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Old 04-12-2006, 10:51 PM   #1
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good news and thanks! fish is improving

After what seems a long haul, my betta's fins are starting to grow back from their fin rot! I am very excited, as it was very dissapointing to have him get fin rot right after I got him. However, I have learned a lot on this site as a result that will make me a better fish owner, so all is not lost.

Right now I'm still medicating the water with tetracycline. He's in a 1/2 gallon bowl, and I'm trying to cycle his 1 gal tank fishlessly while he gets better. I'm doing a PWC on the bowl every day or two to keep down the ammoina and remove all the poo from the bowl.

Much thanks to everyone who helped me out in the initial panic.

At what point do I stop the medication? I'm not going to stop it quite yet because although part of the fin is clearly doing better and growing back, the other part still seems to have some white fuzz.
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:53 AM   #2
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Glad to hear he is doing better. How long have you been treating him?
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Old 04-13-2006, 01:14 AM   #3
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If the directions say to give a second course of treatment if necessary, go ahead. I have had to give one of my bettas a 10-day treatment (initial 5-day treatment, then a second treatment) of antibiotics for finrot before.
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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ARG! I spoke too soon. Today that whole new part that had started to grow back is eaten away again. Am I doing something wrong? It's actually been 2 months -- way longer than the 5 - 10 days An t-iasg mentioned.
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:45 PM   #5
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I'm sorry to hear that One of my previous bettas was like that - he got finrot pretty badly, his fin would regrow a little, and he'd come down with another bout of finrot again. He was like that his whole life, but he lived for about 2 years. Although it seems like that's the way some bettas are, a good environment is crucial. I'm glad you're getting your betta out of the bowl, but the 1 gallon tank may not be big enough either, in terms of water stability and cycling. Small tanks are difficult to cycle, and you need a proper filter, with enough water movement to sustain the cycling bacteria, but not too much water movement to bother the betta. Any type of filter in a one gallon tank will probably create too much water movement due to the small space. Water temperature is also critical - bettas are really sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and a heater is needed so the temp. doesn't fluctuate from day to night. Too much fluctuation can definitely cause finrot.

My bettas are in 5 gallon tanks, with a 25-watt heater, and a sponge filter. A small airpump and a gang valve (lets some air "bleed" off the airpump so the sponge filter isn't running at full speed) operate the sponge filter. I actually have 2 sponge filters, for 2 tanks, running through the same gang valve and airpump.
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:56 PM   #6
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I've spent enough effort on this fish that I'll get the 5 gallon tank. Can you give me a link to the kind of filter you are talking about?

I'm a little worried about doing water changes though, with a bigger tank here in my office since I don't have a sink nearby, and need to lug all the dirty water down the hall to the bathroom.

I don't think temperature flucuations should be the problem because I have him here in my temperature-controlled office. The temp is only about 72 though, which might be too low for him?

It's totally frustrating. My friend down the hall got a betta 6 months ago, has him in a tiny jar, and never changes the water, only adds some when it evaporates. It's doing fine, or at least "fine". It's not dead and it doesn't have fin rot. My husband thinks I'm spending way too much $$ on this fish and that it shouldn't need all this special treatment.
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:10 PM   #7
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Yes, 72 degrees is way too low. Bettas should be kept at 80 degrees. My tanks hover around 81 degrees.

I do understand your frustration about your friend's fish - some bettas appear to be fine in small unheated bowls. I personally would not keep a betta that way - they have so much personality in a larger tank and the water conditions are much better for them.

Good airpumps are the Rena 50 or the Tetratec 12 (meaning it's for a 12-inch deep tank, but with the gang valve it's fine for a 5 gallon). My gang valve is a plastic Penn Plax brand. The black knobs are what you adjust to let off some air so that not all of the air produced by the pump goes to the sponge filter. The sponge filter is an Azoo brand. I'll have to post the link later. Although AA is up and running for me, lol, I can't connect to google or a few other sites right now to get you a link.
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:33 PM   #8
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OK, links

Azoo sponge filter: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113424

Another sponge filter I've used before, the Jungle Dirt Magnet Junior:
http://www.aquariumguys.com/dirtmagnet1.html
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:50 PM   #9
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These look good for getting oxygen into the tank and giving the bacteria a place to live, but they don't actually *filter*, do they? Do you just rely on a gravel vac for getting rid of the crud then?

Would you advise against a more traditional power filter like the AquaClear 20? I guess it might be overkill for a 5 gal tank? It claims it has flow adjustment control.
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Old 04-14-2006, 03:26 PM   #10
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The water is pulled through the sponge, and some debris gets stuck to the sponge. I rinse the sponge in old tank water, removed from a water change, about once a month - oh, maybe every other month. But no, the sponge doesn't filter the way an AquaClear would. I have an AquaClear, although it's not in use at the moment. That would be way too much flow for a 5 gallon tank and a betta, and with just one betta, you're not going to get tons of gunk. A gravel vac is more than adequate to clean the gravel during a water change.
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:23 PM   #11
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Thanks! I probably can't go buy stuff til tomorrow, though I'd love to ditch work and do it.

Oh, another question. When I get the tank set up, should I dump my fish in the 5 gal right away and just do the cycle with the fish? That would give him more room and probably more stable water environment right away, even though the tank hasn't cycled yet?
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:46 PM   #12
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Yes, I would put the betta in the 5 gallon tank when you get it set up. Since you already have the betta, keeping him in the 1/2 or 1 gallon isn't doing him any good if he's getting finrot. It may take a day or two for ammonia to show up on your test kit. I have cycled a five gallon tank with a betta. The highest ammonia reading I got was .5 ppm. That is too high for the fish, but in a 5 gallon, it's manageable. You'll have to do water changes until the tank cycles. For me, that was about 2 weeks. I squeezed my sponge from the other tank in the new tank twice, and then did a 1-gallon water change almost every day for two weeks. Sometimes I did a 2 gallon change. To speed the cycle, you could also get Bio-Spira. I have used it in the past - it's not an instant, 24-hour cycle, but it does help. Or you could ask your lfs to squeeze a sponge for you. I asked a lfs to do that a few times and I got a bag of brownish water, lol. I squeezed my sponge filter into that water, and then just poured the rest into the tank and hopefully all the good stuff settled into the filter and the gravel. The next day, I had a 0 ammonia reading. Be sure to follow the cycle through and monitor for nitrites and nitrates when the ammonia drops.
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Old 04-16-2006, 03:00 AM   #13
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update

$40 later, I've got a 5-gallon tank with a hood, light, and a sponge filter. I also have the 25 watt heater and a thermometer. 30 minutes at my office convinced me I was right: I can't manage a 5 gallon there. So I moved everything home. Got the 5 gal set up with sand, fake plants, heater, thermometer, filter, and treated water. Put the fish in a ziplock to equilibrate the temperature, then slowly added tank water to the bag and let him marinate some more, and then I finally dumped him in. He wasn't sure at first what to do with all the space! But he's swimming around some now. I'll slowly crank the temperature up to 80 over the next day or so. Here's hoping all this helps.

PS: happy easter, folks!
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Old 04-16-2006, 01:40 PM   #14
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Sounds like you're off to a great start! Post pics!
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Old 04-16-2006, 05:11 PM   #15
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Ooo, good idea.
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