Aquarium Maintenance

Why Your Betta Fish Has Clamped Fins And How to Treat It

clamped betta fins

What is clamped betta fins

Clamped fin appears when a betta fish fin is folded against their body, it is a condition mostly common among aquarium fishes. Clamped fins do not indicate a specific disease. Instead, clamped fins can indicate poor water quality or something different, such as parasites. Therefore, you will need to determine the exact problem in order to treat your fish. Providing a clean, healthy environment for your fish on a regular basis should prevent clamped fins.

Its always best to take out time to always carefully observe your fish when feeding or any other time, if you do and you notice any signs of clamped fins, you will have enough time to properly address the problem.

Clamped fins in betta fish don’t just appear, there are some causes that may have led to this. We are going to go over these causes and also how to treat them.

What does a betta clamped fin look like

  • The fins are folded against the body and do not stick out as they should
  • Listless behaviour
  1. Ich Diseases and Infections

Fish that have ich develop spots that look like salt all over their body. In addition to clamping, other symptoms include rapid breathing and glancing. Common causes of ich include stress, rapid changes in temperature, and changes in pH. You can treat ich by using antibiotics and drugs.

  1. Bullying

Stress is another major cause that can lead to clamped betta fins. And what causes stress? “Bullying” this causes stress in fish.

If your betta shares his tank with aggressive fish, move the betta to a different aquarium. Preferably, choose a tank larger for betta fish and smaller for attackers.

If this is not an option, give your betta new hiding places by introducing plants and decorative items to the tank. This will relieve the betta from bullying. If this was the primary source of the clamping, the problem would automatically resolve once you remove the source of the bullying.

Also check here on how to treat curled fins in betta fish

  1. Water Conditions

A clamped fin indicates that something is stressing it. There is no specific disease that causes clamping to stop but this indicates that something is not right. Poor water conditions can cause clamping in betta. Like most fish, bettas require special conditions to thrive in a tank. You must provide and maintain these conditions in order to keep the betta healthy. If your betta’s fins are clamped, test the waters.

Ensure that pH, temperature, hardness, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels are within relevant limits. To give your betta some relief, you are also encouraged to do water changes. Start with a 50 percent water change and then follow it up with a 10-25% water change.

How to get started on fixing water quality issues

Assuming tank size and water temperature are not the issue, do you have a reliable aquarium water test kit you can use? You want to find ammonia and nitrite levels at zero and nitrates under 20ppm.

If you find a problem with the water, I recommend doing a 25% water change immediately and another 25% in two days. This means that about 40% of the water in the tank will be fresh. And while you’re at it, try adding a half teaspoon or less of good quality aquarium salt for good measure.

Notwithstanding what some manufacturers may print on their packages for medicines that treats clamped fins. The best thing you can do is test your water and do frequent water changes to protect your water from toxins and take precautions

Avoid large fluctuations in temperature and pH. You should also be vigilant for signs of disease. If symptoms of illness do appear, then you May re-evaluate your options for treatment.

Also clean the filter, aquarium, and any equipment or ornaments in the tank. Remember not to rinse under tap water when cleaning the filter media, but squeeze the medium out of the tank into some siphon water. Doing so will keep your bio filter safe and avoid the hassle of re-cycling the tank. Your fish will return to good health once there is good water condition.

  1. Food

You have to make sure that your betta fish is adequately fed. Inspect the water to make sure your betta is actually eating. Some diseases cause bettas to become lethargic, causing them to become so inactive that they stop eating altogether.

If you notice this kind of behavior, use a turkey baster to squirt the food in his face to get some into his mouth. If you start to see large amounts of leftovers in the tank, your betta is probably not eating. This will make its situation worse.

  1. Another common cause is velvet, which looks like a dust, velvety rust or yellow coating on fish. In freshwater fish, velvet is caused by either Odinium pilularis or Odinium limnaticum. In marine fish, Amylodinium ocellatum causes terrible coral fish disease. The traits and life cycles of all three species are similar to those of the well-known parasite, Ich.

Initially the fish rubs against hard objects trying to remove the parasites, then the diseases progress causing the fish to be lethargic, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Treatment includes;
  • Raise the water temperature
  • Dim light for several days
  • Add aquarium salt
  • Turn off carbon filtration during treatment

How to Treat Clamped Fins

A good practice is to dissolve some aquarium salt, not table salt, in the aquarium. Generally, one teaspoon of salt for every five gallons of water is sufficient. Salt inhibits the growth of bacteria and parasites.

Test the water quality of the tank, especially if you do not see any evidence of infection. The pH of the water can change suddenly, causing clamped fins in your betta. Add aquarium chemicals to the water to bring the pH back to a healthy range for the type of fish.

It is also advised to change 25 to 50 percent of the water in the aquarium. It helps to get rid of bacteria and also balancing the PH level of the tank. Some medication recommends waiting some time before changing the water because the medication can be removed from the water after it has done its job.

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