Betta fins clumpy re-growth

  1. AmberH Initiate Member

    This is only my second Betta so I'm kind of new to these fish.

    Sorry, this is kind of long but I wanted to include everything:

    Previous set up where he lived 2 months:
    Tank: 10 gallon tank
    Heater: Yes
    Temp: 78
    Filter: Under-gravel filter
    Cycled: Fully cycled for over a year
    Planted: No
    Water Cond. used: Prime

    It had been fully cycled for over a year before this new Mr. Betta was introduced. Previously it had a penguin 100 filter and then about 6 months in changed over to the under-ground. He lived happily in there for about two months. I started noticing his fins looked a little tattered and started thinking that maybe I didn't like the under-gravel filter anymore. I temporarily relocated him to a large bowl. In the meantime I did a 50% water change in the main tank and took the under-gravel filter out. It was disgusting under there! Even with regular weekly maintenance those things just suck. After I put my old marineland penguin 100 bio-wheel back in and added new water the ammonia was still high at 1.0. I didn't want to put him back in so I waited 48 hours. During that time I stirred up the gravel as much as possible to clean it and changed out the filter to dump all the grime. And changed the water 50% each day. After the 48 hour period the water looked clearer and the ammonia was down between 0.25 < 0.50. He seemed much happier but I still had to address the minor fin rot. For 7 days I changed 25% of the water daily and kept about 1tsp of aquarium salt per gallon in there. After that I gradually changed out the water to get the salt out. After about 3 days into that 7 day salt treatment the parameters were back to normal with 0 ammonia. And the minor fin-rot stopped spreading. He is much happier and I am way happier with the penguin filter. I've adjusted it with filter media to make sure it's not to strong for him and he's happy and even built a bubble nest...

    ...So my question is, now that his fins are growing back they are kind of twisted and clumpy on the ends. The fin-rot is not 100% gone but it looks so much better except for this new "twisted" growth. What should my next treatment be? How long should I wait between salt treatments (I've read not to keep salt in the water for more than 7-10 days at a time)? Should I try Bettafix (just mentioning that since I have some already)? Or do you think this will solve itself with frequent water changes? I've added a photo of him.

    Tank set up now:
    Tank: 10 gallon
    Heater: Yes
    Temp: 78
    Filter: Marineland Penguin 100 with bio-wheel
    Cycled: Yes
    Planted: Added a few types of Java Fern
    Water Cond. used: Prime

    Attached Files:

  2. octavio Member Member

    The Betta fix can't hurt. Keep up with the water changes. Feed him a variety of foods (brine shrimp, blood worms, quality flakes) an let him flare at his own image in mirror once a day (not all of the time, just once a day). Hope the little guy recovers and enjoys a good quality life. Good luck.

  3. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    What are your parameters now? I don't think any of your BB could have survived all the changes to the filtration and the lack of ammonia source for a good part of that time. The best thing you can do for your betta is frequent, possibly daily, water changes with Prime or another good water conditioner.
  4. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    Agree with Aqua.
    Please don't use bettafix or salt, bettafix (melaleuca oil) will cause their labyrinth organ to expand, which then suffocates them. Salt, IMO, should not be used in FW tanks unless it is an extreme emergency, if overdosed or left in too long it can cause liver and kidney failure.
    I don't think there is anything wrong with his fins. Do you have hard water? It can cause fin curls and the clumpiness you are seeing, it's nothing to be worried about. I see it in my bettas a lot.

  5. AmberH Initiate Member

    I do use Prime in all my tanks. I can't remember what the parameters were last time other than they were normal except for the ammonia was a tad high, but it is at 0 now. I'll do another water check tonight and test everything.

    You can see more in the third picture the crooked new growth on his top fins and a couple of the "bumps" that are growing on his tail. In person it looks very "clumpy" with bumps on the newer growth that has come in since the fin-rot. The fin-rot is mostly gone except for a few tiny tears. It was really hard to get good pics of him since he likes to hide in and out of all the decor.

    He has only gone through one filter change. Originally the tank was set up over a year ago for a different Betta and it had the penguin filter. That particular Betta loved hanging out around the filter and heater and would get stuck to it even with media covering, so as advised by another fish keeper I switched over to the under-gravel which I liked because I could adjust the flow and turn the outtake away, but I was wary of the actual filtration process. At any rate unfortunately the old Betta didn't live very long he had pre-existing issues :(. I've always done the appropriate maintenance with both filters, weekly water changes and testing parameters with the proper kit. After the old Betta was gone this new Mr. Betta was introduced and everything seemed fine. But as I said before the ammonia started spiking. It went up from 0 to 0.25 and I notices some of his fins were a tad ratty so I decided it was time to switch back to the penguin since I've never had issues with those and have used them on all my tanks.

    When I took that under-gravel filter out it was NASTY under there! Like the whole tank immediately turned brown. I will never use one of those again. I had the right amount of substrate on top and did weekly siphoning but I guess it wasn't enough. So like I said before I did a 50% water change and switched over to the penguin. Within the first 12 hours the filter was completely full of gunk and water couldn't get through it so I had to switch it out and put a new filter in. I used Prime and some Ammonia Safe. And just swished the substrate around a little to get the big chunks out.

    48 hours later when I put Mr. Betta in all the parameters were fine except the ammonia was still at around .25. There were still some of the original plants that had some brown algae and snails, and I swished the new bio-wheel around in one of my other tanks that has been properly cycled for like 7 years now. Also I know some of the original water from Mr. Betta's tank is still in there so I figured things were safe. And as it is going everything does seem fine and his fin-rot is almost gone. There is no more salt in the tank anymore. I only kept it in there for the first 7 days. And I'm sure it's been cleared out with the water changes.

    I was just worried about the odd "healing" and new re-growth. I'll try to get a better pic of all the crooked parts and clumpy bumps. He's always had clear parts around the edges of his fins but as he's gotten bigger the clear area has too, do you think that is just his normal coloring?
  6. AmberH Initiate Member

    Oh, and at the moment I feed him pellets and dried blood worms. I'll add some more variety to his diet as you said Octavio.

    Also I'm not sure what you mean by "BB" Aquaphobia. I'll get back here tonight with all the parameters.

    Thanks everyone :)
  7. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    If your PH is high, it is most likely the cause of his clumpy fins. The clear finnage is new growth! Don't worry about it!
    Swishing the new media in your other tank did absolutely nothing. Water contains almost no beneficial bacteria, in order to seed filter media you have to leave the cartridge in another, established filter for 2-4 weeks.

  8. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Your BB live on surfaces and are fairly slow growing and they don't live in the water. To seed a new filter you need to leave it in an established tank for at least a couple of weeks. Swishing in old water won't do much I'm afraid.

    BTW, I don't think his fins look that bad from the pictures. His colouring looks like what's called "butterfly" and any clear edges you see could likely be fin regrowth, which is a great sign:)

    Hope you get those results soon!

    *ugh, ninja'd by Flowingfins:p
  9. AmberH Initiate Member

    Thanks for the good info Aquaphobia and Flowingfins. Here are the parameters...

    PH: 8 (both my tanks have always been around this, not sure if it could be high due to the tap water)
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrites: 0
    Nitrates: 5.0

    I thought the clear was just normal coloring. I know his fin-rot was very minor and is almost gone, I just wanted to make sure I'm caring for him as best I can. I've been doing daily 25% water changes. Should I do this daily until his fins are completely back to normal?
  10. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    His fins are clumpy because of the high pH, it won't hurt him or negatively affect him at all:)
    Keep doing water changes until until his fins are grown back, they will be clumpy though.

  11. AmberH Initiate Member

    Um, I just figured out BB stands for Beneficial Bacteria. I know what that is, I just never saw it abbreviated before. Duh. Can you tell I normally don't talk to other knowledgeable aquarists much ;)
  12. AmberH Initiate Member

    Flowingfins, Do you think I should use some API PH down? What do Betta's prefer as far as PH levels?
  13. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Nope, don't bother with pH adjustment stuff. Bettas can do just fine in higher pH and trying to mess with it when you don't have to can really cause some nasty swings that will be dangerous to your fish. If your pH is stable it's safe:)