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Old 10-10-2011, 06:53 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Spike has something on his belly


A couple of months ago I got Spike from PetSupermarket. It's the a first time I've cared for a fish. All was well until the middle of September. He was staying in a large glass bowl (8 cups of water) with rocks, greenery & a little Greek statue. One week I was a few days late in changing his water.

I noticed he seemed to be clinched up, less colorful and not his normal self. I changed the water and kept an eye on him. He developed a white something on his chest/belly. I went to PetSupermarket and they told me to use BettaFix. I've been using it since 9/21.

After I noticed the white spot, I took him out of his glass bowl with all his decor and put him in his smaller triangular plastic tank (4 cups) without any decor. I've been much better about changing his water every couple of days but the spot has not cleared up.

What size is your tank? Currently 4 cups
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? I'm not sure of the name as the package wasn't resealable...I emptied the little round balls into a tupperware container.
How often do you feed your betta fish? I think I was feeding him too much at first. Now he gets 4 of the tiny balls every day.

How often do you perform a water change? Was about once a week, more often right now.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? When I use spring water, I don't add anything (except the BettaFix) and when I use tap water (less often now) I add Betta Water Conditioner (& BettaFix).

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I have not tested the water.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Clamped, less color & white spot on chest/belly.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Less active & won't let me pet him anymore.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Mid-Sept.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? BettaFix
Does your fish have any history of being ill? This is the first that I know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I don't know. I've had him since the beginning of August.

Pic Before BettaFix:


We hope you can help us!
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:48 PM   #2 
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Welcome to the forums.. sorry to hear about your little guy =(

Unsure exactly if there is anything that causes the bellies to go white. I know mine goes lighter if they have a full belly. Could possibly internal parasites.. when you see his poop, is it white and stringy looking?

I would stop bettafix immediately though. Most people will highly recommend not using it since it has a tree oil in the ingredients that has potential to harm the labyrinth organ they use to breathe with. Also.. don't always listen to pet store employees ;)

It sounds to me with the clamping of fins is something water related. Going back and forth with spring and tap, and not consistently using the conditioner can cause him harm and to go into shock. When you do water changes, you should always float his cup in his tank, taking out water from it and adding in tank water every so often for 15-30 minutes so he can acclimate to the temp and chemistry.

For a half gallon container you should be doing 100% water changes every 2-3 days... it's recommended to get at least a gallon or more because now that winter is coming, the temps will drop and flux and it's near impossible to heat anything under a gallon. Tough to heat a gallon as it is.. a heater won't work in a half gallon usually without getting overly hot. They are tropical fish and require 78-82*F (This only applies if you live in an area where winter is coming.. but a heater is always a good thing to have!)

You also should be doing only tap water when changing the water. Spring/bottled/distilled/filtered water lacks the proper nutrients and minerals they need to survive. Tap water is always the best route, along with water conditioner every time.

4 pellets a day is fine, just make sure it's split into at least 2 feedings in the day to prevent bloating/constipation.

Someone else may be able to shine a light on the white belly more then me. Wish you luck =)

Last edited by Myates; 10-10-2011 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:47 AM   #3 
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Hi Myates. Thank you so very much for your reply. Poor thing. I see now I've been so very rough on him. :o(

His poop is not white & stringy. It is light brown & oval-ish. I will stop the BettaFix immediately and will never, ever listen to the store employees again. ;o) I will also change his feedings as you recommended and also go back to the tap water with the water conditioner.

I was wondering what I was going to do about winter so I will see what other kinds of tank options I can find for him.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! For all your advice! :o)
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:44 AM   #4 
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How is he doing? Clean, warm water will help him out a lot right now. Again, I don't want to recommend any treatment until there is validation on his condition. Since the poop sounds normal, then it most likely means he is parasite free. I've looked up on a couple different sites I go to that delve into diseases and such and couldn't find anything with a white belly. Usually white bellies go with bloating. But I didn't see bloating in the pics. Hopefully just warm clean water will do the trick with him. Let us know if his condition changes any.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:26 PM   #5 
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I think his color is looking a little better and I think he's a little more active. Still the white stuff on his chest/belly but I'm keeping an eye on it.
Here are pics from today:

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Old 10-22-2011, 06:24 PM   #6 
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I'm soooo excited! Spike just made his first bubble nest! :oD

I took your advise and got him a new home this past week:

And I went to feed him a few minutes ago and I saw what he's been up to all day:

We're soooo happy! Thank you for all the wonderful advice!
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:25 PM   #7 
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Location: Southern NH
I'm glad to hear that Spike is doing better. He really did need a bigger home and his new one looks pretty nice :)
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:29 PM   #8 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
Good for Spike. I bet hge's loving his new home.
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