My Betta Has Fin Rot, I've Tried Everything


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So my boyfriend and I bought a betta, Puk, from the pet store we work at. The batch that we had gotten all had fin and tail rot however, we treated them and it cleared up in most of the fish. I brought Puk home and after a couple days I started to see it on his tail fin (now its spread to the tips of his dorsal and pectoral fins). I've tried everything I can think of. We've put over the counter fungal treatment in and another coworker at the pet store recommended using rock salt. I wasn't sure where to find that but I researched it and found out that sea salt was 99.9% rock salt so we used that. It's been a couple weeks. His infection doesn't seem to be spreading anymore but I'm not sure if it's getting better either. My boyfriend thinks it is but I can't tell. I just wanted to know if I'm doing the right thing or if there's anything else I can do before taking him to the vet?? Thanks in advance.
- worried fish mama


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3 years
A+ for effort, however, sea salt is not what you want to use as it has certain minerals that are harmful to fish. The two types of salts used in fishkeeping for the sake of treatment are Aquarium salt (always available at pet stores) and Epsom salt (always available at your local pharmacy/ make sure you check to see it is unscented). Also, could you post a photo to further confirm diagnosis?

Aquarium Salt-
In the right dosages this can help with fluid regulation and to fight off bacterial or parasitic infection. Do keep in mind that salt for freshwater fish is an irritant albeit a mild one so it’s not something I would keep in the main tank. Basically it will irritate the fishes immune system into producing more of a slime coat which will help fight off infection.

Epsom Salt-
Is more of a mild muscle relaxant which is why it helps with constipation. This salt helps to really draw out fluids more so than aquarium salt which is why it is used to treat things like popeye or dropsy.

Side note-
If you’re not doing so already: take a smaller ‘hospital tank’ and using freshly treated water (as if you were doing a water change) add in whichever salt would best treat (in this case aquarium) per instructions (you’ll probably have to do some calculation adjustments since it will be a lower water volume than what is suggested on the package) and make sure it completely disolves. Then also have another hospital tank ready with about 3/4 fresh treated water and 1/4 of some salt water (this is a transition tank so that you don't shock the fish when transferring back to fresh water) you can leave the fish in the salted water for 2-3 minutes before transitioning him to the transition tank for another 2, before finally adding him back to his main tank.

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