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Old 07-15-2020, 02:20 PM   #1
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Unhappy Betta - not eating, curling fins

Hi guys, I'm brand new here so please let me know if I break any rules looking for some help with my poor baby Betta.

We got him only 2 weeks ago...his fins have curled really badly and now he's not eaten for about 3 days. Photos attached are from the day after we got him and yesterday so 15 days apart and you can really see the difference in his curly fins, his colour is now a bit lacklustre too and he seems skinny.

Water parameters are
Temperature 28C / 82F
pH - 7.4
Hardness - GH - approx 250ppm (14d)
Chlorine - 0
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 25
The tank is a 34 litre (9 US gallons), has a canister filter with mechanical and bio media, with gravel substrate, one large resin decoration and plastic plants (ripping his fins up??).
Weekly water changes of about 25-30%, with a gravel vac as well. We turn a blue light on for about 2 hours (between sunset and bedtime) - should we turn the light off for him??
We've had the tank about 12 months, cycled it last summer and added our first fish, these are one Common Pleco (still a juvenile, now about 4 inches long) and 4 Leopard Cory catfish (now mature, about an inch long). They have never had any health issues whatsoever, and the Corys have even started breeding (we found eggs on the glass on 3 occasions in the last month but the Pleco must have snacked on them overnight).

We have been feeding him (and his tankmates) 4 days bloodworms, 2 days flakes/pellets (1 of those days with added peas) and one fasting day.

Possibilites
- The light / plastic plants mentioned above...??
- The filter outflow is quite strong, he was being blown around a lot the first week and tended to hide in the decoration or plants, that's when we noticed his fins were starting to curl, so we added filter sponges to the outflow tube about 5 days ago and there is much less current now.
- Temp might be too high - we live in the Mediterranean so our daytime temperature is 30C at the moment with no A/C, but the tank does not have direct sunlight and is in the coolest part of the house. We can't get the water temp down as the cold water comes from a tank on the roof (in direct sun) so it comes out at about 25C/77F, we try to get it to about 26C/79F whenever we do the water change but it just climbs - any tips for this??
- The nitrates and hardness come from the tap water at the same parameters, so when doing water changes we do 50% tap water and 50% bottled water to try and dilute it - should we dilute with bottled water further to try and reduce these further? (I read hardness can affect Bettas more than other fish)
Our tap water is not chlorinated at all so this has never been an issue.
Again with these water parameters the bottom dwellers are all thriving!

We don't think it's fin rot simply because no other fish is affected and he has no discolouration on his fins (the black edges were there when we got him - could be he had it already?) - please let me know if I'm wrong about this by the way! ...also no other signs of infection - no patches of fungus or signs of ich on his body, his scales and eyes are all fine. It's just the fins deteriorated quickly and now he's not interested in eating.

Any advice would be much appreciated! He's only a baby Thanks!!
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:25 PM   #2
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Apart from less bloodworms and more varied diet I canít think of much else.

Water flow is fine now for him?

Did you test ammonia say a week ago? If you had a spike from adding him, then it can take up to three days for the damage to show.
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:03 AM   #3
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Yeah water flow is reduced a lot, he isn't pushed around by it anymore...but he doesn't want to swim around now, just sits on the bottom or on the top of the decoration, kind of leaning to one side as well.

I've tested for ammonia (and everything else) twice since he arrived...one was two days after he arrived, and the other was Monday this week...both were 0

He's not looking good at all this morning his body is so skinny and he doesn't want to move unless a tankmate swims by
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:34 AM   #4
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Try shrimp brine. Hope your betta is feeling better. Maybe try adding a teaspoon of aquarium salt gradually?
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