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View Full Version : Fin rot -- how will I know when it's controlled?



cathy_n
08-06-2009, 04:21 AM
My male veiltail betta has now been in my care for over a year. If the pet store sold him to me when he was 6 months old, that would make him at least 1.5 years old.

He's been doing well all this time, enjoying his food and dancing for me when I look at him. He makes bubble nests and seems happy. The tank is established with biological filtration and the water parameters have been stable since the tank (2.5 gallons) cycled a year ago. Temperature is a balmy 78 degrees.

A week ago, I noticed his tail fin was disintegrating at a rapid pace. The edges would turn a funny color and the next day the tail would be shorter. Much shorter.

I have done two partial water changes since then, including a full vacuuming of the gravel. I have increased the amount of aquarium salt in his tank. I've been dosing his water with Maracyn-Two (minocycline) according to instructions.

The rot seems to have slowed or stopped. It's very hard to tell. He occasionally spins around and takes a bite out of what's left of his tail, so I imagine it's annoying to him.

What should I expect to see if and when the fin begins to heal?

I took the ceramic beads out of the filter and put them into a glass of tank water, but without food and water flow the bacteria in them are going to start dying off. How long can they hold on?

So many questions, I know!

Little Embers
08-06-2009, 07:46 AM
What should I expect to see if and when the fin begins to heal?

I took the ceramic beads out of the filter and put them into a glass of tank water, but without food and water flow the bacteria in them are going to start dying off. How long can they hold on?
Sounds like you have taken good care of him!...When the edges look clear or have a whitish appearance, that usually means that it is healing. Your betta biting his tail may prolong the healing and possibly cause another infection. Perhaps he has been biting his tail for some time.

If you took out the ceramic beads because you thought the meds. might kill off the bacteria, I personally would have left them in there. Supposedly Maracyn 1 & 11 if used as directed will not harm the beneficial bacteria, although with any anti-bacterial meds. there is always a chance of it causing a mini cycle...you can always use a bacterial booster to help re-establish the bacteria.

cathy_n
08-06-2009, 07:27 PM
Sounds like you have taken good care of him!...When the edges look clear or have a whitish appearance, that usually means that it is healing. Your betta biting his tail may prolong the healing and possibly cause another infection. Perhaps he has been biting his tail for some time.

If you took out the ceramic beads because you thought the meds. might kill off the bacteria, I personally would have left them in there. Supposedly Maracyn 1 & 11 if used as directed will not harm the beneficial bacteria, although with any anti-bacterial meds. there is always a chance of it causing a mini cycle...you can always use a bacterial booster to help re-establish the bacteria.

Thank you, Little Embers!

I think I will put the beads back in the filter. You're right that I can go to my specialty fish shop and buy some really good bacterial boosters after I finish this course of antibiotics.

Today, the rotting border along the edges of his tail appears to be half the width it was yesterday. With any luck, the discoloration will disappear soon and be replaced by what you described. Thank you again!

red eyes
08-12-2009, 02:41 AM
When the tail is healed ;)
you should stop the use of aquarium salt,
i know it's a fallacy to claim some thing is true because experts say so, but experts say aquarium salt is a hoax, and I've been fine with out it =)

cathy_n
08-16-2009, 07:35 AM
When the tail is healed ;)
you should stop the use of aquarium salt,
i know it's a fallacy to claim some thing is true because experts say so, but experts say aquarium salt is a hoax, and I've been fine with out it =)

By now the fish and the plants are used to the salt, so changing it would probably be more trouble than continuing. Where did you read that it was a hoax? I'd be curious to learn more.

On a different note, the edges of his tail fin are no longer ragged. They are a different color, but the edges have become straight as the little gaps are filling in. It will be quite some time before his tail fin is anything like its original length, but he is perky and active and building bubble nests. I think he's going to live!

He is an amazing fish, truly. He survived 14 days in a hospital bowl with Ich right after I got him, now he's recovering from a case of fast fin rot approximately a year later. I've seen other people's fish go from slightly sick to dead in just a few days, so I count my lucky stars that he seems to be so resilient.

HorrorShowRot
08-16-2009, 08:43 AM
Actually theres a huge right up on here about it. I will try to find it for you. If not you can try to search for it:) Hope your betta heals quickly and good work on taking care of himthumbs2: Sounds like you 2 are good for each other:hmm3grin2orange:

Little Embers
08-16-2009, 12:09 PM
I think this might be the article that ranubis is referring too; written by ILuvMyGoldBarb.....excellent article which may help you understand why salt isn't needed or recommended for freshwater fish and can do more harm than good in the long term.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=31554

cathy_n
08-24-2009, 05:31 AM
I think this might be the article that ranubis is referring too; written by ILuvMyGoldBarb.....excellent article which may help you understand why salt isn't needed or recommended for freshwater fish and can do more harm than good in the long term.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=31554

Thanks again, Embers! I'm pondering phasing out the salt now.

News: His tail's growing back in. It seems that his previously blue tail is coming back in... red! Or at least patches of it are. Should be interesting to see the final result.

Little Embers
08-24-2009, 07:18 AM
My pleasure cathy....so glad to hear he is on the mend :ssmile: . The tail may not grow back as long as it was originally.

gm72
08-24-2009, 10:29 AM
Most of us, if not all of us, do not use salt. I, for example, have 13 very healthy tanks and I never use salt. Unnecessary in a healthy tank. The only reason to use salt would be to help treat an infection.