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Does My Betta Have Fin Rot Or Are The Fins Changing? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by abettaworldtogether, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. abettaworldtogetherNew MemberMember

    I have a divided 10 gallon heated, overfiltered. planted tank, 0/0/0 8 ph. Driftwood in tank. I have a betta who has changed drastically over 2 months. I will post pics, but he started out with very small, rounded fins that just blossomed. In the photos you can see them starting to get spiky in one of them (the second if it comes out as I put them in), now he has all spikes at the end of all his fins. Is he growing into a combtail/crowntail or half sun, or does he have fin rot? LFS owner wants me to change water every 2-3 days with 1 gallon bottled water at least 4 times to lower my ph then consider Rally ruby reef (my other betta had fin rot a while ago and while he is not losing fin, he's stuck at plakat length so he figured we could try the medicine that cured the fin rot the first time to see if it will promote growth.). The last 4 photos are screenshots from videos and are from today. First photo is from like January 8th or 9th.

    Attached Files:

  2. SM1199Well Known MemberMember

    He looks great in the first two pics. The four pics from today definitely show deteriorating fins, whether fin rot or physical damage. Bettas won't "transform" from one tail type to the next unless it's the illusion created by a young fish (with still-short fins) growing into their tail type. The "spikiness" you're seeing in the first two pics is completely normal, and is just the webbing stretching between two rays. The last four show the webbing actually coming apart.

  3. abettaworldtogetherNew MemberMember

    Than you. Do you agree with the owner of the LFS that I should get the ph lower by doing WC every 2-3 days with bottled water for about 2 weeks then treating for fin rot? I'm concerned because ALL his fins are like this, so damage seems unlikely, because I feel like it would be in chunks. Could there be something wrong with my water even though parameters are 0/0/0? My betta who had fin rot before has not lost any more fin that I can tell, but it stopped growing longer (he had really flowing fins before he got caught in a breeder box that was baffling a HOB filter)

  4. Fish0nValued MemberMember

    To me it looks like he is biting his own fins. Some bettas do this especially if stressed. You mentioned the 10 gallon is divided and in the pictures he is looking through the hole to the other side. Is he usually focused on the other side?

    As for water quality I would not suggest using bottled water personally. I say personally because lots to follow is personal opinion biased by my values. Not all bottled water has desirable parameters and if they slap a fish on it to tell you it is safe the price quadruples. Not to mention the plastic waste that will never biodegrade and is currently plaguing our oceans and waterways.
    I would suggest buying an API freshwater test kit if that isn't what the store is using to test your water. It is much more accurate than the strips that most stores use and will last way longer. Bettas can live happy healthy lives at 8 pH. It may not be ideal but fluctuating the pH unnecessarily would be more detrimental than high pH.
  5. SM1199Well Known MemberMember

    It's really hard to say, personally. I honestly can't see any bacterial signs of fin rot in those pictures, I don't see a black or white or red fuzzy edging. Usually, fin rot will create very strange jagged edges with frays and holes (or just eat away at everything at once in a solid line), where here it just seems like torn webbing. It's also hard to believe you'd have fin rot issues with 0/0/0, but it's probably possible. I had a betta that fin-nipped and created patterns very similar to your guy, but he also concentrated it right in the center of his tail and nowhere else. What decorations do you have in the tank? How is he acting?

    I'm not sure about the bottled water thing; I have a couple issues with it in general. The biggest of which is the mineral content of the water; often times bottled water is distilled, which has nothing, or is spring water, which has tons of minerals. Neither situation is ideal. My other issue is that I don't think it would be beneficial for him to have the pH dropped if you plan on switching back to tap in the future. Seems like a lot of stress on him. I completely understand that a slightly acidic pH is beneficial to bettas, but I also know bettas are really hardy and can live in a huge range of pH (considering it's relatively consistent throughout their lives), and usually it's better to just work with what you have than risk the pH swings.

    I would personally suggest only changing one thing at a time, because I have treated fish before where I changed too many things at once (for example, temp, pH, aquarium salt, etc) and I suddenly couldn't tell which was beneficial and which was detrimental and which wasn't making any difference. If I had to decide, I would go with one of two options: treat with ruby reef rally (I've personally never used it but if it's worked for you, go for it), OR add IAL - perhaps start with one a week, or one after each water change. Whichever one you choose, if it doesn't make a difference in a couple weeks, try the other.

    I agree with the divider thing - I didn't catch that in the original post. My betta started fin-nipping only when he had another betta in view for a few weeks - it stressed him out, made him paranoid, and he essentially took it out on himself because he couldn't reach the other fish. After that, I could never get him to stop.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2019
  6. abettaworldtogetherNew MemberMember

    He has driftwood that is standing up diagonally in his section and 2 java fern. He often swims in the roots of the java fern, between the driftwood and gravel. He swims all around the tank, I've never seen him stare at the divider, but I'm not home often. He has IAL in his tank, but could use more as the IAL are very small (Maybe an inch, if that). I did have tinted water, but after a 2 gallon WC the tint went away. Would you suggest doing more frequent WC without cleaning the gravel using either tap or RO? I'm not sure how to quote 2 posters, but the LFS owner said I could use RO instead of drinking water. He was going to test the parameters of the bottled water to make sure it was ok. his RO is like, 60c a gallon, bring your own container, so no extra waste.
  7. SM1199Well Known MemberMember

    If you do decide to use RO water, it will need to be at least slightly re-mineralized, even for a betta. Ultimately it's your decision on the water. Completely my opinion - and others may have differing opinions - I don't think the water itself is an issue, even with a high pH. Just personally, I wouldn't bother to spend extra money on bottled or RO water to use for the rest of the fish's life. You can certainly try it though, just make sure to re-mineralize the water somehow.

    I would be more focused on physical damage that would tear his fins. Driftwood can sometimes tear fins, if it's jagged enough. He also may be fin-nipping. There might be a source of stress if it is fin-nipping. Does the filter output keep the water constantly moving? I find bettas prefer relatively still water, and may nip their fins when they're stressed by the flow.
  8. Addie42Well Known MemberMember

    can you post a pic of the whole tank? putting in a bunch of live plants is a lot cheaper than trying to modify the water
    if he's too in the open and vulnerable he'll bite like @Fish0n said
  9. BRPWell Known MemberMember

    Isn’t the flow too strong? Their delicate fins can damage by a lot of water movement.
  10. abettaworldtogetherNew MemberMember

    I don't know how to add a video but this is 2/3 of the 10 gallon. Left guy died recently from swim bladder so his section is empty. This was taken at least a few weeks ago.   Now that I look, is the flow too strong coming out of his filter even though it is a sponge filter?
  11. abettaworldtogetherNew MemberMember

    I'm sorry the link came out weird, I am not good with computers/forums.
  12. Addie42Well Known MemberMember

    Maybe you could let the living guy have all of the tank now
    You should look into getting more plants and hiding spots for sure. Some floating plants are good idea too.