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Old 04-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #1 
tngirl92
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Missing Scales, and Scratched?

As some of you read in my other thread, Mr. P got caught in his artificial plant last night. I was able to gently free him and check for damage. While I did not notice anything that looked new/fresh, using a flashlight to look at Mr. P enlightened me to the fact that near his head, he looks like he is missing scales in places and also has what appears to be a small scratch or maybe a scar on one side of his body. He is so gorgeous in natural light, it kind of surprised me to realize how beat up he was under flashlight and up close! I cannot be positive about missing scales, because in natural light, I had chalked the discoloration of his upper body to just being a paler color there. He likes to hide from me so it's hard to tell if he is actually missing scales or if he is just very pale or has some kind of mutation that causes his scales to be smaller in the front. I have noticed that the identifiable scales on the front seem smaller than his scales on the back, near his tale, and they are a very dark color, not red or teal like his other scales.

I am also concerned that his fins are two different colors. The left fin is very bright red, edged in teal. The right fin, which is also the side of his body that looks like it has the scar, is dark in the middle and clear toward the edge. However, it is the same size as his other fin and he does not have any trouble swimming or using it. He moves it just as frequently as the healthy looking fin.

I will try to take pictures when I get off work. I tried this morning, but I have a very poor quality camera on my phone. Parli has not changed his behavior noticeably at any point since I brought him home last weekend. He is active, eats his food, watches things in the room with interest, and darts about his tank just as fast as ever. He also enjoys flaring at his reflection in the tank backdrop occasionally. The only thing I have noticed is that he started building a bubble nest the second day I had him (Monday) but has not tried another bubble nest since.

Do I need to be concerned or try to treat him for anything? He's not acting sick, but to me, he does not look like a typical betta fish when viewed up close. Maybe it is just his coloring, but I want to be sure. I am going out of town tomorrow until Sunday and it's nonnegotiable, so I would be kind of worried to leave him in a hospital tank with only my roommate to manage treating him. If he does need treatment, my only option is to take him and his hospital tank an hour and a half away to my boyfriend who can look after him properly for the weekend. What do you think?

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 74 at night, 76-78 in the day
Does your tank have a filter? No
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? Omega One pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Morning and night

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? One a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Fifty percent
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Zoo Med Betta Safe additive, bacterial additive in a new tank

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

Ammonia:0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 5.5
Hardness: very soft, don't remember the exact number from the last time I tested
Alkalinity: 80-120

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? I don't think he has changed from when I brought him home
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Seems just as happy and active as can be
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Noticed in depth last night
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? My guess is under nine months
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #2 
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Should I dose with aquarium salt just to be safe?
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:45 PM   #3 
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I did a forty percent water change just now and added Stress Coat for my peace of mind. Hopefully all of this is just part of his typical coloration. Any input is still welcome, I've been really worried about him.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:57 AM   #4 
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Can you post any pics?

My boy for stuck somewhere too the other week and it looked like one of his scales on his head was bent but he's all good now.
I just made sure his water was clean and I used stress coat
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:10 PM   #5 
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I posted pics in this other thread:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=147713
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:28 PM   #6 
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i guess the only thing i can suggest from my own experience is to make sure his water is really clean.

Possibly doing two water changes a week, one 50% and the other 100% and using stress coat to help heal.

I know its a lot of work doing two water changes a week, however its the best thing for them, especially when they are a little injured.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:55 PM   #7 
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I had something very similar to this happen to one of my girls a few months ago, she had scratches and missing scales and looked similar to your betta. What I did was 100% water change every day and added stress coat each time. She healed up beautifully in about a week and all her scales grew back. They actually heal pretty fast. I was so, so worried but everything was ok.

The best thing for him is very clean water, like the other poster said it's a little work doing extra water changes but its only for a few days and it's worth it to make sure he heals ok.

With clean water and stress coat he should be just fine :)
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:10 AM   #8 
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So would it be ok for me to move him from his hospital tank and stop treating with Maracyn 1 and 2? Like I said, his behavior has not really changed. He is eating beautifully and for the most part, acting like his happy little self. I do not understand why he has not become lethargic if he has a serious bacterial infection. I am happy to put him back in his regular tank with frequent water changes and stress coat. I did a 40% water change before I left for the weekend with stress coat, but he seemed worse when I got back. However, it is definitely possible that EVERYDAY water changes will help and that he was scraping himself on his bridge decoration.

I also have a glass partial-cover on my tank. Do you think he's trying to jump and hitting the glass? As you can see from my pictures, much of the scraping appears like it's on his spine.
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