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Old 09-22-2016, 11:13 AM   #1
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Possible Fin Rot

I am new to owning a Betta. I have him in a 5 gallon tank (4 gallons water) with some silk plants and small decor (very soft for his fins), & filtered. I have had him for 1.5 wks. At 1 wk I did a 25% water change (1 gallon). I added water conditioner (as instructed by the pet store) and aqua salt. I noticed recently that his dorsal fin is folded over, looks like fins are curling (like a perm), the top half of his Caudal fin is greyish on the tips and now he has rips in his fins both Caudal & Anal fins, his pelvic fins look tattered. I believe he has fin rot, but am not 100% sure. I got some BettaFix, but after some research I'm not sure it is a good idea to use it. I just tested the water and the pH is about 7.5 the GH is about 100ppm, the KH is 80ppm, the nitrites are 0.5ppm, the nitrates are 10-20ppm, & ammonia is 0.5ppm. The water seems good to me. The nitrates/nitrites/ammonia are slightly higher than when I did the water change. The water is 78 degrees.

The lady at the pet store (Pet Smart) said to use Betta Bowl for the water conditioner and no bacteria of any kind was needed. However, the Betta Bowl is for bowls not tanks that are filtered. I also noticed it doesn't say anything about slim coat protection or neutralizing ammonia/nitrates/nitrites.

Now I am not sure what to do and am afraid I have done enough damage that my poor lil guy won't survive. He was very jerky in the tank, rubbed on everything including the gravel bottom. I took anything I thought would tear his fins out of the tank. I turned the flow on the filter down as far as it would go. I noticed though that when he swims by the intake his fins get sucked into it. I added a few pictures to help. (That was a challenge ). Now he is hovering at the surface just above the heater. He is still eating like normal, but not swimming around the tank like when I first got him.

Is it okay to use API Stress Coat+ & API Stress Zyme+ in a Betta tank? Can I use them together.

Any advice on what to do would be wonderful. BTW his name is Falcor. Thanks
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:59 PM   #2
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Do you have a prefilter sponge on the filter intake? If not, you should get one. Fluval makes some or you can make your own (some good videos and DIY if you google it). Also, Betta bowl is ok but you should really be using something that states it will neutralize. I use Prime with my 2 bettas but you can use whatever you would like as long as it does neutralize. Ideally you don't want any ammonia or nitrite in the tank but since you are doing a fish-in cycle then you will have some. Try to keep both of those as low as possible though to keep your betta from being poisoned. You can use both of those additives with a betta. I have used both (never together though) on my bettas especially when my female had ich. She got a healthy dose of the stress coat to help her heal. BettaFix is just overpriced tea tree oil (or Melafix). It is not recommended to be used with bettas do to their labyrinth organ. It kind of affects their breathing ability. My best advice for you is to get the prefilter cover, better water conditioner, and keep the water clean by changing it often. Your betta will heal in time.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:04 PM   #3
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Do you have a prefilter sponge on the filter intake? If not, you should get one. Fluval makes some or you can make your own (some good videos and DIY if you google it). Also, Betta bowl is ok but you should really be using something that states it will neutralize. I use Prime with my 2 bettas but you can use whatever you would like as long as it does neutralize. Ideally you don't want any ammonia or nitrite in the tank but since you are doing a fish-in cycle then you will have some. Try to keep both of those as low as possible though to keep your betta from being poisoned. You can use both of those additives with a betta. I have used both (never together though) on my bettas especially when my female had ich. She got a healthy dose of the stress coat to help her heal. BettaFix is just overpriced tea tree oil (or Melafix). It is not recommended to be used with bettas do to their labyrinth organ. It kind of affects their breathing ability. My best advice for you is to get the prefilter cover, better water conditioner, and keep the water clean by changing it often. Your betta will heal in time.
Thank you so much for the advice. I have a built in filter so I am not able to put anything on it. I do, however, have a small decor plant that fits perfectly in front of it. This has stopped my betta from swimming directly next to the intake and slowed the flow down enough that I think he is happier. I used Stress Coat+ and Zyme+ together (as directions said I could) and using the double dose as recommended for new tanks and fish with hurt fins. I did a water change when I added the stress coat & zyme. I also added some aqua salt too. The next day I checked the tank and realized that I was not reading the ammonia strip on the correct side. In fact it was really high. I checked it again in 24 hrs and it had come down quit a bit. I think it was adding the stress coat and zyme. I have been checking the water quality every few days and doing a PWC wkly. At the beginning of the week I could see where his fins were starting to look better and maybe growing back. The ripped part was clear but not ripped anymore. I changed the rocks in his tank to and removed some more items that maybe causing ripped fins. 2 days ago he didn't want to eat and stayed hovered over the heater in the corner (which is by a big leaf plant that he likes). Yesterday he ate fine, but seemed very jerky in the water. Darting and flaring alot. Today he as a huge giant rip in his Caudal fin again. His caudal fin is looking very jagged on the bottom area just like it started on the top. I also think that his anal fin is ripped too, but he has it clamped down so it is hard to tell for sure. The water level is still good, not perfect yet but much much better than it was just using the betta bowl. I feel so at a loss of what to do. I cannot tell if he has tail rot or if he is ripping his fins from over flaring. Also I have noticed when he floats he tips to one side slightly. Is this normal?
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:07 PM   #4
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A prefilter sponge is just a sponge that you put over your intake tube. The video will explain it to you.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...BHjSfj-mxXD59g

Stop adding salt to the tank. Bettas do not need salt. Salt should only be used as a medication in certain scenarios. Most likely your issue is that the tank is not cycled and is hurting your betta. you need to do more water changes and keep close watch on the ammonia and nitrite. Get the actual test kit not the strips. The strips are crap and don't accurately measure anything. You need the betta in clean water, like very clean water. So to fix your betta's fins, STOP adding all the crap to the water and just do at least a 50% water change every day until the tank is cycled and his fins are healed.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nkoyko View Post
A prefilter sponge is just a sponge that you put over your intake tube. The video will explain it to you.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...BHjSfj-mxXD59g

Stop adding salt to the tank. Bettas do not need salt. Salt should only be used as a medication in certain scenarios. Most likely your issue is that the tank is not cycled and is hurting your betta. you need to do more water changes and keep close watch on the ammonia and nitrite. Get the actual test kit not the strips. The strips are crap and don't accurately measure anything. You need the betta in clean water, like very clean water. So to fix your betta's fins, STOP adding all the crap to the water and just do at least a 50% water change every day until the tank is cycled and his fins are healed.
Thanks for the advice. I don't have an intake tube. Again built in filter which is behind a wall. Only small vent slats on the wall for the intake. Absolutly no way to put a cover on it. But i did get that figured out. I only added the salt once to help with healing. I'm not adding crap to the water. Actually you had recommended making sure I was using something that neutralized the water and dechlorinates its. Thats what the stress coat does. Also for fish in cycle it says to add healthy bacteria to help neutralize the ammonia. After I added this the water level readings are very good. I will be getting a better water testing kit though. I didn't realize the strips didn't work well. Thanks so much for all your help. It's a slow process but I'm getting there.
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