Fin Rot: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

One of the most common diseases that affect tropical fish is fin rot. If you keep freshwater aquariums, you’ve probably already encountered this disease. Luckily, it’s easy to identify, and there are ways to prevent it and even cure it.

Common Fin Rot Symptoms

Fin Rot - Betta Fish
Fin Rot – Betta Fish

Most freshwater fish have smooth fins. A fish with fin rot develops jagged, receding fins. The tail fin is usually the first to show signs of fin rot. However, fin rot can also affect the other fins like the dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fins.

The easiest way to tell if a fish has fin rot is by looking at the edge of its tail and fins. If the fins are uneven or jagged with fuzzy white specks, your fish more than likely has fin rot. Fins can also turn opaque and inflamed when inflected with fin rot.

Other Symptom Of Fin Rot

  • Edges of the fins turn white
  • Fins become ragged and split
  • Inflamed fins
  • Fin begins to rot away

What Causes Fin Rot?

According to Fritz Aquatics,

Fin and Tail Rot is one of the most preventable diseases in aquarium fish. The root cause of Fin Rot is always poor water conditions, but fish stress is also a contributing factor. When fish are handled, moved, subjected to overcrowding or housed with more aggressive fish, they are more susceptible to Fin and Tail Rot.

Some of the main causes of fin rot

Is Fin Rot Contagious? Fin rot is a disease usually caused by the bacteria: Vibrio, Pseudomonas, and Aeromonas. Thus, fin rot is contagious and can spread to other fish in a fish tank. How? Through physical contact with an infected fish or when one fish nips the fins of another fish, the nipped fish can become infected.

Fin Rot Treatment

Are there fin rot medications? Can you cure fin rot? Yes, there are medications to cure fin rot. The most common method for treating fin rot is Melafix and Aquarisol. Both are antibacterial medications that destroy the bacteria that cause fin rot. Many fishkeepers have reported success with this brand of fin rot medication.

Fin Rot Treatment & Medications

How To Prevent Fin Rot

Fin rot is a preventable disease. As aquarists, we must be cautious when handling our fish and maintaining their environment. To prevent fin rot:

  • Maintain good water quality
  • Do regular maintenance
  • Maintain proper water parameters
  • Offer fish a nutritionally balanced diet

The Bottom Line

Fin rot is a treatable disease that affects aquarium fish. The leading cause of fin rot is usually unhealthy water conditions. Common signs of fin rot include rotting fins and inflamed fins. When left untreated, fin rot can spread to other fish and lead to the death of infected fish.

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