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Old 02-21-2015, 07:16 PM   #1
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Betta is on his last fin. PLEASE HELP!

Hi all!

I was hoping someone could give me some advice about my betta. I've had him for about 5 months now and it's been a rocky ride. He developed new tank syndrome shortly after I got him, but after a lot of TLC, he came through it. Shortly afterwards, I started to notice some holes in his tail fin and fraying around the edges. I did not think much of it until his back fin started to really look frayed. After a few internet searches, I decided to try to treat him with water changes and aquarium salt. I put him in a small, .5 gallon tank and added the recommended amount of aquarium salt and did a 100% water change everyday for 7 days. The fin rot stopped, but his fins did not start to grow back. After the week was up, I put him back into his regular 2 gallon tank and things were fine for a little while. A few weeks later, I noticed his back fins were receding again. Then I started to see holes/ fraying in his other fins as well. He was not nearly as active and would spend the majority of his day at the bottom of the tank/on his favorite leaf. He also looked like he was having trouble swimming. I started to get concerned, so I decided to try Bettafix to see if that would work. I used the recommended dosage and kept a close eye on him, and it did not seem to make him agitated or more lethargic any more than usual. Now, 24 hours later, I come back after being gone all day to find him laying on the bottom of his tank. It's not in the normal fashion, but it similar to the way he did when he had new tank syndrome. He will not eat or swim. Every once in a while, he would frantically swim around the tank for a few seconds then settle back on the bottom. He has also developed a popeye.

As of now, I have moved him to his .5 gallon tank with fresh water and he seems to be doing slightly better (no more frantic swimming and he is resting on the bottom like he normally would rather than laying on his side). I do not have any doubt that this is likely a side effect of the Bettafix, but I have several challenges form here on out. How do I fix his popeye? What about the original problem, his fin rot? He is also still very lethargic. I do not want to try Bettafix again. The problems seem to occur when he is in his normal tank. Should I get a new filter or tank?

For background information, I got him from PetCo. I wouldn't say he was perfectly healthy when we got him, but he definitely wasn't sick. He lives in a 2 gallon tank also bought from petco. The filter is very strong, but I put a bit of panty hose over half to reduce the force (this was after he was already sick). I give a 25%-50% water change every 1-2 weeks and put water conditioner and aquarium salt (a small dose) in his tank with each change. I also change his filter media every 2-3 months as needed.

I love my fish very much and do not want him to die. However, he has gotten progressively more sick since I've had him. He is the first fish I have ever had and I know that I have made mistakes as a new fish owner (hence the new tank syndrome), but I try to learn from my mistakes and do the best thing for my fish. Is there any hope he will be completely healthy again? Any advice on where to go from here? Please help!

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Old 02-21-2015, 07:58 PM   #2
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To start, do you have any idea of what your parameters are ? 99.9% of the time, fin rot and Popeye are a direct result of poor water conditions. This is somewhat evident by the fact that every time you put it in the smaller tank with fresh water it perks up. Also the constant moving between tanks is stressful to it. Personally I'd put it back into the larger tank, start doing 2-3 x 50% WC's (of treated water) and hold off on any more meds. As well, only change filter pads when they're falling apart and rinse them in old tank water when doing maintenance.

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betta, fin

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