My Betta appears to have frayed tail and fins. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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My Betta appears to have frayed tail and fins.

Hey everyone,

New poster, but I've been reading for awhile now. I got my betta over a month ago, because I wanted a little buddy to keep me company by my computer desk inside my apartment.

My getting him was due to health issues I've been going through, but I've been cleared and I'm good now.

So, got the betta and a 1 gallon tank. It was a tank with a light and I also got him a little statue to go in there. Then I set it up and was happy.

Then I started reading about Bettas.

I went out and bought a 2.5 gallon tank kit. Created a baffle for the filter, bought a good heater that keeps the tank at 79 degrees, a fresh water fern, and a small bridge ornament that he loves.

My normal routine is to change 50% of the water, wait two days, change 50%. So, it goes like this.

Monday: Change 50% water
Tuesday: Nothing
Wednesday: Nothing
Thursday: Change 50%

The water is treated each time and I do it the night before and leave it out so that it becomes room temperature.

He appears to be happy and healthy. He's been a very finicky eater, but I switch up the food for him that consists of:

New Life Spectrum Formula
Top Fin Freezed Dried Bloodworms
Frozen Bloodworms

Alright, so now the reason why I'm posting. I noticed tonight that his fins and tail appear to look shredded. I don't think it's from the filter, because I have a small sponge in the intake valve and I also have a baffle for the outtake.

Besides the frayed look he's acting and eating like normal. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm really concerned.

I'm attaching a photo, so that you can see exactly what I'm talking about.

Thanks for any and all help!
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 01:24 AM
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Honestly you are changing to much water to frequently in my opinion. He could be tail biting, or the water changes could be causing a spike.

What is everything testing out at?

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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I just test the water right now...

The PH is 6.2 and now I'm worried.

Ammonia just tested and it's 1.0

I might have read the PH stick wrong. I think that I didn't wait long enough the PH stick appears to be at 6.8.

I'm going to test again, just in case.

New test: PH is at 6.8

Last edited by MDubbs; 08-06-2013 at 02:12 AM. Reason: added new information
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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As for the water changing, what do you suggest for a 2.5 tank?

As for him biting his tail, I haven't seen him do it, but you never know. This is just very sudden, he wasn't like this yesterday.

Last edited by MDubbs; 08-06-2013 at 02:13 AM. Reason: new information added.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDubbs View Post
I just test the water right now...

The PH is 6.2 and now I'm worried.

Ammonia just tested and it's 1.0

I might have read the PH stick wrong. I think that I didn't wait long enough the PH stick appears to be at 6.8.

I'm going to test again, just in case.

New test: PH is at 6.8
Ditch the strips and get the liquid test kit.
The Ammonia at that high may be a reason why his fins are fraying.

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDubbs View Post
As for the water changing, what do you suggest for a 2.5 tank?

As for him biting his tail, I haven't seen him do it, but you never know. This is just very sudden, he wasn't like this yesterday.
Once you get your ammonia in check, a small water change once a week is what I do on my 2.5 tanks, I've never run into any issues doing this.

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 07:54 AM
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If you are showing 1.0 ppm ammonia that is never good. But unless that's from a liquid test kit I wouldn't trust the readings. At the very least pick up NH3, NO2 and NO3.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 08:04 AM
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Here are my Bettas. I have kept Bettas, off and on, since I was 12 and I'm 35 now. I have had this guy on the left (Roy Johnson) for almost 5 months. L.T. is a new addition. You can see that Roy's fins are still in great shape.

Its awesome that you vary your bettas diet. The rotting of the fins is a fungus. Most likely due to the cleanliness of his tank.

I find the best thing for bettas are bare glass bottom tanks. The fish is able to find food that falls to the bottom this way. Helps eliminate excess waste, allows you to remove more water during changes and is so much easier to keep clean. You can do what I did and put substrate in a terracotta pot and bury plants in it.

You have filter so you probably don't need to change the water quite as often as I do but I would do more than 50% when you do it.

I do a 95-100% (just enough water left so I can leave the fish in the tank) water change every 3-4 days. I mix R/O water with my dechlorinated tapwater, 50/50. I also add 2 drops of API Bettafix per gallon. Its an "all natural" medication that heals damaged fins & skin. I use it in an extra light dose as a preventative. I siphon the water out with normal airline tubing with 8" rigid tubing at the end so I can direct it to suck out the waste on the bottom. I add the new water the same way so it fills slowly. Dont want to stress out the fish.

They sell these little floating mirrors for the betta to exercise with. I let my fish antagonize each other for 5-10 minutes twice a day. It is good for your fish and keeps his colors bright but I don't over-do it.




P.S. I don't ever test my water. IMO, it is a waste of money and just complicates things. I find that once the tank is cycled, if you feed sparingly, do regular water changes and change your filter media periodically, you should be successful.

Last edited by GJL Creative Solutions; 08-06-2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: info edit
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 09:12 AM
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I don't mean to tread on any toes...but I do not agree with some things here.

Quote:
The rotting of the fins is a fungus. Most likely due to the cleanliness of his tank.
I don't see any evidence of fungus yet. Usually it's a secondary infection that creeps in because of damage to the fins. "Cleanliness" should not lead to fungal infections. The opposite is more true than not.

Quote:
You have filter so you probably don't need to change the water quite as often as I do but I would do more than 50% when you do it.
If the betta is being exposed to 1 ppm of NH3 then more water changes are needed. On a cycled tank the water change schedule can be more relaxed, but there are other factors that may dictate the need for a water change.

Quote:
P.S. I don't ever test my water. IMO, it is a waste of money and just complicates things. I find that once the tank is cycled, if you feed sparingly, do regular water changes and change your filter media periodically, you should be successful.
Individual liquid tests aren't that expensive when you factor in the initial price and how many you get out of one set. I do agree that you do not need to monitor as closely once cycled but it should be the first thing to check should issues arise. At this point, it does not look like the tank is cycled so testing is imperative until it is proven otherwise.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Now I'm more confused, because of the different opinions.

The PH strips were the only thing the pet store had at the time.

The ammonia test is a vial and two liquid chemicals, so I know that's accurate.

I'll do a full water change later, when I get home from work. Unless that advised against.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 10:56 AM
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Well, was hoping it wasn't accurate. If that ammonia level stays persistent and isn't just a wacky spike, I'd say you're in a fish cycle right now.

And like I said before, any ammonia is not good and elevated to that level is almost surely part of the fin problem. Water changes are your best best to get that lowered. As frequent and as large as needed to keep it unmeasurable.

You should also get NO2 (nitrite) and NO3 (nitrate) test kits as those are what complete the part of the N cycle, nitrification, we care about in aquariums. The former is also toxic and like ammonia you do not want it to be present. Nitrate is fine at levels we tend to see in tanks with good maintenance.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 11:01 AM
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If that happened overnight then it is most likely tail biting, fin rot would take longer to eat away at the fins than one night. There are many reasons for a betta to bite his tail, if I recall correctly ultimatebettas.com has a very good sticky on tailbiting and it is a very helpful board.
As far as the ammonia is concerned, ideally there should be water changes until the ammonia level is at 0, but I don't know how feasible that is in a non-cycled tank, so it should be kept as low as possible.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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So. How much of a water change and how often do you suggest?

Should I do a full cleaning of his gravel today?
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 11:41 AM
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Check daily at least. If ammonia is still showing, as large of a water change as possible needed to get that level down beyond what you can test for, I'd say...the more the better.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Alright. I'll do a 75% change.
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betta, fins, frayed, help please, shredding

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