Shredded Betta Fins

DirtyEw0k
  • #1
Okay, I’m not sure what happened. This is my husbands fish and I went to go look at him today and his beautiful fins have been completely shredded. His fish is active and happy looking other than the fins.not clamped and no signs of lethargy or pine conning. He's missing half of his upper fin

He does weekly water changes of about 20% and I know his water is kept great. He has watched me this past year before finally asking me to help him set up his first betta tank. It was already established. I gave him a tank I had just moved healthy fish out of to my main community. I have him write everything down that he does so I can help him with his tank since this is his first fish. His water test says for his last water change on April 4th (its now the 9th)

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrates 5

He adds 1mL prime with every water change to the 10 gallon tank.
.85ml flourish
And .60mL nitrogen twice a week due to the lack of nitrates in the tank and lots of plants

He has all live plants. No plastic

Java fern (on rocks)
Staurogune planted with 2 root tabs in fertilizer
Anubias tied to a decoration
Lots of frogbit
Catappa leaves

Water is kept at 79F with a finnex light and a aquaclear 20 filter kept on a low flow with bio media nd sponge and it holds crushed coral which tests at 4. (our kh and gh are almost non existent in tap water. I learned that the hard way long before setting up this tank. I have a 36G community of my own) He also has a 20 gallon sponge filter with gang valve on the other end so there's definitely no lack of water movement. His betta actually enjoys current. Weirdo. Lol I do keep the current turned down tho since I know bettas are not strong swimmers.

There are 3 nerite snails and he really wanted 2 Amano shrimp since I have some in mine. I did warn him they might be fish food but his betta is very mellow. I’ve never seen them since they were added 2 weeks ago. I’m not sure if they are dead or hiding but it has never effected his water. Mine are expert hiders and there are lots of hiding places in his 10 gallon.

He feeds him flake food and frozen brine shrimp.

I’m going to have him do a big water change when he gets home just to be sure and i’ll do a water test now. What else can I do for him to ensure his betta is taken care of? I am really worried about those fins.


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I hope these photos turn out. They always look better on my tablet than on the site
 
LilBlub
  • #2
I’ve actually had a similar thing happen with one of my bettas! He ripped off nearly his entire top fin. Usually when that happens suddenly it isn’t a result of fin rot or nipping, it’s just that he got stuck on a decoration and ripped a piece of fin off. Really the only thing to do is keep the water clean and let him heal on his own. Frequent water changes and making sure the parameters are good is all that’s necessary in most of these cases. If you want to medicate I wouldn’t recommend anything other than Stresscoat. It’s not a “medication”, technically, but it has been shown to help fish regrow tissue.
 
DirtyEw0k
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
what is stresscoat? it looks like a water conditioner. i've never used it. I always just stick with Prime
 
LilBlub
  • #4
Stresscoat is actually a water conditioner, but when you double the dose it can be used to restore a fish’s natural slime coat, reduce stress, and help heal injuries. I used it when my oranda goldfish got badly injured and he’s recovering much faster then I thought he would! I’ve never used it with my bettas, I just kept the water clean and he healed on his own.
 
Kelseystank
  • #5
I have a 10 gallon biorb by oasis for my betta, he’s a platinum white male (think he’s half moon?)
My water peramiters are pristine according to Petsmart’s water testing (I’ve inserted a photo of how the parameters read), I do biweekly water changes, I got it tested before my water change this week. Every other water change I add some more salt to the water to help the fins heal and every water change I add 2-3ml melafix because it is also suppose to help. I inserted a photo of all the things I use for my water care as well as some photos of the tank. I use live plants so the plastic can’t cut him. I don’t understand how his fins are still taring nor why they won’t grow back since the water is perfect and he’s receiving medication.
(the photos make the tank look small and crowded cause he’s at the front of the glass ((the bend makes him look bigger)) he actually has lots of space and really enjoys Swimming between/under the leaves)
Any ideas/suggestions about the fins?
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BettasAreSuperior
  • #6
Can you fill out this------- emergency template. Also, discontinue using melafix. It will harm the bettas internal organs. Also, are there any tankmates?
 
jkkgron2
  • #7
Agree with above. I would do 50% water changes twice a week (if your not already) to promote healing and add in some Indian almond leaves. Is there anything sharp in the tank? Is it possible his fins are getting torn by the Filter?
 
BettasAreSuperior
  • #8
Agree with above. I would do 50% water changes twice a week (if your not already) to promote healing and add in some Indian almond leaves. Is there anything sharp in the tank? Is it possible his fins are getting torn by the Filter?
I also agree. Those might be possibly causes. Make sure to have a prefilter sponge!
 
Kelseystank
  • #9
I also agree. Those might be possibly causes. Make sure to have a prefilter sponge!
It’s an under gravel filter so there’s low current and nothing for him to get sucked into. The only plastic in the tank is his betta hammock (the leaf with a suction cup on it) but I’ve watched him swim onto/off of it a bunch of time and I don’t see how that could be ripping the ends of his fins.
I read that excessive water changes are stressful for them making them more susceptible to illness. If my water quality is what it should be, (it’s very low bioload, one betta in a 10 gallon) wouldn’t more water changes be a bad idea?
I’ll definitely take him off the melafix*

Agree with above. I would do 50% water changes twice a week (if your not already) to promote healing and add in some Indian almond leaves. Is there anything sharp in the tank? Is it possible his fins are getting torn by the Filter?
I’ll look into the almond leaves for sure, but if my water quality is what it should be would the excessive water changes not just stress him out more making him more prone to illness by thinning his slime coat?
 
BigManAquatics
  • #10
One thing people often forget, no ammonia doesn't mean no dirt and also doesn't mean no harmful bacteria. Water changes can help keep that kind of stuff in check as well.
 
BettasAreSuperior
  • #11
It’s an under gravel filter so there’s low current and nothing for him to get sucked into. The only plastic in the tank is his betta hammock (the leaf with a suction cup on it) but I’ve watched him swim onto/off of it a bunch of time and I don’t see how that could be ripping the ends of his fins.
I read that excessive water changes are stressful for them making them more susceptible to illness. If my water quality is what it should be, (it’s very low bioload, one betta in a 10 gallon) wouldn’t more water changes be a bad idea?
I’ll definitely take him off the melafix*
How often do you change his water? If your water change schedule is fine then you don't need to but I agree with betta's anonymous. Also can you fill out this----- emergency template

Also, add a little stability and stress coat by seachem and api every day. You listed a picture in your original post that shows them and they are benifical to bettas.
 
UnknownUser
  • #12
Stability only adds bacteria, are you cycled? If the tank is cycled (appears to be with those readings), then stability won’t do anything. You can overdose stresscoat, so make sure to dose only according to the instructions and give him a break for a week sometimes (a time with no meds at all so his immune system can have time to come back up). I agree water changes can be stressful and can sometimes change the parameters, especially since you are adding salt as well, so I’d like to know what your current schedule is. If you do 50% weekly, the chances of having a bad buildup of anything are unlikely and the fin tears are probably unrelated to water changes.

Do you gravel vac at all? There could be something nasty, maybe even a bacteria down there causing issues if you haven’t kept up on the gravel vacuuming.

I second the idea of indian almond leaves, they can only help.

I’m curious what your tap water is compared to the tank water. Over time, tank water chemistry can change. Sometimes it changes drastically compared to the tap itself. I’m talking about minerals and such, not nitrates or ammonia. Can you test the kh/gh/ph of the tap compared to your tank? If it’s drastically different, it could be causing stress.

Have you ever seen him nip his own fins? Some bettas I’ve heard can actually nip at their own fins and just always have this issue.
 
BettasAreSuperior
  • #13
Stability only adds bacteria, are you cycled? If the tank is cycled (appears to be with those readings), then stability won’t do anything. You can overdose stresscoat, so make sure to dose only according to the instructions and give him a break for a week sometimes (a time with no meds at all so his immune system can have time to come back up). I agree water changes can be stressful and can sometimes change the parameters, especially since you are adding salt as well, so I’d like to know what your current schedule is. If you do 50% weekly, the chances of having a bad buildup of anything are unlikely and the fin tears are probably unrelated to water changes.

Do you gravel vac at all? There could be something nasty, maybe even a bacteria down there causing issues if you haven’t kept up on the gravel vacuuming.

I second the idea of indian almond leaves, they can only help.

I’m curious what your tap water is compared to the tank water. Over time, tank water chemistry can change. Sometimes it changes drastically compared to the tap itself. I’m talking about minerals and such, not nitrates or ammonia. Can you test the kh/gh/ph of the tap compared to your tank? If it’s drastically different, it could be causing stress.

Have you ever seen him nip his own fins? Some bettas I’ve heard can actually nip at their own fins and just always have this issue.
I completely agree with this whole post. Stress coat and Indian almond leaves should help. Unknown user you're right stability is not mandatory. lol I just dose BB when I feel like it, as a safety precaution, and during water changes. I agree immediately do a 50 percent water change and get in the water column and gravel.

I’ll look into the almond leaves for sure, but if my water quality is what it should be would the excessive water changes not just stress him out more making him more prone to illness by thinning his slime coat?
It’s an under gravel filter so there’s low current and nothing for him to get sucked into. The only plastic in the tank is his betta hammock (the leaf with a suction cup on it) but I’ve watched him swim onto/off of it a bunch of time and I don’t see how that could be ripping the ends of his fins.
I read that excessive water changes are stressful for them making them more susceptible to illness. If my water quality is what it should be, (it’s very low bioload, one betta in a 10 gallon) wouldn’t more water changes be a bad idea?
I’ll definitely take him off the melafix*

Well, you gotta do extra water changes sometimes and it doesn't hurt. water changes are extra appreciated but exseccive is bad. Alo, could you fill out this emergency template. It will help us help you and give us more info.
 
Kelseystank
  • #14
Can you fill out this------- emergency template. Also, discontinue using melafix. It will harm the bettas internal organs. Also, are there any tankmates?
What is the water volume of the tank?
•10 gallon
How long has the tank been running?
•21 months
Does it have a filter?
•Yes, under gravel (built in biorb filter with low current)
Does it have a heater?
•Yes
What is the water temperature?
•78•F
What is the entire stocking of this tank?
•One male betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
•weekly or biweekly
(depends on how busy my week is)
How much of the water do you change?
•usually 6 gallons, if it’s a bi weekly water change I’ll do the change twice
What do you use to treat your water?
•stress coat water conditioner (5ml)
•stability bacteria supplement (1/2 capful as directed)
•flourish for my plants (only every other week)
API aquarium salt (re added with every other water change as to not over pollute the water with salt by mistake 1-2 tbs)
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
•Gravel vacuumed the substrate slightly with every water change and do a full scrub and clean of everything once a month only rinsing/scrubbing materials in the bucket of dirty fish water) And test the water after every water change to be sure I don’t need to do another.
*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
•Yes, it’s been cycled for over a year
What do you use to test the water?
•API Test strips at Petsmart
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
There is a photo attatched is it’s the parameter readings Petsmart gave me;

Ammonia:0
Nitrite:20
Nitrate:0
pH:7.5?

I don’t have anything to test the GH but I’ll try to find something. The city tap water is usually on the softer side with a low ph/alkalinity if that says anything about the gh/kh?

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Twice a day, three times if I’m home in the afternoon (reduce feeding if he seems a bit bloated from a previous meal though he seems underweight in my opinion)
How much do you feed your fish?
**Per feeding***
Pellets -3/4
Bug bites- 4/5 shakes (hard to guess this amount, I try to judge food intake to match the size of his eye as I read their stomach is the same size as their eye)
Blood worms - one a week or every other week (or if bloated), maybe 3/4 worms?
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Pellets - aqueon colour enhancing betta food
Bug bites - fluval betta formula
Blood worms (frozen) - San Fran regular size, mini cubes
Blood worms (dried) - nutrafin basix (only fed in moderation because Ik its nutritionally deficient)
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
Both
Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
3 going on 4 months (my previous one died from dropsy likely caused from melafix OD, I’ve reduced the amount of melafix going into the tank to be on the safer side but I’m now going to discontinue the use of it)
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? I got him as soon as he arrived at the store and his fins started ripping within the first week of me having him. (My previous fish also had torn fins but he had tank mates so I assumed it was the tank mates causing the issue for that one)
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Raggedy fins, sometimes the ends of his fins will be red as if bloody? Long tares as well (fins shown in photo)
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Aquarium salt
Melafix
Regular water changes + water testing to ensure good quality water
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
lethargy and clamped fins (though he was in a cup without heat)
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
He’s really dumb, my last one was a pig for food and this one misses most of his food if I’m not putting it in one piece at a time for him, he’s also less interactive though he’ll come to the front of the tank to listen to my friend sing when she’s over (so he’s not entirely stupid).
He’s very active and curious about his tank, I switch up where the plants are to keep him interested in his surroundings. His fins are no longer clamped though he rarely swims with his top fin (think that’s the dorsal?). He usually lets that fin hang and sway. Some times he seems more bright white with more engaged fins than other times but I’m not sure what the outlier could be to cause that kind of change. I find he looks healthiest with a bold white colour and a lifted top fin.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
his fins keep ripping, the ends go red, he has pinkish/red on his head too. Seems very pink rather than white body but he could be a lower quality platinum ? His fins also seem very thin? His fins just keep taring rather than healing. (I’ve never seen him bite his fins, I had thought at one point it was burning his fins on the heater cause the ends go red?)
How often do you change his water? If your water change schedule is fine then you don't need to but I agree with betta's anonymous. Also can you fill out this----- emergency template
Stability only adds bacteria, are you cycled? If the tank is cycled (appears to be with those readings), then stability won’t do anything. You can overdose stresscoat, so make sure to dose only according to the instructions and give him a break for a week sometimes (a time with no meds at all so his immune system can have time to come back up). I agree water changes can be stressful and can sometimes change the parameters, especially since you are adding salt as well, so I’d like to know what your current schedule is. If you do 50% weekly, the chances of having a bad buildup of anything are unlikely and the fin tears are probably unrelated to water changes.

Do you gravel vac at all? There could be something nasty, maybe even a bacteria down there causing issues if you haven’t kept up on the gravel vacuuming.

I second the idea of indian almond leaves, they can only help.

I’m curious what your tap water is compared to the tank water. Over time, tank water chemistry can change. Sometimes it changes drastically compared to the tap itself. I’m talking about minerals and such, not nitrates or ammonia. Can you test the kh/gh/ph of the tap compared to your tank? If it’s drastically different, it could be causing stress.

Have you ever seen him nip his own fins? Some bettas I’ve heard can actually nip at their own fins and just always have this issue.
What is the water volume of the tank?
How long has the tank been running?
Does it have a filter?
Does it have a heater?
What is the water temperature?
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
How much of the water do you change?
What do you use to treat your water?
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
What do you use to test the water?
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
How much do you feed your fish?
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?

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)
 
UnknownUser
  • #15
Well, it sounds like you are excellent in your care for this betta fish. He’s in great hands! And 10 gallons for one betta is every betta’s dream haha. I cannot imagine why his fins are so annoyingly unhealthy, especially if you have a betta-specific filter and real plants. I guess I’d go ahead and remove the one fake betta leaf he has, just in case. Obviously you will be stopping the melafix, but that wouldn’t be causing fin tears.

What gravel do you have? Maybe it’s too sharp. I know my bettas drag their fins on the substrate all the time. Could always try to go bare-bottom for a month and see if they heal, although that’d be a lot of work especially since you have live plants.

And just to reiterate the indian almond leaves for the tannins to help out.
 
BettasAreSuperior
  • #16
Yes, it seems like you are taking very good car of this betta. Anyway, really I don't know what the cause is now...um maybe the gravel like unknown user said but really now I have no clue. The betta leaf is unlikely because it has one point. The driftwood?? Really I'm grasping at straws now.
 
BettasAreSuperior
  • #17
Wait. I saw on Kelseystank 's profile that you have tankmates in that tank. What are the tankmates? Also, you haven't been active since Oct. 10....hope you solved your betta fin ripping.
 

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