is this finloss? Question

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by midthought, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    I brought home another betta. I didn't put them in the same tank or anything, but the new boy was lethargic, so I tried putting him (in his tiny glass bowl) next to my existing boy (in his 2.5 gallon tank). Well, I thought I'd seen flaring and strutting, but never like this! I just checked all my old pictures of Gamma, and his fins just aren't fanned out like they are now (see this post for initial pics. Well, in any case, he was in "show" mode I dare say and I realized that his fins look a bit tattered. I was so not used to it that I thought I had a nascent crowntail on my hands for a second. See the attached pic.

    Is that fin loss?

    My water parameters are decent, I think -- 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite. I did a water change just yesterday when I had 20 ppm nitrate, but i didn't do a test right after the change. Temp is 82-84 (I can't adjust the heater in his tank, which is why it's so high. I'm moving him to a bigger tank and different heater when it cycles though). PH is a bit high (~8) but was stable for a long time. However, with my last water change, I tried to lower the overall PH by just back lower PH water slowly (over the course of half an hour or hour). Might that have something to do with it? I also may have stressed him just today by rearranging his tank, as I moved some of the plants to a tank with an actual light. I believe he liked being overcrowded with the plants, as his bubble nest grew a lot bigger when I temporarily housed half a dozen floating anacharis and a potted crypt in there. But then, maybe the slower current just allowed his bubble nest to be intact for longer.

    Anyway, as always I'm probably writing too much, but I hope someone can help me out. I appreciate the advice!

    Attached Files:

  2. TigerfishyWell Known MemberMember

    He's a lovely boy!
    Don't worry about writing too much, it's my speciality too!
    Is there anything that he could be ripping his fins on? I'm still not sure on cases like this, but if it doesn't look like it's receding anymore, he may just be ripping them somehow. My brother's fish had his fins look like this, but he was leaning against the filter and it was taking the ends of his fins in and making them look like this, I swapped his filter and it immediately stopped.

    Someone else will be able to help you more, but at least it's one suggestion you can start with lol!!
  3. midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    I don't *think* there's anything in the tank that would rip/snag his fins...he does like to patrol, and that includes zooming behind the filter (a Whisper for <3g), but I think it's okay...There are a couple plastic things in there right now (old cartridge, filter, anubias pot, permanent ammonia detector), but other than being plastic, they aren't jagged or protrude or anything. Substrate is river rocks. I attached more pics (first one is older, before the anubias).

    (P.S. the anubias is going to live elsewhere eventually, which is why I haven't unpotted it).

    I'll be moving him before the end of the week, most likely, so if he is physically snagging on something, hopefully he won't in the new setup...

    Attached Files:

  4. bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    It sounds like trying to lower the pH stressed him out and he ended up biting his own tail. Some bettas do that when they're stressed. The general rule for pH is to not mess with it at all. Your fish (bettas and otherwise) become adapted to the pH level you have (or of the store they come from) and changing it will stress them out WAY more than leaving it alone will.

    I would say at the very least add some stress coat to his tank and soak his food in garlic juice to help boost his immune system until that tail grows back.

    He's beautiful, by the way!
  5. midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    Hm, I haven't seen any tail biting, but I haven't been doing much observing in the last couple days. I'll spend some more time later tonight in observation mode.

    Yeah, the pH was high but stable since he'd come home a few weeks ago, basically, but since I wanted to put him in a larger, more "legit" planted tank, I wanted him to get used to a lower pH. :(

    The good news is that I found a bubble nest this morning for the first time since I'd done a partial water change (with the lower pH). Hopefully he isn't too stressed, if he's doing was small and immediately fell apart when I opened his lid to feed him though.
  6. midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    And thank you! I feel like he's perked up a good deal since coming home from the store. A lot more fluorescent blue/purple has been coming out in his coloring too.
  7. bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    I'm confused. Do you have driftwood in the tank he's moving into? Because as far as I know, plants don't lower your pH, only driftwood (and some rocks) do. All four of my tanks are moderately to heavily planted and the only one with a different pH is my 55gal wich has three big pieces of driftwood in it. The Hex5 and the two divided 10gals are at 7.6 and the 55gal is at about 7.1-7.2. They all have basically the same plants, too (cabomba caroliniana, asian ambulia, anacharis, dwarf sag...the 55gal has java fern, micro sword and amazon swords in addition to the others).
  8. StatholNew MemberMember

    Hm. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not seeing any major difference between the before and after pics. It's kind of hard to tell since he isn't spreading his tail out as much in the before pictures. You'd know what your betta looks like better than I would, though. Are you saying there are more "split ends" than before?

    Also, I have to ask: will your next betta be Delta? :D
  9. StatholNew MemberMember

    Edit: ack, I misread this as raise your pH, not lower. And then I further confused matters by saying lower when I meant raise. Corrected now. Sorry.

    In theory they can raise pH, by removing CO2 (as carbonic acid) from the water. But that hinges on there being enough CO2 in the water in the first place. Nitrifying bacteria will consume some CO2 in the process of oxidizing nitrogen compounds. If there's still CO2 left in the water for the plants to consume, then getting rid of it will raise the pH a bit.

    Plants which also consume some amount of nitrates would also raise the pH, but probably not by much (nor very quickly). Dissolved nitrates form nitric acid, which also lowers pH.

    But I think what ctrlf4 was probably implying is just that she maintains a lower pH for the sake of the plants. While a betta will adjust to a pH of, say, 7.8, most plants need lower pH than that.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  10. EtceteraValued MemberMember

    Looks like tail-biting to me--which in all honesty can be caused by a lot of different things, including boredom, too much current, fluctuating or cool temperature, too much traffic in the area, too much decor, not enough decor, changing decor.. things like that. Try rearranging your plants and pots so that he has more area to swim. Also I noticed that it appears that you have no heater and a bad thermometer. Stick-on thermometers only tell you the temperature of the glass/acrylic, so they are extremely inaccurate, and really rather worthless. I suggest getting a heater with a thermostat and a thermometer that's actually in the tank. I also would not trust that weird ammonia meter thing.

    It also wouldn't hurt to unpot the anubias, they prefer to have their rhizome exposed, and it would give your fish more swimming room.

    As for the pH possibility--the main thing is just to keep it as consistent as possible. If you add things like peat products to lower pH, you should do so slowly and monitor your pH with a liquid test. If you simply MUST lower your pH, I would suggest using small amounts of peat over a long period of time--be aware that this has the downside of also reducing kH, iirc.

    As long as you keep your fish's water clean and stable he should start healing fairly soon. The new growth will come in looking clear or whitish and begin to color up later.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  11. midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    I very much do not know if he's always had the "split ends" or whether they're new -- like I said, I looked at my older pictures and it's just not evident because his fins are not spread out as much. I'm only trying to find out if the "split ends" are in fact finloss and what I can/should do about it.

    He's named Chroma actually, for his coloring. :)

    Yes, that's what I was getting at. I just *want* him to get used to a lower pH than 8 because the lower pH is better for the plants. I realize that changing his pH isn't ideal, but the planted tank is also for his benefit.

    Hope that makes sense.
  12. EtceteraValued MemberMember

    This fish also looks like it has some combtail characteristics now that I look a little closer at the pictures. It's possible they're uneven and have broken off on the dorsal and analfin due to hard water. I could be wrong, but the areas between the rays are really neat and consistent--it would be a lot more rough and there would likely be some missing rays if they were rips or bites. It's hard to tell from your pictures, but you might want to look up some other pictures of veiltail-combtails to see if the shapes are consistent.
  13. midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    So many things to try...since he's moving soon, I think I'm just going to keep an eye on him and just try to catch him tail biting. Then I'll go through adding or removing decor and the rest once he's moved to new quarters, assuming it remains a problem.

    I do have a heater, it's just tucked under the stones. It's Hydor brand and not adjustable, so the water is about 84 degrees, a little warmer than I'd otherwise choose. The water is warm to the touch, but I obviously can't "feel" if there are crazy fluctuations throughout the day. The new tank will be bigger and have an adjustable heater soon though.

    I do plan on buying in-tank thermometers for all the tanks, I just haven't remembered to do so the last couple times I've visited the LFS (got big heavy things and forgot about the tiny one). I promise though that's on my shopping list thogh.

    I don't rely on it, but it's in there because it was one of the first things I bought. I still run the liquid ammonia/nitrite/nitrate tests though (as well as pH). My 0 ammonia reading was from a Tetra test kit, not the sticker thing. The other readings are from API test kits.

    The final resting spot for the anubias is on a piece of driftwood that won't fit in the 2.5g tank. I've mainly left it in there because he seemed happier with more things in the tank, rather than less. I can try to take it out though, and go ahead and place it on the driftwood. Might be well, maybe, since he's moving soon and losing the anubias permanently. (Anubias is going into a community tank.)

    Hmm I hadn't considered that actually, I will look into it. It may prolong his ultimate move but it sounds better for him.

    Thanks for all your advice. :)
  14. midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    That would be both cool and a load off my mind. More observation is in order! If he just swam around like he did when he first came home with me, I would never have noticed...