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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I hope you guys can help me out here, I'm in a bit of a fix...

So, I have a HM betta that seems to have just got fin rot, about two days ago. At first I thought it was just tail splitting cuz he gets all excited, but now there are a few more rips and small bits missing from his tail. So I moved him from his tank into a small .5 gallon so I can treat him with aquarium salt.

His usual home is a 2.5 gallon planted tank. There is a filter and a heater, but over summer I haven't had the heater going because the water gets way too hot. Without it on it still stays in a pretty good zone, around 76-78 degrees as my thermometer reads. I normally have a foam piece over the filter opening to slow the flow and I just took it off (he got fin rot before I did that).

For plants I have a cryptocoryne, and what I think is a dwarf mondo grass, which is still doing alright despite it not really being an underwater plant. Then on a piece of driftwood I have a java fern and an anubias. Oh and there's also a moss ball. Its funny because every once in a while I'll get a yellow java fern leaf which I'll take off, but the other plants are doing just fine. I use Nutrafin plant fertilizer and I've also used the API root tabs, but not at the same time.

I've had my fishie now for three months and everything was going perfectly (apart from that java fern) until two days ago. I've been testing my water regularly and everything is fine, except maybe the alkalinity is a smidge higher than it should be. But the nitrates and nitrites and ammonia are zero. I thought those were the things that cause fin rot? Anyway, as well, I've been using this bucket for water changes that was in my house and my parents assured me it never had soap in it, but the last two water changes have left this strange white powdery stuff on the driftwood and plants in the tank. But I can't figure out what that is from. When I used a different bucket, the same thing happened again! I change the water ~50% once a week without fail. Is that too much for a cycled tank? I was pretty sure it was cycled but maybe it isn't... I just wanted to make sure he didn't get fin rot but uh, apparently that didn't work... :(

Have I missed any info? Do any of you guys have any ideas what's up? Or any advice for me? Whatever info you have to share would be very appreciated!!

-Zygo
 

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do you mind if I ask you to fill out this form for us? it covers all the questions we need in order to help you properly, otherwise we will have to go back and forth asking everything one by one instead of helping right away
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

A picture of the damaged area is also of great help to us, the shape, color and location of the problem are all very telling, especially for our longstanding keepers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oops

Sorry!

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 76-78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes, but the heater hasn't been on in the summer because it makes it too hot
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Pellets and frozen bloodworms as a treat
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets every day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once a week without fail
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? ~50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress Coat. And either an API root tab (but not every week) OR 1ml Nutrafin plant fertilizer

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.2
Hardness: 150 (the water in my city is hard)
Alkalinity: Between 40-80. Sorry I was wrong in my last post. I was going off memory but I tested it again just now.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Rips and tears in his back fin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Hasn't at all.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Two or three days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Moved him to a .5 gallon and using aquarium salt. Just did that today
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Well I got him three months ago but he was a bit bigger than usual, with long fins. So I think he may be a bit older than juvenile??


And I think I have a picture attached here...
 

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Hmm I am suspecting your boy might be tail biting, the horseshoe like shape is a very obvious calling card because it is the shape of a bettas mouth, they can also only reach their tail easily so it wont appear on his others if this is the case.

I know it is tricky with him being a dark boy and all, but have a look around the edges of the rips for a discolored or icky sort of sheen, is it clean looking or not?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tail biting! Maybe that's it. It was super sudden and was only for about two days and it stopped without me changing the water. It also happened only maybe three days or so after a water change...

I've looked as closely as I can, with the flashlight on my phone, but it doesn't look like there are any icky edges or discoloured like it would be for fin rot. Most of the tears are close to the top of the tail fin too, and theres only maybe one or two close to the bottom.
 

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If there is no sign of rot then this will regrow in no time, you will see clear edges and little white spines appear that will fill in with color later on.

Unfortunately the only way to stop biting is to locate what his issue is. Some can bite due to changes, under socialization, something they dont like in their tank..the list is really endless. You know him better than we do, so keep an eye out for the when and hopefully why it occurs. Then you can eliminate the cause and he can go back to being stunning
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well thank goodness it'll regrow quickly! I was so upset when I saw this cuz I thought I was doing everything right!

Hm it sounds tricky to figure out, no kidding. He seems to be ok with his plants cuz he's always zipping through them... Will there be any other signs to clue me in on what isn't working for him?

Also I suppose I can put him back in his tank then? Or should I continue to treat with aquarium salt?
 

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AQ salt is a good way to cleanse the sites but isnt strictly needed, he will regrow on his own and with fresh clean water he shouldnt get any infections. Especially after the AQ salt already used has sealed and sterilized his fins.

other signs are usually that of stress, clamping his fins, avoiding parts of his tank or having little tantrums where he zips about like crazy. It really depends what his issue is to how he reacts to it. Try to keep a running tally for when the bites appear, it can help narrow down the cause.
 

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He could be bored. You might try changing around the decor, or adding something new. You can also move the tank. I always try to keep my tank in a very public part of the home, usually near the computer or TV. Believe it or not, some folks do report their bettas like to watch TV.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah I was just thinking that may be the case. Because of school work I haven't had enough time to just sit there and sorta like hang out with him and interact. I'm gonna try all of that!

Thank you :)
 
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