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New Member
Sep 16, 2018
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Hi everyone,

My roommates and I got a betta fish about 2 weeks ago and we're worried he might have fin rot but we're not sure if it's that, him tearing his fins, or just normal. He's had the white tips on his fins since we got him and he has a bigger split in his top fin that's improving now, but I think it might have been from the filter intake which we've since covered with a mesh because he likes to lay against it.

He's in a fluval spec iii which is 2.6 gallons with the included filter and a heater. The tank stays at 79° consistently. We tested the PH and it was a little high so we adjusted it and it's now at 7. When we started the tank we used tetra safe start and let it run for about a week before putting him in.

I've been doing daily 30% water changes for about a week now and I've been treating with melafix for 4 days. I know that some people think melafix can be dangerous for bettas but I did my own research and I've been sure to only use the exact dosage for the tank size or a little less than that and I haven't noticed any negative symptoms, but I'm also not sure I've noticed improvement.

Today when I got up, I noticed a new tear in his fin that wasn't there yesterday, so I'm thinking it has to be from him tearing his fins on something in the tank rather than fin rot since it happened so quickly? But I'm really not positive.

The first picture I attached is what he looked like a couple days ago, and the last picture (the one where he's kind of laying down on the gravel) is what he looks like now with the new tear in his fin.

He's still eating fine and acting normal.

I really appreciate any help and advice!


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Fish Guru
Jan 26, 2008
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Perth, WA
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Fin rot is caused by poor water quality damaging the fish and allowing bacteria to infect the injured parts of the fish. The best way to treat it is by doing a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a couple of weeks. If the tank is new (2 weeks old) the filter probably hasn't established and you could have ammonia and nitrite in the water. This will cause damage to the fins and gills and can be reduced with big daily water changes.

If you get a round sponge from an internal power filter, they will sometimes fit over the intake strainer of the filter and help stop the fish being sucked onto the filter strainer.

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