5 Gallon Tank New fin rot started while other fin healing?

FernAndJoop

Hello everyone! My betta Joop Joop has long battled fin rot since I got him last year. Some of it is my fault for not being consistent enough with water changes, but he seems particularly prone to it. His caudal (?) fin has made tremendous progress recently but I noticed some pretty fast moving fin rot happening at the same time in his ventral (?) fin. It started as a pinprick, and the hole has just widened. Normally I wouldn't be too concerned, especially with how well his caudal fin is healing, but it's getting a little too close to his body for comfort.

I'll put the whole form below, but just as an overview: the nitrates are the only parameter I'm a bit concerned about, but am trying to not do water changes too frequently so I don't stress him out. I just added live plants as well which hopefully will help. My pH is a little higher than usually preferred but it's stable and he has adjusted well, so I don't want to chemically fiddle with that. I'm pretty sure he hasn't torn his fin on anything, as I worked very hard to prevent that.

I regularly use prime water conditioner and API stress coat. I have aquarium salt on hand, although I'm a bit confused on how to do that safely with bettas if needed. I also use IALs and there's some in the tank currently (although I am running low). Any thoughts on what could be going on here?

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Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 5.5 gallons
How long has the tank been running? About 11 months, with filter media older than that from his previous tank
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? stays around 77-80 degrees F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 male betta fish

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? No consistent schedule but I'm aiming for 1-2x a week
How much of the water do you change? 40% ish
What do you use to treat your water? Seachem prime and API stress coat
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Yes, almost always vacuum substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Not before but it's presumably cycled by now
What do you use to test the water? Freshwater master test kit from API
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: approx. 20-30ppm
pH: 7.8

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Once a day, and we skip saturday
How much do you feed your fish? a little more than the size of his eye (hard to say, pellets are small)
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Fluval bug bites and betta dial-a-treat (only for a treat)
Do you feed frozen? no
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? as a treat once in while (no more than 1x a week)

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 1.5 years
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Fin rot began last march, new problem of some healing and some getting worse in the last week or so
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Please see above
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Doing more frequent water changes, added an IAL, API stress coat
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? Not that I can remember
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? He has actually been more active now that I'm doing more water changes and have the light on regularly. just as colorful, the only change is the hole in his fin.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now) I think I described it enough above, but let me know if there is something specific you want to know
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I'm happy to add a photo if needed, although I think I would need to do that from mobile. I think there's a betta specific forum but I couldn't find that, so this seemed appropriate. Any input is welcome and I'll answer any more questions that might be useful!
 

Rose of Sharon

Hi,

Sorry that you betta is having some fin issues. If you can post a pic, please do so. It might be easier to give better advice if we can see your betta.

It sounds like you are doing everything right. Is it possible that the hole was actually caused by something in the tank?

You can try doing very small, frequent water chages that shouldn't cause him any stress - something like 20 to 30% every other day. You don't have to vacc when doing these small changes, just take old water out and put new water in.

Aquarium salt is ok to add to the tank. The back of the package will give you dosing instructions. I usually just take out some tank water, dissolve the salt in it, and put it back into the tank.

The thing about salt is that you don't want to use it for more than 2 weeks.

Also, when you are doing water changes, you will need to be mindful of the amounts of salt you are adding. The salt doesn't go away unless you take it out with a change, and if you lose track of how much water you are changing, you can accidentally put too much into the tank.

I have not had problems with my live plants when I added salt, but you may want to add a small amount at first to see how if affects them.

The Indian almond leaves are great, too.
 

FernAndJoop

It sounds like you are doing everything right.
That's strangely validating, thank you haha.

At the time the hole happened, I think there were only one or two possible things in the tank that could have caused a rip. I have silk plants, one of which I had to trim down do make short enough. There was also a sponge that I used to try and baffle the filter which was kind of spikey. I'm not using either in the tank anymore though, so at least I know that wouldn't happen again. Oh, and there's a pre filter sponge as well (which is also my oldest piece of filter media!).

I've been a bit nervous to try aquarium salt but I think I'll add some tomorrow, because the poor guy keeps raising my heartrate with his health! lol. Definitely need to order more leaves tonight too, they've been useful and I think I need to go all in on the tannins.

I added two pictures here--one shows him in better lighting, and in the other he's backlight so you can see the hole better. Pics are a few days old so the hole has grown a little since then but hopefully it gives you a good idea of what it looks like. We lost a lot of the dorsal fin in another fin rot incident, but it hasn't caused any problems since and I even saw some signs of it starting to heal last week!
 

Rose of Sharon

What a pretty little boy! I just love veiltales!!! (Even though they frequently have fin issues...)

They can make you worried, you are so right about that!

I think you are right to try the salt.

When you do get the leaves, try putting in enough to make the water fairly brown. I know that a lot of people don't like that, but for maximum healing benefits, it should be a medium brown, like tea.

After his fins start to get better, you can always use less and lighten the color with water changes.

For fin problems, I have always been able to rely on frequent water changes, aquarium salt, and IAL.

Wishing you and Joop Joop all the best!

:)
 

FernAndJoop

What a pretty little boy! I just love veiltales!!! (Even though they frequently have fin issues...)

They can make you worried, you are so right about that!

I think you are right to try the salt.

When you do get the leaves, try putting in enough to make the water fairly brown. I know that a lot of people don't like that, but for maximum healing benefits, it should be a medium brown, like tea.

After his fins start to get better, you can always use less and lighten the color with water changes.

For fin problems, I have always been able to rely on frequent water changes, aquarium salt, and IAL.

Wishing you and Joop Joop all the best!

:)
They are quite pretty! I love him lots :)

I've been using the occasional leaf but definitely not enough. I just ordered 20 lol so that should be good! (wanted my money's worth out of paying shipping bc I can never find in store but I refuse to pay more for shipping than the product). Thanks for all the help, and convincing me to finally try the salt!
 

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