Yikes, My baby's tail keeps splitting

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Muffymouse

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Hi, I'm new to the forum and fairly new to all fish, but I am dealing with a problem that no one around here seems to know about. Tail splitting. I had this problem before with my first betta and now it's happening again. I buy this beautiful fan-tail (hey what can I say, I'm new to fish and am a freashwater girl in a saltwater town) I get him home and within days his tail and dorsal fins start splitting apart and developing little holes in them. The water quality is really pretty good, ph may be a touch high. What do I do? He seems happy, and swims and eats well, but I can't imagine that he likes having this happen to him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

genie

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Sounds like the dreaded fin rot! Treat with Jungle Labs Fungus Eliminator or Marycin & Marycin 2.
Anyone else please put your opinion in.
 

COBettaCouple

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what are the exact numbers for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? are you using the liquid test or strips?

pH being high won't bother him, unless the pH of the water in his cup is a good bit different than the tank water pH. a pH shock could bring on stress and open him up to things like fin rot. how do you acclimate him to the tank?

It does sound like finrot and i'd treat him asap for it, as well as get him: if possible. The DFS website is a great place to get your fish supplies.
 
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Muffymouse

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I use liquid tests and have Zeros on Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite. To acclimate him to the tank, I floated him in the cup for 15 to 20 mins, then poured about half of his cup water out and put in about the same amount of the tank water. Then let it be for about 15 more mins. Scooped him and and placed him in the tank.

What is the best remedy for fin rot? Should I be concerned about this treatment affecting the other fish in the tank? I'll certainly look into getting that vita-chem stuff for him. Anything else I can do?
 

COBettaCouple

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sounds like everything should be fine and he probably had it from the store. Bettas often come home with it unfortunately. Fungus Clear is a relatively inexpensive treatment but will affect your cycle and dye decorations blue. TriSulfa is stronger and won't affect the cycle or dye the water. Given the state that his fins are in, I would go with TriSulfa or a combination of Maracyn and Maracyn-2. The cheaper option there would be TriSulfa. If you do a DFS order, most likely the order will arrive by the time you're done with a course of meds.

Before doing meds, do a 25% water change & remove the carbon (if any) in your filter. Best of luck with him.. fin rot is troublesome but treatable.
After doing meds, do a 25% water change & put new carbon (if you use it) in your filter. Keep the water clean and treat with vitachem to help the fins regrow.

I think you can even use vitachem while doing meds. After a course of meds, perhaps you can post a pic and get opinions on if he needs more meds or not.
 
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Muffymouse

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Thank you. I'll keep you posted about how he is doing in a few days. =)
 

chickadee

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I will have to say that they are now saying that really high pH levels can be a cause for the start to finrot and if this is the case the easiest and most dependable way to lower it without upsetting your fish is to get a small piece of driftwood and the store that has been mentioned has the type that does not need to be anchored and sinks on its own. It does need to be soaked in dechlorinated water for a couple of weeks but then does a fantastic job of lowering pH without chemicals that can be undependable and dangerous. Please never let anyone talk you into the pH buffers that they sell to raise and lower pH levels on your own as they are very dangerous as they do not keep the levels constant and can kill your fish very fast.

Otherwise, I have nothing to add to the advice you have been given and support the information completely.

Rose
 
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Muffymouse

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When checked the alkalinity was 300 mg/L and the hardness was 150mg/L would it be wise to add a small piece of driftwood like you described? How big is a small piece? in inches or cm?
 

chickadee

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When you order them they specify "Small" "Medium" and "Large".





The reason I like this driftwood is that it does not need to be anchored with the big tiles that you have to bury in the gravel as they are a real problem to deal with as they always work their way up through the gravel and you have an ugly tile staring at you. This you just soak and pour the water off of every couple of days until it stop turning the water brown and then it is safe for the tank.

I have it in two of my tanks and I love it.

Rose
 

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I've used Fungus Clear to help with Kyler's fin rot, while it did stop it, it didn't cure him and I have been fighting it sans medication now for the past week. If you have a heater, keep the water at about 82F to help with treatment too.
 

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You said there are other fish in the tank. What type of fish are in with him? Bettas do not get along well with most fish and maybe one or more of your other fish are nipping his fins or bullying him.
 
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Muffymouse

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I just must be blessed with relaxed bettas, cause both of the ones I have owned have gotten along well with others. ;D My first one had a frog with him and they were great buddies. This one lives with 3 corys and 3 guppies. He is very relaxed around all of them. So far so good. But his tail was having issues like 2 weeks before I added the guppies so I know it is not their fault it started. So far I have not seen them try to mess with him and i've been home a lot lately because I've been sick. However, should I notice that there is a bullying issue, I will amend the situation post haste
 

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What about any sharp or rough decorations or rocks? What sort of gravel are you using? Bettas tend to drag their tails along the bottom when they swim there. Rough uncoated gravel can shred them.
 

COBettaCouple

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Phloxface said:
What about any sharp or rough decorations or rocks? What sort of gravel are you using? Bettas tend to drag their tails along the bottom when they swim there. Rough uncoated gravel can shred them.
Phlox is right-on, gotta watch out for those delicate fins - we decided to go from gravel to the smooth glass flat marbles (even though they mean so much extra cleaning work).
 
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Muffymouse

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As far as I can tell my decorations are not rough or sharp (but not being a fish my judgment is kinda skewed) As far as gravel, I am using "Stoney River, Epoxy coated Aquarium Gravel" Based on where the fins keep splitting and all, it seems like it is more a fin rot problem that being caused by the other stuff. However, once I get it taken care of, I will make sure to keep a close eye on those things and change the environment (even though I think it is pretty) to better suit the needs of my little guys if they cause a problem.

Thank you for the great advice and ideas on what could be wrong =)

I have decided to name him Sir Gawain, after my favorite of Arthur's Knights 8)
 

Jendayi

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Here are a few pics of my boy Cujo dealing with his tail rot. Does yours look anything like any of these?


29.jpg 30.jpg 65.jpg 44.jpg clear.gif
 
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Muffymouse

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yep, kinda like a couple of those. In some parts its seems like my veil tail is trying to be a crown tail. Sir Gawain seems slightly less deeply ragged (the edges haven't all degraded as much as Cujo's) but where it gets yucky it goes way up the fin, kinda like Spock doing "Live Long and Prosper" But on a couple of different fins and sometimes more than one on the same fin. It seems to be the worst on his tail fin and pretty bad on his top fin. The fin along his belly is the least affected at this point. I hope this discriptiton better helps describe what is going on. I wish I had a better camera (other than the one on my phone) so I could give a visual.
 

Jendayi

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I'm sorry your baby is going through the same thing

Here is what I have done so far, and I'm sorry to say that I have not been able to get a handle on the rot yet.

I got Cujo from Walmart, and had him about 4 weeks when that first pic was taken. He went from fine to ragged like that in the course of an afternoon. I freaked out, naturally. I moved Cujo from his one gallon jar to a 5 gallon heated and filtered tank, thinking that his environment was stressing him out. He went through two rounds of Fungus Clear (also available at walmart - by Jungle Labs) in this tank. The treatment seemed to halt the rot, so I changed his water and put his carbon filter back in. The next day he relapsed.

So then I went back to walmart and got him a mini-bow 2.5 gallon tank to be a hospital tank. Here he has been for the last month or so. In his hospital tank Cujo has been through two rounds of Maracyn/Maracyn2 combination treatment (you can find these meds at Petsmart or Petco usually). He seemed to respond at first, but then his tail started falling apart again in the middle of the second round.

So now he is in the middle of a round of tetracycline. He has had some fin decay during this treatment, as well. He has another 5 days to go on that and then I have decided that he is done with meds. He has been getting daily 100% water changes, and I will continue to do that along with adding vitamins. I have read that an anti-biotic called 'kanamycin' is effective against resistant strains of bacteria like it appears that Cujo has. That would have been my next course of action, if I hadn't decided against more meds. I may still do it someday, but not for a while... unless something very serious happens he will stay off meds.

In the mean time the 5 gallon tank has cycled and is waiting for a fish to call it home lol... Fuji, my apple snail in the 5 gallon, will probably be very surprised when that day comes

So if your guy is in a community or cycled tank I would suggest you get him out into a hospital tank where you can very closely monitor him and his water. Most of those meds I listed above will kill your bacteria in your tank if it is cycled, as others have already mentioned. Get him going on good clean water, some vitamins and some meds. And hopefully you will have more luck than me! Keep us updated...
 

COBettaCouple

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Our Aslan has been battling fin rot a while too. We tried the Fungus Clear tabs on him and while they did stop the rot and seemed to help, it was a temporary victory as the rot came back twice. So we tried TriSulfa when it popped up a 3rd time and also started him on vitamins called VitaChem - it's a liquid vitamin you add to the tank to help fins regrow. The TriSulfa is a good product as it's strong and it doesn't interfere with the beneficial bacteria (or dye the water & aquarium decor).
Like Jendayi said, keeping the water clean is important with the meds and vitamins.. and plenty of love and attention.

Here's what to look for (or order from this website - they ship pretty fast and i haven't found the vitachem in petco or petsmart):
 

antisen

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For me, Jungle Fungus Clear halted the rot. It is not all that hard to kill the bacteria that cause fin rot; pretty much any of the meds will do it. The hard part is keeping the regrown areas intact... they have a nasty tendency to dissolve away right when you get your hopes up about everything being back to normal. It is therefore extremely important to keep the tank IMMACULATELY clean and un-stressful for the next few weeks after the rot halts. These conditions dictate that you should probably move your betta into his own tank, at least during treatment. Weekly 50% water changes and reduced doses of Bettafix did the trick for my betta and his tail looks absolutely amazing now compared to how bad the fin rot had made it... it had been halfway gone at least.

Hope this helps!
 
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