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Oh No! Orchard's Got Fin Rot!


Kissy

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I think my betta Orchard has fin rot ._. I've had him for 3 weeks, and when I first got him he was in bad condition, and may have had it then too. Good clean water and three gallons of it helped him tremendously. Now his red is getting brighter every day and he's got so much personality...Every morning he dances for his food, and doesn't even wait for it to hit the water, he jumps for it! Anyways, I am thinking he never really got over it.

A couple of days ago his tail fin looked slightly different...it didn't look worse..it kinda looked more full. This morning he was the same, maybe a tad worse, but this afternoon I looked at him and gasped! The top half of his tail fin looks like a ragged plakat (sp) and the bottom is completely torn up with tons of little stringies :( He's still his happy self, is very active and eats like there is no tomorrow; he's not picky at all and will even eat tropical flakes with gusto if given to him. Please help him tho....I don't want to lose him :(

His three gallon does not have a filter or aeration and I usually do a 100% waterchange every 5-7 days, but this week I waited almost a week and a half to do a waterchange since I was on vacation and kinda busy. I feel horrible..I did a quick ammonia test and it was at .3 ppm. I didn't have time to test the nitrates and 'trites cuz I just wanted to get him some fresh water. The pH is around 8.2-8.3ish and the temp is around 80-84*F (no heater) He eats hikari bio-gold food and occasionally freeze dried bloodworms. He could have torn it on his tree trunk cave because it does have a couple roughish spots, but I have a feeling its fin rot. I checked the water while I was doing the water change for peices of fin. The only other possible symptom is that occasionally he has "piles of poo"? Is that weird? I usually feed him 3 or four baby pellets 2 times a day.

I've got melafix and sea salt...I've heard that using them on bettas can be risking it tho :(

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Speaking from experience (Sadly) I would say that since you already know that the ammonia was a bit high in the water (due to a extended time between water changes) I would keep the water pristine & keep a close eye on the rot. I think it's due to the water quality (I had a betta that .25 ammonia blew his fins apart so I can sympathize).

If it doesn't get better - post back ASAP.

I wouldn't medicate his water at this point.

:D

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Guest Chishower

Awwwww! Poor thing. :heart I would also just keep his water perfect, it can help tons.

At least it doesnt seem to be bothering him too much.

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All my fish seem fine at first..then they go down hill really fast after a while :( What exactly is "pristine"? The ammonia at 0? How do I know if he's not getting better? Do you mean change of behavior, more fin damage, both? What if he stays the same? I don't want to lose my Orchard :crp

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OK - First breath deeply. I totally get where you are coming from. I was there myself for a good portion of last year when I was really fighting the super rot (I eventually figuered out a balance but as others here can tell you - it was an insane time for me).

You want to keep the ammonia & the nitrites as close to 0 as possible (I had to keep mine at zero). I would not go nuts with the water changes though as I have found that too many can also be stressful & cause problems.

It may take a while for you to see the regrowth. It usually comes in clear at first (or at least it always did for me & it was easier to see on some fish & harder on others). THe important part though is that you want to watch the fins very carefully to make sure that no more is rotting off. (If your really worried & have a digital camera you can try taking pics).

Bubba had so many difficulties with his fins that eventually they wouldn't grow back but he was a very happy little guy swimming around. (Just looked like a girl with those short fins! :ignore Just kidding about the girl part although he really did have stumpy fins up until the end)

On another note - my little betta tanks are cycled. Can you get a little filter in there? It might help alot. (I have whisper mini's in some tanks & those little cartridge filters in others)

Hope this helps!!! *BIG HUG* Jenn

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Guest Chishower

:heart *gives hugs* :heart

I don't think fin rot can kill unless it gets to his body, and you will have time to treat it long before that happens. He is doing so much better, I am sure he will make it through this.

I would start changing his water every third day, and adding a touch of salt. 1/2 teaspoon per gallon might work, as long as you don't see him acting worse from it. My bettas were never bothered by salt, but some peoples have been. If that doesn't help in a week or so, we can move on to medicating.

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Chishower - there are different kinds of rot (I learned to my dismay). One kills quickly (& is usually bacterial) & one takes much longer (& is usually due more to water quality ect) I think we are dealing with the latter because of the history but close observation will tell for sure.

I wouldn't use the salt unless you aren't seeing improvement (just because of the probs some members have had in the past. Unless you have reason to believe that this is due to a parasite & then my whole view changes) & I would change the water based upon whatever the water testing shows you. (you may need more freq than 3 days & maybe not that freq)

It's just my opinion though & you need to do what your gut tells you! (Even right at the start I always had a bad feeling - even though I had no clue why!)

:D

PS - Chishower - we posted at the same time!! :D

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Okay, I'm gonna try and steal my mom's digi tonight. Hopefully she wan't notice. No filter..How much do whisper minis cost? I don't think the petstores around here sell them. They are stupid and sell very limited brands (usually the not so good of quality type) I'll do lots of water testing! And try and stay calm too.

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The vvvv site online sells the micro for about 13.00 (so I would think it would be about that in the store) & I can't remember how much that other filter was but I know it was under 10 bucks (it runs off an airpump. I but they refills now & they are approx 5.00 for 2 cartridges so I can't remember how much the original kit cost but I'm pretty sure it was under 10 bucks - I can check the next time I go if you need me to!

:D

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I think Orchard is worse today. I tried getting pics last night but the flash was stupid, and when I put the goldie light above the tank it was too bright. Anyways it "looks" better..but its not. I think this is what fooled me before. His tail fin is much less ragged and more smooth looking, but I swear its shorter. Ammonia is at 0 this morning. I didn't feed him after the waterchange yesterday, so I fed him 2 pellets thismorning. I'll test again this evening and feed him two more for the day. Would the cut in food keep ammonia down well enough so it is worth the effort? Would this be a good cut? Thanks. I'll look into those filters too. The tank will still be a barebottom..I like it that way with him.

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Ugh, fin rot is the worst :angry: Anyways, someone recommended to me that bettas do better with using aged water when it comes to water changes. Also, do you still change 100% of the water? Every time that all the water is changed the cycle will start over again so you'll be constantly battling high ammonia and nitrites. It's probably better to do mini water changes daily to help reduce those harmful levels and give your tank a chance to cycle.

Hope this helps!

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I dont know if this matters, but I had a tail biter once, and he lived in a 1/2 gallon tank for a short time, and a 1 gallon for the rest. All I did was change the water in the one gallon every3-4 days (so bi-weekly) and he never got an infection or anything... but I didnt net him, i would scoop him into a cup, then scoop him back into the tank. I think that helped with the stress... (when he was in the 1/2 gallon, i changed the water every other day)

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Tail biter?

I avoid using nets too. If I absolutly must, I catch my fish with soft brine shrimp nets and keep that over a cup of water so they don't have to deal with leaving the surface. I usually just use the cup unless I'm dealing with tetras tho...fast little guys!

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His fin rot's getting worse really fast, and I don't think that clean water is helping. Sooo...should I try the salt treatment or the melafix? Dosages? I know both have a chance of really hurting him but I don't know what else to do. Please reply quickly.

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Anyone?? Please help :(

His ammonia was up to .25 this evening. I didn't want to do a waterchange because I am most likely doing one to add meds or salt tonight and I don't want to stress him. I added some prime to hold him off for a couple of hours.

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Maybe you could start with melafix at half strength and see how he looks in the morning? Just a suggestion, though; I never gave my betta anything as he died rather unexpectedly.

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I hope this helps... I tried looking some remedies in the internet for you. This is what could find. I am sorry, I really hope things work out.

Fin or tail rot

When the fin or tail on a fish starts to lose bits, the whole fin can be eaten away. It is caused by bacterial infection,to make your fish better make a hospital tank and mix one teaspoon of salt for every 5 gallions of water mix it in with the normal water in the hospital tank and wait.

http://article.discusnews.com/cat-02/fin-rot.shtml

http://www.elmersaquarium.com/c107problemchart.htm

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OK - If the rot is spreading wuickly - you may have the bacterial kind. I have had the most luck with the Maracyn & Maracyn II combo. I used to crush the tablets, divide them into the approx portions I needed for my size tank & then treat (I called & was recommended by the Maracyn people since the tablets are meant for 10 gal tanks & the liquid form is only good for that day (waste!)

When I was at the Petstore today (vvvv) I noticed that the MAracyns now come in powder form! Yeah! No more chasing tiny pill bits.

UNless you are ready for the consequences (you may have issues & you may not - you won't know until AFTER you try sadly) don't go in with Salt or Melafix. If you do decide to try them - proceed with caution & know that some bettas react in extremem ways to them (THe melafix accelerated the rot in my bettas & other have reported breathing difficulties in bettas using it. BUT I will be fair & say some bettas are fine. You just never know. The same problem occurs with the salt. Some peoples bettas have died from it. I was never brave enough to leave the tank salted. I did try dips (this was after failed antibiotics in the desparate hope it was a parasite) & my babies did react strongly to it, but it didn't kill them. There is a member who had a dramatic reaction to the salt (for the good )so again you will have to choose on this one!

You are correct - you will never cycle an unfiltered tank. However, you may need to do a series of smaller water changes in between the 100% ones to keep the ammonia down. If you do add meds always change the water first & then add the meds (this sounds easy until you are frantic with a sick fish & then it's like woah! I have been there in my fervor forgetting really simple things because I am so freaked out!

Do the water change! Any ammonia right now will make the situation worse. If you get desperate you can try the bucket to bucket method. Just keep in mind that sometimes the water changes are very stressful for some bettas & this may work very well or you may see problems.

Prime is the best for your situation right now. Remember the ammonia will continue to register - BUT it will be in a less toxic form.

I too have switched to aged water for my bettas. It seems to marginally help (& at the worst of the rot I would have taken whatever I could have gotten). (I do use just treated tap for my big tanks though & it seems to work well)

THe only other thing I can suggest is a heater. You say - whaaat??? It's too small! BUT Wallmart does sell a heater that is perfect for a tank under 5 gal. Get a thermometer. Bettas seem to do better with a more constant temp & this may help (I think it's an Aquatics Jr. THere is no temp control but Several of us have used them for a while with no ill effects. Just keep an eye on the termometer!)

Hope this helps! POst back soon if I was confusing about anything.

I;m going to hunt a link down for you with a great description of the different kinds of rot - it has pics & it may help!

*BIG HUGS - YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

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Okay... I have no way of getting the maracyns or anything like that sadly. I think my only choices are salt or melafix. I'm still a bit confused on dosage...

For salt would I do one teaspoon per gallon and the next day another to make it .2%?

As for the melafix I'm getting mixed dosages...from 1 drop per gallon to 10 drops per gallon. x_X

I think I am going to try the salt. I'll have a bucket of clean and ready water to transfer him into if he starts getting worse. I'll be watching him. Hopefully nothing bad happens.

The salt bath....do you know what the percentage and time in the bath was? Thanks :)

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I think I did a .2% solution. (I think I was too chicked to go any higher). You just put him in there & watch him like a hawk. As soon as he seems to be struggling - have a clean container of perfect water ready to put him in.

(That is 2 teaspoons per gallon of aquarium salt) (I am assuming you already know you can't use table salt)

I do have the link to a question that discusses Melafix. Be forewarned it's a bit difficult to understand but it is very helpful. (& the auther has lost bettas to Melafix)

I also want to caution you that a true bacterial infection will not respond to salt or melafix. (As neither is a true antibiotic!) so just keep an eye out!

Melafix link

I am still searching for that other link for you as it is a great one!

Hope this helps! :D

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Many bettas do not respond well to salt. I would be very leery of keeping him in that solution. Why not try it as a dip & see how it goes? If it goes well & he still seems OK tomorrow - you could try it I guess. As I said just keep a close eye ( I wouldn't want you to loose him!)]

Did the links help at all?? :D

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