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I purchased my half moon about 3 months ago with some fin rot anddull color. This little guy’s fins grew back white and curly and just recently got color. Attached is the progress photos with time frames. I have been doing mirror time with him to try and strengthen them daily, but it doesn’t seem to help, he has a cycled tank with two 25% water changes weekly and the filter gets turned off during the day. He gets pellets every morning and brine shrimp or bloodworms for dinner during the week, pellets on the weekend and eats like a champ. I check the pH of both of my tanks weekly. Is this normal? Will his fins ever become straight again? Is he sick? Or am I jusy being a crazy fish mom? TIA!!enter image description here!

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It looks quite good to me. From your description it sounds like your beautiful betta is healthy and the progression from february shows improvements, so it means he lives a healthy life.

I had a betta once who was, at first, kept in a small container and assumed a shy stance, not really showing off all his colors and long fins. After I moved him in a 10 gals he really started taking more place and getting more colorful. In the beginning he was all blue and suddenly found a lot of red and became bigger. He became very healthy but his fins never looked "perfect", they were very long and like shredded at the tips and stayed like that until his death years later, it's just how he was. Some of the shredded tips were even rolled up at the very end, or slightly tangled. Also one of his small swimming fins (the ones that are in place of arms) was always twisted, I assume from a fishnet injury, but it didn't give him any problem, it was still functional. If a betta's fins were damaged in the past, they might forever bear the "scar" of deformation, while still being healthy.

Bettas come in many different shapes and colors, and especially these long flamboyant fins. They can be perfectly round or spiky, straight or curly, all blue or rainbow colored, etc. They are also vulnerable to damage or biting from other fishes because of them. If you don't notice the fins shrinking away, disappearing, falling off, rotting, or having fungus or fuzzy white or yellow stuff on them, your fish is probably very healthy. And from your pictures he does look healthy. If he had a problem he would clamp them near the body.

You keep a watchful eye on your fish and that's good. Keep doing that. By observing him everyday, you will notice easily when he has a problem: strange swimming, white spots, eye problems, redness near the gills, over-eating/constipation, lethargy, etc.

A few tips:

  • He eats like a champ, good. But don't overfeed him. It's healthy for them to fast one day once in a while at least (maybe once in two weeks). Rich foods like bloodworms are delicious but should not be abused, they are like a treat or a candy, don't give it every day cause it's not healthy then. Once in a while. :-)

  • Don't know why you turn off the filter in the day? If that works for you okay.... i guess... but better to keep it on. Make sure the current is not too strong as they like slow water, and make sure the filter intake cannot suck in his long fins. (needs a sponge on the intake)

  • Don't know how is your aquarium but betta should have at least 10 gallons to be able to swim/exercise properly and not become crazy or bored. If that's not possible for you, then 5 gallons, but if he's in a bowl or some very small thing, consider an improvement. Petstores often say a betta can live in a glass of water... survive would be the right verb, and that's only because a betta can gulp air from the surface when the water becomes too horrible to even breathe. The store just wants to sell the beautiful fish to customers that don't want to invest into a real habitat for them, but a fish cannot be healthy in a small bowl on the long term.

  • Easy live plants like Java Moss and Duckweed. He will appreciate them a lot and hang out through them. They are also very beneficial for the ecosystem.

  • Easy "pest" snails like ramshorn or malaysian trumpet snails make the best tankmates for a betta and contribute to a healthy ecosystem. Bettas are curious and intelligent and have individual personality, but they are both extremely agressive/territorial with other fishes, and extremely vulnerable to other fishes because their fins literally look like food and they are slow-moving.

  • Water shouldn't be too cold. If it's room temp, make sure your room temp is at least 20 celsius.

  • Along with PH, test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

  • This was SO helpful!! Thank you so much!! I was turning the filter off during the day because I was unsure if it was possibly too strong on his fins, he has the hand made waterbottlenone one right now, but definitely will look into the sponge since it seems like the new fins are thinner than before. Thank you for all the help! – Skylar Bojan Apr 25 at 18:24
  • @SkylarBojan Congrats on making your own filter that's pretty cool ! Just make sure the current is not too strong. If it is, add some buffers like sponges to slow it down. Betta should be able to stay still in the water without being carried around. Consider checking my answer as "accepted" if you're statisfied :) And keep an eye on the tips of the fins for any sign of fuzziness or anything worrying. – Manuki Apr 26 at 14:26

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