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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Red Goldfish Fish Tail Feeder fish


My delta-tail Betta splenden has a fin disease I cannot get rid of! Please help if you can, its driving me crazy, and now I've even got recurring nightmares of losing the fish! :sad:


HOW IT HAPPENED:

Before this splenden there was another. Maskil.
Screenshot Organism Technology Electronic device Multimedia

A few months after bringing him home from the pet store (PetCo? PetSmart? Yes one of those), I noticed a mysterious chunk of fin missing! Noooo! So I treated him and he got better. But it returned like a zombie from the grave! Horrifying! For two years, it came back over and over and over and over!!!!!! For a sick fish, Maskil lived a long time, but only because I relentlessly fought against his disease. And when I went away to travel the globe for 6 weeks, Maskil got very sick, and finally died while I was flying back home from Africa.
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After Maskil died, I found a new friend and named him Marmalade.
Tail Pink Organism Fish Fish

Marmalade is imported from a breeder in Taiwan and purchased from "The Betta Store" in Minneapolis, MN. He was bred with good genetics, and has been completely spoiled his entire life. He's also awesome. Just look at that awesome fish. Anyway, I think he has caught "The Incurable Disease of Doom" from poor Maskil, and Marmalade's fanciness is no match for it. He's now been sick for months despite my trying EVERYTHING.


WHAT HAVE I DONE??

Well, I'll tell you. Maskil was treated with P.M. Erethromycin and tiny amounts of aquarium salt. He was given %100 water-changes every day or every other day (not accounting form my eventual laziness after months of this), and YES, the filter was removed! His eventual death happened in the care of a non-fish-person who did not medicate him at all.

Marmalade has had everything. 1.5 gal hospital tank. 91 degree F water (33 C). Full-strength aquarium salt. Daily water changes. Erethromycin. "Melafix" API anti-bacterial. "Primafix" API anti-fungal. "Stress-coat" API aloe-vera-powered-dechlorinator and Indian almond leaves to bulk up that slime coating. AND THIS CRAZY FIN ROT IS STILL ZOMBIFYING MY FISH. Whyyyyyyyyyyyy????????

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Both fish live(d) in a 5 gallon tank all to themselves. No tankmates. Nothing. Only several freshwater plants that I got looong AFTER the first fish got sick. The tank and all the gravel/decorations were boiled or rinsed with boiling hot water repeatedly after Maskil died, and then the entire fishless tank was subjected to 10 gl worth of erethromycin before anything new was introduced. My freshwater plants were not boiled, but they got entirely new soil and a good dose of antibiotics along with the tank. How did my new fish get this disease??? I DON'T KNOW.

HELP !
 

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Yeah, it's not a disease. He's biting his own fins.
It could be from anything, likely though, he doesn't have enough plants in his tank or decor and that can lead to stress. Here, read through this:
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=346377
 

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Since stress is believed to be one cause of fin biting, would you please fill out this form to see if anything strikes a note? Thank you.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

One thing that does strike me is the brightness of the tank. Betta prefer more subdued lighting. Not saying it's the cause but it might be something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well good thing I tagged tail biting! So lack of decor! Yes, I had not reintroduced a whole lot of his plants. The other freshwater plants have nematodes (probably) and are in the hospital tank. One problem at a time! That Java fern in with Marmalade was able to tolerate the AQ salt and so it was with my fish separately while the nematode outbreak happened.

ANYWAY. Since I thought it might be tail biting I actually did a whole lot of redecorating and played with him a whole bunch today! Dry erase markers on the outside of a glass tank are pretty entertaining for fish, btw! He loves it and hides behind my designs as if they're plants! I've trained him to jump out of the water before he ever gets food. And we also play a chase game for freeze dried bloodworms. And I had fun making him follow my fingers. Silly fish got pretty riled up over his reflection so we didn't do that for too long... After a few days we shall see what happens to Marmalade's tail, but I don't have time to entertain him for so long every day! Should I get him a tank buddy or buddies like tetras ?

Shiny new stuff in the tank!
Aquarium Aquarium decor Aquarium lighting Glass


Glass



Here's that list of stuff you asked for!

What size is your tank?
"5 gallons"
What temperature is your tank?
"Constant 79 degrees F"
Does your tank have a filter?
"Yes"
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
"Not other than the running filter"
Is your tank heated?
"Yes"
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
"No tankmates"

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
"3 different types of pellets (Aqueon Betta food, Aqueon color enhancing Betta food, and Tetra Betta Plus color enhancing floating mini pellets) ANDthe occasional freeze-dried bloodworms"
How often do you feed your betta fish?
"2-4 pellets twice or thrice a day!"

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
"Usually weekly, but lately every-other day"
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
"About %40"
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
"API stress coat with aloe Vera (I'm just starting to phase out the AQ salt water with freshwater changes!)"

Water Parameters:
JUST TESTED.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.5
Hardness: 180
Alkalinity: 180 (KH reading?)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
"FIN DAMAGE?"
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
"Not much"
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
"March/April 2015"
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
"Please refer to my first message, I've tried every disease-type treatment"
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
"Still pretty young, so other than this, no"
How old is your fish (approximately)?
"Four months?"
 

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I wouldn't go with other fish until you figure out if it's not from lack of decor first and besides, 5 gallons is too small for most other fish. Best to just get him some silk plants in the mean time, they won't die at least and you can make a nice little forest for him. I like PetCo's brand of silk plants, make sure they're soft and not harder ones since it can still cut him like a paper cut if the silk is too hard. Never go with plastic plants; they also cut the fins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmmm... I never really liked the PetCo plants, but I'll check them out again. He does seem to LOVE that lace fern in there. I'd like to note, though, that the problem started when he was in my fully-planted aquarium. But yes I'm sure this will be a trial and error problem, and I may never know why my fish disfigures himself. Thank you for enduring these long-winded messages of mine!

Marmalade cut huge chunks out of his tail while I was out again today. Not sure what to do about these "tantrums", he was such a beautiful young fish!

PS. Is the hardness too high? Sorry I know it's maybe besides the matter, but I worry about it...
 

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Fish don't have tantrums; only people do. ;-)

How fully planted was the other tank? Like a jungle where you couldn't see from front to back? Is he still in the bright light?

Sometimes it's the size of the tank that brings on fin biting. I've had three, I think, that stopped biting only when I moved them down to a 2.5.
 

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Really! So Melafix is safe! Ok! I was told that I shouldn't use Melafix or Bettafix on my bettas. I learn something new everyday!
 

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+1 to Linda

But yes, it's an antiseptic unlike what it claims to be; antibiotic. Either way, I still wouldn't use it when there are better and less stressful alternatives. But that's just my opinion, if you want to use it, that's fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We'll, more biting has occurred. Marmalade is looking more the pauper than the prince he was when he was adopted. Amazingly, he had almost no adjustment period at first when i introduced him to this tank from the store, which led me to believe he was not easily bothered. Boy was I wrong.

He has a forest of silk plants now and no, I have not used the light. I'm about to take a holiday to Quebec for ten days, and I'm worried about him. He has no infection, and I just gave him a low dose of melafix for the open fins. We had a tea party where he got room-temp IAL tea and I had hot chocolate pur-eh.

Im reading it could be too much stimulation or it could be too little. Too few humans or too many. He could be bored or overwhelmed. Not enough play time or too much. Or it could just be genetics. Obviously I've changed a lot lately so he might need to settle. Maybe he hates my tree roots painting on the tank background. Backlighting from the counter lights might be real annoying to him. Maybe he can't stand the black filter system. Perhaps he hates ME. Perhaps he's not sleeping well because my bro has the night shift and turns on the kitchen lights at night. And maybe he just wants his long find a little shotter please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
By the way, RussellTheShihTzu, regarding tantrums, I did use quotations. I actually studied animal behavoiurism professionally, and I'm aware that Bettas are incapable of acting out for attention as humans do, and indeed that animals even with complex emotional lives do not experience emotions as we do even amongst mammals. I used the word "tantrum" to mean a frustrated creature (insofar as "frustration" can be a fish emotion) acting badly. Getting my attention may not have been the motive, but it was an effect, and I think the quotational word was effective.

I'm sorry if that was confusing I don't believe Bettas are like children! Hah!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just wanted to follow up here!

It seems like the fish self-harms whenever I take a break from feeding for a day. He bites himself when I feed him anything but live food. I culture blackworms in a very clean small filtered tank in the cold basement and feed THEM a diet of vitamin-enriched fish pellets and used Indian almond leaves. Everybody's happy now!

Thank you all for your help! 😊
 

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Wow! This is the second case that has been in conjunction with live foods lol! The other fish didn't LIKE trying to catch the brine shrimp and so he'd bite. What strange fish we all have! Well! Glad you found the cause at least ;-) Thanks for following up
 

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Yes, I second the thank you for the follow up. It's really useful reading all the 'cures' people have found for persistent fin biters. I have a halfmoon on the way so am getting myself prepared for biting just in case, and every time someone manages to find a random fix I put it on my list of things to try.

Interestingly, I'm sure a saw another recent case of a Betta fin biting on his fast days. I know, scientifically, that fish don't throw tantrums... but it sure does feel like it sometimes, doesn't it? 'Fine, you don't wanna feed me today? Then I'm going to chew off all my pretty fins and eat them instead! That'll teach you, human!' Hehe. Glad Marmalade is doing better!
 

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Ha! I find that very interesting. I think live brine shrimp overstimulated my fish. He has not bitten once since I stopped feeding him live brine shrimp a couple of weeks ago. I've only been doing frozen now. He still gets flightless fruit flies and loves those though. His tail is growing back in very nicely. I hope you have the same luck!
 
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