Betta Fish, Recovering From Fin Rot But Won't Eat...

  • #1
Hello, all! I have a delta tail male betta fish whom I purchased today and brought home.

He arrived at the store from distributor with fin rot, and most of his fins are gone. He definitely no longer has fin rot, but the damage was done and they are mostly gone. (He is still mobile, but not very active.) He also seems very thin, and although I tried blood worms and different brands of betta food, he has been uninterested in eating all day. I thought about feeding an algae wafer because he is floating a little, but aren't they carnivores? I don't want to hurt his digestive system. I'm not sure how to help his skinniness and apparent floating. Even if I did give an algae wafer, he probably wouldn't eat it.

Originally I put him in a tank with a filter, but the ripples on the surface pushed him around and that seemed unfun for him- gills moving more, he starts flailing, yikes! so now he is in a bowl without a filter, and he has been in the same spot for some time. I can't tell if his gill movement as he breathes seems pronounced because he is skinny or because he actually is having a hard time breathing.

What can I do to help him? Is there any way I can speed up this process? How can I increase his appetite? I feel so sorry for this little guy.

I tried to take pictures to show skinniness and lack of fins, I'm sorry if it's blurry. Also, I uploaded them at the same time, so it should be... a post? I don't use imgur too much. But hopefully if anyone is willing to help, both pictures can be visible:
  • #2
Just wondering if there's a heater in there with him?
  • #3
He’s been through a lot of stress. As Kayla asked, is the water heated? Keep his water super clean and betta warm. Give him a day to get used to his surroundings. Then see if he’ll eat something. Try soaking a pellet in garlic juice. Keep us posted ok?
  • #4
If you just got him today then he probably won't eat for a few days to a week, he will be getting adjusted.
I would put him in a bigger tank with the filter, just baffle the output with a plant or a sponge or something.
Do not feed him the algae wafer! These guys are insect eaters, usually a boiled, deshelled pea would be used for things like constipation.
Now for a few questions:
Do you have a heater?
Do you have parameter readings?
How many gallons is the bowl?
How many gallons is the other tank?
What type of filter do you have?
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I don't have a heater, but my house is 75 degrees, so he should be warm enough without a heater. I'm not sure how many gallons this bowl is, but he definitely isn't moving around much anyway lol :-c. I tried putting him in a betta tank by petco that has an undergravel filter, I think that's what this system looks like, and the water comes out bubbling. this was a tank that we had used with my dads previous betta, and that fish seemed fine with the strength of the filter, but I suppose due to this little guys fins, he was not thrilled with the excitement.

I use the color coated test strips, so I don't have exact readings, but when I got him in the betta cup, the ph was 6-7, so the water I made for him has a pH of about 7. no ammonia nitrates or nitrites, which makes sense, since he hasn't eaten or pooped and when he wasn't eating the food I just took it out after ten minutes so that it wouldn't cloudy the water. I work at the pet store, and he wasn't eating the past few days, so I would think it'd be weird if the parameters are to blame.

he does look thin though, right? would soaking a pellet in garlic juice make it more appetizing? I really wish he would eat something...
  • #6
Water is on the cooler side for bettas, they like 78-82.
Not sure what the tank is, sounds interesting lol
You may not have any ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates because the bowl isn't cycled. I don't think a bowl could ever cycle either way.
The garlic juice may help but if he doesn't want to eat don't force him, he is just getting used to the new environment and he may not be feeling very well from all of the illnesses. If you want, daily water changes can help. Not too sure what the right amount would be for a bowl though...
It's a little hard to see the pictures, if you could get a clearer shot that would be better
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I have a 40 gallon tank that is cycled and running well and those parameters are good. Low nitrates, no nitrites, no ammonia, pH is about 7-8. But I suppose that since this tank is also room temp, it might be cool for him. But do you think that when I do water changes for the betta, should I make fresh water, or use water from that tank? Sorry if that's a dumb question lol, I'm just thinking... If I don't have a filter on this betta bowl, maybe I can get the good bio bacteria by using the water from that tank?
  • #8
Usually there is very little if any bacteria in the water. It's mostly found in filters with some being on gravel, plants, and decor. I would just keep using clean, fresh water with a good conditioner. API Stress Coat+ may help with his healing process.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I got some more pictures of him, hopefully better because its daylight, but I think since the plastic of the bowl is curved, I wonder if that's why the picture gets distorted. But that does accurately show how thin he is and his poor little fins...

Also, I took a picture of the system I tried to put him in. The style is discontinued, but I still have the box and it is petco sweetwater aquarium with one gallon of room. I don't think I would be able to fit in a heater, so I don't think I'll try this one again.

Sometime today or tomorrow I'll have to see if I can find a nice system that comes with heater and filter for a betta. But I would hate if I get a filter for him and its still too strong :c maybe I'll just get a heater for now and just do a water change everyday...

Is it possible to overdose with stresscoat? I remember someone telling me that they added stresscoat, and their fish got more stressed! I don't know much about how it works/what it does
  • #10
I had a petco bookshelf tank for a long time. Has an adjustable HOB filter, you can put a cover on the intake if you are worried. It lasted me about a year before I upgraded.
I'm sure I've overdosed on stress coat a few times, I think you would have to dump like half the bottle in to do anything. From what I understand it builds like an artificial slime coat on fish, may also help with fin growth. It also has aloe vera in it.
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Oh! Then it sounds like I should definitely give it a shot. I'll have to stop by the store today to see heaters and the stresscoat.

Is there a brand of betta food you recommend? Maybe is there one that comes with garlic? I feed omega one to my goldfish and my snails and loaches get hikarI algae wafers. Are those brands also good with betta food?
  • #12
I know Omega One seems to have a good reputation. As for the garlic, Seachem makes Garlic Guard. I can't find them in physical stores around me, I have to order mine online.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I'm better with mammal petsogs, ferrets, and rodents. And I am taking animal science courses at uni, and the health courses tend to be mammal focused so my habit of reading pet food labels and looking for key nogos led me to choose omega one for the goldies. At this point, though, I want something tasty more than I need something nutritious. He no longer has fin rot, but I imagine he might starve to death soon. Hopefully I can find the garlic guard in store, or find something with garlic. Worst comes to worst, my Amazon prime account will come in handy lol.

Thank you so much for all the recommendation!
  • #14
No problem
Keep us updated!
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Hello everybody, sad update :c when I got back from the store he had passed away. I think it was because he was already way too thin, I'm sad that I didn't bring him home sooner. Thank you all for your help.
  • #16
Dang, sorry about that. Considering how thin he was you're probably right.
Well if you ever get another one you'll have a bit more experience now.
  • #17
Hello everybody, sad update :c when I got back from the store he had passed away. I think it was because he was already way too thin, I'm sad that I didn't bring him home sooner. Thank you all for your help.

I’m so so sorry. but I want to thank you for knowing this little guy was in trouble and bringing him home to try to help. Unfortunately not everyone is nearly as compassionate as you. My heart goes out to you.
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
thank you all for your kind words! I'm glad I brought him home even if he didn't make it. I mean, passing away in my living room with a family who loved him is better than in those silly miserable cups they are sold in.
  • #19
Agreed. Good job for trying and I'm sure it'll go better next time

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