Betta With Pretty Bad Fin Rot, Possibly Something Else Too? Help

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Courtz, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. CourtzValued MemberMember


    What is the water volume of the tank? - 2.5g
    How long has the tank been running? - My previous betta passed away several weeks back, he had been in it for about 2 years; I took the tank apart (but kept the sponge filter in some of the tank water so it wouldn't dry out) and cleaned everything, redid it with sand and got it up running again. Since then it's been running for about 2 weeks.
    Does it have a filter? - Yes, a small sponge filter.
    Does it have a heater? - Yes, an adjustable 25w heater.
    What is the water temperature? - 79-81*F
    What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) - One male betta and a live plant (anubias nana)

    How often do you change the water? - I brought the betta home knowing he has fin rot, so i've been doing daily 50% water changes to keep his water clean; normally i would do a 25-50% water change every other week
    How much of the water do you change? - 50% right now, normally it would be 25-50%
    What do you use to treat your water? - Seachem Prime
    Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? - Both! depends on if there's any poop or anything on the substrate i need to vacuum up

    *Parameters - Very Important
    Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? - Yes, the tank was already cycled~
    What do you use to test the water? - API 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 (because of daily water changes)
    pH: 7.8

    How often do you feed your fish? - Twice a day
    How much do you feed your fish? - 2 pellets twice a day (so 4 altogether); sometimes i replace one of the meals with a couple of mini frozen bloodworms.
    What brand of food do you feed your fish? - Hikari bio gold betta pellets and Omega One betta pellets
    Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? - Occasional frozen bloodworms for some variety!

    Illness & Symptoms
    How long have you had this fish? - He's lived at the store where I work for about 6-8 months, I've only had him at home for a week.
    How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? - He's had fin rot for a couple of months now, but until my previous betta passed away, i didn't have an open tank to put him in so I could treat him. The store where I work doesn't have a hospital tank, sadly, and the bettas are housed in a setup where the fish are separate but the same water gets filtered through all the tanks (so i can't treat just one fish without treating all of them).
    In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? - Fin rot seems to be getting worse, not better; his scales look kind of rough? Maybe almost fuzzy? I'm familiar with pineconing scales, but it's not that. He also looks kind of bony around his head/spine, if that makes sense?
    Have you started any treatment for the illness? - Been doing daily 50% water changes for a week, yesterday he started just sitting at the top of the tank and seemed kind of listless so I started dosing him with Kanaplex to see if maybe the fin rot is just too advanced for clean water to make a dent in it :(
    Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? - Yes, brought him home to try and nurse him back to health!
    How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? - He was pretty active despite the advanced fin rot when I first brought him home, but yesterday he wasn't acting like he felt good, and he's been the same today. His fins were already pretty tattered when I brought him home, but he seems to have lost even more of his tail fin despite the clean, heated and filtered water.

    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)

    Hello, all! As I've mentioned before I work at a small local pet store, and we do sell betta fish. I've brought home ones that were sick before--not all have made it, but two of them lived for two years with me, so that's something at least :( recently, one of my bettas passed away (RIP Lotus) so I had a tank open for another fish I'd been trying to keep an eye on at work. This guy, who i've named Sweet Pea, has some pretty advanced fin rot, which is probably due to the water conditions at the store. I try to keep the tanks clean, but i'm the only one really trying, and i don't have a lot of time i can work on the tanks (we're pretty short staffed, alas), so the water is not always the cleanest. Most of the bettas do fine and I try to make sure they go to good homes, but some don't get picked and end up being stuck in the small tanks for longer than they probably should. The tanks are filtered and somewhat heated! I don't think they're quite as warm as the bettas would like, but they're not under 72*F. When the fish are in the tank for more than a few months, I start to notice problems :( That's what seems to have happened with Sweet Pea.

    He's missing most of his top fin and quite a bit of his tail fin, and his little side fins are kind of tattered too. Somehow the fins on his underside managed to not get too bad? He also seems kind of bony around his head/spine area, which I thought was just because he was a little malnourished, but I've been feeding him good food and while he's not as skinny as he was, the bony-ness has remained. His scales on his head and sides also look kind of rough or fuzzy? I was thinking possibly a fungus? But I can't seem to get a good picture of that :( It's definitely not pineconing, i've seen enough dropsy now to know what that looks like. It almost looks like he roughed his scales up on something, but there aren't any decorations in the tanks at work, just the gravel and a live plant, and there's nothing rough in my tank either. I believe he looked a little rough when I brought him home, but it may have gotten worse.

    I had Kanaplex on hand, so I dosed him with that yesterday, and I'll do again tomorrow, but I was wondering if anybody else had any suggestions? I also have aquarium salt on hand, which I had considered adding in after I'm done dosing him with the Kanaplex. I can definitely stop by the fish store and pick up some other medicine if needed! Thank you in advance <3

    Uploading some pics as well, you can't really see the roughness of the scales very well, but that second pic is from above and was taken tonight :( the first is from when I was acclimating him in the bag right after I brought him home. He was very active at first, but since yesterday he's been kind of lethargic (still eating tho!) He's also still pooping and staying upright okay in the water, but has been hanging out at the very top? I don't think he's constipated... I thought maybe it was because of how much of his fins he's lost, that he has a hard time swimming up and down? He stays so close to the top of the water that sometimes he sticks out a little :( he's such a sweet little guy, I just want him to get better!

  2. MakuariumValued MemberMember

    Do you have a thermometer? It's important that your heat is not fluctuating especially when you're putting new water in the tank. Make sure you're filter is right next to your heater so that the heat is distributed. A 2.5 gallon is one of the harder tanks to keep since it's so small. Do you know you're pH? I'd suggest getting floating plants just to help purify his water. It could also very well be that you're filter is still infected with whatever your old fish had. I'm wondering if you're sweet Betta may just be stressed or if he has swim bladder disorder. I wouldn't suggest the kanaplex unless you're making sure the concentration is staying the same. Since you don't know what you're treating other than fin rot. And I can't tell how bad the fins are eaten away by the photos. If they are halfway gone then yes medicine or salt. But if it's less maybe it's stressing him out.

  3. MakuariumValued MemberMember

    this method helped cure my bettas fin rot. Make sure the Betta's head is still in the don't have to use 35% you can use 3% store bought hydrogen peroxide.
    What color is his poop?

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  4. CourtzValued MemberMember

    I have a digital thermometer, and tho I don't change the setting on the heater, the temperature does go up and down over the course of a couple of days :( it doesn't change fast, so I don't think it bothers him too much, but in the morning it'll be 79.8 and then by the night it'll be 80.7 or sometimes 81. My pH is 7.8 :) I have my filter next to my heater with the water flow going past my heater so that it'll distribute the heat more evenly. I was starting to wonder about the filter maybe being a problem tho too... I might change it out since I have extra ones. The filter is the only thing I didn't clean very thoroughly because I didn't want to kill my bacteria... Top fin and tail fin are definitely more than half gone, while the belly fin is still mostly there :( he didn't seem stressed at all until about a week after I brought him home. Hopefully I can get him acting perky again :(

    Thank you for the idea! If he isn't showing any improvement after I finish dosing the Kanaplex I'll definitely give that a try! And his poop has been pretty dark mostly. Once or twice it's been a reddish brown color, but other times it's been dark brown-ish.

    Thank you for your help!

  5. MakuariumValued MemberMember

    Of course! And the bacteria may become resistant to the active ingredient in Kanaplex, if he gets better and then suddenly gets worse again even when you use Kanaplex it may be time to switch to a different medicine like Furan 2 which treats for gram neggative and gram positive bacteria. If you can get him a 5 gallon it's much easier to keep that steady and the more water the less resistent it will be to temperature changes and almost every other problems like disease/medication/accidentally toxins in your tank/pH. Of course you wouldn't need to get a different heater since you have 25 Watt one that would suffice. But that's for later, and I understand money can be an issue. I know for me it is.

    You're pH is good just make sure it's steady. Usually higher pH is less suseptable to pH swings so it's unlikely. And brown poop is a good sign watch out for any white poop.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  6. CourtzValued MemberMember

    I'll go ahead and pick up some Furan 2, then, just in case! The tank size is less of a money issue and more of a space issue :( I'm hoping to upgrade to 5 gallon tanks as soon as I can get some time to clear space at my house in the room I keep my gerbils in with the door closed so my cats don't bother them. I don't trust my cats with fish so the tanks are at my parents' house at the moment, and my mother was barely willing to give up the space for the 2.5g tanks :( I just need to get my butt in gear!
  7. MakuariumValued MemberMember

    I can understand it's alright.

    Another suggestion is Indian Almond leafs also known as Catappa leafs if you haven't heard of them before. This has helped my bettas recover from fin growth as well, and with general energy and activity. Since he is skinny he may have internal parasites and perhaps the white poop has not started, if youd like to be safe Paraguard it good for the mild symptoms (early stages/worry of internal parasites). Optional but cautionary meassures for new fish.
  8. CourtzValued MemberMember

    I've got some driftwood and a big almond leaf in his tank :) I've got some seachem Metroplex on hand, would that work? Or is paraguard preferred?
  9. MakuariumValued MemberMember

    That's great :). And yes metroplex will work, it's stronger though than paraguard. Is the tummy of your bettas sunken in at all? Hopefully your fish continues to get fatter

    If you go the metroplex route it's suggested you add it to your fishes food by using seachem's Focus you can soak your food in garlic too because your fish may not like the flavor (you don't have to buy the garlic bottle from seachem you can make your own garlic juice if you want).
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  10. CourtzValued MemberMember

    His belly seems fine, but the area around the top of his head/spine seems to be kind of sunken in o: I'll keep on trying and hope he perks up again soon
  11. MakuariumValued MemberMember

    Okay that's good. I'm too sure about the sunken in head, I'll try to find something about it for you.
  12. CourtzValued MemberMember

    Thank you! I really appreciate all the help <3
  13. MakuariumValued MemberMember

    Of courseee

    And I think a sunken in head is a sign of a straving fish like you predicted. Fatten him up with blood worms maybe get him some frozen brine shrimp or some other food to varry his diet. (Three different foods is my minimum usually for the healthiest fish)

    Could you take a picture of the ingredients to your pellets? Usually what your looking for are things like whole fish meal, spirulina, and whole wheat.

    Dm me whenever or keep replying on here whenever you'd like :)
  14. CourtzValued MemberMember

    Just thought everyone would like to know that Sweet Pea is doing great! He's happy and swimming around and making lots of bubble nests (that I feel bad for messing up because I'm still doing frequent PWC lol) and he's had a lot of new fin growth! Sorry I didn't update sooner, real life has been hectic :'D


    Pictures are kind of crappy but he won't stop moving LOL he's the cutest little guy!