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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I hope everyone is having a good day! I am beginning to get worried because it seems like my betta’s fins are deteriorating. I can’t feel if they are being bitten, if they are getting teared, or if it’s fin rot. Can anyone give input on this?? I am worried about my little friend. :(

Also, my pH is constantly between 8 and 8.2 due to our tap water, and they KH is usually around 240. Does anyone have suggestions on how to lower these if I need to? I have tried researching peat moss and almond leaves and all of those things but I’m just stuck on the best alternative.

I don’t want to mess anything up but I also am worried that my fish isn’t healthy.

I’m so sorry if you are facepalming at me right now. But thank you so much in advance, I’m so appreciative of you guys!!!

Before:
1020501


Now:
1020502
 

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Hi! His fins may be getting torn, as an example the ends of the blue plant might be too sharp but honestly, I don't see a lot of difference in his finnage between the two photos.

Are you using seachem prime when you do water changes? How does he seem otherwise - is he swimming around, eating, and is he flaring?
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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Please fill out this form. Without it we'd only be guessing. The form gives us quick reference to the most important information. Without it, all we can do is give your our best guess. Thank you.


Do you have a "before" photo like the second one? It's hard to see damage in the first photo which makes it difficult to compare.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi! His fins may be getting torn, as an example the ends of the blue plant might be too sharp but honestly, I don't see a lot of difference in his finnage between the two photos.

Are you using seachem prime when you do water changes? How does he seem otherwise - is he swimming around, eating, and is he flaring?
Okay! Maybe I am just imagining things to be a lot worse, or I might have just posted a bad picture.Yeah, the blue does seem a bit sharper than the others so maybe I’ll try to find a better replacement.

I am using Seachem prime, which seems to be working. He is still swimming around and eating, but he seems to spend a lot more time on the bottom and top of the tank than he used to (maybe I’m just catching him at the wrong moments??). I don’t think he’s particularly flaring but when I hold up a mirror he does trying to swim towards it/bump into the glass and open with mouth.

Thank you for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Please fill out this form. Without it we'd only be guessing. The form gives us quick reference to the most important information. Without it, all we can do is give your our best guess. Thank you.


Do you have a "before" photo like the second one? It's hard to see damage in the first photo which makes it difficult to compare.
_
I’m not sure where I am suppose to but the form, but I’ll make sure to use it if I ever need to post something again.
I’ll just put it here for now but let me know if you need it somewhere else.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? - 5 gal
Does it have a filter? - Yes
Does it have a heater? - Yes
What temperature is your tank? - usually around 78-82 (sometimes between 76-84)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? - No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? - No tank mates

Food:
What food brand do you use? - Northfin betta bits
Do you feed flakes or pellets? - Pellets
Freeze-dried? - I have Omega freeze dried blood worms but haven’t fed them to my betta in a while. Put originally my plan was to need them to him on Tuesdays + Thursdays or something like that.
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? - 2 pellets everyday in the morning (and I usually fast one/two days a week + sometimes have a pea in there)


Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? - Once a week unless there was a water problem What percentage of water did you change? - I think 25%ish
What is the source of your water? - Tao water
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? - Used a python siphon
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? - Tetra aquasafe for bettas + Seachem prime (sometimes API pH down)

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: 0.25 (usually it’s 0.0)
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: 0.0
pH: 8.0-8.2
Hardness (GH): 30ish
Alkalinity (KH): 240

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? - 3-5 days ago (can’t remember for sure)
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? - The fins are looking teared/“less thick” if that makes sense and maybe I’m just imagining things but the fins also don’t look quite as vibrant as before.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? - Hasn’t changed really besides maybe hanging out at the bottom and top of tank more often
Is your Betta still eating? - yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? - I don’t think so (I got him a few weeks ago from PetSmart)
How long have you owned your Betta? - Almost 4 weeks
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? - I don’t think so but I’m not sure (from what I’ve noticed I think he also has always had a little trouble turning to the right, but I couldn’t find anything about this problem)

Before photos:
C3F5828A-448E-4E25-A82D-FC6BE6516C8F.jpeg
27783317-4B2C-4FDE-923B-B6D38C5FF113.jpeg


Now photos:
4A67941C-56EC-4BC9-A415-764E2EF5893F.jpeg
41776CA9-BFE7-4BBC-9D4E-C9A7F7444B4C.jpeg


Are those photos a little better? I don’t have very good pictures of him before with his fins spread out like the “now” pictures. To me this fins just seem to be a little shredded and if this makes sense“less thick/full” than before.
 

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Hi! I think his fins might be getting torn on the pointy sharp end of a plant leaf, although I'm not sure about this since it's only his tail. He's not the type of Betta who would have that kind of tail naturally, such as a crowntail that's not fully developed yet? His other fins might be undergoing a color change.

One of my boys has difficulty turning to the right (and it makes him really mad when he has to do it in order to chase food, he'll actually bite his fins in frustration!) so I just accommodate him by ensuring his food is out in front of him, or on his left.

Those pictures are very nice! Try maybe three weeks of increased frequency of water changes, twice a week or so, and see if that addresses what you're seeing :)

Also, try starting to give him the bloodworms, --just as a treat only, and eliminate the peas.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi! I think his fins might be getting torn on the pointy sharp end of a plant leaf, although I'm not sure about this since it's only his tail. He's not the type of Betta who would have that kind of tail naturally, such as a crowntail that's not fully developed yet? His other fins might be undergoing a color change.

One of my boys has difficulty turning to the right (and it makes him really mad when he has to do it in order to chase food, he'll actually bite his fins in frustration!) so I just accommodate him by ensuring his food is out in front of him, or on his left.

Those pictures are very nice! Try maybe three weeks of increased frequency of water changes, twice a week or so, and see if that addresses what you're seeing :)

Also, try starting to give him the bloodworms, --just as a treat only, and eliminate the peas.
Okay, sounds good! I’ll try switching the plants and seeing if that helps, and doing your other suggestions. Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it! 😊 Have a fantastic day!
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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His fin damage is either from biting or rough decor. Check all decor with fine mesh cloth or pantyhose. Run over all decor and if the hose/cloth snag then so will his fins.

The best treatment would be 1) 2 x per week water changes; 2) Indian Almond Leaves or Rooibos Tea. The IAL and Rooibos have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Make a strong tea of either, add water conditioner and pour into tank until water is the color of whiskey or darker. In addition to the tea, float a leaf or teabag in his tank.

Can you post a photo of his entire tank? While there is no reason established for biting, one common thread seems to be tanks that are open with few resting places other than floating at the top or staying on the bottom. Get him either live or silk plants that have broad leaves; or, a Betta Leaf or Betta Log. You can make a floating tube out of craft mesh. Just make sure there are no sharp edges.
 

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I'm a newbie to live plants in a tank even though I have what's called a "green thumb" and can grow houseplants and outside plants pretty well lol, so I'm thinking pretty hard about a Java fern or two :) These are suggested as easy for people who aren't familiar with live tank plants.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
His fin damage is either from biting or rough decor. Check all decor with fine mesh cloth or pantyhose. Run over all decor and if the hose/cloth snag then so will his fins.

The best treatment would be 1) 2 x per week water changes; 2) Indian Almond Leaves or Rooibos Tea. The IAL and Rooibos have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Make a strong tea of either, add water conditioner and pour into tank until water is the color of whiskey or darker. In addition to the tea, float a leaf or teabag in his tank.

Can you post a photo of his entire tank? While there is no reason established for biting, one common thread seems to be tanks that are open with few resting places other than floating at the top or staying on the bottom. Get him either live or silk plants that have broad leaves; or, a Betta Leaf or Betta Log. You can make a floating tube out of craft mesh. Just make sure there are no sharp edges.
Okay! I’ll test the decorations and buy some new silk plants.

I also just yesterday tested the water in our downstairs tap faucet, and the pH in the water turned out to be 7 (or around there). Do you think I should start switching to that or just stick with the IAL/Rooibos tea? Also, for the Rooibos tea, does it just have to be plain or can there be other stuff (flavors) in it? And will the color end up going away? Sorry for all the questions!

Here is the full tank (front view):
A7D1D169-666E-461D-8DC5-8621553DBF8B.jpeg


(Side view):
0631DE60-5141-4C06-B98D-549B7831FABE.jpeg


I do have a betta hammock leaf as you can see. I know it is suppose to be on the surface but I temporarily moved it down and have yet to switch it back again. But now that you’ve reminded me I’ll do that now. ;) I tried putting it lower because he only used it while on the surface, but he doesn’t seem to use it really when it’s lower either. I was thinking about getting a betta log but am worried about how much space it’ll take up, but maybe I’ll check it out!

Usually my betta hangs out up by the filter and kind of “suctions” himself to the gaps in the sides. I just realized yesterday that this may be causing the problem too. I tried looking it up and other Fluval Spec V users said they had the same ‘issue.’ I read that you could put a sponge over it or attach mesh, but I’m not sure which would be best, so if you have any recommendations I would happily take them. 😊
(Here he is! This isn’t the best picture but I was trying to catch him quick before he moved. Usually he is up farther to the front but the plant was in the way today.)
00B380B8-DE8A-4650-BD72-BB639E1A98E2.jpeg


One last thing, I promise. Do you think I should buy and add Stress Coat to help his fins heal faster? Or should I just wait it out.

Thank you so so much for your help!!!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm a newbie to live plants in a tank even though I have what's called a "green thumb" and can grow houseplants and outside plants pretty well lol, so I'm thinking pretty hard about a Java fern or two :) These are suggested as easy for people who aren't familiar with live tank plants.
Oh awesome! I hope it works out well! I was interested in possibly getting some plants but I had no clue what to do so I thought I would wait a while. But thank you for the suggestions, I’ll have to remember those when and if I decide to plant some. :) Has it been hard so far, or not too bad? I’m sure the fishies love the live plants!!
 

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Hi! I don't have the java fern plants yet :) but the next time I'm in a pet store (which will be fairly soon, I have a cat :giggle: ) I'm going to obtain some, and I may get some java moss as well as maybe some Amano shrimps.

I don't know how big betta logs are but you might be able to move those plants closer together, or more towards the back, to make space for the log. You could look into a resin flowerball as well - I can't tell but there was one reviewer of the petco version who said the paint seemed to come off, so double-check that aspect.

Oh, by the way, check the insides of that castle - it could have sharp edges that didn't get smoothed off in manufacturing.

I can't help much with the tea --although I think that as plain as possible without additional flavorings is best, or whether stress coat would be helpful or not.
 

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Oh! Well I hope it works out when you get them. Okay, I’ll look into those two things more and hopefully find something that he likes better. :) Alright! Thank you so much again, I really appreciate it. I’ll let you know how everything goes and hopefully post about a happy betta soon! 😊
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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Anubias are almost fool-proof. You can let float, tie to decor or use plant weights to hold them to the substrate. You can also use Elmer's Glue and attach to a rock heavy enough to keep them down. You can plant but only the roots. The rhizome, where the leaves emerge, will rot if planted.

Like Mbpoppy, I have green thumb with indoor and outdoor plants and most aquatic plants. But, I cannot grow Java Fern for beans. I keep trying, though. Might be my parameters.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Is that a strip thermometer if so ive heard that those are wildly inaccurate. Maybe someone else can confirm?
That’s not good! It is a strip thermometer, the LCR Hallcrest Liquid Crystal Vertical Aquarium Thermometer, if that helps. Most of the reviews said the thermometer was accurate for them, and I also got a second suction cup thermometer (I believe it was the Marina floating thermometer with suction cup but I’m not positive) to double check that the thermometer was working for the first few days and everything seemed to match up pretty closely. But let me know if you think I should get something else! Who knows, they could both be faulty... 😧😆 I haven’t double checked the water temperature in a while so maybe I’ll do that to make sure it’s still working.

Thanks for your concern!! I’ll have to look into it more. :)
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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IMO, you don't need another thermometer. I was looking for new thermometers and I was amazed that not one that was reviewed was considered accurate. This included stick-on, digital and floating. As long as you have the two and they are close you needn't worry.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
UPDATE:

Hi! Unfortunately Roo isn’t doing too well.
:( His fins haven’t seemed to get any better, if anything they have gotten slightly worse (more noticeable on the top fin).
I tried taking out the blue plant, but it was to no avail. I also sanded down some rough edges on the main hut in my tank, but that also didn’t seem to help. So I’m stuck on that part!
He was doing alright (besides the fins) until Friday (the 14th). I can’t remember exactly what I saw but ever since then he has been acting strange. Usually when I came up to the tank he would come swim to the front, but now he doesn’t. I have also noticed he hasn’t been swimming as much. Don’t get me wrong, he still swims, but tends to float around in a few select spots everyday. The last day of two I noticed his breathing seems pretty heavy, but I just did a water change this morning, and it’s continued through today.
I have no clue what is wrong! My best four guesses are he is ‘sick’ with something, constipated, depressed, or possessed.

Here are some things that may be important:

• I replaced the Fluval carbon filter media three says before I started noticing a difference in behavior. It is too big for the spot, but I didn’t want to waste them so I stuffed one in there and managed to make it fir. There also weren’t any specific instructions on what to do.
• I can’t remember what day I sanded the hut, I think it was the same say I changed the filter media. I think some paint came off—is it possible that it have poisoned the water?? I rinsed it off well before I put it in (or so I thought) after I was done sanding.
• When cleaning his tank, I didn’t notice much poop. There may have been some, but I wasn’t sure if it was old or not poop at all because it was really hard when I observed (😳) it with a paper towel.
• The temperature fluctuates quite a bit. Whenever it gets too high (above 83 degrees) I float a bag of ice in the tank and that helps to lower it. But the summers can get hot and humid where I live so it’s hard to regulate all the time, and it usually doesn’t stay. Could it be a bad case of temperature shock?
• He is still readily eating when I give him food, and last time I checked (yesterday) the water quality seemed to be okay (ammonia wasn’t exactly 0 but I think pretty close)
• My most recent water change was 8/18 (today).
• I started using Seachem stress guard two days ago to see if it helped anything.

I am completely lost! (And very worried 😕 poor little guy doesn’t seem to be in good shape whatsoever). One day he was doing fine and swimming up and greeting me, but the next day he seems to stare off into space all day. If anyone has any guesses at all, let me know. (P.S. How are you guys so good at this stuff?! It’s so much harder than it seems!) Thank you so much in advance. I really appreciate everyone’s patience, support, suggestions :)
 
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