Fin rot refers to a bacterial disease that usually affects aquarium fish.
Fish fin rot may be prevented quite easily by maintaining proper fish care. Poor care such as bad water conditions or injury can cause the condition. Fins that are frayed or torn or inflammation of the fin base can result in rotting of the fin, if not treated in time.
The affected areas may also develop white spots which is actually the bacteria. In the advanced stages of the disease, the fins will become shorter and redness, inflammation and bloody patches will also develop.
The main cause of fin rot is poor water conditions. Overfeeding, overcrowding, irregular weekly water changes and decay in the living conditions result in bad water conditions.
Bullying or nipping of the fins by other fish could also be causes. Injury, which is another factor involved in fin rot, may be caused when larger or aggressive tank mates fight and nip the fins. Tank decorations with sharp edges may also tear and cause injury to the fins of the fish. Fish usually enjoy changes of water, but some fish may scuttle away and dash against the decorations or sides of the tank and lead to injury. Therefore it is important that water changes must be done gently. Fin rot is not very easy to diagnose, but it must be detected when the disease is still in its early stages. Fish fin rot symptoms include the appearance of milky white areas on the fins and edges of the tail, ragged appearance of the fins as the infection eats away at the fin tissue, gradually disappearance of the fin membranes and spread of the rot across the tail. Sometimes, secondary infections may also develop and new symptoms such as streaked red patches and whitish cotton-like tufts may be seen.
Fin Rot Treatment
Fish fin rot treatment can be done in three ways, environmental, anti-bacterial and antibiotic. When fin rot occurs, the first thing that must be done is to change the environment. This will help to prevent re-infection and will also prevent the disease from spreading to other fish. The water must be changed, decay and debris must be removed and filters must be checked and cleaned. Many anti-bacterial treatments are effective in treating fin rot if the disease has been detected in the early stages. Antibiotics may also be used to treat fish diseases such as fin rot. It is advisable to consult a veterinarian before administering any type of antibiotic.