You must be so overwhelmed right now what with how amazing your aquarium looks because of your dashing blue combtail betta. He’s just a hoot. Friends who stop by have to check out how Barney the Betta is doing.

And so you thought everything was working out just right for a low maintenance set up. The filter and heater should be enough to take care of your betta so you don’t care about doing water changes regularly.

Wait a sec! What was that? Skipping regular water changes as part of your betta fish care routine is never a good idea. At least not if you want to preserve the beauty of your betta’s precious tail. If that’s the case then you better change your ways right now. And remember that doing regular water changes is an absolutely crucial part of your role as betta parent. Failure to do so is the leading cause of many betta fish diseases these guys are prone to. With the most common being fin rot. Which should be no surprise given how much fin there is to rot on these guys.

So it might be a good idea to learn more so you know the rest of the story behind fin rot.

It’s simple to identify what causes fin rot. One can sum it up in three words – poor water quality. And it’s easier to prevent than it is to cure.

Basically this sets in when you fail to do water changes and the toxin levels in the water start to accumulate. Well who wouldn’t get sick with swimming in what amounts to a cesspool? Basically what happens here is that with poor water conditions, their immune system becomes compromised so they are more prone to diseases. The quality of your water can also be affected if you tend to overfeed your bettas since the uneaten food rots and creates the perfect backdrop for betta harming bacteria proliferation. So in addition to regular water changes it’s a good idea to limit the amount of food you give your betta to only what they can eat in a minute or two.

Initially you’d be able to tell your fish has fin rot when there are dark brown or black spots found on the tips of the fins. As the disease progresses, you might notice some holes and tears on the fins. In worst cases, the fins may shred or fall apart. If not treated promptly, the rot may spread from the fin to the body which can eventually lead to your pet’s untimely death. You don’t want to let it get to that point.

Since poor water causes fin rot then you definitely need to counteract it with water changes. And I mean religiously. If the fin rot is nonexistent you can simply change 20% of the tank water once a week. That and test the water regularly for ammonia and nitrate levels is a good next move.

However if the fin rot is moderate to severe you need to follow a series of steps.

First, take everything out including the fish, substrate, and whatever doodads aka aquarium decorations you got in the tank and clean things up. Never use detergent or soap since any residue left might harm the betta. Some use aquarium salt when doing the wash down being careful to thoroughly rinse everything.

Next, apply a solution of fungus eliminator to the water and then add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of aquarium salt for every gallon of water.

Then follow this by doing 10% water changes every other day or so until things clear up. The smaller the tank the more frequent the water changes need to be.

Signs of Progress
Once you see some clear or whitish tips beginning to appear on the fins, this is a sign of regrowth which means that the fin rot is beginning to heal. So just continue on with your water change protocol for another week or two. Once you’re done with the treatment, be sure to maintain the water quality by regularly monitoring it using a water test kit. Also, it would help if you set the heater at 80 degrees Fahrenheit to enhance the immune system of your betta.

Fin rot is just one of the many diseases that may strike your lovely betta. So keep watch of it at all times. Now that you not only know how to recognize it but what to do about it, you’ve gained a valuable skill as a betta keeper. Because you never know when fin rot may strike.

RESOURCE BOX: If you found these fin rot tips helpful and you’d like to know more about say female bettas click here. Or maybe you have questions or concerns about keeping these finny fish. If so the helpful site has the ideas and advice you're looking for. Why not stop by today?

07/17/2012 10:36pm

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04/02/2013 1:51am

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    April 2012