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Suspected fin rot; clamping


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  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) as of today: 0
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) as of today: 0
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) as of today: 0
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 0
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0
    • * Nitrate level(Tap) 0
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.6
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.6
  • Other Required Info:
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API
  • * Water temperature? around 74* as of right now, is usually 78-80* F
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 5.5 about 2 months
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Top Fin 10
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? Around 25% every week
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? yesterday, about 85%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 male betta, about 2 inches
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? 2X daily, fasted once every week or so; NLS and Aqueon betta pellets, bloodworms, brine shrimp, occasionally some GF pellets
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? No, new plants were added, but they were sterilized
  • * Any medications added to the tank? no
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. none
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

This seemed to happen overnight. As of 2\5\14, he was perfectly healthy, he refused his NLS pellets that night, which struck me as odd, but accepted some Aqueon betta pellets. The next day after school, I went to check on him and found him laying at the bottom of his tank, almost sideways. Panicked, I gently nudged him and he sprung back to life, but as he was swimming I noticed his fins were clamped and a faint white edge was at the tips of his fins. I immediately took him out of the tank and began a vigorous 85% WC. Today I came home expecting him to be dead, but he was very much alive, actually weakly begging me for food, which broke my heart. Fortunately, he still has an appetite right now. He gladly accepted some frozen brine shrimp when I fed him tonight.

I'm not sure what caused this, and why it happened so suddenly. I've been having trouble with the heater lately, it's been overheating my tank and perhaps the temperature fluctuations stressed him out and weakened his immune system. I've since gotten a new heater (Aqueon) and am easing him back to a comfortable temperature. I apologize for not posting the tank params on the day I found him sick, I was too scared and began the WC without even checking.


I also think his dorsal is a bit clamped....it may be from stress, I will keep observing. It's not being held tight against his back, it is somewhat erect, just not opened.

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I'm not a betta expert either but I wonder if the fluctuating heat is a factor. Didnt you say that your other heater. Had brought the temp way up? I think bettas tend to be sensitive to salt so for now I would just observe. He looks pretty good now. Bettas are odd. I've found ours on a couple occasions on the tank floor or just hanging, looking lifeless, from a leaf only to rise up like What are you lookin at lady? :idont

Hopefully Narny will see this. :)

PS for future reference, if you come upon a situation where you think an immediate WC is needed and don't want to test your water first, take a cup out first, set it aside, do your WC then test the water in he cup. :)

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I'd say you've had a cycle bump which has irritated him a little, unless your heater has been fluctuating significantly? If the white is significantly less now you can just do daily water changes of around 50% for the next few days. He should be able to sort it out on his own with nice clean water. Keep us updated :)

Edited by Narny105
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I'd say you've had a cycle bump which has irritated him a little. It doesn't look like fungus to me. If the white is significantly less now you can just do daily water changes of around 50% for the next few days. Keep us updated :)

:hmm I haven't done anything with the filter, though. I rinsed the filter media the day I found him sick, but that was it. I have to be honest that I wasn't keeping up with the water changes, however.

Does he look a little clamped to you? Should I just keep observing for a few more days and see if it goes away itself?

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I edited my comment above. He is clamped but it I wouldn't worry much about that. How's he looking today?

Much better than yesterday. The clamping is mostly in his ventral fins now (you can see in the video above), which is really the most concerning to me at this point.

Here's a video from when I first found him sick, 2 days ago:


Sorry it's super short, but I think you can see a difference.

He's acting like his old, spunky self, but I'm noticing some bottom sitting when the lights are off or there's no activity around the tank, which was never a problem before. Right now he's laying on the bottom, touching the gravel, when he usually sleeps next to his heater or hoovering in a corner. :idont

I'll try doing another WC tomorrow. I'll update you then. Thank you so much for your help so far. :hug

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how is he today?

Hi, Alex. He's doing OK; hanging in there. His appetite is a hit and miss sometimes, he has completely turned away his NLS pellets. And they weren't cheap, either. :rofl I'm not sure if this is a typical sassy betta thing or it had to do with his recent ordeal. He accepted some bloodworms tonight, fortunately. It took me a while to make him eat, he would just stare intently at the food sinking down, unsure if he should eat it or not. I did a 50ish% WC today, and triple dosed with Prime on a gallon of water I used to fill back up. His pelvic fins still look clamped to me. :idont I've attached some photos for you to take a look. I used the flash- he isn't this shiny and bright. :rofl3





Here's a picture of his fin, looking better. :thumbs:

You see how the pelvic fins look clamped in every picture?

I'm thinking of doing a round or two of Prazi in the near future if I can get my hands on some, for his own good. What are your thoughts?

When Petco's DPG sale comes around I think I'll get him a 10 gallon. With all he's gone through I feel like it's partially my fault, and I want to give him the best quality of life for the rest of his life.

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He is looking so much better! The pellets is probably just a fussy eating issue considering he did eat the worms, but definitely give them another go later on. If you're persistent with attempting to feed them he will take to them eventually.

He still is a little clamped but not as clamped as he was in the video. If you've got some prazi on hand you can start a few rounds now. One round a week for 2-3 weeks saltless should be plenty.

As for the tank upgrade, I went from a 5 gallon to a 15 gallon and I'd never go back from it! The extra space is definitely a benefit to make a wonderful planted environment for them, and give them a lot more room to explore. There's nothing wrong with your current tank, however if you'd like to upgrade to a 10 gallon go for it! The shallower it is the better, so if you can get a 10 gal rectangular tank, that would be ideal for him :)

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