Oh my goodness! Bah! What a stressy few weeks I’ve had!
So it seems that now Genie has developed fin rot! I was so horrified when I first noticed his gorgeous fins starting to fray about 2 weeks ago. I imagine the thing which will have caused it was the stress of sharing his tank with Warrior for the very short time that he did. Part of me wishes that it wasn’t that, because he shouldn’t have had so much of a reaction to it and whilst Warrior was sharing his space, Genie seemed to be the one less bothered by it!
On the left is how Genie is now compared to how he was a few weeks ago shown on the right. Notice the massive fraying in his fins – both in the tail fin but most dramatically in his dorsal fin.
Genie was put in an already established cycled tank and since I have noticed his fins fraying, the water tests are also showing that his cycle has gone all casquey and he has lost any traces of his nitrates!!* So by the looks of it he has lost his cycle and this could be another major reason for the development of the finrot.
So what to do?
Clean fresh water does poor fins the world of good, so I have been cleaning him out everyday and feeding him his food soaked in garlic juice. (Garlic is amazing for fish immune systems and fish go absolutely bonkers over it). I haven’t been noticing any difference though and his fins are still deterioritating and he is looking so sorry for himself. However his personality hasn’t changed a bit, he is still his beautiful quirky self and so I’m hopeful yet that I’m going to get to the root of the problem and get him on the mend again in no time. With some kind words from my breeder who I purchased Genie off, I have been convinced to start him on a salt treatment (I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about how bad betta can react to tonic/aquarium salt) as he says that Genie will have had a treatment of this before he came to me for general well being and therefore he knows he won’t have a massive reaction to it.
And last but not least he has been moved. I decided this evening that his stubborn white foggy water which I assume is around due to a bacteria bloom as the tank cycles again, wasn’t doing him any good. I feel it has been around too long and I wanted him a new completely clean tank. Because there could be something in his tank which is causing the rot that is living in his rocks or something that I am not able to get rid of simply by doing his water changes. His tank will get completely scrubbed down and he will move back when he is well again. So he has been placed in a smaller, hospital tank and hopefully I will start seeing improvements soon.
I have everything crossed to pray that he will recover.
* If you haven’t a clue what I mean by the ‘cycle’ of a tank and when I talk about the prescence of nitrates, then I’ll give a quick explanation of what I mean. For a tank to be a healthy environment for fish to live in, the tank has to go through the nitrogen cycle. This is why lots of fish experts advise letting a tank run with it’s filter going for WEEKS and sometimes MONTHS before purchasing fish. This gives the filter chance to establish healthy bacteria so that the water is not toxic for the fish. Ammonia (which is present due to fish waste and food waste) is toxic to fish. In a fish’s natural environment, this would have little to no effect but in a tank it eventually builds up to dangerous levels. Given time the bacteria will convert the ammonia into nitrites as it oxidises (which is slightly less toxic but still dangerous at high levels). Eventually a different type of friendly bacteria will develop and help turn the nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates in high numbers (over 40ppm for goldfish and over 20ppm for a lot of other fish like betta) are harmful, but with a small level is completely fine and with a reading of 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm NitrIte and <40ppm NitrAte, then you have yourself an establish cycled tank ready for fishies.