What is wrong with my betta?

kiersten kober

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Hello, newbie here. Lately, my betta Opal has gained a new appearance, almost as if his fins have shred. Attached is a picture from when I first got him and a picture from today. What is wrong and how can I fix it?
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upload_2019-12-1_21-30-36.jpeg
 

Deanasue

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What are your water parameters and tank size? How often do you do water changes and tank cleaning? Did you cycle your tank before adding Opal?
 
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kiersten kober

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What are your water parameters and tank size? How often do you do water changes and tank cleaning? Did you cycle your tank before adding Opal?
The tank is almost two gallons, and I do them every week or two. I had a filter in.
 

Fishguy13

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You still need to cycle your tank even if you have a filter. Also it could be shredding his own fins because the are to heavy. Is that lump on his back normal?
 
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kiersten kober

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You still need to cycle your tank even if you have a filter. Also it could be shredding his own fins because the are to heavy. Is that lump on his back normal?
I guess? I’ve never noticed it. Also, I don’t know what it means to “cycle” a tank.
 

essjay

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The link is for cycling a tank before you get fish; you can't add ammonia with a tank that has fish in it. But the link does explain what cycling is. When you have fish in an uncycled tank, you need to test for ammonia and nitrite every day. Whenever either of them is above zero, you need to do a water change.
You can help by only feeding the fish once every two or three days - the less they eat, the less ammonia they make. You can use Seachem Prime as a dechlorinator (water conditioner) as that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite for around 24 hours and will keep the fish safe till the next water change. And putting live plants in the tank will help as they use ammonia as fertiliser - and they don't turn it into nitrite.
 

Jan Cavalieri

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And really you need more like a 5 gallon tank at least for a Betta this large. Two gallons is just going to cause a high concentration of ammonia and nitrite and eventually kill him. Purchase a water test kit from API and start daily testing the water parameters. Ideally you should have zero ammonia and zero nitrites and nitrates under 10 ppm. PH should be around 7.4 or lower (you may need to test your tap water and see what it's PH is naturally - that has a huge impact on how the fish is going to do.

Finally, pick up a 5 gallon tank. You most likely can use the same filter and same thermometer. Also pick up some Tetra Safe Start Extra and add the appropriate amount to your tank following each water change. Since you didn't cycle your tank before you purchased a fish this is the next best thing and will hopefully establish the right kind of bacteria that you need to lower your ammonia and nitrate levels.

His fins may be looking scraggly because he is in such a small tank. What a stunning looking Betta! Doesn't look like there is anything "soft" in the tank. Think about purchasing some plants where he can hide when stressed - he's kind of in a fishbowl right now.

Finally buy an air stone and a small air pump - place it off to the side of the tank since betta's like peaceful water as a rule - but a number of them get a kick out "riding the waves" of an air bubbler machine (even it it's not the best for his fins, at least he'll be having some fun). Make sure you have plants that float on the water but also enough open space that he has room to swim.
 

PheonixKingZ

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And really you need more like a 5 gallon tank at least for a Betta this large. Two gallons is just going to cause a high concentration of ammonia and nitrite and eventually kill him. Purchase a water test kit from API and start daily testing the water parameters. Ideally you should have zero ammonia and zero nitrites and nitrates under 10 ppm. PH should be around 7.4 or lower (you may need to test your tap water and see what it's PH is naturally - that has a huge impact on how the fish is going to do.

Finally, pick up a 5 gallon tank. You most likely can use the same filter and same thermometer. Also pick up some Tetra Safe Start Extra and add the appropriate amount to your tank following each water change. Since you didn't cycle your tank before you purchased a fish this is the next best thing and will hopefully establish the right kind of bacteria that you need to lower your ammonia and nitrate levels.

His fins may be looking scraggly because he is in such a small tank. What a stunning looking Betta! Doesn't look like there is anything "soft" in the tank. Think about purchasing some plants where he can hide when stressed - he's kind of in a fishbowl right now.

Finally buy an air stone and a small air pump - place it off to the side of the tank since betta's like peaceful water as a rule - but a number of them get a kick out "riding the waves" of an air bubbler machine (even it it's not the best for his fins, at least he'll be having some fun). Make sure you have plants that float on the water but also enough open space that he has room to swim.
I totally agree. I would even recommend a 10g for a betta. I have a betta in a 10g and he is very happy. You also need a filter and a heater.
 

Deanasue

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I had a feeling you weren’t aware of the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Please read up on it. For now, do daily water changes of 75% until you get the tank cycled. After it is cycled, you will need to do water changes 2 times a week. Tanks should be thoroughly clean, including suctioning the gunk from the gravel, cleaning the sides every week. Clean the filter cartridges in tank water every 2 weeks ( wait 2 months after tank is cycled to start cleaning cartridges). Keep the same cartridge until it falls apart. Don’t use new ones as the filter company probably suggested. Here to help!
 

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When I first kept fish back in the day I had a book 'The interpet Encyclopedia of Freshwater Tropical Aquarium Fishes'. It 's minimum tank size recommendations for every fish were smaller than that recommended on Seriousyfish. Except Bettas. It says they need at least 24" ( 60cm) tank. So not 55 gallon but I do think they lucked out somewhere along the way! ;)
 
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