15 Gallon Tank Clamped Fins, laying at bottom, What's wrong with my bettas?

ForBettaorForWorse

Recently some of my bettas have started to get clamped fins and lay at the bottom of the tank. I really don't want to lose any more right now, so any help would be great.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 15 gallons, but has had less in the tank
How long has the tank been running? since August, almost 4 months
Does it have a filter? yes, but not a good one
Does it have a heater? no
What is the water temperature? don't know
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) five-six bettas, six Ember Tetras.


Maintenance
How often do you change the water? just changed it, but hadn't since starting the tank...
How much of the water do you change? 50%
What do you use to treat your water? nothing, water comes from a filter,
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? just the water.


*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? no
What do you use to test the water? Api Master freshwater test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: <0.25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: was very high, 160, but changed water to lower it, and haven't tested again yet.
pH: 6.8

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? once a day
How much do you feed your fish? small
What brand of food do you feed your fish? small pinch each of Tetra fin betta worm shaped bites and Tetra tropical flakes.
Do you feed frozen? no
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? no

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? first fish, month or two, second fish, a few weeks, third fish a few days
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? a few days
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? fins are clamped, and fish two and three sink to the bottom
Have you started any treatment for the illness? no
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? fish one and two no, fish three exhibited illness the next day
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? yes, fish two and three are very listless

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) So, I noticed that a few of my fish had clamped fins, and some were sinking to the bottom of the tank. I had seen the clamped fins happen, and the fish would always go back to normal within a few hours. But, this time, the fins stayed clamped, and the symptoms worsened. I had just bought a test kit, and had found that my nitrites were really high. I didn't do a water change right then and there, but vowed to within the next day or two. On Thanksgiving, I noticed that one the bettas with the clamped fins had died, and one of the other fish (Fish two) was looking pretty sorry. Today, I put the other sick betta in my five gallon tank that had much less nitrites. It was then I noticed that Fish one had clamped fins. I had just bought fish three, and it had been lively in the tiny cup thing they sell it in, but once it got home, it looked less okay. Fish one only has clamped fins, and is doing fine other than that. Fish two is sitting at the bottom, and has clamped fins, but swims around normally sometimes. Fish three almost never swims around, and sits on the gravel looking extremely sad.
 

StarGirl

1- You have not changed water one time since August? Until now? Somehow I dont believe your <.25 ammonia level and 0 Nitrite. I just dont. Sorry.

2- You need dechlor even with filtered water. Unless it is RO filtered water.

3- Read this please for your bettas. The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
 

peapuffer123

Recently some of my bettas have started to get clamped fins and lay at the bottom of the tank. I really don't want to lose any more right now, so any help would be great.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 15 gallons, but has had less in the tank
How long has the tank been running? since August, almost 4 months
Does it have a filter? yes, but not a good one
Does it have a heater? no
What is the water temperature? don't know
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) five-six bettas, six Ember Tetras.


Maintenance
How often do you change the water? just changed it, but hadn't since starting the tank...
How much of the water do you change? 50%
What do you use to treat your water? nothing, water comes from a filter,
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? just the water.


*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? no
What do you use to test the water? Api Master freshwater test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: <0.25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: was very high, 160, but changed water to lower it, and haven't tested again yet.
pH: 6.8

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? once a day
How much do you feed your fish? small
What brand of food do you feed your fish? small pinch each of Tetra fin betta worm shaped bites and Tetra tropical flakes.
Do you feed frozen? no
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? no

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? first fish, month or two, second fish, a few weeks, third fish a few days
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? a few days
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? fins are clamped, and fish two and three sink to the bottom
Have you started any treatment for the illness? no
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? fish one and two no, fish three exhibited illness the next day
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? yes, fish two and three are very listless

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) So, I noticed that a few of my fish had clamped fins, and some were sinking to the bottom of the tank. I had seen the clamped fins happen, and the fish would always go back to normal within a few hours. But, this time, the fins stayed clamped, and the symptoms worsened. I had just bought a test kit, and had found that my nitrites were really high. I didn't do a water change right then and there, but vowed to within the next day or two. On Thanksgiving, I noticed that one the bettas with the clamped fins had died, and one of the other fish (Fish two) was looking pretty sorry. Today, I put the other sick betta in my five gallon tank that had much less nitrites. It was then I noticed that Fish one had clamped fins. I had just bought fish three, and it had been lively in the tiny cup thing they sell it in, but once it got home, it looked less okay. Fish one only has clamped fins, and is doing fine other than that. Fish two is sitting at the bottom, and has clamped fins, but swims around normally sometimes. Fish three almost never swims around, and sits on the gravel looking extremely sad.
Hi I haven't had a betta in a while but I know they need a heater so they might be chilly
bettas also are solitary fish sadly ( you can get away with shrimp as tank mates sometimes)
the betas are either cold or sick but they definitely need their own space so the problem might also be stress
I really hope you can help your bettas and I wish you the best of luck!
 

ForBettaorForWorse

All the bettas are female, and have not had problems with each other, which I have always been cautious about.

1- You have not changed water one time since August? Until now? Somehow I dont believe your <.25 ammonia level and 0 Nitrite. I just dont. Sorry.

2- You need dechlor even with filtered water. Unless it is RO filtered water.

3- Read this please for your bettas. The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
Well, 1- you can argue with my API Master Test kit, that gave me the parameters. Everyone says they're accurate. Today's test:
You must be registered to see images

2- I use a Berkey filter, and I'm also on well water, so I don't know what the dechlorinator would have to dechlorinate.

3- I have read that, a little too late for my tanks, but as the test results show, it somehow fully cycled.

So, now hopefully someone can help me a bit more
 

peapuffer123

That's odd the water parameters and stuff seem fine so I wonder what's wrong with the betas I'm thinking ( and I may be wrong but I think the tank is too small) when fish cant get away and hide from their tank mates they may become stressed and stress can be a big issue
how is the tank decorated do they have space to hide from each other?
 

ForBettaorForWorse

They probably could use more hiding places. It isn't too decorated. However, all of these girls were fine with each other before, and weren't acting like this, so I do think something is actively wrong.
 

FoldedCheese

It's simple, you haven't been changing enough water and your nitrates are harming your fish. Increase WC frequency to get nitrates under 20 ppm and you might be able to save the rest depending on how much damage has been done from the high nitrates. You also need to vaccuum decomposing organics from the tank (poop, fish food etc) not just the water. WCs should done weekly in a healthy tank, at least 50% to remove nitrates and re-mineralize the tank.
 

ForBettaorForWorse

Okay, that's kinda what I thought. Good to know now:)
 

FoldedCheese

If you have any more questions about WCs or gravel vacuuming we are here to help.
 

ForBettaorForWorse

I get my water from the tap, which is well water, and run it through this thing:
You must be registered to see images

It's a Berkey Filter, and it's really good at removing impurities. It removes toxic chemicals and heavy metals from water. I've heard about people who brought these things to South America, and filtered and drank straight river water. It's really nice.
I'm pretty sure that it takes care of chlorine and anything else.
 

peapuffer123

using declorinater just in case wouldn't hurt your fish but since you do the filter thing I don't know if that is nessacary but trying it wouldn't hurt
 

StarGirl

Sorry..... you don't know how many new people come with questions about their tank. They are using a Britta filter and the pet store told them not to change water. Your nitrate is not stupid high its still orange.

It sounds like you have it under control so good luck :)
 

ForBettaorForWorse

It's okay I get it:) I hope it is just the higher nitrate. Fish three died this morning:oops:
 

ForBettaorForWorse

Guys, I think it's getting worse. Five out of the six bettas have started to show symptoms, and they continue to get worse, even after doing lots of water changes. I don't know what to do, and now think that I will end up losing all of them.
 

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