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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My betta has recently developed red swollen gills and this evening I discovered fin rot. I really want to treat him before he gets worse!

Background:
I've had my betta for more than a year now. I've had him in a 3 gallon tank but this January I got a 20 gallon tank. He was moved to that and has a small school of Black Neon Tetras as tankmates. I'm home all the time and watch them all the time -- they mind each other's business so I know my betta doesn't have injuries from them. His condition is on both sides evenly, so I'm also led to believe it's not an injury. I test the water regularly for PH, Ammonia, and Nitrates and do weekly water changes at 20-30%.

A couple weeks ago i started to notice some redness and his eyes getting bigger, so I moved him into the 3 gallon tank I have as a hospital tank. I've been keeping the temp between 75-78 and using a ammonia filter. I treated him with Maracyn Oxy for five days (since that's what was recommended on the bottle) because I assumed he had popeye or a fungal infection. However, his condition has just gotten worse and he just recently developed fin rot, which has never been an issue with him before. He's also more lethargic and resting near the top of the tank, but he's not gasping for air. He's also not eating a lot, but he eats normally every couple days. His fins are also more wilty.

I'm starting to suspect he has some sort of other infection? Or possibly has burn injuries? I know ammonia levels in his tank are always basically zero, but I always have to fight the nitrate levels with cleaning, water changes, and conditioning the water.

Here are pictures of the progression. If anyone has any idea as to what this is and how I can treat him please help.
First pic is Feb 14, 2021. Second is Feb 28, 2021 when I first moved him out. Third is today.
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I'm sorry your betta is having problems. Please fill out the questionnaire in the above link and then copy and paste it in this thread. This will provide members more information to help diagnose your issue. Thanks.
 

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So this is just my opinion, and we'll know a little more once you fill out the questionaire, but that doesn't look like fin rot to me. It looks like someone has been chewing on his fins. Tetras can be nippy, but he could be doing it to himself, due to stress. How did he seem in the 20 gallon? Sometimes the bigger tanks can be too stressful for bettas, since they patrol their tank. Sometimes the bigger tanks are too much for them to patrol, and that increases stress. Also, if he had heavy finnage, their fins can weigh them down getting to the top of the tank for air, so they chew them off. Their beautiful long fins benefit us more than they do them. If you treated him with antibiotics without him having any bacterial infection, that could be really irritating to his system. I would try putting him in clean, conditioned, heated water without any antibiotics, and see if his condition improves. Do you use prime water conditioner? That prevents ammonia toxicity. Do you have any indian almond leaves that you can put in his tank with him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My betta has recently developed red swollen gills and this evening I discovered fin rot. I really want to treat him before he gets worse!

Background:
I've had my betta for more than a year now. I've had him in a 3 gallon tank but this January I got a 20 gallon tank. He was moved to that and has a small school of Black Neon Tetras as tankmates. I'm home all the time and watch them all the time -- they mind each other's business so I know my betta doesn't have injuries from them. His condition is on both sides evenly, so I'm also led to believe it's not an injury. I test the water regularly for PH, Ammonia, and Nitrates and do weekly water changes at 20-30%.

A couple weeks ago i started to notice some redness and his eyes getting bigger, so I moved him into the 3 gallon tank I have as a hospital tank. I've been keeping the temp between 75-78 and using a ammonia filter. I treated him with Maracyn Oxy for five days (since that's what was recommended on the bottle) because I assumed he had popeye or a fungal infection. However, his condition has just gotten worse and he just recently developed fin rot, which has never been an issue with him before. He's also more lethargic and resting near the top of the tank, but he's not gasping for air. He's also not eating a lot, but he eats normally every couple days. His fins are also more wilty.

I'm starting to suspect he has some sort of other infection? Or possibly has burn injuries? I know ammonia levels in his tank are always basically zero, but I always have to fight the nitrate levels with cleaning, water changes, and conditioning the water.

Here are pictures of the progression. If anyone has any idea as to what this is and how I can treat him please help.
First pic is Feb 14, 2021. Second is Feb 28, 2021 when I first moved him out. Third is today.
View attachment 1027856 View attachment 1027857 View attachment 1027855
Here are answers to the questionnaire:


Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 20 Gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes. Normal carbon filter and ammonia sponge filter
Does it have a heater? Yes.
What temperature is your tank? 76.2 Degrees
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Yes. 8 Black Neon Tetras.

Food:
What food brand do you use?
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
Freeze-dried?

Sera Vipan Nature Tropical Flakes (This is mostly for the tetras, but it's in the tank)
API Betta Food Floating Pellets
Omega One Betta Treat Bloodworms

How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
I feed him once daily. Every other or every couple of days I will alternate the pellets with the bloodworms. I feed a few pellets and watch him eat to make sure he at least eats 2.

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once every 7-10 days.
What percentage of water did you change? 10-30%
What is the source of your water? Tap water - conditioned
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Dip out water
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? Imagitarium Betta water conditioner. Occasionally API PH Down since the PH is usually more basic out of the tap.

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

These are the number I usually get whenever I test before water changes with the test kits I have:
Ammonia: between .25-.5 ppm
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: between 20-40 ppm
pH: 7.2
Hardness (GH): N/A
Alkalinity (KH): N/A

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? A little before Feb 28th, 2021
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Yes. His gills and sides have become more pinkish-red and swollen, and it looks like an injury/sickness and not a color change.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He's more lethargic. Will sit near the top or hide at the bottom and he just seems overall more droopy. He's not gasping at least.
Is your Betta still eating? Yes but only every 2-3 days now will he eat. He responds better to the bloodworms than the pellets. Whenever he eats it's like 1-2 pellets or 1 little bloodworm.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? I moved him into a separate 3 gallon tank and performed a 90%-100% water change after a week. I assumed he might have popeye or an infection and treated him with Maracyn Oxy for 5 days straight and stopped since that's what was recommended. Since being in the hospital tank, his condition has actually gotten worse.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No.
How long have you owned your Betta? Since early January 2020.
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No, but he was white with blue speckles when I bought him, and after a couple months of having him he changed color to blue. I don't know if this is because of maturity/normal fish life changes or if he was stressed before, but he didn't have any other signs of stress.

Probably the most important thing to note is that his condition started getting much worse after moving him out of the 20 Gallon tank on Feb 28th. The fin injuries only appeared after he was isolated. I don't know if this is because of the illness/stress he has that would have gotten worse anyway or if I'm overdoing it or treating him incorrectly. Any advice would help, thank you! Pictures are in original post!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So this is just my opinion, and we'll know a little more once you fill out the questionaire, but that doesn't look like fin rot to me. It looks like someone has been chewing on his fins. Tetras can be nippy, but he could be doing it to himself, due to stress. How did he seem in the 20 gallon? Sometimes the bigger tanks can be too stressful for bettas, since they patrol their tank. Sometimes the bigger tanks are too much for them to patrol, and that increases stress. Also, if he had heavy finnage, their fins can weigh them down getting to the top of the tank for air, so they chew them off. Their beautiful long fins benefit us more than they do them. If you treated him with antibiotics without him having any bacterial infection, that could be really irritating to his system. I would try putting him in clean, conditioned, heated water without any antibiotics, and see if his condition improves. Do you use prime water conditioner? That prevents ammonia toxicity. Do you have any indian almond leaves that you can put in his tank with him?
I just posted my questionnaire in the replies to this thread. Thank you for responding so quickly -- I hope the questions I answered helped!
 

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Micheal, Betta 6 months, Neon Tetra, 9 Dwarf Gourami 1, False Julii Corydoras
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I just posted my questionnaire in the replies to this thread. Thank you for responding so quickly -- I hope the questions I answered helped!
Your ammonia is high, is something spiking it? Check for dead plants or lots of build up, do a 50% water change and vacuum to help bring that down.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your ammonia is high, is something spiking it? Check for dead plants or lots of build up, do a 50% water change and vacuum to help bring that down.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have no idea. I always thought if it was under .5 it's okay, and usually it's closer to .25 but I put the range because I know it falls between there. I have an ammonia sponge filter with my regular filter to keep the levels down, but I should probably vacuum more often. The puzzling thing is that my betta started getting more sick after moving him out, and the school of neon tetras in the tank are perfectly fine and active.
 

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Micheal, Betta 6 months, Neon Tetra, 9 Dwarf Gourami 1, False Julii Corydoras
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I have no idea. I always thought if it was under .5 it's okay, and usually it's closer to .25 but I put the range because I know it falls between there. I have an ammonia sponge filter with my regular filter to keep the levels down, but I should probably vacuum more often. The puzzling thing is that my betta started getting more sick after moving him out, and the school of neon tetras in the tank are perfectly fine and active.
Any ammonia can be dangerous


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I have no idea. I always thought if it was under .5 it's okay, and usually it's closer to .25 but I put the range because I know it falls between there. I have an ammonia sponge filter with my regular filter to keep the levels down, but I should probably vacuum more often. The puzzling thing is that my betta started getting more sick after moving him out, and the school of neon tetras in the tank are perfectly fine and active.
To my knowledge there is no filter that removes ammonia, the only thing that neutralizes are water conditioners like prime or ammo lock. Even those do not remove the ammonia but they make in non toxic to your fish. but they Ammonia should always be at 0 or you risk harming your fish. It does look to me that he is suffering some ammonia poisoning. I do not think he has fin rot but he does look like he has been picked on. Often fish will wait until the lights are off at night to start conflicts. I would keep him in a hospital tank, get some seachem prime. Do daily water changes of 25% and see how he does. I would also add some Indian almond leaf if you can. It has anti bacterial properties and helps calm them.
He looks thin to me. You may want to switch to a more nutrient rich food like north fin betta bits, fluval bug bites or new life spectrum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To my knowledge there is no filter that removes ammonia, the only thing that neutralizes are water conditioners like prime or ammo lock. Even those do not remove the ammonia but they make in non toxic to your fish. but they Ammonia should always be at 0 or you risk harming your fish. It does look to me that he is suffering some ammonia poisoning. I do not think he has fin rot but he does look like he has been picked on. Often fish will wait until the lights are off at night to start conflicts. I would keep him in a hospital tank, get some seachem prime. Do daily water changes of 25% and see how he does. I would also add some Indian almond leaf if you can. It has anti bacterial properties and helps calm them.
He looks thin to me. You may want to switch to a more nutrient rich food like north fin betta bits, fluval bug bites or new life spectrum.
Thanks for the reply! After hearing some more advice I think I'll get a tank divider so that in case the tetras are bothering him, he can have a space for himself. I do have some Indian almost leaves but the other suggestions are helpful too, I'll definitely look into the products you suggested and try out different foods to see if he will eat them and get better. I didn't realize he looked thin to other people -- he's slightly bigger than he was when I first got him. But with the way his fins have been the past couple days he does look smaller.
 

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First step is to start vacuuming with each weekly water change. Leftover food and poop will be the main cause of your ammonia levels.

Personally, I would move him back to his own tank.
 

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My betta has recently developed red swollen gills and this evening I discovered fin rot. I really want to treat him before he gets worse!

Background:
I've had my betta for more than a year now. I've had him in a 3 gallon tank but this January I got a 20 gallon tank. He was moved to that and has a small school of Black Neon Tetras as tankmates. I'm home all the time and watch them all the time -- they mind each other's business so I know my betta doesn't have injuries from them. His condition is on both sides evenly, so I'm also led to believe it's not an injury. I test the water regularly for PH, Ammonia, and Nitrates and do weekly water changes at 20-30%.

A couple weeks ago i started to notice some redness and his eyes getting bigger, so I moved him into the 3 gallon tank I have as a hospital tank. I've been keeping the temp between 75-78 and using a ammonia filter. I treated him with Maracyn Oxy for five days (since that's what was recommended on the bottle) because I assumed he had popeye or a fungal infection. However, his condition has just gotten worse and he just recently developed fin rot, which has never been an issue with him before. He's also more lethargic and resting near the top of the tank, but he's not gasping for air. He's also not eating a lot, but he eats normally every couple days. His fins are also more wilty.

I'm starting to suspect he has some sort of other infection? Or possibly has burn injuries? I know ammonia levels in his tank are always basically zero, but I always have to fight the nitrate levels with cleaning, water changes, and conditioning the water.

Here are pictures of the progression. If anyone has any idea as to what this is and how I can treat him please help.
First pic is Feb 14, 2021. Second is Feb 28, 2021 when I first moved him out. Third is today.
View attachment 1027856 View attachment 1027857 View attachment 1027855
Did you quarantine the tetras before you put them together?
 
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