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I am fed up with filters destroying my fish!


EdgarTheFish

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Please copy & paste fill the following form and fill it out to the best of your ability when requesting help for Goldfish Problems:
  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) 0.25
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0.0
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) 10ppm
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 1.0
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0.0
    • * Nitrate level(Tap) 0.0
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.4, 107.4, 161.1
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8.4-8.2, kH 53.7, gH 71.6
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops
      • * Water temperature? 78-80 *F (I have an over-heating heater and have to unplug it at 80* or else it will heat it to 84)
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 5.5g running with established media transferred from 2.5g tank for about three-ish weeks (Hard to remember, I got two 5.5g within a very short time of each other, at the most 3 weeks, at the least 2 weeks)
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Well I transferred the filter media from the original 2.5g filter, which shredded his fins, to the whisper 2-10g internal filter with adjustable flow, which shredded his fins, took that one out and put in a sponge filter, which has now shredded his fins a third time!
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? 1 gallon twice a week, I use a turkey baster to get down and clean out the gravel. 
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 1g on Sunday, am about to do tonight's 1g waterchange. 
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 VT betta, 1.5 inches not including tail. 
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime and liquid plant food and 1/4 cup crushed coral. 
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? hikari mini pellets and bloodworms. Bloodworms are a treat, the pellets are 2 pellets twice a day. 
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? no, just that darn filter!
  • * 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. The first time his fins ripped, I found him suctioned to the intake of the 2.5g filter, I salted the tank that time for two weeks with 2 tsp of salt. 
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Anytime I add a filter, he will "challenge" it and I think he gets himself sucked in somehow trying to fight it. 
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Picking fights with inanimate objects...

 

 
Ive gone through three filters with Rufio, each time I finally get his fins healed and add a different type of filter/different level of current/buffering/etc. his fins are shredded within minutes! I got a sponge filter today, set it up and his fins are the worst they've ever been, even with two internal filters that he got sucked to the intake!! I set it up with an air adjustment valve and everything, lowest setting... what do I do? I have tried everything and every time he heals he gets torn to shreds because I put a filter in. 
 
DSCN2346%20-%20Copy_zpsvnq7zp9f.jpg

 

This is what he looks like when his fin heals, and it takes weeks, I'm so discouraged!

DSCN1689_zpsyyuzbre2.jpg

 

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  • Helper

He got sucked into a sponge filter? Even fry don't manage that! To me it looks more like nipping and tail biting which is what my betta loves to do, but if you've seen the filter do this perhaps he will do better in a mason jar with daily water changes? It's essentially a bucket to bucket method and many breeders favor if for ease of care. Otherwise his tail might just look bad (like my silly betta!).

Why do you have crushed coral in there, if I may ask?

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He only has this problem when I turn a filter on in his tank though, I don't understand why? I have not seen myself what happens except the first time. The first filter was an internal filter with a rear-intake, I turned it on and left once I saw him swimming around OK and not struggling. A hour later I checked on him and he was stuck between the back of the filter and the tank wall, I unplugged the filter and he swam away but his fins were ripped.   Then I upgraded him to the 5.5 g tank and it came with an adjustable flow internal filter, I put it on the lowest setting and put a sponge over the intake. Watched him for a few minutes, he inspected the filter and then seemed to relax so I left the room. Ten minutes later I check on him and his fins are ripped again.  This time, I added the sponge filter and watched for 10 minutes. He flared at the bubbles it was making and seemed a bit agitated but he eventually cooled off and went to his tall plant underneath his bubble nest that he was making. I went back to check on him and he was swimming around, his nest gone, and his fins completely shredded. These are the only 3 times that this happened, a filter is associated each time, otherwise you'd think he'd bite his fins whenever I have the tv going or when I added the driftwood or when I added the crushed coral... 

 

The reason behind the crushed coral is here:
http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/123706-i-made-a-mistake-with-my-ph/

 

 

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Crushed coral won't help with KH much compared to baking soda or wonder shells, just FYI :)

What you're describing to me is only tangentially related to the filters. Current or agitation is dragging him and fin eating/nipping is a response that isn't uncommon in some fish. Try the bucket to bucket method, no filter at all, for two weeks. If there are no fin issues try an airstone. If you're still okay add a sponge over that airstone. Figure out what level of filtration he tolerates before the barbering begins.

Make sense or confusing still?

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I agree with Taryl.  Since filters damage his fins, stop filtering.   Do enough water changes to maintain excellent parameters.  Trial and error will tell you how much and how frequently you need to change.  Don't have anything in the tank that he could get stuck behind no matter how hard he tries.  Also, nothing hard enough to scrape him -- even plastic plants.  

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Just thought id add. Nipping comes in many shapes and forms. They can do just the tips or the whole thing. Often tricking people into thinking its caused by objects in the tank.

Can be brought on by stress, boredom, even their tail being too big for them. Many many reasons.

Recently my dude ripped a massive chunk out of his beautiful tail right to the base after being fed up with being confined to a 1litre jar (vacation). The butt face did it the night before we were going back home and he would be in his big tank again.

67965e0d051d1f2aff07637f2c88f3df.jpg

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That's looks like tail biting.

Filtration of some sort and air movement is good for them.

I agree it is tail biting but I think the movement of the filter is causing it - the drag against fins can trigger the barbering :)

A simple jar or container with a floating plant or two for cover and no filtration, just frequent water changes, is really the only solution if even a sponge filter is causing the behavior. It's not unhealthy to just use no filtration and do complete water changes, fortunately!

Edited by Arctic Mama
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The filter that came with our betta tank is MEGA SMALL and weak. I really do not see how a healthy betta could be getting his fins constantly sucked into extremely weak filtration devices. But as others have said - if you're SURE this is what's happening, best to remove the filter.

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While his fins heal I'm going to just do more frequent WC and no filter. I have the filter in the tank but OFF and he's no worse than he was when I first posted. So once he's healed up I'll turn it on and watch what he does, if he seems stressed and biting his fins then I'll just not filter at all, if its mechanical then I'll know what to fix. Thank you so much everyone!! 

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I used craft mesh and divided a corner of the tank! It worked, He inspected the mesh and got a little bit cranky but hasn't bitten or torn or ripped his fins at all. I'll slowly increase the flow once his fins have healed, right now it's just letting off a bubble every few seconds. 

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