Newbie With 1st Betta--fin Rot & Tank Questions

alieser
  • #1
HI everyone. My daughter purchased her first male Betta about 7 weeks ago. He's in a 5 gallon tank with a heater & filter. He's got fin rot... maybe even fin melt... AGAIN. I'm at a loss of what's going on in the aquarium & hope some of you could help. Here's the history:

We did not cycle the tank before adding him. I'm new to this & didn't know & still don't totally understand about cycling. I noticed fin rot shortly after we got him & after reading various threads here we bought API test kit & I was doing about 50% wc with gravel vacuuming every day using stress coat. He appeared to be getting better bc I saw some new growth on his tail. Usually parameters were 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates & 0 nitrites when checked. He gets 2-3 pellets two times a day & a couple blood worms a couple times a week. He eats well. He's decently active, but activity level does seem to have gone down since we got him. He also never seems to flare.

Then we had to travel for 12 days & he was set up with an automatic feeder. When we came home he'd lost a lot of color & appeared lethargic. I didn't check water parameters, but did an immediate 50% water change w/ vacuuming & continued to do so for a few days. He perked up & appeared to be regaining color so I slowed on water changes. I did 20% wc for a few days & then wanted to try waiting 3 days between water changes. On day 3 (today) I noticed his tail appears stuck together, tattered & black at end AGAIN. I checked water & here's what I found:

0.25 ammonia
0 nitrites
0 nitrates

PH is usually btwn 7.4-7.6
76-78 degrees

I immediately did a 50% water change & gravel vac with stress coat. My questions are the following:

1--What's the best route to treat his fin rot?

2--What's going on with our tank? Why do we never have nitrates? Is it because I'm inhibiting the tank's cycle with such aggressive water changes? Feels like I've been changing almost daily for weeks (minus when we were out of town) b/c of fin rot. Any advice?

I'm attaching pics from early on & now. Poor guy's color & tail have really changed.
Tickle 03.16.18.jpg
Tickle 03.16.18_2.jpg These 2 are from today. His tail appears stuck like this.

The following 2 are from the first week we had him.

IMG_6960.jpg
IMG_6552.jpg

I really want to help the little guy & get the aquarium stabilized. Thanks!
 
ladylouroll
  • #2
so have you used any meds to date? as they can affect parameters. this is why most tend to prefer to cycle without fish (but many of us have been in the predicament that we didnt no/misinformed etc) as the ammonia that you need to be produced will harm the fish then when it changes to nitrite also toxic to fish but that has to happen so it can end up changing to nitrates, a lot less toxic as long as kept at lower levels. Just keep up the water changes, clean water is often the best course of action you will get there (not sure what happened to my first message tried to edit it and it went haha)
 
varmint
  • #3
The best coarse of action for fin rot is water changes. In your case your tank is not cycled causing further problems. You can speed up the cycling process by dosing Stability. I would also suggest increasing the temp by a couple of degrees.
 
alieser
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks. Yes, I realized the danger of the plastic plant when we started with the first fin rot issue & took it out. There's only a silk one now.
 
ladylouroll
  • #5
Thanks. Yes, I realized the danger of the plastic plant when we started with the first fin rot issue & took it out. There's only a silk one now.
ah that's good to hear! Its all a learning curve. Hopefully **** be back to his fabulous self soon!
 
tropez
  • #6
You're in a pickle. Your tank is cycling, so frequent water changes will slow that down as the bacteria is still trying to build up. Using a Prime/Stability combo may be your best bet, limiting water changes. ParaGuard can be used to get the fin rot gone but it won't help the fish heal.

Some of my notes with links regarding Stability and Prime:
  • Stability
    • “Hold off on water changes during the Stability treatment, but after that initial week, you can begin doing routine weekly water changes of about 10-15%.” link
    • “The cloudiness that you are experiencing is due to the bacteria growing to consume the waste.” link
    • “If you have dosed Stability as recommended, after the 7 days you will have added enough bacteria to sustain your volume sized system and will not need to add any more Stability.” link
    • “You should only need to add the Stability for the 7 days as recommended. By that time, there should be enough bacteria on your biological filter to reproduce on their own and continue to remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates without having to add more Stability.” link
    • “During the first 7 days you should be dosing Stability daily, without any water changes, as you want the bacteria to establish itself in the biological media without disturbing it too much.” link
    • “After you have fully cycled your aquarium, you can add fish at anytime, just make sure that you add Stability on the same day. Anytime you add new fish, do a large water change, or medicate the tank, you need to boost your biological filter with Stability.” link
    • “The bacteria used in competing products are inherently unstable. The conditions necessary for their growth and development fall into a very narrow range of temperatures, pH, organic loads, etc. When any of these parameters are not strictly within the proper range, the bacterial culture quickly crashes and dies. Stability does not contain any of the aforementioned bacteria.” link
  • Prime
    • “You will want to add Prime every other day until the cycle is complete, as this will keep your fish safe and will allow the bacteria to consume the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates more easily. If you are noticing that the ammonia or nitrite is rising in a 24 hours period, Prime is safe to use every 24 hours.” link
    • “Keep in mind that sometimes, you may not even see the nitrite portion of the cycle and it goes straight from ammonia to having nitrates. This is perfectly fine.” link
    • “Typically, I do a dose per ppm of ammonia or nitrite. So in your case of 1ppm of ammonia and 1ppm of nitrite, I would do a double dose of Prime.” link
    • “Free ammonia will kill beneficial bacteria” link
 
sassymomma
  • #7
Given the situation in his tank, and the need to cycle him quickly.....and the condition of his tail, which is aggrivated by the cycle process.....Do you have a container that you can float inside of his tank? This will allow you to take BOTH sets of advice.


You can float your boy in the container, changing his water dialy for fresh, treated water. AND you can cycle the tank as advised, while still keeping him nice and warm. If he hops out of the container, he'll just be back in his tank, safe and sound. You can add a couple of drops of betta revive for the fin rot or not; I personally find that it helps speed healing for this type of rot but it's not so bad right now that you are required to use meds and would most likely heal fine without them.
 
alieser
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
so have you used any meds to date? as they can affect parameters. this is why most tend to prefer to cycle without fish (but many of us have been in the predicament that we didnt no/misinformed etc) as the ammonia that you need to be produced will harm the fish then when it changes to nitrite also toxic to fish but that has to happen so it can end up changing to nitrates, a lot less toxic as long as kept at lower levels. Just keep up the water changes, clean water is often the best course of action you will get there (not sure what happened to my first message tried to edit it and it went haha)
No meds. Just been trying the frequent water changes as I read suggested on other threads. Yes, it seems I'm in a predicament of needing frequent water changes bc of fin rot, but also needing to let the cycle happen.
 
Goldfire
  • #9
I'm having the same troubles with my Betta. I have been using the attached supplement, and use the water conditioner every time I do a water change. Do I continue feeding my Betta as normal? He has been floating on his side at the bottom of the tank and fin rot is setting in.
 

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Nikki2577
  • #10
That wasn’t nice! The op is trying to do things the right way and protect her Betta at the same time! alieser just listen to the advice of the people that are giving positive advice. We all make mistakes and I am sure they will always continue but you are doing the right thing by coming to this forum if your fish is acting or looking different than you are used to. Great job for all the effort you are putting into it
 
sassymomma
  • #11
The fish DOES have mild fin rot, and the owner is quite correct to ask for help. If left alone, the MILD fin rot would get worse, and the fish would lose it's fins.

There are plenty of people here offering helpful advice, and useful information.

alieser how is your boy doing today? any improvement?
 
alieser
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
The fish DOES have mild fin rot, and the owner is quite correct to ask for help. If left alone, the MILD fin rot would get worse, and the fish would lose it's fins.

There are plenty of people here offering helpful advice, and useful information.

alieser how is your boy doing today? any improvement?
Thanks for asking. I tested water this morning and no 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite & 0 nitrates. I did a 20% wc. I purchased STABILITY & PRIME today. He looks about the same. I'm still worried about how his tail appears stuck together. Has anyone ever experienced this with a beta?
 
Nikki2577
  • #13
My Betta is an older man and he is a king Betta. When I first got him from my LFS (as he was given to the shop because he was mean to the little guppies the previous owners had in with him) he had fin rot and his fins were doing the same as your Betta. I just kept his water clean and it cleared up. I think with the tank having the stability and the prime added it will get everything going in the right direction. You are doing a great job just keep us updated on your little fishy friend

Goldfire can he get to the top of the tank for air? If not I would maybe lower the water as they are labyrinth fish. What are your parameters and how much do you feed him? Is he bloated? Do you have a filter and heater?

Oh and I am by far no Betta expert, so if I am wrong on anything I am sure someone will give more questions and advice. Just trying to help until the very knowledgeable people help. They are really great for supporting people in need of help
 
sassymomma
  • #14
The blue in my profile had the sticky fins thing when his tank was cycling. It was also a case of mild fin rot- same as yours. It looked like his fins were "melting" almost plastic along the edges, like yours. the betta revive dips for an hour a day really helped, along with daily small water changes. I always do my dips in a container floating insde the tank, because my betta fish have a tendency to hop out and I know that they will land safely in their own tanks if I'm already floating them inside the tank lol.

Mr bubbles was notorious for deciding "Ok I'm done now, bye!" and hopping out of his bath LOL

Betta revive is a great bath for mild stuff, and I use Fungas cure or Kanaplex if it gets worse. Here's an example of Mr bubbles in a more advanced case, where I turned to Fungas cure: This hit fast, and was a result of a combination of factors: He was getting older, he'd been suffering recurrent fin rot for nearly a year, the tank that he'd been in had split on the bottom pane, and I'd been forced to fish-in cycle to get him into a new tank fast. He did recover, and fairly quickly. The fin could be seen to close it's ribbons within a few days, and he was swimming well in about a week.

for a new betta that I have, who just has a split in his tail, and no sign of infection, I'm using a bit of aquarium salt and frequent water changes. He's already showing the clear addition of tail regrowth and I've only had him 3 days
 
Michael.j.gomez
  • #15
Hello, I think I noticed a intank power filter. My male would stick himself repeatedly to intake at bottom then pull free. This caused damage & fin rot. I cut a sponge to cover intake slots. This worked for me + it muffles water output of filter. Hope this helps!
 
alieser
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Given the situation in his tank, and the need to cycle him quickly.....and the condition of his tail, which is aggrivated by the cycle process.....Do you have a container that you can float inside of his tank? This will allow you to take BOTH sets of advice.


You can float your boy in the container, changing his water dialy for fresh, treated water. AND you can cycle the tank as advised, while still keeping him nice and warm. If he hops out of the container, he'll just be back in his tank, safe and sound. You can add a couple of drops of betta revive for the fin rot or not; I personally find that it helps speed healing for this type of rot but it's not so bad right now that you are required to use meds and would most likely heal fine without them.

Thanks for all your advice & support! I do have a few questions:

What kind of container would work to float in the tank? It's only a 5 gallon tank.

When you say I could change his water in the container daily for fresh water, is that a 100% w/c?

You mentioned doing a 1 hr bath of betta revive... would it be ok to use betta revive in the container he's in full time?

Assuming all this is just until I can get his tank cycled...
 
sassymomma
  • #17
you know the containers that you buy to take your lunch in? Like a 2 cup rubbermaid? That's perfect. Or even the cup he came in. You could change half, or all of the water daily, as long as it's treated- the key is to make sure his water's clean.

If you're going to put him into a container while his tank cycles, and use the betta revive, I'd go with a normal dose instead of a bath- bath is double-dose for a short time. betta revive is only active in the water for 24 hours, so you can't overdose by not emptying all of the water out.

So, what you would do is put him in his container of clean water, and each day you add 1drop Betta revive , and fresh water. Just empty the water from his cup directly into his tank- the waste that he leaves in his cup will only help the cycle

You would continue this until his fins heal, and then keep the container, so that you can do it again if his fins ever need treatment again. It's easier, and cheaper to treat a smaller container with betta-specific meds than a larger tank...because the makers of betta meds think they belong in bowls, and dose per cup of water, not gallon. Betta revive is basically Methelyn blue, a mild antibiotic, and a mild antifungal. If you ever want to treat fin rot straight in the tank, Fungas cure or plain aquarium salt do the trick nicely.

Oh, and some bloodworms will help provide him with strength and protein to rebuild his fins
 
Nikki2577
  • #18
Alieser how is he doing?
 
alieser
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Thanks for checking in. I bought a container & now have the prime & stability to get started. I don't have the betta revive yet b/c I have to order it. Water last night was still 0 ammonia, o nitrites & 0 nitrates. He's still eating (enjoyed 2 bloodworms) just fine.

But today I just saw he has a hole in his tail & near the hole is a white little egg looking thing. I don't see any white spots on his body... just the one by the new hole in his tail....and maybe 1 or 2 other little white looking growths at other spots on the tail (hard to tell b/c they're small & he moves too much). What could this be? I'm thinking it might be time to use some meds, but at a loss for what to do. Could anyone help?
 
sassymomma
  • #20
Pinholes are normal during cycle and will heal with your current plan- it’s just another mild form of fin damage. Sounds like he’s doing well with the care you’re giving him. The blood worms will keep his strength up. The parameters look good, so you can keep him in the tank for now- he’ll prefer that to the container
 
blueangelfish
  • #21
I used this website and it help fix aaron, my friends betta.
Fin Rot 101
 
sassymomma
  • #22
That’s actually a really good resource that I use myself. I keep the site bookmarked for quick reference
 
Nikki2577
  • #23
Your doing great keep up the good work how is he doing now?
 
alieser
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Your doing great keep up the good work how is he doing now?

Thanks for asking. I've got him separated in a QT right now & I've been dosing with salt & kanaplex b/c the fin rot began progressing rapidly. He's on his last dose of 3 of kanaplex & at least I haven't seen any progression of the rot. I think I might see some new growth where there was a split in his tail. In the meantime, i'm working to cycle his tank while he's in QT. I'm getting some nitrates for the first time a few days ago. Waiting for ammonia to get back to 0.

Question: Do I need to clean the tank because of the fin rot?

Thanks for your help!
 
sassymomma
  • #25
fin rot is not a desease, but a symptom of an issue(water quality, bacteria, injury, etc)...so you would clean the tank as normal, to keep your parameters good, and water clean. When he finishes the Kanaplex, clean the water, and start up the frequent water changes again. Small ones- about 5-10% every couple of days- won't hurt your cycle but will add fresh, clean water into his system and help ward off on-going problems. You could add a small amount of Aquarium salt, to help with his fin regrowth, if you like, but it's not necessary.

The salt, in small amounts acts like a cleanser, making sure that the delicate fins don't get infected again. In higher doses, like you use for a salt bath, it works to heal by killing off fungas, and some bacterias. But can be stressful to the fish and should be watched closely. You use Aquarium salt for fin rot, and plain, natural Epson salt (baths)for constipation and bloating.
 
Nikki2577
  • #26
Can you show us how he is progressing, I am glad to hear his fins are not getting any worse he will heal up just fine but make sure to keep your water nice and clean and keep an eye on your parameters. When I got my guy he started to heal quickly you will notice the new growth is like a white color then it colored up to red like the rest of his fins and he looks great. Your little man will be good as new
 

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