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Why Are My Betta's Fins Stuck Together? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by AVH, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. AVHNew MemberMember

    2.5 gallon tank
    17 watt submersible heater which keeps the water at about 76F

    Hi all, this is my first fish so I'm still learning a lot. I got Reggie a month ago, had a filter for the first week, took it out cause the flow was too strong, and added it back in on Saturday with the output pointed toward some plants. It's really reduced the movement in the tank. I've been doing 100% water changes every week using Seachem Betta Basics conditioner and he as seemed to be fine all this time. Two days ago I noticed he was really lethargic seeming, laying on top of the heater or on the gravel (see photos below). He is doing the same today and I also noticed that his fins/tail is stuck together. I took out the filter cause I thought maybe it was stressing him out. I don't really think that is the issue, cause like I said, with the modifications I've done it is not that strong of a flow.

    You can see in the photos how he looked when I first got him and what he looks like now. I've been trying really hard to take care of him and make him happy and I'm worried about him. Please if anyone knows what is up give me some advice.
    This is what he looked like when we got him: IMG_7289.PNGIMG_7290.PNG

    This is what he is looking like now: IMG_7281.JPG
    Laying on top of the heater: IMG_7287.jpgIMG_7288.jpg
    Laying on the gravel inside a decoration: IMG_7283.JPG

    Also thought I'd mention that he is eating normally.
    Should I put the filter back in?
    Is it velvet? If not is there harm in treating him for it anyway just in case?
     
  2. CocoCappuccinoValued MemberMember

    I just want to point out, I've noticed that Bettas that live in environments that are too small are often lethargic and only move around to eat. I've had a Betta that used to live in a 3 gallon (their minimum is 5 gallons, this was before I knew about proper fish care), and he was the saddest little fish I've had because his home was simply too small.

    I'm not necessarily saying this is the sole and only issue on why he may be like this, but it could for sure be one underlying problem. Clamped fins are definitely a sign of stress, and I think this actually might be the case. Water changes that large every week may also contribute to the issue.

    What do we do? I'd highly recommend switching to a larger environment if that's available. Maybe a 5 gallon bowl/tank at bare minimum, and maybe use the 2.5 gallon as a hospital tank? Also, as a side note, velvet is actually a visible sheen on fish. Though clamped fins and lethargy are symptoms, the fish would be darting periodically around the tank quickly and be rubbing themselves on tank decor/tank walls to relieve their discomfort.
     




  3. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Small tank, no filter, no cycle. Water quality jumps out to me. You will be doing a fish in cycle so daily or every other day water changes of around 50% is what I would recommend and test your water. Either get a test kit or your local fish store but its important to know your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. And yes the filter is important.
     




  4. FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    So he has clamped fins. This can be caused by several things. First and foremost, your profile says you don't know what the nitrogen cycle is. Basically fish produce ammonia. This is toxic. Bacteria is needed to break ammonia down to nitrite, which is also toxic. More bacteria is needed to break this down to nitrate, which is fine as long as it doesn't rise too high. This bacteria doesn't appear overnight, but it needs to be cultured over a period of time to get to the stage where it can look after your fishes waste - with the aid of water changes of course. Clamped fins can be caused by water quality. If the water contains ammonia or nitrites, which I'm sure yours does, then that can lead to negative effects. You need to cycle the media in your filter, research into the fish in cycle to help you out. I would leave the filter attached to the tank and I generally like to have tanks that are a bit bigger - usually 5g or more.

    Another cause is sudden changes in the environment. When you do a 100% water change, you are putting the betta from the water of a cycling tank, which likely contains ammonia/nitrites and the ph in a cycling tank can be altered as well, and you are then putting that into water without ammonia/nitrites and with a potentially different ph level. This can cause some amount of shock to the fish, and the change in environment can lead to things like clamped fins.

    Another cause is the sudden change in temperature. Do you add heated water to his tank when you do the 100% water changes or do you just use standard, cold tap water with dechlorinator added?

    If I were you, I would go and get an API master testkit, not test strips as they are less accurate. You need to know what your water quality is like. I would also get some seachem prime to help detoxify ammonia and nitrites. I also wouldn't do 100% water changes, but rather frequent smaller ones, learn more about this by researching fish in cycle.

    Here's a fishlore link to teach you about the nitrogen cycle to teach you a bit more about it.
    https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
     
  5. AVHNew MemberMember

    I've added the filter back in now and did a 50% water change. I'll get a test kit.

    Dang. Everywhere I read said a 2.5 was the minimum, so I went for that! He has seemed really happy though up until a couple of days ago. So it's not velvet? I can't tell if it is a sheen on him or if that is normal. And he does lay up against decorations... never seen him actually rub back and forth on anything though.
     
  6. FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    I don't have much experience with velvet, but what I have heard is that it's like a dust coating on the fish. Is the gold dusty looking to you? Has he been flashing or darting about at all? Either way that would be down to the same reasons, water quality or stress. If somebody with experience with velvet can confirm that it is, then appropriate medication would be needed, if not then the advise above applies. 2.5g is the bare minimum that a betta can be housed in, but 5g is the recommended minimum in my opinion. In smaller tanks the parameters sway much quicker and if it isn't cycled then the water can become toxic much faster. The larger the tank the more leeway you have.
     
  7. AVHNew MemberMember

    I'll definitely get the test kit and look into the fish in cycling process and won't do 100% water changes. I get the tap water as close as possible to the right temperature, I use the thermometer to check before adding it to the tank. And yes, I use dechlorinator - Nutrafin Aqua Plus. Thank you!

    Yeah, I'm not sure about the dusty-ness, it seems like maybe- but then again I've never shined a light right on him before so I don't have anything to compare it to. I'm definitely working on the water quality, going to get some test kit and cycle it. Thanks for the info!
     
  8. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    The flashlight test is about the only way to see velvet. It will look like gold dust.
     
  9. AVHNew MemberMember

    1B6E3007-6B25-42DD-B2BE-8309C816D4BB.jpeg2C7366B7-F783-46AA-BABC-7109C5320791.jpeg
    The 3rd photo was taken with flash, do you think he looks normal? Colour wise? Here are a few more that are focused better. Thank you!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  10. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    He looks metalic over all but I'm not seeing the dust look I would expect with velvet. So I would say he's fine there.
     
  11. AVHNew MemberMember

    I’ll keep a close eye on him. Appreciate the input.
     
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