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Old 03-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #1 
mmeadows
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Exclamation Scales missing, pink showing... Help! :(

Hi everyone! I joined here a while back when I bought a fish from Petco that had issues and eventually died from Ich. I then went to a different pet store, local, and bought a beautiful Betta named Chopstick. He has been with us for about 6 months now. Iím totally attached to him and think of him as a little child. Please excuse my long post, but I want to make sure and cover everything.

Almost three weeks ago, Chopstick became ill with constipation due to over-feeding, including fin rot possibly or something else due to high nitrate levels. After my husband and I got back from a trip during the weekend prior to him feeling bad, we noticed the tank had a vast amount of pellets floating at the top. I found out that my husband put way too many pellets in the automatic feeder, about 3 pellets, 2 times a day (6 total). Hence, why he never feeds him anymore and only me (learned that mistake). After that weekend, Chopstick became bloated, didnít move around much (hiding in his cave) and noticed a lot of fraying on his fins. I automatically did a 100% water change and bought Betta Fix API. Along with that, I fasted him for 3 days (noticed him pass a nasty round, bloody poop), following the 4th day by feeding him a pea (frozen, etc) that I read online. Thankfully, he ate the small portion of the pea and began acting normal again by that Saturday (March 2). I stopped the Betta fix API solution that Friday (March 1) noticing his fins starting to grow back. I started to vary his eating habits by feeding him betta pellets one day (2 total), brine shrimp one day (2 little pieces crushed up), blood worms (2 little pieces), and a small pea cut in a small piece to eat one day. I havenít fasted him for one day (like what some of the websites say to do for part of their diet), simply because he goes NUTS whenever I come up to the tank. I believe he had gotten used to eating a lot. Heís very spoiled. Also, we syphoned his tank with a 50% water change that weekend after he started feeling better (March 2). Everything seemed fine with him all last week (March 4 - 8), but slowly started to notice another issue -- his fins and scales gone.

I noticed this weekend (March 9th/ 10th) that his top fin was still real small and frayed. And noticed scales missing near the top fin (as seen in photo). Itís starting to show in more places and his other fins donít look as pretty and full as they used to be. We did a full 100% water change last night (as it was time) and started him on the Betta fix API solution again. Every time I notice we put that betta fix API solution he acts a little strange and swims quickly into his cave. Last night after the water change, he stayed in his cave again, and laid at the bottom of his tank acting almost similar to how he did a couple weeks ago.
This morning, I checked on him. He was swimming around more and came up to the front of the tank to say, Ďhelloí to me. He seems better, but would like to know what might be the cause of him losing scales: 1) Is it something new? 2) Is it leftover from when he was sick a couple weeks ago that I should have continued treatment the whole 7 days like it said on the bottle (stopped after 5). Any help would be much appreciated, as I really do care about Chopstick and would HATE to lose him after all this hard work I have tried to do to keep him alive.

UPDATE: as seen above, my husband said the pink/red is starting to go away.
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Housing
What size is your tank? 3.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes Ė but taken out due to treating him with Betta fix API
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? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta pellets, brine shrimp, blood worms, and a small little piece of a frozen pea thawed in his water within the microwave
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, 2 small pieces

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly Ė Ĺ water change one week. Full water change another
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? 1 Ĺ teaspoons of aquarium salt by API, Stress Coat by API (5 ml) as directed on bottle. ***Just started him on Betta Fix API

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Ė Not since I have done the water change. I can update if need be tonight when I get home.

Ammonia:
Nitrite: 0 total
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.5-8
Hardness: 75-100 total
Alkalinity: 180

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? spots of pink, skin looking color, not colorful blue on top fin. Frayed fins still and more scale loss (see photo). UPDATE: his scales arenít red, more of a light blue.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Eats, acted normal this morning. As of this afternoon when my husband looked at water levels, he was feisty wanting food.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? New symptoms of top scales not showing started Monday.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes. Did a 100% water change and started used Betta Fix API again.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, was ill with constipation and treated successfully two weeks ago.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him from the local pet store 6 months ago. Iím assuming they are about 1 year old when sent, so 1 year and 6 months?


Thank you again everyone for your time!

Last edited by mmeadows; 03-12-2013 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:49 PM   #2 
callistra
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What are you using to test? You don't have a test kit for ammonia?

It sounds like chronically poor water conditions..

Most people will tell you that you can't ever fully cycle a tank this small, despite your filter, and you will alwys need these changes.. you can try, but careful daily monitoring and reliable test kits should be used. You need to be testing daily with a reliable drops kit for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time you see either. In addition to this a weekly 50% with siphon or new fresh turkey baster that has never seen chems is needed to remove poop and other debris from the gravel. It is not enough to just scoop water off the top ever. I actually suggest a turkey baster or very small siphon because your tank is so small an average siphon will remove water too quickly.

First you will see ammonia, then nitrite. Eventually, hopefully, you will see ammonia fall and stay at 0 even after a week of no water changes, and finally nitrite. At this point you will be left with only nitrates after a full week of no changes and these can be kept <20ppm by twice weekly 50% change with baster/siphon. However, cycling will take up to two months to complete and many if not most people will tell you that you can't cycle a tank of this size and you will always need twice weekly 50% and 100% water changes or you will always see ammonia continuing to build and the cycle will never finish..
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:00 PM   #3 
mmeadows
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Thank you for your help. Ever since the water conditions and him feeling bad at the beginning of march, we do 100% water change, the next week 50% since everything happened. Before we would just clean his tank every two weeks. Do you think this is still leftover from the poor conditions two weeks ago? Is it safe to use the betta fix API? I will look into a better testing kit. Any brand suggestions?
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:02 PM   #4 
callistra
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I just use API's test kit. Drops are better than strips.

He should recover with clean warm water and time. If you want to add anything I'd discontinue Bettafix and use aquarium salt (not marine salt and not people salt) at 1 tsp per gallon. You should predissolve it outside the tank with some of his tank water before adding. You only need to redose with a water change and then only dose as much as water you change. This is safe for up to 10 days
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:24 PM   #5 
mmeadows
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
I just use API's test kit. Drops are better than strips.

He should recover with clean warm water and time. If you want to add anything I'd discontinue Bettafix and use aquarium salt (not marine salt and not people salt) at 1 tsp per gallon. You should predissolve it outside the tank with some of his tank water before adding. You only need to redose with a water change and then only dose as much as water you change. This is safe for up to 10 days
Thanks so much for your advice. I added the betta fix to his water tonight and noticed him becoming less active again. Any time I do a water change, I always use aquarium salt. I will do this method you describe and hope for the best! Thank you so much again for all your help!:)
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:31 PM   #6 
callistra
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The reason I suggested you stop using Bettafix is that it contains and ingredient that can coat their labrynth organ and cause them to suffocate.

AQ can be used only up to 10 days safely. I guess I misunderstood your post.. If you do it regularly it will be worthless in case of actual disease process. It can also cause premature organ failure so if you've used it for 6 months it really needs to stop now. If this is the case you will need a real antibiotic.. Suggest Kanaplex or Triple Sulfa.
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