Is this the start of fin rot?

shazaymm

First time betta fish owner here. Got his guy (Neo) about 3 weeks ago. With his fin colours it was super hard to tell if his fin was getting discoloured or just changing colours.
Is this fin rot or still just tears?
ZumpdR3.pngSome old photos to compare to with dates:

The suspected culprit of the tears is my HOB filter (Aqueon quiet 10). I've always had a prefilter sponge on it, but he seems to love investigating it, getting "suctioned" onto it and just resting there. I figured the suction wasn't strong enough since he has always been able to swim away with ease. I put a nylon stocking over the pre filter sponge in hopes that will be softer on the fins. I'm not sure what I could do at this point other than changing the filter all together.

Tank stats:
10 gallon tank, fishless cycled prior to adding
0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, ~10ppm nitrate, 6.8pH
79 degrees F
Only 1 betta!

Thanks!
 

Blueberrybetta

He does have some new coloring but he also has some fin tearing or nipping at he top. Filter intakes can rip long fins like you already stated and strong filter flows can toss bettas around too much causing stress and fin nipping. Sponge filters are recommended when housing bettas or inverts, they have no visible intake plus it provides as an air bubbler as well. If you can, I would seed a sponge filter if the covered intake begins to not work anymore.

I would increase to small daily water changes, as poor water quatily will start fin rotting. I also always suggest Indian almond leaves or Rooibos tea (my fav) to help leech tannin out. Tannin provides anti bacterial properties and helps with fin growth. Make sure you heavily concentrate his tank to see any improvement in fin growth. If you also have any sharp decor, its best to alway remove. Always try the pantyhose test, one small snag can snag his fins too. Extra water changes and added tannin will usually help heal fin rot without the intense medication. If the fin rot becomes worse after 2 weeks of WCs and tannin, then you can resort to medication. Till then , its best to minimize as much stress as possible to prevent fin nipping too.
 
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shazaymm

I would increase to small daily water changes, as poor water quatily will start fin rotting. I also always suggest Indian almond leaves or Rooibos tea (my fav) to help leech tannin out. Tannin provides anti bacterial properties and helps with fin growth. Make sure you heavily concentrate his tank to see any improvement in fin growth. If you also have any sharp decor, its best to alway remove. Always try the pantyhose test, one small snag can snag his fins too. Extra water changes and added tannin will usually help heal fin rot without the intense medication. If the fin rot becomes worse after 2 weeks of WCs and tannin, then you can resort to medication. Till then , its best to minimize as much stress as possible to prevent fin nipping too.

Thank you for all the great info! He has been making a bubble nest since week 1 so i figured that it was a good indicator of not being stressed.
I also forgot to mention i have a fully planted tank - no plastics at all. He does love to squirm in between and underneath s repens leaves and I wonder if he gets his tail caught on those too.

I will put in an almond leaf and start doing daily WCs. Would you also suggest adding aquarium salts or using API Stress coat for the aloe? I normally use seachem prime.
 
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Blueberrybetta

Thank you for all the great info! He has been making a bubble nest since week 1 so i figured that it was a good indicator of not being stressed.
I also forgot to mention i have a fully planted tank - no plastics at all. He does love to squirm in between and underneath s repens leaves and I wonder if he gets his tail caught on those too.

I will put in an almond leaf and start doing daily WCs. Would you also suggest adding aquarium salts or using API Stress coat for the aloe? I normally use seachem prime.

Bubble nest dont necessarily indicate if a bettas is happy or sad, only means they are ready for breeding season. Its good your tank has live plants so his fins won't be affected , the only live plant that is harmful to bettas is hornwort from the spikey edges.

For aquarium salt, its not reccomend to add to main tanks because salt can melt live plants and also harm inverts. Also, aquarium salt doesn't evaporate so if its constantly added to the tank, it will buildup and deplete the oxygen levels in the water.
I would use the stresscoat instead, but even then I feel it shouldnt be needed if you have a nice concentration of tannin. Tannin is used for stress and helps release antibacterial properties for slimecoats.
 
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