Help! Something is giving my betta fin rot and i dont know what it is!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by andrearamirezo91, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    So I just recently added CO2 to my tank and my pH dropped drastically. From a 7.8 to a 6! I'm not sure if this is the source of the issue, but I had never had issues with my pH before. I aerate the tank at night and leave the CO2 running in the daytime.

    I decided to leave it alone since I've read all over the place that although having the correct pH is important, having a steady one is more important. I also have a big driftwood in my tank that is probably making matters worse, but something is giving my betta fin rot. I change his water once-twice a week. He's in a cycled, heated and heavily planted aquarium with good water parameters except for the pH (API Master Testkit) but his tail seems to be getting worse. It just looked a little weird to the edges these past few days but I just got back home and saw a tiny little shred in his tail. He's so pretty and I don't wanna wait till things get worse to do something about this.

  2. theRquaValued MemberMember

    A sharp change in pH causes stress, hence an increased vulnerability to diseases.
    Keeping the pH stable would be a good choice.
    Have you made any other changes, other than the CO2?

  3. andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    No nothing else, just the CO2. I'm adding iron to the tank and potassium as well, but very little and only maybe every four to five days. I really have no idea what to do, other than that his tank is so clean and taken care of, this is a little disappointing

  4. theRquaValued MemberMember

    Well, it's normal for a fish to catch any disease after a sharp pH change.
    Waiting a bit more to see how he's doing is also a viable choice.

    I'll tell you a story about one of my fish.
    TLDR: One of my fish had a disease which cured by itself.
    I once had white spots on my Glass Catfish, even after using SERA mycopur for fungus treatment in one of the fish. Thing is, it's hard to ID a white spot in a Glass Catfish. So instead of medicating the tank again, I had no choice but to wait it out as I also have no quarantine tank. It mostly stayed in its spot, so disease spreading was more unlikely. Spots increasingly appeared, so I raised the water temp from 26C to 27C and kept an eye on it. With time, the dots disappeared, appeared, etc, until they with time disappeared completely!
  5. Maxi1Valued MemberMember

    You might try putting a little crushed coral in a bag in the filter to raise the KH and stabilize the pH.
  6. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    When you pH gets that low, ammonia in the water turns into ammonium. Your bacteria will not process the ammonium because at such a low pH the bacteria goes dormant. Your ammonium level will start rising. Ammonium is far less toxic than ammonia (some say it is non toxic). But if you do a water change, and your pH level goes up closer to 7, all that ammonium, will turn back into ammonia, And because the bacteria hasn't been processing ammonia into nitrites, the bacteria that converts nitrites into nitrates has probably starved off.

    So now you have a bunch of ammonia in the tank, the ammonia converting bacteria wakes back up, converts all that ammonia into nitrites, but because the nitrite converting bacteria died off, your nitrite levels spike and your fish suffocate.

    This happened to me a couple of years ago. Wiped out my whole tank overnight. I did a 50% water change on Sunday morning and woke up to find all my fish dead on Monday morning.
    I3uckethead had explained that whole process to me, but I haven't seen him around in a while, but it would be nice if he somehow saw this and chimed in. Maybe CindiL will be able to add to this a bit.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  7. I3ucketheadWell Known MemberMember

    I've not been anywhere on the internet much recently. Working 6 days per week and this app still crashes like crazy on my phone.

    What jdhef said is true, but in this case I think the issue is way too much co2 injection. Are you running a drop counter?
    Ph is not linear, but exponential. 6 is 10x more acidic than 7, 5 is 10x more acidic than 6.
    If your tank is swinging a full point daily, that is what is killing your fish.

    Sent from my VS987 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  8. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Thanks @iBuckhead Don't forget, all work and no play is bad for you!
  9. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, I think jdhef said it well. Personally I'd stop the CO2 or greatly reduce it. Is the CO2 new to the tank? What kinds of plants do you have that really need CO2? Most low to moderate light plants do not need it at all and it can be so variable as you are seeing.

    Assuming it's not bacterial yet the best thing you can do besides stopping the CO2 and letting your ph stabilize is to do some daily water changes to help his tail heal. I personally would use a very small amount of aquarium salt for a week or so to aid in healing. I'd use .05% which would be 5 tsp per 10g of water. Usually the minimum is 10 tsp per 10g but bettas can be sensitive so I'd do half of that even. Or an easier way to do it is 1 tbsp per 5-6g. It does not evaporate so needs to be replaced only with water changes and you can remove it after a week or so as the tail heals.
  10. andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    Wow thanks for all the help guys. I do have a drop counter, it was not working at the beginning (the CO2 diffuser i bought is a 4 in 1 with drop counter and check valve, but they tell you the drop counter takes a few days to begin working, not sure the exact reason why but thats exactly how it happened) but when it started working I realized I had it running at a little over one bubble per second. The drop counter is now reading a bubble maybe every two seconds, for a 10G that seems okay right? I have a CO2 test reader in the tank at all times and according to it the CO2 levels are good now.

    I thought about doing the coral thing, but I have read everywhere its best not to tamper with pH unless absolutely necessary, but if you guys are now suggesting it too I might do it.


    This is my current setup. I have a heavily planted tank and I'm currently trying to carpet dwarf hairgrass, but I aso have Glossostigma, jungle valls, rotala indica, among other plants that have been doing way better since my CO2 has been running, I would really hate to have to get rid of it! But if I'm gonna keep it running I'm going to have to find a way to keep that pH at a safer level, which I of course have no idea how to do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  11. Fishoholic23Well Known MemberMember

    Just wondering how big is your tank?
  12. andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    10 gallons. This was today's pH reading before water change image
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  13. andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  14. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    There's a difference between tampering with your pH and adding something like crushed coral to prevent the pH from fluctuating. The coral will leach calcium carbonate until it reaches a certain concentration and won't go any higher. It will raise the pH slightly but it's more important role is as a buffer:)
  15. andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    So is this something I should consider doing? What do I do go to the LFS and ask for crushed coral and then dump it in the tank in a little bag? Excuse my ignorance lol, the whole planted tank world and everything that comes with it is very new to me
  16. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    You can get little drawstring mesh bags meant for holding media or just make your own out of a clean nylon stocking. The thing with live plants is that they use up carbonates in their life processes as do your BB so if you don't have much to start with then your KH can become too low and then the pH has no buffer to prevent crashes.
  17. andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    Okay I really appreciate your help. I'm going to my LFS on wednesday/thursday. I have an order of four amanos coming in. I dont feel very good about adding any extra bio load to my tank when I'm having even the slightest issue but they're already on their way. I'm buying the coral from them that day and putting it in the tank. Do I have to change the corals in there every so often?
  18. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    I'm not sure about that. I've been told you do but since coral is almost pure calcium carbonate I should think that you'd see a noticeable decrease in volume as it disintegrates.
  19. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Until you get to the store I would add 1/4 tsp baking soda to a little tank water, put it in, test ph after an hour, do this again until you slowly bring it back up. It will help hold your ph and keep it from dropping like that again.

    Coral disintegrates very slowly, you'll just add more when its noticeable to you. I know Petsmart carries coral/aragonite blend in the substrate area. Not sure about other stores.
  20. I3ucketheadWell Known MemberMember

    Crushed Coral adjusts pH by buffering your KH. This will raise your tank water's pH, but will not do anything to the acidifying effect of CO2.
    If you're seeing large swings from CO2 the problem is too much CO2.
    Adding Crushed Coral will raise your base pH but you will still have the problems you're having now from pH swings and you'll add additional problems from creating more ph changes every time you have a water change

    Sent from my VS987 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app

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