Betta Fish Fins Splitting Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by TurquoiseStones, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. TurquoiseStones

    TurquoiseStonesNew MemberMember

    Messages:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +0
    Tank
    What is the water volume of the tank?
    1.6g

    How long has the tank been running?
    1 week before betta, 1 week after

    Does it have a filter?
    Yes

    Does it have a heater?
    Yes, but it's not on because it's been pretty warm lately

    What is the water temperature?
    ~75F

    What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
    1 Double tail Betta

    Maintenance
    How often do you change the water?
    New betta, first change today

    How much of the water do you change?
    Half

    What do you use to treat your water?
    Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus Water Conditioner

    Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
    Vacuumed

    *Parameters - Very Important
    Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
    Yes

    What do you use to test the water?
    Testing strips

    What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

    Ammonia: Nitrite: Nitrate: pH:
    I got the water tested at the store when I first got the betta a week ago, and all the levels were normal for a betta, the store helper said. He said the pH was a little high, because San Francisco tap water pH is a little above normal right now, but still completely safe for fish. I dont have test strips myself, but I just changed the water and added conditioner and sea salt.

    Feeding
    How often do you feed your fish?
    2x a day

    How much do you feed your fish?
    3 pellets

    What brand of food do you feed your fish?
    Aqueon Color Enhancing Betta Food

    Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
    No

    Illness & Symptoms
    How long have you had this fish?
    1 week

    How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
    This morning

    In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
    Bottom fin split into many parts

    Have you started any treatment for the illness?
    I changed about half the water.

    Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
    No

    How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
    Fin split, but other than that he seems active and is still eating fine.

    Explain your emergency situation in detail.
    When I went to change the tank water this morning, I noticed that his bottom fin was spilt into 4-5 parts, from the bottom of the fin all the way up to the bottom of his body. (I'll add pictures, but I stupidly didnt take any from when I first got him) All his other fins are fine. Since I haven't had him for too long, I'm unsure if I'm just noticing a feature he's always had, or if he'd hurt himself or something happened these past couple days. I'm worried it's fin rot, or something along those lines. I'm worried, please help!
    20190702_134949.20190702_134938.20190702_134949.
     
  2. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    680
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Ratings:
    +305
    The plastic plants are most likely to blame. They can be quite rough on delicate betta fins. I’d recommend switching to live or silk. Also 1.6g is quite small for a betta. You should try to upgrade him to at least 3g, but 5 or 10 would be so much better
     
  3. Repolie

    RepolieWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    3,472
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Alberta
    Ratings:
    +2,129
    Experience:
    4 years
    There are several things I see wrong with your betta's environment and I'm going to address them in order as I read through the template. Bettas need a (consensus) minimum of 2.5 gallons as the tank size which provides them the swimming space they need and room for other necessary equipment. It also has a larger water volume which mean it dilutes the waste produced making it less toxic. The bigger the better.

    Your betta's temperature is slightly colder than their ideal temperature. Bettas are tropical fish from warm climates that requires a temperature range of 78-82°F. You should keep that heater on.

    Your tank most likely isn't cycled unless you've been adding an ammonia source for the bacteria to eat before adding the betta. It also usually takes quite a while to completely cycle a tank with the essential bacteria to convert ammonia and nitrites into the less toxic nitrate.

    Testing the water is important as you need to make sure the water parameters are within safe levels, but test strips aren't the most accurate. I and many others will suggest the API freshwater master test kit for the most accuracy when testing the water.

    The splits on his fins are very clean and straight so it looks like he's torn it on something. I see you have plastic plants and those are notorious for tearing up a betta's fin. Look into replacing them with silk plants instead.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    TurquoiseStones

    TurquoiseStonesNew MemberMember

    Messages:
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    Female
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thank you for the help! I'll take the plastic plants out for now and replace them with softer ones as soon as possible. Hopefully the fins will heal then. I've noticed that since the tank is so small, the temperature with the heater on goes into the high eighties, so a larger tank will hopefully fix both of those problems.

    How should I cycle the water? There was a betta in the tank before, and I kept the same filter pad for this betta (the pad was in there for a couple weeks and then the betta died RIP cobalt), with completely new water which I let run for a week.

    I'll look for a large tank, and soft plants, and a test kit as well. Hopefully that'll make him happier. Thank you!
     
  5. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

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    680
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    Female
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    Dallas, Texas
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    I’ve found that the best way to kickstart a cycle is to request filter floss or filter gunk from your LFS. That stuff is loaded with beneficial bacteria. Doing that will greatly reduce the amount of time needed for a cycle. The filter floss from your other betta may not have had B.B if the tank wasn’t cycled, or if you rinsed it in tap water (chlorine kills bacteria) or if you did not keep it moist (BB is aquatic). The purpose of a cycle is to have a healthy colony of B.B pre-established so that when you add a fish to the tank the B.B will be there to digest fish waste, thus preventing ammonia and converting nitrites to less harmful nitrates which are removed via water changes
     
  6. OP
    OP
    TurquoiseStones

    TurquoiseStonesNew MemberMember

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    Female
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    I looked around a bit, and a lot of sites say that I should cycle a tank with the help of hardy fish (along with bacterial filled floss). I don't think I can handle more fish, so is it okay to introduce B.B and let it run for week or two and then put my betta in, so that my betta becomes the 'hardy fish'? Ankther problem is that I'll be out of town for about a month in a week, and my family'll be fish-sitting, so I can't start doing something that needs to be under constant surveillance, which really sucks.
     
  7. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    680
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
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    By B.B I meant beneficial bacteria
    A fishless cycle is preferred over a cycle with fish bcs when you cycle with fish it is possible you may be sending the fish to it’s deathbed. When you have the filter floss you give fish food to create ammonia and organic wastes the bacteria can eat so they establish themselves. Once you have nitrate you do a Water change to remove the food and test your water again
     
  8. OP
    OP
    TurquoiseStones

    TurquoiseStonesNew MemberMember

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    Oh okay I understand. Since it takes a month or so, will my betta be okay in his current tank with uncycled water? Can he hold on for a couple months when I'm away and the cycling is happening?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  9. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    680
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
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    I wouldn’t recommend it because in a body of water that small large water changes have to be done frequently. The filter you have for him right now should at least have some beneficial bacteria. You can use that media to help cycle. Betta are hardy fish, and at least a larger body of water is more stable and less prone to parameter spikes then a smaller body of water, so IMO the larger tank would be a better bet. A week is not long enough for a proper cycle, but if you kickstart it with old media and do larger water changes initially that would be better than the alternative
     
  10. AlpineTheBetta

    AlpineTheBettaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    The "Hurricane Alley" , USA
    Ratings:
    +26
    I have seen clean splits like that on betta fin because if ammonia, nitrite, or even nitrate in excess of 20ppm

    That, or the decorations as others have mentioned.

    It is great you are getting him a test kit :)

    I have cycled the tank with a betta in it taking just 5 days. Temperature was 86 ( dialed it up to treat ich) knowing what I know now I would not recommend that because 86F encourage bacteria pathogen growth and unless fish is in top top shape you couls be asking for trouble. I did multiple water change as well. Note, I nevr intend on fish in cycling but I tend to pick up bettas in filthy cup on a whim because I could not leave them in the pet dtore to die. Knowing what I know now, i realize it is better to keep new rescues in3 gallon tub and water change every 2-3 days while I cycle their new home.

    If I were you i would get the cycle started, ( fishless, high temperature, using bottled ammonia and start seeding with tetra safe start or folter media from am established tank). do the cycle in 2.5 gallon minimum tank, 1.6 is too small. In the 1.6 you temporarily house your betta and you can do 50% water change every other day. If your water parameter is an exact match ( kh, gh, temperature, ph, same source) and the new water is slowly dripped in not dumped in it is not a problem. I save a couple betta from a big box store doing this, prior to moving them to a permanent cycled home. I never had any of them die on me. This is not ideal, but if the fish is already adopted and you dont have a cycled tank it can work.

    Those splits can heal on its own with clean water, some aquarium salt (0.5-1 tsp per gallon) and indian almond leaf, or add seachem stressguard on top of that at the most. While 78-82 is ideal, I would aim for 76 while the spilts are healing to prevent secondary bacterial infection ( the lower the temperature, the slower bacteria grow and the easier t is for fish to fight them off as they are healing.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  11. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    680
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Ratings:
    +305
    If your parameters are significantly different from the water the betta came from a drip acclimation over a day or two is recommended so they adjust to your parameters, pH especially. Bettas have a wide pH range but any sudden change can be fatal.
    Keeping your temp in betta optimal range (76-78 optimal, full range being 74-85) will allow the temp to be stable and will promote good health. Also warmer temps reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water
     
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