Looking Out For My Betta's Fins!

samtchi
  • #1
HI there! I'm new here and a relatively new betta owner. I picked up a halfmoon betta, named Magus, back March 11st. He's been nothing but happy and healthy, very interactive, loves his mealtime, and curious as anything! He's in a heated (78 degree fahrenheit) 5.5 gallon tank and all silk plants, and an anubias, java fern, and two marimo moss balls. My tank has recently cycled, and my water parameters are all within healthy limits, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5 ppm of nitrates. PH is around 7.4.

Little Mags seems like he's a bill of good health, but his upper dorsal fin is concerning me. I don't believe, I hope, that he has fin rot---but it's so hard to tell because his fins are completely translucent on the ends. There's no spreading or growth that I've noticed in the last month, I've been keeping an eye on the water parameters, none of which have ever spiked. I'm using all API liquid based testing supplies, and am using Stress Coat to condition the water and hopefully see some fin regrowth, but so far nothing has really progressed since he's arrived home.

The first picture is him in his cup from my local pet store, circled is the area in question. It looks tattered, but there's no holes, discoloration, white film, etc. The second is from earlier in the week, still very hard to see and take pictures of---he's a fast little fella!! ((Also removed that yellowing stem, no worries!)) The last picture is the one that worries me the most.

I have a filter sponge over the filter intake so I know it's not being aggravated by the filter. I also have a sponge over the lip of the filter where the water trickles into the tank to slow the current for him. Otherwise, it seems a little intense. No air stones or aeration. I'm using NLS betta pellets to feed him, 2 pellets a day.

Mags has no tank mates and has never nipped his tail in front of me, but also, I suppose I wouldn't know if he did!

Right now, I've been doing small, maybe 25% water changes daily to every other day for the last week to see if they would help promote his fin healing, but nothing seems to have changed. Any help would be appreciated, this fish is literally my world and I'm worried about him! I don't know if he was stressed at the store and nipped himself up or what may have happened, but I'm hoping it's nothing more serious!

Thanks in advance for any pointers.

-Sam


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shutterbug13
  • #2
Welcome to Fishlore! Magus is gorgeous!
It looks fine to me, it should heal with time and clean water. It looks like it was already torn when you first got him so it probably was that he was stressed or he was damaged in shipping, etc.
 
Wystearya
  • #3
I also see no signs of rot, the fins look healthy to me.

Sometimes fins can curl as they grow. Here is my old fish (now passed on) to show what I mean:

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The circled areas have the curling. And sometimes the curling can cause little rips, as you can see on the tail fin here. Clean water allows this to heal quickly!
 
samtchi
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Welcome to Fishlore! Magus is gorgeous!
It looks fine to me, it should heal with time and clean water. It looks like it was already torn when you first got him so it probably was that he was stressed or he was damaged in shipping, etc.

Thank you so much, you've definitely eased my mind---I love this little fella beyond belief already!! It's so hard to tell if it's ever getting worse or not, but it's been almost a month and I figured fin rot would have happened much quicker from what I've been reading. But I've been keeping up on his water and making sure none of the plants was making it any worse. Thanks again, and for the welcome!

I also see no signs of rot, the fins look healthy to me.

Sometimes fins can curl as they grow. Here is my old fish (now passed on) to show what I mean:
View attachment 427189
The circled areas have the curling. And sometimes the curling can cause little rips, as you can see on the tail fin here. Clean water allows this to heal quickly!

Thank you!! I actually saw this picture this morning. I was on break at work, haha, and found a few curling forum threads and thought it looked similar, although a bit more tattered. He also has it on the analfin, but it's very minimal. You both have really eased my mind!!

That betta was beautiful, though!! Curling or not, he was a stunner!
 
Wystearya
  • #5
Thank you! My old fish (Opalescent was his name) was the most beautiful fish I have owned in his prime. Sadly, he didn't live very long. I would say after about 7 months he started to slow down, and got fin rot that would never heal up. He was only with me for a bit over a year. I think that some of the very long finned bettas have poor genetics. Also, he was a double tail, and I have since learned that they have shorter life spans. It's why I chose the 'baby' crowntail betta this time around.

I do think your fish will be fine. I don't think I have a picture, but the dorsal fin on Opalescent actually ended up curling so much that the fin tattered at the ends. This did heal, though still somewhat curled.

Just keep up the good work. It's important to keep the water very clean for the longer finned bettas! (Regular water changes are a must!)

PS - Your guy's coloring makes me think he may have the 'marble' gene. Marble bettas can change colors over time. So, if he changes colors don't panic, but DO share pics!
 
samtchi
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thank you! My old fish (Opalescent was his name) was the most beautiful fish I have owned in his prime. Sadly, he didn't live very long. I would say after about 7 months he started to slow down, and got fin rot that would never heal up. He was only with me for a bit over a year. I think that some of the very long finned bettas have poor genetics. Also, he was a double tail, and I have since learned that they have shorter life spans. It's why I chose the 'baby' crowntail betta this time around.

I do think your fish will be fine. I don't think I have a picture, but the dorsal fin on Opalescent actually ended up curling so much that the fin tattered at the ends. This did heal, though still somewhat curled.

Just keep up the good work. It's important to keep the water very clean for the longer finned bettas! (Regular water changes are a must!)

PS - Your guy's coloring makes me think he may have the 'marble' gene. Marble bettas can change colors over time. So, if he changes colors don't panic, but DO share pics!

What a fitting name, Opalescent! Gorgeous, though, love the purely white or black bettas. Wish I had the space for another honestly, haha. Oh wow, I never knew that about double tails---that's ashame that he started to decline, but I'm sure he had a great time with you while he was around! It's so great seeing them go from a small cup or bag to a big open tank and watch them happily swim around and grow excited over their new homes!

I love crowntails from afar, but I'd worry about owning one as a relatively new owner---would worry I wouldn't catch fin rot quick enough with their tail types!

Thank you, though! Trying my best for this little guy, hopefully in time it heals itself, and if not---he'll be perfectly imperfect! Still a curious, hungry, happy, interactive guy!



Ooh, marbling! Yeah, I've noticed him getting more darker colors in the bottoms closest to his body in his dorsal and analfins, ((which again made me worry about the possibility of fin rot even though it wasn't along the outskirts)), but I'm mostly attributing it to him just being happy at this point and his colors blossoming since his ordeal from the store!
 
alliewheelerrr
  • #7
My bettas fins did the same thing! After about a month of having Borat (my fish) the tips of his fins started curling. I don't think it's an issue at all. Now if they were deteriorating and shrinking that's a sign of fin rot. My first betta had bad fin rot because I didn't keep him in a 5 gallon tank, I changed all of his water way too often, and he could never get acclimated to it. I learned with my first betta and Borat is super healthy.
 
samtchi
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
My bettas fins did the same thing! After about a month of having Borat (my fish) the tips of his fins started curling. I don't think it's an issue at all. Now if they were deteriorating and shrinking that's a sign of fin rot. My first betta had bad fin rot because I didn't keep him in a 5 gallon tank, I changed all of his water way too often, and he could never get acclimated to it. I learned with my first betta and Borat is super healthy.

Glad to hear little Borat is doing well!!

Thanks for your input, it's crazy how fast you can get attached to these guys! I only want the best for them!

I don't mind if his fins curl in the future, as long as he's happy and healthy as I'm sure you were too!!

I'm still keeping an eye on it just in case. We have an inspection every meal time haha.
 
samtchi
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Okay, well, I came home and Mags' fins decided to recede inwards. I'm worried he has fin rot, and I'm not sure what to go about doing. I have bettafix on hand, but have read that oil based medicines don't do well with labyrinth organ fish. I don't think it's tail biting, it's not chompy looking anymore. One end has a little red bit. I'd start to think he tore it on a plant despite them being silk, but it's in the same spot as the tattering originally was. Tank parameters are the same as yesterday, same ammonia and all.

Ignore the bedroom walls---it was a literal horror theme chosen a bajillion years ago as a kid.
And the filter sponge was just taken off the intake today, normally it's there. I took it off after noticing the fins, not before.





Any help would be appreciated.
 
Wystearya
  • #10
That looks super similar to when my old fish's dorsal broke apart due to curling. If the curls are tight enough, it can break the webbing. But this should grow back.

Don't use bettafix. I've also read it's not good for them.

Clean water is the first treatment for fin rot, though I don't *think* it is that. If you do think so though, you can up your water change schedule to 50% every other day, or daily if it gets bad.
 
samtchi
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
That looks super similar to when my old fish's dorsal broke apart due to curling. If the curls are tight enough, it can break the webbing. But this should grow back.

Don't use bettafix. I've also read it's not good for them.

Clean water is the first treatment for fin rot, though I don't *think* it is that. If you do think so though, you can up your water change schedule to 50% every other day, or daily if it gets bad.

Thanks for the reply, been really heartbroken today over it worried about it progressing. The parameters like I mentioned are still fine, I've been doing minor water changes ((hard to say, 25%?)) a couple times a week, but this just happened overnight after I'd confidently went to bed thinking he was perfectly fine since nothing had happened in literally a month marked today!

I removed a silk plant because the top of the plant seemed rather sharp, was doubtful it gave him any problems but I'm trying to eliminate any possibilities.

It looks like there's about 4---spikes? spines? rows? haha, 4 spikey bits between each webbing that seem affected, in that last picture it looks red, possibly bloody? I don't think? that he bit it down to that, especially since it looks, not so munched on. But the fellas still acting all the same---keeps catching a glimpse of himself in the corner where the plant was and is flaring up to show that "other fish" who's boss, haha, ((trying to remedy that bald spot at the moment)), so he's still got his personality in tact.

I've never noticed any curling in his fins quite yet---no other part of his fins seem to be affected or receding other than this specific patch that was affected at the pet store, which is leaving me confused.

Put the bettafix back in storage, like I said, was too concerned about the labyrinth organ dilemma there.
 
Wystearya
  • #12
Right, the curls can only be on parts of the fins. On my fish it was mainly the bottom on the analfin and a lot on the dorsal fin. The 'spines' are the bone part of the fin, I know what you meant.

Just keep his water clean and I think it will be fine. Might heal up funny looking, but it should still heal without issue.
 
samtchi
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Just as an update overnight, I want to say Mags looks a lot better this morning. I did a water change yesterday and kept my eye on him for anything sharp in the tank. Not sure what's going on. Was expecting the worst. It's less red and down to the webbing and looks like more actually grew overnight. Now it's just a bit stringy and tattered, but looks a lot better. I'll continue to keep my eye on him.

Still a happy little fella this morning. Was waiting on ME to get out of bed. Haha.
 
samtchi
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Just wanted to update everybody that Mags is doing great! Happier and happier every day, fins are looking better! Only thing I've done is small water changes the last two days and Stress Coat + Prime.

Picture from yesterday, followed by today:



Right, the curls can only be on parts of the fins. On my fish it was mainly the bottom on the analfin and a lot on the dorsal fin. The 'spines' are the bone part of the fin, I know what you meant.

Just keep his water clean and I think it will be fine. Might heal up funny looking, but it should still heal without issue.

He still has his tear, but I'm assuming it's just become his trademark or defect from when we got him. Wondering if it does have something to do with curling, because it's very rare to get a picture with him with his fins completely out straight. Most times, they're back because he's zipping around the tank, but I'm noticing he'll let the top dorsal flop over like so:



Thanks for all of your help previously and for reading! I like to update since a lot of the threads I've gone through wind up with no conclusion. :'(
 
Wystearya
  • #15
Yup, that fin flops over because it's heavy. Nothing unusual there.
 

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