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beans_etc 02-04-2008 04:26 PM

Fish rot - please advise!
I was looking in on my beta fish yesterday and noticed that her tail fin seemed to be much shorter then usual -- I searched around the tank floor for any signs of it being ripped off but couldn't find any. After some Googling I discovered that she may have developed a disease called fin rot. It's hard to know exactly what treatment to proceed with to help her since everyone has a slightly different variation on it, and I don't hold the teenagers at my local pet store to be reliable sources of information.

Should I be doing a 100% water change before I start antibiotics? How often should I continue doing 100% changes and for how long? Should I be moving my beta out of the tank for a while and into a bowl or something while the water adjusts? Do I need to keep any of the original water or will that just keep the bacteria that caused the rot?

I have one beta only, and she lives alone in a 20 gallon tank with a filter and heater, and I am a relatively new, first-time fish owner. Please advise as soon as possible. Any help would be appreciated.

Cody 02-04-2008 04:28 PM

Fin Rot usually has a white-ish edge around the source.

It is good that she has a 20G all to herself with proper care. You shouldn't do a 100% change in a tank of that size, beause it will kill the beneficial bacteria in the tank. Do a 25-50%, and replace it with warm, dechlorinated water.

What are your water parameters?

You could use some melafix, but only use 1/4 the dose amount because bettas are sensitive to the ingredients.

beans_etc 02-04-2008 04:45 PM

Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by water parameters... I keep the water at 79 or 80 degrees, and I do a partial water change once every week or two. My boyfriend helps me clean the gravel with a gravel vacuum when we clean the tank, then I wipe down all the walls with paper towel afterwards.

Originally we cleaned all of the tank decorations too (a log, a palm tree decoration, etc) but we found that we were getting non-stop algea even the day after we'd clean the tank, and a bunch of sites recommended to leave some decorations un-washed because some how algae already being in the tank helps fight new growth. We also limit the tank light to six hours a day only.

When we do water changes we just use water from the tap, then use some water conditioner I picked up along with the fish when I bought her (along with some algae-fighting chemicals now.)

Let me know if there's any other information you need.

Cody 02-04-2008 04:51 PM

Please do not perform a 100% change.

When I say Water Params, I mean Nitrates, Nitrites, Amonia, pH, hardness, etc. You can buy a kit at your local pet store.

Algea is often caused from excess light. Is her tank near a window?

Aquarium Salt or Melafix/BettaFix should work. Dont use the regualr dosing, but cut it in half and see what happens. Melafix needs to be 1/4 of the regular dose.

Blaxicanlatino 02-04-2008 04:54 PM

I recently purchased a betta with tail rot also (*sigh* kids...) tail or fin rot isnt always white but can slo be brown and or black.

i couldnt afford melafix so im now using bettaFix remedy
-apply 45 drops per 1 gallon

Ive heard from many professionals that aquarium salt is also f=good for tail and fin rot. I advise 1 tablespoon per 1 gallon. so in your case... 20 tablespoons!!!

FIRST!!! make sure that it is tail or fin rot before using a medication

do a 100% water change now to remove bacteria.
-try to keep the water as clean as possible
-try your best not to stress the betta out

Cody 02-04-2008 05:05 PM

Keeping her in the tank is fine. A 50% change should do good for now.

beans_etc 02-04-2008 05:10 PM

Her tank isn't right under a window, it's in our dining room -- but the room open right onto our living room which does have a window. So no, not under a window or right close, but within sight of a large window, yes.

Thank you very much for your help, I'm going to go out after work and buy some of the antibiotics and a water kit. I won't do a 100% water change, like you said -- maybe just a 50% change? Usually I just leave her in the tank while I change the water and vacuum the gravel -- should I take her out and put her in a separate container instead?

Hopefully her fins start to grow back soon...

beans_etc 02-04-2008 05:13 PM

I didn't see your reply until I'd already posted mine. Thank you for your quick replies! :D

beans_etc 02-04-2008 10:00 PM

This evening I did a 50% water change, rinsed all the decorations with hot water, and added half a teaspoon of Melafix to my tank, which I will continue doing for the next several days, and then do a 25% water change like it says on the bottle. Just a couple more follow up questions:

1) The Melafix bottle says to "remove activated carbon, if possible" so I took the filter pouch out of my filter and turned off the whole filter to be safe. Should I leave the filter off for the 7 day duration that I'm medicating the tank with Melafix or can I turn it back on?

2) I also bought some aquarium salt and wanted to add some, but on the package it says "filtration should be at peak level" -- so does that mean that as long as the filter is turned off I shouldn't add any of this salt?

Thank you again in advance~

Cody 02-04-2008 10:08 PM

I would just keep the filter on.

Maybe switch off eah day with the salt and Melafix. See which one works better.

Try turning the temperature up to around 80-82 degrees to speed up the process.

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