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Old 07-06-2011, 03:46 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
The Red Baron - faded and floating funny

My scarlet male betta has begun to look dusty, and today I noticed that he looks a bit bloated. He's holding his head down, and that's not normal for him.

I filled out what I could. Please help me help my buddy!

What size is your tank? It’s a 10 gallon with about 7.5 to eight gallons of water.
What temperature is your tank? Ranges from 71 – 76*
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No… I was told that bubbles can aggravate male Bettas…
Is your tank heated? Not during the summer
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta flakes and Betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish?
Flakes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning and on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights.
Pellets on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday morning, and on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night.


How often do you perform a water change? Every 3 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 45%, I think.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None – I let the replacement water sit out for 24+ hours before changing it.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I have tested it, the little pH strip turned dark orange. Not quite sure what that means...


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? On 29 June, 2011 I noticed that his colour started looking faded around the face, down his throat and to his belly. On 6th July, 2011, I noticed that he looked a bit bloated.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He’s always been a loner (not following my hand/finger, not swimming up to “greet me” when I turn on the lights…) He used to sit in the centre of one of the plastic moss plants I have in there, but lately he spends most of the time swimming along the top of the water close to the front of the tank.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? The fading – 29 June, 2011. The bloating – 6 July, 2011.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I added some aquarium salt and a pH balance tablet, but otherwise, I have no idea what to treat, so I haven’t done anything.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I’m aware of…
How old is your fish (approximately)? I’m not sure. I bought him on 26 April, 2011. He was in a small Betta bowl until the beginning of June.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:02 PM   #2 
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Location: Illinois
Well, he may be bloated because he is overfed. You should allow at least one day a week where you don't feed your betta anything at all.

Additionally, keeping a steady temperature is good for bettas. The temperature changing a lot could cause him stress. That may be why he looks pale. They lose their color from stress. A heater is highly recommended.

You may not be changing the water enough. You should try changing 50% once a week. Maybe even adding an extra 25% water change or so on another day of the week.

Also, water conditioner is highly recommended. I'm not sure if leaving water set out will clear out the chlorine found in most tap water. Are you using tap water? Chlorine can harm the betta. Conditioner takes that out. If you're using bottled or spring water, that water doesn't have the minerals and nutrients that bettas need to thrive.

I suggest you follow the above recommendations. Don't feed your guy for a few days and see if that helps. He could be constipated. Have a case of swim bladder disease. At the top of this forum, there are 2 stickies about betta diseases. Check the one out about swim bladder disease for more information than I've probably given you.

Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:02 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum....I agree with that the temp and water quality may be the main issue....even in a 10gal with one Betta...I would be making 50% weekly with vacuum....I would try and keep the temp at 76F at the least and so you may need to add the heater back....unless you are using well need a dechlorinater....tap water in the US also has chloramine and that will not go away when you age the water like chlorine will....

Right now I would start by making 50% daily water changes for 2 days, hold food for now, get the temp up to 76F and use a dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank even with partial water changes and see if this will perk him up...if not-he may need to be QT and a treatment started with Epsom salt and tannins.....

Keep us posted...

Can you post a pic...

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 07-06-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:27 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: MA and MO

A picture would also help if possible.

The one day per week fasts are popular but not necessary if you feed the right amount and keep him at the right temp. It is very possible that he is getting a bit too much and the cool temperatures have slowed his digestive system resulting in bloating. As newbie32 suggested, the cool temps could also be responsible for the pale colors. I also suggest a heater. If you can add 1tsp/gal Epsom Salt to his water that will help relieve constipation.

Though I used to let water sit out over night to remove chlorine, I wouldn't recommend doing that. Some cities have much higher concentrations of chlorine in the water and there is just no knowing wether or not all the chlorine broke down... Even low doses of chlorine will eventually harm fish so it really is best to use conditioner.

Keep us posted :)
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #5 
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Ah.. Forgot to mention that I have a private well in my backyard.
I did a 50% change and used this new "Betta Water Conditioner" I picked up at the pet store... And noticed that his fins are now ragged.

He seems to be getting worse, not better. I feel so bad for him!
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bloated, dusty, faded

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