Help Me Save My Betta!

Olivia Knestrict

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Hi, something is currently happening with my betta. About a month ago, his fins started to look frayed. There was no red or black on the edges or anything. So I started to do 50% water changes every other day. The fins continued to get worse. So I moved him into a smaller quarantine tank, and treated him with aquarium salt for 6 days. The fins continued to get worse. I am now doing 100% water changes every day in his smaller quarantine tank, but today one of his fins split in half. It's not all the way to his body, but the split is pretty long. I cannot tell you the water parameters of his actual tank because it is currently in the process of being cycled because I just found out about that. But it is 5 gallons and has a filter and heater. I really really need help. I'm really worried about him and I feel like I've tried everything but nothing is helping. I'm at a loss. Thanks in advance.
 

KimberlyG

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We will need pictures. Continue doing the water changes.
CindiL

Is there anything wrong with his body or is this all happening with his fins?
 

navarro1950

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It sounds like fun rot. I don't know what chemical medication to use but you can ask someone in LPS or maybe someone on the forum may know. My wife keeps bettas and I told her to add a piece of my Indian almond leavers to her Betta tank and she hasn't had any problems. Try the leaves more as a preventive but what I've read about the IALs they help with fin rot.
 
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Olivia Knestrict

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Just his fins. He's eating well and has lots of energy. Sorry, this is the only picture I can get of him, he's swimming around a lot because he is in a bowl while I do the water change.
 

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saket

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keeping a betta (and probably any fish) in a bowl is a very unhealthy thing. do not worry about him you can do a fish in cycle with him as he is a very hardy fish and can survive the cycle easily.
do 50% water changes for him in the 5 gallon. check water parametrs and see that is he eating or not. water chamges will help him clear water is all he need right now. I do not think it is fin rot if you have any shark silk or plastic plants take them out at once. he fins will be back in shape soon then.keep temperature between 78 to 80.best wishes for your betta
 

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Dalmation? They are beautiful. Yeah I can't tell much from that picture but it is good that he is swimming all around. Would like to see his head as well but I know they seldom cooperate. It could just be the picture but he looks extremely thin. Does he eat as he should? It's late at night, the person I would like to take a look at this will probably not be on until tomorrow.
 
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Olivia Knestrict

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He only goes in the bowl for about 5 minutes while I do my water change. I think that's okay. I'm worried about doing a fish in cycle as I've heard its bad for them. And there's nothing sharp in his tank at all. I didn't think it was fine rot either, that's why I'm so confused. That's the best I can get for a headshot. The lighting is really weird in that picture because his eye looks red and I promise it's actually not. There's no white speckles on him or anything that looks like velvet. And I don't know about him being skinny. I mean he gobbles up three pellets a day. Hopefully your friend responds, I really need all the help I can get. I'm so worried about him.
 

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Freshwaterfishkeeper

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Go to the store and buy some quickstart bacteria it will help a lot with the cycling and make it safer for him, make sure his water is heated and there isn't huge fluctuations in heat when you are doing water changes (make sure the water you are puting in is the same temp) I would recommend some stress coat because of the cycling and betta fix if his fins are not getting better

Also buy some frozen brine shrimp for him feed his 3 pellets in the morning and 3-4 tiny brine shrimp at night for now
 

saket

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it is okay to do fish in cycle with betta. I am also currently doing a fish in cycle with my betta that too in a 20 gallon tank and he pretty active and happy no problem at all. they are hardy fish so they can survive easily don't worry he will be okay for a fish in cycle. water changes is all that matters his water should be clean, clean water keeps diseases away always remember and also helps in healing.
 

BeanFish

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How big is the main tank?
Here is what I would recommend:
1- Move him back into the main tank, aka the bigger tank. Water quality is easier to keep in bigger tanks.
2-Get methylene blue and give him 30-60 minute baths for 5 days.
3-Perform daily 30% water changes in the main tank.
You just said you just found about the nitrogen cycle. Do you have your tank filtered and most importantly, heated?
 

saket

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Freshwaterfishkeeper said:
Go to the store and buy some quickstart bacteria it will help a lot with the cycling and make it safer for him, make sure his water is heated and there isn't huge fluctuations in heat when you are doing water changes (make sure the water you are puting in is the same temp) I would recommend some stress coat because of the cycling and betta fix if his fins are not getting better
betta need cold water 78 to 80. warm water will be uncomfortable for him as well as it will decrease the efficiency of the water to hold oxygen and will also hamper his healing process.if his fins are clamped up when he is swimming or is not eating and always hiding then we should use stress coat I think.
 
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Olivia Knestrict

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I don't know how to do a fish in cycle, and I've already started with the fishsession cycle. I don't really know if I'm doing it right though. There's currently ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in it. I think the ammonia is going down though.

BeanFish the tank is 5 gallons. It has a filter and a heater. It's like in the middle of establishing a fish less cycle right now. So I don't know if I can put him in like this. I mean the ammonia is at like 3ppm right now.
 

BeanFish

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Olivia, your fish is sick, he will appreciate a bigger tank and not being moved around when you do 100% water changes in a bowl.
No, you can not put him in there if the water has 3ppm ammonia right now, he would die.
Here is what I would do:
1- Throw away all the water in the 5 gal.
2- Fill it with dechlorinated clean and fresh water.
3- Put the betta in.
A fish in cycle will be much better here. How is living in a bowl that is not cycled is better than living in a bigger tank that is not cycled?
Run, do that, the Betta will appreciate it, when you do that come back with us and I will tell you how I do fish-in-cycle.
 

Freshwaterfishkeeper

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Betta fish are tropical they need a heater if you live in a cold climate which changes temp alot. Put him back in the tank continue with his water changes, make sure you are using something like prime to prepare your water that should bring down ammonia. I suggest bacteria because it will ease the stress on the fish while a Bett may be ab,e to survive a fish in cycle it will stress them out and there are ways to prevent that
 
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Olivia Knestrict

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I'm not sure why everyone thinks he's living in a bowl haha. I said he is only in the bowl for like 5 minutes while I do water changes with his quarantine tank (2.5 gallons). But alright, if you say so, I'll put him back in the bigger tank as long as you teach me how to cycle the tank with him in it. Thanks
 

BeanFish

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A misunderstanding, still, you have no other fish so keeping him in the hospital tank all day isn't really useful, it will be only helpful if I you use methylene blue baths (see later).
This is how I told a member to cycle his betta tank, he did not have test kits but you do have so it will be easier for you:

Weeks 1 to 4. This are the most important weeks, during this 4 weeks bacteria will start to grow. This is also the most dangerous stage because beneficial bacteria still haven't grown so ammonia and nitrite can buildup and kill your fish. Because of this we are gonna do frequent water changes. During weeks 1 to 4 you want to change 50% of your water every other day, for example, if you do a water change on Monday your next water change should be on Wednesday. This will make sure bacteria get some ammonia to grow but it will also make sure you get rid of the ammonia before it builds up too much. If you see any signs of stress just do a preventive water change.

Weeks 4 to 6. Some beneficial bacteria should be already in your filter so we are gonna start to slowly make water changes less frequent. During this weeks we are gonna do 40% water changes every 2 days, so, if you do a water change on Monday your next water change would be on Thursday.

Weeks 6 to 8. By now all your beneficial bacteria should be ready, but we still want to go slow and steady that way we are on the safe side, when you don't have test kits you really need to do everything as safely as you can. During this weeks we are gonna do 40% water changes every 4 days. So, if you do a water change on Monday you would do your water change on Saturday.

Finally, after this 8 week period your aquarium should be cycled and you can start doing weekly 50% water changes.
Some tips:
1- If you see any weird behavior or any symptoms of ammonia/nitrite poisoning do a preventive water change, better safe than sorry! (In this case you have a test kit so you can make sure the ammonia levels are good enough for the fish to still live. If your ammonia creeps up higher than 0.25 ppm you want to get it down again to be under 0.25 ppm)
2- Do not overfeed!!! Be very careful with your feeding, you want to make sure your betta eats all his food, if you see any uneaten food remove it. If you let food rot it will produce a lot of ammonia which will be dangerous.
3- Be patient, slow and steady wins the race.

Probably my water changes are too big, but in this case your fish has some problems in his fins so I am sure he will appreciate the big water changes I recommend.
Also, as I said, if you can get methylene blue that would be pretty helpful, it is a very soft medication that will destroy whatever fungus/bacteria your betta may have. The methylene blue is given in forms of baths and the baths have to be in separate tanks because this medication will destroy all kinds of bacteria, including your beneficial bacteria and it will also stain decorations silicone blue so if you don't want your hospital tank´s silicone to be stained you can do this in a 1-2 gal container or something like that (if you could add an airstone and make sure the water temperature matches the tank temperature that would be very nice and preferable). The baths should last from 30 to 60 minutes, I personally keep my fish in the baths for the full 60 minutes.
You want to do this baths for 5 days.

All of that is what I would do if that betta was mine, some may disagree with what I say but that is what has worked with me based on my experience with methylene blue baths and fish in cycles.
 

Freshwaterfishkeeper

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I agree 100% with beanfish. I'm a huge believer in bottled bacteria and if you want to you can add that with every water change it will make a difference and because your fish is a little ragged looking that is the only thing I would do different in a fishin cycle although not necessary at all will help.
 
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Olivia Knestrict

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Thank you so much for all of the helpful information. I do have two questions. First, I read somewhere that most of the good bacteria lives in the filter. I have one of those carbon filter cartridges that's supposed to be replaced like every month. Should I not be using that because wouldn't that mess up the cycle? Second, you said the ammonia levels should never be above .25 ppm. What should the nitrite levels be below before doing a water change? Thanks again.
 

BeanFish

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Carbon filter cartridges are not helpful for the average aquarist in my opinion. I have a HOB I personally just got all the cartridges out, threw in some bioballs (in my case little chunks of PVC #DIY) and a sponge so it filters particles. It works great for me that way.
I believe keeping nitrates at or below .25 ppm will be good. I don't think you will have a problem with ammonia or nitrite if you follow my routine tho.
 

KimberlyG

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BeanFish
Really Bean, no Prime? My fish would be dead.
Stop changing your profile pic, your messing us up. lol
 

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