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Old 08-19-2012, 04:05 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: California
Is my betta sick?

Hi I'm new here! I've never owned a betta before but I'm trying to do everything right. This guy whom I just got recently isn't in the best of shape but I don't know if its from past illness or if he's currently still sick. He has scale discoloration along his body. It looks almost like scars. I'll try to add pics. Also he's somewhat dull in color and his fins might be a little frayed. I thought he might have velvet so tried the flashlight test but didn't see anything. Could it be a problem with his slime coat? I've had him for about a month but I believe he's a year or two old.

What size is your tank? 10 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78-80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? lots of live plants

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? kyorin betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 5 times a week, 3-4 pellets each feeding

How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30-40%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? aqua safe water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

using API Master Test kit:
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 5-10 ppm

Using Strips (my pH test for the test kit got eaten by my dog lol)
pH: 7.2ish
Hardness: hard
Alkalinity: alkaline

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Splotchy, faded color. There isn't any fuzz on the splotches, it appears to be scale discoloration. His fins don't seem clamped but I'm still unsure of what that looks like.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's active swims around all over the place, greets me and eats normally etc.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I got him one month ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? added aquarium salt to his tank
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I don't know.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1-2 years maybe

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Old 08-19-2012, 04:13 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maine
I have no idea but I did rescue a friends betta who had fin rot, popeye and possibly dropsy just by doing daily water changes and using salt/water conditioner...i am in no way experienced but it did work, the fish never got 100% better but did live another 6 months. Id say good job adding the salt and hopefully someone can give you better input lol. Good luck! im dealing with sick guppies right now and have migrains over it...its never fun!
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #3 
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Location: California
Thanks for your reply! Treating sick fish is so hard D: I can't believe your fish had so many problems I say you must have done a great job for him to last that long! I'm thinking I might just have to keep taking care of him the best I can until more discernible signs show up or maybe he'll get better or something. Since I'm still such a noob I don't really know how to diagnose anything. Good luck with your guppies!
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:06 PM   #4 
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Location: Australia!
It looks to me like this fish is a marbled colour, and he may just be changing colours, or perhaps adjusting to new water conditions. As he's a couple of years old, perhaps, it could also be age catching up to him (though I think bettas ought to have longer spans than 2-3 years, which ought not to be 'old age' for a relatively long-lived species.. some have lived as long as nine).

I am extremely cautious when it comes to keeping an eye on changes in my fish, and am the last one to blow off odd skin patches... but to me, this one looks and sounds perfectly healthy?

A little salt won't have harmed him, but I think you could probably stop using it unless he manifests signs of illness in his behaviour (loss of appetite, lethargy, etc) - and save the treatments for ID'd illnesses, and it's less stress on the fish.

See if you can get some Indian Almond Leaf (ketapang) and add a leaf to his tank every few weeks. It makes the water a light tea colour, and I believe it provides a chemistry that is good for bettas in general as well as lowering pH a little bit (the darker the water, the lower the pH). I have noticed improvements in my bettas' general condition since I started adding a small bit of IAL to all my tanks - more for wilds than splendens.

Last edited by Aus; 08-19-2012 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #5 
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My betta fish had splotches of color on his head that looked like red patches. It was just his normal color. He had it since I rescued him. He had a few splotches on his body too.
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