Please help- fin rot or something else?

rswatts9

Hello! I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with Gemstone, my daughter's crowntail betta. We got him in September and he's been doing great overall! I didn't cycle the tank in the beginning but have been good about testing the water, vacuuming gravel, water changes, planting live plants and not over-feeding. He's in a heated, filtered 5-gallon tank. He has one tankmate, a nerite snail. A couple days ago, we noticed the area on the base of his dorsal fin is turning white. Also, his pectoral (side) fins look whiter. My first thought is fin rot, but from what I've read, it seems to affect the edges of fins and his look pretty good! I took some photos and zoomed in on his dorsal fin... it looks like the fin is missing in some areas! I've attached some photos. Any thoughts?

No chlorine in water, no nitrite, BUT the nitrate is high. Between 40-80 ppm when I tested yesterday. I've been doing water changes about every 3-4 days to help bring this down but no major change yet. I'm worried the high nitrate is affecting his fins? He's eating well (always seems hungry), swimming well, occasionally sits in the corner at bottom but he always responds quickly when he sees us. He likes to hide out inside a little tikki man ornament. There's also a coral-like cave that's a bit sharp... I'm wondering if he scratched his fin going in and out? Any advice/suggestions/ideas what this is? Thank you very much!

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Broggy

I can't see it too well because of the vibrant colors and decorations. you can put some aquarium salt in there. the package says 1 tbs per 5 gallons. in this case do per 2-3 gallons.
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betta06

it looks more like a tear to me... and usually effect the edges of fins first
I would double check all your decor to make sure nothing is to sharp. I would do 25% water changes every other day to prevent infection. as said above aquarium salt is AMAZING at curing fin rot but I personally from the pictures don't think that is the issue right now.
also he is super cute!
 
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rswatts9

Thank you! We think he's cute too! I will do 25% changes every other day and start using salt (I already ordered it- yay!). I read that I need to dissolve it first and then add. So, when changing the water, should I just add the salt to the new water? Any other advice? Thanks again
 
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betta06

yes
Thank you! We think he's cute too! I will do 25% changes every other day and start using salt (I already ordered it- yay!). I read that I need to dissolve it first and then add. So, when changing the water, should I just add the salt to the new water? Any other advice? Thanks again
yes I just dissolve the correct amount of salt in his normal water change bucket.
I would only do 1 tablespoon per 5 gallon some bettas are sensitive to salt plus if he does not even have fin rot it is not necessary. so for now I would just do one tablespoon for a 5 gallon.

and last if you have any invertebrates (nerate snails are fine with salt they actually need it to breed) or live plants make sure to take them out as salt will probable kill them.
 
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Katie Dawn

I don't see where you said what the ammonia level was in the water? Did you mean to say ammonia when you said chlorine?

I would do 25-50% water changes every one or two days until you can get the nitrates lower. It could be contributing.

And if you think he's getting caught on anything I would definitely pull it out, at least for now. Hopefully there's nothing sharp on the tikki man since he seems to prefer that one!
 
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rswatts9

I don't see where you said what the ammonia level was in the water? Did you mean to say ammonia when you said chlorine?

I would do 25-50% water changes every one or two days until you can get the nitrates lower. It could be contributing.

And if you think he's getting caught on anything I would definitely pull it out, at least for now. Hopefully there's nothing sharp on the tikki man since he seems to prefer that one!

Hi! Thanks for your response. The test strips I used only test Nitrite, Nitrate, Chlorine, water hardiness and pH. Everything looks in range except Nitrate which is high (~60-80ppm). I will definitely check the sharpness of the tikki man and take out the cave for a while. And water changes! Thank you!
yes

yes I just dissolve the correct amount of salt in his normal water change bucket.
I would only do 1 tablespoon per 5 gallon some bettas are sensitive to salt plus if he does not even have fin rot it is not necessary. so for now I would just do one tablespoon for a 5 gallon.

and last if you have any invertebrates (nerate snails are fine with salt they actually need it to breed) or live plants make sure to take them out as salt will probable kill them.

Thank you! Sorry for any silly questions...I'm new at this. When I do a 20% change it's about 1 gallon of water. Based on the package directions, I should dissolve 1/2 teaspoon per 1 US gallon. Does that sound about right? Thanks again!
 
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