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Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:40 am
by RoHawks
I got a Betta from a friend in late March. She kept him in a 1 gallon aquarium with no heater and an under gravel filter that did not work because the water level was too low. When I got him I put him in a 7 gallon aquarium with a filter and a heater. A little over a month ago I suspected he has had fin rot since I got him. I did not think about it be for because he is a very dark purple crown tail so it was difficult to see the frayed fins and black edges. I put almond leaves, aquarium salt, and Seachem Stress Guard in the tank and did daily instead of weekly water changes. After a couple weeks I decided to medicate with Seachem Paragaurd because he was not looking any better. I treated him as directed for 7 days. It has be a few week since I finished the medication. The direction said for fin rot to 'treat for 7 day or until infection is clear' the problem is I can't tell if he is clear until his fins begin to grow back. If he is clear, how long will it take for his fins to start growing back? And are there any other signs I could look for to know if he is cleared or not?

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:55 pm
by Diana
It can indeed be very difficult to see on some fish.

Fins that are still affected usually look thinner, softer, may have lost their color. The material is weak, and easily split. This effect progresses toward the body of the fish faster in the soft tissue, leaving the rays to be reduced more slowly. The problem with crown tails (as you know) is that their normal fins look a bit like this already- The rays are long, the skin in between is reduced, and filmy, flowing.

When the disease is gone, for a few days the fins will still look like it is diseased, but this effect will not progress. Fins heal very quickly. Within a few days you should no longer see that 'thin, soft, clear' look.
Some fins grow back white, even if the original fins were some other color. A firm, smooth white is good. A fuzzy, puffy white is bad, a sign of fungus which often moves in on compromised tissue.

Fin rot can be caused by any of several disease organisms. Frequent water changes will do several things:
By vacuuming the floor of the tank you are removing reservoirs of the disease organism (if it is a type that lives off the fish for any time).
By removing the nitrate and other things you are creating optimum conditions for the fish, and less optimum conditions for the disease organisms. Keep up the schedule of water changes while the fish is healing.

Salt is good for most species of fish when they are under stress. When it is time to remove it from the water do this slowly. For example, do water changes with just a little bit less salt each time. It may take a few weeks to a month to remove the salt.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:39 am
by RoHawks
I went ahead and dosed him again. I think his fins are growing back.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:32 am
by RoHawks
I moved him to my dorm room last week and plan to start removing the salt this week. And I will continue to use Seachem Stress Guard to help the healing process. I have recently realized just how bad his fin rot was. I looked at pictures of crowntails online and saw that the rays are all about the same length and on my betta they are all different lengths. some of the rays are a quarter inch shorter then others. I have never had a crowntail before so I thought that was just how they looked. Will his rays grow back properly? if so what is the time line until all the fins are fully healed.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:10 pm
by Diana
Once the infection is stopped you should start noticing fin growth within a few days, not longer than a week.
I am not sure how long it takes for the rays to grow out by 1/4" or more.
I would certainly be feeding this fish high quality food, perhaps adding vitamins.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:51 pm
by RoHawks
The reason I asked how long it would take for the rays to grow back was to help me determine if the infection has stopped, but I know now that it is not. I got a good look at him with just the right lighting and saw that he still has black edges on his fins, so I think I will treat him again for 14 days (next longer dosage period for paragard). I have been feeding him omega one betta pellets and will add freeze dried krill with vitamin E. Also I remembered that fin grow is fairly fast from my Malawi Cichlid days.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:54 pm
by RoHawks
I just realized he has dropsy. It is only just behind is head. He is also increasingly lethargic. He just hangs out in the back corner by the out put to my matten filter and occasionally swims around. But he is still eating pretty well.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:22 pm
by RoHawks
I looked up the anatomy of Bettas and the dropsy is where is the digestive tract is. His "belly" is also swollen. What could be wrong with him?

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:34 am
by Diana
Dropsy is more of a symptom rather than an actual disease.
The fish cannot get rid of excess water in his body, so the fluid builds up.
The problem might be bacterial, viral or some other issue. This makes treatment difficult, since you do not actually know what you are trying to control.
You can help the fish to get rid of excess fluids by adding some Epsom salt to the water. Do some research to figure out the right dose.
I would add enough each day to raise the GH by 1 degree, and add this much for 3 days. Then maintain that level for several days or longer. You can add medication to this (if you can figure out which medicine.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:31 pm
by RoHawks
I did some looking online and I found two different amounts: 1/8 teaspoon per 5 gallons and 2.5 teaspoons per 10 gallons. which one should I use. I already have some aquarium salt in the aquarium (I have started to slowly remove the salt a few days ago) will that affect how much epsom salt I would add. Is just Epsom salt from walmart ok as long as it has no additives?

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:41 pm
by Diana
Epsom salt from any source is fine as long as there are no additives.
Some people add epsom salt to a bath (for themselves, not a fish bath), and this sort of Epsom salt might include perfume. Just read the label.

Start with the lowest dose.
1) Test GH
2) Add small amount of Epsom salt. Dissolve it in water first, then pour the water into the tank where it will mix well, for example, into the flow from the filter, or into the filter itself. Anywhere the water is moving the most in the system.
3) Allow it to circulate perhaps 1/2 hour or longer.
4) Test GH.

Keep adding Epsom salt until the GH goes up by about 1 German degree of hardness. This is a small rise.
Add that much again the next day, then the next. This will raise the GH by 3 degrees over 3 days. This ought to be enough to help him.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:29 pm
by RoHawks
Does it mater that I have already added aquarium salt?

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:24 pm
by Diana
Both sodium chloride (table salt, 'aquarium salt' and other names) and Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) raise the TDS of the water. This can help the fish get rid of some fluids. Magnesium sulfate can also be something of a diuretic, so helps this way, too.

Fish need time to adjust to rising TDS. If you just added the salt, you might wait 24 hours before adding the Epsom salt.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:45 pm
by RoHawks
I added the aquarium salt a while ago. My tap water already has a GH of 17 so I only raised the GH by 1 degree by raising the GH of 2 gallons by 1 degree.

Re: Betta with Fin Rot

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:37 am
by Diana
Is the GH in the tank the same as the tap water? 17 degrees? That is pretty hard water for a Betta.
Anyway, you can use the recipe above to see if Epsom salt will help him get rid of the excess fluid.