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clamped fins!!!!

Posted by Ezzy1986 NSW Aust (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 28, 05 at 7:30

My Hansel has been very happy for the last couple of weeks (since I got him) and is in a heated, 3 gallon tank . I left him overnight on Saturday night after a healthy feeding of live blackworms on Friday and arrived back Sunday to a sad fish sitting on the bottom of the tank and he hardly uses his fins... and when he does, he only uses one... why? what should I do!?!?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Sounds like a parasite, I am not good with disease. try this link for isolation.

Here is a link that might be useful: fish disease


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 28, 05 at 10:29

Please give us more information about his tank conditions and about the fish itself.

When was the last time you did a water change? Do you know what the ammonia and nitrite levels are in the tank? What is the temperature of the tank? Other than being clamped, is the fish showing any other signs of illness? What has he also been eating besides blackworms?

When leaving fish alone for a couple of days, it's best not to feed them heavily a couple of days before, and not to feed at all the day you leave. It cuts down on the amount of waste produced so that you don't have a mess when you get back.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

The tank is 3 gallon, no filtration, heated at about 75-78 degrees fahrenheit. There is no plant and a single cave like structure for him to hide in. I usually do a 25-50% water change weekly. Friday afternoon I did a 100% water change and cleaned out the tank (just with water. I treated the new water and added some rock salt. I don't know the ammonia and nitrite levels of the tank.

I'm not sure what you need to know about the fish. He is usually pretty active and just loves swimming loops around the heater... when he is resting he likes to sit on the bottom near the heater.

I started off feeding him dried blood worms because thats all he would eat and then got some bio-gold betta pellets but he would only eat these if he was really hungry. Then on Thursday I purchased some live blackworms which he loved, but I was careful not to overfeed.

After the 100% water change I fed him some blackworms (he even swam down and picked one up of the bottome) and he was swimming merrily. This was at about 6pm on Friday.
I then placed him next to his friend on my shelf, they both have caves.
Saturday morning he was looking fine.

Then when I arrive home Sunday night he is sitting on the bottom of the tank. THere doesn't appear to be any waste. He swims quickly up for a gulp of air every 5 minutes or so... and then goes back and sits on the bottom.
He is not eating.
THere is no spots or anything on him. His eyes might be a little glazed over, something like a cataract... but I'm not exactly sure what they looked like before.

Last night I added a little more rocksalt and some broad spectrum medication that has methylene blue in it (just a small amount).

This morning he is no more active but is hanging out on top of the water rather than the bottom.

I am so worried
What should I do!?


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 28, 05 at 21:20

First, remove the medication - you don't know what he has, and there's no point in building up bacterial resistance by throwing antibacterials at your fish. You can keep the salinity - and make sure you use aquarium salt - at 3 mLs per gallon.

Raise the temperature to 78-80 degrees. 75 is too cold for a betta. Make sure the temperature stays constant, no fluctuations.

Your tank sounds a bit empty. Buy some silk plants of varying sizes and set them in for him to play with. Bettas are intelligent and they need to have things to do, or else they get bored and chew fins. Also, having a tall plant will give your fish a place to sleep and access air quickly.

Is his friend another betta? If so, then I would recommend keeping a barrier between the two tanks, and letting them have up to an hour of "playtime" every day instead. Seeing another betta all the time desensitizes the flaring reaction, and flaring is an important part of maintaining betta health. Like sex, it releases hormones that will keep the fish strong. Too much flaring is bad, and none at all is just as bad.

Is he gasping for breath? If so, you may have a nitrite problem. If not, it's possible that he's just depressed because he hasn't seen you in a day, or he's just going through an adjustment phase of having another betta next to him with no cover. Like I said, I would keep them carded (I place oaktag sheets between my tanks) and let them flare at each other every day.

Keep trying with the pellets. Withhold any kind of treat except pellets, and with perseverance your fish will eventually eat them. One of my girls refused to eat pellets when I first got her, but I fought her for two weeks. She finally gave up and started eating the pellets.

Keep an eye on him in the next few days. If he starts swelling up, develops cottony looking substances on him, or can't swim up or down really well, then there will be reason to worry.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

The salt can help if the nitrites spiked. Salt can help prevent nitrie poisoning up to .4ppm. As a precaution try shining a flashlight on the fish and check fo a yellowish fuzz that may not be apparent in the lighting you have. This would be velvet, a parasite. It starts early in the gills before the velvet appears on the body. It cant hurt.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

OK so i'm going to do a 100% water change to remove the medication. THen head off to the pet store and get some nitrate, nitrite, ph and ammonia tests... i've ordered some online but think it will take too long to arrive and want to save my poor fish.
I will also get a plant for him.. can I have a plant but no gravel?
What type of plant? Is there one that will just float in the water?


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

he's also not eating at all and swims quickly away from food as though he is scared of it.

could the blackworms have caused a problem?

It looks as though he previously had a case of fin rot that has cleared up before I got him, his fins are thin and much shorter than my other betta, and others I have seen. Seeing as he was like this when I bought him and quite happy, I assumed that it was normal.

I have also just noticed that as I moved him to a small bowl (to change th water) he is swimming around a little bit more... could he be happier in this tiny bowl? (its about a quarter of a gallon)

And his eyes seemed glazed over, could this just be because he is unwell or should I be worrying about pop-eye?


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

My fish is red with white fins but the definition is not very good... last night I noticed the very tips were a little red and this appears to be spreading down the length of the fins. Could this just be normal?
I've heard that fin rot could be red but it is caused by poor water conditions which my fish certainly does not have.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 29, 05 at 8:30

You can get silk plants, and still have no gravel, and it'd be okay. There are free-floating plants that are easy to care for, such as Java moss and Java fern, that will help out with the nitrites in the tank. I have a Java fern in every tank, and when I have good lighting I put in some anacharis.

Now that he's off his feed it's a bit worrisome, but because you don't have any tests and you can't see anything I can't help. Do check for a light dusting of gold on him. Velvet is much more common in betta fry than adult bettas, but they can get it. Ich will show up as white grains of salt. Both can be treated with aquarium salt, which I won't detail in this post, but if you find your fish DOES have external parasites, let me know. Internal parasites are a whole different game. Is his poop a normal brown or caramel color? Has he pooped lately? If he poops white and stringy things, he has internal parasites, which is possible because of the live blackworms.

His eye should look as if there's a clear bubble over it. That's normal and healthy. Fin rot always comes in brown or black. Septicemia is red, but the red you see could be your fish's coloring. Is there a way to get a picture?

A quarter of a gallon is too small for him. You just got your fish - give him time to adjust to his new home. He'll love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: My betta's big new house!


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Tested the PH today and added a live plant. PH was a little high and so fixed that. There doesn't seem to be any external problems but there doesn't seem to be any waste I can examine. He hasn't eaten since Friday afternoon. It's now Monday night.
He just sits on the bottom of his tank.
I have added some proper aquarium salt.
I have a photo, but don't know how to add it.


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could this be velvet?

I think there is a small amount of gold near his gills. It looks like gold leaf or gold flake.
Could this be velvet?
What should I do?
Is it too late?

I have the following products, would any help?

Wardley Promethyasul - contains maffedide hydrochloride, aminacrine hydrochloride and malachite green "a broad spectrum aquarium fish treatment aid for bacterial, fungal and parsitic diseases"

Multi-cure - contains malachite green, methylene blue and acriflavine 'aids in the treatment of white spot, velvetand fungal diseases'

Broad spectrum medication 'mafendide hcl, aminacrine hcl and malachite green... for bacterial, fungal and parasitic diseases.

How did my fish get what looks to be velvet?
My other fish doesn't have it...

I'm so worried about my little guy :(


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RE: could this be velvet?

Im going to add the multi-cure. it has acriflavin and methylene blue which apparently both treat ich.
I have taken the light off the tank as apparently it helps breed the fungus or bacteria or whatever it is.
I have added a little more aquarium salt.

The tank is 12 litres and the bottle says to add five drops per litre so I will add 60 drops. I hope this isn't too much, it seems a bit excessive.

How does the treatment work, do I just leave the blue stuff in there and do my water changes, or should i do a 100% change once the fish has healed?


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

What did you use to fix high pH? What is your pH without fixing it? What are ammonia and nitrite levels? The black worms shouldn't have caused the problem and are a fine food. A possibility is planera (sp?) worms that can appear from live food that is not eaten and not cleaned up durring minimum weekly maintainance. They usually are not a problem but can get into the gills. You didn't mention he was rubbing on anything so probabky not the case. Like Minaku said java moss and ferns are good sturdy plants and will help remove the nitrite as well as ammonia. They will do fine free floating and in "almost" any light. If they start to wilt remove them to a jar and try to nurse them back. More importantly your fish. I will try to attach a link for velvet. It should explain a little. The parasite can be introduced several ways.They need a host to surrvive and grow. A healty fish with good slime coat usually is not bothered by it. You guy seemed to have the chips against him with the finrot. If you didnt test for ammonia or nitrite you have no way of telling your water quality.Both are invisible. They both can come directly from the tap, as well as chlorine. They all eventually cause stress which is reason for loss o slimecoat along with the finrot from the store.By the way use of a good dechlorinator that also removes chloramine and ammonia is needed for city provided water. I will try to find a pic or velevt or gold dust parasite. To post you can go to the "GALLERY" link on the top of the page and post it there. However I tried it and I couldn't get it to work.

Here is a link that might be useful: velvet


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RE: clamped fins!!!!/pics

For velvet on the above link you will have to scroll down to velvet and click. Here is pics of bettas with disease. Not very good but may help

Here is a link that might be useful: disease pic on bettas


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 29, 05 at 12:22

Too much natural light will breed algae, but not bacteria or fungus. Where are you getting this information? It's all wrong. Bacteria and fungus are always present in the water. Your fish gets sick when it is stressed and its immune system goes down. Your fish needs a dark and light cycle. All you have to do is turn off the tank light when you leave or go do bed.

Fungus will come about through a wound that penetrates the slime coat and the flesh. Bacteria will attack when there are poor water conditions and your fish's immune system is compromised. Neither of these two things are caused by too much light.

Don't be so hasty to medicate your fish. Any chemical medication DOES stress out a fish. Also, why are you treating for ich when your fish does not have ich? Don't treat your fish if you don't know what he has. Don't treat for something he doesn't have.

Malachite green and methylene blue are heavy duty medicines, toxic even to humans in large doses. Those two should be one of the last resorts in a battle against a heavy parasitic or bacterial infection. They shouldn't be used if you don't know what your fish has.

You mentioned your pH. Has your municipality changed the water lately? What was your pH out of the tap? What is your pH after sitting out for a day? pH will change between coming out of the tap and sitting in a tank. It is possible that it's changed so much that your betta is in shock. But we can't fix this problem until we know what your pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, hardness, and buffering capacity are.

From what you say, I don't believe your fish is ill with a bacteria or parasite. I believe more and more that your water parameters are what's making your fish act unusual.


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Test kits

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 29, 05 at 12:24

By the way, I hope you got the drip-test testing kits and not the strip tests, as strip tests are inaccurate and sometimes don't even work.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Definately agree with Minaku on the part about medicateing without IDing the problem. The salt, water changes should be enough. If it is Velvet, the Oodinium parasite, dimming lights can help because they are light dependant. Sometimes dimming lights can help in a stressed fish just as it does when you want, and need some rest. Above all water quality is the main factor. Any ammonia and nitrites are harmful. Nitrate starts to get toxic over 50ppm . I agree also strip tests are inconsistant. If available the reagent type(small test tube with chemical that drops in) are more reliable and cost less per test than the strips, in the US anyhow.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Water changes are stressful, 100% changes even more so. Stress makes fish susceptible to disease. Get a small filter that hangs on the back and some live plants, even if its just duckweed, and water changes will be less necessary. Hansel will be much happier. Ditto the temp increase to 80.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Entirely agree with enviros advise on the filter and brings a good point about stress with frequent large water changes. Different water supplies carry different elements and nutrients. The regimen of netting the fish and changeing the water is stressful. but they will get used to it. Fluctuating water conditions arm harmful also. In a filtered cycled environment you are only changeing 10-50% each week or biweekly. Some water supplies are conducive to the filterless method some aren't. I am not saying it can't be done, but it may be better to do 10-20% changes per day than a larger one weekly. This could help limit abrupt changes. If memory serves me ezzy has another betta in a larger tank. I am assumeing that one is fine with the weekly changes?


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

The red (sick) one is in the larger tank. It is three gallons. The blue one is fine in his smaller, 2 gallon tank.

There is definately evidence of gold flakes, apparently this is velvet. I have added a treatment the aquarium store sold me that is for velvet. The fish has been in this treatment over night.

What do you recommend I do now?

The ph was at abou 7.4 and I added 'ph down' that came with the test kit (drip test kit) to get it at about 6.8.

I have not tested for ammonia but the product I was recommended by the aquarium store to add when I dechlorinise the water is called nitrivec biostarter which is to be added when you change or add water and breaks down ammonium and nitrite.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 29, 05 at 22:23

Flakes don't mean velvet. Velvet is a dusting of gold or rust over a betta's body. Some fish have gold iridescence, which means that there's a color layer of the skin that has gold in it. A betta with velvet will sometimes scratch itself by darting around the tank and rubbing itself over surfaces.

Do not keep adding conditioner when you show ammonia. Do a water change instead. The conditioner, when added, does not continue to bind ammonia, it only binds the ammonia that is present and no ammonia that is produced afterwards.

When you tinker with the pH, is that while the fish is in the water? It's best if you buy a bucket or some gallon jugs of water, and fill it with water the day before a water change. Condition it, add pH down if you need to, and let it outgas. Use it the next day - warm it up if you have to. This is the best way to avoid pH shock, which does result in listlessness, avoidance of food, clamped fins, etc.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

My advise on pH is dont mess with it at all. 7.4 ppm is fine. Some pH down also has phosphates in it. The problem with these products is it is constant battles and fluctuation. Once the carbonate that raises pH eats up the acid it will climb back to its original level. As far as the gold flake minaku is correct about bettas haveing it, that is why the picture on that site isn't that good, but has the gold you see been there all along or is it new? Did a quick search on the nitrivec biostarter. I can be wrong but it sounds like a product used to kickstart cycle in a tank. Some of these products have ammonia and nitrite in them like a product in the US called cycle. If it is it is crap. And not a good idea without a filter. I found this info on an aussie site www.ausfishforum.com. Might be worth a shot to post there for local info and tips on products.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Ok thanks guys
When I adjusted the ph the fish was in a seperate tank.
The flakes are near his gills and on his face. I have not noticed them before.

Are you recommending I do a 100% water change to remove the medication?


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 29, 05 at 23:30

I recommend getting a small filter with activated carbon and letting the carbon take care of the medication and other chemicals. Then, after a day or two, do a 50% water change and continue running the filter. If you don't want to cycle, take it out after another few days and another 50-100% water change.

I would let your water outgas first by letting it sit for a day before a water change. pH can change very drastically in that time period.

The picture that woeisme provided is actually very good if you look at it by itself. The fish almost looks crusty.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

i've put in a small filter. it has white stuff in the bottom and black rocks in the top. I assume this is the carbon kind.

Hansel has made a tiny bubble nest today, but I can't get him to eat because he's just sitting on the bottom (where he moved, from the top, after I added the filter).

I hope he's ok. :(
A neighbour is trying to line up a replacement already (he has a pair that have just spawned) but I really hope Hansel pulls through.

Thanks for all your help.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Has you found any waste yet AKA: fish poop?.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

no, there is no waste yet
he still won't eat, its been 5 days


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 31, 05 at 0:27

Is he bloated at all? Looking fat? There should not be a significant bulge where his belly is. Constipation can become a serious problem, especially if he doesn't poop.

Tell me if your fish looks like the ones in the link. Usually I don't like to list Betta Talk as a help site, but in this case Faith has some really good pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of fat fish.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

No he doesn't look fat or bloated at all. It's possible that I just cannot see the waste as there is now a plant and a cave structure.

I only feed them once in the evening and miss a day a week.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Just now I have noticed that the two little fins beside his face have become less clamped, though he is still not eating.

Could this be an early sign of recovery?


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Hansel passed away today
Thankyou for all your help, you've been wonderful


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by Minaku z6 Pittsburgh (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 1, 05 at 8:27

I'm sorry for your loss. I had a fish with similar symptoms as well - I never knew what killed her. I assumed a virulent bacterial infection that I was unable to diagnose, much less treat, until it was too late. She died in a day.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

Sorry EZZY, this is all part of fishkeeping unfortunatly, not to comforting,sorry again.


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by lellie 6B PA & 10A FL (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 12, 05 at 17:29

I'm sorry EZZY...I've been reading your thread but hadn't posted because I know nothing about Bettas.
Again...I'm sorry...the poor little guy....you gave it your best shot...things happen.

I, myself, am nursing a sick Goldfish and he doesn't seem to be getting any better either. *heavy sigh...


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

  • Posted by grice z5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 14, 05 at 16:56

So sorry Ezzy.
I had a betta that passed recently.
It is very frustrating and saddening when you do all you can and still lose the fight.
Grice


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RE: clamped fins!!!!

I wish I'd seen this forum earlier. Poor guy.

First of all, it may have been the 100% water changes that killed him. Stark fresh water can be difficult for fish to live in. believe it or not, old water is healthier, provided it's clean, than fresh water from the tap. The trick is to do PARTIAL water changes, not 100% ones. I highly suggest never doing a 100% water change. You might also think about it from this point of view; temperature changes of more than 1 degree can put a fish in shock and stress it out, which makes it more likely to get a disease in the first place. (Aside from potentially dying from the shock.) The water temperatures need to be exactly the same before you transfer your fish to new water. Someone should have advised Ezzy not to do a 100% water change like that. Wish I saw this thread earlier.

Also, gravel is a must. It seems that the tank/bowl did not have any substrate at all. This is a bad thing because a substrate is needed for helpful bacteria to grow. The kind that break down waste and thusly help control the ammonia and nitrate/nitrite levels. To anyone who reads this, gravel, pebbles, sand, or the beta-hobby-popular glass/plastic beads MUST be at the bottom of the tank for there to be a natural cycle within it.

Also, I can't believe someone would take a fish which is very practically named "Siamese Fighting Fish" and put them next to each other. I could tell by that comment alone that Ezzy is extremely new to fish keeping. It's common knowledge that putting 2 betas together like that would stress them out. A person should be able to sense that they aren't really "friends." (I suppose they're as good of friends as an Oscar and a goldfish. The Oscar loves the goldfish, for his part.) And, yes, even in separate tanks, if they see each other they'll be going crazy trying to get the fish in the tank next to them. Very simple thing to avoid and it's common knowledge.

Even the people at Petsmart will tell you to let a new tank run a couple of weeks with no fish in it before introducing a catfish or another hardy fish. They will also tell you to float the fish in it's bag of water IN the tank for at least 15 minutes to allow the water to gradually equalize with the tank and prevent shock in the fish. Furthermore, most Petsmart employees know that Betas will fight each other and that putting 2 bowls close together is not something that should happen long-term. These are simple rules that all fish keepers need to know and it appears that Ezzy wasn't aware of them. I hope this helps someone who is trying to care for an ill fish, because you can contribute to its demise if you stress it out too much. Always be aware of the effect YOU have on the tank/bowl, and don't get tunnel vision trying to remove the disease at the cost of your pet's life.


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