Setting up a hospital tank for fin rot

ellamay

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I think my betta may have fin rot as his fins are looking pretty ripped around the edges. Im doing regular water changes and using aquarium salt first. I know I can get medication if this doesn’t work, I was thinking of moving him to a smaller hospital tank if he doesn’t improve. Do I need to set up a tank now and start cycling it which could take months? Or do I use water from my existing tank? How do hospital tanks work in emergencies?
 

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I think my betta may have fin rot as his fins are looking pretty ripped around the edges. Im doing regular water changes and using aquarium salt first. I know I can get medication if this doesn’t work, I was thinking of moving him to a smaller hospital tank if he doesn’t improve. Do I need to set up a tank now and start cycling it which could take months? Or do I use water from my existing tank? How do hospital tanks work in emergencies?
Put some of your current filter media into the qt tank after adding dechlorinator. This will kinda do an "Insta-cycle". You can add some bottled bacteria along with the media to help some more.
 

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The Betta would be best left where he is, to avoid further stress. Now, I am assuming he is on his own in the present tank.
 
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The Betta would be best left where he is, to avoid further stress. Now, I am assuming he is on his own in the present tank.
No he’s with 6 corys and tetras. He’s been with the others for a year and has been totally fine. I think he may have started ripping his fin on some drift wood I put in a couple of months ago. I’ve taken it out now.
 
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Put some of your current filter media into the qt tank after adding dechlorinator. This will kinda do an "Insta-cycle". You can add some bottled bacteria along with the media to help some more.
I use a sponge filter. Would it work if I got a smaller sponge filter for the new tank and left it sitting in my established tank for a while? If so, how long would I need to leave it before transferring it to the new tank?
 

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No he’s with 6 corys and tetras. He’s been with the others for a year and has been totally fine. I think he may have started ripping his fin on some drift wood I put in a couple of months ago. I’ve taken it out now.

I suspected this. It is more likely he is being nipped by the tetras. This is very common when male bettas are kept in a community tank. You may not even see it, but it happens. Frequently. If you move the betta out into his own space permanently, I would venture to say the fin will heal.

Nipped fins look like fin rot.
 
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ellamay

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I suspected this. It is more likely he is being nipped by the tetras. This is very common when male bettas are kept in a community tank. You may not even see it, but it happens. Frequently. If you move the betta out into his own space permanently, I would venture to say the fin will heal.

Nipped fins look like fin rot.
Thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely try that. I knew some tetras nipped but I was told by lots of people including on here that ember tetras should be ok. I guess you never know though! I use sponge filters so don’t have any filter media to set up a new tank quickly. Would it work if I got a smaller sponge filter for the new tank and left it sitting in my established tank for a while? If so, how long would I need to leave it before transferring it to the new tank?
 

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Thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely try that. I knew some tetras nipped but I was told by lots of people including on here that ember tetras should be ok. I guess you never know though! I use sponge filters so don’t have any filter media to set up a new tank quickly. Would it work if I got a smaller sponge filter for the new tank and left it sitting in my established tank for a while? If so, how long would I need to leave it before transferring it to the new tank?

I would move the larger sponge now in the tank to a new tank, and put the new sponge in the existing running tank. There is likely sufficient nitrifying bacteria in the tank itself to be OK. Bacteria lives everywhere, and there is more in the substrate than the filter.

I agree Embers seem less likely to fin nip, but I still think this is likely the issue. The gently waving fins of a male betta in front of any tetra are like a red flag in front of a bull.

[Edited to correct spelling.]
 
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Any pictures of the fish to help determine the problem?

Fin rot is normally caused by poor water quality and a dirty environment. It can usually be treated by doing big daily water changes, gravel cleaning the substrate, cleaning the filter, and maybe adding salt. However, if the problem is fin nipping, that is dealt with by separating the fish.
 
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ellamay

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I would move the larger sponge now in the tank to a new tank, and put the new sponge in the existing running tank. There is likely sufficient nitrifying bacteria in the tank itself to be OK. Bacteria lives everywhere, and there is more in the substrate than the filter.

I agree Embers sdeem less likely to fin nip, but I still think this is likely the issue. The gently saving fins of a male betta in front of any tetra are like a red flag in front of a bull.
Ok I’ll get a new filter and swap the sponges. By doing this will I be able to move my betta straight into the new tank? I’m very worried about moving him and stressing him out too much or there isn’t enough good bacteria yet. I’ve only been doing this a year but haven’t lost any fish so far!

Yes I suppose they can just start doing it at any point can’t they. I reduced how much I feed them a couple of months ago because I was told in here I was feeding a bit too much. Do you think that’s why they’ve started fin nipping? Because they’re hungry?

Thanks so much for all your advice by the way, I don’t know what I’d do without this forum!!
 

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Ok I’ll get a new filter and swap the sponges. By doing this will I be able to move my betta straight into the new tank? I’m very worried about moving him and stressing him out too much or there isn’t enough good bacteria yet. I’ve only been doing this a year but haven’t lost any fish so far!

If you move the current "dirty" sponge filter into the new tank, with just the betta in that tank, you will not have any ammonia/nitrite/nitrate issues. Make sure the is some decor and (if possible) floating plants in the new tank, so it is not bare which is stressful to any fish.

Yes I suppose they can just start doing it at any point can’t they. I reduced how much I feed them a couple of months ago because I was told in here I was feeding a bit too much. Do you think that’s why they’ve started fin nipping? Because they’re hungry?

No. This sort of fin nipping can occur with any sedate fish, angelfish and discus and gourami are prone to getting nipped by small shoaling fish. Bettas seem especially vulnerable, but then the male betta's fins are very tempting, much more than the other fish mentioned. Bettas should be housed on their own, there is just too much that can go wrong.
 

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