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Betta fish fins splitting

Betterbetta101

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Hi all,

I just got a betta (my first fish) two weeks ago and noticed his fins have started to split.
He lives in a 3.5gal filtered tank ( no heater yet, but I plan on getting one in the future - any amazon recommendations would be appreciated).
I’ve used bettafix over the last week but have not noticed any change for the better in his fins. I’m not sure if its fin rot or split for another reason. I got a sponge for the intake of the filter as I noticed he was wrapping himself around it.
He still seems to be swimming around like a happy fish but does sit on the bottom from time to time.
Any help as to what should be done would be much appreciated. Thank you
 
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Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Your water looks milky cloudy. If this is correct, then the filter is probably not established and you have an ammonia problem, which is causing the damage to the fins.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a couple of weeks. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Get your water tested for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Post the results in numbers here.
 

Deanasue

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I have the same issues with mine. I have tried daily 75% water changes along with a tablespoon of aquarium salt for each 5 gallons ( only added daily what I took out on salt), herbal bacterial med, & General Cure, and can’t even remember the rest. I even took mine out of a divided 10 gallon and gave them both their own 10 gallon tanks and changed their filters to sponge filters. I have finally taken out the big guns and treated with Kanamycin & Furan-2. I can’t report any improvement with this as of yet as I just completed the treatment today. I don’t know if there’s a new strain of fin rot affecting bettas or what. I’m usually pretty good at diagnosing and treating my fish appropriately but this one has me stumped. You may want to try the Kanamycin and Furan-2 treatment if you’re in the States and can get it. It’s usually my final “ go to” when all else has failed. Good luck!
 
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Betterbetta101

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Your water looks milky cloudy. If this is correct, then the filter is probably not established and you have an ammonia problem, which is causing the damage to the fins.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a couple of weeks. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Get your water tested for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Post the results in numbers here.
Hi there! I got the API master test kit and tested the numbers. As of yesterday it was sitting at 0 ppm ammonia 0 ppm nitrite and ~5-10ppm nitrate
PH was sitting at about 7.8 which i know should be around 7.5. Im using dechlorinator each time new water is added to the tank. Ive just cleaned the tank, but immediately it looks a bit cloudly with small particles, which im not sure if its just from moving the gravel around or not? Will the filter be able to get it with a intake sponge? Thanks for your help!!
 
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Betterbetta101

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I have the same issues with mine. I have tried daily 75% water changes along with a tablespoon of aquarium salt for each 5 gallons ( only added daily what I took out on salt), herbal bacterial med, & General Cure, and can’t even remember the rest. I even took mine out of a divided 10 gallon and gave them both their own 10 gallon tanks and changed their filters to sponge filters. I have finally taken out the big guns and treated with Kanamycin & Furan-2. I can’t report any improvement with this as of yet as I just completed the treatment today. I don’t know if there’s a new strain of fin rot affecting bettas or what. I’m usually pretty good at diagnosing and treating my fish appropriately but this one has me stumped. You may want to try the Kanamycin and Furan-2 treatment if you’re in the States and can get it. It’s usually my final “ go to” when all else has failed. Good luck!
Hi! I’m actually in Canada, so I’m not sure if this is an option for me or not? I have moss balls, catappa leaves and aquarium salt ordered all of which Ive heard good things about. (Not for fin issues necessarily) If that treatment works for you please let me know! Thanks
 

Colin_T

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Don't worry about your pH, if it's 8.7 that is fine.

If the water is going milky cloudy from the gravel, then it should clear over the next few weeks. Just do a big water change and gravel clean every couple of days until it clears.
 
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Betterbetta101

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Don't worry about your pH, if it's 8.7 that is fine.

If the water is going milky cloudy from the gravel, then it should clear over the next few weeks. Just do a big water change and gravel clean every couple of days until it clears.
Hi, What would some other causes be for the cloudy-ness if it isn't the gravel? Also, about the fin splitting, would you recommend using aquarium salt? I just got some but nervous to try too many things one after the other.
 

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I use to be afraid of salt too. Aquarium salt works as an astringent to clean and protect fins from bacteria while healing. It is safe for short periods of time up to 14 days. I would not use it all the time as there is no need. Only for treatment purposes. Good luck!
 
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Betterbetta101

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I use to be afraid of salt too. Aquarium salt works as an astringent to clean and protect fins from bacteria while healing. It is safe for short periods of time up to 14 days. I would not use it all the time as there is no need. Only for treatment purposes. Good luck!
Thank you! I may give it a try! I know its not filtered out and doesn’t evaporate, so do you need to do a full water change at the end of the treatment? Or just stop adding salt when you would usually add it after taking water out? (I don't know if I'm making any sense! Haha!)
 
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Betterbetta101

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Hi again. His fins have lost significantly more tissue. Ive tried adding salt but have seen no change. The water is now clear and water parameters are still 0ppm nitrites and ammonia. Not sure what else to do at this point. Please help
 

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Colin_T

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How much salt did you add?

You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate will affect some plants. The lower dose rate will not affect plants.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. this will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

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Use 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres for a week and if there is no improvement then use anti-biotics.

Before treating the tank, work out the volume of water in it and do the following:
measure length x width x height in cm.
divide by 1000.
= volume in litres.
When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will adsorb the medication and stop it working. Carbon won't remove salt.

Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.
 
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Betterbetta101

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I have added 1 and 1/2 tsp of API aquarium salt, and when I replace a gallon of water i replace 1/2 tsp of salt. The tank is 3.5 gal. I originally started the salt on August 1st so I'm worries about having it in there too long. There is only one male betta in the tank. I also noticed he was chasing his tail last night and he jumped at it so I believe he's now biting his fins as well.
 
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