illness and tattered fins

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by SneakPlay_, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. SneakPlay_New MemberMember

    I kept fish (badly) years ago as a child, and just started getting back into it in the last year.

    Long story coming:

    I recently rescued a betta (Mordacai) from a tiny gross looking little cup. He was fine for about 4 days. Eating, looking interested in life etc. Then he started looking down, and eating less. I figured maybe I should get him a heater. It bumped the temp from 72 to 76. Which is when he started showing signs of ich.... AARRGG! Obviously with the lower temps it had been slowed down. So I read up on that, got a heater that was clearly too big for a 3 G tank (but actually had a adjustable setting, which the small one hadn't) and pushed the temp up to 86-ish. Three days of that and the ich spots went away, but he just lay on the bottom in his cave, only coming up for air, and not eating. He usually looked dead to be honest... anyway today he finally is moving around a bit more, in between resting. I'm not entirely sure that he is eating yet which worries me, but now his tail looks 'tattered'

    Is this just because he was so sick? Or could he be getting fin rot on top of everything else?? It's kind of frayed at the tips on his tail, and when he took off with a burst of energy (don't know where he got that!) a little piece fell off :eek:
  2. Red1313Fishlore VIPMember

    Hi and welcome to fishlore I'm sorry to hear that your boy isn't doing so well.
    However if you don't mind answering the following questions that would help alot.
    1) Do you have a test kit? What are your water parameters (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate).
    2) What's his temp now?

    I suspect that your poor guy's tank isn't cycled and he's suffering from ammonia poisoning. My female did the same thing (stayed "panting" near the bottom) when she had a cycle crash. I'd try a 50% water change daily until you know your tank is properly cycled. Ammonia Poisoning hurts his immune system and that means that infections like fin-rot that are usually easy for him to fend off get hold.

    Hope that helps.

    EDIT: Links to help you out.
    The Nitrogen Cycle
    Betta Care Guide
  3. SneakPlay_New MemberMember

    Temp is still 86. Read that you have to keep the temp up that high for at least two weeks to be sure that all the parasites die off.

    I believe it is cycled. It was my Q-tank before I got him and I transfered some stuff over from the 10. Each time I tested (liquid tests, not the strips) amonia has been 0, nitrite 0, and nitrates 10-15 depending on which day it was. And I have used Prime every time I did a water change too.

    My biggest prob with the water changes right now is trying to get the change water to the same temp as the tank. If I put in lower temp water, it is a shock to him, plus it can allow the ich parasites a chance....

    anyway, how can you tell if it is fin rot? Some sites say it looks black and others describe it as whitish... like a fungus. I know his fins aren't white on the tips, but I can't tell if they are black either because his colour is a really dark blue :(
  4. EtceteraValued MemberMember

    Well, if the coloration is making it difficult, look closely at the texture, is it crumbly or fuzzy? Typically fin rot is a thin layer of black dying tissue with occasionally a layer of fuzzy white around it (not always).

    When the fins are healing, the new tissue will grow in clear or whitish and then color up later. If you're seeing clear edges, then he is recovering. If the fins are crumbly or fuzzy or outlined in black, then he's still suffering from fin rot/ammonia burns.

    I think you need to be extra careful with acclimating him to different temperatures, it puts a tremendous amount of stress on a fish to suddenly change temperature, and suddenly adding the heater is probably what caused such a bad infestation. When you change the temperature on the tank, don't simply jack up the temp on the heater, do it slowly over the course of a day or even two days if you're going to go as high as 86.

    I bought an extra heater just for the water I have sitting around for water changes, but if the tank is small enough, you can microwave the water you're about to put in until it's the right temperature, just make sure that you stir it up well before you measure the temperature with a thermometer.
  5. Red1313Fishlore VIPMember

    Hmm... I can understand the concerns about water temp... however if it is fin rot then extra water changes along with some stress coat can be a big help. In regards to the water temps here's two possible idea's:
    1) Use a thermometer to test the new water and ensure it's within 2* (above of below) the water that you're adding it to.
    2) Set up a "drip" system that will slowly add the new water over a small period of time therefore not having too large an impact on the water temp. (think something similar to an IV bag)

    How's his appetite? I don't know if you mentioned that before or not.
  6. SneakPlay_New MemberMember

    I'll have to take another look when I get home as to the texture. My paranoia won't let me recall exactly what it looks like right now.

    With the first heater there wasn't much of a choice about the time to aclimatize because it doesn't have a gage on it. Packaging claimed that it would raise the temp by about 2 degrees... it actually raised it by 4. The second larger heater was a bit more of a controlled increase, but probably still too fast. given that it went from 76 to 86 over the course of a day. Prob there was it isn't made for such a small tank so it went higher way faster then planned. Even now it is set for 80 and the thermometer is reading 86!!!!!

    I'll try the micro out for the next water change. Thanks for that idea

    I really want him to pull through this :S
  7. Red1313Fishlore VIPMember

    I'm rooting for you and your boy and if there's anything else I or anyone else here on the forum can do for you we'd be glad to help you out :)
  8. SneakPlay_New MemberMember

    Thanks Red :) I truely appreciate it even if I am a bit 'on edge' about the entire illness right now :-\

    He's kind of looking at food now. He hadn't for days (3-5 ish). I'm not entirely sure that he is eating though, he tries things and then changes his mind. Before the ich set in he was eating anything I gave him. Of course that only lasted the first 4 days I had him, before he started showing signs of being ill :(
  9. Red1313Fishlore VIPMember

    Hmmm do you have any garlic guard or Garlic juice? Is so try soaking his pellets in that prior to feeding. It's an attractant and appetite stimulant and has a few other health benefits as well. With his water temp up so high his metabolism is going to be working faster then normal (one of the quirks of our cold blooded pets) so making sure he's eating will be a big help. Also be sure to remove un-eaten food from the tank since it will decay faster at the higher temps.
  10. SneakPlay_New MemberMember

    I'll have to make sure I do that (take the extra food out that is)... I kept leaving it in hopin that he might 'get to it later'

    I don't have either garlic guard or juice, but I assume that actual garlic would work?
  11. Red1313Fishlore VIPMember

    If you have garlic "cloves" then you can crush or squish it to get the juice. I use Garlic guard personally I think you can buy garlic that comes in a jar and the fluid in the jar works... I'll have to ask someone what it is exactly though.
  12. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    hi....sorry to hear your fishy is sick....mine is too actually. i know the kind of garlic to buy is the minced kind with the only ingredients being garlic and water. no citric acid, no phosperic acid, no oil. i've had a little trouble finding it however. garlic guard would be good too. might have to order though, depending on where you are.

    also vita-chem will be good for him. i've started using that a few days ago. my boy has finrot.....and i recently also have been giving him maracyn for it. he is about to lose his dorsal fin....i think originally his dorsal fin was injured by a rough rock i had in there tired to a java fern.....even though the bottom had the fin rot first. you'll know when he has finrot when the fins all appear frayed and raggy. and maybe a bit of black on the bottom (in my case). i'm hoping his gets better very soon :;hug2