HELP!!! Betta has ripped fins!

bettalover1233

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Hello! My Platinum white halfmoon dumbo betta has pretty badly ripped fins. He is very healthy eats frozen and the best pellets. I also house ghost shrimp and an adult brisslenose pleco with my betta. She often leaves lots of poop everyday(a lot).
My water chemistry is practically perfect and everything about the tank is good. My betta might have fin rot but I dont see lots of decay just rips. I was thinking the buildup of poop from my pleco (which my betta sometimes lays in) is causeing the fins to decay? Also i have some dead and crushed up Malaysian snail shells that dies from a ph drop from tannis a couple months ago.
PLS help!! It would be appreciated because im not sure what is wrong!

Tank info:
Tank info:
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 20
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What temperature is your tank? 77
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? adult brisslenose pleco

Food:
What food brand do you use? New life Spectum
Do you feed flakes or pellets? pellets
Freeze-dried? yes
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? once everyday 4 smallest pellet, 5 bloodworms

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? 1 month
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? 100% distilled water
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? prime and ph neutrilizer(dont remember)

Water Parameters:

Ammonia: basically 0
Nitrite: basically 0
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm
pH: 7.3
Hardness (GH): 170ppm
Alkalinity (KH): 130ppm

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 2 months ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Torn fins, redder
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? nothing
Is your Betta still eating? yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? no
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? no
How long have you owned your Betta? 4 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? no
Big wood(maybe sharp but i dont think that is the issue)
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Best Answer - View e_watson09's answer

julifhy

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IMO his fins don't look to ripped and the redness looks more like his coloring. I'm not sure if you made a typo or not, but do you actually only do water changes once a month? You should be doing them every week.
 
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bettalover1233

bettalover1233

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julifhy said:
IMO his fins don't look to ripped and the redness looks more like his coloring. I'm not sure if you made a typo or not, but do you actually only do water changes once a month? You should be doing them every week.
I suspect he might be nipping his own fins due to a large tank but yes, I do water change once a month because my tank is well maintained and stable where a once a week water change is not necessary.
 

julifhy

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bettalover1233 said:
I suspect he might be nipping his own fins due to a large tank but yes, I do water change once a month because my tank is well maintained and stable where a once a week water change is not necessary.
If there is that much pleco poop, then I think you should at least vacuum it up. It also doesn’t really seem like fin nipping. I’m pretty sure bettas fin nip when they have too much open space and not that the tank is too big. Your tank seems heavily planted, so I don’t think that would cause him to fin nip.

My bettas fins looked really similar to your bettas fins before he got fin rot from poor water quality (I didn't cycle my tank properly and I had an ammonia spike). Maybe it’s like you said and he’s getting the fin rot from the pleco poop?
Edit: The redness in his tail could be ammonia poisoning.
 

KeresKim

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If your pleco is creating that much waste, you need to move to weekly 25% water changes. At the least gravel vac the poop. The release of toxins is creating those tears in the fish's fins and without adjustment will become worse.
 

MaximumRide14

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Can you tell us the specific parameters please? With fin rot, it's important to know the exact levels, especially if the potential issue may be changing it (poop increases ammonia, etc.) The best way to fix it is through clean water via water changes, which can also fix raised parameters that are likely causing this issue.
 

Presidenchill

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before looking into chemical treatments, the best way to heal a fish especially fin rot is quality of water through water changes. My oscars fight and horseplay every single day so everyday theres something that needs healing on them. I do use stress guard and turn lights off and by time they are active the next morning, everything is healed up but thats because I do weekly water changes. I only use stress guard mostly after a water change if I've really got in there and moved stuff around and rearranged things but the weekly water changes do more for them than the stress guard.
 

LadfromLondon

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If you’re not keen on a weekly water change I’d suggest rehousing your Pleco. It’ll save you time and make your life easier and give your Betta the comfort he needs. Even without the Bristlenose, I’d still suggest at least biweekly water changes. I house my Betta with some RCS,MTS and Nerites which all have little to none bioload, but the reason for regular water changes is there things in the water we either don’t or can’t measure, and we wouldn’t be able to visibly see any water problems unless they were really elongated.
 

e_watson09

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Ghost shrimp are pretty notorious for nipping betta fins. My guess is between them, him nipping himself, and the pleco poo causing issues with your water its a perfect storm.
 

Megaanemp

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julifhy said:
If there is that much pleco poop, then I think you should at least vacuum it up. It also doesn’t really seem like fin nipping. I’m pretty sure bettas fin nip when they have too much open space and not that the tank is too big. Your tank seems heavily planted, so I don’t think that would cause him to fin nip.

My bettas fins looked really similar to your bettas fins before he got fin rot from poor water quality (I didn't cycle my tank properly and I had an ammonia spike). Maybe it’s like you said and he’s getting the fin rot from the pleco poop?
Edit: The redness in his tail could be ammonia poisoning.
Interesting. My betta fin nipped when he was in a 5.5 gallon and stopped once he was moved to a 15 gallon.
 

julifhy

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Megaanemp said:
Interesting. My betta fin nipped when he was in a 5.5 gallon and stopped once he was moved to a 15 gallon.
I’m not sure I understand this reply? :sorry:
What I meant in my post is that bettas do like big tanks, but they don’t like open spaces. It can stress them out.
Ex:
A betta would be really stressed out in a small bare tank, but would thrive in a big planted (or decorated) tank.
I hope that makes sense lol.
That’s also why I’m not sure if it’s fin nipping. The OP’s tank is heavily planted, so unless there is another problem in the tank, the betta should be fine.

Another thing I thought I should add is I’ve seen a couple of posts about bettas not getting along with plecos. I don’t think that’s the case here, but I thought I should mention it.

Edit:
One more thing I thought I should add:
bettalover1233 said:
I suspect he might be nipping his own fins due to a large tank
You could maybe add floating plants if you suspect that's the problem, but I don't think it is.
 

lilirose

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I'm curious about the distilled water. Usually you'd need to add a remineraliser as pure 100% distilled will kill a fish in a matter of minutes. Plus, where is all that hardness coming from? Distilled water has no hardness.
 

Megaanemp

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julifhy said:
I’m not sure I understand this reply? :sorry:
What I meant in my post is that bettas do like big tanks, but they don’t like open spaces. It can stress them out.
Ex:
A betta would be really stressed out in a small bare tank, but would thrive in a big planted (or decorated) tank.
I hope that makes sense lol.
That’s also why I’m not sure if it’s fin nipping. The OP’s tank is heavily planted, so unless there is another problem in the tank, the betta should be fine.

Another thing I thought I should add is I’ve seen a couple of posts about bettas not getting along with plecos. I don’t think that’s the case here, but I thought I should mention it.

Edit:
One more thing I thought I should add:

You could maybe add floating plants if you suspect that's the problem, but I don't think it is.
Sorry I read your post wrong! I see what you meant. Also sorry if I sounded rude, I was genuinely interested! My betta has a large tank but no open spaces, lots of plants and things for cover and safe places to sleep. I totally agree :)
 

UnknownUser

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Water changes are not just for removing nitrates. It’s for removing buildup of things that aren’t used up, like minerals, and replacing the ones that are used up. I’m also super confused as to how you are using only distilled water and yet have a hardness reading. Distilled water doesn’t have any minerals in it and that’s why it’s not really recommended for aquariums.
 

julifhy

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Megaanemp said:
Sorry I read your post wrong! I see what you meant. Also sorry if I sounded rude, I was genuinely interested! My betta has a large tank but no open spaces, lots of plants and things for cover and safe places to sleep. I totally agree :)
It's fine! You didn't sound rude! I was actually scared that I was the one sounding rude lol. I just thought that you might of have read it wrong (I read stuff wrong all the time lol) and I wanted to make sure I knew what you meant :)
 

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