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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

My Betta Fish has had recurring fin rot. Whenever it heals, it is fine for about a month and then it starts again. I'm getting very concerned because I do not want to lose him :( He's still super active and eats and whatnot but his fins definitely are not okay! Any help is welcome!

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78F. (Temp. maintained with a heater)
Does your tank have a filter? No
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? No other tank mates

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 times a day, 1 pellet at a time

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% (I do not have anything to allow me to do 25% and stuff like that)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditionner. I've been adding Aquarium Salt recently to treat his fin rot.

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His fins are starting to shorten and the ends are red
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? His behaviour has not changed. He is still super active, swimming around, building bubble nests, eating, etc.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Five days ago and it has not improved despite the near daily water changes
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, daily water changes + aquarium salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He has had fin rot 2 times before
How old is your fish (approximately)? 5 months
 

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I would suggest you get a small sponge filter for you tank. It will harbor beneficial bacteria and keep your tank healthy!

Do you own an API master test kit? You should buy one if you don't already have it and get back to us with results.

Fin rot occurs from high ammonia levels in an uncylced tank. All that is needed to treat fin rot is warm, clean water. No need to add aquarium salt.

Read this sticky on aquarium cycling Cycling your tank will help prevent any more fin rot in the future!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much for your advice! I will definitely look into buying my betta a sponge filter in the near future.

I went to my local pet store yesterday and purchased a water testing kit, as advised. I have also purchased a small 0.5 gallons tank to quarantine my fish for a few days. Someone else had suggested in other posts to use a very small dose of Melafix in a quarantine tank. So I used less than a drop yesterday evening and this morning, my lovely Betta seems to be doing better! This is so exciting. I will do 100% daily water changes for a week to ensure the water's parameters are always pristine. I have stuck the QT in my bigger tank to ensure the water's temperature is constant. Hopefully I keep on seeing improvements! I love my little baby (even though he's unimpressed with his small tank right now).
 

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If you are going to keep him in the .5 for quarantine you will need to change the water 100% 2x a day t keep from toxins building up.

Also, be careful with melafix! It can do harmful things to betta and other labyrinth breathers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the advice! I will change his water in the morning and in the evening and be super careful with Melafix! I barely even put one drop and I let it sit for roughly an hour before putting my Betta back in!
 

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MelaFix actually doesn't harm the labyrinth organ, the oil in it is water soluble.

Lullaby, do you have pictures of him? Are you sure it's not fin biting instead? It sounds like he's biting if it's something that happens quick. Fin Rot is actually quite slow. Here's a thread you can look through to help determine what's what: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=346377
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Lilnaugrim!

I actually have a hard time differenciating the two. I will take some pictures when I get home tonight from work. He's in his QT right now so should be pretty easy to snap a decent picture!

Thanks for link, I will look it up whenever possible :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi again!

I have found time to look over the post and I think you are right. I think it's fin bitting. I will post you some pictures later tonight. If that is the case however, I don't understand what the stressor may be. He has a 3-gallon tank, the water temperature is constant, he has a ceramic log to hide in, some moss (is that what it's called?) at the bottom, with gravel. He also has a plant and a betta hammock (which he loves). I don't know what else to buy if he is bored... I had a background but noticed that he would flare a lot at it from seeing his reflection on it so I took the background out last week, thinking he might be over stressed. I just want the best for him but it's hard to figure out what he wants sometimes haha Any suggestions?
 

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He may not have enough plants. They naturally are found in high vegetation area's and while some fish need the open water space to swim, betta's do not and can be stressed from too much open space. If you can get a pic of the tank as well, that will help us to help you :)

He may also just be a chronic biter as well. Sometimes they form the habit much like some people bite their nails; it's the same thing essentially. It first stems from stress and then becomes a habit later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I didn't know about that! Such a good thing to know! I think therefore he may have too much free space. I wanted to buy lots of plants but I was scared to overcrowd his space. But with what you told me, I think I will go to my petstore this week to buy a whole bunch of plants. I am still going to wait until his fins look better to transfer him back because I want to see them heal.

If he happens to be a chronic biter, I guess there is not much I can do aside from ensuring he doesn't get his fins infected? :/

Also, I will post a picture of the tank. I have some on my phone! They're quite old though so there are no moss balls and stuff but I still have pretty much the same amount of free space in the tank.


EDIT: My phone won't allow me to post a picture :( I will post one tonight with the picture of my betta. But it does have a lot of empty space.
 

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Make sure they're silk and that they're very soft! Hard and even some soft plastic plants can cut the Betta fins which obviously, won't help your poor boy!!

You can use a therapeutic/preventative dose of Aquarium salt in his tank at all times. 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons is a good dose, if it varies a little, that's okay. So make sure you dissolve it before you add it to his tank and then add it slowly for the first time so he can adjust to it. I usually do 10-20 minutes of acclimation time and that's generally good. Salt doesn't evaporate of course so you'll just have to watch for water changes and how much you take out. So if you take out 50% of water then you also took out 50% of the salt and when you add the water back in, you also have to dissolve more salt and add that in as well. Make sense so far?

But the salt disinfects open wounds and so that will help prevent infection :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you so very much for your help!!!! Last time I had a betta, I was a kid so obviously I was not dealing with any of it. So I'm pretty new at this and I always want to make his life better so advice like the ones you gave me are incredibly helpful, and I'm super thankful for it!
 

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Not a problem! We all start somewhere ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey!

So here are pictures I just took from my Betta. The one in the little glass was taken while I was cleaning his quarantine tank. The three other ones were taken after I transferred him back into his quarantine tank. The QT only has gravel in it. I added one drop of Melafix and some Aquarium Salt, as well as the water conditioner (which I always add because I use tap water).

Hopefully the pictures are clear enough! I tried my best but he swims around a lot so it can be tricky haha Little active Atlas.

Thanks again for your help!

Water Glass Barware Drinkware Drink


Purple Organism Tail


Purple Violet Organism Glass


Purple Violet Wing
 

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Ok yep, he's biting but that long split up his fin is due to some sort of decor that he swam passed in the past. Do you have any plastic plants or rough decor that he could do that? (Sorry if this was answered in the past, I sometimes get threads mixed up!)

Either way, they will heal up just fine if you keep his normal tank clean and feed him a good diet. You don't have to keep medicating him if you just have that preventative measure of salt in his tank at all times ^_^ The fins may be a bit irritated but who wouldn't after being bitten?? haha, the soreness and bloodied parts will go away in a few days if he doesn't keep biting them. If he keeps biting then there isn't much to do for him unfortunately; just let him do what he wants to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi!

Thank you so very much for taking the time to look at the pictures! I am glad to know it is not fin rot! I will try to work out the bad biting habit however. He doesn't seem to be improving in the QT but I guess it makes sense because it's so small and he's probably super bored. I am at work right now but will transfer him back in his 3-gallon as soon as I get home tonight.

He has a plastic plant, which probably then is the cause of that long split up his fin. I will throw it out as soon as I get home! I am going to the pet store during my break and will be buying quite a good amount of silk plants to avoid further problems with him ripping his fins. I will also ensure I put more plants to keep him entertained as perhaps he is bored. I remember you mentioning earlier that he doesn't need a whole lot of swimming space but needs a fair amount of plants and decor to hide and keep entertained. I will therefore do that to see if the boredom was the cause of his recurring fin biting habit! I will also add a small amount of Aquarium Salt from now on! I won't medicate him tonight and will see how his fins improve in the next few days!

I am also looking in improving his tank by purchasing a 5-gallon whenever possible, so hopefully he will be even happier in that and gets rid of his habit!

Thanks again so much for your advice! We get so attached to them and it's great to receive help to ensure everything is great for them! I am super thankful for the time you took in helping me out and will share the knowledge if some people in my entourage encounter the same issues :)
 

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Great! Sounds like you're on the right track now!

Remember that adding decor won't directly cure him of his biting habit if that's not the root of the problem. It's generally one of the biggest problems with betta's so it's a good starting point. If he does bite again, don't feel discouraged, as I mentioned; it could become an unbreakable habit and we called them Chronic Biters since that's all they seem to want to do. It stinks, but it's what happens sometimes. But you can at least ensure that he has a proper tank (like what you're doing with the silk plants and all!) and so he'll at least be content with that.

Also don't feel like you need to get him a bigger tank, sometimes that is one of their issues, so again, it may help and it may not! It's a shame, but experimentation is all we can do sometimes. So don't feel like it's going to cure him if he gets a larger tank, it may not. However, if you want the tank regardless, then absolutely go for it when you can; I'm totally not stopping you, just letting you know that it may not help him, but it also may; we just never know!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have purchased silk plants and just transferred him back in his 3-gallon (see pictures below)! His fins didn't improve today but it makes sense since he's fin biting. The small QT probably just made him bite more :( He's been back in his tank for an hour or so and swims happily so far, discovering the new set up! I might add his background back if I see improvement.

I will wait for the larger tank, considering what you said. I will wait and see first if the new set up helps him and then figure out where to go from there :)

Thanks so much again!

Aquarium decor Aquarium Leaf Freshwater aquarium Plant


Leaf Organism Art Plant Flower


Aquarium Aquarium decor Aquatic plant Plant Glass
 

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Fantastic!! That looks MUCH better :-D Hopefully he stops with his new environment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey!

I just thought I'd give a quick update! His fins have greatly improved in the span of a few days and I think his new environment provides him with plenty of hiding space. I have since then added two new silk plans to fill up the rest of the space (he still has room to swim) and added his background again. He looks like he's doing good so far!

Thank you again for all of the help that you provided me last week :)

Glass Water Material property Tableware


Water Glass Drink Liquid Tableware


Aquarium Leaf Freshwater aquarium Aquarium decor Plant
 
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