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Serpae Tetra Fins Rot vs. Nipping HELP!

7531 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  The Dude
I have 4 Serpae Tetras in my 3 gallon tank. I know they can get nippy so their only tank mate is a snail. One tetra in particular has issues with his fins, but is otherwise acting normal and all the other tetra seem ok. How can I tell if it's a case of fin rot or fin nipping? There is one fish who is quite bossy, "Mr. Big" who I think is doing some nipping.

I was thinking of putting some melafix into the tank, but I've never used any other chemical of any kind other than dechlorinator so I am hesitant. A long time ago (see post under "I should've known better LOL) I had a (feeder) goldfish and it came down with either velvet or cotton and I put something in the tank (don't remember what anymore) that petco recommended and it killed the fish within minutes. It was awful to watch. Luckily I have not had any issues (knock driftwood) so I'm not prepared without diligent research to put anything in the tank.

(PS: My water parameters are perfect. 0 A 0 Nitri Nitra<5)
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melafix isnt a chemical, it is all natural, many people here use and recommend it here, buy some and follow the directions.
You know, I forgot about melafix being natural. I guess I'm just so hesitant to to put anything in here. I'll give it a try and see what happens. I'm still wondering how to tell the difference between rot and nips though.
Finrot-white edges on fins, ray membranes are visible with the fins appearing to be eroding

Nipping-fins appear to be in odd shape on the edges with some curves done by a fellow fish's constant nipping habit

I find it a bit difficult to describe nipped fins.:lol:
Thank you. Considering you were having a hard time describing nipped fins, I think you did a great job at accurately describing what my serpae's tail looks like!

Being serpaes their fins are naturally translucent on the edges already so that was part of my concern. But this is very irregular and no membranes are visible. It looks almost like a jagged edge of a ripped piece of something. I'm assuming my little nipper is Mr. Big. He's obnoxious, and I really wish I could get rid of him. I NEVER thought I would say that about a pet!
Their fins were indeed nipped.:) No worries with the Melafix in store for you.:) I would just incline to see the serpaes repeat the process again as they have the nasty habit for nipping.:shake: One reason why I dread to even buy serpaes for my tetra collection.:lol:
It's one in particular that I'm worried about. He's really being bossed around (read: nipped) by Mr. Big. I only bought the serpaes because I decided against guppies, we already have golden white clouds, and my son thought they looked interesting. Now I'm wishing I'd never bought them. They are really neat to look at, as they have an interesting way of swimming, but all that nipping is really upsetting me.

We're supposed to get some nasty snow in NJ tomorrow and Saturday, so I hope they will be ok until then. I may have to go and run to Petsmart/co to pick some melafix up ASAP in the morning.

I'm sorry to hear about your problem. I have 4 Serpaes as well but i dont have any problem with nipping. They do chase eachother all the time but dont actually nip. I would say your problem might be that they need more room. Where in NJ do you live? All of my serpaes are about as big as they can get so if you would like I might be able to run over there and take Mr Big to a home where he will be cared for. PM me if you really do want to get rid of him
We're in Morris County, but I think my son would be crushed if one of his serpae were given away! Hence the Melafix (which I bought yesterday).

Mr. Big is really a bully, but I am beginning to wonder if he were to be replaced or removed if another serpae would take on the role of Mr. Big as far as pecking order is concerned.

I should've stuck with the guppy tank idea...
I understand the sentimental value of fish, I would only give one away for its own well being or the well being of other fish. I still would like to stress that I really think 4 serpaes would need more space than 3 gallons. I dont even think they would be happy in a 5. Mine never nip each other but they have a lot of space to swim about
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