Need Immediate Advice. Betta with Major Fin Rot Help

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by VeggieXL, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. VeggieXLNew MemberMember

    I have had a male betta since March. His fins started tearing in May. The fin healed after I started regular W/Cs. The issue came back in April it slowly got worse. Tearing then healing slightly, tearing then healing slightly. But he was losing fin faster than he could heal.
    I used aquarium salt and API Stress coat but now I am realizing that does nothing to stop the infection. Recently after placing more plants in the tank large sections of the fin have gone. This is what really made me panic. His fin is tattered and half way to his body! I didn't know what to do so I took everything out of his tank except a hide and a thermometer. No gravel. I also did a 100% W/C and moved the tank away from a window ( This I expect contributed to the fungal growth because of the direct sunlight and increased temp) I dissolved 5 tsp of aquarium salt in.
    The water change caused a .50 ppm Ammonia spike. Now I am going to the pet store to get medicine but am not sure what will work best. I am thinking Jungle Fungus Eliminator in combination with Methylene Blue. Is this the best option? I am posting from a phone so I am figuring out how to get picture of his situation but until then I will describe. This is major fin rot, no black around tears just tearing with no sign of repair yet.
    Here is what I'm working with
    5 gallon hex tank
    Fully cycled some days but most of the time I have .25 ammonia due to it being in my tap.
    .5 ammonia now. 0 nitrites, 5-10 nitrates.
    Yes I have API master test kit.
    No plants right now everything is removed .
  2. renthusWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorta clueless on the subject of fin rot, but I do know someone (unfortunately) quite versed in the subject. poeticinjustices recently went through a whole mess of dealing with it in her betta. Her experience is detailed (de-tailed... bad taste?) here. You might try some of what she did, and I'm sure she'll pop into this thread, too.
  3. OP

    VeggieXLNew MemberMember

    I went to Petco and they had limited options as far as medicine goes. I bought a new tetra whisper filter, carbon, tetra betta safe, tetra lifeguard all in one dont know if this will help and some water change solution. I decided to start doing water changes with store bought water to avoid the ammonia in my tap.
    I read that thread by poeticinjustices. I pray I am not in the same situation as her. She seems much more experienced at fish care and discusses all kinds of medications I didn't see in the store. After this trip to Petco I will not have the cash to spend on my betta for a while so I need him to improve with what I have.
    Right now he is in a tank with no gravel and no plants the water is pristine and the temperature is 78 f So this bacteria or fungus will have a harder time doing their work.
    Someone please tell me if I am going about this wrong or I can be doing something better.

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  4. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    VeggieXL, you are doing fine. Water quality is imperative to fish health, your fish's immune system needs the best enviroment to be successful in fighting off disease. Shotgunning medications can lead to further complications as some medications can cause excess stress on vital organs or even for your fish to start flashing in result of the medication. Could you post a picture of your betta ?

  5. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Hi there :) Don't panic, you are doing a really good job and seem to care very much for your finned friend.

    I am going to ask a few questions just to get things clear in my head. Hope you don't mind!

    A w/c shouldn't have caused an ammonia spike. Did you change out the media or anything during this change? Did you use dechlorinator? Changing your media or not using dechlorinator can kill the good bacteria in your filter and cause a spike.

    Your betta can be housed with anything 'soft'. If you get a pair of stockings and pull them around the decor in some water, anything they snag on can get your Betta fins. I would put some water in a bucket and try it out. Especially your plants, they can really improve water quality and your tanks water may improve by adding some back in. What plants do you have?

    How often are you doing water changes? Daily water changes can keep the water pristine which promotes fin healing so I would be doing 50% water changes daily to help out.

    I wouldn't change your filter out unless you are moving all the media (stuff inside the filter - sponge, ceramics, carbon etc) over to your new filter as this will cause your tank to cycle. What was your reason for changing the filter? Does the current/intake affect his swimming? Is he getting caught on the filter?
    poeticinjustices has gone away for a few days but her thread about V contains lots of great information on medicating Bettas. She has a lot more experience than most dealing with this, because she hasn't had a choice but to learn.

    Experience isn't about how long you have had fish, it is about the knowledge you possess. Research, research, research is the key to fish keeping. The more you read, the more you learn. Keep going through information and search for information you require and you will be amazed how quickly you can learn!

    Try soaking his food in garlic juice (crush a garlic clove and use the juice from that) before feeding it to him as Garlic does wonders for their immune system.

    Do not doubt yourself. You are doing the best you can for him and he will appreciate that :)
  6. OP

    VeggieXLNew MemberMember

    Thank you @hollie1505 and @Rivieraneo! Here is the pictures of Bodhi Betta and his ailment.
    I took more but the file sizes are massive I will need to reduce.
    Look at his tail!!!
    Now to answer Hollie1505's questions.
    Until today I have been using tap water in my tank. My tap contains, .25 ppm of ammonia. This created difficulties when I was cycling and there is 90% of the time, .25ppm ammonia present in the aquarium. When i do big 100% WCs it spikes to .5 for a bit. Now as an extra effort to keep my betta comfortable I am using store bought water for all changes.
    As for the stockings, I removed everything in the tank in my paranoia except a thermometer and a hiding hut. I did the stocking test and the hut passed.
    Plants: I have 4 kinds of plants, I do not know their species..I will rinse them them and put 3 of the 4 species back in. (one of them is messy and sheds leaves) I am currently trying the garlic idea. I have been feeding him these Aqueaon Betta Food pellets most days and noticed he almost never goes to the bathroom. I suspect after reading @poeticinjustices thread about V, that the pellets may be causing this. I bought some flakes while at Petco and I also have bloodworms that he refuses to eat.
  7. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't trust the API master kit when it says .25 ammonia. I had my tap tested by the water company and they said there is no ammonia in my water, but the API test says I have .25 in my tap.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  8. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Did they test for ammonium ? The API test does not distinguish between both.
  9. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    I'm not sure.
  10. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Poor guy :( He doesn't look too fuzzy so clean water may be all he needs. He's got gorgeous colouring though!

    What water conditioner do you use? Prime neutralizes the ammonia for 24hours so it may be worth using something like Prime or dosing Amquel plus if ammonia seems to be an issue.

    Have you used any store bought water yet? the water can be very different from your tap water (which, if the ammonia reading is correct, is already proving so) can cause stress on your fish. The entire chemistry is probably different than tap (pH, hardness etc). What are the readings in comparison? Stress can cause illness such as fungus and fin rot.

    Plants will use some of the nasties in the aquarium to grow. Particularly fast growing plants. My betta has Java Fern, Vallisneria, Moss Balls, Salvinia Natans (floating plant) and a few others and they have done no damage to him. The plants will also give him somewhere to hide whilst he is feeling a little groggy. Speaking of which, how is his behaviour?

    So far as feeding, soaking the food in Garlic Juice will help his immune system (Garlic Guard and Vitachem are supplements you can buy, wallet permitting which also help) and it's something I do every feeding regardless of health. It can also entice fussy eaters!

    If he seems constipated try feeding a quatre of a shelled pea to him, it acts as a laxative.

    Hope he starts healing soon! Keep it up love, you're doing great, it can be so disheartening feeling helpless.xx

    EDIT: apologies for using the term 'love', it's my Yorkshire creeping out.x

    EDIT #2: @delta5 I have had misreading on ammonia from the API kit twice but after checking again, they were fine. Having said that, when I asked about the readings on here I heard from people who have had problems with it. @VeggieXL make sure you give all your bottles a really good shake, until your arm hurts :) also, now you have 3 posts, can you fill out your aquarium info on your profile? It's very helpful. Thanks.xx
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  11. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    @OP, you don't need to buy the lfs's expensive betta water. Get the gallons of spring water from wal-mart and treat with betta water conditioner. Add correct amount/type of salt. I'm a noob to bettas, so maybe someone can comment on wal-mart brand spring water?
  12. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    When switching from tap to RODI / tap to bottled / bottled to tap, etc.. I suggest the new water source be tested and the fish be re-acclimated.
  13. OP

    VeggieXLNew MemberMember

    I only bought that to start it out. I plan on using grocery store 2$ gallons.
    hollie1505 his behavior is exactly the same as when I first bought him. This is something I take comfort in. He is very calm, unless you put a finger to the glass or he sees his reflection.Always excited sometimes almost jumping out of the water when about to be fed. He never lays on his side or anything like that. He sleeps in frequent but short intervals at night and is awake all day. He loves his hut and he likes to wedge in between the leaves of my big plant or the patch of grass.
    Also yes I have been using prime. But not shaking it. I didn't know you needed too!
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  14. renthusWell Known MemberMember

    $2/gallon is still more than you should be paying, lol. I think pure water from the store near me (I use it for pitcher plants) is something like $0.80/gallon
  15. OP

    VeggieXLNew MemberMember

    2$ is an estimate. I have no idea how much water is even though I used to work stock at a grocery store lol.
    I will post pictures of Bodhi and all my plants tomorrow when I have access to a PC. I feel a lot of progress will be made now and I'm more optimistic than I was this morning. Thank you everyone who is replying. I will be sure to update my profile information.

    PS I have 2 filters running at the same time. I had this extra tetra whisper 10i and I thought maybe it would help. Should I take it out?
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  16. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    I know it can vary, but the walmart brand spring water here is 7.5pH, 8ppm on my ppm meter. Its pretty much ideal water for bettas from my understanding.
  17. OP

    VeggieXLNew MemberMember

    That is pretty much the exact PH of the tank right now. I will definitely go to walmart .
  18. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    Just make sure to test the water before adding it.
  19. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    It's not just the pH of the water that is different. The entire chemistry could well be off. You will need to fully acclimate him into it. Then again every time you use different water. Have you used any yet?

    How often are you doing water changes compared to when he was healing? Could upping them be the solution as he sounds in good health other wise?x
  20. OP

    VeggieXLNew MemberMember

    I have not used the water yet. I did a 100% WC with tap water this morning before I bought the solution. I am planning on doing a 10% WC tomorrow.

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