Help - My betta is still getting worse

julifhy

My betta seems to be getting worse and worse. I thought he had fin rot, but now I’m not so sure.
I’ve tried frequent and daily water changes, a salt bath (which made things worse), Seachem Stressguard, tannins (rooibos tea), and now I added a tbsp of salt per gallon (the level 3 treatment from aquarium co-op)
Aquarium Salt: When and How to Use It Properly


These are my betta’s current symptoms:
- Teared and tearing fins. No fin rot though.
Edit: No fin rot currently, but he did have it I think.

- Lethargy. He only swims up for food or air. Otherwise, he just lays on the gravel.

- He also seems kind of bloated and I noticed that he’s not pooping either. I’ve tried fasting and feeding daphnia, but still no improvement.

- Lastly, his fins just aren’t healing. It’s been 6 months now, and again, no improvement.


Parameters are all normal (0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite, 5-10 ppm nitrate, 79°F) Is there anything else I should be checking for?

I got him from petsmart, could he just be set up to fail because of his genes? He’s completely different than he was before. His personality seems gone
Should I try treating him with something else? A stronger medication? Any advice would really help. I don’t know how else to help him and I feel so bad for that
 

FishFor2018

Is there anything in his tank that could be ripping his fins, or a tank mate? Pictures? It’s weird that he wouldn’t get rot from his fins ripping, it could be bad genes like you said and he just has a very fragile tail. Then if his body is always trying to heal he may not have much energy left especially if it causes pain. What type of betta is he? Poor guy, people really need to be more responsible about breeding and selling fish
 
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julifhy

Is there anything in his tank that could be ripping his fins, or a tank mate? Pictures? It’s weird that he wouldn’t get rot from his fins ripping, it could be bad genes like you said and he just has a very fragile tail. Then if his body is always trying to heal he may not have much energy left especially if it causes pain. What type of betta is he? Poor guy, people really need to be more responsible about breeding and selling fish
He’s a butterfly betta! He did get fin rot when his fins first started tearing. It’s been 4-5 months since he has had it, but there’s no new growth. He has no tank mates and here are some pictures:
Before everything went bad:

7FB856AF-BF80-4B4E-8E2F-36EC06FADBE5.jpeg

Last month:

98F7D35C-07CF-4393-9168-6384C854D03C.jpeg

F51C3097-F7F5-4DC7-9026-8BA2143A2AE0.jpeg

This is him today:

03C6E637-2A2C-4D7C-99E0-7C8F5B5A0F70.jpeg

I honestly don’t know if he still might have fin rot, or not. In the 3rd and 4th picture, you can see how his fins tear. I find it kind of weird that only the top part (dorsal and claudial fins) are the only parts tearing. I’ll be able to add more details tomorrow.
 
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julifhy

He’s ~slightly~ more active today, but he’s still mostly laying on the bottom. I’m thinking of maybe treating him with Seachem Stressguard again as well as the aquarium salt again.
One thing I noticed, is that his tail seems to be dragging him down/it seems like if he doesn’t have the energy to hold it up maybe? I’m not sure
 
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Rose of Sharon

Hi Julifhy,

He is a beautiful boy!!!!

I know that you are already using something for tannins. And I know that you keep his water pristine. If there is nothing in his tank that he is getting caught on, then it's got to be some sort of bacteria. He can't bite his dorsal fin. He just can't reach it. And it doesn't look fungal to me, either.

I know that it is not a popular opinion to use meds, but if you don't see some imporvement with clean water, aquarium salt, and tannins, then I would suggest using meds. Look for something that is broad spectrum, or maybe something for gram negative bacteria. I usually favor meds from Seachem. I use stressguard with every water change, and if my bettas are having issues, every other day. But that won't solve the entire problem. I use kanaplex, which is supposed to be pretty strong, but truly, only has like 37% of kanamycin if you follow the dosing instructions. In other words, it's not that incredibly storng. But there are other antibiotics/meds that can help. I also use neoplex, which is one of those broad spectrum antibiotics. This one has 47% neomycin.

If you are interested, go to the seachem site. There is a chart that shows which products treat which issue.

I do hope that he starts to get better with just the salt treatments, tannins, and Stressguard. I hope that you don't have to treat him with anything else. You are doing a great job taking care of him.

Unfortunatley, the bettas from those stores are often weak genetically. I don't think that I will ever buy a betta from a large chain store ever again.
 
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AggressiveAquatics

AcornTheBetta
Hi Julifhy,

He is a beautiful boy!!!!

I know that you are already using something for tannins. And I know that you keep his water pristine. If there is nothing in his tank that he is getting caught on, then it's got to be some sort of bacteria. He can't bite his dorsal fin. He just can't reach it. And it doesn't look fungal to me, either.

I know that it is not a popular opinion to use meds, but if you don't see some imporvement with clean water, aquarium salt, and tannins, then I would suggest using meds. Look for something that is broad spectrum, or maybe something for gram negative bacteria. I usually favor meds from Seachem. I use stressguard with every water change, and if my bettas are having issues, every other day. But that won't solve the entire problem. I use kanaplex, which is supposed to be pretty strong, but truly, only has like 37% of kanamycin if you follow the dosing instructions. In other words, it's not that incredibly storng. But there are other antibiotics/meds that can help. I also use neoplex, which is one of those broad spectrum antibiotics. This one has 47% neomycin.

If you are interested, go to the seachem site. There is a chart that shows which products treat which issue.

I do hope that he starts to get better with just the salt treatments, tannins, and Stressguard. I hope that you don't have to treat him with anything else. You are doing a great job taking care of him.

Unfortunatley, the bettas from those stores are often weak genetically. I don't think that I will ever buy a betta from a large chain store ever again.
And sorry I have no Experience with bettas but I do know they can bite their fins especially the long finned variety
 
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AcornTheBetta

My betta seems to be getting worse and worse. I thought he had fin rot, but now I’m not so sure.
I’ve tried frequent and daily water changes, a salt bath (which made things worse), Seachem Stressguard, tannins (rooibos tea), and now I added a tbsp of salt per gallon (the level 3 treatment from aquarium co-op)
Aquarium Salt: When and How to Use It Properly


These are my betta’s current symptoms:
- Teared and tearing fins. No fin rot though.
Edit: No fin rot currently, but he did have it I think.

- Lethargy. He only swims up for food or air. Otherwise, he just lays on the gravel.

- He also seems kind of bloated and I noticed that he’s not pooping either. I’ve tried fasting and feeding daphnia, but still no improvement.

- Lastly, his fins just aren’t healing. It’s been 6 months now, and again, no improvement.


Parameters are all normal (0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite, 5-10 ppm nitrate, 79°F) Is there anything else I should be checking for?

I got him from petsmart, could he just be set up to fail because of his genes? He’s completely different than he was before. His personality seems gone
Should I try treating him with something else? A stronger medication? Any advice would really help. I don’t know how else to help him and I feel so bad for that
Hmmm. I'm really not sure...
 
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FishFor2018

He’s a butterfly betta! He did get fin rot when his fins first started tearing. It’s been 4-5 months since he has had it, but there’s no new growth. He has no tank mates and here are some pictures:
Before everything went bad:

7FB856AF-BF80-4B4E-8E2F-36EC06FADBE5.jpeg

Last month:

98F7D35C-07CF-4393-9168-6384C854D03C.jpeg

F51C3097-F7F5-4DC7-9026-8BA2143A2AE0.jpeg

This is him today:

03C6E637-2A2C-4D7C-99E0-7C8F5B5A0F70.jpeg

I honestly don’t know if he still might have fin rot, or not. In the 3rd and 4th picture, you can see how his fins tear. I find it kind of weird that only the top part (dorsal and claudial fins) are the only parts tearing. I’ll be able to add more details tomorrow.
Oh my, poor guy. Does he ever or has he ever exhibited signs of boredom or stress? His colors still look amazing so I would say his immune system and diet is good. Does he breath heavy when he is laying at the bottom of tank?
 
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BigManAquatics

If you think the rot is gone i would stop treating. Treating finrot and waiting for the fins to grow are 2 very different things. The fins usually grow back but not always.
 
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julifhy

Thank you everyone for the responses! I went on reddit and another forum (I cheated on Fishlore oops lol) and it does in fact look like he might be biting his caudal fin. His dorsal fin was completely healthy until it teared, so I’m not sure what caused that.

Here are some pictures to show how the tear on his claudprogressed:
It started with a tiny hole:

BF966EB6-2FF1-4F6A-BE3E-8F5BC28AF947.jpeg
The hole got bigger:

36568FD4-FE02-4C77-919E-C34B154D0A45.jpeg
And then it tore:

F0D5059A-8141-4840-AD13-D6CDD7C79629.jpeg

I never thought he was bored, but now that I’m thinking about it... his fins “mysteriously” tearing started when I moved his tank to another shelf, so many something is stressing him out there and causing him to bite his fins. I didn’t think it was fin biting because I never saw him do it
As for the fin rot, I think he only had it where the red circle is:

326A550B-418E-4458-ACCB-0F2AF8DF8371.jpeg

Hi Julifhy,

He is a beautiful boy!!!!

I know that you are already using something for tannins. And I know that you keep his water pristine. If there is nothing in his tank that he is getting caught on, then it's got to be some sort of bacteria. He can't bite his dorsal fin. He just can't reach it. And it doesn't look fungal to me, either.

I know that it is not a popular opinion to use meds, but if you don't see some imporvement with clean water, aquarium salt, and tannins, then I would suggest using meds. Look for something that is broad spectrum, or maybe something for gram negative bacteria. I usually favor meds from Seachem. I use stressguard with every water change, and if my bettas are having issues, every other day. But that won't solve the entire problem. I use kanaplex, which is supposed to be pretty strong, but truly, only has like 37% of kanamycin if you follow the dosing instructions. In other words, it's not that incredibly storng. But there are other antibiotics/meds that can help. I also use neoplex, which is one of those broad spectrum antibiotics. This one has 47% neomycin.

If you are interested, go to the seachem site. There is a chart that shows which products treat which issue.

I do hope that he starts to get better with just the salt treatments, tannins, and Stressguard. I hope that you don't have to treat him with anything else. You are doing a great job taking care of him.

Unfortunatley, the bettas from those stores are often weak genetically. I don't think that I will ever buy a betta from a large chain store ever again.
Someone also recommended I use Kanaplex or API fin and body cure. Then another person suggested I remove the salt, and use tannins and Seachem Stressguard. I was using Stressguard wrong the first time I tried it (I didn’t know you had to add it everyday), so I think I might give it another shot. Not sure which treatment I should choose yet.
I’m still going to look at other medications though, since the other problem is him being lethargic and bloated. I’m going to try to buy a better quality food (I’m feeding him topfin pellets currently) and frozen (not freeze dried) daphnia. I’m not too sure why he’s lethargic though. I guess it could be because of all the other problems.

Oh my, poor guy. Does he ever or has he ever exhibited signs of boredom or stress? His colors still look amazing so I would say his immune system and diet is good. Does he breath heavy when he is laying at the bottom of tank?
When I moved his tank to another shelf, that’s when he started what I think is fin biting. I feed him topfin color enhancing pellets. Their not the best imo and they seem to be making him bloated. He doesn’t breathe heavily, he just seems lethargic.

If you think the rot is gone i would stop treating. Treating finrot and waiting for the fins to grow are 2 very different things. The fins usually grow back but not always.
I’m pretty sure the fin rot is gone, so I’m guessing tannins + stressguard is the best option? I looked through many pictures of him and his fins did very slightly improve. I’m hoping he’s just a slow healer.



Sorry if this post is confusing lol. I’ll make sure to clear up anything that needs clearing up.
 
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BigManAquatics

If he indeed is a fin biter, good luck with that! I have a tail biter, but he hasn't seemed to bite himself since i stopped putting a fasting day in his schedule. Took me almost 2 years to figure out that was the cue that caused him to bite.
 
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julifhy

If he indeed is a fin biter, good luck with that! I have a tail biter, but he hasn't seemed to bite himself since i stopped putting a fasting day in his schedule. Took me almost 2 years to figure out that was the cue that caused him to bite.
I’m hoping once I rescape his tank to add more plants (and get rid of the colored gravel lol) and put his tank back to where it originally was, he’ll get better. There’s no new bites that I’m noticing, so maybe, hopefully, it will get better soon.
 
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FishFor2018

Thank you everyone for the responses! I went on reddit and another forum (I cheated on Fishlore oops lol) and it does in fact look like he might be biting his caudal fin. His dorsal fin was completely healthy until it teared, so I’m not sure what caused that.

Here are some pictures to show how the tear on his claudprogressed:
It started with a tiny hole:

BF966EB6-2FF1-4F6A-BE3E-8F5BC28AF947.jpeg
The hole got bigger:

36568FD4-FE02-4C77-919E-C34B154D0A45.jpeg
And then it tore:

F0D5059A-8141-4840-AD13-D6CDD7C79629.jpeg

I never thought he was bored, but now that I’m thinking about it... his fins “mysteriously” tearing started when I moved his tank to another shelf, so many something is stressing him out there and causing him to bite his fins. I didn’t think it was fin biting because I never saw him do it
As for the fin rot, I think he only had it where the red circle is:

326A550B-418E-4458-ACCB-0F2AF8DF8371.jpeg


Someone also recommended I use Kanaplex or API fin and body cure. Then another person suggested I remove the salt, and use tannins and Seachem Stressguard. I was using Stressguard wrong the first time I tried it (I didn’t know you had to add it everyday), so I think I might give it another shot. Not sure which treatment I should choose yet.
I’m still going to look at other medications though, since the other problem is him being lethargic and bloated. I’m going to try to buy a better quality food (I’m feeding him topfin pellets currently) and frozen (not freeze dried) daphnia. I’m not too sure why he’s lethargic though. I guess it could be because of all the other problems.


When I moved his tank to another shelf, that’s when he started what I think is fin biting. I feed him topfin color enhancing pellets. Their not the best imo and they seem to be making him bloated. He doesn’t breathe heavily, he just seems lethargic.


I’m pretty sure the fin rot is gone, so I’m guessing tannins + stressguard is the best option? I looked through many pictures of him and his fins did very slightly improve. I’m hoping he’s just a slow healer.



Sorry if this post is confusing lol. I’ll make sure to clear up anything that needs clearing up.
I’m hoping once I rescape his tank to add more plants (and get rid of the colored gravel lol) and put his tank back to where it originally was, he’ll get better. There’s no new bites that I’m noticing, so maybe, hopefully, it will get better soon.
Yeah, definitely appears to be fin biting then. Him being lethargic could just be from to much stress maybe try to keep the lights off for a day see if that helps. You can try adding tankmates likes snails and shrimp to help with his Bordem if he is bored and just move a decoration around every week or add something new. Good luck!!
 
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