Serious Betta finrot - I'm out of hope. Please help.

ItsgettingBettaMan

Hey Guys,
I'm honestly at my wits end in treating this fin rot, and I'm starting to lose all hope.

I first noticed the fin rot in the middle of October, as soon as I noticed it I began daily 20% water changes to ensure good water quality, although all parameters were normal. After 2 weeks of no improvement, I tried doing daily salt baths for a week. Again, this didn't help.

The next thing I tried was keeping him in a hospital tank (Pictured above) with aquarium salt for 10 days with daily water changes (adding the appropriate amount of salt back in every time). This failed to work.

Then I decided it was time for medication. I tried this product (Blue Planet Tri Sulfa 100 Tablets). Which is an antibiotic available here in Australia. I treated him using a mix of this and also a multi cure that includes anti-fungals (Blue Planet Multi Cure 500ml).
I used this mix for 2 weeks, again with daily water changes and treatment top-ups. He just continued to get worse.

The last thing I tried is using a different antibiotic/anti-fungal combination (Aquasonic Bactonex 250ml Bacterial Treatment - Australian Made), which was advised by my LFS. Unfortunately whilst using this he just got worse, quicker.

I'm currently trying direct application of Betadine to his fins as recommended by my LFS as a last-ditch effort to save him.
I'm sorry for the lengthy post, but I'm honestly so distraught over this and I just don't know what to do to save him.
Any advice would be appreciated.

P.s. The hospital tank is 5 gallon and kept at a constant 26 degrees celsius. It has a filter attached and silk plants with a coconut hide.

Pictures attached show current condition as well as previous conditions.
 

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bettasXD

Please fill up the emergency template. Also, I feel like there is too little hiding spots in that hospital tank. Maybe add some more fake plants?

One last thing, here is what the fishlore website says to do to treat fin rot:

Maintaining proper care is vital for a healthy aquarium. Weekly water changes, monitoring the water chemistry with a Master Test Kit (nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, pH) as well as checking for decaying plants, food etc should be done at least once a week. When introducing new fish, be sure to observe that they are settling in nicely and that there is no aggression. Quarantining new fish is recommended for easier observation for disease. Treatment has to be applied before the disease reaches the fish's body as this will lead to death.

When fin rot is detected check that your water conditions are in order. A 50% water change should be made and the rest of the fish should be checked for any signs of the disease. The affected fish should be removed and put into another tank and treated separately. Most medications recommend not doing water changes during treatment so a 50% water change before starting is advised. The temperature should be raised to 80-82'F (26-27'C) and the water kept extra clean. After the treatment another 50% water change must be made to help clear the medicine and thereafter 10-15% every other day for a week while monitoring the fish. According to our knowledge the use of the following medicines will help cure the disease. Maracyn, Waterlife-Myxazin, MelaFix, and for betta's Bettafix. Alternatively the use of Methylene Blue too can be used. 1 Drop per 2 gallons of aquarium water is our choice. While treating with Methylene Blue, a 50% water change every other day for a week is recommended, the main reason being, as mentioned before, clean water is essential and helps with the healing. When using Methylene Blue be sure not spill any as it stains.
 

ItsgettingBettaMan

Ah, thank you bettasXD.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank - Old tank and hospital tank both 5 gallon.
How long has the tank been running? - Old tank was running for 4 months before adding my betta, he was in there for 4 months.
Does it have a filter? Yes, a sponge filter
Does it have a heater? Yes, kept at 26 degrees Celsius
What is the entire stocking of this tank? Just the betta and 40 cherry shrimp.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? - Weekly 50% changes
What do you use to treat your water? - Seachem prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Just water - It is a planted tank.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes, completely cycled.
What do you use to test the water? API masterkit.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day; 4 pellets in the morning, 8 at night.
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Hikari Bio-gold.
Do you feed frozen? Once a week - Frozen bloodworms

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 7 months now.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 3 months ago
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Described above
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? His behavior is completely unchanged.
 

bettasXD

Ah, thank you bettasXD.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank - Old tank and hospital tank both 5 gallon.
How long has the tank been running? - Old tank was running for 4 months before adding my betta, he was in there for 4 months.
Does it have a filter? Yes, a sponge filter
Does it have a heater? Yes, kept at 26 degrees Celsius
What is the entire stocking of this tank? Just the betta and 40 cherry shrimp.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? - Weekly 50% changes
What do you use to treat your water? - Seachem prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Just water - It is a planted tank.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes, completely cycled.
What do you use to test the water? API masterkit.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day; 4 pellets in the morning, 8 at night.
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Hikari Bio-gold.
Do you feed frozen? Once a week - Frozen bloodworms

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 7 months now.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 3 months ago
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Described above
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? His behavior is completely unchanged.
I heard that bettafix works but you should underdose it as it has oil(can’t remember what kind) that is bad for the betta’s labyrinth organ. Also, think that you are feeding too much. 12 a day seems a little too much. I suggest 3 in the morning and 4 at night. Around 6-8 pellets a day should be fine. Can’t find anything else that seems wrong. Can’t provide much more help. Maybe someone with more experience can help you. Good luck!
 

ItsgettingBettaMan

I heard that bettafix works but you should underdose it as it has oil(can’t remember what kind) that is bad for the betta’s labyrinth organ. Also, think that you are feeding too much. 12 a day seems a little too much. I suggest 3 in the morning and 4 at night. Around 6-8 pellets a day should be fine. Can’t find anything else that seems wrong. Can’t provide much more help. Maybe someone with more experience can help you. Good luck!
Thanks for the reply. I'll have a look into bettafix, but everything I have read has told me to stear away from that and Melafix as the teatree oil is bad for the bettas?

I'll start to taper of his feeding then!

If I dont get many replies, I'll probably end up moving him out of the hospital tank into his old home, and just provide more hides. If he's just getting worse in the hospital tank Id rather he be comfortable before the end.
 

bettasXD

Thanks for the reply. I'll have a look into bettafix, but everything I have read has told me to stear away from that and Melafix as the teatree oil is bad for the bettas?

I'll start to taper of his feeding then!

If I dont get many replies, I'll probably end up moving him out of the hospital tank into his old home, and just provide more hides. If he's just getting worse in the hospital tank Id rather he be comfortable before the end.
Yeah it’s not good but when you minimise the dose it actually works well. If you don’t get many replies, maybe search up betta fin rot in fishlore to look at how others cured fin rot. One more thing, if the rot reaches the body, then I would recommend you to euthanise him. Body rot is fatal if I’m not wrong.
 

Rose of Sharon

Hi,

Looks like the majority of the problem (from what I can see) is his caudal fin, which makes me think that he is fin nipping. Have you noticed him swimming in tight circles? Or anything that looks like he was trying to bite his tail? It could have started out as fin nipping, and ended up getting infected. Usually the fish does this out of frustration. Is he seeing his own reflection in the glass? Is he glass surfing? It's hard to figure out what triggers the behavior sometimes. Sometimes they stop on their own.

Sounds like your husbandry is good. That's why I think that he is nipping his own fins.

The Betadine might actually work. Also, I am attaching a link to a thread about using hydrogen peroxide. I have also used methylene blue, and that has worked for me.

Keeping his lights off for a good 14 hours or more per day/night, and keeping the lights dimmed is something that you could do to help with stress. I also recommend adding some Indian almond leaves to the tank, if you don't have any botanicals already in the tank. The tannins that they leach will help with healing. Some people don't like them because they tint the water brown, but they are good for bettas. If he is fin nipping, this may help.

I don't use any of the "fix" products, and I never recommend them. I find that they never really worked for me, and the tea tree oil in them can disrupt their breathing processes.

Here is the peroxide link:

Thread 'Peroxide How To'

I hope this helps!
 

ItsgettingBettaMan

Hi,

Looks like the majority of the problem (from what I can see) is his caudal fin, which makes me think that he is fin nipping. Have you noticed him swimming in tight circles? Or anything that looks like he was trying to bite his tail? It could have started out as fin nipping, and ended up getting infected. Usually the fish does this out of frustration. Is he seeing his own reflection in the glass? Is he glass surfing? It's hard to figure out what triggers the behavior sometimes. Sometimes they stop on their own.

Sounds like your husbandry is good. That's why I think that he is nipping his own fins.

The Betadine might actually work. Also, I am attaching a link to a thread about using hydrogen peroxide. I have also used methylene blue, and that has worked for me.

Keeping his lights off for a good 14 hours or more per day/night, and keeping the lights dimmed is something that you could do to help with stress. I also recommend adding some Indian almond leaves to the tank, if you don't have any botanicals already in the tank. The tannins that they leach will help with healing. Some people don't like them because they tint the water brown, but they are good for bettas. If he is fin nipping, this may help.

I don't use any of the "fix" products, and I never recommend them. I find that they never really worked for me, and the tea tree oil in them can disrupt their breathing processes.

Here is the peroxide link:

Thread 'Peroxide How To'

I hope this helps!
Thanks for your response.

Yeah I agree with you that it definitely started as fin nipping. I noticed that when he was in his normal tank he would try and chase the cherry shrimp, and then nip his fins when he got frustrated that he couldn't catch them, there was also black backing on his tank that made a permanent mirror which he would flare at a lot. It would also explain why none of the above treatments I've used has worked. The only thing is; since he's been in his hospital tank none of these stressors are present, and he's still getting worse? It definitely started on the Caudal fin, but now his analfin is utterly destroyed compared to what it used to be like.

I'll check out the hydrogen peroxide, thank you. The antifungal treatment I used has Malachite green in it, and the Bactonex I used most recently had Methylene blue, both didn't work :(.

His light cycle is: On for 8 hours, off for 16 hours.

I do have almond leaves, they were present in his tank when this all started; so I removed them. Do you think it's worth adding them to his hospital tank?

Honestly; my last resort was going to be adding him back into his normal tank, but remove all the cherry shrimp, get ride of the black backing causing a reflection, add the coconut hide and leaf hammock (he didn't have any hides in his tank when this all started) and maybe add some stresscoat to the tank. Do you think I should keep up the medication and hospital tank? Or go with this plan of moving him back? (Seeing as he's just getting worse and worse).
 

bcfishtanks

I was also thinking fin-nipping (it's why my betta would get fin rot). Tannins are a betta's best friend. My betta ended up needing a full blackwater set up - low light, low stress, tannins, lots of driftwood and botanicals, little access to his reflection. Bettas can stress so easily. I've noticed this more in recent years and strongly believe a lot of it has to do with bad breeding.

If it started with fin-nipping, the goal is to find the root cause of it. The tannins are good because they both lower stress for the fish and help it heal, since they offer anti-fungal properties. I also used salt baths to curb the fin rot quickly so it was one less thing for my fish to worry about while he was trying to heal. I'd read up on salt baths for fin rot from various sources to make sure you do it right and know what to do if, say, the fish passes out (which is normal, but still needs to be handled appropriately to keep the fish safe). Once or twice a day for 3-5 days helps a lot. Then, of course, what others said about increasing hiding/resting spots.
 

ItsgettingBettaMan

I was also thinking fin-nipping (it's why my betta would get fin rot). Tannins are a betta's best friend. My betta ended up needing a full blackwater set up - low light, low stress, tannins, lots of driftwood and botanicals, little access to his reflection. Bettas can stress so easily. I've noticed this more in recent years and strongly believe a lot of it has to do with bad breeding.

If it started with fin-nipping, the goal is to find the root cause of it. The tannins are good because they both lower stress for the fish and help it heal, since they offer anti-fungal properties. I also used salt baths to curb the fin rot quickly so it was one less thing for my fish to worry about while he was trying to heal. I'd read up on salt baths for fin rot from various sources to make sure you do it right and know what to do if, say, the fish passes out (which is normal, but still needs to be handled appropriately to keep the fish safe). Once or twice a day for 3-5 days helps a lot. Then, of course, what others said about increasing hiding/resting spots.
Hi, thanks for responding.

These are great suggestions. Would you suggest I stop the betadine treatment and maybe go for more of a blackwater set up in the hospital tank? or move him back to his normal tank?

I have a lot of almond leaves so I can add as many as needed (any suggestions?). When I did salt baths I used API aquarium salt, and used 1tbsp per gallon and kept him in the mixture for 5 minutes, I did this once a day. Do you have any recommendations for methods here? I also did try keeping him in a lower concentration salt water hospital tank for a week, which did not work.
 

ItsgettingBettaMan

Just bumping post up
 

Rose of Sharon

If it were me, I would just keep him in the 5 gallon hospital, and make that his full time tank unless you would rather put the shrimp in the 5 gallon, and redo his main tank like you wrote about doing (removing the back, adding the betta hammock, etc.). The shrimp apparently drove him to fin nip, so that along with maybe seeing his reflection are probably the stressors.

I would fill the 5 gallon with live plants and lots of Indian almond leaves to darken the water. Try to cover along the back with plants, and like bcsay720 suggested, add driftwood and your hides and any type of plants that you can.

Are you painting the Betadine onto his fins? If so, I think that I would keep doing that, or try painting the hydrogen peroxide on his fins. I used a q-tip to do this, but had to be extremely careful not to get any in my betta's eyes or too close to his gills. It was stressful, but I used a very wet, clean towel, put him on that, and covered his face with a very damp paper towel. I then liberally coated his fins with hydrogen peroxide, and then got him back into his tank as soon as possible. The danger in doing this is that you can hurt the fish by holding him down too hard, or trying to keep him still. It's very tricky. Or, if it is easier for you, you can net him, hold him very carefully so he doesn't squirm too much, and paint his fins in the net. The problem with this is that I have never found a net that was gentle enough to not cause damage to the betta's fins. I am sure that this is stressful for the little guy, but in the long run, it will help kill the bacteria.

I would continue to use the API aquarium salt in the tank for a little while to help along with the Betadine or hydrogen peroxide.

If you want to try using pure methylene blue, then you can get just that, and do some fish dips. The blue will eventually stain the ends of the fins that are damaged, and help oxygen get to the damaged parts and promote healing. But I wouldn't do Betadine, hydrogen peroxide, and methylene blue dips all at the same time, of course.

I am attaching pics of my betta tank in which you will see how dark I keep the water. I actually do get it darker than it is in the pic, and the light is usually dim. I had to brighten it up to get the pic. This was actually after a water change. I take the leaves, and I actually put them along the sides of the inside of the tank to keep him from seeing his reflection. This betta has been the worst that I have owned as far as stressing over his reflection. I have had to get really creative with him!

I do hope this helps!!!
 

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bcfishtanks

I'm attaching a photo of my betta tank, too. It's actually a little light for my betta's liking right now, so I've got to replenish the botanicals soon.
 

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ItsgettingBettaMan

Unfortunately, this morning I found Lando sunk to the bottom of his hospital tank. He must have been there all night. He is completely unable to swim. Is it more humane to put him down at this point? I feel like such a failure.

landosink.jpg

********************************************************************************************************

Hi guys, thank you for all of your responses.

This morning I unfortunately had to make the call and put Lando down using clove oil. He had been suffering and fighting this problem for the last 3 months, and this morning he just couldn't even move. I feel like such a failure, and think I will take a break from keeping Betta's for a while.

After he had passed I noticed quite a lot of small patches of white fluff on his body and fins; which I couldn't notice while he was moving. So safe to say, I think it was a fungal infection at the end that was eating his fins.

Thank you for all your help.

SIP Lando.
 

Rose of Sharon

I am so very sorry for your loss!!! SIP, Lando!

And please don't feel bad about it. These poor babies are so over bred now, and because of that, they are genetically weak. And there's no way to tell how strong the immune system is when you buy them as a baby or juvenile.

You really did all that you could! :emoji_cry:
 

ItsgettingBettaMan

I am so very sorry for your loss!!! SIP, Lando!

And please don't feel bad about it. These poor babies are so over bred now, and because of that, they are genetically weak. And there's no way to tell how strong the immune system is when you buy them as a baby or juvenile.

You really did all that you could! :emoji_cry:
Thanks for your kind words. He definitely taught me some lessons, he was my first ever fish.
 

bettasXD

Don’t be sad. It’s not your fault. You already did your best. Like Rose of Sharon said, there is a high demand for bettas and unless you buy from reputable breeder, most of the bettas are mass breed like puppies in a puppy mill. Hence, their immunity is often weak.
 

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