View Full Version : clumped fins

09-05-2009, 06:54 PM
My second betta got sick about a week ago. Some aquarium salt, extra water changes and Aquarisol have made him a lot better. His appetite has improved (in fact, he's practically voracious) and he's gotten pretty active and rambunctious. I have no idea what it was as it didn't fit any of the typical betta diseases I read about, but it's better and that's all I care about.

However, I've been continuing treatment (and keeping his snail out) because his fins are still terribly clumped and I have yet to see any improvement. I see him trying to fan them out, but he's not too successful.

Is there anything more I can do to help him? I've been doing the medicine for at least five days and he's a lot better in every other way.

I hope there's something.

09-05-2009, 09:34 PM
Velvet is hard to spot, but can be best spotted with a flashlight. Shine the light on the betta’s body: if it looks like it is covered with a fine gold or rust mist, then it has velvet. A betta with velvet will act sick, so look for clamped fins, scratching against rocks/gravel/tank, loss of appetite, loss of color etc...

Velvet is another pesky little parasite. If you always add aquarium salt to your betta’s water (1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 2 1/2 Gal of water) and one drop of Aquarisol per gal, your betta will probably never get velvet. It is very contagious, but bettas will fully recover if treated promptly.

Remember WASH YOUR HANDS!!! Sanitize fish nets! Keep bowl or tank in a darker place, velvet will be easier to kill if it is not getting any light.

09-05-2009, 10:55 PM
Velvet is what I suspected the most, but I never saw it even with a flashlight and he never scratched. To be honest, at first I thought it was depression, though it was strange because he took to the tank and my care very well at first. Obviously it wasn't, though, and velvet still seems most likely, but if it is, I'm not seeing the signs.

About using one drop of Aquarisol per gallon (with every water change, I'm guessing), won't that kill the snail I normally keep in there?

09-06-2009, 10:38 AM
Can you post a picture of him?

09-06-2009, 12:32 PM
He wasn't very cooperative with me trying to get his picture, so these are the best I can do.



This is a picture of him before he got sick:


09-06-2009, 10:46 PM
He wasn't very cooperative, was he. I can't make out much from the pics.

You say his fins are "clumped." Are they damaged in any way? Many times a sick fish will "clamp" their fins (not fan them out, but pull them inward towards their body). I'm wondering if he's still suffering some kind of disease, and he's clamping his fins.

I'm not familiar with Aquarisol, and I have not heard it recommended before so I don't know how good it might be.

I suggest checking him more closely for signs of disease to try to pinpoint what's wrong so you can be sure you're giving him the right medicine. His appetite might be better, which is a good sign, but he may still be suffering from a disease, such as internal parasites.

How about offering a few basics, such as what tank he's in, what other fish he's with, if any, how long the tank has been set up, filtration, water changes, planted/decor, what food he eats, how often, how much, his behavior in the tank (sits at bottom, swims back and forth), etc. Water parameters would be very helpful, as well. Also, watch when he poops to see what condition the poo is in. That can offer clues, as well.

09-06-2009, 11:30 PM
I've seen it referred to on other sites as clumping. This is something you might actually be able to tell from the picture. In the third, "before" picture, you can see his fins more or less fanned out. The tail fin is, of course, spread out and rounded in the back. In the first two pictures, however, do you see how his tail fin seems to come to two points? That's not coincidence - they're always like that. All of his fins look like the ends have been "wrung out" like wet laundry and come to a point. In the top picture, despite the fact that it's blurry, if you look close enough, you can see that the underside fin also comes to a point, pointing back. Again, this is not a trick of the camera.

Now, while he was sluggish and not eating, he rarely tried to fan his fins (though I could tell they were clumping anyway). Now, everything has improved except for the clumping. And he always tries to fan his fins when I'm at his aquarium now. The parts closer to the body that aren't clumped will fan, but the ends still stick in points like that.

Now for your questions:

He is alone but for a java fern and (normally) an ivory mystery snail. His tank is a 2.65 gallon plastic thingy made by the Hagen sub-brand Marina. (It's falsely advertised as a goldfish kit.) It has a 5 gallon filter called an Elite Mini. It also contains a small rock with a hole in it he likes to swim through. The tank has been set up a couple of months. I change the water every four to six days (except for the last week or so while he's been sick, in which it's averaged about every other day). His regular food is Aqueon Betta Food, of which I give him a small pinch three times a day. I supplement this sometimes with a shelled pea or a small piece from a cube of frozen blood worms. When he was really bad, I added less food less frequently, usually just to see if he would eat. I'd give him an hour and if I saw it on the gravel, I'd pick it out. His behavior while he was sick was to only move when I cajoled him and then not that much (I always found him either at the top or at the bottom). He would also hide as much as possible and was very reclusive. As I started treating the water before I bought the Aquarisol, the only thing that changed in the beginning was that when I did cajole him to move, he would swim wildly and manically all over aquarium, mostly zipping up and down. This would last for a second or two and he'd stop in one of his hiding spots. Since adding the Aquarisol, he leisurely swims all over the place, greets me when I approach his aquarium, pokes my hand when I'm taking things out to clean the gravel, and always looks eager when I pick up his food. The water pH hovers around 7 (which is why I buy the water where I do), ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, and I forgot to write down what the nitrates were earlier. They weren't at a dangerous level, however. And these readings were from before the water change I did earlier. His poo is an earthy reddish-brown color and fairly solid with no lumps (as opposed to what I had observed when my orandas had parasites).

Oh, and the temperature of the water was around 78 degrees until I turned on his under-gravel heater. Now it stays around 82.

Now, information about the Aquarisol. It's made by a company in Glen Burnie, Maryland called with utmost creativity Aquarium Products. It saith on the front, "fresh water cure & preventative for ick, closed fins, body fungus, velvet and other parasite infestations". There are directions and warnings on the back, no ingredients or such.

09-09-2009, 04:49 AM
Update: I'm afraid I may have been a little too alarmist. I woke up yesterday to see some really good improvement on his fins. I'm much more confident about the situation now.

Thanks for the help.

09-09-2009, 07:05 AM
I can't say I was of much help, but I'm glad to hear he's doing better. From your message earlier, you're already doing everything I'd recommend. I hope he continues to improve. Keep us updated!

09-14-2009, 02:59 AM
Update: Captain Peacock's fins are completely fanned out but for the top of his tail fin. This seems to be a stubborn spot, so I'm continuing the medication until his tail fin completely fans. He's building a bubble nest (yay!) and seems very happy (though sometimes he'll flare at me when I first come to his tank, the jerk lol).

I turned off the heater to make him a little more comfortable and also am giving him a little light a few hours out of the day. I figure by now that we've mostly won the battle anyway.

Luckily, his tank has stayed clean without the snail, though I do hope to move it back soon.

And you did help, Complexity. As did PhishPhreek. Still being somewhat new, I appreciate any and all advice, even if it's to confirm that I'm doing the right thing. So, again, thank you both.

09-14-2009, 06:46 AM
I'm glad to hear he's doing better. Sounds like you've done a great job in taking care of him. :D