Help Fin rot!!!

Lizzbug

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Ok, so this has a bit of a long story to go with, so bear with me.
My neighbor owns a plant shop and thought it would be nice to get a fish tank to display her moss balls. So she got a ten gallon tank, two female bettas, and a divider to keep em apart. She thought it would be easy to take care of them but soon realized it took a lot of work and decided to give them to me. For personal reasons I cannot yet take them home so they still reside in her shop but are in my care.
I went to clean her tank for the first time and it was putrid. There was algae coating the sides and hair algae growing on the filters. The fish looked half dead and non energetic. I cleaned it and did a water change but soon realized that, apart from their coloring being awful from stress—they’re supposed to be a rich light blue but one is literally almost white—the bettas’ fins looked off. I think it’s fin rot but I want to confirm so I’ll put some pictures down below. Ty!!!
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FreshwaterHG

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This is so sad :( It also makes no sense! No one would want moss balls for their tank seeing them come from this. Glad they are in better care.

It does look like a bit of fin rot going on, which is a result of the poor water conditions they were in. Its not too severe yet and can likely resolve without heavy antibiotics if taken care of soon. The best thing you can do now is start doing aggressive water changes and keeping the tank clean. If you can, get a water test kit. This is the biggest part of water quality. Read up on the nitrogen cycle as well. I know these were put into your care, so spending more isn't ideal, but it is the best way to help them.

Can you tell me more about the tank? Is it heated? What type of filter? Since its divided, are they both showing symptoms? When changing water, what de-chlorinater are you using? What are they being fed?
 
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Lizzbug

Lizzbug

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FreshwaterHG said:
This is so sad :( It also makes no sense! No one would want moss balls for their tank seeing them come from this. Glad they are in better care.

It does look like a bit of fin rot going on, which is a result of the poor water conditions they were in. Its not too severe yet and can likely resolve without heavy antibiotics if taken care of soon. The best thing you can do now is start doing aggressive water changes and keeping the tank clean. If you can, get a water test kit. This is the biggest part of water quality. Read up on the nitrogen cycle as well. I know these were put into your care, so spending more isn't ideal, but it is the best way to help them.

Can you tell me more about the tank? Is it heated? What type of filter? Since its divided, are they both showing symptoms? When changing water, what de-chlorinater are you using? What are they being fed?
The tank is heated. There’s two sponge filters—one on each side—so I think there’s waaay too much water movement going on. They both show symptoms. I just started taking care of them but plan on doing weekly water changes once they are back to normal. I just use tetra aqua safe conditioner for bettas. I’m not too sure what they were being fed. I know they are being fed bug bites, peas, and some type of pellet food—which they do not presoak.
the sad thing is they only see the fish every other day so they only fed them on those days
 

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Lizzbug said:
The tank is heated. There’s two sponge filters—one on each side—so I think there’s waaay too much water movement going on. They both show symptoms. I just started taking care of them but plan on doing weekly water changes once they are back to normal. I just use tetra aqua safe conditioner for bettas. I’m not too sure what they were being fed. I know they are being fed bug bites, peas, and some type of pellet food—which they do not presoak.
the sad thing is they only see the fish every other day so they only fed them on those days
Honestly, the sponge filters are a great way to do a divided betta tanks. I have 3 of them in my tank. Given, they are very small ones and I control the flow from the pump with a 3 way valve, but in a divided tank you need filtration on both sides. I would start with doing water changes at least twice a week until they start getting better. When you do, replace at least 50% of the water. This will be key to getting them better and not needing to resort to medications. What ever you do, dont use bettafix or melefix. Both harm the labyrinth organ in betta fish.

Is there a way for you to get a water test kit? I recommend the API freshwater master test kit. Its on amazon for $22. Its the most accurate, and the best bang for your buck. Knowing whats going on with the water conditions and your cycle will really help, not just for healing the fin rot, but long term care.
 
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FreshwaterHG said:
Honestly, the sponge filters are a great way to do a divided betta tanks. I have 3 of them in my tank. Given, they are very small ones and I control the flow from the pump with a 3 way valve, but in a divided tank you need filtration on both sides. I would start with doing water changes at least twice a week until they start getting better. When you do, replace at least 50% of the water. This will be key to getting them better and not needing to resort to medications. What ever you do, dont use bettafix or melefix. Both harm the labyrinth organ in betta fish.

Is there a way for you to get a water test kit? I recommend the API freshwater master test kit. Its on amazon for $22. Its the most accurate, and the best bang for your buck. Knowing whats going on with the water conditions and your cycle will really help, not just for healing the fin rot, but long term care.

I have a master kit and indeed tested the water. The only thing that was off was the pH being too acidic, so I used a very small amount of distilled white vinegar to lower it.
the sponge filters are rather large and take up a good portion of swimming space and have no control valve so I’ll have to get one.
 

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All good :) I can link you to what I use to do my sponge filters. Its pretty cheap on amazon. Can I see a photo of the tank? And can you tell me the exact parameters for the water test?

And one more thing, next time instead of using vinegar (I don't recommend, causes way to big of a change in pH too fast) try using Indian almond leaves or driftwood. I normally don't use grape wood (exo terra branch meant for reptiles, super cheap) for tanks but I have some pieces I throw in when the water gets too basic. Its slowly lowers it 0.2-0.4 over a few days which is totally safe for them. is also great. It releases tannins which are great for betta and will also aid with pH being to basic. ( safe for continuous use)





(these I use with a tetra whisper air pump and tubing from petsmart)
This is my tank for reference (This is a 20g tall)
 

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FreshwaterHG said:




(these I use with a tetra whisper air pump and tubing from petsmart)
This is my tank for reference (This is a 20g tall)
The pH is at least 7.6 (It was as dark as could be. Didn’t perform a high range pH test but will tmrw just in case)
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrites 0ppm
Nitrates .5 ppm
67D7442D-6590-48A2-B741-7EADA871FC88.jpeg

this is the best pic I have. The sponge filters take up the whole back and they’re constantly swimming behind it and hiding because they have nowhere else to hide :(
Also planning on moving one of the bettas to a different ten gallon i have once they’ve fully recovered
 

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Lizzbug said:
The pH is at least 7.6 (It was as dark as could be. Didn’t perform a high range pH test but will tmrw just in case)
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrites 0ppm
Nitrates .5 ppm
67D7442D-6590-48A2-B741-7EADA871FC88.jpeg

this is the best pic I have. The sponge filters take up the whole back and they’re constantly swimming behind it and hiding because they have nowhere else to hide :(
Also planning on moving one of the bettas to a different ten gallon i have once they’ve fully recovered
Sounds like a good plan. Those are some large sponge filters for such a small tank. It does look like the water parameters are good. Driftwood would be great for hides as well as lowering the pH and adding tannins and would easily get your pH down to 7. Also plants would be great as well. It looks like a nutrient rich substrate so it should do ok for some easy plants.

Sounds like you got it under control. Just keep up with those water changes and watch for any progression of their condition. Hopefully medicine can be avoided. I would love to know how they progress!
 
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FreshwaterHG said:
Sounds like a good plan. Those are some large sponge filters for such a small tank. It does look like the water parameters are good. Driftwood would be great for hides as well as lowering the pH and adding tannins and would easily get your pH down to 7. Also plants would be great as well. It looks like a nutrient rich substrate so it should do ok for some easy plants.

Sounds like you got it under control. Just keep up with those water changes and watch for any progression of their condition. Hopefully medicine can be avoided. I would love to know how they progress!
Thank you! I’ll try and make updates in this thread. It’s not too bad so I hope it all turns out well.
 
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FreshwaterHG said:
Sounds like a good plan. Those are some large sponge filters for such a small tank. It does look like the water parameters are good. Driftwood would be great for hides as well as lowering the pH and adding tannins and would easily get your pH down to 7. Also plants would be great as well. It looks like a nutrient rich substrate so it should do ok for some easy plants.

Sounds like you got it under control. Just keep up with those water changes and watch for any progression of their condition. Hopefully medicine can be avoided. I would love to know how they progress!
So I went in today with some anubias, vallisneria, and cholla wood and did some minor aquascaping. I took out one of the filters upon discovering it had broken but the one filter was doing enough on its own.
this is the tank. What do you think?
564C7082-90BF-4FFA-A9CA-9BD64BA6CB49.jpeg
 

FreshwaterHG

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Lizzbug said:
So I went in today with some anubias, vallisneria, and cholla wood and did some minor aquascaping. I took out one of the filters upon discovering it had broken but the one filter was doing enough on its own.
this is the tank. What do you think?
564C7082-90BF-4FFA-A9CA-9BD64BA6CB49.jpeg
Aww I love it! I bet they are going to be so much happier. How is their condition? Is there any improvement in color or overall appearance?
 
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FreshwaterHG said:
Aww I love it! I bet they are going to be so much happier. How is their condition? Is there any improvement in color or overall appearance?
The one on the left has a bit more colored now; she isn’t white as a ghost anymore. Once I put in the plants they had a great time discovering their surroundings and being able to hide. Their disposition is much better, and the left betta is a lot less depressed now. Both are showing much more activity
 

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Lizzbug said:
The one on the left has a bit more colored now; she isn’t white as a ghost anymore. Once I put in the plants they had a great time discovering their surroundings and being able to hide. Their disposition is much better, and the left betta is a lot less depressed now. Both are showing much more activity
That’s awesome! I’m very glad to hear. Your doing great work. I hope they make a full recovery!
 
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FreshwaterHG said:
That’s awesome! I’m very glad to hear. Your doing great work. I hope they make a full recovery!
So I've been taking care of the fish for a while now and just recently noticed a very unfortunate detail. Both of them seem to have the beginnings of HITH. I just got them medicine (metroplex) and am medicating their food with it. However, the one on the left isn’t eating, so I’m going to put her in a separate tank and dose her water. I hope for the best!!
 

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Lizzbug said:
So I've been taking care of the fish for a while now and just recently noticed a very unfortunate detail. Both of them seem to have the beginnings of HITH. I just got them medicine (metroplex) and am medicating their food with it. However, the one on the left isn’t eating, so I’m going to put her in a separate tank and dose her water. I hope for the best!!
Hope it goes well! Wish I could help more :(
 

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