I bought myself a young betta a few months ago. I'm not exactly sure how old it is, but it came from Petco. They're marketing the fish as "betta babies". Ever since I changed its water a week or two ago, it hasn't been looking so well. It seemed like one anal fin became smaller than the other, and now I can't even see it. Its tail seems kind of constricted together. The fish's color seems to be getting darker and more dingy, and he has some black stripes now. Its not eating very much, although I believe it did eat a little bit recently. Its been breathing very hard, sometimes harder than others. It generally stays at the bottom of the tank, but sometimes I'll see it just kind of linger at top of the water. I tried giving it two kinds of medicine, one was an antibacterial solution. It seemed to help minimally. If need be, I can provide more details and/or photos. Please help me, I'm very worried that my fish is going to die! Any advise is greatly appreciated!
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
Black stripes are a sign of stress if you have a male Betta. They are commonly called stress stripes. Assuming that you have taken the pet stores advice you have a very minimal amount if water changes and a small tank, It is most likely called ammonia poisoning, which occurs very often in these kinds if setups. (small and minimal water changes) to cure this symptom more so than a disease you need to take precations and actions such as a 100% water Change. Then provided the tank size and if it's filtered so we can examine and make a water Change schedule for you.
The tail problem could be a numerous variety of things, here are the most likely problems
Tail rot or fin rot
•Symptoms: Betta’s fins and/or tail seem to be getting shorter and shorter or they seem to be falling apart and dissolving, Black or red along the edge of the betta’s fins/tail, Bloody tips, Behavior may not change
Treatment: Conservative: Treat with Aq.Salt at 1 tsp/gal. Increase water changes to 100% daily. Replace accurate amount of salt following water changes. Add Stress Coat to help repair tissue. If there is little to no improvement within the first 5 days, you can increase the salt dosage gradually to 2tsp/gal but do not continue any salt treatments past 10 days. Medication: If Conservative treatment is ineffective use API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR API Erythromycin. Also add Stress Coat to help regrowth. Continue until fins/tail stop receding and start showing some new growth.
Advanced Fin and Tail rot
•Symptoms: Fins and or tail start rotting away, usually starting from the edge, but sometimes it starts at the base of the fin (especially dorsal) and attacks the body directly. Diseases progresses rapidly as the tissues are being eaten away. Once fins have been consumed, rot will proceed onto the body. At this stage the disease is hard to reverse although the betta might continue to live for months if treated properly. If not treated, it will die promptly.
•Treatment: If the rot has advanced onto the body, skip conservative treatment. Do 100% daily water changes. Use a combination of Fungus Eliminator and Tetracycline. Continue until fins/tail stop receding and start showing some new growth. It may take up to 4 weeks to work, so don’t give up.
•Symptoms: Not to be confused with Fin/Tail Rot, Fin or Tail biting is when a betta bites his own tail, tearing off pieces. Fins will be ragged, they will look like there are chunks missing, Fin loss can occur overnight, The tips of the fins are clean, no black or red edging, You may spot him swimming in circles, chasing his tail, There may be no other behavioral change
Bettas bite their own tails out of boredom or misplaced aggression. To cure his boredom, try getting him a larger tank, move things around in the tank to spark his interest, put a mirror up to the tank a few times per day to let him exercise, offer a variety of foods, get him some tank mates (research into this first though), or put his tank next to another betta’s tank ect… Owners of fin biters often have to deal with their tendency for a lifetime but do what you can to draw his attention from his fins. When your betta does have a fin biting episode, it is important to keep his water extra clean to prevent infection. You can treat him for a few days with Aquarium Salt until you see regrowth but you do not want to overuse it. Using Stress Coat as the water conditioner will help fin regrowth.
I would look at the above post and fill that information out. For next time. That form is found on the top of the diseases and emergencies page
Also here is a bit more information from a sticky in this forums disease and emergencies page
The Four Most Important Aspects of Betta Care Are:
1) Proper Water Changes
2) Warm Water (78*-82*F)
3) Varied Diet
4) Quarentine New Fish/Plants/Tankmates
If you do these 4 things, you can greatly reduce the chances of your betta getting sick.
Things to keep on hand at all times
•Extra nets and 1 gallon containers
•Aquarium Salt (Aq.Salt)
•Epsom Salt (ES)
•Potassium Permanganate (PP)
•Quarantine tank (QT)
Before you treat your fish for everything under the sun, check the water chemistry. Toxic levels of Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates are extremely harmful and weaken your betta's immune system resulting in illness. Many petstores will test your water for free. Liquid tests are much more accurate than strip tests.
•If your fish look like they are lethargic, gasping for air or are swimming head down do a water change immediately because they probably have nitrate, nitrite, or ammonia poisoning. Do not use chemicals to remove them as they are ineffective. Prime does remove nitrites/nitrates but it is still most effective to do a water change.
•Extreme pH variation can also cause illness. Sand and porous rocks like sandstone or lava rock make water more basic (>7.0) while Indian almond leaves, peat moss and oak leaves make the water more acidic (<7.0).
•Are there chlorinates in the water? Did you forget to add the water conditioner? If so, quickly add your water conditioner!!
•Many issues can be cured by a simple water change so it should be the first thing you try.
Conservative Treatment Versus Medication:
There are two ways to treat a sick fish. One is the conservative route. It involves increased water changes and (usually) salt treatments. The other route is using medication. There are some illnesses that respond better to medication than water changes and salt, however most illnesses can be cured simply with a bit of TLC and salt. In general, you should always attempt conservative treatment methods before using medicines as medicines can be hard on your fish’s internal organs and over using medicine or not completing the treatment cycle can result in the creation of medicine-resistance bugs.
Therapeutic Additives:There are a number of things you can do for your betta to reduce stress and support their immune system. Indian Almond leaves, tannins, black water extracts, and peat moss pellets are all things that you can add to help prevent illness or help recovery. API Stress Coat and Kordon’s Fish Protector are water conditioners/additives that help slime coat production and skin repair. They can be added at any time your fish shows signs of illness.
The quoted information was from a sticky at the top of the dieses page