Fin rot for Genie

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.

Another thing…
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.

New tank…

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.


Introducing Warrior the Siamese Fighting fish

He arrived safe and sound this morning!

This is Warrior, a black orchid crowntail siamese fighting fish (none of their names are easy on the tongue ^_^). He has settled in very well today in his half of Genie’s tank. The divide is still standing (thank god) and I am very pleased it has, because Warrior is a monster! I knew Genie was slender, but I just figured this was because he is still relatively young, but Warrior is apparently about the same age and he absolutely dwarves him!

Warrior was initially going to be called Ink, but I simply had to change his name when I saw him. Though I simply feel he will always be affectionately referred to as ‘The Monster’.
He was also extremely tough to photograph. Unlike Genie who is so brightly coloured and full of those beautiful frills (hence his name) the camera found it extremely difficult to focus due to him being so dark. Plus, the fact his fins are spiny meant there wasn’t a large surface area for the light to shine through for the camera to pick up. But we managed at least a few fairly decent shots.

My Warrior, showing off his stuff with a flare for Genie. (Who consequently ignored him).

Dividing a Betta Tank

I am very excited today. Tomorrow I am getting another betta! He is going to be a crowntail, unlike Genie who is a halfmoon tail.

So this evening I have decided that I need to divide Genie’s 30 litre tank into two. Genie will live on one side and my new crowntail will live on the other. How temporary this will be, I’m not sure. I have a larger 71 litre tank sitting in my kitchen which I will later divide into three compartments for three male siamese fighting fish. I expected this may have been cycled by now, but it appears to be doing very little cycling – a bad mix up of possibly killing my already grown healthy bacteria I had in an established filter when I put it in the new tank. A big thank you goes out my friend Mark for giving me this tank!

This was Genie’s tank before it was divided…

I divided the tank using sheets of plastic that have small square holes in them. It’s usually used for cross stitching or something, you can find it in most craft shops. The holes are useful to allow water flow seen as I only have a filter in one half of the tank and the heater in the other. Saves one side of the tank becoming stagnant. It’s pretty stiff, but I strengthened it with spine bars used to hold pieces of paper together, usually for reports or something similar. I then slid the divide down the middle of the tank, burying it in the pebbles at the bottom (using extra against the base to support it more) and voilĂ   Each side is heavily planted to help the fish feel safe and to make it less likely for them to bother each other. Siamese fighting fish are, as their name suggests, fish that fight, and given half a chance fight each other to the death. Hopefully the mesh, and the cover in the tank, will be thick enough so that the two fish don’t stress each other out and cause each other too much agitation. Lastly the water level is kept a few inches below the top of the divide because bettas can jump.

Only time will tell if the divider works out…

Here is the tank divided and ready for the new arrival tomorrow!…