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Discussion Starter #1
SYMPTOMS...

1. Rapid fin loss (in a matter of hours) with bloody edges and holes, but no fuzzy patches
2. Hiding a lot.
3. Rapid breathing.


My Betta has been battling fin rot or tail biting for over a month since I got him. His fins would start to heal and then a week later it would be frayed and bloody in certain places. It seems to happen on Wednesday and Thursday right before I change his water. His fin issues have gotten very predictable.

Wednesday right before I was going to do a weekly water change I noticed his tail was frayed again at the top with some bloody edges. I thought he was biting again! So I changed 30% of his water, vacuumed the gravel, and added salt.

Thursday his tail was worst and his anal fin was bloody and frayed too. He was darting in and out of the plants and seem to hide a lot more.

Today, I noticed his fins were even worst. His entire tail is frayed at the edges, anal fin and now dorsal fin are frayed with bloody edges. I noticed he is also breathing quite rapidly and still spending a lot of time hiding. He is still eating though. I did about a 15% water change again.

I have never seen fin rot progress this rapidly so I am beginning to think it is something more. I'm afraid to use the siphon I used to change his water on my other tank because I'm afraid this is something contagious!

Chunks of fin are falling off and it's quite red at the edges. I don't know what to do. HELP!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I think it may be COLUMNARIS.

Based on some descriptions I read that high temperatures and rapid changes can cause this. Recently the heat with the lights and filter on have pushed the temp to 85 degrees and would drop off to about 81 at night. I turned off the heater because it was making the water really warm.

He seems to have some of the symptoms, but not all of them.
 

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Hi Atom,
I think that a betta can handle a water temperature swing that is from 81 to 85 degrees without any difficulty.

It sounds to me like your little guy has gone from mild fin rot to advanced, rapidly-spreading fin rot. I would treat this very seriously, even risk overmedicating rather than undermedicating.

I recommend putting him in a clean container like a glass jar or vase, something that you know the size of so that you can measure the dose. Five gallons is an easy size for dosing. If you can't change the container he is in, do a 100% water change.

Then, treat him with some heavy duty antibiotics like a combination of Tetracycline and Ampicillin. Treat him for two complete cycles of the medication or even longer. Change his water frequently and completely, and redose each time. (Follow the instructions on the box)

Good luck, Atom, this sounds very serious! If you don't have any medications, send me a PM as I might have something that you could try. I'd have to look through my fish drug store to see what might work. I don't have ampicillin or tetracycline, but might have alternatives. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Morainy. I have some Tetracycline! I will try that.

Can I dose him in the tank he is in or is it better to remove him and put him in a hospital tank? I have live plants in the tank he is in now.

I'm very worried. His fins are rapidly deteriorating.
 

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Hi Atom,

I put Tetracycline into a tank with plants in it and the plants survived, but all my plants tend to be hardy types.

I have looked up a site for you about bettas and fin rot. Scroll down past the mild fin rot to the more serious one. http://www.bettatalk.com/betta_diseases.htm

Luckily, the fin rot doesn't seem to have infected his torso yet, or at least I can't see that from the pic. Good luck!
 

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I forgot to mention that wherever you decide to treat him, you should do a complete or very large water change first. It's possible that there's something in the water that's been stressing him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the link and help Morainy.

I have Java Fern, Anubias and Marimo Balls in the tank. Do you think the Tetracycline will be okay?

He isn't looking so great today. All is fins are shredded. Even his Ventrals. I did do a big water change right before the meds. Still resting a lot and breathing rapidly.

I am going to go out and see if I can get some Ampicilin too.

I just wish I knew what caused this :(
 

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Good luck, Atom. I hope he pulls through. If he does, his fins will grow back I think.

I am pretty sure that the Java fern and anubias will be okay with the medication, but I have never had marimo balls.

Maybe somebody else here has a suggestion?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Morainy.
He isn't hiding as much and seems to be breathing easier now, but his fins are still really bloody and torn.

Unfortunately I came home today and found that some of the rays in this dorsal fin near the base are broken. He seems to have limited control of the fin now and it just droops over the side :(. I think it may have been the filter. I took the original filter out and replaced it with a sponge filter because of the meds. That seems to have increased the current. I'm such an idiot! I've turned the filter off for now.

The poor fish has gone through so much now. The curse of being so beautiful with his big fins.
 

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I would have a sponge over the intake as apposed to mesh for sure!!
also I would amputate all infected areas as its still far away from the body and you said it was progressing fast..

I dont know if its the right thing to do but I would do it none the less.. Good luck..
 

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The sponge filter shouldn't be a problem and is quite ideal for sick fish. Perhaps you need to buy a valve that alters the bubble output and set it to very low
 

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The sponge filter shouldn't be a problem and is quite ideal for sick fish. Perhaps you need to buy a valve that alters the bubble output and set it to very low
Agreed.... The problem is cycling them for a hospital tank if you haven't cycled it allready...

I've been thinking of ways to have cycled sponge filters on hand. One idea I have is keeping the sponge in a canister filter running on a tank. Then if you ever need a cycled sponge filter pull it out and away you go.
 
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