I must start out by thanking you if you have taken the time to read this post, and impart even more thanks if you have taken the time to respond to it. I am a first time Betta owner and have owned my precious Betta fish, Gibs, for a few weeks. At first I bought him to fill an old empty vase but upon my research of how to care for them, this site being one of my main sources, I realized what a cruel practice it is to subject a betta fish to life in a vase with little or no plant cover. It has been a joy to see my precious Gibs progress from the lathargic zombie I brought him home as, to a physically and mentally vibrant little fish who has been such a joy.
However, as I am a first time betta owner, and a first time fish owner at that, I am having problems. I am having difficulty telling weather or not Gibs has a fungal infection. All my research says that they are "cotton like" little growths that appear on the fins and by the mouth, however, I have had problems finding pictures and have little to compare Gibs' condition to. Let me briefly list some syptoms:
1. Tiny tiny (but not "ich" kind of tiny) little patches of what MAY be white, but I am having difficulty seeing as he WON'T sit still long enough for me to get a good look and poor overhead lighting.....there is one particularly noticeable patch on his left front fin about the size of the tip of a ball point pen, although nothing near or around his mouth that I can see
2. Very very VERY active. While I have taken this activity as a healthy and good sign of his progress, I worry. He will shake all around like crazy, will not stay still for very long unless he is breathing and does this little, starting at the bottom of his tank and hurling himself towards the surface at top speed number, but with no intent on jumping.
3. A POSSIBLE, rapid weight gain. I can not FOR SURE tell if he actually HAS gained weight, but he certainly does look slightly larger than what I remember of him when I brought him home. Is this a problem or is it called "getting fed properly?" I am unsure. I do know that my family has been giving him secret 3rd and 4th meals behind my back..despite my attempts to stop them
*Note, when I first brought him home, he would immediately spit out any food that I gave him, however this action has decreased over time and now he almost always swallows food on the first try.
Here are the perameters for my tank as the sticky instructed that I include:
1. Size of aquarium Apprx. 2 gallons (for 1 betta)
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water? Fresh
3. How long the aquarium has been set up? A few weeks
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium? 1 Male Betta
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? No, silk ones with plastic roots that I have desperately tried to cover up
6. What temperature is the tank water currently? About 78.3 degrees F
7. What make/model filter are you using? No filter currently, as my research indicated that they like still waters or low currents
8. Are you using a CO2 unit? No
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? A small ammount, but there is usually a light on in the top of his aquarium. I am having difficulty figuring out when it should be on and off, because if it is left on all the time it heats the water up but I don't like to leave him in the dark. It is usually on when I'm home, and off when I am away or at night.
10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? A few days ago, I usally change it whenever it starts to look scungy....I am considering getting a snail or something for this purpose....
11. How often do you perform water changes? Again, usally when it starts to look scungy...
12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? Twice a day, 3 pellets of "Top Fin". Although I know my family likes to sneak him portions when I am away.....Despite my desperate attempts to explain to them that it could hurt him...
13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? A small, regular light bulb, comprable to the light bulbs used in fake candles at christmas time...
14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? Again, the small, maybe there maybe in my head white patches on his fins and edges of his body
15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Argghh! I don't know!!! I guess I will have to go out and get the stuff to find out!
16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? See above answer
17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? He was a zombie when I first got him and he seems to have progressed nicely since then. Likes to be sung to and play games with my jewelry.
Please, I know this is long, but I am having the most awful time trying to find out IF there is anything wrong with him, perhaps I am just being a doting parent to my first baby. Lol. But Gibs truly has been a blessing and he means the world to me. I should hope that he has been progressing since I resuced him from that awful store, but this worries me. ANY INFO would be MASSIVELY appreciated. I am willing to post pictures if necessary.