Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience keeping fish. I’m sorry to hear about this problem.Unfortunately, fin rot is very common in bettas. You’re probably right that it began before you got him. In some bettas, it even becomes a chronic problem and they require treatment every so often. In others, no treatment seems to help, and they eventually die. There are some things you can do to try to help Fillet. I’m going to type them up for you, and will be back as soon as I finish. I appreciate your patience.
You’re welcome, and thank you for waiting. You’re on the right track with water changes, but clean water is so important that testing is also needed. The most harmful chemicals are invisible and often are present in crystal clear water. I recommend that you buy an API Master Test Kit for fresh water. If that’s not possible, most pet stores will test for free if you bring in a sample of your tank water in a clean glass jar. Ammonia and nitrites need to be at zero. Nitrates should be 20 ppm or less. If those standards are not met, even more frequent water changes are needed.
There are three products you can add to the tank to fight fin rot. Start with aquarium salt at the rate of one teaspoon per gallon of water. StressCoat and Bettafix are the other two. Just follow the label instructions on these last two. Most of the time this combination will clear up fin rot. If it doesn’t, you may need to go to a stronger medicine, like Kanaplex. But it’s always better to start with milder options first.
If you have more concerns, just let me know. I’m glad to help. I hope a Fillet will reach a full recovery.
Some bettas just flare for no reason. Some do it as a way to impress their humans with their size, just as they would another betta. He may be using that because he thinks it causes you to feed him. At any rate, flaring is never a sign of illness.
The only time he should be flaring out of stress would be if he felt another male was intruding on his territory. If that results in constant flaring, it could stress him out. I have never seen a betta flare so constantly as to cause stress related health problems. If it’s only at feeding time, it’s certainly nothing to worry about. Some people report that their bettas flare because they are bored. They give them a hiding place or put a toy, such as a ping pong ball in the tank.
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