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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last night when I fed my betta, Sai, I noticed that his tail was all ratty and ripped to shreds. He looked like a Crowntail, but he is a Veil tail, so I was worried. I put in a new plant yesterday afternoon, and I think that might be the cause so I removed it. I'm still slightly worried it could be fin rot though. It wouldn't take hold that fast would it? His tail was completely intact that afternoon when I put the plant in. I'm treating with Melafix anyways, cuz even if it's not fin rot, I know it can aid in the healing of his tail. What are your thoughts? Is there anything more I should be doing? Here is a picture of him that I took this morning.

 

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Finrot is a disease caused usually by cool water, fungal infection or stress felt by the betta.

He will need very clean water conditions and it is important that the water and tank be kept free of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates as much as possible. Is his tank cycled and filtered? Does he have a heater in the tank and is it set at about 78 to 80 degrees? This will help to have the fins heal but if you want the fins to heal a bit faster, they can be helped by the addition of a vitamin called Vitachem (one drop per gallon) and Fish Protector (an herbal remedy that helps to keep them calm and keeps them from nibbling at the healing tissue). Sometimes if they are afflicted with a fungal or bacterial problem it will need a treatment for that as well and the best ones for bettas are Rid Fungus and Triple Sulfa or TriSulfa (depending on the brand name that you find at the fish store). There is a type of finrot that is chronic and hard to heal up and the fish seems to get almost healed up and it will start over again with the new tissue falling away and the fins looking raggedy again. Those are the discouraging ones but mostly they can be helped with warm conditions and clean water and medications.

The people who manufacture the medications Maracyn and MaracynII told me that the fish can have the meds for longer than the suggested 5 days for something that is chronic like this so they suggested a term of up to 15 days with a 40% water change every 5 days when you are medicating. Just be sure to remove any carbon from the filter cartridge while the fish is being medicated as it will remove the medication from the tank as quick as it is put in to help the fish. When the fish no longer needs to be medicated then you put a new cartridge in with the carbon intact and it will finish taking out any medication that the water changes did not remove.

Please do keep us informed of the progress of your little guy. They can sometimes need special care and we will be glad to make suggestions.

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, let me just say, it is magical watching a Betta's tail repair itself. I can't believe how quickly it happens! This is the 2nd time Sai has had a tail injury (the first was a split tail from an ADF bite) and I am amazed by the quick healing time. This time around, his tail is almost completely intact already! I will post a pic on Wednesday, so you can see the progress in just a week. I am still treating with Melafix, but I am 100% positive it was the plant that caused the injury. I don't see how fin rot could have destroyed his tail in just a matter of hours. I am very happy with the progress. :betta:
 

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Let me just say this much and I will not say more. Be very careful in using Melafix or Betafix or Pimafix or any of the other medications containing an oil base that floats on top of the surface of the water. Bettas and all other fish in that fish family have organs in the top of their heads that make it possible and even extremely necessary for them to breathe air at the surface of the water. If you see your fish going to surface and butting the surface of the water with the top of his head it is because he is breathing air and it will keep him from actually drowning. Yes, they can drown if this organ cannot function properly. When you put a medication containing an oil base into the tank it puts a slick on the surface that may not be visible but will not allow this organ to function properly and eventually will kill your fish in a manner that will not be pleasant for you to watch.

While I applaud the use and the ability of Melafix and the other aforementioned medications to deal with the problems of the other families of fish, the use of them with the family of Labyrinth organ fishes is not recommended and is very dangerous to them. I know they are almost miracle drugs in the treatment of finrot and as such are very tempting and hard to resist but they are very dangerous for bettas, gouramis, perch, pencilfish, and other fish with the need to be able to reach the surface to breathe. I do speak from personal experience and the experience of many other owners who I knew who lost bettas before we recognized this danger. The owner who brought it to our attention is a betta owner who kept bettas for many years and bred them and happened on the phenomenom of this herself through sad experience with her own fish. It is not a hoax it really happens.

As I said I am not saying do not use these medications, just do not use them in tanks with Labyrinth organ fish, PLEASE.

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Finished the last treatment of Melafix yesterday, and my betta is doing fine and breathing normally (just to put a stop to your worry, Chikadee, thank you for the concern). I did a 50% water change today (I know it's supposed to be 25% but I don't like letting medications sit in there after treatment is over). Here are the pics of his tail. Almost completely healed! They aren't very good pics cuz he doesn't like to sit still but you can kind of see the difference.



 

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The effects of the Melafix are cumulative on the organ so you may have gotten by with treating him with it this time but the next time you treat him with it, if you choose to, his organ will be less able to handle the oil in the med. Eventually it will fail. Sorry to say, it is not a pass totally. I am so happy that he is not dead but that does not mean that he is not affected at all.

I would still be very careful with the use of the med with all Labyrinth organ fish.

I am so glad he is doing okay as far as his fins are concerned.

Rose
 
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