I Do Daily Water Changes, Yet My Betta Developed Fin Rot? (a Few Questions)

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by betta_than_you, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. betta_than_youNew MemberMember

    I've had my betta for four weeks, and I've noticed signs of fin rot during this past weekend. It started with a tear in his belly fin, followed by fin curling. This afternoon I found brown growths at the edge of his fin, which signifies that it is indeed rot.

    I'm confused as to why this happened, because I keep his tank rather clean. I've been doing 30% water changes every single day, and I siphon above the gravel to remove old food. His ammonia level has never risen above 0.25, and I keep as close to 0 as possible. The water is conditioned with Prime.

    I did an ~80% water change just now, and he seems to feel okay. His behavior hasn't changed at all, and he still eats eagerly. My questions are: (1) How could this happen, despite keeping the water clean? (2) Should I add some aquarium salt, and how much for a 5 gallon tank? (3) What type of antibiotic should I buy?

    Pictures (the brown is more visible in person):

    (Info about the tank: 5 gallon, heated (78), with built-in filter. Inside I have silk plants and one java fern. Water conditioned with Prime and Stress Coat.)

  2. meyowmeowValued MemberMember

    I am wondering if the water changes might be too frequent? Did you cycle the tank before adding the Betta and if so, for how long? Do you have a reading on your nitrates and nitrites?

  3. betta_than_youNew MemberMember

    The tank is not cycled, so I have no nitrites/nitrates yet

  4. meyowmeowValued MemberMember

    That's not quite how the cycling process works. I highly recommend getting a test kit and checking your parameters. Also, does he have any tank mates?

    This thread is really a great read:
    Bettas and the nitrogen cycle
  5. betta_than_youNew MemberMember

    Oh I know about cycling, and I have a test kit. My tank is not cycled, so ammonia is not being converted to nitrites. Thus, I have no nitrite reading. What did I say wrong?

    He does not currently have any tankmates
  6. meyowmeowValued MemberMember

    Nitrites should begin to build by day 10 - you said you are at 4 weeks. At 4 weeks nitrites should be around 20PPM. If you have 0 nitrite I am betting it is from too frequently changing the water and in larger amounts than you should. I didn't mean to intimate that you don't understand the nitrogen cycle - I merely meant something was going wrong in your cycling process. What type of testing kit are you using?
  7. betta_than_youNew MemberMember

    That's odd--yeah, I haven't had a nitrite reading whatosever (just tested). Perhaps it's due to such low levels of ammonia? I'm using the API liquid test kit. The reason I've been doing such frequent water changes is to prevent ammonia from rising. Should I be doing fewer?
  8. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry, my reply ended up inside what you had written above...not sure how I managed that. This is what I wrote:

    When you vacuum the gravel, don't be afraid to really get the vac all the way down to the tank bottom. You may be surprised by how much food and waste makes its way down below the surface of the gravel.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2017
  9. betta_than_youNew MemberMember

    Oh, that's a good point. I hadn't been cleaning the gravel that thoroughly, because I read that it kills your beneficial bacteria while cycling. This could be a reason for my poor water quality.
  10. meyowmeowValued MemberMember

    I bet it is from not having enough ammonia. There has to be some ammonia build up in order for the nitrites to start forming. I would change water every other day and only do 10-30% water change at most. Keep monitoring your parameters. I doubt food build up in the gravel is the issue or you would see a lot higher ammonia readings as the old food broke down.
  11. betta_than_youNew MemberMember

    Thanks for your advice. Really not sure what to do about the cycling; just gonna wait it out for now. For the rot, I'm going to put him in a hospital bowl with a heater and salt for a couple days. Hopefully I'll see some fin healing. If it gets worse, I'll need to pick up some antibiotics.
  12. meyowmeowValued MemberMember

    I hope your baby gets better with treatment :)
  13. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    I agree. I didn't mean to imply that food build-up in the gravel was causing a serious problem currently. I meant it more as a general tip for tank maintenance going forward. Sorry for any confusion!

    I'm also hoping your betta makes a good recovery! @CindiL is a great resource when it comes to treating illness. Maybe she will have something to add.
  14. wapoosheValued MemberMember

    most of the beneficial bacteria that is important really lies in the filter. So graveling up shouldn't harm your tank. Also, while daily water changes aren't bad there really isn't a consequence for doing them weekly if your filter is good. I don't know much about fin rot but, I would imagine changing water everyday might add a bit of stress on your Beta. Since, you did not perform a fishless cycle you will be in the process of a fish in cycle, in these cases the first fish usually takes on the most stress, usually a very hardy fish should be used for fish in cycles.
  15. bgclarkeWell Known MemberMember

    I moved our betta to a new 7 gallon cube (~6 gallons water in it) 5 weeks ago.
    This week we just started to get an ammonia reading.
  16. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to the forum :)
    I would not put him in a hospital bowl, I would leave him in his tank and treat him there.
    People always say that fin rot is caused by bad water quality though this is not always true. I mean yes, if you have bad water quality it can effect their fins but the truth is that with male bettas who's fins are bred to be as long as they are you can have rot and die off in general and have perfectly fine water parameters. Their very long fins are thin, and can easily break off with not much water flow at all.

    I don't know how much salt you were going to use for initial treatment but I'd recommend 1 level tsp per actual gallon of water. See how he does with that and then increase it to a total of 2 level tsp per gallon of water. For mild fin rot, this should be all you need. A reminder that salt does not evaporate and is replaced only via water changes.

    If you need to go to an antibiotic I'd recommend nitrofurazone. Your can find it in API Furan 2, Tetra Fungus Guard, Jungle Fungus Clear (at Walmart) or Hikari Bifuran.

    One last choice is to do baths with Hikari Betta Revive or treat him in tank (since your tank isn't cycled anyways).
  17. betta_than_youNew MemberMember

    Thank you SO much! Your advice is very helpful.

    I have 5 tsp of API salt dissolving in some water now, which I plan to add to his tank tonight. Along with Stress Coat. If his fins don't improve, I'll definitely see about getting some nitrofurazone.

    Thanks again, and I'll update you on his progress!

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice