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Old 08-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #1 
Erin0929
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Unhappy Betta lost part of dorsal fin and is turning white

Housing
What size is your tank? 1.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? Do not have a thermometer, but room stays around 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? a round, live plant that I was told would be good for aeration
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta food, sometimes bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 x's a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 25%, once a month, per original instructions. Been doing this for almost 4 months.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Have been using distilled water

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I took a sample in 2-3 days ago. They said the amonia was high and gave me some TopFin ph reducer. I have put 2 doses of that in. Can take a new sample in today.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Has lost some of his dorsal fin and it turned white. Had a tiny bit of white on his body, which spread each of the two times I gave him Melafix, as directed by petstore. Did not give it to him yesterday for that reason.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not as active, will lean against things in his tank. Doing better than 2 days ago.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? 4 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? With Melafix. 2 doses, but turned more white after each dose. Did not give third dose yesterday. Have also added ph reducer to his water.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? Bought him 4 months ago

PLEASE HELP! I AM AMAZED AT HOW ATTACHED WE HAVE ALL BECOME OF OUR LITTLE AZUL!!!
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:33 PM   #2 
lvandert
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ok lots of things have been told to you are wrong. For a 1.5 gallon tank you need to do a 50% water change every other day and then a 100% water change once a week. Stop the melafix now and do a 100% water change to get it out of there. That stuff is horrible for bettas. I would get a fungal treatment asap, it looks like he's got cumularious. I would also invest in stress coat, aq salt and water conditioner. You need it regardless of the water you use.

I would get him in new water doesed with 1ml per gallon stress coat and 1/2 tsp per gallon aq salt asap.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #3 
MadameDesu
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I would also recommend the aquarium salt.
Make sure you dissolve the full dose in a separate container before you add it.
Also, I would stop using distilled water immediately. Distilled water can slowly kill a fish. Tap water that's been treated with water conditioner is a much safer option.
I hope your little Azul feels better soon!
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:56 PM   #4 
Aus
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Sadly. most pet store people don't know a fish from their elbow.

pH reducer will not help with ammonia caused by infrequent water changes.. only water changes will help with that. Messing with your ph will also probably result in haywaire chemistry, best to leave it alone.

This is why so many new betta owners end up with sick fish. The advice given above re water changes by the poster above me is good, and I recommend it also.

Can't say from that picture whether he's sick or just marbling (changing colour, lots of bettas do this) - are those white patches furry-looking?

If he isn't as active, it could just be from ammonia sickness/all the fiddling with the chemistry. Try tap water + Prime, see how he does. Also, sudden change to clean water too quickly can shock him a bit. If you change his conditions, even to improve them, do so slowly.. put him in a small lidded container that has not been washed in detergent, add a bit of new water to the old every few minutes for 15-20 mins or longer if the water's been very dirty. Do this before adding him to the new water, to prevent systemic shock.

Distilled water isn't great for fish. It's lacking the elements fish need for health and can lead to illness. Ordinary tap water is fine, but you MUST use a good dechlorinator. I use Prime, it's a wonderful product that does more than remove harmful chemicals and metals. Can't recommend it enough.

I'm sorry you got bad advice. I did, too, for my first betta. But it's great you're here and asking questions, and I hope your fish has a long and happy life.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:04 PM   #5 
Erin0929
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Thank you all for your advice. Is Stress coat just something I buy at the petstore, along with aq salt and water conditioner?

Need a bit more clarification on changing his water, just to be sure I do it right. Can I put him back in the container we bought him while I do the change? And I do this with his current water, while adding new water every few minutes? Then put him back in his tank with all new water? Is that right?
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:06 PM   #6 
Erin0929
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How big of tank should he be in to not have to change water so often? Also, I did a general reply with questions in the thread, before I saw this direct way to message you.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #7 
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Yes they are all things your pet store should have. For now I would put him in a different cup or container (preferably a big one) and empty all of the water out of his tank. Fill it up with tap water and dose your chemical accordingly. Try to get the water to a temp where you feel no difference between it and the air. Let the water sit for at least 6 hours so the water temp can adjust (hence why we should house him in a bigger container than his cup. Then start the acclimation process like he was a new fish. Float him in a bag in the new tank for about 20 mins, then gently let some water out of his bag and then dunk the bag to get new water in. Do this every 45 mins until you've done it 5-6 times (maybe more depending on your size of bag). After that you cal let him out into his tank.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:15 PM   #8 
Erin0929
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Don't mean to be so dense, but he goes into the temporary container with his current water until the transition to the new water is complete???
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:18 PM   #9 
Aus
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Yup!

And if you get a 5 gallon tank with a sponge filter (they are easy to use, just get an airline valve and airline to go with it!) that will eventually cycle (grow bacteria which eat ammonia) and this will mean less water changes - even less if you get a good plant light and some plants.

An adjustable heater with thermostat will help you judge the new water temp also, I fill my tank with -slightly- warm tap water and put my fish back in the tank when the thermostat clicks 'off' at the proper temp.

eta: it may seem like a lot to set up right now, but it'll save you time and grief (and money for medicines..) in the end.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:20 PM   #10 
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yup. Try to find a sandwich bag to transfer him to his new tank. Bag's help a ton. Even if his temporary container is a large mason jar or cup (I've done that before) it'll work.
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