Betta fishs fin rot and swim bladder getting worse

sleeplessrat

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
5 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
a few months i cant remember exactly the date
Does it have a filter?
yes
Does it have a heater?
yes
What is the water temperature?
78
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
one betta fish

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? once every week
How much of the water do you change?
15 percent
What do you use to treat your water?
aqua safe
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
both
*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? since i had another tank cycled i added filter media from that tank into the 5 gallon
What do you use to test the water?
master test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0
pH: 7.0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? 3 times a week monday Wednesday and Friday
How much do you feed your fish? a pinch of frozen mysis shrimp
What brand of food do you feed your fish? omega one
Do you feed frozen? yes
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? no

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? a few months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? ever since i saw him in the vase
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Lethargic troubles swimming
Have you started any treatment for the illness? yes
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? yes
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? its fine rot has gotten worse and it appears that some of his scales are missing

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

hey so awhile back i received a betta from my grandma- she kept him in a vase for about a year and he lived off of cheap betta pellets. hes been in my care for a few months now and his fin rot is just getting worse and so is his swim bladder. i just dont know what to do anymore ive tried epsom salt baths indian almond leaves etc
 

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Rose of Sharon

Hi,

Hope I can help!

For the fin issues, I would do small water changes every other day. If he isn't getting his fins caught/injured on anything in the tank, then pristine water will help with the healing process. Since he is the only inhabitant in the tank, you can also add a little aquarium salt. You can use aquarium salt for up to 2 weeks, but after that, discontinue use. It becomes ineffective with overuse.
Aquarium salt is only removed by water changes, so you will want to make sure that you keep track of how much water you change. Then, when adding more, only add enough for the amount of water that you have replaced.

If his fins continue to degrade after the frequent water changes and the aquarium salt, then you might consider doing one round of antibiotic treatment. This is tricky in that it can kill your cycle, so if you do decinde to use an antibiiotic, you will want to put him into something that will act as a hospital tank. That can be anything, like a plastic tote, or a container of some sort that will allow you to dose him for a few days. I use a glass cookie jar, and I add a small heater and an air stone. Again, this is only for the duration of the antibiotic treatment - sometimes only 3 days. As far as the antibiotic, you can use any med that treats gram negative bacterial infections. I use kanaplex, or maracyn 2, or something like that.

For the swim bladder issue - what exactly is he doing? Does he have too much buoyancy, or not enough? Can he swim to the top of the tank at all? Is he still eating?

He doesn't look bloated; is he constipated?

Swim bladder issues can be caused by constipation, an actual internal injury to the swim bladder itself, an internal infection, an internal tumor, and even temp changes can cause some swim bladder issues.

It sounds like you know what to do about constipation (epsom salt baths and fasting and then feeding daphnia). If he has an injury, it may not heal. You may need to just lower the level of his tank water so that he can get around and get air as needed. They can still have a great little life, even if they are disabled in this way.

If it is a tumor, there is nothing that can be done. If it is an infection, there will be more symptoms. He will be extremely lethargic, lose his color, stop eating. If there is an internal infection, then antibiotics may help with that, too.
 

sleeplessrat

i have plants in my tank- ive tried aquarium salt before i think i might try it again. ill just keep him in a separate place. and when he swims its like- he has troubles staying balanced. here-
 

Rose of Sharon

I think that you're doing a great job with him, seeing as how he spent his first year in a vase. He looks pretty good. Most would not have survived that.

Giving him a hospital tank setting may help for right now. I understand that aquarium salt can hurt some plants.

If he is having trouble reaching the top of the tank, you can always lower the tank water. The plants will help him have a place to lean against/lay.

If he has an internal infection, maybe a dose of antibiotics will help that as well. It's just so hard to pin point the reason for swim bladder issues except for those caused by constipation or temperature changes.

I hope that he bounces back!!!!

Edit: I hate to recommend buying anything else, but StressGuard by Seachem may help a little. I use it when treating my fish for any type of illness, especially fin issues. It's like lotion for fish.
 

bcsay720

Another thing that came to mind, since the rotting is pretty uneven, is that he's biting his tail (which can also cause fin rot). He literally looks exactly like my betta... from the coloring down to the jagged tail. The tannins from the leaves and low lighting should help, too, if that's the case. Make sure the filter isn't too strong (lowering the water level also helps with this), and make sure he has lots of places to rest, since he's a long-finned boy.
 

sleeplessrat

do you have any pictures of your betta
I think that you're doing a great job with him, seeing as how he spent his first year in a vase. He looks pretty good. Most would not have survived that.

Giving him a hospital tank setting may help for right now. I understand that aquarium salt can hurt some plants.

If he is having trouble reaching the top of the tank, you can always lower the tank water. The plants will help him have a place to lean against/lay.

If he has an internal infection, maybe a dose of antibiotics will help that as well. It's just so hard to pin point the reason for swim bladder issues except for those caused by constipation or temperature changes.

I hope that he bounces back!!!!

Edit: I hate to recommend buying anything else, but StressGuard by Seachem may help a little. I use it when treating my fish for any type of illness, especially fin issues. It's like lotion for fish.
thankyou ! i had stress guard a few weeks ago but i had used all of it- and the aqua safe was the only thing i had left over- ill invest in some again :-]
 

bcsay720

I was afraid I deleted all the pictures of his tail biting, but here we are. He goes through periods of bad biting and healing. He's never let it fully heal. Once it's about 90% regrown, he will bite half of it off again.

Pic 2 is his tail when it was almost fully regrown. The translucent part is new regrowth that hasn't pigmented yet. You can see how jagged the coloring is, though, and that shows how unevenly he bites it.

I recently deleted all the ones of when it was rotting, and the worst he's ever bitten it. He's been in a heavily tannin-ed tank for many months now, so the fins don't rot anymore when he bites.
 

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sleeplessrat

awww he looks adorable- i got the hospital container set up- ignore the jankyness of it- its the first thing i had on a wim
 

Rose of Sharon

You can really tell that they are fin nipping when there is a big chunk missing, or when the tail looks like an old woman's shall...you know, like tassels hanging...
 

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