My betta has fin rot

alexis(z8FL)July 17, 2005

I have a betta fish with fin rot. The tail is white colored a little bit at the end of the tail. How can I safely save this fish? What can I use to cure fin rot? I put Melafix in the tank yesterday but the white stuff came back on the tail.

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woeisme(z7b NC)

Melafix is fine for a madication. Remove any activated carbon from your filter (it removes the treatment so it becomes ineffective). The best cure for fin rot is to improve water conditions. Poor water conditios in an unestablished aquarium is the main cause of finrot.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 2:54PM
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I use the sponge filters (the ones with the different colored sponges). I got some capsules that have stuff in them that put powder into the water that kills fin rot and other diseases. The water was clear with no dark color in it so I don't know how the water could be in poor condition. I remove leftover food as soon as possible with a turkey baster (there is no gravel in the tank --- I've found that gravels keeps more bad bacterial in the water from leftover food and makes the leftover food harder to clean up). I also wanted to reduce the amount of times the fish has to go into a fish net because of stress hurting fish.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 7:23PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

You are correct netting and stress of movement will cause deterioration of the slimecoat.This would make him more suceptable to a bacterial disease (like finrot).The fish shouldn't be moved to maintain. If food collects on the bottom, uneaten, then you are feeding too much, too quick. It is best to feed too little at first and gradually build up until you get used to how much to give. Common for new fishkeepers to over feed.Don't worry you wont starve the fish. Just because water is clear doesnt mean it doesnt have ammonia or nitrite. Tap water that is from a municipal source is usually treated with chlorine or chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) It needs to be dispelled with a aquarium water treatment product. Gravel at the bottom is beneficial to start a "good" bacterial growth that removes ammonia and nitrites from water. I am confused as to what size tank you have, or is it a bowl? If it is a tank then gravel should be used and a gravel vaccum. The vaccum serves purposes Cleaning left over food and fish waste along with removeing 20-25% of water every 1-2 weeks. I am assumeing you have a 2.5 gal or more tank because you are useing a sponge filter.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 10:01PM
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Minaku(z6 Pittsburgh)

If your betta's tail is white or clear at the end, and has no signs of black or burnt-looking edges, your fish has fully recovered from fin rot. The white and clear parts you see is regrowth. No need to medicate.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 11:17AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

I have not kept bettas in a long time but I have seen fin rot in other species. It usually starts out white or torn looking. I think when it is black is when the nitrite level is high and the pH is low or acidic (nitric acid).

Here is a link that might be useful: Good fin rot pic

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 9:48PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Sorry the site is under construction. Just click Illness and disease, then fin rot for pic.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 9:52PM
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Minaku(z6 Pittsburgh)

I actually don't see any fin rot on that one fish that's supposed to have fin rot.

Clear and white tips indicate regrowth unless the white/clear parts are fuzzy or weak-looking. High nitrate or ammonia really doesn't have anything to do with the color of the rot - when necrosis sets in, usually tissue will turn brown or black.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 8:47AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

The only fin rot I have experienced first hand happened to a swordtail that was being harassed. It started out white and became blackened and ragged. It may have been torn originally and then from stress of being chased developed the finrot. I really do not know for sure. I removed it to a hospital tank, it recovered and put it in another tank. When its tail grew back I dont recall it being white. I usually assume that a white spot or fadeing mean sickness as apposed to regrowth.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 10:24PM
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I have had my beta for about 5 months and my has had fin rot for 2 months!!!!! He lived in a 10 gallon tank with a heater (set in between 76-82F) and a filter. I always add aquarium salt to his water changes and I have been using Melafix all this time. It has kept it from even going half way but I want it just to get the parasites off of him. I have moved him into a smaller bowl recently as a hospital tank and do 25% water changes every week. The fin rot goes away but then just comes back again, I need advice. I do not have a testing kit but I know that it is clearly fin rot. I have gone through 5 bottles of the Melafix. Please help me cure me sick beta!!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:31AM
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I'm sad your betta is sick... :( I found some information online about fin rot to give you some background and put my own thoughts on how you could try to solve the problem, I hope this helps!

Fin rot can either be a fungal infection (this would be the type that would produce a whiteness on your Betta's fins, and would rot the tail in a more even pattern), or because a bacterial infection (the tail will rot in a more ragged manner). Sometimes the viral and bacterial infection can be seen together. With the proper treatment, fin rot is usually NOT fatal. However, it is extremely important that you treat your Betta's fin rot early. When fin rot works its way up the tail of the fish, it can infect the main fish body, and cause death

MELAFIX IS VERY BAD FOR BETTA FISH!!!! The medicine you are currently using (Melafix) is a herbal medicine that is essentially neosporin for fish, it only helps heal cut fins and promote regrowth. Melafix if not used properly will burn their gills or lungs and suffocate them (by coating their labyrinth organ which is the Betta fish's most important organ... its lungs!!) The medicine should be applied to its fins and body ONLY making sure to keep away from their head by using a paint brush. You also should not put them right back in their tank after using it so that you dont run the risk of suffocating them. (Which personally that just sounds like it would be too hard to do, how could the fish survive out of water...) The concentration of the chemical used to heal torn fins in Malafix is too high for Betta fish or any other labyrinth fish to handle. People instead will often tell you that you should be using Bettafix/Bettamax which is basically the same thing as Malafix only it supposedly won't harm your beta because it has less of a concentration of that certain chemical... though if you look at the suggested dosage it would end up being about the same as using the Marafix when the two are compared. Though some people have claimed to use these products without any problems they cause lots of stress to the fish because they are so toxic. If you still choose to use these types of medicines they would only be beneficial to use after you have killed the infection because it really only promotes regrowth and healing of torn fins. In all actuality clean water and aquarium salt are the best things for healing hurt fins.

Be careful... continually giving your fish medicine will over medicate your fish causing him to stress out and letting its immune system weaken where it will catch fin rot frequently. Go to your pet store and get some Jungle Fungus Eliminator this should cure the bacteria infection. If that does not work for you I have also heard that tetracycline powder works well also (it does cause a slight discoloration of the water). Be careful when reading the instructions most of the dosages are for larger tanks- if you google it I'm sure there are some tricks on how to figure out the correct dosage for smaller tanks. The medicine may cause your fish to be inactive because the medicine is hard on them.

Since this is a common thing make sure you are not overfeeding your fish (extra food causes growth of bacteria that commonly causes fin rot), also check the date on your fish food because food that has gone bad can also cause fin rot. Doing water changes daily for one week after treating him for the fin rot will really prevent it from coming back. Don't get discouraged it can take up to 4 weeks to cure the infection. Keep adding the aquarium salt every time you do a water change because that really reduces the fishes stress levels. Once it is cured if you notice it coming back at all even slightly... immediately change your betta's water (and then continue once a day for a couple of days), because if caught early fin rot can be cured just by water changes.

And if you want to go really crazy they do have vitamins for betta fish that will boost their immune system!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 8:35AM
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This is my first post regarding my Betta.
I left my Betta with a friend for ten days, I did a 25% water change before I dropped him over.
Once I got him home I noticed his fin had become white in colour over the next four days.
I've changed 25% of his water and put some Aqua One Betta Health tablets in his tank.
He is still very excitable and rushes around his tank. Not off his food at all.
The colour is coming back to his fin and his lower fin looks a bit ragged.
Is there anything else I should do?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 7:42PM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

Just go to a fish shop and ask for medication for fish with fin rot. They give it to you and you put the liquid in the tank (it is usually blue in colour and makes the tank water look blue)Anyway keep the betta in this water for a few months only topping it up as it evaporates and when you eventually do a water change he should be fine. This happened to one of mine about 3 years ago and although it fixed his fin rot he never grew his fins back sadly :(

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:50AM
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I bought a betta fish [tito] about 2 weeks ago from the $1 shop, I felt an urge to save the poor fish. Tito came in a small container with hazy water. He looked alright... i bought a 1.5 gal bowl and i put some live bamboo with some pebbles in it. As soon as we transferred him to his new bowl, he was a bundle of joy! swimming fast and very active.
I tried to feed him hikari pellets but he just spit them out. So then I tried bonito fish flakes and he loved them always begging for more... I don't overfeed him.. he eats about 3-5 flakes twice a day.

Tito is incredibly inquisitive and swims fast whenever he sees either my partner or me!

2 days after I bought him however he started developing a thin black edge on this tail but I did not think of anything bad because he was very active.

The black edge around his tail however started to get thicker and now his other fins look as if they are melting :( We have been changing the water 40% every other day and started treating him with Melafix 2 days ago.

We also changed him into his new 5gal tank yesterday where he is swimming faster than ever!!!!
Although Tito is still very active and eating well, he is also stays inactive for long periods of time on the top of the tank, sometimes he appears dead.. see picture!

The questions are:
- does fin rot cure?
- how log does it take?
- is melafix the best medicine?
- Are bonito fish flakes ok to feed bettas?

Any other tips and advice would be highly appreciated. I love Tito! I also must confess that I don't know much about fish. i have reading a lot about bettas lately but I am still very new to them


    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 3:15PM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

Hi, your fish looks very cute..i love the red ones,,,they are my favorite. Anyway in regards to your questions...

- does fin rot cure? Yes it does
- how log does it take? Its different for every fish.
- is melafix the best medicine? I dont think we have melafix in australia...Just Go to your local aquarium and fish shop and ask for their best medication for fin rot. I cant remember the one i have always used but they will be able to help you. I always leave my medication in the tank for as long as possible. Do not change the water. Just top up the tank as it evaporates. The medication i use turns the water a blue colour. Put him in a small tank..anything less then 5litres as you then wont have to use as much medication. Once you are sure that the fin rot is gone you can then change the water in the tank. Also sometimes bamboo can rot in a tank and this can effect a fish. Make sure the leaves are above the water and the bamboo will be fine.
- Are bonito fish flakes ok to feed bettas? They are fine but you shouldnt keep him on them forever...try and get him to change over to the proper betta pellets...try making them sink to make him chase them. Im sure once he gets one in his mouth and tastes it he will then eat them.

Also u mentioned he just lies in the tank sometimes and looks dead....thats normal...he is just sleeping.,,,they sleep in some wierd ass positions....but they all do it so dont worry :)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:13PM
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The absolute best medicine for any freshwater fish is aquarium salt and baking soda. Betta typically enjoy a water pH that is 7.0 or less. If you mix one tablespoon baking soda and one tablespoon aquarium salt per 10 gallons of water (Use a ten gallon bucket with a lid for this) and use that water as the replacement water for your betta when you clean the tank, this will help out drastically. In addition to the salt and baking soda, use Amquel and Novaqua. One cap per ten gallons. Only change out 25% of the water being careful not to stir to much of the gravel up. Sponge filters, carbon filters, those are nice but they cause to much surface disturbance for the betta especially during bubble nest making. Stresses him out. You might want to double up on the slim coat replacer. If the slim coat on the fish is weak this is how they get things like ich and fine rot and all sorts of issues. Its an open wound of sorts. Which gets infected. If you can heat the water temperature up slowly to 82 degrees, this will help keep ich at bay. Ich can not survive in water that is 82 degrees. Also fluctuations in water temperatures can cause stress and increases rates of infections. Higher water temperatures also increase the fishes metabolism. This means they will want to eat more. Their colorations and patterns will start to become more prominent. I also chose to feed frozen foods or blood worms to my bettas. These type of food are found in their natural environments. Typically the betta lives in muddy rice paddy waters. They are a mememer of the anabantoid family. Which means they have lungs. They can be air breathers if needed when the rice paddys are thich with sludge and oxygen levels are low.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 3:26PM
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