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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A Betta Called Saul

Hi guys,

I'm afraid that my first post on this group is a bit of a downer. I did join awhile ago with the intention of uploading my tank journals, but as it is, things got so hectic I never got a chance to upload anything to this forum!

Anyways, my little 2.6 gallon spec III tank is wonderful, and my office betta Saul is active and incredibly personable.

I have been actively keeping bettas for a year, and have had bettas over my lifetime, collectively for about 6 years. I am not new to treating, cycling or keeping tanks.

The Issue

These are obviously just missing scales, and I am overreacting right?

The Background

  1. Timeline

    I noticed last week Thursday, that his fins had started to fray a bit and did some reading. I confirmed that it was likely due to his activity level. For a halfmoon, he has smaller fins than my half moon and my delta at home. This is of course because of his younger age, so I know his fins are smaller, and that they will get longer. The tears themselves are not chunks, they look clean and the black on his fins is colouring from when I first got him. He is incredibly active, always swimming in the current, sometimes chilling in his tube, flaring at his snail, and not darting around or glass surfing.

  2. Purchase

    The pet store he was in, keep their bettas in pristine water, although they are of poor breeding. (My delta I received from them has a tumour and diamond eye). I cycled the tank with media from my 10 gallon tank. Additionally, when I started the tank I used Seachem Stability, and I added more when I put him in the tank. His only companion is an onion nerite snail.

  3. Additives

    I have micro ferts, that I have only dosed once as it is a relatively new tank. It has been running for 3 weeks, 1 week to allow the tank to cycle with the seeded media before I added the fish. This is his second week in the office.

  4. Food

    He is fed Omega One mini pellets, once a day and fasted on the weekends unless I come in. As he gets larger I will increase the feedings. As it is I am only in two days during the week, so my office manager feeds him when I am not here. I may feed him a second time when I am in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, depending on how hungry he was in the morning when I fed him. I don’t want to confuse anyone else by trying to explain to them how to tell when he is hungry or not, so this is a much simpler method.

  5. Tank

    I have modified his Spec tank as recommended by various betta owners who have this tank. I have wanted this tank for about 8 months as it is not widely available in my area, unless you purchase it online. So I was prepared for what the tank needed before I set it up, after I purchased it on Craigslist. I cut holes in the outflow to allow the water in the back of the filter compartment to flow around his heater, and minimize the strength of the outflow so he isn’t blown around.

    I put craft mesh over the intake so that he doesn’t get sucked in as he does like to lay against it from time to time.

    There are a couple of rocks with a cave in the back so he can escape if he is stressed without facing into the rest of the office, but I haven’t seen him go in there. He is a very personable fish and rushes up to you when you come in to look at him.

    Additionally, I also plugged the bypass on the partition in the filter chamber and at the bank of the tank to ensure the water HAS to flow from the intake all the way through the media.

    There are some zip ties I used on his tube, which is held with a suction cup, that MAY have scraped him at some point, as he does like to squeeze between the tube and the glass. But I did cut it as close as possible, and of my other 4 bettas, not a single one has scraped themselves on the zip tie lock.

    His tank is heated by a marina 25 watt heater and kept at a pleasant 80 degrees consistently.

  6. Décor

    Plants. Rocks. Dirted tank capped with black sand.

  7. Maintenance Schedule

    I change his water once a week, when I come in on weekends or early in the morning before I start my shift. I use a water conditioner from my local pet store that contains aloe vera, and neutralizes chlorine and heavy metals, though no ammonia locking properties like Prime, which is what I use at home.

    I did a water change on Tuesday when I came in to ensure cleanliness and mitigate any potential issues with fin regrowth and prevent bacterial infections. I will be doing a small water change today as well before I leave.

    On Saturday when I come in I will be bringing Stressguard, Stability and Prime. I am shy to use aquarium salt at this point (unless you all think it would be beneficial) as there are no obvious signs of bacterial infection and it is a planted tank. I would only do a half dose anyways.

  8. Parameters

    I don’t know. My testing kit is at home so I will also be bringing that to work on Saturday, but the tank WAS showing a) 0 | ni) 0 | na) 10 when I brought the tank into work initially.

I hesitate to throw anything into the water as often people are quick to medicate without cause or diagnosis, and it can sometimes weaken an otherwise healthy fish and compromise their immune system further without any benefit.

So that’s all the info I can think of, if there is anything else you need to know please ask and I would be happy to share. I just want to confirm that he is fine and good, clean, warm water and water changes should be enough to have his fins and scales grow back and there is no other underlying issue that I am overlooking.

Thank you for taking the time to read my mini novel! I promise to reward you all with gratuitous pictures of my other tanks and bettas.

Super Moderator
22,055 Posts

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How many gallons is your tank? 2.6 gallons, excluding filter compartment
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes, 25 watt marina
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Onion nerite snail

What food brand do you use? Omega One Mini Pellets
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? Maybe? I imagine it is.
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 1 time a day, about 12 to 16 pellets. Sometimes twice depending on how hungry he was in the morning. 6 days per week

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 50%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? I use nutrafin plant gro ferts and Mr Pets Water Conditioner

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.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10ppm (All per last test 2 weeks ago, tank is at work)
pH: x (cannot recall but my tanks have been so stable I haven't tested ina long time. Will update a test this weekend.)
Hardness (GH): x (we have incredibly soft water here, so I have never tested for hardness)
Alkalinity (KH): x

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Last Thursday, Feb 1st
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Frayed fins, but clean slits
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? No, very active and copmanioanable
Is your Betta still eating? Yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Just water changes, 3 times a week
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No, relatively new and young
How long have you owned your Betta? 3 weeks
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No


Super Moderator
22,055 Posts
He is lovely!

Have you done the hose test? Run a pair of hose over everything in the tank and if the hose snag then so will his fins. Are there sharp edges on the little tabs in Photo #3?

When my Betta have damage I like to use Seachem StressGuard and feed them frozen (not freeze-dried) food. However, your care is spot on so you can just keep a watch on him after you smooth out any sharp edges.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You need to trim this part to make it smooth. I think this is what damaged his scales.
He is lovely!

Have you done the hose test? Run a pair of hose over everything in the tank and if the hose snag then so will his fins. Are there sharp edges on the little tabs in Photo #3?

When my Betta have damage I like to use Seachem StressGuard and feed them frozen (not freeze-dried) food. However, your care is spot on so you can just keep a watch on him after you smooth out any sharp edges.
Ah yes. Everything else in the tank is fine, but I didn't even consider the edges of the craft mesh. And considering the wild abandon with which he zooms into his tube at time that could very well be it.

I'm glad that my assumptions were correct and I will be sure to bring him a nice little brine shrimp treat this weekend.

Thank you for your confirmation and support :)
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