Female betta with ripped fins- possible fin rot?

SuspiciouslyFishy

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 7.5 gallons
How long has the tank been running? Since September last year
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 25C
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) Bertha (female betta) and a number of ramshorn snails. I do not know how many snails. Probably more than 10.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Weekly
How much of the water do you change? Usually about 6 litres out of 28
What do you use to treat your water? Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? When I'm feeling less good, as I have lately, I don't. When I feel better, I do.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
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: Yesterday it was 0.25 ppm. Today it's hopefully resolved. The reason was that unbeknownst to myself, the filter had stopped moving very much water through it. And come to think of it a few months ago the filter did undergo an unfortunate accident where I forgot to turn it off during a large water change.
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: I haven't actually tested that, on account of the heavy planting in the tank. previously it's always been between zero and 5ppm
pH: 6.4

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? every other day
How much do you feed your fish? about 1/16 of a frozen cube
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Do you feed frozen? Yes. It rotates between daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp.
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? Since close to the end of January
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?at purchase
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Her fins are ragged. I hoped it was just from bullying in her display tank, but now it's started to get worse rather than better and I'm concerned that it could have progressed to fin rot
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No. I did a large water change yesterday though (50%) to try to get as much poop out of the substrate as I could.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? She had torn and ragged fins. She was kept in a tiny display tank with 2 other females and they picked on her, according to the shop.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? She used to have a white splotch on her forehead but that's now gone. Her behaviour and appearance beyond what I've described are otherwise the same, aside from that she holds her fins clamped when she didn't before.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
When I got her a little over a month ago, she had ragged fins. The holes in them healed almost overnight, but the ragged edges didn't seem to be improving. I held on because they also weren't getting worse.
Yesterday I rescaped her tank. I'd bought a bunch of new plants and wanted to plant them in (guppy grass and montecarlo), so I pulled out most of what had been there and replanted it all. As I was watching afterwards, I noticed 2 things- the cloudiness from stirring up the gravel wasn't clearing as fast as it should, and her fins looked more ragged than before. There was a part of her tail fin missing that previously hadn't been.
It's somewhat possible I accidentally punted her with a decoration and didn't notice, in fairness. Despite her fins being fairly short and uninhibitive, she isn't the fastest of swimmers. Perhaps I ought to have removed her and placed her elsewhere during the near entire overhaul of her scape.

I then noticed that the filter in her tank was barely outputting anything. I replaced that (I had a spare lying around). And I tested ammonia and nitrite in the water, before doing a 50% water change. Recently I hadn't been on top of vaccuming because I'm recovering from COVID and that's been rough. Yesterday was the first day I felt somewhat human again. Today she again doesn't look worse, but doesn't look better.

I'm wondering if I should keep up a regime of water changes and gravel vaccing, or if I ought to try aquarium salt, or if there's something else I ought to try?

The lights aren't on yet, but I can lure her out this afternoon with some bloodworms to get some pictures.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Picture of the fins would help. Rescaping a tank is quite a big change...going forawrd I'd avoid any big changes to tanks with sick fish. Do you know the pH of the pet store water? If the betta is not used to acidic water then it might be an issue as well. The bettas here are all raised in high pH water, but most wild bettas need low pH, with a few exceptions.
 

SuspiciouslyFishy

So, pictures incoming. The lights are on now and she's swimming about.

The gif is probably the best one for a proper view of her fins currently though. I honestly didn't realise how bad it had gotten, but I looked at some older pictures from a couple of weeks ago and it definitely wasn't this bad.
The pet store keeps their water at a fairly neutral pH. I can't remember exactly though.

I wouldn't have made such big changes if I'd known she was sick- I'd probably have just floated the plants in the tank until she was doing better. Like, I know you would look at those pictures and it seems a bit obvious, but I had just told myself this whole time that she was just taking her time to heal, and seeing it every day, it didn't seem like it was getting worse.
 

Attachments

  • 274941897_1469456893470584_5631011037298848247_n.jpg
    274941897_1469456893470584_5631011037298848247_n.jpg
    172.7 KB · Views: 3
  • 273949919_1474661756262212_2230394662242147362_n.jpg
    273949919_1474661756262212_2230394662242147362_n.jpg
    205.3 KB · Views: 3
  • 273707576_731174984533938_7681744578791878888_n.jpg
    273707576_731174984533938_7681744578791878888_n.jpg
    177.2 KB · Views: 3

SuspiciouslyFishy

So, presuming it is fin rot, and clean water isn't going to be enough to beat it.

How do I treat that? I'm seeing a lot around the internet. Some says that I should use erythromycin. Some say to use aquarium salt. Some say to use phenoxyethanol. Some say to NOT use phenoxyethanol. Some say to use Metafix or Bettafix. Some say to NOT use those.
Also, would I need to remove as many snails as possible before treating? Because if so I'd need a night, prefereably, to lure the majority of them to some cucumber, as I don't really have the heart to kill them if I can at all help it. Would I be able to put the snails back afterwords (I've heard that some substances can linger in the substrate and etc.), or would Bertie be a solo girl from here on out? Would it be most effective to treat her tank, or to give her medicated baths in a bucket? Would I have to remove the filter media? Where would I even buy whatever was best to use in the UK?

This is why I made this post, really. Treating fish is complicated, and information is complicated and conflicting, and I'm confused, and I don't want to lose her. It was hard enough to lose her predecessor. I don't think I'll get another betta if she passes. The tank will be a snail tank at that point.
 

Rose of Sharon

Hi,

I hope that you are feeling better!

Based on Bertie's pics, this is what I would recommend. It does look like fin rot, but it's not incredibly bad.

I think that I would do small, frequent water changes - 20 to 25% every other day for a while. It's pretty easy to do small changes. This will keep the water pristine. I would also add some Indian almond leaves, which will release tannins into the water. The tannins will tint the water brown, but tannins have slight antibacterial and antifungal properties, and will help with healing and stress. And Bertie will love the stuff!

I would then do some daily aquarium salt baths, since you have snails in the tank. I would dissolve a tablespoon of aquarium salt into a gallon of tank water (water that is temp matched to the tank) in a separate container, and then put the betta in the bath for about 20 minutes. You can do daily aquarium salt baths for a good two weeks, as long as the betta is not over stressed.

If you don't see improvement after 2 weeks, then you may need to set up a hospital tank for her, and treat her with an antibiotic. But only do this if you see it getting worse. Always treat naturally first, and only use antibiotics as a last resort.

If you set up a hospital tank, you can add a heater and an air stone, and dose her according to instructions on the med.

Avoid anything with "fix" in the name. Try to get something that treats gram-negative bacteria, as almost all fin rot is gram negative. I am not sure what is available in the UK, but any product with doxycycline or kanamycin can work. Erythromycin could work, too, if you have access to it.

Hope this helps!!!
 

SuspiciouslyFishy

Thank you so much!

Should I vaccum the gravel during the daily changes, or just use a jug to take the water out?

I actually have a bunch of indian almond leaves. I will brew them into a tea of sorts to add in with each water change. And I'll order aquarium salt tonight online to start doing the salt baths with. Could I use the water from the daily water changes to do the baths with? As that would already be temperature matched, presumably.

It also gives me some time to look for one of the antbiotics you mentioned. I don't have a spare tank, but I can always set up a clean bucket, or buy something small second hand. Am I remembering rightly that the BB are also gram negative?

Thank you, again.
Oh, and I tested the water more completely today, to check that the new filter was doing it's thing and I hadn't missed anything. Ammonia and Nitrites are 0ppm, Nitrates are between 0 and 5ppm, and pH is at 6.6, which is all rather reassuring.
Oh, and I forgot to ask. When should I stop salt bath treatments and daily water changes? When she shows improvement, or a bit after that?
 

Rose of Sharon

So glad to help!!!

I would only vacuum once a week. And yes, you can use the water from the water changes for the aquarium salt baths. That would be perfect!

You can actually add the whole Indian almond leaves to the tank if you would like. That's what I do. I know that some people brew the tea, but I find that my betta actually likes the leaves, and will interact with them, lol! They can make bubble nests underneath them as they float on the top of the water. When they get water logged, I lean them against the sides of the tank, and he swims all around them, behind them, and if the wilt, and he can lay on top of them, he will.

The antibiotics will kill the beneficial bacteria, so that's why it is best practices to set up a hospital tank if you can, besides keeping the other tank inhabitants protected. I actually use a big glass cookie jar for my hospital tank. You can also use a plastic tote. Really, anything can act as a hospital tank, as long as you can add a small heater and a small air stone.

I would do the aquarium salt baths for no more than 2 weeks, period. That should be enough time for the salt to kick in and help with the healing. I would continue the water changes up until you see some decent healing and growth. Those small changes really don't take a lot of time, so I would continue til you see good repair/re-growth.

Your parameters sound really good!

And by getting a good antibiotic to have on hand, it will help should anything else ever happen.

I hope that she gets better quick!!!! If you have more questions, please post them.
 

SuspiciouslyFishy

I'll vacuum today then, and then leave it. I do have a cookie jar I used to use for growing algae for otos. It's not quite a gallon though- only 3.5 litres. And I can't fit any of my jugs or nets in there to get her out again. I'll see what I can do. It would presumably be convenient to have both buckets available for the water change while she's in the bath, and be able to see into the bath to check that she's coping. Should I add a decoration in the bath so she feels more secure?

I used to add a whole one to float on the surface for a few weeks and she did seem to like being under it. I'll start that again. I will try to lean them on the side when they sink next time. I think I stopped because they kept leaning on plants, but I can put them next to some faster growing plants that won't care about being leaned on.

Thanks a lot again!
 

Rose of Sharon

I wouldn't put decor in the bath. She won't be in there long enough to appreciate it! :)
 

Amyjw

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 7.5 gallons
How long has the tank been running? Since September last year
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 25C
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) Bertha (female betta) and a number of ramshorn snails. I do not know how many snails. Probably more than 10.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Weekly
How much of the water do you change? Usually about 6 litres out of 28
What do you use to treat your water? Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? When I'm feeling less good, as I have lately, I don't. When I feel better, I do.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
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: Yesterday it was 0.25 ppm. Today it's hopefully resolved. The reason was that unbeknownst to myself, the filter had stopped moving very much water through it. And come to think of it a few months ago the filter did undergo an unfortunate accident where I forgot to turn it off during a large water change.
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: I haven't actually tested that, on account of the heavy planting in the tank. previously it's always been between zero and 5ppm
pH: 6.4

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? every other day
How much do you feed your fish? about 1/16 of a frozen cube
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Do you feed frozen? Yes. It rotates between daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp.
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? Since close to the end of January
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?at purchase
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Her fins are ragged. I hoped it was just from bullying in her display tank, but now it's started to get worse rather than better and I'm concerned that it could have progressed to fin rot
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No. I did a large water change yesterday though (50%) to try to get as much poop out of the substrate as I could.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? She had torn and ragged fins. She was kept in a tiny display tank with 2 other females and they picked on her, according to the shop.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? She used to have a white splotch on her forehead but that's now gone. Her behaviour and appearance beyond what I've described are otherwise the same, aside from that she holds her fins clamped when she didn't before.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
When I got her a little over a month ago, she had ragged fins. The holes in them healed almost overnight, but the ragged edges didn't seem to be improving. I held on because they also weren't getting worse.
Yesterday I rescaped her tank. I'd bought a bunch of new plants and wanted to plant them in (guppy grass and montecarlo), so I pulled out most of what had been there and replanted it all. As I was watching afterwards, I noticed 2 things- the cloudiness from stirring up the gravel wasn't clearing as fast as it should, and her fins looked more ragged than before. There was a part of her tail fin missing that previously hadn't been.
It's somewhat possible I accidentally punted her with a decoration and didn't notice, in fairness. Despite her fins being fairly short and uninhibitive, she isn't the fastest of swimmers. Perhaps I ought to have removed her and placed her elsewhere during the near entire overhaul of her scape.

I then noticed that the filter in her tank was barely outputting anything. I replaced that (I had a spare lying around). And I tested ammonia and nitrite in the water, before doing a 50% water change. Recently I hadn't been on top of vaccuming because I'm recovering from COVID and that's been rough. Yesterday was the first day I felt somewhat human again. Today she again doesn't look worse, but doesn't look better.

I'm wondering if I should keep up a regime of water changes and gravel vaccing, or if I ought to try aquarium salt, or if there's something else I ought to try?

The lights aren't on yet, but I can lure her out this afternoon with some bloodworms to get some pictures.
Wow I had a very similar situation happen in my 55 gallon cichlid tank recently. So basically what we ended up finding out was that the last cichlid that we purchased was or I guess had been exposed to or been in a tank with other fish who had been wrought or ick or something of that nature. And about a week after we put that one cichlid in our tank we noticed that all of the fish in that tanks Finn started to begin to fray and they some of them were being very lethargic and not eating and so I knew immediately something was wrong so first thing I did was took the filters out of my tank immediately started to treat them with fish antibiotics amoxicillin turn the lights off and treated the tank every other day for 10 days and when the time was up I began to turn the lights back on and my fish had completely healed no more fraying of the fins no more strange behaviors they looked healthy and happy and I checked the perimeters of my water everything was fine everything was great Mony was at zero everything was great and I have not had any problems since. Some fish stores even though I know that the employees are aware that some fish are dead in the in the tanks or that they are diseased they don't separate them and put them into quarantine tanks so that people don't mistakenly buy the sick fish and end up affecting their entire tank so personally if it was me I would get in touch with whoever or wherever you bought that fish from and talk with the manager you're going to have to pull a Karen on them because what they did to you was completely wrong cruel and unfair and I'm sorry that that happened to you
 

SuspiciouslyFishy

Thanks for the help guys. The first salt bath and water change went a bit dicey today. I'd made up the water change water in advance, and it was too cold when I took her out of the bath. So she's in old tank water acclimating and I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. Plus I stirred up the substrate big time adding water back in, and everything is covered in a fine layer of muck now. But otherwise it went well enough. I hope she improves over the coming days!
 

ADFbreeder

Great! If salt baths don’t work, I would recommend API Fin and Body Cure. I know it sounds a little gimmicky, but it worked on both my cichlid tank fin rot experience and my barbel rot experience on the cories. It’s also cheaper than erythromycin.
 

Rose of Sharon

Oh, so sorry! Hope she recovers soon!

If you don't care about losing the ramshorn snails, then you can dose her tank with the aquarium salt according to the instructions on the package. I'm not sure how detrimental aquarium salt would be to them, but if it kills any of them, you will have to fish them out of the tank, or it will cause an ammonia spike.

Just some thoughts....
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
9
Views
272
JuneL
Replies
14
Views
462
Feusagit
Replies
6
Views
520
AngryRainbow
Replies
5
Views
105
YellowGuppy
Replies
0
Views
46
MarMarOfMystery

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom