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Old 09-28-2011, 09:10 PM   #1
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Exclamation Damaged Betta Fins

Hey there, I'm a first time Betta owner and I'm having trouble distinguishing my boy's tail injuries. I did manage to snap a photo of the condition of them however I have no means to upload them to my computer currently, I'll do that ASAP.

After checking the internet I know all my levels are correct, but I got the tank second hand, it's a cylindrical 30ltr ( approx 6 gallons) with a heater and filter, but the decorations I had in there for the first week or so may have damaged his fins (rough gravel and a plastic plant) I've since replaced pretty much the whole tank after being payed and now have round rounded gravel and real plants.

The condition of his tail seems stable (as in the length hasn't changed in the past few days) but it's frayed around the 'spines' I see no indication of fin rot (dark edges) but it may just be difficult to tell because he is a navy blue and red betta. I've ordered some medication for fin rot, just incase (king british finrot and anti-fungal) but it's going to take a few days to get here. I've been doing twice a week 50% water changes since noticing the fin deterioration.

Basicaly I'm just wanting to know if it could be something more simple such as fin tearing or possibly even biting (though I doubt this one, as i said the spines are still intact) He's still acting normal, eating plenty and being generaly active but I'm worried. Is there anything you can suggest doing while I wait for the medication to arrive? or does anyone have any photos showing fin-rot in similar coloured bettas for me to compare to?

Also, does anyone know if it's safe to use King british fish medications with my African Dwarf Frog sharing the tank?
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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What are the water parameters? As in ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? Did you cycle the tank?

Usually poor water quality causes long fins to rot. Also IMO the ADF doesn't belong in there.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by S-Cooper View Post
Hey there, I'm a first time Betta owner and I'm having trouble distinguishing my boy's tail injuries. I did manage to snap a photo of the condition of them however I have no means to upload them to my computer currently, I'll do that ASAP.

After checking the internet I know all my levels are correct, but I got the tank second hand, it's a cylindrical 30ltr ( approx 6 gallons) with a heater and filter, but the decorations I had in there for the first week or so may have damaged his fins (rough gravel and a plastic plant) I've since replaced pretty much the whole tank after being payed and now have round rounded gravel and real plants.

The condition of his tail seems stable (as in the length hasn't changed in the past few days) but it's frayed around the 'spines' I see no indication of fin rot (dark edges) but it may just be difficult to tell because he is a navy blue and red betta. I've ordered some medication for fin rot, just incase (king british finrot and anti-fungal) but it's going to take a few days to get here. I've been doing twice a week 50% water changes since noticing the fin deterioration.

Basicaly I'm just wanting to know if it could be something more simple such as fin tearing or possibly even biting (though I doubt this one, as i said the spines are still intact) He's still acting normal, eating plenty and being generaly active but I'm worried. Is there anything you can suggest doing while I wait for the medication to arrive? or does anyone have any photos showing fin-rot in similar coloured bettas for me to compare to?

Also, does anyone know if it's safe to use King british fish medications with my African Dwarf Frog sharing the tank?
I would say you should watch for any deterioration of his fins. Did you keep the same filter and try to keep the beneficial bacteria alive when you switched the gravel and plants? If not you will have to recycle the tank. Just keep an eye out for his fins starting to get more tattered looking or other signs of fin rot. My betta got fin rot and had it for 2 or 3 months, but he had full re growth of his fins within about another month or two. If you confirm that he has fin rot, you probably won't need to use the meds. Keeping his tank water pristine clean will aid in the healing.

As for using meds with ADF's in the tank, you need to take the frogs out if you do need to dose the meds. ADF's don't tolerate many medications well.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:44 PM   #4
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I would say you should watch for any deterioration of his fins. Did you keep the same filter and try to keep the beneficial bacteria alive when you switched the gravel and plants? If not you will have to recycle the tank. Just keep an eye out for his fins starting to get more tattered looking or other signs of fin rot. My betta got fin rot and had it for 2 or 3 months, but he had full re growth of his fins within about another month or two. If you confirm that he has fin rot, you probably won't need to use the meds. Keeping his tank water pristine clean will aid in the healing.

As for using meds with ADF's in the tank, you need to take the frogs out if you do need to dose the meds. ADF's don't tolerate many medications well.
Temps are usualy kept around 26-27C (79-81f) give or take a degree or two either way
Ph is roughly 6-7
Ammonia is at 0
and Nitrates are also at 0
Water is soft to slightly hard


Being a first timer I've been really really focused on keeping the levels as near enough to that as I can, I did a test just after changing the water today

I did keep the filter yes, and also around half of the water, I just removed as much of the gravel as i could by hand and replaced it with the new stuff after cleaning.

How long will I need to keep my frog in a seperate tank for? I don't have a spair heater at the moment and being in England the room temperature usualy isn't warm enough to keep the frog happy for extended ammounts of time, any tips for keeping him warm whilst I'm waiting?
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:15 PM   #5
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Try to get those pics uploaded as soon as you can, that way we can help you distinguish what's wrong with your betta.

First things first...... How big is your tank.... Is it heated/filtered.... How often do you clean the tank?

Also....

How long have you had your betta?

You say your a 'First time betta owner' so my first thought is that if the betta is new to the tank and environment, then its likely he could be stressed..... stress along with boredom - and a few other things, can cause tail biting. I'm not saying this a definite, it could be a few things but if you answer the questions above and grab some pics then I'm sure the lot of us on this forum can help you

Welcome to AA btw
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:31 PM   #6
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Try to get those pics uploaded as soon as you can, that way we can help you distinguish what's wrong with your betta.

First things first...... How big is your tank.... Is it heated/filtered.... How often do you clean the tank?

Also....

How long have you had your betta?

You say your a 'First time betta owner' so my first thought is that if the betta is new to the tank and environment, then its likely he could be stressed..... stress along with boredom - and a few other things, can cause tail biting. I'm not saying this a definite, it could be a few things but if you answer the questions above and grab some pics then I'm sure the lot of us on this forum can help you

Welcome to AA btw
30ltr /6 gallon, heated and filtered, cleaned once weekly at 25% usualy but since noticing the fin loss I've moved that up to two 50% changes a week.

I've had the fish about two and a half weeks now

I'll deffinately get some photos uploaded tomorrow, I'll see if I can't get a couple of fresh ones in better light so that everything's up to date
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:33 PM   #7
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He said in his original post it is 30 liters/6 U.S. gallons.

Sounds like you have done your homework! With such clean water and an environment that won't further hurt his fins, you shouldn't really have any worries. You really shouldn't need to use the meds unless he gets a very aggressive type of fin rot. When my betta got fin rot I used meds the first time and they helped a little, but warm/clean water is really all you need to heal your betta. Since you have this I wouldn't worry too much about his condition going down hill.

If you do get desparate and need to use the meds you will need to keep the ADF's out for the time you use the meds.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:22 AM   #8
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I managed to get some clearer photos today. I woke up quite concerned earlier, he was floating around the top of the tank and moving rather slowly, but he seems to have livened up now so I think he was just resting.

Anyway he seems to have lost more finnage today and I'm starting to see some worrying signs, but I got some photos at least:

this is by far the clearest photo:
http://i54.tinypic.com/aey59z.jpg

Some more photos of his fins:
http://i56.tinypic.com/2ijm9dv.jpg
http://i51.tinypic.com/ipyxok.jpg

His dorsal fin has been slightly curled like that since I brought him home and generaly the petstore i got him from are very good with their aquatics, so I'm lead to belive it's more of a genetic problem?

I read something about giing the betta salt baths, now obviously I know I'd have to do this In a seperate tank to my frog but is it something you guys would suggest trying? I've tried to keep the water as clean as possible and have no idea what's causing the fin loss to suddenly start again, I'm really worried :C
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:25 PM   #9
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Tried to post this morning but apparently I wasn't logged in or something? either way I thought I'd try again with a slightly smaller sized image.

I woke up earlier and apparently the fin loss has started up again, he's lost a little more from the top of his fin, though not too noticeable an ammount. He was acting a bit lethargic first thing in the morning but he's since cheered up a bit which lead me to belive he was either just sleeping or the water temps had dropped a little low over night.

Hopefuly the image is clear enough that you can see the fraying at the tips of his fins, I started to see some signs earlier that could maybe be pointing towards fin-rot but I'm not too certain of it.

Also the dorsal fin curling I belive is genetic as he's had it like that since I brought him home, though this has also been slightly affected by the loss as well.

also I was wondering if anyone would recomend moving the fish into a seperate tank for 30 minutes or so and giving him daily salt baths? or do you think this would stress him out further
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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I think he may have fin rot, but I wouldn't get too worried yet. I know it is hard to watch their beautiful fins just rot away, but with a clean environment, he should begin to improve in a week or two. Like I said, my betta had fin loss, a bit worse their your bettas, but I just did more pwc's and he started improving. You can look at my avatar and see how bad it got, at one time his back fin was split almost to his body.

I wouldn't do the salt baths. I did some research and there were mixed reviews since they stress them out. Just keep up the PWC scheduel you have and keep an eye on his condition. If he takes a turn for the worse then you may want to take some more evasive action.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:55 PM   #11
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Sorry for the repeated questions last night.... too much of the 'pop', but thats no excuse, I should have been paying attention lol

To me, your betta looks like he's tail biting. The photo doesn't show any signs of red around the edges, so imo it doesn't seem like fin rot - but I could be wrong.

When you noticed his fins, was it an all of a sudden thing, or did it happen over a space of time?

All my betta's have been tail biters - its a nightmare. I found by changing around their decoration and placing random objects outside their tanks helped a lot with their boredom, but it could also be down to stress - when betta's get stressed they can blow their fins and again bite their tails. Stress can be caused by a change in pH or rapid temperature change, along with a few other things.

I agree with the previous poster, your water conditions are good and the environment seems suitable for a betta Just keep up with the water changes and watch his fins.

You can also add a little aquarium salt to your tank - just make sure your ADF's are not in there, also gradually raising the temperature to 86 will raise the betta's metabolism and help him heal quicker.

A little tip as well, if you plan to use plastic plants in your tank.... use a piece of pantyhose- tights to us Brits take the plant and drag it over the tights, if there are any scags or tears, then the plant isn't suitable

I'm sure you will get more help from other members, who will likely correct me if said something wrong,etc

Good Luck
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:02 PM   #12
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Got another shot though it's less clear because he was at the back of his tank, though he has his fins more spread out so it may be a bit clearer to see the damage

Just ordered a few extra supplies off of amazon, got an API Stress coat and Stress Zyme starter pack to try out on his next few changes when it arrives and a better gravel vac!

If I DO need to resort to the medication, I just realised I still have the transport bags from both the fish and frog, do you think it would be alright to fill one of these with some aquarium water and float it with my frog in it whilst the fish is being medicated? I could easily put a few of the small shells that i have in there for him to hide amongst at the bottom of the bag.

Thanks for putting up with my constant questions by the way, you've really eased my mind on the issue! I was literaly losing sleep the first few days
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:07 PM   #13
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@ Welsh: It was just sudden, his fins were fine one day and the next day I noticed they'd become all frayed around the ends. I wish I could inspect a bit closer but obviously he refuses to stay still! He's such a sweetheart that he rarely even flares at anything which would be the perfect time to check him over.

And my plastic plant and sharp stones didn't go to waste at least! I cleaned them thuroughly, sanded down the sharp edges of the rocks and after a quick once over with repti-safe disinfectant they now have a new home with my corn snake who seems to love them! at least I don't have to worry about him tearing himself up on them, haha
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:19 PM   #14
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If he was fine one day and then torn fins the next, then I'm going to stick with what I said and go with tail biting. I have the same betta as you too and I find it difficult to spot fin rot from tail biting. I bought all my betta's online and paid an arm and a leg for them, hoping they wouldn't tail bite - they turned out to be worse than pet store bettas Another thing you'll notice with tail biting, is that the fins are just missing random parts, where as with fin rot its more.... even if that makes sense lol
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:28 PM   #15
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Oh also, I know this should be in it's own thread too but I thought I'd just ask here and see if either of you know. I was at the pet shop a few days ago buying my new gravel and such and I decided to have a quick poke around for a bottom feeder of some sort to clean up any extra waste food and things. The guy at the back of the shop suggested I get a Cory, I'm sure it was a sterba's cory (black and white spotty with orange fins?) would either of you suggest that with my betta and ADF? (he's only a froglet at the minute about 2cm big) or do you think it would be better to get a snail? He did show me some full grown corys and they look a fine size to go in my tank but I'm not sure if they like to be kept in groups? I don't think I have much room for more than one. I don't plan on getting any more additions to my tank (fish, plant or otherwse) until the Betta's fns have improved, I was just thinking It might help me keep those levels down a little easier?
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:43 PM   #16
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Corys belong in a group of 4-6, they don't do well on their own and your tank is too small for a group in my opinion. I wouldn't recommend the snail either, they have a very high bio-load and make more mess than their worth. I'm not sure about ADF's but I'm sure they are pretty messy too, so I wouldn't put the 2 together. Emm..... 6 gallons right? You could have..... 3 oto's they are a small type of 'pleco' and are also really good at cleaning up, they do best in a well established tank though, so you need to make sure there is enough food for them, ie, algae and extra food like: wafers, veggies.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:49 PM   #17
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Corys belong in a group of 4-6, they don't do well on their own and your tank is too small for a group in my opinion. I wouldn't recommend the snail either, they have a very high bio-load and make more mess than their worth. I'm not sure about ADF's but I'm sure they are pretty messy too, so I wouldn't put the 2 together. Emm..... 6 gallons right? You could have..... 3 oto's they are a small type of 'pleco' and are also really good at cleaning up, they do best in a well established tank though, so you need to make sure there is enough food for them, ie, algae and extra food like: wafers, veggies.

Any specific breed of Oto you'd suggest?
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:54 PM   #18
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No, they all stay around the same size... 2" I think it is. I think the most common oto I see in the pet stores over here is the Otocinculus affinis - Golden oto. You may not even be able to find them in your lfs - I've only seen them once in a privately owned pet shop, the big brands like: Pets at home, never even heard of them, but the one's around me are useless.

Just remember, what ever algae eater you put in your tank, they wont eat every type of algae, so you will still have to keep up with your water changes and gravel vacs,etc
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by S-Cooper
Oh also, I know this should be in it's own thread too but I thought I'd just ask here and see if either of you know. I was at the pet shop a few days ago buying my new gravel and such and I decided to have a quick poke around for a bottom feeder of some sort to clean up any extra waste food and things. The guy at the back of the shop suggested I get a Cory, I'm sure it was a sterba's cory (black and white spotty with orange fins?) would either of you suggest that with my betta and ADF? (he's only a froglet at the minute about 2cm big) or do you think it would be better to get a snail? He did show me some full grown corys and they look a fine size to go in my tank but I'm not sure if they like to be kept in groups? I don't think I have much room for more than one. I don't plan on getting any more additions to my tank (fish, plant or otherwse) until the Betta's fns have improved, I was just thinking It might help me keep those levels down a little easier?
Id get some shrimp. You could get a few
And you didnt post the nitrites or if you cycled?
0 nitrates normally means its not done cycling
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:03 PM   #20
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Alrighty, thanks for the help i'll keep you posted on my betta and be back if I need any more advice!

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