Friday, May 11, 2012

All About Betta Fish Fin Rot

INTRODUCTION: Does your betta have a brown spot on its fin? Well don’t just sit there and think it could just be part of your betta’s molting process because it’s not. If that’s what you’re thinking, clearly there are still a lot of things you need to know about bettas.

You see that nasty looking edge of your betta’s fin could be a condition called fin rot.  Ranking right up there with constipation, it's one of the more common ailments these guys are prone to.

And yes by the term itself it’s basically characterized by the rotting away of your betta’s beautiful, yet rather fragile fin. Believe it or not should you fail to react properly, the bacteria could eventually eat up the entire fin leaving your once healthy female betta somewhat disfigured. So let’s find out how we can give a quick remedy to betta fish fin rot and salvage your betta’s future before it’s too late.

But first, a few myths about betta fin rot, loosely extracted from which you should shrug off:

Myth #1: Fin rot is not a deadly disease.
Fact: Fin rot may be curable but if you leave it untreated, the bacteria could actually enter the body and this could result to death.

Myth #2: Fin rot is not caused by dirty water.
Fact: Well if there’s one thing that causes fin rot, it would be filthy water. Any uneaten food left in the tank could easily make the water dirty. So be sure not to overfeed your betta so no leftover settles on the bottom of the tank. Failing to change the tank water regularly can lead to very poor water quality. So be sure to change at least 20% of water in a cycled tank even if you have a filter installed.

Myth #3: If the water looks clean, then it must be clean. No need to use a water test kit.
Fact: This is one common mistake betta fish owners make assuming that the water is clean since it looks clear. But don’t be deceived by this. No matter how crystal clear the water may look, it could still contain some traces of ammonia or nitrates that are very deadly to bettas or other fish for that matter. So always equip yourself with a betta test kit so you can constantly monitor the toxin levels of the tank water.

Now that we’ve got all these myths uncovered, let’s go back to solving the problem of betta fish fin rot. First is to take everything out of the tank. Then begin cleaning the inside of the tank with water. Please do not use soap or any kind of detergent since any trace of it left may intoxicate your poor betta. Then, clean all the other tank accessories as well including the filter, heater, substrate, plants, and other items used to decorate the tank.

Once you’ve already placed new water into the tank (take note: make sure it has already been conditioned!) along with all the accessories and the fish, apply a solution of fungus eliminator to the water. For a speedier recovery, add a quarter or half teaspoon of aquarium salt for every gallon of tank water.

In a couple of days, you should notice the betta’s fin showing a whitish or clear tip which is a sign of regrowth and that the betta is already healing. So continue doing some partial water changes every week to make sure that the water is clean and your fish stays healthy.

However, if your betta has a severe case of fin rot where the fin has already apparently grown shorter, you may need to do more than a simple water change. In this case, you would need to treat the betta with an antibacterial medication such as Tetracycline or Myxazine. Please note though that while the fin may still grow back at this point, it may no longer be as long as it originally was before. And the color may not be the same. But at least you’re able to save what’s left of it.

CONCLUSION: Once you’ve successfully treated your feisty male betta’s fin rot bet you can’t afford letting this occur ever again. So while you stay vigilant in keeping the water clean you might also want to ensure that its temp is at its optimum range to make sure your betta’s got your immune system all beefed up.

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