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Old 05-01-2022, 04:53 PM   #1
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I need help - Betta dorsal fin is gone

Last fall I did a terrible thing and then followed that with more mistakes....I put zebra danios in with a male Betta. Fast forward Betta is in his own 10g but he suffered damage both from nipping and then stress from the subsequent moves. His dorsal fin seemed to clamp (all his fins were a mess. They're still curled and I think they're going to stay that way) and the last month or so I noticed it was changing colour. I recently added new plants to his tank and i was struggling with an algea outbreak that I probably created - I was way over dosing seachem flourish by like 10x. I also have a very bright light and was leaving it on for like 10 hours a day thinking that's what the plants would need. So I purchased a dimmer and timer so that was taken care of but by then my algea was out of control so I dosed excel for 4 days. The amount of dead algea was incredible but instead of vacuuming daily I waited the 4 days. That's when I noticed his dorsal fin was gone and he had what looked very much like sporalignia growing on it. I gave him a salt bath, cleaned the tank then did the 3 day Nox-ich. The fungus is gone but here's what he's left with. I'm stumped. No pun intended. The water parameters have been steady - no ammonia or nitrites and the nitrates have been between 0-5ppm. I am consistent with weekly 25% changes. I've had him for 2 1/2 years and he was quite big when I bought him so I think he's probably 3-3 1/2 years old. He's acting somewhat normal. Eating well but I've been in his tank alot and he hates that so he's a bit mopey. Funnily enough he was very chipper after his salt bath which is shocking because my netting skills are not good. He's too smart for a cup. So maybe the salt gave him the most relief?
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Old 05-02-2022, 12:05 AM   #2
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All those chemicals added weren't helping him, and when the algae died off the toxicity must have been pretty high.

This age is also around the time a fish is getting into their senior years.

It's good you caught onto the fixing the problems when you did or the fungal infection could have done him in.

Having the water parameters in the safe zone will need to be the priority.

How long has the dorsal been like this / when did the domino effect end?

Keeping the water in perfect pararameters would be #1. Then you might want to try plain Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Good for healing. The dorsal should grow back in some form. It may be just fine when it is healed and it grows back but it might be stumpy to malformed.

Not using any more medications like antibiotics unless really needed because it is hard on the fish's already weakened system.

I would get Indian Almond leaves. Those have antibacterial properties and help the body of the fish be healthy. You add them in incrementally as to not change the pH and properties of the water suddenly.

Check this out for ES.
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...ml#post3548383
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Old 05-02-2022, 12:08 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply! I apologize in advance for this lengthy reply but the more information the better.

I went through my photos and texts to try and get a timeline of his dorsal fin deteriorating.

End of Feb, approximately, I added 3 new plants to his tank - Anubias, Frogbit and Ludwigia. His dorsal fin was fine, bright blue. The Ludwigia was melting so I started upping the dose of fertilizer (Flourish). This is when things started changing according to my pictures and texts. I misread the dosing instructions, how I don't know, but I thought it was a capful, approximately 5ml, per 10 gallons and that could be added a couple times a week, which I did. I also had the lights on 10 hours a day. I have a big silk plant with large leaves that provides Buddy with shade and places to rest. He also has a cave so from what I read this seemed okay.

March 5 I first noticed the colour change, orange around the base. It almost looked like a patch. I searched everywhere and posted a picture on a couple other forums. One person replied and felt it was just a colour change. In hindsight it appears that's when the deterioration began, algea started to take over the tank. I was testing alot, daily, because of the plants/algea situation, and my nitrates went from being consistently 5ppm to 0. More research, googling, asking, head exploding.... weekly wc's 30% at this point

April 14 I did a water change prior to dosing excel, treated with excel for 4 days, and that's when I noticed his dorsal fin was gone. I cleaned the tank as best I could in one go, approximately 50%, did a test 0's across the board. Next day I got the rest of the dead algea with a smaller WC - approximately 25%

April 26 I noticed the fungus. Scooped him out and gave him a salt bath with aquarium salt. Cleaned the tank and filter, 50% WC. The next day I started the 3 day Nox-ich treatment. Did a 50% WC after that.

So this is where I am. I'm doing smaller changes every other day. I feed him from a chopstick for his pellets. The bug bites go all over but he's pretty good at hunting them all down. I'm doing a quick vacuum with these small changes. I'll test today and see where I'm at.

Is Epsom salt different than aquarium salt? Thank you for the link BTW

You have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time to look at this. I'm gutted that I've done this to him.
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Old 05-02-2022, 01:25 PM   #4
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It makes you feel awful when there is something that happens like this. It has happened to me more times than I can recall over the years. Sometimes due to my error, not knowing, missed maintenance, or also misunderstanding direction for something, or things just go wrong. So you are now being careful and doing what you can for treating the little guy. Don't beat yourself up, move forward armed with useful experience and information!!!

Epsom Salt isn't salt it is magnesium sulfate.

A patch around the dorsal sometimes is another disease (Columnaris), but we are fast forwarding to now, and he seems to have come out of whatever he had and we need to work to see that this heals asap.

Treat as mentioned with the IAL / Indian Almond Leaves, perfect water, and a 50-100% pwc wouldnt be too much each day.

What kind of container is he in? It would be useful to treat him in a smaller container mini tank or something where you can see him easily, not too deep (you can fill something half or 3/4 full. Bare bottom and a log for him to rest or Betta Leaf and a plant like a chunk of Anubias or the cleaned off silk plant.

Reasoning behind the smaller enclosure is ease of care.

When you feed him, let him eat and then in half hour to an hour do the water change so he's in clean as possible water for a longer period. Keep the water temp matched to the other water.

You might want to have the other water prepped with IAL soaking in a bucket already dosed with ES and aquarium salt, or you could make it up and then put into water 1G jugs - just match up the temperature with some (warmer if needed) water when doing the water changes.

Make sure he doesn't get cold, like at night or being under a A/C unit or vent. 78F-80F should be fine. You do not want him too warm either which can promote bacteria growth.

Watch for additional changes to the injury site, like fungus/ fuzzy growth, further loss of his body in the dorsal area.

Maybe get antibiotics in advance in case they are needed.
And this is also an alternative treatment if you need antibiotics.
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Old 05-02-2022, 02:55 PM   #5
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I really like her videos. She speaks human ��. I'll get ES today after work. I read through your info on using ES and as it's not harmful to plants it's easier to keep him in his tank. It's 10g. I don't have an extra heater and our place gets quite cool at night. He's happy and energetic and the dorsal fin stump is a nice blue. I'll keep up with daily water changes with the ES and post an update here let's say in a week. If you are interested? I really can't thank you enough. I'm feeling so much better about it all. Just as an FYI we can't get antibiotics in Canada. They're banned. I tried through amazon.com, the US site and because it's banned there's a risk of it being confiscated at the border. Hopefully I'll never be in a position where I really need them. Thanks again!
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Old 05-02-2022, 03:04 PM   #6
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Definitely want to hear the updates.

If all is well then keep him in there remember the Indian Almond Leaves too.

Understand about Canada and the antibiotics.

Do you guys have New Life Spectrum foods? Probiotix
https://www.feedspectrum.com/products/nlsprobiotix
Look for the floating food for the Betta

A side note thread, of saving a Betta I got
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...ce-367697.html
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Old 05-02-2022, 03:50 PM   #7
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It's hard to get ahold of New life but I'll search around. I can get it off Amazon but its $26 for a little jar. Bug Bites are really good and those I can get I've never given him frozen food so may pick up some brine shrimp. Holy moly what a journey you've had. How is he now? Did he ever turn yellow?
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Old 05-03-2022, 01:22 AM   #8
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It's hard to get ahold of New life but I'll search around. I can get it off Amazon but its $26 for a little jar. Bug Bites are really good and those I can get I've never given him frozen food so may pick up some brine shrimp. Holy moly what a journey you've had. How is he now? Did he ever turn yellow?
He did turn more similar to what he should have been and was very beautiful and a sweetie. He just lived a couple years though and suffered from tumors. There should be pics towards the end of the Thai Betta thread.

The suggestion for the NLS was specifically for the Probiotix because of the formula to help them after illness and treatments, and the probiotics are to help him if at all possible to get stronger and more healthy / live longer, if it is possible, thinking of any helps for you I can.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:17 PM   #9
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Thank you ��. I was cautiously optimistic yesterday as what's left of that fin is a nice blue, looks healthy but I was a little confused by his lethargy. Trying to not fuss with him too much because the constant water changes are stress enough. He hates them on a good day. This morning I made him chase his food so I could get a better look at both sides and on the other side it's bumpy. I'm thinking could be a tumour, could be columnaris, could just be how it's healing. I went to grab my phone to get a picture so I could zoom in but he's now snuggled up in the Frogbit so I'll leave him be for the rest of the day until I do his WC. He's a senior so I'm not excited about making his life a ball of stress, I'm just going to continue as I am, keeping his environment as pristine as possible, treat the things I can.

Your Thai guy was beautiful. I snooped through some of your threads and it's left me with crazy tank envy. I got into this hobby by accident, long story, and as I learn more about how to look after these guys I'm getting more and more addicted. It' started as a "well now what" to "I need a bigger tank". Your advice is so so appreciated.
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Old 05-03-2022, 01:24 PM   #10
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Well if it is more of a disease and you can't get antibiotics then there won't be too much you can do.

Keeping him comfortable, and like you said, the excellent environment, then you are doing as much as you can.

You can use some aquarium salt, you might try a smaller amount start with a 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon if it seems to help him.

You could also try squeezing a bit of the juice of a clove of garlic on food and see if he likes that. The garlic might help his immune system (it probably more so if he was eating the actual garlic, but just a thought).

Thank you for your kind words about the fun of the fish tanks I have had. It's just so enjoyable creating little worlds. Btw, I bought a new Betta, will post about him.
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Old 05-04-2022, 10:31 PM   #11
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I started aquarium salt yesterday and finally picked up some ES today. Just finished work, did a quick wee WC and fed him. His fin is looking excellent!!! No bumps, no weirdness at all. Looks like a small fin. But he's still laying around alot. I have a home office which he is in and today was editing day for me so I was able to kinda see what he was up to. Basically nothing . He did make a little bubble nest so either he's thinking it's now or never or he's feeling better. No idea. I'll need to re-read your ES instructions.

Did you post your new Betta? I'll go take a look. Can't wait to see him! I'm picking up my 29 gallon tomorrow. Pretty excited to move my zebra danios into something they can stretch their legs in.
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Old 05-04-2022, 10:37 PM   #12
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here
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...ta-379594.html

It sounds promising he seems to be making the bubble nest... and good about his fin!
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Old 06-11-2022, 02:25 AM   #13
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Thought I'd post an update in case anyone has this happen. I had such a terrible time looking for anything similar so thought I'd share it here. Basically I believe he has either a cyst or some sort of growth which completely obliterated what was left of a dorsal fin. It grew from under his skin, not in top. I think it's the reason his fin fell off to begin with, but I don't know. It then appeared to burst. He has a gaping hole on his back. It appears to be healing up but it also kinda looks like the cyst/growth is regrowing. His temperament is good. Eats well. We haven't had any secondary infections or issues with fungus. Lots of water changes. He was most energetic when it first burst so must have been a relief. I took out a few things from his tank and left him a couple plants, his cave and driftwood. Just easier to keep it clean and see him. I attached the picture of after the growth burst.
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Old 06-11-2022, 11:25 AM   #14
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Yikes, poor little fella. When my Thai Betta had one of the tumor /cyst things, it wasn't on the dorsal fin but his side and similarly did the same thing. Swelled up, burst, had a hole, kinda grew in. But there were increasing numbers of these growths with my guy. They didn't pop a hole on him but you could see it making buldges in his body and smaller spots on the the outside of his body.

Just do what you can, and give him the best life he can have.
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Old 06-11-2022, 04:22 PM   #15
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It's really quite incredible. Interesting about the lumps your guy had. I believe I'm seeing another bump on his body but I wasn't sure. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing with him until it looks like he's suffering. I won't let him suffer. Right now he's swimming and eatiing so it's all normal, except he has a crater in his back. So weird.
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Old 06-13-2022, 02:22 AM   #16
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Yes. Taking care the best you can. I fed mine a pellet at a time and he seemed okay at the end. The tumors/ growths seemed to be bothering his "neck" . It pretty much was difficult the last week especially when it was hard for him to eat. To the point when he was not really eating the food, I was going to euthanize but he died.

Keep posting on the condition if there is progression on the disease.

This kind of info is sad to talk through, but also helpful so when others have the basically same issues, there is some awareness of what might happen, or if there is anything else to try.

I am wishing you many good days ahead!
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Old 06-13-2022, 10:01 AM   #17
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I absolutely will. I know I find other people's experiences very helpful! Thank you ☺️.
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Old 06-27-2022, 11:08 AM   #18
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UPDATE: He is now just laying on a leaf and doesn't move. I tried to coax him off to eat but be just looked at me. Dropped a pellet right in front of him and he did eat it but I'm not liking this at all. The crater on his back isn't closing up at all. It's almost like I see healing growth then it comes off. We'll see how the day goes today - if we have another day of complete non movement it's time to call it. He did alot better with that crater than I expected. I'll miss this big boy.
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Old 06-27-2022, 07:21 PM   #19
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UPDATE: He is now just laying on a leaf and doesn't move. I tried to coax him off to eat but be just looked at me. Dropped a pellet right in front of him and he did eat it but I'm not liking this at all. The crater on his back isn't closing up at all. It's almost like I see healing growth then it comes off. We'll see how the day goes today - if we have another day of complete non movement it's time to call it. He did alot better with that crater than I expected. I'll miss this big boy.
Hello, just throwing this out there. Do you think it could be bubble gas disease. The bubble's can develop externally or worse internally. It can be caused when cold water temps rise rapidly (water changes) & the gases expand or water saturated w/ micro bubbles that makes water collum look cloudy.
I've never seen a fish just burst. I have seen the external bubble's(blisters) burst & it looks similar to your Betta. Hope this helps you!!!!!
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Old 06-28-2022, 12:15 AM   #20
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UPDATE: He is now just laying on a leaf and doesn't move. I tried to coax him off to eat but be just looked at me. Dropped a pellet right in front of him and he did eat it but I'm not liking this at all. The crater on his back isn't closing up at all. It's almost like I see healing growth then it comes off. We'll see how the day goes today - if we have another day of complete non movement it's time to call it. He did alot better with that crater than I expected. I'll miss this big boy.
Yeah it's tough when they aren't healing right and it can be hard to know what else can be done. You are right to not let him suffer. But it's hard.
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