and smaller than the other half-moon bettas (I think he might not even be HM, but I have no idea what he is). In the time since, he's grown a lot, has awesome fins (except for the split), and changed color (the few green-blue iridescent spots he had now dominate. I'll try to figure out how to upload pics)

So, do I need to relax, or is there a good reason for me to be this worried? (i'll try to post pictures later tonight)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep! I've taken a gazillion pics, so I had to sort through them. I am uploading four pictures. Couldn't help oversharing :oops:

1. February 11, 2014--day I brought him home, I noticed his fins were fraying and his back fin was curled or rippling.

2. February 18, 2014--day three of treatment, this is after I had noticed his tail fin split (and it had healed already?). With daily water changes, I didn't always have enough time to let the water age and the gases dissolve, so his water was bubbly...

3. February 25, 2014--the final day of treatment. He grew a lot. I am sharing this as proof his fins were better than they were this weekend/ in the next one

4. March 2, 2014--snapped this one this morning, and I'm so scared I might have overdone or smothered him in my attempt to help him heal...

(also, I have no clue why my photos are rotating...if anyone can help me out here, I'd also greatly appreciate that)
 

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That's unusual looking fin stuff going on.. It has the appearance of fin rot, but no discoloration. So I don't think it's rot. Often new regrowth will have a feathery look to it, so maybe it's regrowth combined with hard water, which makes fins curl at the ends.
Just my guess, maybe an expert will have a better idea on what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's unusual looking fin stuff going on.. It has the appearance of fin rot, but no discoloration. So I don't think it's rot. Often new regrowth will have a feathery look to it, so maybe it's regrowth combined with hard water, which makes fins curl at the ends.
Just my guess, maybe an expert will have a better idea on what's going on.
Thanks Betta Nut! I'm not so sure it's fin rot either, so it's nice to hear that from someone with more experience.

Alcibiades' tail showed regrowth signs pretty early on (clear tips at the end of his fin). I'm so worried because for a few days his back fin looked fine, at least it wasn't getting worse, and then within three days it looks like it's just disappearing or dissolving. His belly fin just has that stubborn curling at the back, which I'm less worried about...

In the beginning his fins looked a little frayed and slightly red, but I thought the red was because of his coloring. I also didn't get very good pics of him because that was before he was comfortable with me and before I discovered the magic of HDR on my phone.

Is there a test for water hardness? I will test and update his parameters again in the morning and do another water change.
 

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he looks like he might have a bit of rosetail going on, I wouldn't be to concerned at the moment and just keep a close eye on him and keep his water conditions good. He is a nice looking boy, and welcome to the forum.
 

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Is there a test for water hardness? I will test and update his parameters again in the morning and do another water change.
The only test I got before that tested GH and KH was an API (I think) brand test strips kit. There were only 5 strips in it, and it tested also ammonia/ph/nitrate/nitrite. I learned after that liquid tests were more accurate, so have only been using the API master kit now, which doesn't test the hardness, but I never looked for something else that did, since I figgured it really only needed to be tested once anyway.
Mine tested off the charts for the GH and KH, and I've only noticed mild curling on one of my veiltails, so I don't worry about it. It doesn't hurt them to have hard water far as I know.

It's also possible that's fin melting he has, but would need a second opinion on that, and I don't know treatments.
 

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Well, I'm going to jump on Betta Nut and say it's regrowth xD. It doesn't look like Fin rot. But if he ever tail bites or does get fin rot, you can use API Stress Coat & do frequent water changes. C:
 
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