Bettas Find And Pre Filter Sponge

Grammywms

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Have you ever heard of pre filter sponges damaging betta fins? Even tho the sponge was advertised fine...to me it feels coarse. I am so afraid it will damage my betta's beautiful find. He likes to swim over and under the sponge.
 

Momgoose56

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Grammywms said:
Have you ever heard of pre filter sponges damaging betta fins? Even tho the sponge was advertised fine...to me it feels coarse. I am so afraid it will damage my betta's beautiful find. He likes to swim over and under the sponge.
It shouldn't. It really diminishes the suction on your intake tube. It's one of the gentlest ways to decrease suction on filters in a betta tank.
 
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Grammywms

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My concern is whether sponge is too rough on my betta's fins...possibly shred them.
 

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Grammywms said:
My concern is whether sponge is too rough on my betta's fins...possibly shred them.
Unless your betta gets sucked up against the sponge and trapped there, he should be fine with it, even resting on it. Things that are a bigger threat to their fins are uncovered filter intakes, plastic plants- especially ones with sharp leaf edges, ceramic or other decorations with sharp edges (run some nylons over decorations to check for rough spots), seashells with sharp edges that bettas might try to swim into, coral type rock, rough metal or plastic fasteners used to hold plant stems or aquarium tubing or wires protruding from silk plants etc.
 
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Grammywms

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I have silk or live plants and the 2 decorations I have are smooth. No wires. So I think I'm good in that regard.
 

Momgoose56

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Grammywms said:
I have silk or live plants and the 2 decorations I have are smooth. No wires. So I think I'm good in that regard.
Fish are so smooth and delicate seeming but are actually quite tough. Think about where bettas originated-seasonal rice paddies with acres of fresh water and tough stemmed densely planted rice stalks and seasonal streams. Bettas had to evolve (their labirynth organ) to be able to breathe air so they could survive drought periods by flinging themselves out of pools of water onto dry land then flipping across the rocks and sand to the next pool of (hopefully) fresher water! Tough little dudes!
 
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20190707_161603.jpg
They are tough. Just wanna keep those beautiful fins looking good.

The above is what he looked like when I got him 2 mos. ago. Below is what I noticed this week that prompted my post about the pre filter sponge.
20190821_123242.jpg
 

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Grammywms said:
The above is what he looked like when I got him 2 mos. ago. Below is what I noticed this week that prompted my post about the pre filter sponge.
20190821_123242.jpg
What about the plastic green plant in the first pic where his fins are nice, did u take that out? I had one like it and it def could damage those fins!
 
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Yeah, it's been out for about 6 weeks.

It felt soft and smooth but I didn't want to take any chances.
 

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The way to check anything for bettas is take panty hose and put it over your hand and rub it on everything in the tank. If it snags at all on anything it'll also be sharp enough to snag the betta fins. Bettas like to lean on things and rub up close to things so if the sponge is rough I'd bet that's what is happening.
 

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What are your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? That looks like early fin rot to me, because the dorsal fin is involved and because of the blackened tips and diffuse generalized fraying of the fin edges. It doesn't look like mechanical damage. Early Fin rot like this is curable and fins will grow back after it's treated and water conditions are corrected.
 
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Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10.
If it's fin rot, I have Kanaplex to treat him in hospital 1 gal tank. What do you think?
How could he have gotten fin rot when I keep his tank so clean with weekly water changes and good parameters? The only other inhabitant is a nerite snail.

e_watson09 said:
The way to check anything for bettas is take panty hose and put it over your hand and rub it on everything in the tank. If it snags at all on anything it'll also be sharp enough to snag the betta fins. Bettas like to lean on things and rub up close to things so if the sponge is rough I'd bet that's what is happening.
I'll do the panty hose check to make sure.
Any idea where I can get fine pre filter sponges?
 

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Grammywms said:
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10.
If it's fin rot, I have Kanaplex to treat him in hospital 1 gal tank. What do you think?
How could he have gotten fin rot when I keep his tank so clean with weekly water changes and good parameters? The only other inhabitant is a nerite snail.
It looks like he may have already had a very mild bacterial infection when you got him and (by the picture, that's what I suspect rather than fungal) was never able to fight the infection off. Your good water changes and care are probably why it hasn't progressed faster!
20190821_114804.jpg
If you zoom in on these areas of his fins when you first got him, you can see some irregularity aand less than healthy looking tissue, then look at those same areas on your current picture.
Here's a decent guide for diagnosing and treating fin rot:

See the difference in coloring, in the yellow box, between the right vs left side of the tail. I believe the dark graying on the right was very early beginning of the fin infection.

Grammywms said:
I'll do the panty hose check to make sure.
Any idea where I can get fine pre filter sponges?
I don't think the problem is the sponge. And I don't think there is a fine pre filter sponge. Using a fine dense sponge on a filter intake would occlude water flow too much. You could tie the toe section of some panty hose loosely over the pre filter sponge you have on there. That would at least smoothe it out while his fins are healing. You'd need to fasten the panty hose so it's easily removed because it will clog quickly, being a finer filter material than the sponge itself.
Moving him for treatment with an antibiotic is a good idea. That way you won't knock out your biological bacteria in his main tank filter media.
 
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Should I have done a 100% water change after Ruben (my first Betta) died? Do I need to do one when I put him in hospital tank for treatment, as well as wash everything?

Btw, thx for links. I read all info.

What do you think of Kanaplex vs aquarium salt treatment?
 

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Personally I think aquarium salt is worthless, others may not agree but its a pretty outdated "trend" to use as a blanket treatment. I'd focus on a bacterial treatment. The only salt I really am okay with using for my guys is epson salt baths, so not in the main tank.

EDIT: Are you using the sponge to cover a HOB intake or like a sponge filter? They make some REALLY soft sponges for sponge filters, I have a couple they're super cheap on amazon and I've started using them to shove over the intake for HOB filters if I have fry or anything in the tank. They work really well and they're soft so they won't tear betta fins!
 

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e_watson09 said:
Personally I think aquarium salt is worthless, others may not agree but its a pretty outdated "trend" to use as a blanket treatment. I'd focus on a bacterial treatment. The only salt I really am okay with using for my guys is epson salt baths, so not in the main tank.

EDIT: Are you using the sponge to cover a HOB intake or like a sponge filter? They make some REALLY soft sponges for sponge filters, I have a couple they're super cheap on amazon and I've started using them to shove over the intake for HOB filters if I have fry or anything in the tank. They work really well and they're soft so they won't tear betta fins!
It's HOB pre filter. OP is looking for softer sponge. Do they decrease HOB flow much? Do they gunk up faster than regular pre filter sponges?
 

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Grammywms said:
Have you ever heard of pre filter sponges damaging betta fins? Even tho the sponge was advertised fine...to me it feels coarse. I am so afraid it will damage my betta's beautiful find. He likes to swim over and under the sponge.
I haven't heard of this. Your fish might have a skin irritation and may be flashing or rubbing against the pre filter. Betta's like a certain alkalinity, check it and make sure it's right for the fish. You can buy alkalinity adjustors at your local fish store.
If anything, your pre filter will help protect your Betta. (my opinion)

I found this for you.
Betta fish can tolerate a water hardness of 5-20 dH or 70-300 GH ppm, preferably with conditions in mid-range.

This may be why your fish is rubbing against the filter.
 

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Momgoose56 said:
It's HOB pre filter. OP is looking for softer sponge. Do they decrease HOB flow much? Do they gunk up faster than regular pre filter sponges?
I haven't had a problem personally. I took them off small sponge filters that had two sponges on them. The HOB intake actually fit perfectly in them. I've had them on there probably 3 months now without issue. I think it would also depend on the stocking levels of the tank, how much feeding, what type of fish, etc for how quickly it would gunk up. I have a extra sponge filter (I use it for seeding my tanks haha) in my 29 gallon with a BUNCH of growing out BN plecos with the same sponge. It also hasn't gunked up there and I've had that one going for more than 6 months now. Fish mom of the year over here, I've never cleaned them (probably should tho HAH). I just shoved it in there and didn't mess with them. Flow is still great tho!
 
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Yes. It's an HOB intake pre filter sponge. Got a package online. Anxious to hear response to Momgoose 56 question.

He's not rubbing on sponge, he just swims over and under it. I just thought his fins might have skimmed over them.
 

Momgoose56

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Grammywms said:
Yes. It's an HOB intake pre filter sponge. Got a package online. Anxious to hear response to Momgoose 56 question.
There are finer sponges on AMAZON. They are rated by "PPI" (pores per inch)--the bigger the PPI number, the finer the sponge. Your lfs may have some too.
Are you treating him for fin rot as well?
e_watson09 said:
I haven't had a problem personally. I took them off small sponge filters that had two sponges on them. The HOB intake actually fit perfectly in them. I've had them on there probably 3 months now without issue. I think it would also depend on the stocking levels of the tank, how much feeding, what type of fish, etc for how quickly it would gunk up. I have a extra sponge filter (I use it for seeding my tanks haha) in my 29 gallon with a BUNCH of growing out BN plecos with the same sponge. It also hasn't gunked up there and I've had that one going for more than 6 months now. Fish mom of the year over here, I've never cleaned them (probably should tho HAH). I just shoved it in there and didn't mess with them. Flow is still great tho!
e_watson09, Do you know the brand of the sponges you bought or a picture of the packaging they came in you could post for the OP?
 

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