Bettas Fins Are Looking Dull..normal?

aoiumi

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If you could put the tank specs, i.e. the size, filter, heater, temperature, how often you water change, and what other things are in the tank. I can see a moss ball and thermometer in the picture.

If you have any sort of test kit knowing the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate can help too.

Also, what and how much do you feed him?

I see you don't know about the nitrogen cycle, but as you've had him for five months I don't think that would be having an impact on his colour now unless you don't have any sort of filter.
 

e_watson09

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His fins look significantly shorter which is a concern for me, I can see in the first picture he had some tears in his fins which makes me suspect that it could be a fin rot issue. Fin rot can be caused by a lot of things but often the way to resolve the issue is a good fin rot medication and clean water with frequent water changes. The extra water changes will help encourage fin regrowth.
 

aoiumi

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Oh! I didn't notice the second picture! What e_watson09 said, with the fins being so much shorter it very likely might be fin rot. Testing the water quality is very important, and if you can't do that, frequent water changes can help.

I don't know a lot about fin rot, but you will want to make sure that the water is very clean, not just in looks but in waste products which can't be seen.
 

Salem

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Your bio says you dont know about the nitrogen cycle so my first thought is that there is ammonia in his tank and its giving him a hard time.
 
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KrisyH

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Hey all. Thanks for the replies! Hes in a 3.5 gallon tank, he has a filter, heater, thermometer and that's always round 79 degrees. I had a plastic plant in with him a while back, but took it out because I wondered if that was bothering his fins. I change the water every few weeks, but from what I've been reading, I should probably do weekly changes. I'm actually waiting on a few plants to come in so I can put them in his tank. The picture on the right was when I first got him and he was pretty small, the left is from the other day. His fins have gotten alot bigger, but his top fin doesn't stand up like it used to. His top fin is only up if he flares up. I bought some test strips and will be testing his water soon.

How often do I need to be changing his water and should it be like a 10 or 25% change?
 

aoiumi

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It's not surprising that his top fin doesn't stand up since he seems to be either a super delta or a halfmoon, and they have very heavy fins.

Do you use any sort of water conditioner? They are important during water changes, and Prime, in particular, can help with ammonia and nitrite. I don't know a lot about them but stress coat products can also be used and can be useful.

In both pictures, he has black on the edge of his fins in a fairly regular line, so I don't think it is fin rot, just a particularly frightful coloration.

Unless you're certain that there's no chlorine in your water, (there almost always will be if you have city water, or some other thing used to kill germs that you don't want in your tank) you will want a conditioner.

I would recommend testing the water before and after a water change, and making sure to test two-three times a week until you know how quickly ammonia/nitrite/nitrate build up in your tank, and base your water changes on whenever nitrate gets above 30 ppm, ammonia or nitrite gets above 0 ppm, or two weeks, whichever comes first.

You have a very small tank, so it will be a bit more work to keep the levels in check, but it can be done.

Good luck with the plants! Live plants can help a lot with a tank and the nitrogen cycle.

If you don't have one already, I would recommend also investing in a gravel vac/siphon, I think there's a page somewhere on here that details water changes, take a look at that.

Most importantly, though, is don't get overwhelmed!
 
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KrisyH

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It's not surprising that his top fin doesn't stand up since he seems to be either a super delta or a halfmoon, and they have very heavy fins.

Do you use any sort of water conditioner? They are important during water changes, and Prime, in particular, can help with ammonia and nitrite. I don't know a lot about them but stress coat products can also be used and can be useful.

In both pictures, he has black on the edge of his fins in a fairly regular line, so I don't think it is fin rot, just a particularly frightful coloration.

Unless you're certain that there's no chlorine in your water, (there almost always will be if you have city water, or some other thing used to kill germs that you don't want in your tank) you will want a conditioner.

I would recommend testing the water before and after a water change, and making sure to test two-three times a week until you know how quickly ammonia/nitrite/nitrate build up in your tank, and base your water changes on whenever nitrate gets above 30 ppm, ammonia or nitrite gets above 0 ppm, or two weeks, whichever comes first.

You have a very small tank, so it will be a bit more work to keep the levels in check, but it can be done.

Good luck with the plants! Live plants can help a lot with a tank and the nitrogen cycle.

If you don't have one already, I would recommend also investing in a gravel vac/siphon, I think there's a page somewhere on here that details water changes, take a look at that.

Most importantly, though, is don't get overwhelmed!
I'm glad to hear that about his top fin. I do use water conditioner every time I Change the water. I also have the gravel Vacuum! Thanks so much for all the great advise! Should I have a bigger tank as well?
 

aoiumi

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Oh! I forgot to ask! How long has the filter been running, and have you changed the media? (You never want to change filter media, except for carbon, and only wash it in old tank water)

If you still have at least some of the same filter media from the start of the tank then your tank should be cycled.

What is your conditioner brand?

My advice for tanks will always be bigger is better, but a heavily planted (can't see one side from the other) well-maintained (keeping on top of waste from fish + plants, along with keeping track of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate) 3.5 gal isn't a bad tank.

Of course, if you can easily get one, a 5 or 10 gallon tank, well planted and once cycled, (which shouldn't be a problem if you have bacteria-rich filter media,) will really let your betta flourish, and be less work to boot!

There's a guide somewhere on here to what the nitrogen cycle is, something very important to know when it comes to fish, so read that if you can find it.

It may have gotten lost, but make sure to get some form of water tester! API master test kit covers most things you will need to know, but high-quality test strips, if easier to get, can work just as well.
I would recommend testing the water before and after a water change, and making sure to test two-three times a week until you know how quickly ammonia/nitrite/nitrate build up in your tank, and base your water changes on whenever nitrate gets above 30 ppm, ammonia or nitrite gets above 0 ppm, or two weeks, whichever comes first.
as i said above, you want to keep track of water quality, and when changing water, change enough to get nitrate down. You'll want nitrates after a water change to be much lower, but I don't know how much that should be when working from 30 ppm.

Good luck!
 
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