Ok, I'm really not sure if this is an emergency or not. I got three new neon swords almost a week ago. One of them is considerably smaller than the others. And when I got her I noticed it almosted looked like a fish had taken a small bite from her tail, It's whitish around the peice of missing fin. It hasn't seemed to get any better... I would say it's almost gotten bigger, I have never encountered fin rot. So I have no idea what it looks like. The fishes behaviour is fine. They seem to be healthy, I will try to attach a picture but last time I tried to post a photo on this website it just resulted in no photo and frustration. Ok, I also had another question (deffinatly not an emergency) When fish rip thier fins do they heal? I noticed on one of the other swords it had a rip in the dorsal fin, but it doesn't appear to be there anymore. Sorry about all the questions. But I do have one more. If this is fin rot, is it transferable to other fish, and is there an cure not using medication? (I have shrimp in the tank and I'm sure meds will kill them) Thank you for any advice!! Oh, I have a 10 gallon tank, pH 7.6, nitrates 10ppm, nitrites 0 ppm, ammonia 0ppm. There are 5 swordtails 1 male and 4 females, and three shrimp. (2 snails also but I think they are dead?)http://fishforum.com/userpix/2862_finrot_1.jpg[/img]
in my experiences some ripped fins heal themselves, but its best to heal it as soon as possible. that tail fin looks like it has fungus. its best to treat it as soon as you can. if you dont want to treat the tank, then place the infected fish in a quarantine tank and cure it.
Don't use sopper with snails! It will kill them.
To heal your fishes fins you can use melafix which is natural and safe for invertebrates also. Plenty of partial water changes (try 20% 2-3 days) and redosing the medication as necessary should help your fish to heal quickly.
For future reference, fungus is not contagious unless the other fish have open wounds left untreated where the spores can easily invade them thereby developing cotton patches around the wounds. Fungus is simply a secondary infection of wounds not treated which in your case again, is not.
It's hard to tell what it is based on the picture; it's too blurry.
But from the description it is most likely fin rot.
Maintaining excellent water quality as Lupin suggested is the way to go.
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