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Old 09-21-2016, 08:25 PM   #1
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Exclamation Betta Fin Problems

I have a male, veil tail betta. I got him from a PetsMart and Iíve had him for about a year. Below is a picture of what he looked like when I first got him. Since then, his fins have been deteriorating. I am hesitant to use medications, as I know those can be risky. Iíve been keeping a close eye on the water quality, as Iíve had bad spikes previously. Living in an apartment, water quality is an ongoing concern. The pH in the tank is high. When I consulted an expert at an aquarium store, she said if the fish has been exposed to the same pH level for a year, that lowering it significantly could cause more harm than good, and it would be difficult for me to lower it since the water from the tap is the easiest (and affordable) for me to access. PH is at ~7.8/8.0, total alkalinity is high around 200ppm, total hardness is high around 200ppm, nitrite is 0ppm, nitrate is 10ppm, and ammonia is at 0ppm.

He is an only fish in an Aqueon 2.5 gallon BettaBow tank with a MiniBow filter and a Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium heater. The filter has some aquarium foam on the end because I was concerned about his fins sucked in. There is a plastic plant in the tank (no sharp edges) a ceramic log at the bottom, a floating log, a resting leaf, and 3 moss balls. The water is kept at 77 degrees. The fish is fed Aqueon Color Enhancing BettaFood, getting two pellets twice a day, fasting every now and then. Currently, Iím doing 25% water changes every 5/6 days using half tap and half Crystal Geyser spring water. With these water changes, I scoop out any matter on the bottom of the tank and rinse off the plants/decor. Once a month, Iím changing the filter and vacuuming the gravel. With every water change, I use API Stress Coat+, Stability New Tank Stabilization System, and some aquarium salt. The stress coat and stability product have been introduced in the past 2 months when I was more concerned about him as he was getting lethargic and the nitrite and nitrate levels were dangerously high.

Iíve been nervous about upping the aquarium salt dose to what it says on the label- I was hoping just keeping the water clean would result in some progress. Fins are still clamped, now looking less opaque in some spots. I donít see any white spots or distinct black edges. They just look clamped and disintegrating. I was thinking about buying Microbe Liftís Artemiss as an antibiotic fin rot treatment because Iím afraid of using anything too harsh that could result in killing the fish. He is eating well, flaring (gills- canít really do much with his fins), and just as perky as ever. Iím concerned that if the fins get much worse, they could cause serious harm. Any help would be much appreciated- Iím desperate for a fix for my little friend!

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https://d39a28rhl1iwx3.cloudfront.net/ah/img_9135.jpg
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:07 PM   #2
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Your betta doesn't need aquarium salt on an every day basis. It should only be used as a medication.

When you change the filter are you putting in a new filter? If you are you are essentially destroying the cycle which is why you are having issues with spikes. Just rinse the filter and keep using it until it falls apart. When you notice it falling apart then add the new filter into the aquarium a few weeks before you replace the old one so that the bacteria have time to grow on the new filter. Great job on placing the foam on the intake! Veil tails are easily sucked into intakes and it can damage their flowing fins.

Are you using any type of water conditioner to condition the tap water before you put it into the tank? Stability (if it's seachem) has some water conditioning properties but not enough. Try getting a good water conditioner to see if that may improve. You may want to attempt vacuuming a little more often to remove waste but you are off to a good start to help your buddy.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:42 PM   #3
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I've also had my Betta for about a year now in a 2gal tank and a Azoo Minion HOB. His fins has only been deteriorating since.

I put him on our 55G with our 100+ tetra school. His fins are growing back now.

Small tanks are hard to keep.
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