Betta Fin Rot Getting Worse

saber

Hello!

This Saturday, I got a new betta from a local pet store. I knew he had fin rot the moment I adopted him, but perhaps I was a bit too cocky.

I’ve been doing 25% water changes in my Fluval 5 gallon tank, cycled with filter and heater set at 78 degrees, every day since I got him in hopes it would help his fin rot quickly heal. Unfortunately, today I noticed his back fin separated and became ragged.

I haven’t been doing anything other than cleaning the water each day to keep it pristine, but perhaps it’s time for some intervention. I have aquarium salt, and since he’s the only fish in the tank and getting him out will probably cause him even more stress, I’ve considered adding that to his tank.

Is there anything else I can do to help him heal? The first picture was Wednesday, the second picture is from this Friday morning.

Thank you all so much!
 

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Morpheus1967

Welcome to Fishlore!

Sorry to hear about your little guy, and I wish I could help. Keeping the water pristine is the perfect thing to do. I would also maybe turn it up a few degrees, to 80. That's where mine seems to be happiest.

Hopefully someone will come along quickly in regards to treatment for him.
 

saber

Okay, thank you, I’ll try turning up the temp.
 

Accents

Is there excess detritus anywhere? It's possible that that is causing part of the issue, even if you can't really see it or even read it. My nitrates were always under 5, but my betta would still get fin rot. Sometimes there would be areas with a ton of detritus, and once it was cleaned up, he started improving again.

Is there anything in the tank that could be tearing the fin?
 

Falena

That white edging looks like new fin growth to me! His tail doesn't appear to be infected, there's usually darkening on the edges with fin rot. The new tear sounds either like he may have snagged it on a sharp plant or piece of decor. Or possibly bitten it, quite a few longer finned bettas are tail biters. What decor/plants are in his tank?
 

saber

That white edging looks like new fin growth to me! His tail doesn't appear to be infected, there's usually darkening on the edges with fin rot. The new tear sounds either like he may have snagged it on a sharp plant or piece of decor. Or possibly bitten it, quite a few longer finned bettas are tail biters. What decor/plants are in his tank?

All the plants in his tank are silk, but some have a few plastic points. I haven’t had issues with this set of decor while keeping bettas in the past, so I’m really not sure. The new tail growth feels like it’s being undercut by what he’s losing, sadly. I bought some API stress coat to go with the Prime I’ve been using but today his fins seem even worse.

I’m using a siphon hose to clean the gravel, and I’ve been trying to be as thorough as I can without removing too much water.

Here are his fins this morning. The top portion of his back fin is shrinking.
 

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saber

I also noticed a rip in the middle of his top fin. I’ve never seen anything like that before and it caught me off guard. I don’t think I can get a picture of it but I could try sending more pictures of my decor to see if there’s anything I should remove?

Alongside that, I found a chunk of his fin on the bottom of the tank. I wonder if the dangling piece was bothering him and he nipped it?
 

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saber

Here’s a bit of a timeline.
 

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Falena

All the plants in his tank are silk, but some have a few plastic points. I haven’t had issues with this set of decor while keeping bettas in the past, so I’m really not sure. The new tail growth feels like it’s being undercut by what he’s losing, sadly. I bought some API stress coat to go with the Prime I’ve been using but today his fins seem even worse.

I’m using a siphon hose to clean the gravel, and I’ve been trying to be as thorough as I can without removing too much water.

Here are his fins this morning. The top portion of his back fin is shrinking.
Aw, poor lil guy. I'm sorry he appears to be worsening. Do hold off on the aquarium salt though, as this is no good for bettas. He may well have bitten off that little piece of fin off, but it is a little concerning when their fins start to fall apart. What are your tank parameters?
and although you may not have had problems with this decor in the past, those plastic points on your silk plants do look a little sharp. Have you considered live plants instead? There are lots of very easy care plants around I can recommend if you'd like?
 

Salem

It doesn't look too much like finrot to me but I could be wrong. I do agree on the regrowth though which is a very good sign! He looks to be experiencing similar fin issues that are more common in crowntails, what with the piece coming off and shredding. I would just keep up what you're doing for now. If you chose to use salt I would recommend using it in a bath if you can. Adding it to the tank should be okay temporarily though.

What type of filter do you have by the by? Sometimes their tails can be sucked into the intake a bit and result in similar looking damage.
 

Falena

It doesn't look too much like finrot to me but I could be wrong. I do agree on the regrowth though which is a very good sign! He looks to be experiencing similar fin issues that are more common in crowntails, what with the piece coming off and shredding. I would just keep up what you're doing for now. If you chose to use salt I would recommend using it in a bath if you can. Adding it to the tank should be okay temporarily though.

What type of filter do you have by the by? Sometimes their tails can be sucked into the intake a bit and result in similar looking damage.
I agree with all of what you said minus the aquarium salt. Aquarium salt is used as a skin irritant, to help a fish shed it's slime coat and produce a new one. While it is affective against parasites and infections, this fish doesn't appear to have an infection Imo, and would definitely not add it to the aquarium. It's also very easy to overdose so if it must be used. I do think this fish is either snagging himself, or like you said getting sucked into a filter intake. For some reason, some bettas seem to enjoy their fins being sucked up lol! I have one who intentionally tries to get his fins in the siphon, not sure what that is lol!
 

saber

It doesn't look too much like finrot to me but I could be wrong. I do agree on the regrowth though which is a very good sign! He looks to be experiencing similar fin issues that are more common in crowntails, what with the piece coming off and shredding. I would just keep up what you're doing for now. If you chose to use salt I would recommend using it in a bath if you can. Adding it to the tank should be okay temporarily though.

What type of filter do you have by the by? Sometimes their tails can be sucked into the intake a bit and result in similar looking damage.

The filter is built right into the tank as the tank is a Fluval Spec V. I also have a piece of foam covering the output of that because he doesn't seem to be the best swimmer. I've switched to doing water changes every other day as I think having the siphon and my hands constantly around the tank might be stressing him out too, but I'm really not sure.

My readings on my API test kit are all coming out to zero with about 5.0ppm on nitrate but I worry with my constant water changing that this might be inaccurate. I did my best to cycle the tank with Dr. Tim's Ammonia and Seed. I recently got API Stress Coat and have been using that in place of Prime, hoping that it might treat his fins better. No change so far. I have kanaplex but I am planning on saving that as a last resort, as I realize it might take time to turn his condition around.

His fins still seem to be getting worse, and I removed the ceramic log that was in his tank. I haven't put any plants into the tank as I feared I would be introducing even more bacteria and elements in when I wanted to focus on having him be healthier first. He's still got his silk plants, but I removed the one that had pokey things on i
 

saber

Fins continue to shrink. Odd spot on him now.
 

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saber

Update: Fins started to heal after kanaplex, but now they are in tatters again today after having been clean and growing just hours ago. I’ve taken everything out of the tank that could be causing this (leaving the fake plants as to not prevent him from having a place to hide), testing parameters daily. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know if he’s biting them and what I could do to prevent that. I just don’t know.
 

saber

Sigh
 

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saber

I haven't added the carbon back to the filter yet. Should I just focus on doing 50% water changes daily again? Any advice helps, I don't want to lose him.
 

Debbie1986

The heart tunnel decor, rub your hand inside. Are the edges rounded by exits? I had a nice little pagoda that was shredding Heracles fin. Fixed with with sand paper inside * no problems after.
 

Debbie1986

I haven't added the carbon back to the filter yet. Should I just focus on doing 50% water changes daily again? Any advice helps, I don't want to lose him.

he looks spunky.
If you see damage but no healing after 2-3 days, panic then. IMO - I'm not seeing anything to worry about too much. he overall looks very healthy. Wild bettas do not have elaborate fins. if he can swim and has his scales, you are golden.

I would give him a break. No chemicals etc for an entire week and let him be stable. let his body adapt & relax. Time is the greatest healer.
 

saber

he looks spunky.
If you see damage but no healing after 2-3 days, panic then. IMO - I'm not seeing anything to worry about too much. he overall looks very healthy. Wild bettas do not have elaborate fins. if he can swim and has his scales, you are golden.

I would give him a break. No chemicals etc for an entire week and let him be stable. let his body adapt & relax. Time is the greatest healer.

I took out the heart tunnel decor, and hope to get some more smoother decor pieces as soon as I can. He's active and eating, I just worry about it progressing. I'll make sure to give him a break.
 

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