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Old 06-21-2013, 06:19 AM   #1 
RedRay
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Question I'm really worried about Ray and I don't know how to diagnose what he may have???

Okay I got my fish, Ray, at Walmart [never buying fish from them again] on June 5th. So it's been a little over two weeks. I didn't know anything about bettas when I got him since it was kind of on a whim and I didn't have my phone with me to google anything about bettas. The idiot who was working back by the fish pointed me to the bettas when I said I wanted a low maintenance fish. Well she clearly didn't know anything about anything.

After getting home and reading up on bettas, I decided to embrace the fish-owner life and run with it. After living for a couple days in a 1 gal bowl I bought at Walmart the day I got him, I bought him a 5.5 gallon tank, fd blood worms, dechlorinator, gravel, a plant, a hiding rock, a heater, filter, testing strips, and aquarium salt from PetSmart. I've delved into this fish keeping thing 120$ too far to back out now, clearly.

Well I'm absolutely in love with Ray and I may or may not be paranoid. Now this could be first-timer's paranoia since I'm not very experienced with owning fish but I'm really starting to worry. First off, I noticed right away [within the first day I had him] that his left gill protrudes. I didn't notice this at the store, otherwise I would have kept looking through the fish. I googled the symptom and came up with him possibly having something called gill hyperplasia[sp?] and I got the salts at PetSmart to fix that.

Next, I heard on here that paling color is a bad sign. Well after the first week of having him, his color has started to turn a dull red color instead of vibrant red. Near the back end of h is body he has a pink/purple sheen which I've concluded is just part of his coloring.

Well within the first few days of having him I noticed at the base of his tail he has a few silvery shiny patches. I thought that was normal but now I'm finding out it may not be?! within the last five days or so, His belly looks slightly enlarged and the bottom is turning white. I made a post about it and some people suggested that he may be constipated since I feed him mostly flakes. I only feed him a flake a day so I decided to stop feeding him for a few days to see if it would solve the problem. It's been two or so days now and I don't see a difference in his white belly, though it doesn't seem to have gotten any bigger.

He has a white spot now behind his protruding gill. and for the last few days I haven't seen him swim around much, he's mostly been resting at the bottom of the tank. I checked google to see if fish sleep and upon finding out that they do sleep by resting at the bottom of the tank I brushed it off and figured he was just catching up on his sleep, that maybe me staying up really late was messing with his own sleep schedule...

I feel really overwhelmed right now and I'm just scared and I don't have any answers and no one to personally talk to who has experience with bettas. I'm close to tears just picturing all the bad things that could happen to my precious Ray and I don't want him to end up suffering because of my naivety. It makes me really ashamed that I can't do better for him because of my lack of knowledge. I just really want some help.

pictures of his white belly and slightly shiny gill undersides and a sideview of his side with the protruding gill and white spot


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Old 06-21-2013, 08:45 AM   #2 
shellieca
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First off welcome. Now take a deep breath & let it go. OK, the 2nd pic is a little too blurry to be able to see what the spot is, does it protrude? Does it look fuzzy? One flake a day isn't much food, IMO. Can you get pellets such as New Life Spectrum or Omega One? How often were you feeding the FD bloodworms? They also can cause problems for some fish. Since your tank is new are you testing your water for ammonia & nitrites? If so what are your readings? How often are you doing a water change & how much do you change? Because youre tank is only 2 wks old you are going through a fish IN cycle which means you should be testing your water daily with a liquid water test kit & then doing a water change if the ammonia or nitrites are >.25 or nitrates >20. If you haven't done a water change in the last few days I would start there, do a 50%, see if that makes any difference in his behavior or coloring. Also, is the filter too strong? You can turn it off for an hour or two to see if that makes any difference. Please answer the questions the best you can & we'll go from there.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:11 PM   #3 
RedRay
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First off welcome. Now take a deep breath & let it go. OK, the 2nd pic is a little too blurry to be able to see what the spot is, does it protrude? Does it look fuzzy? One flake a day isn't much food, IMO. Can you get pellets such as New Life Spectrum or Omega One? How often were you feeding the FD bloodworms? They also can cause problems for some fish. Since your tank is new are you testing your water for ammonia & nitrites? If so what are your readings? How often are you doing a water change & how much do you change? Because youre tank is only 2 wks old you are going through a fish IN cycle which means you should be testing your water daily with a liquid water test kit & then doing a water change if the ammonia or nitrites are >.25 or nitrates >20. If you haven't done a water change in the last few days I would start there, do a 50%, see if that makes any difference in his behavior or coloring. Also, is the filter too strong? You can turn it off for an hour or two to see if that makes any difference. Please answer the questions the best you can & we'll go from there.
The filter that came with the tank is too strong. The first few days I had it I was leaving it on and then turning it off over night but after about four days I decided to turn it off because he seemed to be having a problem with the current. I've been testing the water. I didn't know to test it every day so I've been testing it about twice a week. The levels are fine right now, all on the low end of the spectrum so far, except for general hardness. I'm not sure what that is so any advice would be helpful. That's between 30 and 60 somewhere. carbonate hardness is between 40 and 80 if I remember correctly.

I've been changing a third of his water twice a week and adding aquarium salts and dechlorinator to the tap water. I don't have an amonia section on my test strip but I do have pH. the pH is between 7 and 7.5. I'm not sure how to keep the pH down aside from changing his water.

The spot on his side looks kind of like... oh wow how do i put this? It looks wet but also not wet. As in, it may or may not be some kind of mucus or slime but I also could be very wrong on this. Most of my uncertainty is because I don't know what is considered slimy looking considering he's underwater.

I've only fed him a grand total of like 3 fd bloodworms since I got them. Maybe 5 in two or three different occasions, as a snack.

yes, I can get pellets. Probably next Tuesday when we're out shopping by PetSmart. And I'll go change his water right now.

Last edited by RedRay; 06-21-2013 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:30 PM   #4 
shellieca
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OK, so if I understand correctly you are not currently using the filter & you are using 5 in 1 strips to test the water. The main things you'll need to be concerned about are ammonia, nitrites & nitrates. If you can or when you can I suggest purchasing an API Master Freshwater test kit, its a liquid test, more accurate than strips, & will last months longer than the strips. If you choose to leave the filter off then I'd suggest 2 weekly water changes of 50% +. I would stop the Aq salt unless you are specifically treating for something, long term use can cause health issues. If you do use it only use it for about 14 days & only add enough pre-dissolved for the amount of water you change. I don't know about the spot, the Aq salt may help with it. Keep a close eye on it. Does your water conditioner say it helps with slime coat?
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:42 PM   #5 
RedRay
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OK, so if I understand correctly you are not currently using the filter & you are using 5 in 1 strips to test the water. The main things you'll need to be concerned about are ammonia, nitrites & nitrates. If you can or when you can I suggest purchasing an API Master Freshwater test kit, its a liquid test, more accurate than strips, & will last months longer than the strips. If you choose to leave the filter off then I'd suggest 2 weekly water changes of 50% +. I would stop the Aq salt unless you are specifically treating for something, long term use can cause health issues. If you do use it only use it for about 14 days & only add enough pre-dissolved for the amount of water you change. I don't know about the spot, the Aq salt may help with it. Keep a close eye on it. Does your water conditioner say it helps with slime coat?
I just finished changing the water. I did a 50% and then tested. the nitrites and nitrates are 0, the pH is between 6.5 and 7, the gh is 0 and the kh is about 40.

Also I checked the conditioner and it doesn't say on the bottle that it helps with slime coat. It's Top Fin betta water conditioner, in case you were wondering :]
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:54 PM   #6 
shellieca
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Hopefully that'll help perk him up a bit. If you can get an ammonia test kit, liquid preferably but strips are better than nothing that'd be great. Also you may want to get a water conditioner like Prime, it removes lots of bad stuff from your tap, helps with slime coat & will neutralize ammonia for a period of time. Its concentrated so it only takes a small amount, drops per gallon & will last you quite a while. Keep us informed how he's doing.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:06 PM   #7 
RedRay
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Hopefully that'll help perk him up a bit. If you can get an ammonia test kit, liquid preferably but strips are better than nothing that'd be great. Also you may want to get a water conditioner like Prime, it removes lots of bad stuff from your tap, helps with slime coat & will neutralize ammonia for a period of time. Its concentrated so it only takes a small amount, drops per gallon & will last you quite a while. Keep us informed how he's doing.

Thanks for your help :]
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